How to thrill and chill this Halloween

There are plenty of Halloween parties set for this weekend, from tours at local fantasyland Valley of the Moon to spooky movies at the Loft and Fox theaters to Howl at the Tucson Museum of Art. (See “Arty Party,” Page 13 for details on the TMA party.) Sure, there’s still a frightful bug out there, so take proper precautions and mask up as appropriate. And if you’re not too scared, consider the vaccine if you haven’t gotten your shot yet.

HoCo Halloween. Have you ever been disappointed by a party at Hotel Congress? Of course not. With live music from the Spice Pistols, spooky food and drink specials all night long, and $1,000 in cash prizes for the costume contest, this event promises to be no exception. (The Spice Pistols’ tagline is “Spice Girls Tunes, Sex Pistols Style… in Drag!” which is the vibe we are all seeking this autumn, right?) Local DJs PC Party, Alice.KM and Hot Leather Disco will also be on the scene for a night that’s all treats and no tricks. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. $15 in advance and $20 day of, but get your tickets soon! They’re limited and sell out most years.

Festival Band’s Halloween Dance. There are a lot of crummy things about growing old, but one of the crummiest is growing out of school dances that give you a chance to get all dressed up and dance as part of a big event. The Festival Band and DJ Sanchez are making your middle school dreams come true this weekend. Costumes aren’t required, but there is a prize for best costume, so why not? 8 p.m. to midnight. Saturday, Oct. 30. Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 1530 N. Stone Ave. $7.

Southern Arizona Transportation Museum Halloween Party. Everybody loves some good free family fun, but it’s increasingly hard to come by one event with all three parts these days. Free with your family? Probably not that fun. With your family having fun? No way that’s free. But there is a way! A way where even parking is free! Just head on over to the Transportation Museum this Saturday for some games, candy and midday fun. There’s a costume contest at noon, plus a fun farm choochoo. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Southern Arizona Transportation Museum, 414 N. Toole Ave. 

Thriller Trifecta at the Fox. Let’s get spooky at the Fox this weekend with three nights of films! Catch the 1991 psychological thriller Cape Fear at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, and The Addams Family at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31. What a perfect way to get in the mood for trick or treating. The highlight of the weekend is the Wurlitzer Organ reveal at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, which is taking place after years of painstaking restoration by organ builder Grahame Davis. Organist Dave Wickerham will be playing the original eerie background score to Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. The Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Cape Fear and the Addams Family are $5 to $7.50, and Nosferatu is $10 to $12.50.

Monkey Bar Halloween Weekend. If you’re anything like us, you’ve been celebrating Halloween all month long. Bring the celebration home at Monkey Bar this weekend, where they’re celebrating through the whole weekend. From Friday through Sunday, they’ll be holding a $50 bar tab costume contest each night (with a $25 bar tab for second place!) Friday night is karaoke, and a DJ is coming Saturday and Sunday. Drink specials include syringe jello and test tube shots. Costumes on, bottoms up. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 31. Monkey Bar, 1120 S. Wilmot Road.

Halloween Camp Out and Swap Meet. Do you ever just want to airsoft until you drop, then wake up the next morning and get back at it again? Head over to Freedom Airsoft this weekend, where you can play for extended hours from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Oct. 30, then resume play from 8 a.m. to noon on Halloween. Bring your own camping gear and food, plus a costume for the costume contest. $20 with your own airsoft equipment or $40 for the full rental package, or no charge if you just come for the swap meet. Freedom Airsoft, 7850 E. Valencia Road.

Ninth Annual Halloween Bash With ROH Band. ROH is a local variety band that has been keeping Tucsonans dancing since 2005. At this party, you can combine all of that dancing with some good eating, plentiful drinking and some prize winning (if you win the costume contest, which we believe you will!) Prizes include both gift certificates and cash. Swing on by for the fun. 7 to 10 p.m. Monterey Court, 505 W. Miracle Mile. $10, or free for kids and teens under 16.

Halloween Festival and Crafts Fair. The theme of this festival over at the Tuxon Hotel is Diagon Alley, which should be enough to perk up the ears of even casual Harry Potter fans. (Ollivander’s, anyone? How about Flourish and Blots or Gringotts Wizarding Bank?) With live bands, a car show, costume contests, and jugglers, this event offers plenty to do and see to get you ready for Halloween. 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. The Tuxon, 960 S. Freeway. 

Halloween Trunk-or-Treat at APEX Martial Arts. It’s always fun to get some practice trick-or-treating in the night before the big holiday, especially when it’s free! Bring friends and family on down to APEX for trunk-or-treating, snacks, “mad science” experiments, games and (of course!) costume contests. 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. APEX Mixed Martial Arts, 4343 N. Oracle Road. Free.

