Remember when you were little and all you could think about come Halloween was the candy — buckets or bags filled with chocolate bars, chewy fruity stuff, candy apples, and more chocolate?
Lucky for us adults, Halloween in South Florida isn't just for kids. And it's not just about the candy. We grownups, we're convinced, have way more fun, and all the local bars and restaurants have a good time catering to you
Ready to get good and scared? We've pulled together a list of some of the best food- and cocktail-centric Halloween parties in Broward and Palm Beach counties. Time to get ghoulishly down and dirty, South Florida.
Signature Grand Ghoul
6900 W. State Road 84, Davie. To register, call 954-390-0493, or visit 211-broward.org.
In South Florida, the grandest Halloween party of them all may very well be the return of the 14th annual Grand Ghoul, the Halloween costume ball gala taking place at the Signature Grand Hotel in Davie. Every year the resort transforms from a stunning 100,000-square-foot hotel into a Renaissance-style haunted mansion. This year's Grand Ghoul is shaping up to be a stellar event with proceeds benefitting 4-1-1 Broward, a local nonprofit that provides 24-hour helpline and support services to individuals and families seeking crisis intervention assistance. Of course, this celebration won't be your average Halloween party; it's a more like an old fashioned ball featuring everything from an open bar where guests can sip on specialty cocktails, to a gourmet buffet with elaborate food stations. The evening will allow guests the opportunity to dress up in their favorite Halloween attire while mixing and mingling with NFL alumni, local celebrities, and other South Florida notables. This year, former Miami Dolphin O.J. McDuffie will team up with radio host Joe Rose as the event's emcees for the evening. The Halloween costume contest may be the best part, however. Throughout the evening, judges will select costumed party-goers to participate in the evening's competition. Finalists will be chosen based on their costume's creativity, fear factor, and originality. All proceeds raised during the event will benefit 2-1-1 Broward. 2-1-1. The Grand Ghoul will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. on Monday, October 26, at The Signature Grand. Tickets are $100 per person ($150 for two people) and include a full open bar, live entertainment, open buffet, and entry into the costume contest. To register call 954-390-0493, or visit 211-broward.org.
Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds
9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach. Call 561-247-2360, or visit myfrightnights.com.
The organizers of Fright Nights are inviting people of all ages to get their creative on and come dressed in their best costume for its annual Monster Bash from 7 to 11 p.m. on Sunday, October 25, at the South Florida Fairgrounds in Building 1. Admission is $10 and will give guests the chance to meet the Fright Nights cast and crew, compete in a costume contest with $1,000 in prizes, and enjoy finger foods, a cash bar, live entertainment and a DJ dance party. Tickets may be purchased online or at the door. The midway of carnival rides opens at 6 p.m. October 22 through 24, and October 29 through 31, and four haunted houses open at 7 p.m. Closing time on Thursdays is 11 p.m. and midnight on Friday and Saturday. The 2015 edition of Fright Nights features four newly-themed and designed haunted houses: Meadow Lakes, Animal Farm, Beyond the Gates, and Memento Mori. There also will be three scare zones — The Shack, Baphomet, and Sector Four — where unsuspecting guests will be surprised to encounter strange and creepy characters. It isn’t possible to avoid the scare zones. Fright Nights tickets are $25 for three haunted houses and unlimited rides and $30 for four haunted houses and unlimited rides. Parental discretion is advised for those younger than 12 years old for Fright Nights. The Monster Bash is appropriate for all ages. Call 561-793-0333, or visit southfloridafair.com.
23rd Annual Moonfest in West Palm Beach
531 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-667-1030, or visit moonfest.me.
It's back: Palm Beach County's biggest Halloween street party covering the 100-500 blocks of Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach. Start at the 100 block, otherwise known as Voodoo Village, where you'll hear the best EDM DJs in the nation. A light show and video wall will have you grooving all night long. The Quarantined Courtyard, located in front of City Hall on the 400 block, will get you entry to the Mix and Mingle with access to a number of live acts that will serenade you with disco, funk, soul, hip-hop, and everything in between. Stroll trough the art colony and dance the night away on Clematis Street, The Silent Disco is also located on the 400 block and was a very popular destination for last year's guests. Enjoy over 12 DJs battling in a silent party over two channels. Guests can check out the special headphones and enter the disco zone where you can dance to great music in the privacy of your own head. Looking for something louder? The 300 block will have smooth reggae and dub sounds by DJ Lance-O of Culture Shock. A new addition to Moonfest this year: the 500 block stage in front of Oshea's will play host to a variety of national and local bands. Check out the website for updated music lineup. Other activities include a $1,000 costume contest, food trucks, drink tents, and great specials at participating restaurants on clematis Street. Parties will be taking place at Respectable Street, Hullabaloo, Longboards, Oshea's, and Camelot. Plus, keep an eye out for pro skateboard demos with product tosses and giveaways, and over 20 art and scare vendors. Hours are 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Haunt Halloween Ball at FAT Village
517 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit the Facebook event page.
