From costume contests to fall festivals, spooky performances to trick-or-treat events, West Michigan is celebrating Halloween all month long. You’ll find family-friendly events, adult-only parties, pumpkin carving, haunted trails and more.
Trick or treat events
• Come to Downtown Holland on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, and spend the morning trick-or-treating with your children at participating stores along Eighth Street. Don’t forget to dress in costume to celebrate the holiday!
• Enjoy Halloween fun at the Holland Museum, with trick-or-treating in the exhibits, flashlight tours of the Dutch Galleries, fun games, and spooky crafts at “Monsters at the Museum” on Saturday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come prepared with a flashlight and camera. This event is open to all ages, but not recommended for children 8 years old and younger.
• Zeeland’s Main Street Trick or Treat event presented by West Michigan Community Bank will take place Oct. 31 from 3-5 p.m. in downtown Zeeland. Main Street will be closed between Elm Street and Church Street to create a safe area for trick or treating. Held rain or shine, this event provides a safe, family-friendly environment for younger children to participate in trick or treating while promoting the city downtown businesses. Children are invited to participate in this event instead of or in addition to the citywide trick or treating, which is scheduled from 5-8 p.m.
• Put on your costume and celebrate Halloween at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Trick-or-treat your way through two floors of hands-on exhibits, featuring special spooky crafts and activities at the GRCM Trick-or-Treat Family Night, Oct. 31, with $1.75 admission from 5-8 p.m.
• Zoo Goes Boo is six days of trick-or-treating, costumes, entertainment, cool decorations, games, and fun at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids – and the animals get treats, too! Wear your costume; the zoo will provide the candy. John Ball Zoo is always looking for ways to be more sustainable and ask that you please bring your own reusable bag for trick-or-treating, or purchase one from the gift shop. Zoo Goes Boo runs Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 25-27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for children, college students and senior citizens; and free for zoo members.
• Ludington’s downtown businesses open their doors (and sidewalks) to trick-or-treaters Saturday, Oct. 26, for a fun afternoon in the spirit of Halloween.
• Bring the kids for free trick or treating at Muskegon’s South Pierhead Light on Oct. 26. Kids who come in costumes (safe for climbing) can stay and climb for free in the company of an adult (admission fees apply to adults). Join in games and prize giveaways for best costume, chosen every hour by a different lighthouse keeper.
• Grand Haven Main Street’s annual Trick or Treating night is Thursday, Oct. 31. Local businesses will provide treats for all those that are brave enough to endure the mystical streets of downtown Grand Haven from 4-5:30 p.m. on Washington Avenue from Third Street to Harbor Drive.
Halloween tours & trails
• Get in the Halloween mood with a spooky West Michigan Beer Tours Halloween Beer Tour on Oct. 25 in Kalamazoo to try some great fall seasonal beers and enjoy a night of frights, flights, and fun.
• Discover the magic of Victorian Halloween traditions and superstitions this fall at the Holland Museum’s Cappon House! Tour the dimly lit rooms of the Cappon House to learn how Halloween was celebrated 100 years ago, then partake in spooky parlor games and broom races, listen to classic ghost stories, have your fortune told, and carve a mini pumpkin to take home. Visit the Halloween Haunts on Oct. 19 from 6-8 p.m.; tickets $8 per person for members, $10 for non-members, and children ages 5 and under are free.
• Get ready to scream! Ride the Loki lift and follow the lanterns down the Haunted Trail – if you dare. Crystal Mountain’s Haunted Trail is open Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26 in Thompsonville (weather permitting). Tickets are $9 per person, kids 6 and under are free with a paying adult.
Performances & exhibitions
• Our Town Players present “Harvest Horror,” a collection of psychological thrillers, Oct. 19 at the Masonic Temple in South Haven. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m.
• Oct. 24-27, The West Shore Community College Theater Department presents "Frankenstein" at the Center Stage Theater in Ludington. This highly theatrical and emotional play traces Frankenstein’s path to the final confrontation with his intelligent, articulate, sensitive and powerfully violent child.
