When it comes to celebrating America's spookiest holiday, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding areas are a great place to visit for Halloween thrills and treats. Select your own pumpkin at a local farm, get lost in a corn maze, celebrate fall at an annual festival, or go on a pub crawl featuring hundreds of zombies. Visiting the Twin Cities for a fall getaway is the perfect time for a trip before the polar cold of winter arrives.
In 2020, many events and festivals have been modified or canceled. Be sure to check with individual organizers and businesses to confirm the most up-to-date information.
Sever’s Corn Maze and Fall Festival
You can pick-your-own pumpkins at Sever’s Fall Festival in Shakopee, but this annual Minnesota tradition is much more than just a pumpkin patch. The festival includes a corn maze where participants have to look for clues, an obstacle course through the farmland, a giant pit of corn kernels to play in, an exotic petting zoo, and lots of live entertainment from concerts to magic shows. That's all included in the general admission, but there are even more activities if you don't mind paying a little extra, like a giant slide, camel rides, and pumpkin cannons.
Not all of the activities are available in 2020, but Sever's Fall Festival is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 11 to November 1. Advance tickets must be purchased online and the maximum capacity is limited to allow for adequate social distancing.
The Haunted Basement
From start to finish, the Haunted Basement is one of the most psychologically disturbing haunted attractions in America and you'll even need to sign a waiver before entering. A valid photo ID is required for everyone attending the Haunted Basement as you must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
The nightmare starts before you even enter the basement, as you are forced to wait in line through a maze of visual horror on the ground floor. Once it's your turn, you'll be separated into small groups and given a choice: Follow the signs to take the "easier" path or be brave and take the path filled with more horror and torment. Once a path is chosen, there's no turning back, but beware, they may decide to switch the signs at any time.
This unique Halloween event is a virtual experience in 2020, where you'll receive a physical box of ghoulish delights to your home that you'll need to interact with, guided by a Haunted Basement character who will call you for a creatively immersive experience.
Halloween Costumes and Supplies
There are plenty of costumes at thrift shops, retail chains like Party City, and even some smaller independent stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but none can really compare with the Twin Cities Magic and Costume Company in downtown St. Paul.
If you're looking for the perfect Halloween costume that goes beyond the dollar-store knockoffs and cheap chain store creations, there are thousands of costumes at the Magic and Costume Company. You can also buy or rent complete children and adult costumes here, and there are wigs, makeup, shoes, fake blood, jewelry, masks, and Halloween decorating supplies for sale as well. This store is open year-round, but Halloween is unsurprisingly the busiest time of year. Get there early in the season so you can pick out your dream costume.
St. Paul Gangster Tour
The Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul have a long and dark history, carved into the sandstone rocks along the Mississippi River. During Prohibition years, the caves were home to the Wabasha Street Speakeasy, where legend has it that famous gangsters like John Dillinger and Ma Barker used to hang around. The Ghosts and Caves Tour is a seasonal favorite throughout the month of October, where costumed guides will give visitors an enthralling history of murders and ghost sightings inside the caves.
Although not exactly a Halloween event, another option that's available year-round with a spooky twist is the St. Paul Gangster Tour. Guests will be taken on a journey through town to some of the sites frequented by the Twin Cities' biggest crime bosses in history.
The Ghosts and Caves Tour is available on Saturday evenings throughout October, while the St. Paul Gangster Tour takes place every Saturday at noon and is approximately two hours long. Either option makes a great way to start a mischievous yet educational day of Halloween fun in the city.
Race Along the Mississippi River
Halloween weekend is time for the Minneapolis Halloween Half Marathon, with 10K and 5K options as well in case the full 13 miles sounds too ambitious. The race typically starts and finishes at Father Hennepin Bluffs Park, but the 2020 race is a virtual event that participants are invited to run wherever and whenever they want. Whatever distance you choose to run, you'll be sent a race T-shirt and finisher's medal to commemorate your accomplishment. Costumes are always encouraged for this holiday run, just be sure it includes comfortable running shoes.
Gibbs Farm Halloween Festival
The Gibbs Farm Halloween Festival is canceled in 2020.
Historic Gibbs Farm in St. Paul is the place for some child-friendly spooky fun on the Saturday before Halloween. Activities, treats, and tours are included in the regular admission. Or if you have a Ramsey County Historical Society Membership card you get in free.
The Zombie Pub Crawl
The Zombie Pub Crawl is canceled in 2020.
The nation's longest-running Zombie Pub Crawl (ZPC) returns to the Twin Cities for a day of undead debauchery at some of the best bars in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “World’s Largest Gathering of Zombies,” the ZPC gathers thousands of undead souls into the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis for a night of pub crawling, dancing, world-class live entertainment, and all sorts of other fiendish fun.
Costumes are encouraged—the gorier, the better! Featuring two outdoor stages, dozens of participating bars, limited-edition “Brain Belt” beer courtesy of Schell’s Brewing, dozens of food trucks, tons of great live music, the World Brain-Eating Championships, and so much more, this is a must-see event for adults who love beer and the walking dead.