Halloween is one of those holidays that isn't just celebrated for one day. Rather, the world sees fit to revel in all things spooky all month long.
For those who would rather steer clear of the Grove or Miami Beach on Halloween (a most wise decision), and those who want more options when it comes to the festivities, we've got you covered with the ten best things to do before October 31.
Terror in the Jungle
Haunted houses are so basic, so leave it to Jungle Island to rev up the concept and turn an innocent attraction into a terrifying place. Guests will enter through the Toxic Zombie Jungle Entrance and be led through five acres of hauntings. As with any good haunted house, there needs to be a story attached to it. The premise here deals with a bunch of toxic monkeys traveling as cargo on a plane that crashes into the ruins of an Aztec city. The chemicals and monkeys spread, and we have some Terror in the Jungle. Expect booby traps, the usual scare actor popping out from the dark, and lots of fog.
House of Horror
Yes, we just said "haunted houses are so basic." But we totally meant haunted houses are so basic, unless they take place at a gigantic theme park or inside a mall. Better yet, inside a mall with tons of amusement park-style attractions. At House of Horror at International Mall, inside the wooden house structure are more than ten new horror-filled rooms with more motion-activated props than previous years. DJ Steve Aoki will also be performing at House of Horror on October 25, if you're into that sort of scary thing.
House of Horror is ready to scare you at International Mall all through the month of October until November 2. Park hours are Mondays to Thursdays beginning at 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. until midnight, and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Entrance is $25 for adults. Visit houseofhorrorpark.com.
16 Nights of Horror at the Drive-In
The folks over at the Blue Starlite Drive-In like to celebrate the holidays in the oldest of fashions: with movies. With such horror classics as Scream, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Shinning, along with other thematically relevant films like Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, and Beetlejuice, there's plenty to get one in the mood for Halloween. To close out the month with a bang, the drive in is giving guests a unique live-performance of the cult favorite The Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 30 with members of the Front Yard Theater Collective singing and dancing along to the flick.
Visit miamiurbandrivein.com for a complete schedule of the 16 Nights of Horror. Movies screen Mondays through Thursdays throughout the month of October with showtimes starting at 8 p.m.
Ever sit at home and watch one of those creepy paranormal activity TV shows and think that it's a total load of crap? Well, for those believers and non-believers alike, there's the Spookover at the Deering Estate. If you have the cojones to spend the night in a haunted mansion, you might just experience some unexplainable occurrences that might make you pee yourself. The tour runs from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m., but don't expect to do any sleeping - attendees will visit "the most active locations on the estate where you can investigate and attempt communication with the spirits that roam in the historic house and main grounds."
Test your luck with the spirits at the Deering Estate on Friday, October 17. Tour lasts from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m. and costs $65 to attend. Paranormal investigative equipment is welcome and comfortable clothing is encouraged. Visit deeringestate.org.
South Florida Zombie Crawl
The Shops at Midtown has made it an annual occurrence with their elaborate zombie crawl, which brings neighboring businesses together to hand out food and drink samples. The crawl begins at the courtyard in the mall with tents set up and a stage for a live band, and then the path goes around the mall and hits its various nightlife venues. Though this is a pub-crawl style event, guests under 21-years-old will be allowed, but it's not recommended for kids under 18. Guests are encouraged to dress up as zombies (duh), but any undead-inspired garb will do.
The Zombie Crawl takes place October 18 at the Shops at Midtown Miami. Tickets cost $33 for general admission or $88 for VIP. The evening of undead revelry begins at 7 p.m. Visit southfloridazombiecrawl.com.
Carnival of Darkness
The theme here is obviously carnival. Though we can't say for certain if it'll be as jaw-dropping as the graphics for American Horror Story: Freakshow, the Biltmore will transform one of their ballrooms into an abandoned carnival scene full of freaks, geeks, and more. The creepy characters will roam the area tempting guests to see a freak show or play a carnival game. There will be a costume contest and prizes awarded for the most original (read: handmade) get-up, the funniest (read: creepy-carnival-clown), and the spookiest (read: realistic zombie makeup). Food and drinks shall be served.
Step into the Carnival of Darkness on October 24 at 8 p.m. at the Country Club Ballroom at the Biltmore. Tickets cost $50 for members and $75 for guests. Event is 21 and over. Visit biltmorehotel.com.
28th Annual Halloween Sundowner at Vizcaya
Since we don't have many old buildings in Miami, it can be hard to get the heebie-jeebies come October. However, we are lucky to have Vizcaya to remind us of what life was like for the wealthy in the early part of the 20th century, and every year, they throw one helluva Halloween party. Complete with costumed monsters who wander the gardens, eerie lighting to set the mood, and an open bar the entire evening, it's bound to be ghoulishly good. May we suggest dressing up as a Southern belle ready for her debut into society? When your heels click on the tile floor of the main house, you'll feel totally authentic.
The 28th Annual Halloween Sundowner sets on Vizcaya on October 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $115 for members and $130 for non-members. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit the preservation of the museum and gardens. Event is 21 and older. Visit vizcayamuseum.org.
Autumn Moon Tour
Coral Castle in Homestead is Florida's version of England's Stonehenge. Except, we know a smidge more about Coral Castle's origins and there's no alien conspiracy surrounding it (yet). Built between 1923 and 1951 by one man named Edward Leedskalnin, the coral castle was meant to be a testament to unrequited love. Leedskalnin is said to have single-handedly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock during a time where modern construction didn't exist. To this day, no one knows his methods. The museum typically closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays, but for the special Autumn Moon Tour it will stay open until 10 p.m.
Feast of the Imaginarium
Baoli Miami holds a weekly party, My Boyfriend is Out of Town, but for the special occasion that is Halloween, the posh restaurant has swapped it out for a more festive approach. Inspired by the surrealist works of painter Salvador Dali and the famous 1972 Parisian party, Diner de Têtes Surrealiste, Baoli's the Feast of the Imaginarium should be nothing less than visually stunning. Guests will be asked to dress for the occasion: Ladies, "dress or undress to compliment [your] fantastical surroundings," and boys, you just need to show up in black-tie with a "surrealist headdress."
Dinner reservations are encouraged for Feast of the Imaginarium happening on Wednesday, October 29, at 7 p.m at Baoli Miami. Email Halloween@baolimiami.com or call 305-674-8822. Visit baolimiami.com/imaginarium.
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Miami Cemetery Tour
In older cities up north, it's common to see old cemeteries in the middle of the downtown area and wander inside only to find gravestones dating back hundreds of years. In Miami, our list of creepy old cemeteries is pretty short, and most of us aren't crazy enough to disturb the dead on All Hallows' Eve. However, for those brave enough, HistoryMiami has organized a Miami Cemetery Tour at Miami's City Cemetery, the city's oldest final resting place. The tour will be led by historian Dr. Paul George, who will send chills down your spine with tales of some of Miami's oldest figures. "The ghost tour is a fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween while also taking a moment to step back and reflect on the many great people who helped build Miami," said Dr. George in a statement.
The Miami Cemetery Tour will take place October 30 at Miami City Cemetery. There will be two tours: one at 6 p.m. and another starting at 8 p.m. Expect the tour to last an hour and a half. Tickets cost $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Parking is limited inside the cemetery, and costumes are optional. Call 305-375-5792 or visit historymiami.org/tours.