TRI-STATE HALLOWEEN EVENTS
Below are more than a scare, er… a score of great opportunities to get your gaggle of ghosts in the spirit of the season, some events featuring multiple days to participate. (Ongoing event and pumpkin patches / corn mazes are listed at the bottom of this page).
Dark Chambers Haunted Forest
Light Fright: 6-6:30 PM
Full Fright: 6:30 – 9:30 PM
YMCA Camp, 11764 JFK Road The haunting of Dubuque returns to the forest for the first time in almost a decade. But it’s not the Jaycees anymore. Instead, the man who brought us the fantastic frights of Dark Chambers in the Port of Dubuque is taking the fear back to where it was famously housed for so long. Pat indoors, part outdoors, and 100% frightening! Resurrecting the Haunted Forest and combining it with all the scares you love, dark turns and terrifying sights will get your heart pounding. Grab your friends and anyone else you think will help you make it out and come test your mortality inside the Chambers. The Forest is open Oct. 6–7 13–14, 19–21, 26–29, NOT on the 30th and open again for the last day on Halloween, Oct. 31. There is a light fright version of the forest from 6 to 6:30 p.m. each night for $10. Tickets are $15 for everyone for the full fright which runs 6:30–9:30 p.m. You can also get a fast pass to the front of the line for $25. Get more details at DarkChambers.com.
Terror At the Grand Opera House
Light Fright @ 6–7:30 PM
Full Fright @ 8 PM–10 PM
Grand Opera House (135 W 8th St)
For decades there have been rumors that the oldest surviving theater in the City of Dubuque, The Grand Opera House, is haunted. No one is sure what lurks in the dark corners and back hallways, but now it’s your turn to explore the dark recesses of the ancient theater.
After a wildly successful and highly praised debut in 2016, Terror at the Grand returns with 4 floors worth of fear inspired scenes. Beware the hand that touches your shoulder or the voice that whispers in your ear. It may be one of our cast members or it may be one of our friends from beyond.
This walk through haunted theater experience follows an all new route; winding through the theater, stage and back hallways featuring scenes to put your senses on edge.
$5 Light Fright is intended for young children and those who prefer more a fun and less scary experience. $10 Full Fright is intended for those who want the full “Haunted House” experience. Tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, visit TheGrandOperaHouse.com or call 563-588-1305. n
YMCA Halloween Parade
Monday, October 30, 6:30 PM
@ Main Street, Downtown Dubuque
Dubuque Ghosts and goblins of all ages will converge once again for perhaps the most popular parade of the year in Dubuque. Line up begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. at Jackson Park and the parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Scores of groups come out in full costumed madness for a super-fun hour in the streets of Dubuque. Prizes will be awarded to organizational floats, business floats and walking groups. 563-556-3371. DubuqueY.org.
Trick or Treat at Shake Rag Alley
Monday, October 31, 5-7 PM
@ Shake Rag Alley (Mineral Point, WI)
If you are a kid or want to act like a kid…put on your wildest costume and come to Shake Rag Alley after the Mineral Point Halloween Parade. Meet friendly (not scary) costumed characters who will be passing out Halloween treats at each of the Shake Rag historic buildings. This Mineral Point tradition is enjoyable for the whole family and a way to meet so many other free spirits and check out their wacky get-ups. Free. ShakeRagAlley.com.
ONGOING HALLOWEEN EVENTS
Great River Reapers Home Haunt
Now through October 31
Sunday–Thursday: Until 10 PM Friday and Saturday: Until 11 PM
2750 Burden St
Walk through the free Great River Reapers’ outdoor haunt, featuring a graveyard, 16 spiders on the roof, animated figures, horse drawn hearse and much more. In conjunction with the haunt, they do a food drive for the Dubuque Food Pantry and accept cash donations for The Wounded Warrior Projects. They draw 50 to 100 people a night and about 800 trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Bring the little ones during daylight hours.
Haunted Galena Ghost Tours
Fridays and Saturdays Now through October 31
8 PM @ Big Bill’s Sandwich and Coffee Shop (Galena, IL)
The charm of old Galena entices you, the darkness of night descends, the shadows envelop all. Then the stories and tales begin, returning you to a feeling you had forgotten, from a place long ago. Rain or shine. $18 Adults; $10 children 12 and under. 301 N. Main St. 815-990-7203. HauntedGalenaTourCompany.com.
TRI-STATE PUMPKIN PATCHES
Vesperman Farms Corn Maze and More
Open Daily through Fall Vesperman Farms (8149 Stage Rd, Lancaster, WI)
Vesperman Farms boasts one of the biggest and most challenging corn mazes in the Midwest. Originally just a corn maze and pumpkins, the farm now boasts a trebuchet, rubber duck races, farm animals, climbing tires, an air cannon, and the snack barn with the caramel apples and the apple cider doughnuts.
Enjoy Kyle’s 100-foot zip-line, giving kids of all ages the excitement of flying down the hill (not too fast) inches off the ground. Fast, easy and fun! But for many, it’s the corn maze that brings them in droves. Each year a completely new and creative design is made into a-maze-ing images filled with mind-bending twists and turns.
Fall is pumpkin time, and Vesperman Farms has them by the wagonload. The pumpkin air cannon, which we got to see in action, shoots a pumpkin a quarter mile! There is also a real trebuchet (catapult) at the farm that will take a 20–25 pound pumpkin and chuck it up to 600 feet. Plus so many more fun things to focus on for kids and families.
The farm is open seven days a week, Monday–Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $8 for everyone ages 5 and up and free for kids under 5. Call 608-723-2542 for group rates and special times by appointment like school tours!
Visit VespermanFarms.com for more details on everything, and follow them on Facebook. From Dubuque, take HWY 151 N. to Dickeyville, turn on to HWY 61 to Lancaster. Turn left on Stage Rd. (there will be signs) and go two miles. Look for the big red “barn” on the right… and tell ‘em 365ink sent ya! n[end]
Tri-State Market & May Family Pumpkin Barn
Fridays through Mondays: Now Through October 30
9 AM–6 PM @ 1887 Hwy 35, East Dubuque, IL
The Tri-State Market & Pumpkin Barn is an open-air market featuring homemade caramel apples, pumpkins, bounce house, haunted house, corn maze, hay rides, farm animals, food and more! Find fun fall decorations including gourds, wreaths, crafts and much more. 815-747-6832 .
Schuster’s Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze
Saturdays and Sundays: Now Through October 31
10 AM–5 PM @ 7541 Schueller Heights Rd
In addition to the corn maze and pumpkin patch, Schuster’s also features a smaller free kids maze, bounce house, and pumpkin cannon! Admission is free. Kid’s corn maze is free. Adult corn maze, wagon rides, pumpkins, and concessions available for purchase.
Papa’s Pumpkin Patch
Now through October 31
10 AM–5 PM @ 16679 360th Ave., Bellevue, IA
Papa’s Pumpkin patch features free wagon and barrel rides, bat cave, petting zoo, and bounce houses for the kids. Plus you can pick out your own pumpkins, gourds, squash and pie pumpkins, plus other goodies are available for purchase. 563-872-4728.