There are only a few “party holidays,” and we love every damn one of them. If it’s a culturally-sanctioned turn-up, we’re all for it. But our affection levels for St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Day have nothing on the unfettered adoration we have for Halloween. When it comes down to brass tacks, wearing green and kissing at midnight can kick rocks if wearing costumes and getting spooky is on the table.
Alas, all the fun of eerie debauchery can be undermined if you can’t find a solid party. That’s why we assembled the following list of the most killer monster mashes in the country. Get ready to pack your bags and book a flight. Deals are on and the parties are popping. If you decide you would rather spend this Halloween eating an entire bag of mini Snickers while you work your way through the Friday the 13th oeuvre, we’ll accept your choice, but maybe this list will inspire you to make party plans for next year.
See One Of LA’s Hottest Restaurants Through The Eyes Of An EDM Superstar
Halloween Night at TAO Los Angeles with Guy Gerber — TAO (Los Angeles, California)
There are a lot of trendy restaurants in Los Angeles, but TAO really has distinguished itself among celebs and tastemakers as one of the most sought after and dramatic spaces in the city. Last year, Guy Gerber, the Israeli electronic DJ/producer and musician who rules the underground techno scene, took over the joint for Halloween and dialed up an already awesome locale. He was actually the first DJ to ever perform in the Hollywood eatery, and it was a huge success. This year, he’s coming back to help curate a party experience marked by his unmistakable music vibes and the gorgeous setting. Kaz James will also be performing.
We firmly believe that every one of our readers is unique and special, but let’s be real we aren’t all gonna be A-listers, and that’s mostly cool. But this is the kind of event that gives you the chance to feel like a star. Get yourself a costume that will blow people away with its perfect construction or its creativity, and rub some rich and famous shoulders.
Enjoy A Raw Vibe In A Secret Warehouse Location
Circoloco NYC Halloween Celebration — Warehouse TBA (Brooklyn, New York)
We genuinely don’t think we need to say more than “secret Brooklyn warehouse party,” but as our job is to make with the deets, we will. This year marks the fourth team-up from noteworthy New York underground promoters Teksupport and the legendary Ibiza brand Circoloco. This squad has become renowned for throwing the most epic parties in house music because they bring the top artists in the world and give them a production-rich showcase to dominate. This year expect US acts Seth Troxler and Honey Dijon to get the crowd jumping. Also killing it will be Keinemusik co-owners &ME & Rampa, William Djoko, Glaswegian artist Jasper James, and French act Bambounou.
There was a time when New Yorkers were accustomed to raves and parties in the city’s forgotten spaces, but those illegal raves have become much less common. Thanks, Giuliani. In 2019, your best bet for a throbbing party in an industrial space is to get thee to a Teksupport event. And in case you need the obvious stated, yes, Halloween is totally a holiday that is improved by thudding beats and laser lights.
Get Spooky Aboard A Party Ship
Sunset Sound System Halloween Costume Boat Party — Aboard the San Francisco Belle (San Francisco, California)
Speaking of the underground vibes of the past, Sunset Sound System has been a pillar of the Bay Area dance music community for 25 years. In those days, the collective was throwing completely rebellious parties on the Berkeley Marina, and they maneuvered that smoothly into a reputation for hosting the best at-sea shindigs in the area. Sunset Sound System owner and San Francisco DJ staple Galen Abbott and his team have used all of their experience to put together a killer line-up for this year’s event. Galen will obviously be performing, but he will be joined by John Tejada and Reggie Watts for a special edition Wajatta Live! set, in addition to Solar, J-Bird, It’s Own Infinite Flower, and Jonah Sharp’s Synthesizer Séance.
This is one of those weird events that gets going a little after six at night on a Sunday and wraps up at 11. It’s not the two a.m. arrival to which a lot of party people have become accustomed. We think that’s awesome because you can opt to keep the party going or head home and get a full night’s sleep before work on Monday. Hell, you could have a random hook-up with another boat party guest, give them a decent goodbye, and still grab six hours of shut-eye.
Live Your Buffy The Vampire Slayer Fantasies
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Tonight, Holocene is THE BRONZE for our Buffy The Vampire Slayer Halloween costume party! We still have 50 spots available for sale at the door when we open at 8pm, but arrive early to guarantee entry! #buffy #buffythevampireslayer #halloweenpdx #pdxhalloween #pdxnightlife #pdxevents #holocene #holocenepdx #thebronze
Halloween At The Bronze: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Tribute Party — Holocene (Portland, Oregon)
Halloween is the perfect opportunity to bust out clothes that you know would not be well-received on an average Tuesday afternoon. For some people, that means donning a skintight, body-baring sexy hard seltzer costume. For others, it means doing their best late 90s Buffy in some satin pants and a halter top. God, the early 2000s were a terrible time. If you fall into the latter category, chances are you are the target audience for Holocene’s Halloween party, which aims to recreate The Bronze, the iconic nightclub where the Scoobies hung out. If that prospect geeks you out, you needn’t feel like you are in the minority — they threw this party last year and Portlanders went so nuts over it that they had to bring it back.
