Miami

17 Spooky Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Miami This Year

As if anyone in Miami ever needed a reason to play dress-up for a night.

Photo courtesy of Haunted Circus Miami
Photo courtesy of Haunted Circus Miami
Photo courtesy of Haunted Circus Miami

Looking for a costume that’ll scare just about everyone in Miami? Go as an email from Your Landlord with the subject line “Rent Increase for Next Year.” And while we all live in constant terror of that message, we can at least take this upcoming week to enjoy Halloween and all the far-less-scary stuff that comes with it. Whether it’s a Cirque Du Soleil vampire circus, a haunted mall in Hialeah, or Miami Vice and Mean Girls costume parties, we’ve got more than enough ways to stay distracted throughout Spooky Season. Read on for the best Halloween parties, haunted houses, and costume contests in South Florida.

Photo courtesy of The Horrorland Miami
Photo courtesy of The Horrorland Miami
Photo courtesy of The Horrorland Miami

Drive through eight haunted houses at The Horrorland

Thursdays – Sundays throughout October
Aventura
The corner of Country Club Drive and Abigail Road turns into the most frightening place in Miami, where eight haunted drive-through experiences await. Jump in your car and cruise through Clown Attack, Burned Alive, an Infected Town, a Bloody Sweet 16, Holiday Asylum, the Jail of No Return, Dinner to Die for, and Once Upon a Holiday Horror-if you dare
Cost: Admission runs $59.95 per car

Photo courtesy of Haunted Circus Miami
Photo courtesy of Haunted Circus Miami
Photo courtesy of Haunted Circus Miami

Step into the demented bigtop at a Haunted Circus

Weekends through October 31
Tropical Park
A misguided troupe of circus performers getting marooned in South Florida isn’t a new story by any stretch. But this group of acrobats, fire eaters, jugglers, and menacing clowns are searching for their missing aerialist, and won’t rest until she’s found. Step inside the interactive bizarre world at Tropical Park and try to solve the mystery, which may or may not include a trip back in time.
Cost: Tickets run $57 per person

Go shopping in a haunted mall

Now through October 31
Flagami
Taking the abandoned mall phenomenon one step further, this year’s iteration of the House of Horror Haunted Carnival includes Mall Mayhem, where possessed mall employees terrorize you immediately upon entrance. If you can escape the ghost of Sam Goody, you’ll wander into a Toxic Apocalypse, mental breakdowns in the 1455 Asylum, and finally the immersive Scare-X, a multimedia, high-tech haunted house.
Cost: Tickets start at $25 per person on weekdays, $35 on weekends

Flickr/Rob Olivera
Flickr/Rob Olivera
Flickr/Rob Olivera

Explore Miami’s only haunted mansion

Now through October 31
Miami Springs
The venerable Curtiss Mansion transforms from wedding venue into haunted house, where you’ll experience “sleep paralysis” as part of the ongoing nightmare. The folks who put this together were once tasked with spooking the Miami Heat, and this edition of their scary creativity includes cannibals, clowns, demons, and other underworld creatures.
Cost: Tickets start at $39 per person

Tour two haunted houses before losing yourself in a kids’ maze

Now through October 31
Hialeah
Westland Mall hosts Hialeah’s most haunted attraction, No Way Out, a somewhat uninviting title for a kids’ maze but a fun time nonetheless. Rest assured, the signature Not So Haunted Maze does, indeed, have a way out-as do the mall’s two haunted houses, “Sleep Paralysis” and “Insomnia.” You’ll also have the chance to fight off zombies as part of the AirSoft hunting simulation, “Infected.”
Cost: Tickets start at $25 per person

Photo courtesy of Vampire Circus
Photo courtesy of Vampire Circus
Photo courtesy of Vampire Circus

Marvel at blood-sucking acrobats at the Vampire Circus

Now through October 31
Aventura
Take the oddball creepiness of Tim Burton and mix it with the death-defying acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil, and you’ve got the Vampire Circus. The macabre take on the typical Cirque show involves Count Dracula starting a traveling circus with his team of gypsy bodyguards, using the performances as a ruse to take over the world. Of course, the story is secondary to the stunts, which may be the most terrifying part of the performance.
Cost: Tickets start at $29.99 per person

Be among the last to experience the Enigma Haunt

Now through October 31
Boca Raton
The space that set the standard for haunted houses in South Florida is, like so many, feeling the 2021 rent pinch, and has announced that this will be its final year. If you haven’t yet been, it’s the closest thing to Halloween Horror Nights you’ll find without a trip up the Turnpike, with high production value walk-through haunted houses, professional performers, and smells and sprays to amp up the experience.
Cost: Tickets run $30 per person

