It’s Halloween season, girls and ghouls! Don’t miss out on the magic.
Catch Thrills and Chills at a Theater
Roxey Ballet is back at it with another year of their spine-chilling Dracula performance. See Bram Stoker’s work come to life at Canal Studio Theater in Lambertville on October 19-21 and 26-28.
See the original The Phantom of the Opera on film on October 16 at Rahway’s UCPAC, a film about a vengeful composer who becomes fixated on a young prima donna.
On October 18-21, score a seat to Paranormal Cirque at The Mills at Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth. This show is the perfect combo of cabaret, theatre, illusion and circus arts.
If wizards are more your thing, tune in to NJPAC’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire In Concert. This Newark showing on October 27 will project the film on a screen while the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra plays the score live.
Spice up a typical romantic evening under the stars at RVCC Planetarium in Branchburg at the Fright Light Laser Concert on October 27. Get your wits about you for electrifying colors, friendly scares and tunes like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Meatloaf’s “Alive.”
Halloween also isn’t complete without a shadowcast performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. See it live at the Home of Happiness in Ridgewood on October 6, 20 and 27, or in the chilling Jersey City Cemetery on October 12.
Get Spooked Like a Kid Again
The Witches Ball in Mount Holly is a 21-and-over extravaganza dedicated to all things mystical, magical and spectral. The October 6th brouhaha features live performances, an epic costume contest, a beer garden and voodoo bar, tarot readings, ghost hunting and the Bizarre Bazaar, a market of macabre and mysterious wares.
On October 13, you can come face-to-face with psychics, holistic practitioners, unique vendors and more magic at Lafayette’s Magical Mystery Halloween Festival. Peruse the beer garden and get your mall fix at The Shoppes. Liberty Science Center’s monthly 21-and-over fiesta has a haunting theme for its October 18th shindig.
Get tix to LSC After Dark: Monster Masquerade in Jersey City to get access to a haunted walkthrough lab, the Doom Zoo that’s full of experiments gone wrong, a massive spider maze overlooking the Manhattan skyline, smoking cocktails and tasty $5 bites by Midnight Market.
If you’re a horror or sci-fi nerd, you’ll want to hit Weekend of Fear at Wild West City in Stanhope from October 19-21. In addition to a spooky steam train and performances, you can meet celebrity guests best known from shows like The Walking Dead, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Casino and Fright Night.
If you’re willing to take a road trip, don’t miss Witches & Wizards Night in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia. On October 19, Harry Potter fans and budding witches alike can attend a magical pub crawl, see live entertainment and even get a front row seat at a Quidditch match.
As part of the weekend-long first annual AddamsFest on October 26-29 in Westfield, honoring the creator of The Addams Family Charles Addams, Morticia’s Masquerade Ball in the iconic James Ward Mansion is the perfect kid-free night out. Be sure to dress to the all-black nines.
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Hit a Historic Haunt
Calling all literary nerds! An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe at the Historic Village at Allaire in Wall Twp on October 12-13 is sure to get you in the spirit. Visit the eerie historic chapel to take in a blood-curdling performance of some classic Poe stories.
On October 28, get the scoop on the Rosedale Cemetery Tour in Montclair, a spot that pioneered how America takes care of the dead to this day. Learn about grave imagery and the oldest part of the 150+-year-old property.
If the kids are trick-or-treating with friends and you’re off the hook from chaperoning on the 31st, drive to Morristown for Halloween at the Museum. Explore the Morris Museum’s attic on the lookout for ghosts, explore the haunted Frelinghuysen Mansion and see Benedict Cumberbatch in a live performance of Frankenstein.
NJ is chock-full of famous and iconic ghosts. Gear up for a ghost tour near you to learn all about them. Cape May, one of the country’s most famous haunted destinations, hosts tours of Emlen Physick Estate, the town’s first notoriously haunted house, plus lighthouse expeditions for keepers’ past and trolley rides based on the findings of a real psychic medium. Princeton Tour Company also runs weekend Halloween Cemetery Visits and Ghost Hunts (October 13-27), and provide guests with real-deal hunting equipment like EMF meters. Woodbridge Ghost Walk Tours have also been a staple for 10 years now. Take a 40-minute tour on October 20 of the state’s oldest chartered settlement with costumed guides from the Revolutionary War and beyond.
Ralston Cider Mill Museum website
Food and Drink…to Die For
Sure, you went apple picking with the kids this year. But have you ever pressed your own cider? Go for an early date on October 13 to Ralston Cider Mill Museum for Annual Pressing Day. Use historic equipment with your honey to make your own sweet stuff, then sip away.
If you’re thinking adult bevs on a budget, nothing beats an old fashioned paint-and-sip. Adult Halloween Wine and Paint at Rutherfurd Hall on October 11-12 hooks you up with a blank canvas to spookify with a Halloween-inspired project. Bring your own bottle.
On October 26, beer lovers can hit Harborside and Lutze Biergartens’s Halloween Party in Jersey City for food, drinks, tunes and prizes. We love this outdoor venue that boasts romantic views of the NYC skyline. Don’t forget to dress your spooky best for the epic costume contest. Tickets available now.
If you’re a wino, visit Alstede Farms any Saturday this month for a Harvest Moon Wine Tasting. Savor and sample vintages from Tomasello Winery in the courtyard, zone out to live music and take in the rustic setting.
Craft brew nerds won’t want to miss Crafts and Drafts at River Horse Brewing Co. in Ewing on October 28. This month’s event is fall themed, so you can expect seasonal vendor goods, food truck treats and pumpkin brews.
Mix up your standard dinner for two with a murder mystery, hosted by The Dinner Detective in Fort Lee. On every other Saturday for the rest of the year, you can munch on hors d’oeuvres, salad, an entree and dessert while you figure out this scandalous whodunnit.
Discover Lehigh Valley
Bonus: October’s not just about Halloween. Get your lederhosen on for Oktoberfest events in and around NJ!
’Tis the season for German brews and bites. Visit the shore one more time before cold weather kicks in at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood for Oktoberfest from October 5-7. Think all the amusement rides and beachside views of summer, plus beer, Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, schnitzel and more. Don’t miss out on the stylings of The Oompah-Delics and the outdoor biergarten.
On October 13, you can either fill up on food truck fare, craft vendors and local beer at Little Falls’ Oktober Food Truck Festival or raise your stein to games, music, a photo booth and local bar specials at New Brunswick Oktoberfest in the City Center.
If you’re serious about your marzens, look no further than Lehigh Valley’s Oktoberfest. On October 5-7 and 12-14, make the trip to PA for polka tunes, axe-slinging lumberjacks, a dachschund race, ice sculpting, two Yuengling biergartens and a 5K race.
Want to celebrate with wine instead? No worries: visit Laurita Winery in New Egypt on October 6-7 and 20-21 for Laurita Oktoberfest: think a firepit, gourmet food trucks, six wine bars, two tasting tents and fireworks.