Boo at the Zoo

October offers a bountiful — and spooky — opportunity to get out and enjoy autumn

Halloween will make you scream! Especially this year. Calgary sure knows how to get your pulse racing when the festival of superstition and fear is just around the corner. Here is the proof. You are walking outside on the sidewalk, enjoying your pumpkin spice latte, and the changing of the leaves on the trees. All of a sudden, you come across a poster column that is filled with the many events that are happening this scary season. The best part is, they look like they are a lot of fun. “What kind of events?” you may be asking. Here are 10 fabulous ideas. 

Pumpkins After Dark

The magic begins early. What started on Sept. 22 is going full steam until Oct. 31. Imagine 10,000+ hand-carved pumpkins just lighting the path that you get to enjoy in a creepy but family-friendly sense. You would not believe that many of these sculptures with their intricate detail, size, and imagination are all made from pumpkins that people carved with their own hands. A person could spend all night light just exploring and taking pictures of these crazy cool creations.

Goblin: Macbeth

Yes. You see it correctly. Goblins are going to take the stage at Vertigo Theatre from Sept. 22 to Oct. 16. A mix of Shakespeare, horror, fantasy and yes even some comical improvisation put on by these goblins. This means anything can happen with these distinctive thespians taking over one of the world’s oldest and most famous ghost stories. In this case, they are taking on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. This makes a person wonder if Shakespeare is spinning in his grave right now. Luckily, it is just in time for Halloween. 

Ghosts and Gourmet

Fearless foodies rejoice because you can dine with a combination of spectres and succulent spreads! The Wainwright Hotel in Heritage Park is throwing their annual dinner party with some special ghostly guests. It starts as a wonderful dinner with a retelling of the ghost stories that have haunted these lands for a long time. Eventually, it will turn into a ghost tour and those who are brave enough might actually catch sight of one. Do you dare go there and say, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts?”

Slasher Showdown: Friday the 13th Massacre

I hope you are up-to-date on your cardio, Calgary, because this October has a Friday the 13th. What does that mean you say? It means that the wickedly good people of Haunted Calgary are kicking off the Halloween season with this spine-tingling attraction. If you are a thrill-seeker or a horror-fan you get an interactive experience where you have to use your own survival skills and wits to outsmart some 1980s-inspired baddies. God speed friends!

Pumpkin Fest

Granary road is bringing up some traditional autumn fun that the whole family can enjoy together on Oct. 14 to 15. This festival is about everything pumpkin. They have pumpkin hunts where you can pick out your own pumpkin to take home with you, a tracker range rover ride that will take you all over the farm, and try your hand at their Pumpkin & Putts mini-golf. Not to mention that on Sunday, Oct. 5, you can partake in an activity that would make the Smashing Pumpkins proud. Especially since that is exactly what you will be doing. Now that is how to get down and dirty!

Ghoul’s Night Out

Whether you are out with friends or family, Heritage Park’s Ghouls Night Out is the way to go. If you are looking for an event that has a ton of boo-nique activities, you will want to come here. Where else can you have tea with your favourite characters from the Rabbit Hole? Or learn to fly from the Sanderson sisters? This is just the tip of the broom stick because there is so much to see. Carnival games, crafts, meeting some monsters in the Monster Recovery Centre; sounds like an adventure for October 27.

Halloween Specialty Brunch

Deep in the wilds of the Calgary Zoo, hidden in their Safari Lounge on October 28 and 29 is a Brunch that is Spooktacular. A purrfect idea to take a hot Halloween honey or a murder of friends for some tasty treats. This restaurant has a number of options that will keep your gaggle of ghouls well fed with its buffet style and delectable dishes. Come see the scary decorations, listen to some Halloween music, and dress up in your spookiest costume. Afterwards you can explore the zoo at your leisure.


Calgary’s best haunted houses are here. Oct. 6 kicks off Calgary’s scariest event and goes all the way until Halloween. If you like a creepy carnival, monster truck rides, and six different haunted houses that will make you scream then look no further. This event is not meant for the faint of heart or smaller kids. It is rated as a PG-13 event so it might be good to leave the kids at home and scare yourself rotten. Never fear though, might be able to bring home the hatchet you get to throw at the target as a souvenir. But only if they throw it back at you.


Trick-or-treating has taken on a wilder turn. Calgary Zoo is setting up a family-friendly event where costumes are the norm, treats can be found everywhere, and exploring the zoo is a given. Not only will you have a whole bag of candy at the end of the day but you will also help wildlife conservation. In a small way you will help protect the homes of plants and animals alike. Sounds like a good cause to be a part of.

Halloween Howler

The new Beltline artistic hub The BLOX Arts Centre on 11th Ave. S.W. is also getting in the inner city Halloween spirit with a day of goblins and goodies.

On Sunday, Oct. 29 they’ll host a pair of events including a kids and families event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a trick or treasure hunt, costume contest and Halloween-themed games.

Later that day, from 3 to 7 p.m. is the All Ages Ghoul Party, which includes live music, a howl contest, drink specials and tricks and treats provided by local businesses Regrub, Last Best, Milano, The Bike Shop and more.

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