Halloween is big business: According to one study, Americans spend almost $30 billion on the day, taking into account costumes, decorations, party supplies and candy. There’s something about the opportunity to dress up and go crazy that appeals to all ages.
But just like any annual tradition, it’s easy to get stuck in a Halloween rut. If your plans for Oct. 31 this year consist of donning your dusty old witch’s hat or Dracula cape and discussing the weather with your next-door neighbor over the salsa bowl, it may be time to spice things up. And where better to experience all of the potential of the wildest night of the year than Las Vegas, a city famous for lowered inhibitions and fabulous celebrations for Halloween – and just about any other night? As you view flights and consider heading out of town, keep in mind there are plenty of frightfully fun events and attractions that make Las Vegas the place to celebrate Halloween.
Get Your Scare On
While you may head to Las Vegas to experience some of the wildest Halloween parties on the planet, several attractions pull out all the stops to create some of the spookiest, scariest and goriest experiences you can imagine. These aren’t your local haunted houses where the high school math teacher dresses up like a mummy and pathetically moans from a cardboard “coffin.” Vegas’ fright-fests are truly terrifying and not for the faint of heart.
For example, the Adventuredome at Circus Circus — an indoor amusement park featuring almost two dozen thrill rides — transforms into the Fright Dome at the end of September. In addition to the regular rides, the Fright Dome features seven haunted houses, including two “Saw”-themed houses, allowing you to step into the movies and experience sheer terror. Fright Dome also introduces “Fright Zones” where monsters and demons will jump out at you from every direction, as well as a freak show and a horrifying 4-D theater showing horror films in a “haunted” atmosphere.
If that’s not scary enough, pay a visit to Eli Roth’s Goretorium, a year-round attraction that turns Las Vegas’ storied history into a tale of ghosts, hauntings and horrible happenings. The Goretorium is a multi-level maze that tells the story of a fictional hotel, the Delmont, and the horrible murders that took place there over the decades.
If you prefer your frights on the sweeter side, head to the Fremont Street Experience for Halloween-themed light shows and entertainment throughout the month of October. Costumes are always welcome at the free shows.
Parties and Parades
Halloween in Sin City isn’t all about haunted houses and freak shows. In fact, the Las Vegas Halloween Parade, held every year on Oct. 31, is a funny, quirky and spooky celebration. Appropriate for all ages, the parade is open to anyone in a costume: Just show up at the start of the parade route and march among the crowds of adoring spectators. The parade also includes a costume contest and is the ideal kickoff for a night of celebrating. Oct. 31 is a holiday in Nevada (Statehood Day, not Halloween) so many residents have the day off, making The Strip a festive place to show off your costume.
The parade isn’t the only party possibility, though. Starting the weekend before Halloween, many of Vegas’ hottest hotels and clubs will host parties and balls where you can trot out your sexiest costumes without getting the stink-eye from observers. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino hosts an annual costume ball as does the Mandalay Bay Resort and Tao nightclub. If you don’t party too hard the night before, on Oct. 28 you can outrun zombies in the Las Vegas Zombie Run, a charity 5K race. As you navigate the relatively flat course, you’ll have to avoid an attack from the undead placed at various points along the route.
Whether you want a chilling ghostly encounter, a bloody gore-fest or a sexy, over-the-top party, you’ll find it here in Las Vegas. Snag some cheap airfare, pack your bunny ears and devil’s horns, and head to Sin City for All Hallow’s Eve — you may never resort to plain old trick-or-treating again.
Pumpkinhead image by Juan P. Vargas From Flickr’s Creative Commons
About the Author: Blogger Wendy Quirk decided to shake things up and head to Las Vegas for Halloween last year. It’s one of her best memories.