We don’t want to brag, but Vegas has no shortage of monsters and creeps. Haven’t you seen Casino? But we digress: if you were spooked that being in Vegas on October 31 meant you’d miss out on the Halloween fun, you haven’t yet learned that Vegas takes every opportunity to go wild. Indeed, there are so many Halloween events and attractions throughout the area, around every dark corner and behind every unsuspecting façade, that Vegas is just to die for on the scariest night of the year. You could pick no better place to haunt.*
Here’s a sampling of some of the many sublime Halloween treats, some family-friendly and others not-for-kids, for you to savor during your stay in Vegas.
* Disclaimer: To our knowledge, no one has actually died in our Halloween festivities. But we keep trying.
Haunted Vegas Tour (All ages)
Nightly at 9:30 p.m.
Tour starts at the Royal Resorts near the Las Vegas Strip on Convention Center Drive
Here’s a good place to start: Vegas has more than its fair share of grisly deaths, unsolved murders and tragic celebrities who never left town. Here’s your chance to see how what happens in Vegas … really stays in Vegas. As one of the guides has said, “Many of them have not left the building.”
This two-and-a-half-hour tour, which starts just a ten-minute walk from the Riviera, will take you to all the hot spots sure to give you the chills. One thing we like about this tour: it’s not cheesy. The guides have selected hauntings that have been researched and featured in studies and specials on stations like the Discovery Channel. As a result, the tour is of as much historical interest as paranormal.
Interesting tidbit: one of the guides is also a professional mortician. Good to know, just in case you die of fright along the way.
Las Vegas Zombie Run (All ages)
October 28 at 9 a.m.
Sunset Park, 2601 East Sunset Road, Las Vegas, NV
This is the perfect opportunity to practice for the zombocalypse. It’s an easy 5k and 1-mile run/walk with a twist: zombies. Every runner will carry flags (like flag football), which the zombie minions will target. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: survive. If you lose your flags, you’ll join the zombie ranks among the undead. But at least you’ll get some exercise in the process.
Tickets start at $40. All proceeds benefit local charity Generation Vegas.
Town Scary Halloween (All Ages)
October 31 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Town Square Las Vegas, 6605 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89119
The streets of Town Square will transform into a haunted Halloweenscape for one night only. Retails and restaurants will be passing out candy to wee trick-or-treaters, with additional games and activities throughout the area. You might check out Town Scary before heading over to the Las Vegas Halloween Parade (below).
The Third Annual Las Vegas Halloween Parade (All ages)
October 31 at 6 p.m. (line up) and 7 p.m. (parade)
Line up on Garces and 4th; After Party on 3rd between Ogden and Stewart
Free and open to all ages: The Las Vegas Halloween Parade has been steadily gaining steam – last year’s drew more than 12,000 participants and spectators – and its third year promises to be its best yet. Activities and attractions cover the gamut, including elaborate floats and parade cars, giant puppets, music, dance – and, of course, costumes. This is one of the best spots to check out some of the most creative, elaborate costumes you’ll see in Vegas – and if you brought your own, it’s your key to joining the parade! Plus, you can participate in a costume contest (registration begins at 5 p.m. the day of the parade). Award categories include: best group costume, best illuminated costume, best Vegas costume and best baby costume ages 0-10.
Map of the parade route, courtesy of thelasvegashalloweenparade.com
Bonnie Screams Ranch (All ages)
Bonnie Springs Ranch, 16395 Bonnie Springs Road, Blue Diamond, NV 89004
We’ve already introduced you to Bonnie Springs Ranch. Built in 1843 as a wagon stopover, Bonnie Springs is just 25 miles out of town. And from mid-October through Halloween, it transforms into a ghost town in the best tradition of the Old West. With haunted houses, entertainment and a ghostly train ride, this is a wonderful outing for families or those not quite up to the R-Rated attractions elsewhere. Visit the website for more information.
Haunted Harvest (All ages)
October 12-14, 19-21, 26-28, 31 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Springs Preserve, 333 S. Valley View Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89107
We introduced you to Springs Preserve back in April; it’s one of our favorite getaways, one that explains at a glance why Las Vegas (Spanish for ‘the meadows’) earned its name.
In October, it transforms into the Haunted Harvest, a fun themed carnival featuring a haunted house, trick or treat stations, games, entertainment and more. Additionally, the Springs Café will stay up late with a special menu of spooky treats. Tickets start at $5, no reservations required.
Eli Roth’s Goretorium (Teens & Adults)
Open year round
3717 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV, 89109
Goretorium is the brainchild of Eli Roth, director of horror movies “Hostel” and “Cabin Fever.” The huge and intricate haunted house tells the story of the mythical hotel and casino, The Delmont, and of the guests who never left. The $10 million, 15,000 square foot attraction has pulled out all the stops, creating an interactive, multisensory experience that will leave hearts racing and screams ringing in your ears. It’s also gruesome: this is not a destination for kids. Just how scary is it? According to CEO Robert Frey, “We don’t think most people will make it through. That’s our goal.”
Will you be one of the few? Tickets start at $35.
Madame Tussauds Las Vegas After Dark (Teens & Adults)
October 26 through October 28
3377 Las Vegas Blvd S, Suite 2001, Las Vegas, NV
This one can get a bit intense, so we don’t recommend it for children. Can you tell the difference between real and wax? Don’t be so sure. Madame Tussauds’ “After Dark” adventure will put your perception and courage to the test.
Freakling Bros. Horror Shows Presents The Trilogy of Terror (Teens & Adults)
September 28 through October 31, hours vary
AMC Theatres Rainbow Promenade 10, 2321 North Rainbow Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV
The Trilogy of Terror presents three mature haunts in one location:
- Gates of Hell: the trilogy’s pièce-de-résistance and the only R-rated Haunted House in Nevada, the Gates of Hell is “a sadistic experiment in absolute sensory overload” culminating in a face-to-face with the Prince of Darkness himself. Maybe you can ask him what he really thinks of Sin City.
- Castle Vampyre: an interactive haunt that makes excellent use of design tricks to ratchet up the tension. This is an attraction that may well have you on your knees before you’re done.
- Circus of Horrors: a true freak show, the Circus of Horrors will present a collection of freaks, oddities and monstrosities you’ll never be able to forget. Got a thing about clowns? Just wait.
One of our favorite things about the Trilogy of Terror? Creativity. Creators Duke and JT Mollner stay away from clichés – like replicating scares from movies – and substituting quantity for quality – like throwing wave after wave of actors at guests. Instead, they use ingenious design elements and carefully orchestrated actors to terrify. And it works. Pardon us while we take the Chicken Exit now.
Tickets start at $12.
Anywhere Along the Strip
Frankly, Halloween is so big in this town, all you really have to do is walk out your door and down the street. Almost everywhere you turn – at hotels, casinos, clubs, even libraries (yeah, that’s how serious we are about All Hallows Eve here) – there will be special Halloween events and attractions. The Strip itself will turn into a smorgasbord of costumes both ghastly and fabulous on Halloween: the people-watching is bar none. So take a seat, grab a drink and feast your eyes on the ghoulish delights of Sin City on Death’s Holiday.