While costumed kids revel in sugary waves of trick-or-treat candy, some adults will be seeking their own seasonal satisfaction this Halloween.
“It’s that one day of the year you can be someone else,” said dance instructor Sean Christopher. “When adults get in costume, they become more bold.”
Christopher should know. He organizes annual Latin Halloween dance parties. As the costumes come on, the inhibitions sometimes drop away. Even if someone doesn’t quite know their way around the dance floor, he said, an action hero or Disney princess often moves with a bit more confidence.
This year, it doesn’t take a ghost hunter to track down costume contests, dance parties, scary tricks and liquid treats for metro area adults. Here’s a sampling:
Martinis & Imax Fright Night
Fernbank’s longstanding Martinis & Imax event gets a blanket of cobwebs and creepiness for Halloween, so skeletons will be shaking their bones, and we ain’t talking about the dinosaurs. But those mammoth displays may feel the vibrations from Bogey and the Viceroy, a soul-infused party band. You might hear the ghosts of Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald alongside contemporary pop tunes. Guests can take a break from the dance floor and visit the current special exhibition, Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear. This interactive experience explains the scientific mechanics of feeling scared. You also can have a seat for a Godzilla-size Imax screening of “Pandas: The Journey Home” or “Galapagos: Nature’s Wonderland.” Libations will flow from the bar and there’ll be a costume contest. Just make sure if you dress as a mummy that you don’t get mistaken for museum inventory.
7 p.m. Oct. 31. Party only: $8; free for members. Party and an Imax film: $13; $12 students and seniors; $8 members. Party and Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear: $11; free for members. Combo ticket for all activities: $16; $8 members. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-929-6400, fernbankmuseum.org.
Chambers of Horror
Some leave the dressing-up to others, while still hankering for an adult holiday experience. Billing itself as the city’s only adults-only extreme haunted house, Chambers of Horror pushes the envelope with R-rated frights and gore aplenty. The timid and prudish should look elsewhere, because you’ll see your share of flesh, both bloodied and otherwise. Only those 18 and older can venture inside. The crew of actors, make-up artists and special effects wizards will conjure it all up behind the Masquerade. The storyline goes like this: Instead of battling the diabolical Dr. Splatter, the head of TORTUREco, the government decides to enlist his help in creating super soldiers. Splatter, however, reneges on the deal and indulges in his own twisted experiments and over-the-top biological creations. The organizers won’t reveal much, but suggest keeping an eye out for a gargantuan gator. Those who need their courage in liquid form can cowboy up in the adjacent Splatter Lounge, where you might score some pre-show entertainment. Both the crowds and craziness will amp up on Halloween night. That may be a good excuse to spring for the Speed or VIP passes; both take guests to the front of the line and are available in limited quantities. VIP ticket holders also procure a free drink and a surprise gift. Buy your tickets online in advance or bring cash at the door.
8 p.m.-midnight Sundays-Thursdays; 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. $22; $32 Speed Pass; $50 VIP Pass. 695 North Ave., N.E., Atlanta. chambersofhorroratl.com.
Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Georgia
The theme park’s yearly Halloween boo-a-thon returns as an even bigger, creepier creature. A total of seven haunted attractions, five live shows and five scare zones make the 2014 edition the largest in park history. Kids bask in lower impact activities from performances starring Bugs Bunny and company to a sugar spiked jaunt along the park’s Trick-or-Treat Trail. Grown folks, however, tap into their inner children while subjecting themselves to extreme scares. A Fright Fest date night experience gives adults a good excuse to grab ahold of or at least inch a little closer to that significant other. Although the haunts cost extra, guests who purchase the Haunted Attractions Pass upgrade can visit them all. Grab a Fright Fest brochure and check out the list of attractions. The ones with three tiny bat symbols next to their names prove to be the most terrifying. Those featuring ghosts with the most gusto include Dr. Fright’s Frightorium located in the USA section; The Asylum at Gotham City’s Axis Arena; Terror Train at the Marthasville Train Station; and Terror Trail: Backwoods Bloodshed located in the Thunder River line in the Lickskillet section. Six Flags staff members say park performers kick it up a notch on Halloween. But they’re not the only reason guests will be screaming. Batman: The Ride, Goliath, Superman: Ultimate Flight and other thrill rides have visitors blasting their lungs. Romantics looking for the park’s silly-meets-scary answer to the Tunnel of Love can jump in a boat for a cruise inside Monster Mansion.