FAT Village Arts District, OpenHouse, and Red Monkey will be hosting a costume benefit party this month in honor of Halloween to help support the burgeoning arts district. Known as the Haunt Halloween Ball, the party goes down on Saturday, October 31, from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at the Warehouse in FAT Village. All night long, jam to the sounds of the soulful act Ketchy Shuby, live on stage, and enjoy a full bar with mixed drinks and beer, and food trucks for hungry souls. The event will feature music sets from a number of DJs including DJ PEPPABOXX spinning rate Jamaican reggae and funk, all vinyl from 6 to 11 p.m., and DJ Set by JayJoHero of Ketchy Shuby, followed by Ketchy Shuby live. Be sure to catch the live painting session by Joshua Oliveira, and more than 6,000-square-feet of haunted house fun. Costumes are strongly encouraged. Admission is free before 9 p.m., or $5 per person from 9 to 11 p.m.
Hulaween at the Mai-Kai
3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-563-3272, or visit maikai.com.
What do you get when you combine the hippest Halloween party with the world’s most acclaimed and historic Tiki bar? Hulaween, of course. The seventh annual celebration of all things creepy and kitschy returns to the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale on Friday, October 30. Rising from the ground at 5 p.m. and lurching past midnight, the ghoulish event will feature a costume contest with a cash prizes and special giveaways to the winners, and plenty of drink specials. South Florida live music act Slip and the Spinouts will perform three sets of roots and rockabilly tunes beginning around 7 p.m., when the Molokai bar will be transformed into a rockin’ retro shindig with the Mai-Kai’s acclaimed tiki cocktails (sold half-price until 7 p.m.) and classic pupu platters sharing the spotlight with the lively crowd of undead revelers. This year’s top prize for the best costume is $300 cash plus a $50 gift certificate from the Mai-Kai. Second place will receive $200, and third $100, provided by Appleton rum. All night, The Mai-Kai's dining rooms, including the showroom featuring the famous Polynesian Islander Revue, will be available as usual for dinner parties large and small — and the dead or undead.
A Very Boo-Da Halloween Costume Contest at Funky Buddha Lounge
1201 NE 38th St., Oakland Park. Call 954-440-0046, or visit funkybuddhabrewery.com.
You'll be glad you dressed up in costume when you get sloshed on good beer at this year's Very Boo-Da Halloween party at Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park. Join the brewery staff for a night of funky, fright-filled fun on Saturday, October 31, when they unleash live music by SoleMark (a five-piece funk fusion band) from 8 to 11 p.m., alongside a special beer release lineup including Laird's Apple Brandy barrel-aged cinnamon Tripel, a rum barrel-aged Imperial Pina Colada, and a cabernet wine barrel aged Chocolate-Covered Cherry Nikolai Vorlauf Imperial Stout. Last, take part in Funky's always epic costume contest where you can win cool stuff like gift certificates — or a trip. The grand prize winner will receive the ultimate beer lover's score: a trip to Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. For contest details visit the Facebook event page.
Himmarshee Street Halloween Block Party
201 SW Second St., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-616-5275, or visit publichouseftl.com.
This Halloween, the place to be in Fort Lauderdale's Himmarshee Village is — of course — Himmarshee Public House, which is throwing an extravaganza of monstrous proportions with its Haunted on Himmarshee House Party. Sip on spooky cocktails, get down with the ghouls and enjoy yourself with the spookiest spirits in South Florida. The night will get wild with tunes spun by DJ BJ while witches, vampires, and goblins alike can sip on their favorite drinks like Shipyard Brewing Company’s Pumpkinhead ale on draft. The festivities will continue all night long as the party spills onto the street for Himmarshee Street’s Halloween Block Party. Public House is open Monday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. daily.
The Zombie Bash at Grille 401
401 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-767-0222, or visit grille401.com.
On Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 Grille 401 will have wicked things coming your way for Halloween. The restaurant will be hosting two spooky events over the weekend, including Friday's Zombie Bash where guests can enjoy a deliciously sinister Halloween party from to 8 p.m. including crazy costume parties with killer prizes, devilishly delectable bites, and creepy cocktails like the “Smashing Pumpkin” crafted with Pumpkin will be garnished with a marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crust. Then guests can get down on the dance floor from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, for the "Revenge of the DJ" a night of food, drink, and prizes for the best costumes. Both events are free to attend and regular menu items will be available for purchase.
