What’s Happening Charlotte: 30+ things to do this weekend (Halloween Edition)

With masquerade balls, costume parties, racing, comedy shows, gallery crawls and much more all happening this weekend, there's plenty to do for a hauntingly good time in the Qcity.

TGIT! It’s Thursday. That means the weekend is just around the corner. If you are looking for a way to celebrate Halloween and maybe win some money for your costume, there’s plenty to do.

Of course there’s no need to wait until Friday to jumpstart the weekend with some fun. Looking to get out of the office for lunch today? Swing by the annual Mallard Creek Barbecue for pork and politics. Plates go on sale at 10 a.m.  Then after work, head Uptown for the Uptown Gallery Crawl and gain free access to collections at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Mint Museum, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, New Gallery of Modern Art, Sozo Gallery, UNC Charlotte Center City, Goodyear Arts and Levine Museum of the New South.

Here’s a look at what else is happening around town this weekend:

HALLOWEEN FUN

Casino Night + Halloween Celebration
Friday @ The Duke Mansion
Put on something fabulous and have a blast playing authentic casino games, enjoying fabulous food and drinks from Chef Harrison. The night will also feature live music provided by Bad Daddies, giveaways, and silent auction to raise funds for the preservation of The Duke Mansion. (Details)

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Scarrigan Farms Haunted Trails
Through Monday @ Carrigan Farms (Mooresville)
If you are looking for a new and out of the ordinary way to get your heart pumping and adrenaline rushing this weekend, Sccarigan Farms may be the place for you. At night, this 170-acre farm transforms into one of the scariest haunted trails in the region. (Details)

2nd Annual Boo’s and Booze Halloween Party
Friday @ Whisky River
Have a hauntingly good time with the ghastly spooky staff at Whisky River. The night will feature eerie cocktails and creepily tasty treats. Most Creative and Crowd Favorite Costumes will be awarded cash prize. (Details)

Halloween Yacht Party Cruise
Friday @ Queens Landing
Enjoy a ghoulishly good time on the Lady of the Lake as DJ Zeke mixes all of today’s top 40 hits. Be sure to brush up on your Michael Jackson dance moves for a group rendition of “Thriller.” (Details)

Fright at the Knight
Friday @ Knight Theater
This Halloween, the Charlotte Symphony resurrects the scores of your favorite horror films. Relive the chills with themes from John Carpenter’s Halloween, Poltergeist, Stephen King’s IT, Psycho, and more. (Details)

Paint & Play Halloween Edition
Friday @ Industry
Paint & Play features live painters, spoken word, comedians, music and food. It promises to be a wonderful environment for creative people where “cool and conscious” meet. (Details)

Ray’s Haunted Tour and Carnival
Friday @ Ray’s Splash Planet
This event is open to the entire family and promises to provide a howling good time for everyone with games, contests, trick-or-treating, a carnival and haunted tour through Splash Park. (Details)

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Halloween Bash
Friday @ Howl at the Moon
Enjoy a night of drink specials, games, and everyone’s favorite, a costume contest. (Details)

Running Scared 5 Miler and Monster Mile
Saturday @ Romare Bearden Park
Instead of embracing Halloween with a mouthful of fun-size Snickers, don your costume and lace up your running shoes. Runners will receive performance shirts, custom bibs, and finisher medals. Following the running event, there will be food trucks, a costume contest, a beer garden, kids’ area, and entertainment. (Details)

Renaissance Festival
Saturday – Sunday @ Fairhaven (Huntersville)
Already the Carolinas’ largest costume party, the Carolina Renaissance Festival becomes the place to celebrate Halloween during this weekend’s Halloween Daze & Spooky Knights events. Enjoy free child Admission with no coupon required for all children 12 and under. Children can enjoy trick or treating, a treasure hunt, costume contest and a Zombie Joust. (Details)

“Not So Spooky” Halloween
Saturday @ Stumptown Park in Matthews
This event is designed for families with children 10 and under and features carnival games, candy prizes, bounce house, obstacle course, carriage rides, DJ, clowns, face painters and a costume parade. (Details)

Bootanical
Saturday-Sunday @ Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Fall is a “bootiful” time to visit the Garden, so you’re invited to enjoy it by celebrating Halloween early at Bootanical. Live music performances in Lost Hollow amphitheater will be coupled with horse-drawn carriage rides and some not-so-frightening fantastic fall activities. (Details)

Dark History Walking Tour
Saturday @ Trade and Tryon
The RaconTour Dark History Tour is a one-hour storytelling adventure through the dark history of Charlotte. Topics include: The Crime of the Century, Charlotte’s secret gold mines, Settlers Cemetery’s, Gray Lady, Charlotte’s speakeasies, the ghost of the Carolina Theater, Charlotte’s earliest mortgage scam and the Bodysnatching Business in Charlotte. (Details)

A Nightmare on 5th Street
Saturday @ Cowbell Burger & Whiskey Bar
Calling all Goblins, Ghosts and Freaks of the night. You’re invited to a frightening Nightmare on 5th Street hosted by Freddy Krueger and DJ FreakyParty. (Details)

