Fall Fun: 2016 Halloween Happenings in and around Billings

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There’s no shortage of fun as Halloween comes howling into the Billings area, so get your ghosts and goblins ready, and mark those calendars as we take you through the incredible variety of a-maize-ing activities awaiting you this fall!

 Pulled from the pages of SFM’s October issue, 2016 Halloween Happenings with **are new additions or *have been updated.

Fall Family Festivities

Pappaw’s Pumpkins is located outside of Worden at 2545 S. 24th Road, off of Old Highway 12 (just follow the ‘Pappaw’s Pumpkins’ signs starting 10 miles from their turn off).

Open Saturdays, 10am-5pm and Sundays, 2-5pm through October (opening day is October 8). This pumpkin stand boasts beautiful photo opportunities, hills to climb, a little bridge to cross, a John Deere pedal tractor to ride, hot apple cider to sip, and fun to be had by all! Set up like an old farmer’s market stand, the pumpkins are just ready and waiting to be chosen as the one to adorn your front stoop!

Pumpkins range from $2-$30, with corn stalks, edible squashes, and gourds also available to add to your fall décor. All proceeds go to charity. For more information look for “Pappaw’s Pumpkins” on Facebook.

The Maize at Grandpa’s Farm is back for its 19th season with a new design, that’s all about thanking our first responders. Troops, Law Enforcement, EMTs, and Firefighters (with proper identification) get in free all season, with a paying customer. Located at 58th Street West and Grand Avenue, the Maize is open Sept 2-Oct 29, Wednesdays 6-9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10am-10pm. Costs: $10/general admission, $13/haunted maze, add $10 for paintball.

www.themaizeatgrandpasfarm.com.

J&K Farms – located just outside of Laurel at 7 Krug Lane – offers a large pumpkin patch, hayrides, a small corn maze, and plenty of photo opportunities.

Open through Halloween, you can check out all they have to offer from 9am-dusk. If going out into the pumpkin patch doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, but you still wanted to support your local farmer, there are pre-picked pumpkins for your perusal. Looking to round out your fall décor, they’ve got little gourds and pumpkins, and ornamental corn. Just a reminder that they only accept cash or checks, no cards. New: Montana Melts food truck will be hitting the brakes at J&K on weekends through October!

To get information regarding group rates call 628.7592 or 855.7927.

*HarvestFest – Saturday, October 8 @ 9am-4pm, Downtown Billings, under Skypoint

Usher in all that fall has to offer with Downtown Billings’ 13th Annual HarvestFest. This event for the family includes Arts & Crafts tents, Farmers’ Market produce, food trucks, children’s activities (The Kid’s Area will be located on 2nd Ave. N. just east of Skypoint from 9am-3pm), a Pumpkin Pie Baking Contest, live entertainment, and the Harvestfest Basket Raffle! There will also be games for adults and children including a pumpkin seed spitting contest and the Cornhole Bean Bag Toss.

The Pumpkin Pie Baking Contest takes place at Broadway and 2nd Ave, starting at 11am, with contest results announced at 1pm. Enter the contest by snagging your application from www.downtownbillings.com. (Bring your pie to Skypoint by 10am!)

Chalk on the Walk was also rescheduled to take place during the HarvestFest festivities to celebrate the fall season and showcase the 3rd Ave. corridor in downtown Billings. Members of the public are invited to enjoy this free community art activity and create murals on the sidewalks of 3rd Ave. starting near N. 27th at Soup ‘n Such and Billings First Church. Participants may draw anytime from sunrise to sunset and are encouraged to bring whatever supplies they will utilize, including water, knee pads, brushes, etc. The Billings Arts Association is sponsoring free chalk that artists can pick up under Skypoint at the Information Booth from 9am-4pm.

Billings Nursery’s Fall Art & Craft Show – Saturday, October 15 @ 9am-5pm & Sunday, October 16 @ 12-4pm, 2147 Poly Drive | 656.5501

For roughly 40 years the Billings Nursery has been offering all kinds of fantastical fall delights for shoppers to peruse with at least 30 crafters selling their products at the Fall Art & Craft Show. No admission costs, simply come and shop and delight in the yummy eats being sold by the Ember food truck!

**Fall Festival – Saturday, October 15 @ 10am-8pm | 613 ½ E. Main St, Laurel, MT

Hosted by The Front Porch and High Plains Brewery, this 1st annual Fall Festival is held right on Main Street in Laurel by the two businesses. Expect face painting for the kiddos, vendors, food, fun, and live music, as well as brews for the age 21+ crowd. The Front Porch will also have indoor activities and hot cider! Bring out the whole family for this day of fall fun!

**The Great Pumpkin Carving @ Wise Wonders Children’s Museum – Wednesday, October 19 @ 3-5pm | 110 N 29th St

Take the mess out of your kitchen, and bring out the kiddos for Wise Wonder’s Great Pumpkin Carving event! Pumpkins and all carving materials are provided. Free to members and included with $5 admission fee. Carve and take home your pumpkin today!

