If you haven’t planned ahead for Halloween 2017, we’re sorry to tell you but it’s highly likely the costume shops have sold out of Wonder Woman costumes. According to Google, the character, played most recently on the big screen by Gal Gadot, is 2017’s most searched-for Halloween costume. All is not lost though – word has it there are plenty of Trump masks still to be had – some things are just too scary. Whatever you wear, make sure you check out one of the spooky Halloween events taking place around the country – these are the most frightful.
Adelaide Gaol Kids’ Trick or Treat Trail
The prospect of historic Adelaide Gaol is scary enough at the best of times. Add a bunch of costumed kids all hopped up on sugar and you’ve got yourself a real-life nightmare. For the kids, however, it’s pretty much the best thing since fidget spinners. Games, face-painting, fun food and a goodie bag are all guaranteed, plus a kids’ disco and roaming ghosts and ghouls.
When: Sunday 29 October
Where: Adelaide Gaol, 18 Gaol Road, Adelaide
Cost: $14.50 (adults), $9 (kids four to 15)
Boo at the Zoo
Head to the zoo after hours for a night of wild fun. There will be a trick-or-treat trail, giveaways and Halloween-themed animal presentations: make sure kids are clad in their creepy best.
When: Friday 27 October, 4pm-8pm
Where: Adelaide Zoo, Frome Road, Adelaide
Cost: $26 (adults), $17.50 (kids four to 14; children under four are free)
Canberra Zombie Walk
For the fourth year running, Canberra’s undead are dragging their decaying limbs from Regatta Point to Garema Place in a surprisingly selfless effort (for cannibals) to raise money for The Brain Foundation. The horrid spectacle of bloodied and decomposing humans lurching across town is followed by an Undead Beauty Pageant in which contestants are judged on their catwalk stagger, their undead pallor and their plans for the world’s future contagion. Reload Bar will be open from 11am for zombie makeovers.
When: Saturday 28 October from 3pm
Where: Glebe Park, Canberra
Cost: Free (register here)
This ghoulish festival saw 15,000 people, among them Freddie Kruegers, Pennywises, Carries and truly terrifying Trumps head to Googong last year. The festival began as a way to get people to the burgeoning township but now it has a rather bloody life of its own. There will be freaky fun such as a haunted graveyard, roaming street ghouls, a creepy abandoned woolshed and a truly disgusting blood pond.
When: Saturday 28 October, 5-9pm
Where: Next to the Googong Woolshed, Googong Road, Googong
The Grounds Spooky Garden
That always Instagram-ready brunch behemoth The Grounds of Alexandria is being transformed into an early evening Spooky Garden for little monsters. Get the kids rigged out in their scariest ensembles – there is a competition for best-dressed – and watch them trick-or-treat around the garden while you have a drink and pretend you didn’t see them eating that extra chocolate bar.
When: Tuesday 31 October, 5-8pm
Where: 7a/2 Huntley Street, Alexandria
Cost: Entry is free
Jurassic Lounge: Halloween
The Australian Museum opens after hours for a Halloween edition of Jurassic Lounge. For grown-ups only, this party is devised by artists, scientists and DJs. Revellers can expect such entertainments as Vampire Meditation, Date Roulette and a gory taxidermy workshop. Come dressed to kill.
When: Saturday 28 October, 7-10:30pm
Where: Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney
Cost: $25 or $30 on the door
Melbourne’s Halloween festival par excellence, Spooktober runs over five days in the grounds around St Kilda Town Hall. There are three haunted house experiences – Trick or Treat Manor, Blood Manor and The Doll Factory (shudder) and more games, costume contests and fun activities than you can poke a broomstick at.
When: Friday 27 – Tuesday 31 October, 7-10:30pm
Where: 99A Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Cost: Entry is free
24-Hour Astor Spooktacular
To get you in the mood, on the Saturday before Halloween St Kilda’s elegant Art Deco movie theatre The Astor opens for an ungodly 24 hours straight to screen a series of horror movies. Expect the classics – each more terrifying than the last – including The Hills Have Eyes, Blood Diner and The Monster Squad.
When: Saturday 28 October from 2pm
Where: Corner Chapel Street and Dandenong Road, St Kilda
Cost: $45 (adults), $38 (concession)
By day, it’s an all-ages Halloween fest; after dark it’s an adults only party – we’re thinking Thriller and Monster Mash remixes, outlandish costumes and, of course, a bar. Happy Halloween takes place over two days at Claremont Showgrounds, which are transformed by a ghost train, sideshow alley, the Monster Zoo, roving performers and plenty of rides into a spooky spectacular.
When: Saturday 28, 11am-10pm and Sunday 29 October, 11am-4pm
Where: 1 Graylands Road, Claremont
Cost: $45 (adults), $38 (concession)
AQWA Kids Halloween Party
It’s slime time at the aquarium where kids can enjoy icky decorations, have their faces painted, get on down at the Monster Mash disco and then enjoy a buffet dinner (including a slimy yet delicious dessert). They also get to explore the aquarium’s underwater attractions and discover the secrets of sea creature slime.
When: Tuesday 31 October, 5:30-7:30pm
Where: 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys
Cost: $18 (adults), $29 (kids aged 4-15)
Read more: What to do in Perth with Kids
Brisbane Ghost Tours
What better time to get to know the ghosts who still walk the streets of Brisbane than All Hallow’s Eve? Take one of the regular ghost walks – such as Boggo Road Gaol or Nundah Cemetary – or embark upon one of the special Halloween tours that are designed for kids aged five and over. You’ll never look at Brisbane the same way again.
Cost: $45 (adults), $30 (kids)
Halloween Silent Disco
Designed just for kids (complete with volume-controlled LED headphones for young ears), this Halloween Silent Disco will render kids eerily quiet. The DJ will play spooky hits to get the party started, and there’s full café service for energy top-ups.
When: Friday 27 October
Where: 8a Constance Avenue, Glenorchy