Halloween 2009 in the Twin Cities

By Colleen Good

This year is an odd year for Halloween at Macalester. Not only is Halloween on a Saturday this year, but it also falls during fall break. This is both a blessing and a curse: while many of your friends may be going home or elsewhere for break, you have more free time and opportunity to celebrate Halloween in the Twin Cities. With so many options, it can be hard to choose. The Mac Weekly has your back, and is here with the following suggestions and highlights.Starting close to home, the Grand Avenue Business Association is hosting their annual Boo Bash. The events are many, and while many are aimed at kids, it should be easy to get in on the Halloween festivities. For starters, nearby Frattallone’s Ace Hardware at 1676 Grand Ave. will be hosting its annual petting zoo, complete with lemurs, fainting goats, camels, and more. Wet Paint at 1684 Grand Ave. offers face painting, while Irish on Grand at 1124 Grand Ave. offers Irish and Celtic air brush tattooing from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Walgreens on Grand will be hosting “Dracula’s Blood Drive.” No guarantees on freebies, but we have it on high authority that, as long as you are costumed, free candy is a definite possibility. For more information, go to grandave.com.

If you’re more in the mood for a show, Barebone’s Productions is performing their 16th Annual Puppet Extravaganza with their performance of “Devoured” at 1305 Mississippi Blvd S., St. Paul, Hidden Falls Park (North Gate). The show includes life-size puppets, and will happen on the 31st rain or shine. The show is performed on Oct. 24, 25, 30 and 31 at 7 p.m., and the cost is a suggested donation of $5 to $20. Leave the alcohol at home, and be sure to bring a blanket and cold-weather gear. Bike racks are available.

Love the animals, and feel the need to parade your kid-appropriate costume in broad daylight? Head over to the Minnesota Zoo, where Hallzooween will be taking place on Oct. 24, 25 and 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Head down to Scarecrow Alley to see some artsy scarecrows on display. Candy is likely only for the kids, but there are bat crafts from 11 p.m. to 2 p.m., “Creepy Crawly” animal encounters occur every hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a Halloween Bird Show will be performed at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. See www.mnzoo.com for more details.

Looking for some screams on your Halloween? Check out The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., open from now until Nov. 1. The Basement costs $15 on weekdays and $20 on weekends. Buy your tickets online, and be sure to sign the waiver. Only come if you want a scare. Ages 18 and older only. See soapfactory.org for more information.

If you’re looking for a real ghostly encounter, look no further than the Mound’s Theatre’s Real Haunted Tours at the Mounds Theatre at 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul. Apparently recognized as “one of St. Paul’s most haunted locations,” Mound’s Theatre offers tours of the theater in near darkness. The theater boasts three resident ghosts, as well as the occasional visiting spirit and nameless shadow.

Visitors can enjoy one hour tours with up to 24 people. The tours are led by two professional investigators, and feature a history of the building, stories of the resident ghosts and actual ghost hunting. It is recommended that you bring a camera, voice recorder or video camera with night vision to document your super-natural experience. While the tours are offered year round, during the Halloween season, visitors can also try to speak to the theater ghosts using a ghost box radio scanner. All tickets for the tours must be purchased 24 hours in advance, and be sure to leave your heels at home, as this tour makes use of many rickety staircases. Tickets are $20, and tours are available on Oct. 24, 25, 30, and 31, though space is limited.

Always wanted to know the darker secrets behind Minnesota’s capital city? Head out for Shadows and Spirits of the State Capitol. Tours are around an hour long, and include eerily lit hallways and interviews with historical “spirits” who will reveal the darker side of the Capitol’s history. Tickets are $9 for college students, and reservations are required, so be sure to call 651-296-2881 before you go. Tours are offered Oct. 23-24 every half hour from 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Wanting to escape the cold this Halloween? Opt for the Ghosts, Graves and Caves Tour, and take a motor coach tour of St. Paul’s haunted sites. Hear tales of historic murders. Your hosts will appear in full costume for your two hour tour, as will the actors accompanying the tour. Tours are $22 a person, and reservations are required. Full tours are available Oct. 24 and 29 at 5:30 p.m. Want a cheaper tour? Head over to the Ghosts and Graves Tour for $18, available Oct. 24, 29 and 30 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. For reservations and more information, head to www.wabashastreetcaves.com.

If what you’re looking for has more of a night club vibe, plenty of clubs and bars in Minneapolis and St. Paul are holding Halloween parties, many complete with well-funded costume contests and food and drink specials. Make sure to pay attention to which events are 18+, and which only admit 21+ before making your plans.

Also, remember the Program Board sponsors Halloween events on campus. Keep an eye out for the posters all over campus, and it will be easy to integrate those into your fall break plans.

Have a happy Halloween!