Delray Beach Market
Delray Beach Market
Delray Beach Market

Wear pink on a Wednesday to a Mean Girls Market

Wednesday, October 27
Delray Beach
When you really think about it, is anything scarier than Regina George? That’s the kind of terror Delray Market is going for with its Wednesday night Mean Girls Market, where all in attendance will get a free Grey Goose cocktail to enjoy with a screening of the classic film.
Cost: No cover; additional costs vary

Photo courtesy of R House
Photo courtesy of R House
Photo courtesy of R House

Drag yourself through a Halloween Ball

Friday, October 29
Wynwood
Kick off Halloween weekend with Athena Dion and her team of drag superstars at R House, hosting their annual SAVE Halloween Ball. This year’s theme is “Under the Big Top,” which we’re guessing means at least one performer in a tiger suit and plenty of whips. Tickets include a top shelf open bar, and all proceeds go to support SAVE’s mission to promote LBGTQ+ equality.
Cost: Tickets start at $85 per person

Trick or Treat your way through the track

Saturday, October 30
Hallandale Beach
Families and wayward adults can make the most of Halloween at Gulfstream Park Village’s Not So Spooky Halloween. From 6:30 to 8:30 pm, kids and parents peruse themed stations along Silks Run, picking up candy from mummies, zombies, and Jack Skellington. Then, at 8 pm, grown-ups can hit the Walking Ring for food trucks and pop-up bars, along with $3,000 in costume prize money-AKA way more money than you’ve ever taken home from Gulfstream.
Cost: No cover; additional costs vary

Calle 23 Miami
Calle 23 Miami
Calle 23 Miami

Don your Miami Vice best for a Crocket and Tubbs party

Saturday, October 30
Coral Gables
The white suit that’s been hanging in your closet since you moved to Miami and wrongly assumed everyone wore them will finally come in handy this weekend. That’s when Calle 23 throws its Miami Vice-themed Halloween party featuring inspired cocktails, ‘80s music, and plenty of pastels.
Cost: No cover; menu prices vary

Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Party with Maxim models and Future

Saturday, October 30
Miami Beach
Though it doesn’t need to be Halloween for the Fontainebleau to throw a poolside rager with a models deck and an A-list rapper, throwing costumes into the mix never hurts. So if you’re looking for the South Beach experience with a Halloween twist, hit the Maxim party, where Future will be performing live and La Cote will serve as a designated models viewing area.
Cost: Tickets start at $249 per person (includes an open bar)

Dress as an avatar and win free bottle service

Saturday, October 30
Wynwood
Le Chick transforms itself into Pandora from the Disney classic Avatar, giving away free drinks to anyone who dresses accordingly. If you wanna go all out and enter the costume contest, first place scores free bottle service for the night, and second place gets a voucher for bottle service at a later date. Tickets include a free drink, welcome shot, and entrance into the costume contest.
Cost: Tickets run $45 per person

Photo courtesy of HalloWYN
Photo courtesy of HalloWYN
Photo courtesy of HalloWYN

Slam tequila and whiskey at HalloWYN

Saturday, October 30 – Sunday, October 31
Wynwood
If your idea of a good Halloween is more cocktails than costumes, head to Wynwood Marketplace for the annual Hallowyn block party. Monkey Shoulder’s 2,400-gallon cement mixer will be on hand-dressed up as a “cocktail truck” and slinging drinks alongside Milagro Tequila. The market will also be teeming with photo booths, DJs, costume contests, and other themed activations.
Cost: No cover; additional costs vary

Faena Miami Beach
Faena Miami Beach
Faena Miami Beach

Spend Halloween eve at a creepy cabaret

Saturday, October 30
Miami Beach
Faena Theater’s Tryst Cabaret throws a special Halloween edition starting at 11 pm, where the usual parade of dances and acrobatics take on a haunted tone. The special late night show is hosted by burlesque queen Ariana Salvas, and offers aerial acts, cirque nouveau, live DJs, and an open bar. Post-show, the whole space turns into a Halloween-themed nightclub.
Cost: Tickets run $195 per person

Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co.
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co.
Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply Co.

