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17 not-so-scary Halloween events for kids around Milwaukee


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

Every half hour on Friday, October 13 from 5:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Every half hour on Saturday, October 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Hawthorn Glen (1130 N. 60th St.)

Milwaukee Recreation’s “natural alternative” to the usual haunted houses is returning for its 24th year. Halloween Glen encourages youth to learn about nature through a fun and interactive program in the outdoor setting of Hawthorn Glen, Milwaukee Recreation’s 23-acre nature center.

There will be actors dressed up as wild creatures presenting interactive skits at eight elaborately decorated stations along the luminated trails of Hawthorn Glen. Participants will discover the silly superstitions, misleading myths, and fabricated fables that got nature all wrong.” Following the program, families can watch Halloween cartoons, purchase refreshments (cash only), and make craft projects to take home.

Families with children between the ages of 3 and 12 will enjoy the program most, but everyone is welcome to attend for $6 per person (children 2 and under may attend for free).

Milwaukee Recreation will offer one Tyke Hike session on Saturday for the youngest participants to enjoy a shortened walk to four of the eight stations. The cost for a Tyke Hike is $3 per person. The session will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Participants must register in advance by completing the registration form in Milwaukee Recreation’s Fall 2017 Recreation Guide or registering online at MilwaukeeRecreation.net. Because parking is limited at Hawthorn Glen, all participants must park at MPS Central Services, 5225 W. Vliet St., and use the free shuttle service to and from the event. Walk-ups at Hawthorn Glen will not be permitted. Please call (414) 647-6050 with questions.

2. First Stage presents "Spookely the Square Pumpkin"

October 7-29; Saturdays at 11am, 1pm, and 3:30pm; Sundays at 11am, and 1pm

$14 and up

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Spookley the Square Pumpkin is teased by the other pumpkins because of his odd shape. His new friends – three hilarious spiders named Edgar, Allan and Poe – try to convince Spookley that square or not, he has a right to be the Pick of the Patch on Halloween. Spookley isn’t sure he has what it takes until a mighty storm threatens to destroy the entire patch, sending the round pumpkins rolling towards the raging river. Just in time for Halloween, Spookley – the Official Spokes-Pumpkin for National Bullying Prevention Month as recognized by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center – teaches us there are times it is better to be square. Suggested for families with young people ages 3 – 7+.

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

October 13th & 14th

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Celebrate fall and Halloween at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Boo at the Zoo offers a pumpkin patch with hundreds of jack-o'-lanterns carved by Zoo Pride volunteers. If they dare, families can go through the haystack maze or take a ghostly train ride. Anyone can dress up in costumes as they check out the Halloween displays during the fall night.

Reduced admission rates are offered for Boo at the Zoo on both Friday and Saturday evenings:

Adults: $9

Juniors (age 3 to 12): $7

Children (2 and under): Free

Parking: $7

4. Halloween Haunts at Wehr Nature Center

October 19, 20 & 21 2017 (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. New this year – Halloween Haunts Matinee Debut!

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

5. Haunted Sullivan

Saturday, October 14th from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 14th from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 15th from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 21st from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 22nd from 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Cost: $5

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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.

6. Haunted Halloween on Downer Ave.

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

Saturday, October 21st from 1-4pm

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Head on over to Historic Downer Avenue to trick-or-treat at our businesses, enjoy the amazing Halloween-themed artistry of over 10 chalk artists, buy your pumpkin at St. Mark's Church, and even drink New Belgium's Pumpkick, a pumpkin flavored beer that is tapped directly out of a pumpkin while being serenaded by our Dracula Accordion player!

Vote for your favorite pumpkin from our businesses as they compete to win our carving contest this year while you earn your chance to win great prizes. Kids can enjoy their own chalk drawing area plus Face Painting by Jess. This is a FREE event and fun for the entire family. Don't be scared- join us!

7. Pumpkin Pavilion in Bay View

Wednesday, October 18th and Thursday, October 19th from 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

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

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

October 20 - 6-9 p.m.

October 21 - 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:

Adults:$9

Juniors (age 3 to 12): $7

Children (ages 2 and under):Free

Parking:$12

9. Poses & Pumpkins at Zen Gen Yoga

Saturday, October 21st

10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Zen Gen Yoga (2723 N. Downer Ave. Milwaukee)

Price $12 per child, $15 per adult, $10 if new to the studio

Celebrate the season of spookiness by flowing through some yoga poses and decorating a pumpkin! ​ To get a free pumpkin, simply sign up and pay for the regular adult or child class ahead of time online (preferred), or the day of at the studio. After class, hardwood floors will disappear under newspapers as the studios transform into a jack-o’-lantern heaven. Tools and designs will be provided, but feel free to bring pumpkin paint or an idea of your own! Complimentary apple cider will be available for all ages to enjoy.

