The hardest part of Halloween is dreaming up the costume, that's for sure. We'll make the next part easy: finding fright fests that are just as scary as they are fun. Here are eight adults-only Halloween events in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Finally, put that dog costume to good use at Mutts
Always wanted to dress up your pup for Halloween but worried people might judge you for it? (Same.) There's good news: On Oct. 21, you can dress up your pup in their cutest (or scariest) costume and take him to Mutts Canine Cantina for a Howl-o-ween costume contest, where you'll only be judged by the Instagram-famous pups presiding over the contest. That's right: Walter the Wolfhound, Nelson the Goldendoodle and Scooby the Corgi, all worth a follow, will be judging the costume contest, which means dressing your pup up like a bone might give you a solid shot at winning. Prizes for the contest include a one-year Mutts membership, Mutts gift cards and other dog-friendly items. Now that's something to bark about.
Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mutts Canine Cantina, 2889 Cityplace W. Blvd., Dallas. Free. Register by 11:45 a.m. on day of event. Details here.
Drink your way through Deep Ellum at an undead pub crawl
If pub crawls are your idea of a good time, you've got plenty to choose from this Halloween, including this epic crawl in Uptown. But the Dallas Zombie Pub Crawl in Deep Ellum does more than just snag discounted drinks and creepy cocktails for its undead attendees; it uses ticket sales to help save the living. All profits from the pub crawl will go to Dallas Pets Alive, an organization that works to eliminate the killing of companion animals, which goes to show that even the undead can have a heart. Participating bars include a slew of Deep Ellum favorites: Dot's Hop House & Cocktail Courtyard, the Parlor on Commerce, Drugstore Cowboy, Wits End and the Green Room.
Oct. 21, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Various locations in Deep Ellum. $10 per person for early0bird tickets, $15 for general admission. Tickets here.
Join a Stranger Things party in Deep Ellum
Travel to the Upside Down at a Stranger Things-themed bash at the Quixotic World in Deep Ellum. There, you can dine on a waffle, defeat the Demogorgon in a game of Dungeons & Dragons and gather with fellow fans to watch the first episode of Stranger Things' highly-anticipated second season. Dress as your favorite character from the show (bonus points if you bring a crushed Coca-Cola can) and compete for $200 in cash prizes during the costume contest. Don't be a Steve Harrington; mark your calendar for this spooky event and prepare yourself for a terrifying trip to the haunted town of Hawkins, Indiana.
Oct. 27, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Quixotic World, 2824 Main St., Dallas. $15. Additional $5 seat reservation optional for midnight showing. Tickets here.
Dance the night away as you devour In-N-Out burger at South Side
On Halloween weekend, South Side Music Hall is hosting Rock the Red Door, a frightfully fun-sounding Halloween party with scary-awesome perks. Sonically spectacular Emerald City Band will keep gals and ghouls grooving while an In-N-Out Burger truck (I repeat: IN-N-OUT BURGER TRUCK!) will have everyone dying to dine on some mouthwatering morsels. Proceeds benefit Cancer Support Community North Texas, which works to make sure no one has to face cancer alone. At Rock the Red Door, you can give back and give yourself a night to remember.
Oct. 27, 8 p.m. to midnight at South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., Dallas. $50. Tickets here.
Sink your teeth into the Fall-O-Ween Foodie Fest at Longhorn Ballroom
Ride your broomstick to the newly renovated Longhorn Ballroom to devour bites from more than 50 chefs and restaurants at the Foodie Experience at the Fall-O-Ween Fest. We're talkin' Liberty Burger, Knife, High Brew Coffee and Resident Taqueria serving food alongside with spooky spirits, wine and beer. Then, make like a fire-breathing dragon with a stogie at the Casa de Montecristo Cigar Lounge.
Oct. 27, 7:30 to 10 p.m. and Oct. 28, 7 to 10 p.m. at Longhorn Ballroom, 216 Corinth Street Road, Dallas. Starting at $75 per person. Details here.
Slurp pumpkin margaritas at The Rustic
Why confine Halloween weekend to throwing on a costume and sipping on your usual drink at your usual bar? Shake things up by heading to the Rustic for a Halloween party that really goes bump in the night. At the Uptown hot spot, you can dance to a live hip-hop performance from Blue, The Misfit and treat yourself to the Rustic's festive pumpkin margarita. If you opt to attend in terror-ific attire, you can sign up to enter the costume contest -- a no-brainer, considering the prizes include a $500 gift card to bar-restaurant, concert tickets and more.
Oct. 28, 9 p.m. at the Rustic, 3656 Howell St., Dallas. Free. RSVP here.
Haunt the streets of Oak Lawn at the annual Halloween Block Party
Every year, the 3900 block of Cedar Springs in Oak Lawn comes alive with citizens in their sexiest and most sinister costumes. Strut your stuff in the costume promenade, let your spirit sway to live music and satisfy your hunger with food, beer and refreshments. Take advantage of the Uber and Lyft promo codes listed on the event's Facebook page -- after all, there's nothing scarier than not having a safe ride home.
Oct. 28, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. 3900 block of Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas. Free. Event details here.
Dine in diabolical style at the Dallas World Aquarium
For those devilish Dallasites who dress to kill, the Dallas World Aquarium is hosting a semi-formal spooktacular event for the city's finest philanthropists. Guests will be treated to a thrilling three-course steak dinner, an after-hours tour of the aquarium and access to a cash bar with chilling cocktails. The evening benefits non-profit Heroes, Cops, and Kids. Costumes are optional, but encouraged. (Pro tip: Dress up as your favorite high-fashion character to hit the mark with a costume that's both festive and semi-formal: Think Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada or Lestat or Louis from Interview with the Vampire.)
Oct. 28, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Dallas World Aquarium, 1801 N. Griffin St., Dallas. $50. Details here.
BONUS: 2 ways to get into the spooky spirit
Need some help with your Halloween makeup? Now through Oct. 31, all of Blushington's locations are offering four bold looks: Wonder Woman, Cat Woman Bat Woman and a flower child. Lucky for you, these costumes don't require much work once Blushington completes your look; just throw on a little black dress for Cat Woman or ease into a flowy maxi for flower child. Voila!
Oct. 26-31 at Blushington, 4218 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas. $100.
Before hitting your favorite haunts for the night, prepare yourself for a hellacious Halloween with brunch and pumpkin-painting at downtown eatery Gather Kitchen. On Oct. 28, the fast-casual dining spot is hosting an event with the ladies behind Instagram account Dallasites101; there, you can nosh on a nourishing brunch and paint your own pumpkin for some seriously Insta-worthy Halloween prep. The event is BYOB, so get the party started early by bringing Champagne to mix with the fresh-squeezed OJ on site.
Gather & Harvest event at Gather Kitchen: Oct. 28, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gather Kithchen in Thanksgiving Tower, 1601 Elm St., Dallas. $25. Details here.
Update on Oct. 23, 2017: Paragraph about Blushington has been updated to show that they are doing Halloween makeup earlier than planned: It now runs Oct. 22-31, not Oct. 26-31.