Sure, most people still consider it a holiday for kids, but remember, the origins of Halloween aren't quite as cute as dressing up as a bunny and begging for candy.
The origins of Halloween go back 2,000 years to a village just outside of Dublin where the ancient Celts celebrated Samhain, the night when the dead return to the mortal world. Bonfires were lit to ward off evil spirits. Though many cultures celebrate All Hallows Eve and the Day of the Dead, Samhain is considered to be the start of what best translates to Halloween as we know it.
This Halloween, several bars and event spaces are popping up with Halloween-themed bars decked out in spooky cobwebs, skulls, and spiders. Take a walk on the wild side, grab your favorite ghoul, and sink your fangs into creepy cocktails and tangy "bites."
Circus Freak Show at Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co.at 237 20th St. Suite B, Miami Beach
Step right up to the circus freak show at Sweet Liberty for a two-week long pop-up. The bar will be decked out with hauntingly freaky decor and interactive characters, live entertainment, special events, and costumed bar staff. Pick your poison on the cocktail menu and savor a special circus-themed food menu with treats from your favorite carnival stand, possibly served by a creepy carny. 4 p.m. to 5 a.m., Wednesday, October 16 through Thursday, October 31. Admission is free.
Death or Gory at Death or Glory116 NE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach
Welcome to the quaint community of Hellray Beach and its most fangtastic bar — Death or Gory! This Halloween pop-up is dressed up with skulls, skeletons, and more for an immersive experience like no other. The Delray Beach bar, known for its Christmas pop-up, is scaring up fun Halloween-themed cocktails themed after legendary author, Edgar Allen Poe.
Find drinks like the Bite Me ($13) made with Milagro tequila, lime, agave, and a malbec floater; the Dead on Arrival ($13) with Lemon Hart rum, Falernum, passion fruit, and lime, and the Lizzy Borden ($13) with Woodford Reserve bourbon, Liquor 45, and chai. There's even a Butter Beer ($13) made with Bacardi 8 rum, brown butter, orange juice, cinnamon, and orgeat. Drinks are served in themed glassware, tiki mugs, and even a chemistry beaker. A special pumpkin tiki mug is available for $9.95, or a special price with the purchase of a cocktail.
Death or Gory also has a special dinner menu available — but you'll have to get past the Death or Gory witches to get to the Falcon room to partake.
The pop-up will host special events and surprises like free tarot readings by David the psychic on Fridays from 7:30 to 11 p.m. and a sideshow featuring Bill the Juggler and other acts Saturdays from 8 to 10 p.m. A special Halloween party will be held on October 31 at 7 p.m. Open 4 p.m. to closing daily through October 31.
House of Spells at RumbarThe Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
455 Grand Bay Dr., Key Biscayne
You wouldn't expect to find such a spooky pop-up lurking behind the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne — until you realize that grand hotels have hosted ghosts and ghouls for centuries.
Rumbar is a complete experience with costumed staff, ghastly decorations, and live entertainment.
Themed cocktails include the Grave Robber ($15) with Blavod black vodka, creme de cacao, and dry Curacao; the Witch's Brew $15) with Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, black tea, oleo saccharum, orange juice, lime juice, and Angostura bitters; and the Vampire Kiss ($15) with Barbera d’alba, pomegranate liqueur, sparkling rose, and roasted cherry syrup.
Enjoy a bite — either from your favorite undead creature or from the food menu that includes items such as Mummy Bites ($12), queso fresco wrapped in pastry dough with cilantro lime aioli; or the Day of the Living Veg ($12) a plate of roasted garlic hummus (to ward off vampires) with crudite and pita for dipping. Open 3 p.m. to close from October 1 through November 1.
Pirates of the Wharf and Stranger Wharf at the Wharf Miami114 SW North River Dr., Miami
The Wharf is hosting two themed pop-ups for Halloween.
On October 26, the Wharf will transform into a pirate fortress for this costume party complete with a real pirate ship docked riverside. Dress as your favorite pirate or wench and enter the costume contest for a chance to win a bottle of Dom Perignon, a bottle of Moët & Chandon Brut, or a $100 gift certificate. Noon to 3 a.m. Saturday, October 26. Admission is free; VIP tickets cost $99 via eventbrite.com.
On October 31, things turn upside down at Stranger Wharf, a Stranger Things-themed Halloween party. Come dressed as Eleven, Chief Hopper, or Joyce in retro 70's garb and be prepared for an evening of surprises. 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, October 31. Admission is free before 10 p.m. with RSVP via eventbrite.com.