Swig rock-themed cocktails while listening to The Swayzees

Sunday, October 31
South Beach
Is Sweet Liberty’s Halloween party especially Halloween-ey? Not really. But it does feature a live show from Key West faves The Swayzees at 9 pm, plus a full lineup of specialty drinks named after rock and roll icons. Try The Joan Jett, made with Espolon Blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, vanilla, fresh lime, fall spices, and nutmeg salt. Or the Tina Turner, a blend of Montelobos mezcal, Campari, Cinzano Rosso, Grand Marnier, cacao, orange bitters, and a great pair of legs.
Cost: No cover; menu prices vary

Photo courtesy of Halloween Night on Lincoln Road
Photo courtesy of Halloween Night on Lincoln Road
Photo courtesy of Halloween Night on Lincoln Road

Strut your stuff on Lincoln Road

Sunday, October 31
South Beach
Miami’s epicenter for all things Halloween is back in all its glory this year, as the annual eight-block bacchanal along Lincoln Road returns after sunset. The event that’s drawn more than 50,000 people in previous years will be full of live DJs, pop-up bars, and outrageous costumes. If you want to stop by earlier, friendly Lincoln Road businesses will be handing out candy to kids before the mayhem begins.
Cost: Admission is free

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Matt Meltzer is a Miami-based contributor for Thrillist.

Miami

Bad Bunny and David Grutman's Sexy AF Miami Steakhouse is Finally Here

The rapper does whatever he wants.

Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis

David Grutman is back at it again, and this time the hospitality guru is bringing a new partner into the fold-award-winning recording artist, Bad Bunny. Located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighbourhood, Gekkō, which translates to “moonlight” is a Japanese-inspired steakhouse that will serve fancy cuts of Wagyu alongside a bevy of sushi offerings. In true Groot Hospitality form, this isn’t your basic steakhouse, it’s also got a lounge that very well may play the sounds of Bad Bunny and the like into the wee hours of the night.

“Gekkō is the result of so many of my obsessions in food,” says David Grutman, Founder of Groot Hospitality. “It’s a steakhouse inspired by Japanese cuisine. There are delicious, innovative sushi rolls. There’s a lounge. I knew I wanted to do something that combined these worlds, and once I started speaking with Bunny, I knew he’d be a great partner. Gekkō is about having an incredible meal while having an equally incredible night.”

Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE

To celebrate the opening of Gekkō (not so coincidentally the same weekend Bad Bunny has two shows scheduled in South Florida), the crew hosted a massive grand opening party that attracted dozens of A-list celebrities and friends of both Grutman and Bad Bunny. Upon arrival, in his white Bugatti, mobs of fans who spent the entire evening swarming the restaurant began chanting “Benito! Benito!” as he exited his car in an all black suit paired with black sunglasses.

The night went something like this. A-list artists of every genre came out to celebrate. Future and Lil Wayne were seen on a couch in deep conversation and catching up with Mack Maine. Bad Bunny and Karol G were spotted running from table to table together, while DJ Khaled was seen embracing Bad Bunny and congratulating him on such a beautiful new restaurant. Timbaland and Andy Garcia were spotted hanging out for a long period, while Sophie Turner and her husband, Joe Jonas, hung with Victoria and David Beckham. Amidst that hundreds of average joes mixed and mingled while attempting to make their way to the bar so they could get a peek at some of the restaurant’s cocktails and sushi bites. It was quite a scene.

Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis

Okay, so back to the restaurant. Gekkō was designed by New York City-based architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, and is made up of three different rooms with seats for up to 185 diners. It’s centred around sultry jewel-toned decor with plush and stylistic elements like a custom gold and red dip-dyed rope installation, graphic wall coverings, and velvet drapery.

Now you might be wondering about the food, because that’s really why we’re going to a restaurant, right? Gekkō’s menu begins with shared plates where diners will find things like a signature Japanese milk bread, “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto Oysters, lobster dumplings, and a wedge salad. When it comes to raw plates there’s sushi and sashimi classics as well as an opulent 24k Otoro, that’s exactly what it sounds like-deliciously tender fatty tuna covered in a layer of 24k gold leaf.

Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision

Then there’s the steaks which include a Tomahawk cut, an olive-fed filet mignon from Kagawa, Japan, and a snow beef strip from Hokkaido, Japan. Specialty preparations include Wagyu skirt steak and a bone-in ribeye. And because Grutman is always sure his restaurants cater to the tastes of everyone, there’s even some plant-based chicken options and more.

“Sitting down with friends to enjoy a good meal is one of the moments I value the most,” says Bad Bunny. “I am thrilled that now I will have a hand in creating this experience for others.”

Gekkō opens tonight at 8 SE 8th Street in Brickell. The dining room and lounge serve customers from 6 to 11 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and 6 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday. Valet parking is available for $20 or you can attempt to find a street parking on Brickell. Visit gekko.com for reservations.

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Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.

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