Halloween 2015: Best Places to Celebrate in Miami

Halloween is nearly upon us. It's the season when the air is crisp and the ghosts and goblins come out to play. This year, Miami is going all out with celebrations starting this week and lasting through November 1, the Day of the Dead. 

There's a party for everyone — from sophisticated charity costume balls to pumpkin-carving contests to a dinner honoring Beetlejuice (just don't say his name three times). 

Here are the scariest (and not so scary) ways to celebrate Halloween in Miami:

Pre-Halloween Events

Eve of Prohibition Ball Dark Dining Event at Westin Colonnade Coral Gables
Join chef Adrianne Calvo back in time as she re-creates the Roaring '20s for an intriguing evening. On Friday, October 23, at 7 p.m.the Westin Colonnade Coral Gables (180 Aragon Ave.) will transform into a wonderland of entertainment, cocktails, and intrigue at the Eve of Prohibition Ball. Wear your Gatsby-inspired best to this event that benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Miami and allows guests to choose from two experiences.

Dance the night away at the masquerade ball (attire is either formal or 1920s-themed) and enjoy live entertainment, cocktails featuring an open bar by Bacardi, and multiple food options by Chef Adrianne. Or choose the Dark Dining experience — a sit-down, multicourse journey where you dine in the dark to allow your senses of taste, touch, smell, and sound to run wild. Tickets start at $150 for general admission at 8 p.m. to the ball, including open bar, food, and entertainment; $200 Bacardi Superior tickets include early entry at 7 p.m., a VIP burlesque show at 7:30 p.m., and a photo opportunity with Chef Adrianne. Dark Dining tickets cost $250 and include a multicourse dark-dining experience, early entry at 7 p.m., and full access to the VIP area. Visit darkdiningmiami.com for tickets.

Wine On Harvest Moon at the Deering Estate
One of Miami's loveliest (and most haunted) properties will host its annual soiree this Saturday, October 24. From 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., the Deering Estate at Cutler in Palmetto Bay will be filled with spirits, spells, and American lore at its Wine On Harvest Moon. 

Stroll the gorgeous grounds and visit wine- or spirits-producing regions of the United States such as upstate New York's Sleepy Hollow, Edgar Allan Poe's New England, and a rock 'n' roll-tinged California. Don't miss the Mark Twain-themed Southern saloon with a bourbon bar and country music classics for dancing. Each area will have its own pop-up vignette performed by Tandem Theater Company, and art and rare books curated by Deering's cultural arts coordinator. Food is paired with each theme, region, and libation. It's provided by some of Miami's best restaurants, including Oliver Rodriguez of the Biltmore Hotel, Rojelio Fernandez of Brio Tuscan Grille, Diego Solano of Bulla Gastrobar, Rod Chitikov of Devon Seafood + Steak, Phil Bryant of the Local Craft Food & Drink, David Lesser of Munch Thyme, Miguel Antonio Gomez Fernández of Pisco y Nazca, and Julia Ning of Station 5 Miami, as well as A Little Bit of Philly, Anacapri Cucina Italiana, Asian Fusion, Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar, Golden Rule Seafood, and Whole Foods Market Coral Gables, among others.

The extravaganza will also feature a live auction, fine wines, and the official unveiling of the 2016 BMW 750i. Tickets for the 21-and-over event cost $150 for Deering Estate Foundation members and $175 for nonmembers and can be purchased by visiting deeringestate.com or calling 305-235-1668, ext. 263. 

Melloween at Mellow Mushroom
Mellow Mushroom in South Miami will celebrate a kinder, gentler Halloween, filled with pizza, beer, and fun. Beginning at 7 p.m. October 23, enjoy a costume contest, live music by the Stiltsville, and an extended happy hour on all Concrete Beach beers.

Something's Brewing After Dark at Miami Children's Museum 
This Friday, October 23, the Miami Children's Museum will turn into a 21-and-over haunted house with a costume contest, brews, and a night of play to benefit the museum's Very Important Potential program. Tickets cost $25 in advance or $30 at the door and include craft beers, delicious treats, games, black-light body-painting, a giant Jenga game, and more. Purchase tickets via miamichildrensmuseum.org. 

