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17 not-so-scary Halloween events for kids

Celebrate Halloween in a not-so-spooky way with your young kids! Here are some ideas for you, all happening around town in October:

1. Halloween Glen

This event has already passed for 2018

Hawthorn Glen (1130 N. 60th St.)


2. Boo at the Zoo (Reduced admission rates!)

This event has already passed for 2018

Visit Website

3. Haunted Horizons (UWM Planetarium)

1900 E Kenwood Blvd #139, Milwaukee, WI 53211

Friday, October 19th, 2018 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm. & 8:15 – 9:15 p.m.

General Admission $5


This Friday Night Show Series will be highlighting spooky occurrences from outer space and taking audiences on a sensory experience through the void.

4. Haunted Sullivan

Saturday, October 20 – 5pm / Sunday, October 21 – 5pm / Saturday, October 27 – 5pm / Sunday, October 28 – 5pm

Cost: $5


Everybody’s been through a haunted house – but have you ever experienced a haunted ship? This October, the S/V Denis Sullivan will transform into a haunted schooner. Step aboard to experience all the tricks and treats the captain and crew have waiting for you! Tour times last about 20 minutes, with the last time slot being 20 minutes prior to the listed end time. Pre-registration is not required. Tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Counter or the S/V Denis Sullivan.

5. Haunted Halloween on Downer Ave. (Free!)

Join us on Downer Ave. for our 3rd Annual Haunted Halloween

Saturday, October 20th, 2018 from noon-4pm

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Head on over to Historic Downer Avenue to trick-or-treat at their businesses, enjoy the amazing Halloween-themed artistry of chalk artists, stroll along with our accordian player, and buy your pumpkin at St. Mark’s Church! There will be balloon twisters, face painting, a scavenger hunt and silly story time with Boswell Books, and a kids chalk drawing area.

6. Pumpkin Pavilion in Bay View (Free!)

Wednesday, October 17th through Saturday, October 20th

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Help carve 800+ pumpkins on Wednesday & Thursday that will later be displayed for all to see! The Grand Lighting of the pumpkins will be Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Visit the Pavilion in Humboldt Park for hay rides, live bands, a magic show, food, drinks, and more.

7. Halloween Spooktacular at the Milwaukee County Zoo (reduced admission!)

Friday, October 19th from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, October 20th from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

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Dress up and trick-or-treat around the Milwaukee County Zoo. Whether your children are dressed like a superhero or a cuddly animal, they can get treats from various locations. Anyone is welcome to march in the 2 p.m. parade Saturday. Families can watch some impressive artwork during the pumpkin-carving demonstration. Then, walk by the animals and see if you can find their Halloween enrichment items. Tackle the haystack maze and pose near some of the spirited displays.

Reduced admission rates apply for the Halloween Spooktacular event:


Juniors (age 3 to 12): $7

Children (ages 2 and under):Free


8. Fall Night Fun at the Urban Ecology Ceter

Saturday, October 20th

Urban Ecology Center – Riverside Park

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


Join us after dinner for a special autumn celebration at Riverside Park! We’ll carve pumpkins, take a night hike and end with roasting marshmallows around a campfire. Take home your pumpkin to enjoy!

9. “The Nightmare before Christmas” (Free!)


For a spooky treat, drive down to the 2700 block of Logan Street in Milwaukee’s

Bay View neighborhood. You’ll find elaborate and illuminated Halloween

decorations with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme.

10. Not-so-scary Halloween at Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Saturday, October 27th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Visit Website

Celebrate the fall season with plenty of Halloween fun created especially for young children at the Museum’s popular Not-So-Scary Halloween. Wear your favorite costume and enjoy spooktacular activities and fun throughout the Museum. The event is free for Museum members and free with regular paid admission for non-members. This event will not feature trick-or-treating or candy. Events include Creepy Crafts in the Be A Maker Space, Spooky Sotry Time, and a Not-So-Scary Snakes program

11. Halloween Hauntings at the Milwaukee Public Museum

This event is sold out for 2018.

12. Day of the Dead Celebration

Friday, October 26th

6:00-9:00 p.m. Mitchell Park Domes

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The Friends of the Domes is introducing a new event this year to celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. While this Mexican celebration occurs around the same time of year as Halloween, it is a completely different holiday with rich symbolism and traditions that appeal to people young and old.The Desert Dome will be filled with cheerful candlelight, orange marigolds, and colorful decorations. View traditional ofrendas located throughout the Domes. Guests will enjoy a mariachi band and dancing in the Show Dome. Children will enjoy free crafts such as creating artistic marigolds, painting sugar skulls, or for a fee of $5 building a skull garden. They can interact with and have photos taken with characters in costume. The evening will be infused with educational opportunities to learn about this holiday.

