Things to Do

The 30 Best Halloween Parties in Phoenix in 2018

Where are you going to party during Halloweekend?
Where are you going to party during Halloweekend? Benjamin Leatherman
Halloween is an occasion filled with tons of questions. What will you go as this year? What parties should you hit up? How many drinks can you handle without becoming a costumed train wreck? Once you’ve figured all those issues out, there’s one more important question to consider this year: Do you have enough energy to party for three days?

That’s because Halloween happens to fall smack-dab in the middle of the week in 2018, specifically on Wednesday, October 31. As a result, a majority of the biggest costume parties and masquerade balls will be happening the weekend prior on both Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27.

It should come as some good news to anyone interested in stretching out their Halloween celebrations across several days — provided they've got the means, the money, and the mojo. And if you need some suggestions on where to go, we’ve got your back on that one, too, boo. Check out the following the following guide to the biggest, best, and most bizarre bashes happening in the Valley during Halloween 2018.

Stranger Things '80s Halloween Party
Friday, October 26
Crescent Ballroom

The Crescent will be transformed into The Upside Down for Club ’90s odd and awesome Stranger Things theme party, which will include dancing, a photo booth, character buttons for the first 300 patrons, and various tributes to the hit Netflix show. Meanwhile, DJs Jeffery and Bractune will spin ’80s jams all evening. Naturally, Stranger Things costumes are encouraged. Hours are from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Punk Rock Halloween Bash
Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27
Yucca Tap Room in Tempe

Local bands will put a punk rock twist on the Halloween tradition of becoming someone else during the annual Punk Rock Halloween Bash. The two-evening event will see them pay tribute to iconic acts (and maybe even copying their looks). Night one will include Brain Zap covering Green Day, Reason Unknown paying homage to Teenage Bottlerocket, and Nervous Breakdowns doing their best Black Flag impression. On October 27, the lineup will include tributes to Gogol Bordello, X Ray Spex, Dwarves, and Motorhead. Meanwhile, the lounge hosts a “Monster Midway” with a costume contest for prizes and horror-themed carnival games both nights. A beer garden and food trucks will be outside. The bash starts at 8 p.m. both nights. Admission is free.

Halloween Block Party
Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27
Giligin’s Bar in Scottsdale
A few things are guaranteed at Giligin’s during its annual Halloween block party. There’s gonna be a mix of music, madness, and maybe even a little mayhem. Outdoor games like giant Jenga and giant Connect Four will be available and the costume contest will have big prizes. And you might even encounter a little person or two serving drinks. Expect all of this at this year’s event, which runs on Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27. According to the party’s flyer, there will be bars, beer tubs, DJs, and an excess of debauchery. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day and there's no cover.

Nightmare in Nashville
Friday, October 26, to Sunday, October 28
Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Scottsdale

Amble on into the Scottsdale version of Whiskey Row for its “Nightmare in Nashville” parties, which will run nightly throughout the weekend. Drinks, dancing, and music from DJ Real will be offered each evening starting at 9 p.m. Call 480-945-4200 for additional info.

Apocalypse Halloween
Friday, October 26, to Sunday, October 28
Dakota in Scottsdale

Mad Max-themed “Apocalypse” parties will take place at Dakota nightly from Friday until Sunday, as well as on Halloween itself. The festivities get going at 10 p.m. Call 480-361-1030 for more details or cover info.

click to enlarge Celebrating Halloween at Maya in Scottsdale. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Celebrating Halloween at Maya in Scottsdale.
Benjamin Leatherman
Funhouse Halloween Weekend
Friday, October 26, and Saturday, October 27
Maya and The District in Scottsdale
Both Maya and The District will host a multi-club mega-party lasting two nights that will feature a carnivalesque theme with colorful characters, high-energy dance music, special guests, and more. Maya’s nightclub will offer DJ sessions both nights starting at 10 p.m., including a set from Flosstradamus on Friday. Ticket prices vary. Meanwhile, the Clubhouse at Maya outside will embrace the carnival theme by offering stilt-walkers, aerialists, go-go dancers. There will also be games like Skee-Ball, air hockey and foosball available for play. You can also dance the night away at The District next door. Doors are at 8 p.m.