Carved Pumpkin Contest at Concrete Beach Brewery
Bring your carved pumpkin to Concrete Beach Brewery Saturday, October 24, from 6 p.m. to close and enter it into the carved pumpkin pageant. A panel of judges will select a winner, to be proclaimed Pumpkin King!

Beetlejuice Dinner at the Federal Food Drink & Provisions
Next Thursday, October 29, at 7:30 p.m., celebrate the "ghost with the most" at the Federal's tribute to Beetlejuice. The evening will feature five ghoulish courses with five beer pairings, including Tampa's Coppertail Brewing, and one welcome Juice of Beetles cocktail. Dress in your finest Beetlejuice attire and enjoy watching the film Beetlejuice all night while you eat. Entrées include the Village Model, Scared Sheetless, and Duffy's Cantonese Chicken; dessert is Invoking the Maitlins. Dinner costs $66 and includes gratuity. Purchase tickets at thefederalmiami.com. 

Halloween Eve Events

Noche de Duende Masquerade Bash at Piripi
Friday, October 30, at 8 p.m., Piripi at Merrick Park in Coral Gables will host a masquerade ball, complete with flamenco, tapas, cocktails, and live music. The party will spill out into the street, where attendees can enjoy a live performance by Suénalo. VIP tickets cost $50 per person and include access to a private bar and outdoor lounge as well as complimentary passed tapas. General-admission tickets cost $25. The restaurant's regular dinner, cocktail, and tapas menu will be available all evening. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite. Table reservations are available for parties of four or more, and guests must be 21 or older to attend. For more information, call 305-448-2423.

The Biltmore's Halloween Eve
From 8 p.m. to midnight Friday, October 30, the Biltmore's Country Club ballroom will host its annual Halloween eve bash, offering an open bar, a lavish buffet, and live music. Attendees can dress up and enter a costume contest to win prizes for most creative, scariest, and best couple. Tickets cost $75 for members or $100 for the public and can be purchased by calling 305-913-3230.

Vizcaya's Annual Sundowner
On Halloween eve from 8 p.m. to midnight, head to Vizcaya for its annual Sundowner celebration, featuring music by Spam Allstars and DJ A-Train, dancing, a bevy of bars, and bites. Dress to impress, because these costumes tend to be off the charts. Tickets cost $140 for members or $165 for general admission for this 21-and-over event. To purchase tickets, visit vizcaya.org. 

STK Miami's Day of the Dead
The day before Halloween, STK Miami celebrates Día de los Muertos and Amor Eterno with music, including a special performance by Peter White, Miami's nu-deco ensemble drummer. Break out your most elaborate Day of the Dead costume for prizes. A $50 Boos and Booze package is available from 7 to 9 p.m. For details, call 305-604-6988

Better Days Pumpkin Carving
Friday, October 30, Better Days will host pumpkin carving. Beginning at 9 p.m., the bar will hand out a limited supply of free pumpkins so you can get creative. Get there early for happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m.

Halloween Events 

The Gates of Bagat'hell Purgatorio Brunch and Evening Halloween Party

Bagatelle will turn into Bagat'hell for one afternoon. This thrills-and-chills-themed brunch will features DJs and a costume contest. Return at night for a blowout Halloween costume party. Brunch begins at noon, and the evening festivities start at 7:30. There's no cover charge. For more information and to make reservations, call 305-704-3900. 

Piripi Family-Friendly Halloween Brunch
Saturday afternoon, Piripi will host a family-friendly brunch that includes special activities and Halloween goodie bags for trick-or-treaters.

Seaspice's Hotel Transylvania
Seaspice will transform its beautiful waterfront dining room into a haunted house for the evening. Check into the restaurant-turned-Hotel Transylvania and dine under the cobwebs instead of the stars.

Better Days Halloween Bash
Halloween night, Better Days will throw a party with a costume contest. Dress in your scary best to win cash and prizes. Don't forget to try the pumpkin moonshine cocktail.

Wicked Brew Bash at Concrete Beach Brewery
No cover and wicked-good brews make Concrete Beach a great place for Halloween. Dress to scare and enter the costume contest at 10 p.m. for prizes. 