In the ‘burbs:

13. Halloween Spooktacular at Chasing Tales

Friday, Oct. 26th from 10am-12 noon

Chasing Tales (7265 S. 1st St. Oak Creek, WI)

$11 per child / $3 per member

Visit Website

Halloween is right around the corner…grab your costumes for a kid-friendly, not-so-spooky event! Join us for our annual Halloween Spooktacular Friday, October 26th from 10am-noon. Admission includes ghoulish organized games, make your own festive treat bag, adorable costume parade, and a chance to trick-or-treat around our large play area. Admission is $11 per child, $3 for Members. You are able to stay and play after the party has ended. Keepsake photos and cookie decorating available for a small fee.

14. Pumpkin Decorating Party at Little Sprouts

Friday, October 19th & Sunday, October 21st

Little Sprouts Play Cafe (4606 N Wilson Dr, Shorewood, Wisconsin 53211)

Advanced registration required. $20/child (includes pumpkin). Adults FREE.Website

Perfect for even the littlest of ghouls. This event is toddler friendly. Bring your family for some scare-free fun to celebrate Halloween! We’ll supply a pumpkin for each child guest to decorate with paint, glitter, gemstones, and more. No sharp tools involved! In addition to pumpkin time and open play, we’ll have a Halloween-themed photo booth and a pumpkin balloon drop. We’ll also provide some Halloween snacks and will have a cookie decorating station. In the background, we’ll play the silly Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest movie. Event registration closes Wednesday, October 17.

15. Halloween Haunts at Wehr Nature Center

October 18-20, 2018 (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)

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Halloween Haunts combines the make-believe, spooky fun of Halloween with the beauty of nighttime nature to create an event that is fun for the whole family. Halloween Haunts is designed especially for families with children ages 4 to 10. Hikes start every 7 minutes between 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Rain or Shine.

Highlights include:

  • Wehr’s woodland is transformed into an Enchanted Forest complete with a talking owl, a wise-cracking skeleton and even some rapping arthropods.
  • Glowing mushrooms and happy ghosts are ready to surprise families that follow the Jack-o-lantern lit trail.
  • The trip through the Enchanted Forest is just spooky enough to keep the kids enthralled, but is not designed to give anyone a nightmare. In fact, most folks leave with a smile on their face and a new appreciation for nature’s misunderstood creatures.
  • Visitors are treated to a snack of cider and popcorn and can enjoy games, crafts, face painting and fortune telling in the Gardner Room after their walk. There is even a magic show to enjoy while you wait for your hike to start! It all makes for a great evening of entertainment and education.

Tickets must be purchased in advance:

$10 per person$7 Milwaukee County Resident$7 FOW members

FREE Parking

16. The Great Pumpkin Festival in Whitefish Bay

October 27-28th, 2018

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The Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation is proud to present the 32nd annual Great Pumpkin Festival again this year. The event will take place from 6pm to 9pm Wednesday-Sunday, October 24 – 28, 2018. The Pumpkin Festival will be held once gain at Old Schoolhouse Park, located directly across from the WFB Public Library, 5420 N. Marlborough Drive. Enter the Pumpkin patch, pick out a pumpkin and bring it into our carving tent! Prepare, design and carve your pumpkin at this family friendly event. We provide the FREE pumpkins, carving tools, candles, and table space. Design a jack-o-lantern, and it will be lit and on display every night. Each night will feature live local music and delicious food from Pandl’s Whitefsh Bay Inn.

17. Night of the Ghost Train in Shorewood

Wednesday, October 31st

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Corner Bakery Shorewood Cafe – 1305 E. Capitol Drive


The Village of Shorewood will host a community wide celebration in honor of the Ghost Train.

The Ghost Train is an artistic sensory experience which enables visitors to travel back in history, imagining the round-trip journey of the ‘Twin Cities 400’ which was operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway from 1935-1963 and crossed Capitol Drive at the Oak Leaf Trail Bridge. The Ghost Train was brought to Shorewood by Public Art Shorewood and designed by Marty Peck, CLD-E.

The event will feature a costume contest for children 14 years old and under which includes a costume walk across the Oak Leaf Trail Bridge, Ghost Train night runs, a selfie station with a Halloween-themed backdrop, plus free refreshments.

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