Head Backstage to be in the know. 

We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Halloween Fun 2017

Categories: Family Fun

Whether you're the biggest horror film fan or afraid of the dark, there are so many ways to celebrate Halloween in Bloomington.

Halloween Events

UpDRAFT & Campus Costume Coffin Races | October 7 | Campus Costume | 1 pm

A full day of fun to kick off the best season of the year - Halloween! The parade starts at 1 pm, events continuing throughout the whole day! 

Yappy Howl-'O-Ween! | October 7 | Ferguson Dog Park | 1 pm

Costumes for pets are undignified but fun. Dress up for Howl-'O-Ween, you won't be the only one!

L'Étoile | Musical Arts Center | Oct 13 - 14, Oct 20 - Oct 21 | 7:30 pm

Get ready for a frothy French farce starring the inimitable King Ouf, who's one wild and crazy guy. He's actively engaged in his favorite birthday pastime: finding some poor local to execute for being uncomplimentary about his government! Enter poor Lazuli, a traveling salesman who fits the bill to a tee. But wait! The King's astrologer informs his royal master that it's written in the stars that Lazuli's destiny is intimately connected the King's—so if Lazuli dies, Ouf will succumb at the same time! Nothing to do but roll out the royal welcome mat and ensconce Lazuli in luxury at the palace.

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch | October 14 | Courthouse Lawn | 10 am

Come pick out your very own handmade blown glass pumpkin at the 8th annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch! There will be hundreds of glass pumpkins for display and sale spread out on the Monroe County Courthouse lawn just like a real pumpkin patch. All of the pumpkins are made by the members of the Bloomington Creative Glass Center.


Wonderlab After Dark: Undead | October 20 | Wonderlab Museum | 6 pm

Explore the science of death, and party with the coolest nerds in Bloomington. The museum's 21+ series is back with WonderLab After Dark: Undead. This nightmarish evening will feature activities from embalming to tombstone-decorating.

Skate and Scare | October 21 | Frank Southern Ice Arena | 7 pm

Skate through the haunted house on ice to the sounds of spooky tunes and come dressed in a costume for a chance to win some great prizes.

Trick-Or-Treat Trail | October 21 | RCA Community Park | 1 pm

The trail through the woods comes to life with your child's favorite fairy-tale characters. This Trick-Or-Treat walk is geared toward ages 1-10.

Downtown Trick or Treat | October 27 | Downtown Bloomington | 5-8 pm

Bring your families, bring your kiddos, bring your best costumes!! Parking is FREE in the 4th St Garage located between College & Walnut on 4th Street after 6 pm. Let's celebrate Halloween in style, and by supporting local businesses and celebrating family!

downtown trick or treat
Photo: Gather: handmade Shoppe & Co.

Festival of Ghost Stories | October 27 | Bryan Park | 7 pm

An ink-black night with leering jack-o'-lanterns and crisp cider sets the stage for an evening of live storytelling beneath the stars. A Halloween tradition for more than 34 years, the Festival of Ghost Stories features haunting tales of ghosts and horror that will tingle the spine.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show | October 27-28 | Buskirk Chumley Theater | 11:59 pm

Cardinal Stage's annual screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of Cardinal's education outreach fundraisers. All proceeds from this event will benefit Cardinal’s IU Credit Union Education Initiative, which includes Cardinal’s Community Ticket Initiative that brings hundreds of underserved children and families to Cardinal shows each year at no cost to them, the Cardinal for Schools program brings 4000+ local students to special school matinees. Find tickets here.

rocky horror bloomington in

Frankenstein | October 27-29 | Buskirk Chumley Theater | 7:30 pm

Abandoned by his creator, Frankenstein's Creature seeks affection...and revenge. Mary Shelley's still-shocking gothic thriller is produced in partnership with IU's 2017 Themester: Diversity, Difference, and Otherness. Find tickets here.


