From spooky to wholesome, here are different ways Tulsa rocks Halloweekend.
Halloween was just around the corner, and as we sort our trick-or-treating spoils and put our costumes back in the closet, let’s reflect on some of the amazing events that were hosted around Tulsa this year. Living in a city as large as Tulsa, there’s bound to be scheduling conflicts with the number of events being offered for a variety of age groups and entertainment. Haunted houses, trick or treating, live music and movies, our city has it all.
We can begin with the venues that are entertaining to all ages year round: the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Tulsa Zoo. The aquarium hosted HallowMarine, a week-long trick-or-treating event for kids to dress up in costume, collect candy around the aquarium and interact with the sea creatures.
Similarly, the zoo hosted HallowZOOeen, an event going for two weekends that sold out prior to its opening. Featuring a haunted train ride, merry-go-round, gem dig, trick-or-treating and a haunted house, this is fun for the whole family. Though the highlight of the night are the four themed meet-and-greet locations: the arcade, the royal castle, the pirate island and the pumpkin patch playroom. If you attend during normal operating hours, the animal habitats will be open for viewing, or you can attend after hours for the rare opportunity of seeing the zoo at night.
Local Tulsa museums put on a show as well to get into the spooky mood. The Philbrook Museum hosted Singalong Saturday: Halloween Edition for kids to dress up in costume and listen to silly songs in the gardens. The ahha inspired artistic talent in visitors through their numerous arts and crafts sessions throughout the month. Inktober, Drawlloween, constructing the Halloween village, pumpkin painting and jar decorating while watching spooky films were all hosted by the 3rd Floor Studio. Even the Gilcrease Museum hosted Gilcrease After Hours for a Halloween spectacular. They’ll be hosting an event for Dia de los Muertos later this week on Nov. 5.
To get some fresh air and explore the more natural side of Tulsa, there were numerous events hosted at farms, mountains and gardens. Pleasant Valley Farms is a pumpkin patch in Sand Springs, which I frequented my freshman year, and I must say it’s a great place to go to get in the autumn mood. With a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hayrides, cutouts for photo opportunities, mini golf, games, a petting zoo, a gift shop and even vendors during the fall festival, this is the optimal place to go for your pumpkin picking.
Turkey Mountain also celebrated Halloween by hosting their haunted trail, an experience to roam the mountain at night with their 30-minute guided tour that is bound to spook. With special effects, actors and plenty of props, it’s like a haunted house experience in the middle of the woods.
Tulsa Botanic Garden hosted BOO-tanical Bands & Blooms throughout the month of October, with trick-or-treating, costume contests, live music and food trucks. For the kids, there was also a tattoo station, games and pumpkin decorating. You were also free to roam the gardens, taking in the beautiful flowers and last of the butterflies before the chill of winter sets in.
The Gathering Place turned their playgrounds into a festival of spooks for Halloween by hosting the Sweets & Treats on Spooky Street event. Costumes encouraged for trick-or-treating and a dance party with live musical entertainment, this free, two day event is one that is sure to bring guests from all over the city.
And right by our campus, Kendall-Whittier square loves to get into the Halloween festivities with spooky showings at Circle Cinema all month long and Hallo-Whittier. A costume contest, businesses in the square giving out candy to trick-or-treaters and ending the night with live music, this would be an easy event to wander over to for a nice evening over the weekend.
The Tulsa area is also home to some pretty fantastic haunted houses, one of those being Insanity Farms. A corn maze, pallet maze and zombie paintball, Insanity Farms is a part of Pumpkin Town, Tulsa, a great pumpkin patch to interact with a petting zoo, games and fun attractions. At night, however, the farm can easily turn into an eerie experience.
Hex House is one of the most well-known haunted houses in the area, one of the most terrifying attractions (according to their website) where the actors are allowed to touch you while you are in the house. As the website continues, this haunted house “suspend[s] reality for a moment in time allowing you to experience what real terror is.” I haven’t been to this haunted house yet, but it is certainly on my list.
The one I have been to, though, was The Castle in Muskogee, a haunted house that I absolutely loved. An entire halloween festival, just being in the parking lot immerses you into a whole other world with an entire town built up on the grounds to foster the Halloween spirit. Everyone in costume, actors walking around, food and merchandise offered at various stands, it’s easy to want to stay here forever. There are also multiple haunted houses based on scare level. An ultimate maze, haunted hayride, castle train and horror chamber are great ways to be immersed without needing a haunted house. But if you want the true spooks, try Casa Morte (a haunted house utilizing props to terrify), Domus Horrificus (relying on actors to send chills down your spine), a zombie hunt featuring zombie paintball with actors or even the trail of blood, where you are driven out into the woods and tasked with finding your way to safety. The Castle is a definite must for Halloween.
For Halloween being my favorite holiday, I have clearly moved to the right place as Tulsa is filled to the brim with eerie entertainment for kids, families, teenagers and adults, whether it be trick-or-treating, running through a haunted house or listening to some live music. Many of these events are annual, so I hope you start planning your 2022 Halloween in the city of spooks.