In a city where Brazilian bikinis and Miley-style unitards fly as fashion choices from May through December, Halloween may seem a little pointless. Because when anything goes year round, how can you possibly craft a costume that'll top it? Amazingly, Miamians do, and the shit you see on Halloween is even more outrageous than on every other night of the year. This is a city that knows how to make itself look good — even when blood, guts, and gore are involved.
So, once you've got that killer costume, here's a laundry list of ways to spend your night. Happy haunting.
Halloween Costume Party at VIP Hotel Chelsea
8 p.m. to midnight
Hotel Chelsea, 944 Washington St., Miami Beach; free
Don your best Donald Trump 'do and earn yourself some drink specials — anyone in costume gets a discount. Local artist Wnstn Chrchll will be handling the tunes.
Halloween Art-Making at Pérez Art Museum Miami
1 to 3 p.m.
Pérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd.; free (with costume)
For those with little ones to worry about, PAMM is the place. Bring the kids and customize your own mask, decorate a trick-or-treat bag, and dig into cotton candy and sweets as a midday preview for the night's haul.
Spooky Zoo Nights
7 to 11 p.m.
Zoo Miami, 1 Zoo Boulevard, Miami; $10.95 per person, $9.95 for zoo members
This year's super-scary Zoo Miami experience includes Dr. Wilde’s Creepy House, a zombie-riffic tram ride and for the kiddos — ghoulish carousel rides, creepy critters and candy stations.
Brickell Monster Bar Crawl
American Social, 690 SW First Ct.; $20 per person
If you're into avoiding the usual haunts (ha) on Halloween, this costumed crawl is a good bet. The guide will take you to a bunch of bars including American Social, Brother Jimmy's BBQ, Rubi Lounge, RedBar Brickell, and Batch Gastropub. A ticket will get you $3 Oculto and Beck's beer specials at every venue, one free beer or drink at every venue, plus special pricing on drinks at every venue. Booze is better than candy, any day.
#SoBeWitched Halloween Party at the National Hotel
National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; free
In addition to a night-long happy hour and live entertainment, this spot is also offering up two contests (should your costume be award-worthy). One is a traditional contest concluding with a catwalk dance-off, and the second is an Instagram photo contest using the hashtag #SoBeWitched. Prizes are pretty awesome and include a hotel stay, Jungle Island passes, a poolside cabana, and more.
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Mana Wynwood, 318 NW 23rd St.; free
There's nowhere hotter than Wynwood in Miami these days, so this all ages event is a hell of a place to spend Halloween. There'll be food from more than 20 trucks, DJs mixing sights and sounds on a 240" LED screen, and even a special screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Miami Nice Yacht Party
South Beach Lady Yacht, Hyatt Hotel Dock, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami; $60 per person
If you can spend Halloween on a boat (or any day on a boat, for that matter) — why wouldn't you? You might never own a 125' yacht, but you can dress the part (Kim K costume anyone?) and spend the evening living the dream.
Monster Maker Halloween Party
Moonlighter Makerspace, 2041 NW First Pl., Miami; free
Nothing says Halloween like getting into a little DIY a la Dr. Frankenstein. This party will include a maker costume contest, a food science lab, glow-in-the-dark 3D printing, a mad scientist music lab, glow painting, pumpkin carving and lots of other creative creepiness. Admission is free, but activities will cost between $5 and $15.
Lincoln Road Mall; free
If you're into epic people watching — made exponentially more awesome with costumes — Lincoln Road is always a win. The pedestrian mall becomes a mass gathering spot for people (and animals) in the most outrageous of outfits.