House Riot Halloween
Friday, October 26, to Sunday, October 28
Riot House in Scottsdale
The “House Riot” will offer Game of Thrones-inspired festivities all weekend long from Friday, October 26, to Sunday, October 28, with dancing, drinks, and maybe event a dragon or two. DJs Diesel, Cutswell, and Convince will be in the mix starting at 10 p.m. each night. Call 480-935-5910 for more details.

Zombie Takeover
Saturday, October 27
Found:RE Phoenix Hotel
The undead will invade this stylish boutique hotel during its Halloweekend party. Thankfully, they’ll be more interested in partying than harvesting anyone’s brains. Expect DJs, drinks, and other revelry during the event. Scary costumes are encouraged. The takeover runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., free. Call 602-875-8000 for more details.

Saturday, October 27
W Scottsdale Hotel
Angels and demons alike will populate this stylish soiree inspired by the hereafter. Separate portions of the W’s second floor WET Deck will be transformed into either heaven or hell, each with its own décor scheme, vibe, and collection of servers dressed in appropriate fashion (read: “innocent angels” or “devilish demons”). Patrons can decide if they’d like to engage in some “heavenly revelry” or an “all-out wicked bash.” Better choose wisely. DJ Complex will spin high-energy music all night and themed specialty cocktails will be served. The party begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $40 each.

A Most Unusual Halloween
Saturday, October 27
Lustre Rooftop Bar

Sideshow freaks and geeks will get a little chic at this carnival-style affair at the Hotel Palomar’s outdoor bar that will riff on American Horror Story: Freak Show. A variety of circus-worthy performers will entertain, DJ Stoneypie will drop hot spins, and the staff will serve small plates and festive cocktails. The party runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

click to enlarge Wicked fun at last year's Wicked Ball. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Wicked fun at last year's Wicked Ball.
Benjamin Leatherman
Wicked Ball 2018
Saturday, October 27
Talking Stick Resort
It wouldn’t be Halloween in the Valley without this annual affair, which features some of biggest, best, and most bad-ass Halloween costumes in the Valley (if not Arizona). It’s to be expected, considering the event’s massive payday of $10,000 in cash prizes that are given out to those wearing the most outstanding and elaborate-looking outfits. In addition to all the fantastic costumes, the ball also features action in three different rooms, each with its own theme and DJ lineup.

EDM sister act Nervo will headline the ball, which will also include a performance by electro-house producer Ummet Ozcan. The folks from Live 101.5’s Morning Mess show will host. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Advance tickets are $50 for general admission, $90 for a VIP package that includes six drinks. (Day-of prices are $10 more.)

Insane Chingon Posse
Saturday, October 27
El Hefe in Scottsdale

This gangster clown-themed fiesta will take over El Hefe’s Scottsdale location and provide its patrons with a mix of DJs, drinks, dancing, and, um, insane party clowns. (No word on if they’ll be serving Faygo). The insanity starts at 9 p.m. Call 480-945-6200 for cover info and more details.

Monsters Ball 2018
Saturday, October 27
Alwun House

The Alwun House is big one Halloween, as illustrated by both the ginormous (albeit decorative) black widow spider outside its front door and busy calendar filled with events. The biggest one of the season, of course, is the annual Monster’s Ball. The freaky-deaky fete will offer cabaret and burlesque thrills by bizarre alternative drag ensemble What the Queer and its retinue of entertainers and performers (including Astrud, Revel Lucien, Joanne Michaels, YoYo Blackfire, Rosetta Stoned, Paris Delux, and Lady Nightengale). 7 p.m.; $11-$15 for general admission, $175 for a reserved VIP with seating for up to four.

