Safer Scares: How to Celebrate Halloween in 2020

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Ghoulish performers along Spooktacular Alley in Cloquet
Festivals & Events // Article

Safer Scares: How to Celebrate Halloween in 2020

By Jake Juliot

Minnesota’s spookiest season will look a little different this year, but many Halloween attractions and events are still taking place with added safety precautions. Whether you’re looking for frightful fun or not-so-scary tricks and treats, keep reading to discover how Minnesotans are celebrating Halloween this year.

Note: All of the listed events are adhering to Minnesota’s public safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes mandatory face masks for indoor events, limited group capacity and advance ticketing. Visit individual event websites to learn more.

Two performers in the Halloween Spooktacular

Performers at the Halloween Spooktacular in Cloquet

Haunted Houses & Drive-Ins

For those looking for a good scare this Halloween, many haunted houses and spooky attractions are open with enhanced safety guidelines.

The Deadly Drive-In at Rosedale Center is a terrifying new socially distanced haunted experience from the Flip Phone team (you might know them from Drag Brunch). For an intense 30 minutes, you will encounter ghouls, goblins and more frightful characters who attempt to torment you and your fellow passengers from the comfort and safety of your car.

And if you are missing live theater, the County Seat Theater in Cloquet is offering a drive-up Halloween Spooktacular, complete with a 45-minute stage show. This event is for all ages and takes place on the last two weekends in October. 

Man inspecting a record player at a Halloween-themed escape room

Think you can solve the Fright Nights Halloween escape room in Glenwood? / Fright Nights

If venturing into a creepy woods at night is more your thing, check out the Dead End Hayride in Wyoming, where you’ll be carted into a haunted forest on a wagon and prompted to find your way back by foot—with terrifying twists and turns around every dark corner. Molitor’s Haunted Acres in Sauk Rapids lets you be the intruder at their haunted walk through, where guests encounter multiple haunted houses and meetings with the undead.

For a different type of haunted attraction, Fright Nights in Glenwood is offering a Halloween escape room in addition to their yearly haunted house. Think you can escape before it’s too late?

On the last two weekends of the month, the Becker County Fairgrounds in Detroit Lakes will transform into a terrifying haunted house. But your cost of admission does more than just go to the ghosts, it’s also a fundraiser for the Becker County Museum.

For the Little Witches & Ghouls

Halloween is one of the best holidays for kids, and Minnesota has a number of safer ways for the little ones to experience all of its magic.

The ever-popular Sever’s Fall Festival in Shakopee is back, with popular attractions like the corn maze, petting zoo, pig races and more. This year also bring something new for those wishing to stay in their cars. Sever’s Stories, Riddles and Rhymes is a new drive-thru experience that takes you into the classic fairytale stories. Stoneybrook Farms in St. Cloud has a 9-acre maze with easy and hard options, as well as a pick-your-own-pumpkin patch.

Anoka is known as the “Halloween Capital of the World,” and 2020 is the centennial celebration of this honor. Throughout October, Anoka will host a variety of Halloween festivities like outdoor movie nights, a scavenger hunt, drive-in bingo and a driving route to see amazing houses decorated for the spooky celebration. Visit their Halloween hub to see event details.

In Duluth, the historic Glensheen Mansion is hosting the Great Glensheen Pumpkin Hunt all month long. Kids can search the mansion to find all of the hidden pumpkins and become a master treasure hunter. And over at the Lake Superior Zoo, Boo at the Zoo is back for little ones to celebrate Halloween with some real party animals. Festivities include trick or treating, a mini pumpkin hunt and magic show.

Creepy doll beside a vintage sewing machine

Get dolled up and celebrate the Creepy Doll Costume Pageant / Nate DeBoer

At-Home Halloween Fun

Want to get your spooky on without leaving the house? The Olmsted County History Center is making their annual Creepy Doll Costume Pageant a spooky virtual event. Get dolled up and decorate your house with your creepiest dolls, then submit a short video to enter the pageant. The festivities conclude with a creepy doll virtual cocktail party on Halloween night, where attendees can make their own special cocktail themed to the dolls.

Haunted Basement has two spooky at-home experiences on deck this year. First off, The Box. And we know what you’re thinking. What’s in the box??? Well, we’re not really sure. But we know it’ll be spooky and include, “a little arts and crafts, a little ritual, a little haircut, a little conjuring, maybe some fire?” It also includes an entry to The House, a spooky virtual encounter with the Haunted Basement crew.

Jake Juliot

Jake Juliot is a PR and communications specialist for Explore Minnesota. He loves attending shows at Minnesota's wonderful theaters and seeking out the latest and greatest craft cocktails and Minnesota beers.