Halloween may never be as exhilarating as it was when we were kids, trouncing through our neighborhoods like a bunch of hyperactive candy whores. Let’s face it, playing dress-up for free Butterfingers loses its cachet after puberty.

Eventually, Power Ranger costumes morph into pimp outfits, Disney princesses blossom into slutty whatevers and the innocence is lost. But there are still plenty of ways to celebrate fright night as an adult (clichéd costumes optional). From wild-out bar crawls to nude lit readings, here’s a rundown of some of the Twin Cities’ disparate Halloween happenings.

Bar crawls

This Saturday the Minneapolis Haunt sweeps through at least nine downtown bars and clubs, including Cowboy Jack’s, the Gay ’90s and the Tangiers. Wristbands (pick them up 8-10 p.m. at the Pourhouse and Aqua) grant pub-crawlers entry into participating bars and the Whisky Park after-party, which features DJs, live music and a haunted house. Bro-geared Budweiser and vodka specials run at all bars until 11 p.m. (all night at Whisky Park). For every wristband purchased, three meals will be donated to Feeding America.

8 p.m. Sat., $20-$25, 21-plus, www.minneapolishaunt.com

Also on Saturday, the sixth annual Boos Crawl returns to St. Paul’s Lowertown. “Passports” ($20) are good for a free drink at each of the eight participating bars, including Barrio, Bulldog and the Gopher Bar. Half of the bars are hosting costume contests, and revelers who hit up all eight locations will be eligible for midnight cash-prize drawings at the Hat Trick Lounge.

7 p.m. Sat., $20, 21-plus, www.lowertownlanding.com

Arty activities

Naked Girls Reading is hosting a shindig Wednesday at the Ritz Theater. For this “Naked Ghouls Reading” event, the birthday-suited ladies will regale the audience with Halloween-y readings and there will be a costume contest and a photo booth from Studio Betties Pinup & Boudoir Photography. If you’re not familiar, Naked Girls Reading is pretty much what it sounds like. After popping up in Chicago in 2009, NGR now has chapters in nearly 20 cities across the globe, including Minneapolis.

8 p.m. Wed., $15-$20, Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls., www.ritz-theater.org.


Now in its 20th year, BareBones Productions’ annual Halloween Extravaganza is one of the Twin Cities’ most imaginative fall events. The creative troupe turns St. Paul’s Hidden Falls Park into an outdoor theater, leveraging life-size puppetry, music and fire dancing to tell its stories honoring the dead. This year’s “Carry On: A Requiem for 20 Years” features a cast and crew of more than 100, a 20-piece orchestra and apparently a “giant vulture-inhabited cuckoo clock.” The pay-what-you-can performances are fit for all ages.

7 p.m. Oct. 26-27, Oct. 31, Nov. 1-2, $5-$20 suggested donation, 1305 S. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul, www.barebonespuppets.org.


The American Swedish Institute continues its Cocktails at the Castle series on Thursday, with “Loki’s Halloween Bash.” The ASI promises “a journey through the nine worlds of Norse mythology,” plus DIY mask-making, Swedish horror film shorts, ghost stories and live music from Crimes and Strange Names. The ever-important cocktail component is provided by Fika.

7-11 p.m. Oct. 31, $15, 21-plus, American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Av. S., Mpls., 612-871-4907, www.asimn.org.

Dance parties

Along with its annual costume contest, Minneapolis’ favorite danceteria offers a three-room DJ spread on Halloween proper. First Ave’s mainroom deckminders include DJ FooLProoF (with Forever Young emcee Chris Cloud), DJ Espada, DJ Smitty and Roy Freedom. One night after its seventh-anniversary party, the Koncrete Jungle crew takes over the 7th Street Entry, while the Bungalow’s Verb X, Smash Adams and Phoenix spin hip-hop, reggae and R&B in the Record Room. Ian Rans hosts.

8 p.m. Oct. 31, $5-$10, 18-plus, First Avenue, 701 1st Av. N., Mpls., www.first-avenue.com.


Versatile DJ Shannon Blowtorch throws a Halloween edition of her Berlin parties Saturday at Hell’s Kitchen. The GLBT get-downs focus on non-Top 40 — anything from riot grrrl to moombahton — though Blowtorch has a knack for tastefully mixing in components of known crowd-pleasers. This month, Babes in Toyland alum Lori Barbero serves as a special guest DJ, and local drag/burlesque luminaries Victoria DeVille and Nocturna Lee Mission perform.

10 p.m. Sat., $6-$8, 21-plus, Hell’s Kitchen, 80 S. 9th St., Mpls., www.hellskitcheninc.com

Themed events

It doesn’t sound like organizers modeled Saturday’s “Costumes in Candyland” bash after the board game you played with Grandma. Rather, the body-paint encouragers were seemingly inspired by the fleshier, Snoop-inhabited candyland depicted in Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” video — because isn’t smutting up childhood relics what Halloween’s really about? The sweets-themed soirée at Muse features a chocolate fountain, all the candy you can handle and music from DJs Brownie, Strangelove, Tink and Travis “Tek” Olson.

9 p.m., Sat., $12-$20, 21-plus, Muse Event Center, 107 3rd Av. N., Mpls., www.kaskaidevents.com


Turns out masquerade parties aren’t just for fictitious Kubrickian sex rings. The assuredly less disturbing Masquerade Fashion Ball benefits local nonprofit Smile Network, which performs reconstructive surgeries for children in impoverished countries born with cleft palates. The Halloween night gala at Aria features music from DJ Chuck Chizzle and a burlesque show by Wicked Wenches Cabaret. Guests looking to go Venetian-masked can score a 15 percent discount at Vivo Masks (promo code “Bash2013”).

6-11 p.m. Oct. 31, $25-$75, Aria Events Center, 105 N. 1st St., Mpls., www.eventsbash.com


nightlife news

Overnight beer vigil

Surly’s Darkness Day, the annual beer-release party, starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, but overnight lines are the norm (the brewery asks fans to wait until 3:30 p.m. Friday). The first 1,500 will receive wristbands allowing them to purchase up to six bombers of this beloved Russian imperial stout at $20 each, cash only. Starting at 3:30 p.m. any remainders will be sold, with a four-bottle limit (last year, bottles were still available late afternoon). This year’s all-metal music lineup includes local stalwarts Impaler, California gore-grinders Exhumed, Vulgaari (featuring Surly brewer Todd Haug), Rivers of Nihil, God Came From Space and Fallen Empire.

11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat., free, Surly Brewing Co., 4811 Dusharme Dr., Brooklyn Center, 763-535-3330, www.surlybrewing.com

Sushi on the way

Kyatchi, a new sustainable sushi restaurant, is coming to south Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann of Barbette, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Pat’s Tap and Red Stag Supper Club is consulting sibling owners Sarah and Samuel Peterson on the project bound for the 38th and Nicollet space formerly home to Chelly’s Cafe. Samuel was a former general manager at First Avenue, while Sarah has worked at Azia, Stella’s Fish Cafe and Bar Abilene. Hide Tozawa, the former personal chef for ex-Twin Tsuyoshi Nishioka and veteran of local sushi joints Nami, Fuji-ya and Origami, is on board as head chef. Bartmann said Kyatchi is slated to open late November or early December.


Michael Rietmulder writes about beer, bars and nightlife.