Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, and it isn’t just celebrated on Oct. 31. At least, not in Vegas.
The holiday has grown into a month-long event that people of all ages look forward to. From its many haunted attractions to special Halloween-themed events at the city’s hottest nightclubs, Sin City has something for everyone during the Halloween season.
One of the spookiest soirees on the Strip is at Studio 54 inside MGM Grand. Its 14th annual Nightmare on 54th Street celebration (www.mgmgrand.com/nightlife/studio-54) takes place Oct. 28 to 31, featuring outrageous costume contests, celebrity hosts and a unique rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Joining the party this year is one of the nation’s top deejays and nightlife producers, DJ Loczi, who invites club-goers to experience a special Halloween edition of his recurring “Electric Dream” set on Friday night. Titled “Electric Scream,” Loczi will blend his signature beats with live musicians, LED screens and skilled performers to create an explosive auditory and visual experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Another event that’s sure to be a scream is the Devil’s Night Ball, happening Oct. 30 at Crown Nightclub inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (www.thecrownvegas.com). The party will be hosted by adult film star Ron Jeremy and feature surprise guests from the adult entertainment world. The evening promises to be stimulating indeed, with a dress code that calls for costumes and lingerie.
For a more laid-back party scene, OktoberFrightFest returns to Fremont Street Experience Oct. 3 to 31 (www.vegasexperience.com). The third annual event will feature Viva Vision light and sound shows synced to songs like “Time Warp” and “Monster Mash,” as well as free Halloween-themed stage shows and more. Appearing on select nights will be “Frank & The Steins,” a live musical revue of classic Halloween songs. The month-long celebration will culminate in a Halloween parade that allows costumed guests to be a part of the fun. While you’re downtown, be sure to check out Zombie Precinct: Screamont East (www.zombieprecinct.com), set to infiltrate the Fremont East Entertainment District Oct. 14 to 16 and 19 to 31. Featuring zombies, freaks and other demented denizens, the 18-and-up event will benefit For Kids Now, an organization that assists autistic children and their families.
Proving no place in Las Vegas is safe on Halloween — even serene Red Rock Canyon — Bonnie Screams returns Oct. 13 to 16 and 20 to 31 to Bonnie Springs Ranch for its fourth year (www.bonniescreams.com). Guests can experience the legendary Maze of Mayhem, look for the notorious Dr. Spinkle in the Wicked Wax Museum and visit the Slaughter of the Swines before braving their way out along the Trail of Doom. Other attractions at thePG-13 event include the infamous Bonnie Screams Saloon and magic by Landon Swank.
If you want to leave the PG-13 stuff to the kids but don’t want to deal with the crowds, then head on over to the Freakling Bros.’ Trilogy of Terror at 2321 N. Rainbow Blvd. (www.freaklingbros.com) to experience its first-ever R-rated haunted attraction (no one under 14 allowed unless accompanied by a parent or guardian). “The Gates of Hell” is not for the faint of heart, as guests will plummet into the very depths of Hades to face the devil himself. Willing victims can experience “The Gates of Hell” as well as two other haunted houses — “Castle Vampyre” and “Circus of Horrors” — Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, plus Oct. 7 to 9 and 14 to 31.
Another hair-raising event is Madame Tussauds After Dark, happening Oct. 21-23 and 28-31 at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas (www.madametussauds.com/lasvegas). Guests won’t know who they’re going to bump into during the third annual event, which allows guests to walk through the popular Strip attraction with the lights dimmed. Is that shadowy figure in the corner a person, a wax figure … or something else?
Of course, if you’re feeling really brave, Fright Dome returns to the Adventuredome at Circus Circus Oct. 1 to 2, 7 to 9, 13 to 16, 20 to 23 and 26 to 31 (www.frightdome.com). Named one of the top haunted attractions in the country for the past five years byAOL, Fright Dome promises to be scarier than ever this year, with three new mazes joining returning favorites like “Chainsaw Massacre” and “Hillbilly Hell.”
While there’s no doubt monsters with chainsaws are scary, it can be argued that nothing is scarier than the fearsome predators lurking inside Shark Reef. Rattling chains, creaking doors and haunting music will replace the normally soothing sounds of the ocean when Shark Reef’s 10th annual Haunted Reef event returns to Mandalay Bay Oct. 29 (www.sharkreef.com). As visitors walk through the aquarium’s dark and spooky tunnels, they’ll see sharks and other dangerous animals, as well as ghostly decorations and evilly grinning jack-o-lanterns. Costumed children 12 and younger will receive free admission and sugary sweets, because really, what’s scarier than a trip to the dentist?
Finally, the Springs Preserve will be hosting its annual Haunted Harvest Oct. 14 to 16, 21 to 23 and 28 to 31 (www.springspreserve.org), perfect for ghouls of all ages. Featuring live entertainment, a haunted maze, carnival games and more, families can celebrate the spooktacular holiday trick-or-treating and
taking in the spectacular Halloween décor.
—Heather Turk, Custom Publishing Writer