Trick-or-Treat Events & Activities

*Downtown Trick-or-Treat – Friday, October 28 @ 12-5pm | Participating Downtown Billings businesses

Get your trick-or-treating game warmed up with the Downtown Trick-or-Treat on the Friday before Halloween. While you could start just about anywhere, it’s recommended that you begin your adventure at the Downtown Info Center (2815 2nd Avenue North) for a participant map, a treat bag, and a goody or two. Update: The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will be parked on 2nd Avenue North, near Skypoint with free children’s activities.

Boo at the Zoo @ ZooMontana – Saturday, October 29 @ 10am-4pm | 2100 S. Shiloh Road

Gather up your costumed cuties for ZooMontana’s annual “merry, not scary event,” Boo at the Zoo! With games and activities and plenty of opportunities to practice their trick-or-treating skills, this is an event the kiddos won’t want to miss! Don’t miss the oodles of photo opportunities around the Zoo, and make sure to pop by Brewer Dental Center’s iSnap Photo Booth! And make a mental note: Kids dressed in their costumes may enter the costume parades at 11:45am or 2:45pm!

Regular Zoo admission day, free for Zoo members.

**Halloween Party @ Cabela’s – Sunday, October 30 @ 12-4pm | 4550 King Ave E

Get a jump start on trick-or-treating and a bonus opportunity for the kiddos to wear their costumes with Cabela’s Halloween Party. The kids will trick-or-treat throughout the various departments of the store starting at 12pm. The afternoon fun includes pumpkin decorating (limit 1 per family, please) and other activities for the kiddos!

**Candy Jam 2016 @ Elevation Church – Monday, October 31 @ 5:30-8pm | 711 4th Ave N. (Located across Main Street from MetraPark on 4th Ave, accessible from 4th or 6th Avenues)

Candy Jam 2016 is a free, family friendly event that promises tons of candy and gift card giveaways! The festivities include bounce houses, games, cotton candy, popcorn, and music. Food will be served as Dinner for a Dollar! Don’t forget your costumes!

Tip: Families with babies and toddlers are encouraged to arrive early.

More Info: www.elevationbillings.com

Trick-or-Treat at Scheels – Monday, October 31 @ 6-8pm | 1121 Shiloh Crossing Blvd

Bring your trick-or-treaters inside and out of the weather this Halloween to Scheels for prizes, games, candy, and more! Your costumed kiddos will follow a Scavenger Hunt, leading them throughout the store to complete various activities, receiving a little something for the goody bag (or bucket)! Stop by any time between 6 to 8 to join in the fun!

After you’ve collected all that candy on Halloween and had your fill, consider participating in the…

3rd Annual Halloween Candy Buy Back! Wednesday, November 2 @ 4-6pm | Brewer Dental Center, Orthodontic & Pediatric Center, 2900 Central Ave.

This Halloween encourage your kids to give their candy to a worthy cause! Brewer Dental Center will pay you $1/lb and donate 1 toothbrush to Operation Gratitude for every pound of candy collected. All are encouraged to write letters/cards to the troops to be included with the candy in the care packages. Thanks for supporting our troops and protecting our kids’ teeth! (Last year Brewer Dental Center shipped 356lbs of candy to the troops through Operation Gratitude)!

**Halloween Candy Buy Back! November 1-3 @ 8am-5:30pm | Heights Dental, 1540 Lake Elmo, Suite #2.

After the kiddos have maxed out on the sugary goodness from their trick-or-treating, bring the overflow to Dr. Jason Vaira at Heights Dental and receive $1 per lb, up to 5lbs, and a toothbrush.

Putting the Scream in Your Halloween

Halloween’s not just for the kids, check out these Halloween happenings, some that are fun for the whole family, and others perfect for mom and dad…

Magic City Monster Con @ Billings Hotel & Convention Center – October 7-9 @ 3-8pm, F | 12-8pm, SA | 11am-5pm, SU | Tickets $30 for all 3 days, $17 one day only, $50 VIP Pass, Kids ages 12 and younger get in free

Get those costumes ready to go for Billings’ first horror/sci-fi weekend party, Magic City Monster Con! This event offers fun for the whole family with activities for the kids like face painting, balloons, magic shows, fire shows, ghostbusters, and a car show (two ghostbuster cars and Gabriel’s Toys is bringing movie/TV cars including the A-Team van and Mystery Machine)! Tickets can be purchased at the door (only VIP tickets need to be purchased in advance).

Event organizer, Laurie Welch, offers these tips for making the most of your Monster Con adventures:

  • Get the weekend pass to enjoy all three days – there are different discussion panels each day, and contests.
  • Meet and greets with celebrities from film and TV shows, along with many artists, authors, and vendors from out of state with not-to-miss merchandise!
  • Adults won’t want to miss the Dance of the Dead party on Saturday night when the adult costume contest also happens.
  • Get inked: Magic City Markers will be tattooing at the event. Looking for something less permanent? Henna tattoo artists will also be on hand.