6 p.m.-midnight Oct. 31; 11 a.m.-midnight Nov. 1; noon-10 p.m. Nov. 2. Online prices: $41.99-$48.99 without Haunted Attractions Pass; $56.99-$63.99 includes Haunted Attractions Pass. At the park: $61.99; $41.99 children 48” and smaller; free ages 2 and younger. $20-$25 for Haunted Attractions Pass with discounts available online. Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell. 770-948-9290, www.sixflags.com.
Highway to Helloween Party and Costume Contest
Hard rock dinos AC/DC continue to defy extinction with a new album set for December release. Those who can’t wait can venture to Wild Bill’s Halloween night, when AC/DC tribute act Back N Black will channel Angus and company. Tres Diablos, a tribute to ZZ Top, will share the stage, complete with flowing beards and bluesy power chords. And a costume contest promises cash for the winners. The most original walks away with $250, the sexiest gets the same and best overall takes home $1,000. For those 18 and older.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. $10-$25. Wild Bill’s Atlanta, 2075 Market St., Duluth. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com.
Alamo Annual Halloween Scary-oke Party
The Alamo restaurant-bar lives in the former home of a movie house on Newnan’s town square. Although it draws trivia fanatics, poker players and music lovers, the staff says its biggest bash of the year is Halloween. It’s for those 18 and older, and many will be in costume for a contest featuring cash prizes. Drinkers can take advantage of specials, and DJ Erok will helm the karaoke, inviting guests to take the stage and croon some tunes. Erok breaks things up periodically by spinning dance tracks.
9:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Free. The Alamo, 19 S. Court Square, Newnan. 770-683-2526, thealamonewnan.com.
Halloween Fright Night Edition of Noche Caliente
If you’re looking for Halloween weekend revelry and have a penchant for Latin dance, SalsaATL and Dancing4fun have a spot for you at Thirsty’s Bar & Grill in Lilburn. A DJ will serve up a mix of salsa, bachata and merengue for dancing. Rather groove to Top 40 tracks? A separate room will feature stateside cuts. Even if you can’t show off moves worthy of “Dancing With the Stars,” you can show off your costume in a contest for cash and prizes.
8:30 p.m. Nov. 1. $10. Thirsty’s Bar & Grill, 3907 Burns Road N.W., Lilburn. 770-855-4396, salsaatl.com.
Although the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse attraction shocks its last throng of victims Halloween night, it has one last trick up its bloodied, tattered sleeve as it transforms the next night into Monster Bash, a massive Halloween shindig for those 18 and older, lasting until 4 a.m. Partiers can dance the night away across 13 theme rooms. Music will range from ’80s anthems to ’60s garage rock to industrial dance to today’s nightclub favorites. Others will rock outdoors to a roster of live bands, including Dusty Booze and the Baby Haters, Bigfoot and Night Terrors and a top secret headliner organizers won’t reveal. The folks behind Garage 71, a website for car and rock ’n’ roll enthusiasts, will offer the Psycho Circus room. Horror movie trailers and full-length flicks will screen throughout the evening. Select ticket holders will win a complimentary secret potion toast with local horror host Professor Morte (Shane Morton). Everyone has a shot at impressing the attraction’s monster makers in the costume contest.
8 p.m. Nov. 1. $25. Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse, 4215 Thurman Road, Conley. atlantazombie.com.
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