In terms of going out, Halloween is second only to New Year's Eve -- but with racier outfits. (How many "naughty nurses" will we see this year?) Add the fact that it's been five years since Halloween fell on a Friday, and you've got the potential for one nutty night.

Almost every club in downtown Minneapolis (and beyond) is offering a costume contest and other ghoulish treats for revelers too old to go door to door. This guide should help you traverse the Halloween party landscape.


Party: The downtown club is turning into a haunted mansion with a theme it's calling "Hot Like Hell," complete with fire dancers and fire breathers.

Details: 9 p.m. today. 400 1st Av. N., Mpls. $10. 21 and older. 612-673-9694.


Party: It's all about "The Big Lebowski" at the bowling-alley bar's Halloween party (it's also BLB's 15th anniversary). People are encouraged to dress as their favorite "Lebowski" character, from the Dude to Jesus. DJ Christian Fritz will spin from the Coen brother's film catalog.

Details: 8 p.m. today. 810 W. Lake St., Mpls. Free. 612-825-3737.


Party: Sleepy St. Paul wants some attention. For Halloween, a group of downtown bars (the new Bulldog, Station 4, Rumours, Señor Wong, LoTo, Hat Trick Lounge and the Black Dog) have banded together. A $10 wristband gets you one drink at each bar.

Details: Today. Downtown St. Paul. 651-298-0173.


Party: Tonight's costume contest is for the "sexiest," but Saturday's sounds more exciting -- it's for "the most offensive."

Details: 7 p.m. Fri. and Sat. 323 1st Av. N., Mpls. Free before 11 p.m Fri. Free all night Sat. 21 and older. 612-338-4555.


Party: Ditch the crazy downtown scene for a floating house party aboard the Paradise Lady luxury yacht. Electronica promoter Vimlab will have DJs playing deep tech house, plus a full bar.

Details: 8:30 p.m.-midnight Sat. Boat departs from Boom Island, 700 Sibley St. NE., Mpls. $25-$30. 21 and older. 612-229-8522.


Party: The restaurant's upstairs event space will be transformed into "The Big Gay Halloween Party," with music by L.A.-based DJ Roland Belmares.

Details: 9 p.m. today. 900 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $10-$15. 21 and older. 612-338-0062.


Party: The Sound in Motion DJs -- Jack Trash, Johnny Plastik and others -- take over the hotel's fifth-floor lounge. Also: A costume contest.

Details: 9 p.m. today. 901 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. $5. 21 and older. 612-767-6900.


Party: Everyone's favorite hipster bar is calling its shindig "The Dead Hate the Living," featuring music by the DJ duo Attitude City, a costume contest hosted by Mark Mallman and a photo booth by Digital Crush.

Details: 9 p.m. today. 923 Washington Av. N., Mpls. $5. 21 and older. 612-332-2686.


Party: The veteran club always throws a classy costume party with tarot-card readers, house music and some new digs this year -- they remodeled the hip-hop room.

Details: 9 p.m. today. 411 2nd Av. N. Mpls. $8. 21 and older. 612-333-8800.


Party: WookieFoot, that big freakish jam band and its army of happy-footed followers, celebrate 10 years of Halloween shows. It's 20 bucks, but hugs are free.

Details: 9 p.m. today. 110 5th St. N., Mpls. $20. 18 and older. 612-332-3742.


Party: This is the annual Halloween party for grown-ups, with New Orleans band the Radiators.

Details: 8 p.m. today. Trocaderos, 107 3rd Av. N., Mpls. $28. 21 and older. 612-465-0440.


Party: The punk club has a bunch of bands performing as other bands (Siren of Titan as Soundgarden, 20 Dollar Love as AC/DC, Power of 2 as the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, etc.).

Details: 8 p.m. today. 629 Cedar Av., Mpls. $6-8. 612-333-7499.


Party: The industrial club celebrates 15 years of bondage-inspired Halloween parties. Then again, isn't it Halloween every night at Ground Zero?

Details: 9 p.m. today. 15 4th St. NE., Mpls. $12-$15. 18 and older. 612-378-5115.


Party: This is the one Halloween party that never fails. What more is there to say?

Details: 8 p.m. today. 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. $10-15. 18 and older. 612-332-1775. • 612-673-7909