It would be awesome if this Pacific Northwest club could bring in Dingoes Ate My Babies, Cibo Matto, or Nerf Herder. That’s not the case. But they do have a diverse array of live bands playing songs from the show’s soundtrack. Plus, this year, Shannon Entropy and Souvenir Driver will be performing.
Go Where The Sexy Costumes Are Practically Required
The Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball — Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
We like to poke fun at the ridiculous sexy costumes that make appearances during October, but the truth is that we fall firmly in the “more sexy, more costumes” demographic. This is probably why we think the Fetish & Fantasy Halloween Ball is one of the best events on the globe. Attendees go wild here and the outfits are unreal levels of professional and revealing. Guests have the chance to ride a giant banana (think mechanical bull with more innuendo). Some years there is a human petting zoo. And there is a BDSM stage where you can make new friends who want you to whip them.
If you’re into flooding your Insta with amazing images, this party is going to blow your mind. There’s all the fun of approaching people at Comic-Con for one-of-a-kind photos, but with a racy edge. Plus, unlike cosplayers, Fetish & Fantasy attendees will let you ride them and spank them (ask for affirmative consent, even for innocuous photos).
Never forget: the bond forged under a giant papier-mâché phallus spewing confetti is special.
Beam Aboard The Mothership For An Out Of This World Party
District 51 — District Atlanta (Atlanta, Georgia)
So that Storm Area 51 meme really fizzled, right? Perhaps people opted to stay home because it’s in the middle of the fricking Nevada desert and devoid of urbanity. Or maybe people really respect Tom DeLonge’s alien opinions and his lack of support wounded them. There are a lot of complicated factors at play. But that’s not the case with this Atlanta Halloween celebration inspired by extraterrestrials. Sure, we don’t know how Tom DeLonge feels about it, but we think he is favorably inclined. ATLiens get to party in three different areas of the mothership and enjoy the beats dropped by six DJs. But there is also talk of alien autopsies and UFO abductions. It’s a really incredible production that hits on multiple levels.
This is a solid seven hours of raging if you attend the whole thing. And we really hope that during this block of time you see at least one celeb. Shaq is all over the club’s Instagram, so he might be a good bet. Plus, he’s so big you would be more likely to spot him.
Be The Coolest Zombie In School
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This Week at House of Yes!! TUE 🔮 Idgy Dean Illuminati (6p) WED🕺 Shakespeare In The Club (7p) WED 🎉 Cabronis Caribbean Party (10p) THU 🎨 Art Battle (7p) THU 🎉 Dirty Thurs: Get Your Freak On (10p) FRI 💃 Brown Girls Burlesque (7p) FRI ✨ Discotechnique (10p) SAT 💃 Extra Burlesque (7p) SAT 🎪 Cirque Nouveau (10p) SUN 👯♀️ PERK (9p) ⠀⠀ Check houseofyes.org for all event info & tickets! 📸: @kennyrodz 🤸♂️: @meganhornaday @nolanmckew #houseofyes #bestvenueever #discotechnique #cirquenouveau #dirtythursdayparty #circuseverydamnday
Dirty Thursday Zombie Prom — House of Yes (Brooklyn, New York)
Some people consider high school the best time of their life, and we get it. No paying bills and you have a lot of free time for gaming and making out. But we like to think being an adult is way better. Sure, we have to go to work and clean everything ourselves, but we also don’t spend much time worrying about one of our parents catching us masturbating. What makes the Zombie Prom at House of Yes particularly clever is that it gives adults the chance to relive the nice parts of being a teen but with a permissive attitude about alcohol use and the chance to get laid without having to do it in a car, hotel room, or the bushes of a public park.
And it all gets to be done dressed as the zombie version of a high school stereotype. Win!
One of the best parts of this party is that the hosts like to ply the well-costumed undead with free drinks. They also extend the courtesy to excellent dancers and people whose cleverness makes them guffaw. Sure, it would be cool to win the crown as zombie prom king or queen, but we’ll take the gratis shots.