10:30-11:15 Youngster Yoga (ages 5-9) &Hatha Vinyasa Flow for adults

11:15-1 Pumpkin Carving

10. Enchanted Forest at Urban Ecology Center

Saturday, October 21st

Urban Ecology Center - Riverside Park

5:30 p.m.

Visit the Enchanted Forest! Kids and their grown-ups will enjoy a guided nighttime walk through Riverside Park and encounter costumed characters along the way. Through silly skits, these characters will teach you about the habits and adaptations of nocturnal wildlife. After the hike, come back inside the Center for games, crafts and hot apple cider. Costumes encouraged!

Walks begin at 5:30 pm and leave about every 20 minutes. The last walk leaves at 7:20 pm. Please register for the available walk time of your choice.

11. Halloween Spooktacular at Chasing Tales

Friday, Oct. 27th and Saturday, oct. 28th 10am-12 noon both days

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

$10 per child

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Join for Halloween themed games, crafts, costume parade, and trick or treating all included in admission. Face painting, cookie decorating, and a photo booth will be available for a small fee.

12. "The Nightmare before Christmas"

October 28th and 29th

Riverside Theater

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Just in time for Halloween, one of Tim Burton’s most celebrated films, Tim Burton’s THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, will be projected on the big screen at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater. Accompanied by Danny Elfman’s enigmatic score performed by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, this will be an extraordinary Halloween event not to be missed!

13. Not-so-scary Halloween at Betty Brinn Children's Museum

October 27 & 28 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Celebrate the fall season with plenty of Halloween fun created especially for young children at the Museum’s popular Not-So Scary Halloween presented by Sendik’s Food Markets. Receive goodies at Treat Stops (with or without a 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.Visit Sendik’s Food Markets to purchase select products from our sponsors, Breadsmith, Fyffes, Kemps and Sargento, then show your receipt at the Museum to receive one FREE admission to the Not-So-Scary Halloween. One admission per product. Check back October 1 for more promotional information.

14. Halloween Hauntings at the Milwaukee Public Museum

Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. Free to members; $5 member guests (limit 2) RSVP required

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Have some spirited fun at the Milwaukee Public Museum during Halloween Hauntings. Halloween Hauntings is a bewitchingly good time for everyone, and all ages are invited. Reservations are encouraged as early as possible; this event sells out. To avoid lines at the Museum, we’ll mail your wristbands in advance if you RSVP by Thursday, October 12.

Activities include:

-Trick-or-treat through Museum exhibits (costumes encouraged) -Encounter creepy, crawly beasties with “the animal dude” -Learn about birds of prey from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center -Go on a spine-chilling ghost tour -Make a spooky craft, hear not-so-scary stories, and more

Space is limited for this popular event. RSVP accepted until Wednesday, October 25, as space allows.

15. Ghosts Under Glass

Friday, October 27th

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

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Kids enjoy safe indoor trick or treating, a Halloween Carnival with games and prizes, a tour of the haunted Tropical Dome of Doom, a magician, light shows in the Show Dome, Halloween crafts, and much more. Each child will receive a free pumpkin and a starter bag of trick or treat candy. Food and drink will be available for purchase from Zilli’s Hospitality Group.

During Ghosts Under Glass, the Desert Dome will be filled with cheerful candlelight, orange marigolds, and colorful decorations for 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.

Admission is $8 per person, two and under free. Tickets available after October 1st in the Domes Gift Shop or at the door. For more information feel free to call the Friends of the Domes at 414-257-5608.

16. Halloween Party at Kith & Kin

Saturday, October 28th

1932 E. Park Pl. Milwaukee, WI. 53211

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

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Take-home magic potions with their beloved Wizard, crafting fun halloween crafts, painting monster faces, feeling for ooey-gooey tricks, reading spooky stories, and eating lots of treats! Tickets required, best suited for ages 0-6

17. Chili Halloween at North Point Lighthouse

Sunday, October 29th

4:30-7:00 p.m.

North Point Lighthouse

$10 per family

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Your family will enjoy wicked chili, magical hot chocolate, creepy crawly candy, ghostly marshmallows, costume prices, and more! This not-to-scary Halloween event is perfect for children. Besides the Halloween festivities, your family can explore the museum filled with historical maritime artifacts, like the Fresnel Lens, plus climb that 74ft tall Lighthouse. (Kids must be at least 5 years old and at least 38 inches tall to climb the tower.)

Related: Dia de los muertos events around Milwaukee


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