Raven's Halloween Bash
Saturday, October 27
Talking Stick Resort

Scottsdale party guru Raven Valdes will hold her namesake Halloween bash inside Talking Stick’s Showroom and offer music from Lane Change and DJ Kilo, dancing, drinks, and an upscale verve. Select cocktail and wine specials will be available and a costume contest will happen at midnight with prizes for the best-dressed male, female, and couple. 8 p.m. General admission is $25 per person in advance, $30 per person at the door. VIP booths with various perks are available with seating for four people for $425 and six people for $495.

Nightmare on Princess Drive: King Tut’s Tomb
Saturday, October 27
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Spend the night with your mummy at this stylish Scottsdale resort’s annual Halloween party. The Plaza Bar will host the “spooktacular” soiree inspired by Egyptian lore, which will provide its patrons with specialty cocktails, room to dance, and a midnight costume contest for prizes. The terror starts at 9 p.m. The event itself is free, but there's a $5 charge to park at the resort or $8 fee if you'd prefer valet service.

click to enlarge Have a close encounter with costumed characters at Cobra over the Halloweekend. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Have a close encounter with costumed characters at Cobra over the Halloweekend.
Benjamin Leatherman
Invasion of the Halloween Party
Saturday, October 27
Cobra Arcade Bar

Fear not humans: The space oddities and otherworldly beings that will populate Cobra’s alien-themed Halloween event are there to celebrate your Earthing holiday. They’ll likely sample a few cocktails, enjoy burlesque entertainment from the Pain Proof Punks, and spread their universal message of peace. Heck, they might event enter the costume contest, which will have prizes for the scariest, most original, sexiest, funniest, and best alien/space cosplay (we’re guessing they’ll clean up in the latter category). The invasion starts at 4 p.m. and there’s no cover and definitely no probing involved.

Ghostball 2018
Saturday, October 27
Scottsdale Entertainment District

A one-block radius of Scottsdale's entertainment district encompassing Bottled Blonde, Casa Amigos, Hi Fi Kitchen & Cocktails, and Skylanes will become a partying epicenter filled with costumed revelry during the this year's Ghostball. Each spot will feature its own theme, DJ lineup, costume contests for prizes, and brand of nightlife adventure. The ball starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $20, which includes access to all four spots.

The Event
Saturday, October 27
The Where?House Gallery

The folks from Walter Productions will put on an enormous art party and Halloween celebration filled with visual thrills, live music, art, and performances. Several of Walter Productions’ various art cars will be on hand (natch) and will light up a colorful scene populated by live painting sessions, sculptures, and plenty of revelry. Partygoers are encouraged to wear costumes and become “their own canvas of artistic expression.” The festivities go from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets are $35.

Gracie's Spooktacular Fiesta 2018
Saturday, October 27
Gracie's Tax Bar

If you needed an excuse to stop by Gracie's over the Halloweekend, they'll have drink specials, spins from Mr. Brightside and Rey Rey, and a set by Pizza Daddy on the patio. Naturally, costumes are encouraged. Plus, there's no cover. Hit up the place beginning at 8 p.m.

Downtown Phoenix Halloween Bar Crawl
Saturday, October 27
Various Locations

Packs of costumed revelers will roam downtown Phoenix’s nightlife scene in search of drinks and after-dark fun during this Halloweekend event. After starting out at Chambers, the crawl will then make stops at such spots as Bliss/reBAR, The Churchill, Seamus McCaffrey's, Kettle Black, and Gypsy Bar. Registration is at 6 p.m. and the event gets going at 8 p.m.; $5 in advance, $10 at the door. See the Facebook event page for more.

click to enlarge Costumed revelers outside of El Hefe in Tempe in 2016. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
Costumed revelers outside of El Hefe in Tempe in 2016.
Benjamin Leatherman
Monster’s Block
Saturday, October 27
El Hefe & Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Tempe

A large portion of Sixth Street west of Mill, not to mention the entirety of both El Hefe and Whiskey Row, will become an enormous block party boasting multiple DJs, bars, dance floors, and 50-foot-wide stage equipped with large LED screens. Gates open at 11 a.m. and the ASU/USC football game will be shown before the party really gets going. A $500 costume contest and a cornhole competition with a $2,500 prize are also planned, and the DJ lineup includes sets by Soloman, Story Time, and Diesel. Admission is free before 10 p.m., $10-$20 thereafter, and the party goes until 2 a.m.