Fifth Annual Obsessions Trunk-or Treat. If you are more of a trunk-focused person than a treat-focused person, then this event might be for you. It’s the Obsessions Car Club’s monthly car show, but with car show participants showing their Halloween spirit by participating in the trunk or treat. Let your kids drool over the candy while you drool over the gorgeous cars, and everyone drools over steakburgers from Freddy’s. 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, 11143 N. Oracle Road.

Halloween Bash at Arte Bella on Fourth Avenue. Want more do you need to hear than “creepy cocktails and spooky shots?” Maybe “420 friendly?” If that’s your vibe, this event, with live music and no cover charge, might be what you’re looking for this Saturday night. There is obviously a costume contest, and the prize is a $50 Arte Bella gift card. 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 to 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. Arte Bella, 340 N. Fourth Ave. Free.

Monster Mash Halloween Bash. Have you been thinking about signing up for a dance class? Centre Stage offers multiple dance style, including ballet, jazz and Tik Tok. That’s right: The first portion of this class will involve making a Halloween video that will get your skeleton shaking. Once you get those moves down, the night takes off into a fun-filled dance party and costume contest with plenty of snacks (and chances to practice). 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. Centre Stage Dance Studio, 10370 N. La Canada Drive.

AZ Trees Please Halloween. This nonprofit, dedicated to natural desert habitat restoration and community and school garden therapy, is ringing in Halloweekend with this free family event. They’ll have raffles, food, giveaways, games and crafts, plus, of course, seed planting and animal feeding They even have face painting, live music and a movie at sundown. Starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Trees Please Community Garden, 1315 W. Speedway Blvd. Free.

Mischief Night at Valley of the Moon. We all know and love Halloween, but do you know about Mischief Night? It’s a night where ordinarily well-behaved folks stir up some trouble—most famously in 1938, when a radio program broadcast H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” like it was a live news broadcast. People panicked, the radio station apologized, no humans were abducted by aliens, and now it gives us a good laugh. At Valley of the Moon, they’re celebrating with some special showings of their current show, Haunted Ruins and the Polka Dot Hex. Shows start every 20 minutes from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road. Bring a group of 20 for $145, or $130 for members. 

SCREAM! A ’90s Halloween Party. Some people say there hasn’t been a true Halloween party ever since the ’90s ended. If you’re not hurtling toward the end of a new millennium, and maybe the end of the world, then is it really that spooky? The Royal Room is bringing back that vibe for this party with DJS MIJITO and E_rupt, plus plenty of food, drinks and dancing. Blood Handsome and Monty O’Blivion will also be hosting a “That’s So ’90s” costume contest. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 31. The Royal Room, 450 N. Sixth Ave. No cover.

“Twerk or Treat” Costume Party. It might sound sad to have to choose, but the truth about this event at Hush Social Club is that you can have both twerks AND treats. There will be hip hop, rock and reggae music, and edibles and vapes are welcome for those looking to really, you know, vibe. In addition to the costume contest, there will also be a twerk contest. So wear a costume you can move in! The winner of each contest gets $100 cast 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29. Hush Social Club, 2101 S. Alvernon Way. $7 men, and ladies free before 10 p.m.

Hallow-Versary Party. It’s Union Public House’s 10th birthday, and everyone knows a double-digit anniversary is nothing to sniff at! Come celebrate with them all weekend long with live music and extra fun. Ashley Wineland and Late Night Big Brother Beats play on Friday night, Ritmo de Sanchez and Late Night DJ Tony play Saturday night, and Neon Prophet and Late Night Big Brother Beats play on Sunday. Sunday also has a photo booth, drink specials and costume karaoke! 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, Oct. 29, Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31. St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. 

Halloween at the Loft. John Carpenter’s “Halloween” (1978) is one of the most successful independent films ever made, and it’s got all the hallmarks of a ’70s horror: horny teenagers, an ominous soundtrack and lots of stabbing! The Loft is doing its best to keep all the spookiness on screen by requiring all guests to show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test, and also to wear masks. Michael Myers’ victims might not be safe, but you will be! 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $8, or $6 for members.

Rollin’ Haunt. If you want to trick or treat from the comfort of your car, the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department has you covered. From 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, costumed characters will be handing out candy and other goodies at the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, 4825 S. Sixth Ave. (Enter at Irvington Road and Third Avenue.) You can’t get out of your car, but you can decorate it to add to the fun! 

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