Costume parties & parades
• A Haunted Mansion Halloween Party and costume contest will be held in the Grand Ballroom of Stearns Hotel in Ludington, Saturday, Oct. 26, with live entertainment from Maddison Tripp. Entry is $5.
• Get creative at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s Hallo-Wee Ones event in Grand Rapids, a special event designed for the youngest visitors, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to noon. Dress your child as a sculpture, mammal, fish, insect, bird, tree, flower, geologist, or any other way that highlights something about the Children’s Garden and participate in one of two costume parades, held at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Listen to Halloween-themed stories and celebrate Halloween with your wee-ones.
• Just Wicked will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, in the International Ballroom at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. The first 50 guests at the door will be greeted with a specialty cocktail crafted for the event. Costume contest for cash prizes and indulgent extras will bring out the competitive spirit in you. Costume contest winners to be announced at approximately 10:45 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door (if tickets are still available). Must be 21 years of age or older to attend.
• There’s really no better place to be during Halloween than in Saugatuck/Douglas. While you will find many family-friendly events, the show-stopper is the Adult Halloween Parade in downtown Douglas. This year’s parade will take place Oct. 26. No sign-up required to join the parade, just come in costume and line up starting at 9:30 p.m. to wait for the Pumpkin King to start the parade at 10.
• Bring your furry friend to downtown South Haven all dressed up and ready to show off for the Pet Costume Parade at 11 a.m. Oct. 20. Prizes for the pet costumes that are the scariest, funniest and matching their owner.
Festivals, races, and other special events
• Prepare yourself for fall flavors and fright-filled nights at Haven Harvest. Taste the flavors of fall as hayrides roll, pumpkins fly, and headless horsemen ride. Experience a true South Haven harvest with apple orchards, bonfires, pumpkin chunkin’, and delicious good-as-grandma’s pies. Grab some cider, dance to live music, and see South Haven transform during Haven Harvest, Oct. 18-20.
• It’s that time of year for all things pumpkin – pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin pie, pumpkin chucking, and, of course, the pumpkin patch, at The Great Pumpkin Festival, Oct. 19-20, at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo in New Era. Come back the next weekend, Oct. 26-27, for Halloween Extravaganza with wagon rides, apple cannons, U-pick pumpkins, and “Disc Dogs Live.”
• Get outside and have some family fun during Spooktacular Saturday, Oct. 19 and 26, at Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. It’s a day full of fall activities that everyone is sure to enjoy. Hop on a wagon ride, carve a pumpkin, snack on a caramel apple, and so much more.
• Boo on Your Bike will take place Oct. 20, from 1-3 p.m., on the Kal-Haven Trail in South Haven. This free annual event invites riders of all ages to dress up in costume and get out for a scenic fall bicycle ride on the Kal-Haven Trail starting at the South Haven trail head. Prizes, candy, apple cider, doughnuts, and free helmets for children will be given out. Plus, there will be a bike rodeo supported by the South Haven Police Department. Riders can ride up to six miles total (further if desired), and expect to see fairies, witches, goblins and ghouls along their ride!
• Wear your costume and “Run for Your Lives!” Join one of the 5K, 10K, or half-marathon foot races Oct. 26 at James Street Plaza in downtown Ludington.
• Ludington’s biggest Halloween party, Ludrock’s Night of Fright, will be held Oct. 26. The event features a costume contest, four bands, food, and more. Doors open at 6 p.m. with music starting at 7. Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome.
• Come to the Stella’s Lounge in Grand Rapids on Nov. 1 at 10 p.m. as they kick off their Halloween party in the front bar. Terrified of clowns, toys and dolls? Head to the back bar with DJ Chowdur and dance your fears away. $5 cover and food and beverage specials throughout the night.
• Jump Around Fun Center’s Ludington outdoor inflatable park may be closed for the season, but the Mobile Virtual Reality Arcade is still available at select locations in Ludington throughout the fall. In the spirit of Halloween, they offer some spooky experiences for ages 7 and up, and for the rated “M” (ages 17-plus) players out there, test out your nerves in one of their thriller/horror games. Be prepared to scream!