Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. Part of that obsession includes the endless supply of pumpkin ales, pumpkin spice lattes and fall ice cream flavors. The other part of that is my love for Halloween. I partly blame my father for this one, as he has been putting on a huge Halloween display for the better part of my life. It’s hard to not get in the spirit when you are surrounded by corn stalks, pumpkins and animated creatures.
Maybe the thought of getting dressed up and celebrating Halloween is rooted in our family’s long-standing tradition. Or maybe it is just pure, child-like fun that I’m not sure I’ll ever want to give up.
With that notion in mind, here are some of the places around Cleveland that will be hosting costume contests this Friday. And it doesn’t matter if your costume is the best or the worst, you’ll still have a fabulous time!
Bones, Bugs and Dead Animals at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Head to the museum after hours from 8 p.m. to midnight for their annual Halloween party and costume contest. For $35 in advance/$40 the night of enjoy live music, a cash bar, access to the museum all night, and a possibility to win $500 for first place. I’ve been to this event in the past, and while it’s definitely a good time, don’t plan on your night getting too crazy!
House of Blues Halloween Party & Costume Contest
This inaugural event will take place at Crossroads and the Foundation Room at the House of Blues all night long. The Mixtape Casanova will be playing hits at the Foundation Room all evening! It only costs $10, and you can plan to enjoy appetizers, drink specials and ticket giveaways. Really put some thought into your costume and you could walk away with a $500 cash prize!
Lake Erie Monster Bash at The Greater Cleveland Aquarium
Looking to try something totally different this Halloween? Head over to the Cleveland Aquarium to kick off your evening before boarding the Nautica Queen for a dance party as you search for the Lake Erie Monster. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs through 11 p.m. Tickets are $35 and includes a free drink ticket. This venue also offers a $500 cash prize for best costume!
ThistleDown Racino Costume Contest
Normally I wouldn’t even think to include ThistleDown in something like this, but when I saw the prize level I knew it had to be shared. Head down to the Racino during 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. for a chance to win $5,000 for best costume. The best couple costume will receive $1,000. To enter into the contest, you must register with the Total Rewards desk by 10:15 p.m. In addition to the chance to win mucho bucks, live music will be going on all night. I’m going to start planning for next year now!
For other Halloween party options, check out Cleveland.com’s list!
Or if you’re looking for a fabulous residential Halloween experience, check out the Heggs House of Horror in Old Brooklyn. My dad has been entertaining the neighborhood for over 20 years and I promise it is worth the trip!