From the October 2019 issue

Howlin’ Halloween Trends and Family Events in Metro Detroit

These howlin' Halloween trends keep the creepy fun going all October long – whether you’ve got a wee ghost in the house or a teenage werewolf on your hands.

Boy dressed as werewolf on dark background
Photo by Lauren Jeziorski

Halloween isn’t for weenies.

Forget pulling out all of the stops for just one day. Today’s scare seekers are donning costumes all month long (making those pricey price tags a bit easier to justify) and parents are filling up the ‘gram with adorable pics in apple orchards and pumpkin patches.

But that’s not all that’s cool when the temps dip this month.

We turned to interior designer Keki Cannon, who riffs about home and parenting at her blog Home with Keki while wrangling her three little pumpkins, for her take on some of this year’s biggest Halloween trends.

Getting Halloween Ready

Here are Cannon’s top 2019 tips to get your haunted house in tip-top Halloween shape.

1. Put down those scary serrated pumpkin cutters

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No-carve pumpkins are bigger than ever.

“I love this because it is not as messy as carving with little kids,” Cannon says. You can create trendy designs like buffalo-check patterns or have the kids simply let their inner Picasso come out. Using paint, glitter, glue, googly eyes, fabric – there are endless options.”

If you need a little inspiration, hit up Pinterest.

Also, consider adding a teal-painted pumpkin outside your door to let kids know you have allergy-friendly treats safe for them. The need is real.

2. Shun the all-orange look

 Black and white is white-hot in home design and Halloween is no exception, she says.

“Imagine a lot of white pumpkins, paint some all-black pumpkins and add in black bats and white spider webs. I personally do add a touch of orange, maybe a few small orange pumpkins,” she says. #popofcolor

3. Change up trick-or-treating

Going door to door on Halloween night is so old-school. These days, the trunk-or-treat movement is sweeping the nation, Cannon says.

Parking lots are becoming the place to be for Halloween, with car trunks all decked out welcoming little werewolves, princesses and everything in between.

“Some of the trunks I have seen are just amazing. It is a fun family event,” she says.

The Local Halloween scene

 Of course, Halloween trends mean nothing without some macabre fun to go along with them. If you’re looking to scare up some extra family fun this month, here are our favorite local picks for a variety of ages.

Pick your favorite for a frighteningly fun time (be sure to check ahead for exact times, costs, pre-registration info and other details).

1. A graveyard smash

The silly-not-scary Monster Mash at Old Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield returns Oct. 25. It’s a can’t-miss this year with a dance party, trick-or-treating and spooky characters ready for a photo opp. A perfect Friday night out for tots to tweens and their parents.

2. A hearty helping of spook

Keep the costumes handy and head to the fun-not-scary kids’ show Halloween Soup at Northville’s Marquis Theatre. It plays 2:30 p.m. Saturdays Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26 and 2:30 p.m. Sundays Oct. 6 and 13.

3. Historic Halloween

Motor to the nightmare-free, definitely kid-friendly annual Hallowe’en at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. Sing with the pumpkins, dance with the skeletons and thrill at the storybook trail lined with 1,000 hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns and costumed characters full of stories, all while munching on cider and doughnuts. Oct. 11-13, 17-20 and 24-27.

4. Find the (were)wolf

He’ll be lurking in the shadows in the Cotton Family Wolf Wilderness at the Detroit Zoo’s annual “merry-not-scary” Zoo Boo in Royal Oak.

It’s bigger and better this year with more animals to visit, more attractions to enjoy and earlier hours. Don’t forget the treat bag for trick-or-treating. Oct. 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27.

Or go trick-or-treating among the animals at the Belle Isle Nature Center in Detroit for the annual Boo at the Nature Center Oct. 26.

5. Experience the terror of Tillson

Embrace the Halloween spirit along with the entire neighborhood at Terror on Tillson in Romeo. Join thousands of families for trick-or-treating Halloween night or revel in all things spooky as you drive past on your own time the week before.

6. Cider mills, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, oh MI!

Visit a local cider mill, get lost in a corn maze or fill little bellies with doughnuts instead of candy at local apple orchards and pumpkin patches.

Bigger Scares For the brave big kids

Have your kids outgrown the trick-or-treating thing? Here are some freaky finds for tweens in our area.

1. Meet death.

Todd LaRosa – dad of one daughter, death expert and the owner of the new Anatomy of Death Museum in Mount Clemens – has created a museum filled with experiences like you’ll never have anywhere else.

Climb up on the embalming table for a great Instagram pic, plus see more than 30 real skulls and skeletons and antique death paraphernalia.

He says visitors get “a nice little creepy feeling going through.” On Halloween night, trick-or-treat here, too.

The retail shop in the front of the museum sells all sorts of oddities, including coffins.

2. Get spooked at Scarefest Scream Park

If you dare, step into the Forest of Darkness at Scarefest Scream Park for a path of twists and turns filled with bizarre and terrible creatures behind the trees far from the lights of the park.

It’s one of four fright-filled experiences at this park in Lenox Township. (Kids not quite ready? Visit Oct. 20 for a kid-friendly hayride).

3. Escape from a zombie

 Will you survive a ravenous zombie in close quarters? Find out at Trapped in a Room with a Zombie. This Detroit escape room, which welcomes families, pits you against a chained-up undead creature who creeps ever closer as you try to puzzle your way out. Be sure to register.

4. Take a haunted hayride

 Get set for a nighttime haunted hayride at Blake Farms in Armada, where you’ll encounter scary souls at more than 20 scenes, including chainsaws and other loud sounds.

The good news is the hayride stops halfway through for cider and doughnuts to allow racing hearts to slow.

Scariest Scares For teen Halloween fiends

Is your teen looking to really get scared? Try out these top two local Halloween options.

Take on two top haunted houses

Find yourself buried alive. After all, not everyone makes it through the four stories of terror at Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac (so far, more than 7,000 have punked out).

Erebus has earned the title as one of the best haunted houses in the nation for good reason, with Hollywood special effects and characters that grab and bite. For older teens (13-plus) and adults who dare.

Or take on the dragon and demons in the Azra Chamber of Horrors in Madison Heights.

2. Check out a gory musical

Get bloody one last time. Catch a performance of Evil Dead The Musical (a sexy, campy show complete with a very bloody splash zone!) at the small City Theatre in Detroit.

The show is ending after 11 years – and 5,000 gallons of blood – when the curtain drops this year. It runs till Nov. 2. Best for older teens and parents.

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