Revenge of the DJ at Brimstone Woodfire Grill
14575 SW Fifth St., Pembroke Pines. Call 954-430-2333, or visit brimstonewoodfiregrill.com.
Things are about to get creepy at Brimstone Woodfire Grill this Halloween. Guests best prepare for "Revenge of the DJ" on Saturday, October 31, from 8 to 11 p.m. Wicked dishes will be served alongside spooktacular drink specials like the Dragon’s Kiss cocktail blended with Grey Goose Le Melon vodka, dragon fruit puree, lime juice, simple syrup, and garnished with a fresh dragon fruit slice. Patrons should be dressed-to-impress in their scariest costume for a chance to take home a prize during the costume contest. There won’t be time to fear the dance floor because the haunted DJ will be spinning monster mashes all night long. The event is free to attend. Traditional menu food and beverage items will be available for purchase.
Haunted Hotel Full Moon Dinner Party at Beauty & the Feast
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-567-8070, or visit society8.com.
Beauty & the Feast located in The Atlantic Hotel & Spa - Friday, October 30th at 7 p.m.
Something frightening is haunting The Atlantic Hotel & Spa this Halloween. This year, get ready to be spooked at the Haunted Hotel Full Moon Dinner Party. Guests can party with the most fabulous ghouls and goblins Friday, October 30th at 7 p.m. on the 5th Floor Oceanfront Terrace at The Atlantic Hotel & Spa. Dinner will be served as the full moon beckons the scariest creatures in South Florida. The night includes live entertainment, music, a costume contest, and more. You must RSVP online to attend. Dinner is $35.95 per person; reservations are limited and require a $25 deposit per person. The $25 deposit fee is refundable if the reservation is canceled within 72 hours prior to the evening.
SocialWeen Party at Max’s Social House
116 NE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-501-4332, or visit sohodelray.com.
Get in the spirit of Halloween at Max’s Social House on Friday, October 30 when SoHo will feature a DJ, delicious cocktails made by a few recent Bar Brawls contestants, and drink specials all night. Entry tickets are $10 (early access) and $15 at the door and include one signature SocialWeen cocktail, discount drinks, and light bites before 10 p.m. A costume contest will award prizes for best costume, best couples costume, and best cocktail theme costume. Early tickets are available at online at EventBrite.com.
Movie on the Waterfront and Canine Costume Contest at Harbourside Place
Harbourside Place is located at 200 N. U.S. Highway 1, Jupiter.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, October 30, enjoy a free viewing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone under the stars at Harbourside Places waterfront amphitheater. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair. Then, at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 31, it's a Halloween event just for dog-lovers. Dress up your dog for Pucci & Catana Luxury Pet Boutique’s Canine Costume Contest and enjoy complimentary drinks, live music and lite bites for people and pooches alike. The first 25 dogs to arrive in costume will receive a goodie bag and the first place winner will receive a $200 Pucci & Catana gift card. Harbourside Place is located at 200 N US Highway One, Jupiter.
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All Day Halloween Party at Hoffman's Chocolates
Multiple locations. Visit hoffmans.com.
Hey, it's not all about adult-related shenanigans, right? On Halloween Day, parents can make the first trick-or-treat stop with their kids at Hoffman’s Chocolates where costumed trick-or-treaters will receive one free Halloween decorated Chocolate Covered Oreo while parents can taste a free sample of the Pumpkin Pie Truffle. Hoffman’s Chocolates is also hosting their Halloween Costume Contest where fans can be entered to win a special Fall Gift Basket complete with the limited edition Pumpkin Pie Truffles, Hoffman’s Chocolates famous Caramel Apples and more. Entrants can upload a photo of themselves in their Halloween Costume to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #HoffmansHalloween. The winner will be chosen randomly the morning of Monday, November 2 on the Hoffman’s Chocolates Facebook page. No purchase is necessary to enter the contest.
Delray Beach GreenMarket Spooktacular Season Opening
51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Visit delraycra.org.
The Delray Beach GreenMarket, a project of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, will open for its 20th season on Halloween, Saturday, October 31, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Old School Square Park. Halloween costumes are encouraged (grownups, kids, and dogs) and children are invited to trick-or-treat around the market. Making their debut at the GreenMarket will also be the famed Witches of Delray who are hosting their annual bike ride for charity which will conclude at the GreenMarket. CBS12 anchor Suzanne Boyd will greet them and hand awards for best costume, best
Max’s Thrill at Max's Grille
404 Plaza Real Mizner Park, Boca Raton. Call 561-368-0080, or visit maxsgrille.com.
This one is for the dogs. Seriously, just the dogs. Join Max’s Grille and Tri-County Humane for Howl-O-Ween from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 29 or a pet costume contest. People go way over the top with pet costumes at this annual event, and it's fun for all to watch. To pre-register your pup, call the restaurant at 561-368-0080. Admission is $10 and includes one drink and passed appetizers. There is a $10 fee to register each pet and judging begins at 8 p.m. sharp. And if your human kids feel left out on the action, there are prizes for the best adult, kid, and pet costumes, as well.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.