Have you been planning your Halloween costume since July? Once mid-September hit, did you start singing “ This is Halloween” while plastering your home in fake cobwebs and black cat silhouettes while sipping a PSL? Do you like scary movies? Are you currently sewing your kid’s Sonic costume (and if so, can you fashion us a Knuckles one?).
If you answered yes to any of the above, this list is for you.
Below you’ll find events for adults-only that are sure to make you scream, a huge convention where you can cosplay and meet your favourite sci-fi and horror film stars, and plenty of cutesy things that will cast a spell over your whole family.
Many of these events involve buying tickets ahead of time and are super popular, so please plan accordingly so you don’t have to worry about sell-outs making you batty.
Spots to bring your little pumpkins
Boo at Zoo – One of this September’s biggest announcements is the return of Boo at the Zoo. Whenever Assiniboine Park Zoo hosts an outdoor event (also look for Zoo Lights to kick off winter) you can expect them to pull out all the stops in a setting that’s second to none. Once you enter past the main gates be prepared to be dazzled by fascinating light displays hanging from the trees and illuminating the pathways, performers in the various tents and in front of McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre, staff in cool costumes and plenty of food onsite so you don’t have to worry about filling up before you arrive with the family.
And Boo at the Zoo 2022 really has it all: There are midway rides, live bands, aerialists and circus performers, a giant troll in a mystical and beautifully lit forest, a pumpkin patch, a graveyard and even a skeleton-themed dance party area. Timed tickets ensures the lines or crowds will never be too big, while parents (like us) will surely appreciate that the bar service will also include Baileys and coffee. Plus, Tundra Grill will be open to serve full hot meals in a sit down setting that of course overlooks the huge polar bear enclosure. There’s no jump scares or anything like that, so no need to worry about scaring/scarring your littlest ones or spilling your boozy coffee.
October 7-30 at Assiniboine Park Zoo. Tickets are $16 and are time specific, with kids under 2 free. Tuesday – Thursday, 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 5:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.; Sunday 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays
Prairie Dog Central’s Howling’ Halloween Express [NOW SOLD OUT, SORRY]– Hop aboard the cutest train you ever did see. You can think of it like The Polar Express, but instead of it having an CGI film version with super creepy eyes, you can expect all the kids on this train to be cute as a button, while the destination isn’t the North Pole, but rather Grosse Isle where you can explore Prairie Dog’s Haunted Station before being fed hot dogs, chips, and drinks (all included in the ticket price). Children encouraged to dress up to impress the Prairie Dog’s mascot while onboard you can expect plenty of fun, interactive experiences. Your kids will get their caricature done, plus Chris Without the Hat will be there for even more entertainment.
One day only! Saturday, October 29 departing at 5 p.m. from the Prairie Dog Central Railway at 64099 Prairie Dog Trail, Rosser, MB. Click here for tickets and prices.
Winnipeg ComiCon 2022 - While technically not a fully kid-centric event like the two above, Winnipeg ComiCon is bringing plenty of guest stars that you’ll all want to meet including Matthew Lewis, aka Neville Longbottom "the snake slayer," of Harry Potter fame! The original Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, will also be in the house (err, convention centre), along with News Radio and Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley (whose vast sci-fi creds include voicing Terry in Monsters University, Flik in A Bug’s Life, along with work on Adventure Time, Robot Chicken, Stargate Atlantis and countless others) and Bruce Campbell from Evil Dead, Army of Darkness and numerous other classics.
Along with all the celebrities there will be a costume contest, a number of interesting panels, over 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space for comics, memorabilia and so many more family friendly activities.
October 28 to 30 at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. Full details here.
Big scares for big people
Heebie Jeebies – Every year Heebie Jeebies scares us to no end–and yet we always come back for more! This is one of those ones where you want to bring your friend who has the best (or funniest) scream, because they seriously won’t stop and it will only add to the experience. And as to that experience, buckle up buttercup: as you can read in the link above, Heebie Jeebies spares no expense when it comes to creating insane costumes for its massive cast of more than 100 characters who range from deranged clowns to zombies, inbreeds and—new for 2022—the Farting Fatty and Electric Chair. All of these disturbing creatures can be found within four detailed and daunting mazes and “The Scare Zone,” while there’s also food trucks, fireworks on select nights, zombie carnival games and bonfires and free hot chocolate to keep you warm (although will that help once you’ve been chilled to the bone!?!). And yes, there will be jump scares!