Ghostly Gathering | October 27-28 | Paynetown State Recreation Area | 3 pm

This family-friendly event will last two days with "acorn skulls", scarecrow trick-or-treat bags, and ghost stories. Check out the full itinerary here.

ghostly gathering

Dame Fine Halloween | October 28 | Rainbow Bakery

Celebrating Halloween and Twin Peaks (all seasons!) Come to Rainbow Bakery in costume for your chance to win! Costume Contest will be held all day long (9am - 7pm) with winners announced at the end of the day. PRIZES FOR BEST COSTUMES - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Halloween Costume Contest | October 28 | Cardinal Spirits

Come early to haunt the bar, enjoy punch specials and a dessert bar, and have your photo taken for our People's Choice Winner. All photos will be posted to social media and our audience will pick the winner through likes and hearts. The top costumes will participate in a walk-off (Zoolander style) at 10 pm to decide the competition. You must be present to win! 

Dennis James Hosts Halloween | October 28 | IU Auditorium | 7:30 pm

Bloomington’s favorite musical mastermind Dennis James returns for his 49th annual spooky spectacular! This family-friendly event features classic silent film “The Monster,” presented with live organ accompaniment by James and the annual pre-show costume contest. Be sure to watch IU alumnus and renowned cinematic organist James as he brings the film to life on the Auditorium’s 4,543 pipe organ. Find tickets here.

Copy of IU Auditorium - cropped

City of Bloomington Trick or Treat | October 31 | Downtown Bloomington | 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

For tips on how to have a safe Trick or Treat click here.

Pumpkin Launch | November 4 | Monroe County Fairgrounds | 11 am

Fall has arrived and pumpkins are flying in the skies over the Monroe County Fairgrounds! Launcher teams send pumpkins soaring through the air in competitions for both accuracy and distance, so get a team together to build and enter a pumpkin launching device.Not a builder? Not to worry! There is plenty to do and see at the Pumpkin Launch, including a children's area with a variety of activities, live music, food vendors, and the festive feel of fall. Read more.

Pumpkin Patches & Haunted Houses

fowler pumpkin patch

Fowler Pumpkin Patch 4932 N Greene County Line Rd. 
The Fowler Pumpkin Patch in Monroe County is one that will make you want to come back every year. The pumpkin patch has over 5 acres of you-pick pumpkins, a corn maze, hayrides and a petting zoo. This is a great place to bring your family around Halloween. The hayrides begin the first weekend in October and gourds, mums, squash, and all sorts of fall decorations will be available. 


Wylie Haunted House Tours | October 28-29 | Wylie House

Join Indiana University’s Historic Wylie House Museum in celebrating this Halloween season on October 28th and 29th. Nighttime tours of President Wylie’s home will explore ghost stories and tragic family deaths, along with Halloween traditions and horrors of the 19th century. Not recommended for children under 10, but all who dare to be scared are welcome!

wylie haunted

Musgrave Orchard & Cider Mill8820 North Old State Road 37, 812-339-5006
Open Wednesday through Sunday. Pick up your pumpkin, apples, Indiana's best apple cider and all the other trappings of fall. Cash only.

musgrave orchards

Oliver Winery - 8024 Indiana Highway 37, 812-876-5800 

Several varieties of pumpkins and other gourds, locally grown at the Creekbend Vineyard, are available throughout October at the Oliver Winery tasting room.

oliver pumpkins

Barn of Terror - 8792 N. Old State Rd. 37 Bloomington, Indiana 47408

Monsters, ghouls, creatures and other clowns are waiting in the shadows. Open Friday and Saturday through October.

Costume Shops

Campus Costume | 216 S College Ave. | Weekdays 10 am - 8 pm, Sunday 12 pm - 8 pm

Costumelicious | 1701 N Curry Pike | Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm

Halloween City | 260 N Gates Dr. | Weekdays 11 am - 8 pm, Friday and Saturday until 9pm, Sunday until 8 pm

Spirit Halloween | 3216 E 3rd St. | Weekdays 10 am - 9 pm, Sunday until 7 pm

Vintage Wearhouse | 401 E 4th St. | Tuesday - Saturday 12 pm - 6 pm

Cherry Canary Vintage | 214 W 4th | Monday-Wednesday 1-6 pm; Friday & Saturday 12-6 pm

Interested in fall eats? Check out our fall flavors round-up here.

Emily Hines

Emily Hines

Emily Hines is a Bloomington transplant by way of St. Simons Island, Georgia and is the digital content Coordinator for Visit Bloomington. When she's not blogging or grammin' you can find her hiking in the Hoosier National Forest with her husband and two black labs or enjoying a craft beer and slice of pizza in town.