Ghoulishly Good Events: A Few Handpicked Halloween Events to Hit Before Oct. 31

thu 10/23

Boo Are You

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo begins the first night of its annual Boo at the Zoo tonight. This one's for the kids, of course, so each exhibit is focused on fun, with the Creepy Crawly Animal Show, a Monster Mash dance party and a hay maze and magic show, just to name a few. Costumes are encouraged, and each kid gets a special treat. Tickets are $8 for everyone ages 2 and older. The festivities run from 6 to 9 p.m. today through Sunday. (Liz Trenholme)

3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500,

fri 10/24

Bazaar Behavior

Interested in an afternoon of strange diseases, amputated body parts and other medical oddities? The Cleveland Bazaar is partnering up with CWRU's Dittrick Museum of Medical History to create what they are calling a "one of a kind shopping/scavenger hunt-style event with a storyline." We're not sure exactly what that all entails, but it sure sounds interesting! There will be prizes to win with a scavenger hunt all happening from noon to 5 p.m., while the rest of the bazaar goes on until 8. Local artisans will be selling creepy handcrafted wares. It all happens at CWRU's Armory (also known as Adelbert Gym), with the scavenger hunt taking place exclusively in the third floor museum. (Trenholme)

Ghoulish Jams

Halloween is rife with traditions in Northeast Ohio, and none comes more spookily recommended than Gory at the Quarry at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park. The annual weekend camping trip is the cherry on top of Nelson Ledges' year-long roster of dynamite music events. This year, ekoostik hookah once again helms the lineup, headlining a bill that includes Adams Ale, Dead Ahead Ohio, Stoned and Beautiful, Ball n Chain, Willy Mac and Friends, John Mullins (late night Friday) and Danny Longhair (late night Saturday). Per the excitable organizers: The goods include the traditional costume contest, a kids' costume contest, a pumpkin-carving contest and a haunted campsite decorating contest. DO NOT FORGET the annual Gory Chili Cookoff, benefiting the Retts Foundation. That one is B.Y.O.L. (bring your own ladle). FYI: Chili pots should be ready by 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission runs $45 for the weekend if you get tickets soon ($55 on Friday upon entering). Children ages 4 to 14 get in for $10. (Sandy)

12001 State Route 282, Garrettsville, 440-548-2716,

sat 10/25

M.A.D. About Halloween

The Madison Arts District in Lakewood is gearing up for another art crawl today. The theme is Halloween, and the various galleries and boutiques along Madison on the west end of Lakewood will all have something to offer. Dress up in costume and play games, eat food and buy an eclectic piece or two for your living room. The artists here are all locally based, so you'll be supporting the little guy and purchase a piece that's unique. The event runs from 1 to 6 p.m. and spans Morrison to McKinley Avenues. (Trenholme)

tue 10/28

Phantom Power

The classic 1925 flick Phantom of the Opera, which stars Lon Chaney Sr. as the Phantom that haunts the Paris Opera House, is generally recognized as one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Tonight, you can see the film in a new light as the accompaniment to the film is improvised live by organist Todd Wilson, performing on Severance Hall's Norton Memorial Organ, considered one of the finest concert organs ever built. The show begins at 7:30 and tickets start at $30. (Jeff Niesel)

11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111,

fri 10/31

Adults Only

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium generally caters to kids. But not tonight. At the Lake Erie Monster Bash, adults are welcomed (and you must be 21 or older to enter) to this special Halloween bash that features drinks, music and dancing. DJ Donkis along with MC Archie and the Black Mister Rogers will provide the tunes. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $25 (the price of admission includes one free drink) and the event runs from 7:30 to 11 p.m. (Niesel)

2000 Sycamore Street, 216-862-8803,

Costume Party

Last year, the folks at ThistleDown Racino hosted a successful costume party and this year, they're expecting an even bigger crowd thanks to the $7,000 in prizes they plan to hand out on the gaming floor between 7 and 11 p.m. The best overall costume will get $5,000 and the couple costume will receive $1,000. To participate in the costume contest, you'll have to register at the Total Rewards desk by 10:15 p.m. Winners announced at 11 p.m. The band Shout will play at Slush bar throughout the night. (Niesel)

21501 Emery Rd., Northfield, 216-662-8600,

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