Halloween is nearly upon us, and with it comes no shortage of church hall trick-or-treat festivals, haunted houses and sleazy costume parties. But if you’re in the mood for something a little different this year — or something not Halloweeny at all — check out these ideas.
Halloween is nearly upon us, and with it comes no shortage of church hall trick-or-treat festivals, haunted houses and sleazy costume parties. But if you’re in the mood for something a little different this year — or something not Halloweeny at all — check out these ideas for whiling away the witching hour. (And don’t forget to check out the Monster Map of Halloween events at evtrib.com for more ideas on how to spend your howl-iday weekend.)
IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN
Haunted Boat Tour
What: A crusty old sailor will regale passengers on the S.S. Night Fright with spooky tales from the days before the Salt River was tamed by dams and development. The tour, which takes place on Tempe Town Lake, is recommended for children age 10 and older.
When: 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Rio Lago Boat Dock at Tempe Beach Park, 54 E. Rio Salado Parkway
Cost: Free, but the boat’s limited seating is first-come, first-served; reservations are recommended.
Information: (480) 838-2414.
Spooktacular Halloween Skate
What: What’s better than an awesome Halloween costume? An awesome Halloween costume on wheels! Kids can wear both at this party under the characteristically psychedelic lights of a roller rink. No masks or weapons permitted with costumes.
When: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: USA Skateland, 1101 W. Ray Road, Chandler
Cost: 99 cents for admission; $3 for skate rental (or bring your own skates)
Information: (480) 917-9444 or www.skatelandchandler.com
What: This brand-new attraction includes disc jockey music, trick-or-treating and three levels of scary activities for kids of all courage levels. Designed for ages 8 and older, it features rides, movies, storytelling, a maze, animal encounters, hands-on science experiments and terrifying walk-through experiences.
When: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Phoenix Zoo, 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix
Cost: $6-$8 per person
Information: (602) 273-1341 or www.phoenixzoo.org
IF YOU DON’T
A Vampire Tale
What: This 6-year-old local cult classic tells the dark, sexy and at times comedic saga of a girl lured into the world of the undead. The modern dance production has a new twist this year: an original score by Kristofer Hill, a Mesa composer working on the soundtrack of the upcoming Jean-Claude Van Damme flick “Universal Soldier 3.”
When: 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly through Nov. 7, except for Nov. 4-5, when it plays at 7:30 p.m. only.
Where: Phoenix Theatre’s Little Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix
Information: (602) 254-2151 or www.phoenixtheatre.com
Full Moon Walk for Adults
What: Escape the ringing doorbell on a self-guided walk through a desert turned creepy by moonlight (think spindly Ocotillo fingers creaking in the breeze, hooting owls and movement in shadowy shrubs just off the trail). Bring a flashlight and wear closed-toe shoes for this 2.5-mile walk. No children allowed.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Trailhead Staging Area at Usery Mountain Regional Park, 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa
Cost: $6 per vehicle
Information: (480) 984-0032 or www.maricopa.gov/parks
IF YOU COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT HALLOWEEN
The Anti-Halloween Show
What: Bring those detestable Halloween costumes to this show, and the comedians of JesterZ Improv will make comedic magic of them. The family friendly improv show makes sport of all the things you hate about Halloween.
When: 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Theatre 168, 7117 E. McDowell Road, Scottsdale
Cost: $12; reservations are required.
Information: (480) 423-0120 or www.jesterzimprov.com
Dia de los Muertos Celebration
What: Celebrate the souls of the dearly departed, pre-Colombian style. Mexico’s “Day of the Dead” comes to life in Mesa with live music, dance and storytelling; art workshops; a community altar and an artisan market. There’s also traditional Mexican cuisine and a beer garden.
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St.
Information: (480) 644-6500 or www.mesaartscenter.com
The Great Phoenix Scavenger Hunt
What: Scour the streets of CenPho (Central Phoenix, to us suburbanites) with a list of photo ops your team must capture and transmit immediately via Twitter. The outing is sponsored by Phoenix Actually, a group of young professionals aiming to bring Valley dwellers together for positive outings.
When: Meet-up starts at 6 p.m. Friday; the hunt takes place 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: George and Dragon English Restaurant and Pub, 4240 N. Central Ave., Phoenix