Amaze in Corn’s Haunted Forest – During the average autumn day Amaze in Corn is packed with crowds exploring the elaborate corn maze, picking up pumpkins in the huge barn, climbing the haystack pyramids and petting all those cute farm animals. Then the sun sets, and all cuteness ends as a cast of fearsome creatures takes over its forest. (Actually, you can bring kids, aged 6-12, into the Haunted Forest–which does involve a short wagon ride–from 3:30 to 5:30 as its inhabitants are a bit more tame while the sun is up). Within the forest you’ll want to ensure you have old footwear and your wits about you, as there will be plenty of creatures lurking amongst the falling foliage.
October 1-30 at 1351 MB-200, Saint Adolphe, MB (Just off St. Mary’s Road). Tickets are available online here and at the gate.
Six Pines Haunted Attractions’ Fear by Night – For almost a quarter of century Six Pines Haunted Attractions has been opening its barn doors to locals looking for a scream. This year it is showcasing four new haunted house experiences–Clown Town, Haunted Manor, Saws’ Revenge and Fallout–all featuring a formidable ensemble lovingly referred to as the “Scream Squad.” The costumes are always freaky as all heck and the setting itself at night is enough to make your hairs stand on end.
Six Pines also hosts a Daytime Ghoul Haunt that is suitable for kids 5 and over. You can find those details here.
October 1-31, Thursday through Sunday (with the exception of Sunday the 2nd and 9th when it is closed). Located 4 km on North Perimeter Highway on Sturgeon Road, Winnipeg, MB R3C 2E6. For timed tickets click here. Limited tickets available onsite so best to book ahead. Group tickets also available.
Deer Meadow Farms – “Scream Season” is about to begin at Deer Meadow Farms as its 600,000 square foot forest is taken over by more than 60characters replete with fog machines, flashing lights, sound fx and plenty of jump scares. This year’s forest will house 18 massive sets that will beckon once you’ve been dropped off in the middle of the forest via the Haunted Hayride.
Once completed, should you survive, you can hit the Blood Bar where vampires will be slinging seasonal drinks–both alcoholic and non– and the concession stand will serve hot dishes like burgers and hot chocolate that you can savour around the fire pits. Admission also gets you access to the corn maze.
October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29 at 21-155 Springfield Roas(here’s a map).
Escape rooms that will make you scream
The Mine at The Real Escape – Escape rooms are tough to talk about because no one likes a spoiler, so all we will say is it opens with you handcuffed to a metal rail in the pitch black while a super creepy voice starts playing on a radio that provides the only faint light in the room. From then on, you and your teammates have to solve a very hard series of puzzles all while being terrorized (mainly in the dark) by a miner in a pig mask. We screamed and had to laugh in relief so many times, and then we got to the point where you need to go down the long winding mine shaft in the pitch black and everyone was like, “Nope. I ain’t going down there.” The whole experience was more invigorating than a jump in a frozen lake. Seriously so good.
Killer Noob Escapes – Sweet Pennywise’s red nose is both so scary and so much fun. During one experience – Buried Alive – we were locked in an actual coffin for 30 min! (But don’t worry, there’s a panic button and it involves you and a team member in two different coffins talking to one another to solve your escape). In another room, The Fun House, we were terrorized by a clown, all while taking turns laughing to cut the tension because it was namely all screams and jumps and plenty of bad language as we attempted to navigate the puzzles. The great thing about completing The Fun House is we now have part 2 – The Upstairs – to look forward to soon.
Killer Noob is unique as some of the experiences are quick, while they also have the traditional one-hour escape experiences. Their facilities are also top-notch.
Note on all of the above adult-centric events: No costumes or masks please (unless it’s your kids and you’re at the early 3:30-5:30 experience at Amaze in Corn) while you have to sign a waiver to enter all of the above adult events.