Saturday, October 27
Kobalt Bar

Sing your guts out at Kobalt’s new location during its annual “Scaryoke” session on the Saturday before Halloween. They’ll also have drink specials and a costume contest for prizes. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., free. Call 602-790-4000.

Scottsdale Halloween Bar Crawl
Saturday, October 27
Old Town Scottsdale

Spend your Saturday afternoon hitting up various drinkeries and clubs throughout Scottsdale’s entertainment district with your pals, courtesy of this Halloween bar crawl. It kicks off at Old Town Gringos at noon and will visit such hangouts as Wasted Grain, Goodwood Tavern, Riot House, Whiskey Row, and elsewhere before wrapping up at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 and will include three penny drink vouchers, access to each bar, and more.

Punk Halloween Party
Saturday, October 27
The Grid in Mesa

Punk Halloween party with music from C.C. Potato, The Dead Beat Hymns, Birth of Monsters, The Bleedouts, and The Beast of Bailey Downs. Plus, The Grid’s selection of console, arcade, pinball, and VR games will be available for play. Rock out starting at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Call 480-621-8088 for more info.

Dance with the Dead
Sunday, October 28
The Rebel Lounge

Ominous synthwave act Dance with the Dead will visit The Rebel Lounge during Halloweekend with support from darksynth/cybersynth artist Daniel Deluxe and local synth/electronica act VoidBreaker. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door.

click to enlarge You don't want to miss Sean Watson's Halloween Costume Ball at Crescent Ballroom. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
You don't want to miss Sean Watson's Halloween Costume Ball at Crescent Ballroom.
Benjamin Leatherman
Sean Watson’s Costume Ball
Wednesday, October 31
Crescent Ballroom

The theme of Sean Watson’s annual Halloween night masquerade ball at the Crescent may differ from year to year (this time around, it’s “The Elegant Skeleton”), but there’s one thing that never changes. “Costumes are totally required,” says Watson of the event, which typically boasts some of the most clever and creative getups in the Valley. Another hallmark of the ball is its killer lineup of DJs and bands. For 2018, the selection will include such DJs as Blossom, Gerry Gonza, Krug One, Djentrification, and NYC’s Jackal Jyve, as well as acts like Alejandro Solis and the Tropical Demons. A costume contest and drink specials will also be offered. Start time is 7 p.m. and presale admission is $10.

Gari Safari Halloween Bash
Wednesday, October 31
Fat Tuesday in Tempe

The DJs and party gurus of Techno Snobs will light up Fat Tuesday with phat beats during their Halloween Bash. A custom-built stage on the back patio will be where DJs and EDM artists will perform, including headliner Gari Safari (a live electronic experience by Anabel Englund of Hot Creations fame), Human Life, Matt Ossentjuk, and Mont Blvck. 8 p.m., $10-$20. See the Facebook event page for more details.

Yelloween with Vueve
Wednesday, October 31
El Hefe in Scottsdale

Pop some bottles at the “Yelloween with Vueve” affair on Halloween night at El Hefe. It will feature $100 bottles of Vueve and spins from DJ Diesel starting at 10 p.m. Admission is free. Call 480-945-6200 for cover info and additional details.

Catacombes de Scaris
Wednesday, October 31
Valley Bar

The Arizona Drag Monsters present their latest production, the Halloween cabaret, which will feature such performers as Eddie Broadway, Pandora DeStrange, Benaddiction, Constance Craving, and Dragula stars Dahli and Ursula Major. DJs Dizzle and Musa Mind will also be in the mix. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Emo Night Phoenix Halloween
Wednesday, October 31
The Rebel Lounge

A special Halloween edition of The Rebel Lounge’s Emo Night Phoenix will take place and offer sets by Daylight Heist and Sad & Boujee. The moody tunes start at 9 p.m. Admission is $5 in advance, $10 at the door.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.