Meat Market Lincoln Road Watch Party
Be in the center of Lincoln Road's wild costume spectacle while enjoying a good steak at Meat Market's Halloween dinner ($150 per person, excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity). The three-course feast begins at 9 p.m. October 31 and offers appetizers such as tuna tartare, chilled octopus carpaccio, wood-grilled jerk lobster tail, heirloom tomato and truffle, and crisp hen-of-the-woods mushroom. Entrées include herb-crusted sea bass, char-grilled filet with king crab bearnaise, bone-in prime New York strip, and a wood-grilled blackened tuna steak. For dessert, choose from a pumpkin mousse tart with licorice sorbet and a double chocolate mousse bat with raspberry blood. For reservations, call 305-532-0088.

Quattro Gastronomia Italiana Lincoln Road Watch Party
On October 31, Quattro will offer a four-course prix-fixe dinner for $110 per person on the patio ($65 indoors). The meal will begin with bruschetta with truffle robiola cheese for the table, followed by a choice of fried calamari, beef carpaccio, eggplant parmigiana, burrata with multicolored tomatoes in basil oil, or black lentil salad. Main selections include a choice of fontina ravioli, pumpkin gnocchi, risotto with shrimp, grilled rib eye with truffle porcini mushroom sauce, braised short rib with pumpkin mash, or Mediterranean branzino. For dessert, choose warm chocolate molten cake and milk ice cream, tiramisu, or pumpkin and pecan pie. For reservations, call 305-531-4833.

Pasta Vino's Magnum Lounge-Inspired Halloween Party
Pasta Vino (1624 79th St. Causeway, Miami) is hosting a Halloween celebration with music by Magnum Lounge DJ Dr. Wayne. Scare up a costume and enter the contest for prizes.

Haunted Halloween at Thompson Miami Beach
Saturday, October 31, the Thompson Miami Beach's 1930s House will morph into a ghoulish haunted house. Beginning at 8 p.m., rock out to a live DJ and enter a costume contest for prizes that include a two-night staycation at the hotel or a gift certificate to Talde restaurant. The $10 cover includes a welcome Witches' Brew.

SushiSamba's Cocktails & Cosplay
Break out your favorite Japanese-themed anime costume and head to SushiSamba's Cosplay party. The Lincoln Road restaurant will host the party from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., with live DJ, entertainment, costume contests, and more. There's no cover charge, but put some cash in your cat suit to enjoy the three outdoor bars serving $9 cocktails. Of course, this is also a prime viewing spot for the famous Lincoln Road parade.

The Little Lighthouse Foundation's Nightmare on the Beach 2015
On Halloween from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Miami Beach's Lummus Park will get scary with a party to benefit the Little Lighthouse Foundation. Tickets cost $175 and include a premium open bar all night from Patrón and Dos Equis, bites from South Florida's best restaurants, a costume contest, and entertainment. For tickets and more information, visit thelittlelighthouse.org.

Pubbelly Halloween Crawl
Each of Pubbelly's Sunset Harbour restaurants will offer special happy-hour items from 6 p.m. to midnight on Halloween. Drop into Pubbelly, Pubbelly Sushi, and Barceloneta to check out their decor — each will feature a different Halloween theme. 

Shots Hop at Shots Miami
Enjoy a 1950s, zombie-themed evening at Shots Miami with a haunted house, hot ghouls, and deathly drinks. The fun goes down Halloween night all night, with a special haunted happy hour from 7 to 9 p.m.

Casino Royale at Regent Cocktail Club
If you'd rather dress like 007 than a zombie, head to the Regent Cocktail Club for a sophisticated take on Halloween. The evening begin at 7 with cocktails (try a vesper or a martini) and casino games. After 11 p.m., if you're in the mood for more spy games, travel downstairs to the Rec Room, where the party will continue till 5 a.m. 

Post-Halloween (Día de los Muertos) Events

Halloween Hangover at Terrazza at Shore Club

Feeling like the walking dead? Use it to your advantage at this Sunday brunch. November 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy bottomless mimosas for the ghouls. Wear your now-ruined costume to brunch and enter the contest for worst costume.

Día de los Muertos Brunch at Bagatelle

Keep the dead theme going at Bagatelle's special Day of the Dead brunch Sunday, November 1. The fun begins at noon and features exclusive Día de los Muertos cocktails.

Día de los Muertos at Bodega
Miami Beach taco joint Bodega will serve plenty of hair-of-the-dog tequila and music by Damaged Goods Sunday, November 1, from 8 p.m. till close.

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