Run Away With The Circus
Freak Show Halloween — Virgin Hotels Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)
This year, the Commons Club and Cerise Rooftop at Virgin Hotels Chicago is getting a circus makeover in an effort to bring out the freak in party attendees. Now, guests aren’t obligated to costume themselves as human candelabras or bearded ladies, but it would be fitting among the stilt walkers, fire breathers, contortionists, snake charmers, and aerialists. The hosts really go all out in their efforts to make this an awe-inspiring party. Attendees not only get to enjoy a freak show vibe in the aesthetics, but they also have the option to nosh on marshmallow popcorn balls stuffed with Halloween candies, artisan cotton candy, and other circus treats. Well, ideally not those weird peanuts.
For people looking to dance until dawn, this is also a good option. Twin Shadow, Will Galvan, Greg Corner, and Brock Manke will all be performing, so make sure your costume is made to boogie.
Compete Against A Bunch Of Drag Queens In A Costume Contest
Gender Blender Miami — Las Rosas (Miami, Florida)
A lot of people consider Halloween a gay holiday. The reasons for this are complicated, but LGBTQIA communities (particularly homosexual men) have established themselves as party animals during the month of October. In the 1980s, cities with large gay villages held Halloween events that turned into costumed bacchanals in the streets, and that cemented the connection. Today, some of the best festivities and costumes still happen in bars and clubs that cater to an LGBTQIA clientele. Gender Blender is Miami’s #1 monthly queer party, so there literally may not be a better place to get in a costume for a night of serious drinking and dancing. Plus, you get killer drag performances and a level of inclusivity that is refreshing and important.
If your costume is deemed the freakiest, you could also score $200. We like to think that could help you with rent, but chances are you will roll it over into your bar tab. Be sure to tip the performers: Opulence, Andro Gin, and Persephone Von Lips. And enjoy the bands: Rhino, Devalued, and Sandratz.
Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos And Dance Music
HARD Day of the Dead — LA State Historic Park (Los Angeles, California)
The people of Los Angeles are no strangers to HARD music festivals (their summer music fest just ended in August) or the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertos, a multi-day event during which people celebrate and pray for family members who have passed on. So, the HARD Day of the Dead has been well-received since its launch in 2012. This year, the dynamic party welcomes the duo Dog Blood, comprised of dubstep luminary Skrillex and Berlin-based house virtuoso Boys Noize as well as internationally recognized experimental bass producer TOKiMONSTA and deep house and techno tracks from Zhu’s BLACKLIZT project. Expect a more than average amount of reggaeton as well.
For sure the music is a big part of the draw, but what makes this more than just another EDM orgy is the way the organizers truly honor the cultural origins of the holiday. There are large scale exhibits inspired by folk art, mariachis, unique décor, awesome food, craft beer, and cocktails that all have origins in traditional Mexican ethos.
Embrace The Dark Arts At A Vampire Ball
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From this year’s Vegas Vampire Ball @aaron_munster and @the_official_monsterdoll / 📸: @whiskey_shotz⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #endlessnightvampireball #endlessnightvb #vampire #vampireball #vampires #vampyre #vegasvampires #vegasvampireball #vampireculture #vampirecommunity #vampyrecommunity #vampireworld #masqueball #vegasvampireball #vampyrecommunity #masqueradeball #whiskeyshotz #sabretoothclan #vampirelife #whathappensinvegas #vegasnightlife #gothicstyle #gothicfashion
Endless Night Vampire Ball Presents Black Magick — House of Blues (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Every entry on this list is a party that encourages costumes, and the Vampire Ball follows the pattern. However, they take it a step further by instituting a dress code for attendees. Clearly, going full Dracula or Nosferatu is perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the night, but the hosts also accept dark witches and wizards and sorcerers and anything else in the realm of this year’s theme: black magick. If your inner theater kid aches to pull together a truly decadent costume, this is a crowd and a party that will support and appreciate your efforts. Plus, the pressure on guests to really come with the costume goods means that everyone has a likeminded creative spirit (so…fun!) and the pics you take will be rad as hell. At 10:30, Bella Morte takes the stage until a cirque comes on at midnight. Expect DJs and burlesque performances meaning there will always be something for you to take in if dancing isn’t your bag and you just want to gawk at the denizens of the underworld.
If you go hard on vampire junk, the hosts also have other events in the days leading up to the ball. Head to the dark bazaar and meet vendors and fangsmiths (Yes, that was included just so we could type the word “fangsmiths.”) There are also opening ceremonies with a meet and greet and no dress code whatsoever. It’s a great chance to get to know your fellow bloodsucking enthusiasts.