Halloween is almost here, and there are tons of options for getting out there, showing off your clever costume and reveling in all things spooky.

Choosing among all the ghoulish events is kind of like dumping out your post trick-or-treating candy haul on the kitchen table and picking out your favorite. And with things happening throughout the weekend and up to the official holiday Tuesday, you can pick more than one.

We’ve got stuff for kids and grown-ups, runners and cyclists, dancers and dog owners. Everyone’s Halloween week horrorscopes are looking good.

The After Dark Halloween party at Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine draws a big crowd. Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum + Theatre of Maine

Halloween at the Children Museum and Theatre of Maine
Thursday through Monday. 250 Thompson’s Point, Portland. kitetails.org
Over the course of five days, the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine is hosting a pumpkin full of Halloween events for kids and even one for the 21-plus crowd. The schedule includes Play Your Way Sensory Trick or Treat, Hoot & Howl family Halloween celebration, Halloween for Tots and the After Dark party for adults with costumes, cocktails, snacks, activities and other forms of fun spread over three floors of exhibits. Hop on the museum site for the schedule and more details.

Three young participants in the Zombie Dash have a creature on their heels. Photo courtesy of Carol Cook

Zombie Dash 2023: Nautical Nightmares 
4:30-7 p.m. Friday. The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust at Emmons Preserve, 57 Gravelly Brook Road, Kennebunkport, $21, $10 child, $30 family. kennebunkportme.myrec.com
In your head, in your head, zombie, zombie! That’s right, runners, it’s time for the annual Zombie Dash with this year’s theme of nautical nightmares. The race consists of navigating a dark, creepy trail (bring a headlamp or flashlight), dealing with obstacles and making it out alive without being infected by a lurking zombie. Avoid “infection” while having a whole bunch of fun. The 5 p.m. Pirates in Training race is for ages 5 and up and followed by the Scallywag wave for humans 8 and older.

You can participate in a Halloween bar crawl on Friday or Saturday night in Portland. VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

Halloween Bar Crawl
4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Downtown Portland locations, $20, $25, 21-plus. crawlwith.us/portlandme/halloween
If dressing up in costume while enjoying fabulous drink and food specials at several downtown Portland spots and then capping it off with an after party sounds good to you, then be sure to buy a ticket to the Halloween Bar Crawl. One ticket gets you access to both nights, so you can sleep all day on Saturday and enjoy round two if you’re so inclined. Depending on which night you attend, the participating bars and restaurants are Andy’s Old Port Pub, Gritty McDuff’s, Citrus, Ri Ra Irish Pub & Restaurant, Stars & Stripes Brewing and Cheese Louise.


Hundreds of onlookers turned out to watch dancers perform the 7th annual Thriller Throwdown. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Thriller Throwdown
CANCELED 5:30 p.m. Friday. Monument Square, Portland. On Facebook.
While there won’t be anything evil lurking in the dark, there will be quite a gathering of zombies before sundown in Monument Square. For the 11th year, the Thriller Throwdown will be a sight to behold as more than 100 ghoulish creatures from the underworld rise from their graves, dancing shoes strapped to their decomposing feet. You’ll gather round as Michael Jackson’s iconic song “Thriller” is played and the video is re-created right before your eyes. The dancers have practiced for several weeks, and they’ve got it down.

A spirited scene from the 2022 Halloween Spoketacular bicycle ride. Photo by Ian MacLellan

Halloween Spoketacular
7 p.m. Friday. Monument Square, Portland, free. portlandbikeparty.com
Portland Bike Party invites you to join a truly spirited ride through the moonlit streets of downtown Portland while spooky tunes provide a spectacular soundtrack. Costumes are very much encouraged for both you and your bicycles. Riders get to experience the joy of spreading Halloween magic and smiles with each pedal.

Latin Halloween Party
9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday. Blue, 650A Congress St., Portland, $10 with a costume, $15 without costume. portcityblue.com
Let DJ Javier infuse your night with Latin rhythms during what is quite possibly the first Latin Halloween party the Portland area has ever seen. You’ll be dancing yourself silly to salsa, bachata, merengue and urban kiz beats. For sure wear a costume, but make sure isn’t not too cumbersome, as you’ll want plenty of freedom to dazzle on the dance floor.

