Frights AND Fun All Over Bozeman
Joseph Montalbano | Sunday Oct. 1st, 2023
It’s finally that time of year where the colors start changing and the weather starts to cool off, and I cannot be happier to welcome it. The warm drinks, the fall leaves — the entire fall experience is lovely. For all these reasons and more, fall is one of my favorite times of year, especially around Bozeman, where the town is rapidly gearing up to celebrate the best holiday of the year: Halloween! The parties, costumes, and fall events are all just to die for. Bozeman hosts many events throughout the month of October to celebrate the spookiest time of year. This list is not comprehensive by any means, but a selection of the events going on that I believe are a great starting point for finding your personal favorite events to continue to enjoy, year after year!
A great way to start your fall crawl and usher in the season is to come down to the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse at MSU, which is hosting the Bozeman Fall MADE Fair, a handmade goods market that features local artisans and artists looking to show off their wares. This is a wonderful event to get some beautiful, bespoke artwork from local sources! The fair runs October 6th from 5-8pm, and October 7th from 9-4pm. If you want to support locals and decorate your home to show that dedication, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you stop by and see what the kind people over there have in store for you.
The Bozeman Maze at 1340 E Valley Center Road is a lively hay maze with a plethora of other exciting constants that’ll keep you and your family entertained all night long. It just started, running from September 23rd to October 30th, and I would wholeheartedly recommend you grab your family (or some friends if family isn’t in the area) and enjoy the hay maze, take a trip on the hayride, and pick out some pumpkins to carve for the season.
If you didn’t get enough of the fall maze experience, drive over to 4605 Cameron Bridge Road in Manhattan to the Montana Corn Maze. There, you can find a six-acre corn maze with three distinct levels of maze challenges. Around the entire premises, there are a variety of events including a six-hole miniature golf course, corn hole, frisbee golf, a variety of local artisanal goods and food vendors, and many other attractions to keep you and your family entertained all day long. Having gone there myself in previous years, this corn maze is a MUST-see if driving isn’t prohibitive. Trust me, it is worth the drive.
A fun way to stay active as the seasons change would be to grab your furry friend and go to Story Mill Park for the Dogdash Monster Mash, a 3K run that is sure to be an exciting, enriching time for your dog, and you. Dogdash promises an event that is dedicated to and in gratitude for “the unwavering love, companionship, and motivation” our pets give us. Featuring a 3K obstacle course for your dogs, a dog-friendly ice cream eating competition, and a doggy costume contest alongside booths and vendors from a number of local businesses, it is sure to be a great time for you and your dog. The run is happening from 11am-1pm on October 15th, at Story Mill Community Park.
The Haunted Mountain Theater is a spine-tingling dive into Montana history, hosted at the Taylor Planetarium in the Museum of the Rockies. Featuring a blend of live performance and 360-degree immersive video, the Haunted House Theater is going to tell stories of ghosts, lake monsters, and horrifying accidents that are going to keep you glued to your seats. After the show, take a spooky walk-through of Tinsley House, and enjoy a tasty treat. Showtimes run from 5-8:30pm on the weekend of October 20th - 22nd, and the weekend of the 27th – 31st. The show is gauged for ages 10 and up, except for the special Pour and Gore performances on the 27th that will include a tailored 21-and-up show alongside a local Montana whiskey tasting, appetizers and fine chocolates. Plonk will be there creating seasonal cocktails for an additional fee. Come on down to the Haunted Mountain Theater to satisfy your thirst for horror and to be fully immersed in the spirit of the season.
If you’re looking for something a little more laid back for the whole family I would recommend Kenyon Nobles’ 25th Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest! It’s just around the corner on Oct 21, get the family in costume and go to any KN location from noon-2pm to spend a fun-filled afternoon carving a free pumpkin! Ages 0-12 are encouraged to enter the carving contest, all participants will have the chance to win prizes. Winners must be present to win. The Kenyon Noble team will be holding their own costume contest, so make sure to vote for your favorite and grab a spooktacular goodies swag bag on the way out, they can’t wait to see what you carve!
October 27th and 28th is the Anderson Schools Halloween Fundraiser, are you are interested in supporting local schools? Trick question, you should always be interested in supporting local schools! The haunted house starts at 5:30pm with a “lights on” version with a mildly spooky experience, while from 7:00pm until 10:00pm the frights turn on full force with a truly frightening experience. Park in the field across from The Little Red School House, where attendants will guide you to the carefully planned and brilliantly executed haunted house experience! Admission is 10 dollars, and well worth the visit!
For the over 21 crowd The Tune Up Bar in the Armory basement will host Mixtape, a dream-pop, southern-rock cover band from Bozeman fronted by Madeline Hawthorne. The party takes place on Friday October 27th to kick off Halloween weekend! The show is free and goes from 9-11pm. Costumes are strongly encouraged, a good time is guaranteed.
If you can’t get enough of all this fun, give your support and help the community by joining the Run For Your Life Fundraiser, an event put on by the Bozeman Help Center to raise money for their 24/7 Crisis and Suicide Prevention services. This is an excellent opportunity to support a cause that is all too necessary, and is saving lives in our community. The Run for Your Life event is a 5K run or walk in costume, with pets and children welcome. Starting at MSU’s Bobcat Stadium and running along the Help Center’s generously provided map, the event takes place October 28th at 10am; you can register at: bozemanhelpcenter.org
For the pint-sized skeletons and zombies wanting to get involved in something truly fascinating, visit the Bozeman Science Center on October 28th from 10-12pm for Spooky Science. There, kids will be able to enjoy Halloween-themed, hands-on science experiments to get them invested in STEM and learning. If you have young ones who want an excuse to get out and have some fun with science, this event is for you.
Something to excite those who don’t necessarily want to do Halloween in the traditional way, but want to enjoy something fun on Halloween, look no further than the ELM, which is hosting the Grateful Dead Tribute band, Dead Sky. This up-and-coming band is gaining traction online and across Montana, and is a very fun and laid back concert to enjoy if you’re a fan of the Grateful Dead. Dead Sky has a rapidly growing repertoire of Grateful Dead and similar genre tunes. If you’re a fan of other local bands such as Pinky and the Floyd and Cure for the Common, you may recognize some of the members of those groups coming together to perform on Halloween night for Dead Sky.
If you are interested in a classier take on the Bozeman Halloween scene, look no further than the Ballroom Dance Bozeman’s Halloween Dance! Grab your dressy, or casual attire and come down to the Bozeman Senior Center at 807 N Tracy, where the party will be going from 7-10pm on October 28. If you have a passion for ballroom dancing, want to experience the finer things in life, or just want to support the community and keep such traditions alive, come on down and enjoy a lovely evening at the Ballroom Halloween Dance.
Last, but certainly not least, a fun and safe way to trick or treat would be to walk down Main Street on Halloween. From 4-6pm on October 31st, over 150 businesses in Downtown Bozeman are decorating, and hosting trick-or-treaters. The candy lovers in your family will not be allowed to leave empty handed, and spooky Halloween decorations will be all over downtown for your enjoyment. This event is for absolutely everyone, and I recommend getting into costume, grabbing your pillowcase (or other candy receptacles of your choice), and enjoying an evening downtown.
If you or your family participate in any of these events, post pictures and share the memories with your loved one. If you do, do not hesitate to tag us at Bozeman Magazine on Facebook, and @bozemag on Twitter and Instagram; let us know how it went. If you have an upcoming event you can add it to our calendar(s) directly from our website anytime for free! Check www.bozemanmagazine.com before heading out as new events are added daily.