More info: www.magiccitymonstercon.yolasite.com

Guided Tours of the YAM’s Haunted Past @ Yellowstone Art Museum – October 14, 21, tours @ 6 and 7pm

This family friendly event is just a tad spooky with Halloween decorations, ghostly noises, and held in a darkened basement setting. Recommended for the age 7 and older crowd. With two one-hour tours each night, come along and discover the YAM’s haunted past as the Yellowstone County Jail,

Free admission for members or with paid museum admission.

Shocktails – Frights and Fairytales @ Moss Mansion – October 15 @ 7-10pm | $20/ticket, includes one drink ticket

For ages 21 and older, this evening is a pre-season cocktail/costume party inside the Halloween bedecked Moss Mansion, shares Corinna Sinclair. Your ticket includes one drink and the opportunity to attend a Ghost Reveal by the Montana Paranormal Research Society. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, music, and the chance to mingle with characters from Moss Mansion Horror Theater – H.H. Holmes Murder Castle. Expect Tarot readings and a cash bar (with themed cocktail selection, beer, and wine). Get creative in your costuming, as the costume parade and prizes are at 8:30pm.

Fright Fest @ 5800 Camas Prairie Trail just outside of Laurel – Friday October 14 @ 2pm to 2pm on Monday, October 17 | Tickets: $35 for all 3 days (includes camping for 3 days)

This 3-day camping festival is filled with all kinds of everything! With about 72 hours of music, games and activities along with modeled haunting and freestyle battles, this Fright Fest has a little something for everyone. There will be a variety of vendors, security watching over everything, and mandatory ID checks. The haunting (recommended for teens and older) is $5 per person (you don’t have to go to the music festival to check that out) and runs 9pm-12am every night.

Day 1 includes an open mic for anyone who wants stage time; Day 2 will have freestyles, but this is pay to play with a cash prize; and Day 3 will have a costume contest – entry is paid, and so is the winner!

Tickets: ticketfly.com. | Lineup: www.facebook.com/SoundsOfLifeEntertainment

 ‘The Murder Castle’ and Maze @ Moss Mansion – October 21, 22, 27-29, 31 @ 6-9:30pm | Tickets available at the door: $8-maze, $15 ‘castle’ tour, $20 combo

Not a tour for the faint of heart, this year’s haunted house features Horror Theater – H.H. Holmes Murder Castle. The gorey tour, has local actors and actresses playing America’s first serial killer, Holmes and several ‘spirits’ of his unfortunate victims as they share their haunting tales of woe during their short stay, and ultimate demise at the hotel Holmes ran during the World’s Fair in 1893. Parents are advised to use their own discretion, but it’s definitely not recommended for children under 10. (It’s dark, has creepy sounds, and is at least 20 minutes of heart-pounding, Halloween delight).

The Haunted Maze is described as being more “maze-ish” than ever, with narrow paths, a panic exit, and lots of variety each night. Expect flashing lights, creepy sounds, and live and mechanical spooks jumping out, creeping up, and taunting in the various rooms and walls.

Midnight Madness – ‘The Murder Castle II’ @ Moss Mansion – October Oct 28 & 29 @ 11:30pm | Tickets $25/person, reservations recommended, limited availability

This tour is for adults only (ages 18+), and the difference between Murder Castles I and II is that Murder Castle II overcomes the rarely seen third floor, where “even the brave are loathe to go.” Call 256.5100 or stop by the Moss’s front desk for tickets.

Masquerade Party @ the YAM – Friday, October 22 @ 7-11pm | Yellowstone Art Museum, 401 N. 27th Street | Tickets-$25 (ages 21+) www.artmuseum.org

It’s the perfect Halloween date night, offering the chance to don your most creative costume as you eat, drink, and dance the night away! This exciting evening features Billings AlternaCirque performances and aerial wine pouring, and the musical spinnings of DJ Benefit. The evening includes a costume contest (The Golden YAM Best in Show Award, Best Couple, Best Team Effort, Best Art or Artist Impersonation, Unleashed: Best Critter Costume), free souvenir photos, tarot card readers, hors d’oeuvres, and more!

**Raising Our Spirits: Tales and Tour of the Haunted Museum @ Western Heritage Center – Saturday, October 29 @ 8pm. Tickets: $35

The Western Heritage Center has a long and storied history, and you’re invited to join real ghost hunters to investigate areas where paranormal activity has been recorded, using the latest ghost hunting equipment and testing techniques, in the legendary building. Conduct your own paranormal investigation using the latest equipment and techniques (as seen on TV). A new event format is promised to make for an even more authentic experience! (Feel free to bring your own equipment)! For tickets: Call 256.6809.

Haunted Hallows @ Two Moon Park – October 29-31 @ 6:30-10:30pm | Tickets $10/soul or $20 to skip the line (advance tickets: www.billingsjaycees.org/projects/haunted-hallows)

Dust off your scaredy pants to venture through Billings Jaycees’ Haunted Hallows, a 1-mile walk through Two Moon Park in Billings Heights. If you dare. Filled with scares at every turn, you can count on encountering zombies, clowns, and maybe a spider or two. This scary trek is recommended for ages 14+.

Haunted Hallows has become Billings Jaycees largest fundraiser over the last four years, enabling them to give $50,000 back to local organizations!