SAINT is the headliner at the Blood Bath Halloween party happening at Geno’s Rock Club. Photo by Eric Magnussen

Blood Bath
8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday. Geno’s Rock Club, 625 Congress St., Portland, $20, $40 VIP meet & greet, 21-plus. eventbrite.com
Curbside Queens presents a wild Halloween party with DJ sets from Red Tide and Disco Dungeon. There will also be burlesque and drag performances from Arabella, Amandaconda, Heathen, Gigi, Cherry and SAINT. Grab a VIP ticket for a pre-party hang out with SAINT from “The Boulet Brothers’  Dragula” reality show.

A cowboy dog at a previous year’s Howloween party. Photo courtesy of Definitive Brewing Co.

1-5 p.m. Saturday. Definitive Brewing Co., 35 Industrial Way, Portland. definitivebrewing.com
Dogs can celebrate Halloween too, and there’s an entire afternoon dedicated to them to do just that at the Portland location of Definitive Brewing, which is teaming up with Partners in Canine. Activities include paw art, which will turn your sweet pooch into Picasso, obedience games and challenges, a photo booth, raffles, pet portraits from Zoeby’s Custom Creations, and best of all, the Strut Your Mutt dog costume contest that starts at 4 p.m.

Exchange Street Trick or Treat
2-4 p.m. Saturday. Exchange Street, Portland. portlandoldport.com
Round up the kids and hit the Old Port on Saturday for a two-hour candy gathering excursion. Look for the big orange sign in the windows of Exchange Street businesses; they’re your invite to pop in for sugary surprises.


James Kennerly accompanying “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” at Merrill Auditorium. Photo by Russ Caron

‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’
7 p.m. Saturday. Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland, $10 to $33. porttix.com
Catch a screening of the 1920 horror film “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” while municipal organist James Kennerley plays live accompaniment on the historic Kotzschmar. The film stars John Barrymore in dual roles as scientist Dr. Jekyll and sinister alter-ego Mr. Hyde. Earlier in the day, at 10 a.m., young Halloween fans can head to Merrill for the Kotzschmar Spooktacular. There will be songs and stories along with a book mobile from Portland Public Library, a short kid-friendly silent film with music by Kennerley and a costume parade across the stage. Spooktacular is geared towards kids from 2-12 years old. Tickets are free but registration is required at porttix.com.

Halloween Dance Party
9 p.m. Saturday. Aura, 121 Center St., Portland, $20, 21-plus. auramaine.com
DJ Innox and two of his DJ friends will get you out on the dance floor, and there you’ll stay all night long. The joint will be decked out in Halloween decorations, and there will be themed cocktails. Prizes will be given out for costumes in the categories of scariest, most creative and best pair/couple/group theme. Don’t you owe it to yourself to have a hardcore night out?

The Strand Theatre present “Dracula,” based on an olde-time radio adaptation. Robert Hale/Shutterstock.com

7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. Strand Theatre, 345 Main St., Rockland, $15. rocklandstrand.com
Everyman Repertory Radio Theatre presents a live, staged version of “Dracula” starring Dean Jorgenson. The production is based on the Mercury Radio Theatre and CBC radio adaptations by PG Hodgson of Bram Stoker’s famous 1897 novel. You’ll hear hundreds of sound effects and see a huge cast put on a Halloween show for the ages. No garlic or holy water needed. The show will also be broadcast and streamed on Rockland radio station WRFR.

Get your tarot cards read on Halloween night at Rosie’s Restaurant & Pub. Cristian Blazquez/Shutterstock.com

Tarot On Tap
7-10 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31. Rosie’s Restaurant & Pub, 330 Fore St., Portland, $20 readings. On Facebook.
Goth Witch Alchemy, which provides tarot readings around the state to offer validation, healing and support to individuals seeking guidance, presents a Halloween night opportunity to get a tarot reading in the back room of Rosie’s in the the Old Port. Costumes are encouraged, and you can absolutely enjoy an adult beverage during your session. You can pre-book a slot by emailing gothwitchalchemy@gmail.com.

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