SCarowinds
Saturday-Sunday @ Carowinds
Carowinds is transformed from a “theme park” to a “scream park” at SCarowinds – one of the Carolinas’ largest Halloween events. Experience the thrills on your favorite rides and scream at the chills of over 16 different haunted shows and attractions. (Details)

Amazing Maize Maze
Through Nov. 6 @ Historic Rural Hill (Huntersville)
There’s more than enough fun and confusion for all! Get lost in one of the largest mazes in the Southeast. This giant seven-acre corn maze features over two miles of interconnecting paths. See if you can find your way out. (Details)

Hoot N Howl
Saturday @ Carolina Raptor Center
Carolina Raptor Center’s 2016 Hoot and Howl Celebration has taken on a Day of the Dead twist this fall. Held on the traditional Dia de Los Muertos, the center will be remembering extinct species with Calaveras (poems/epitaphs), paper flower making, engaging in traditional face painting and exploring the sugar skull tradition. (Details)

Hall-o-ween at the Hall
Saturday @ NASCAR Hall of Fame
Enjoy an evening of family fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This event is free for members. (Details)

Spooky Science
Saturday @ The Museums of York County
Bring the family to meet the Mad Scientist and concoct some ghastly experiments. Spooky Science Saturday is both fun and educational. Bones are missing, minerals are glowing and chemical concoctions will be investigated. Costumes encouraged. (Details)

17th Annual Kiss 95.1 Grave Diggers Ball featuring Afrojack
Saturday @ Rooftop 210
Grave Diggers Ball turns the Queen City into the Scream City every October with the area’s largest costume contest, DJs and live music performances by chart-topping acts. Rock the house with this years headliner Afrojack and Check out costume contests for Best, Sexiest and Group costumes to win cash and awesome prizes. (Details)

Day of the Dead/Día de Muertos
Sunday @ Levine Museum of the New South
This annual family festival is presented in partnership with the Latin American Coalition. It celebrates the traditional Mexican holiday and features altars, music and dance performances, traditional foods, sugar skull workshops, arts and crafts, and free admission all day. (Details)

Halloween Bar Crawl
Monday @ The Epicentre
Enjoy free admission and drinks specials all night at participating venues including Blackfinn, Bubble, Rooftop 210, Strike City, Suite, Vida, Vida Vida Taco Bar and Whisky River. (Details)

NIGHT LIFE + ENTERTAINMENT

Jazzy Fridays
Friday @ Freshwater’s
Enjoy Southern cuisine, drink specials and live music provided by the Linda Straite Band. (Details)

Off the Cuff Improv Show
Friday @ Wet Willies
Charlotte Comedy Theater presents their premiere short form improv team similar to “Who’s Line is It Anyway?” but without the censors. (Details)

Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics
Saturday @ Spectrum Center
See the Charlotte Hornets take on the Boston Celtics in their first home game of the season. (Details)

Panther Nation Bar Crawl
Saturday @ Tilt on Trade
The Panthers are playing at home this weekend, transforming Uptown Charlotte into Panther Nation. Get the fun started a day early with a bar crawl. Participating venues include: Tilt on Trade, Fitzgeralds, Roxbury, BlackFinn, SIP, Tin Roof, 204 North and Whisky River. (Details)

Stigma Unmasked
Saturday @ The Big Chill
The Center for Prevention Services will host its first annual Stigma Unmasked Masquerade Ball to celebrate 45 years of changing cope into hope. This event will bring together non-profit leaders, business professionals and members of the Charlotte community to raise awareness about the harmful effects of substance use and mental health stigmas. (Details)

ART + CULTURE

Grace For President
Through Nov. 6 @ ImaginOn
Timed just right for Election Day, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte brings you this world-premiere musical about a girl named Grace Campbell who wonders, “Where are the girls?” when she looks at pictures of all 44 US presidents. (Details)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Through Sunday @ Duke Family Performance Hall (Davidson)
Perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular work, this romantic comedy features a magical set of hilarious characters. This contemporary production expresses a bold new vision where anything can happen. (Details)

Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice
Through Nov. 6 @ CPCC’s Pease Auditorium
All of the wit and romance of Jane Austen’s classic 1813 novel come to life in this refreshingly fast-paced and engaging new adaptation by Jon Jory. When the independent-minded Elizabeth meets the handsome but enigmatic Mr. Darcy, she is determined not to let her feelings triumph over her own good sense — but the truth turns out to be slipperier than it seems. (Details)

Outdoor is In – A Pop-Up Fashion Show
Friday @ Mint Museum (Uptown)
Adams Outdoor presents a pop-up art show of recycled vinyl dresses constructed from various companies’ billboard advertisements seen around the city of Charlotte. Each company was given their vinyl billboard and asked to create a dress using only recycled materials to adorn the dress. This pop-up show is free to the public and will run during museum hours. (Details)

Arts & Crafts Fall Festival
Saturday @ Small Hands Big Art
Families are invited to enjoy free fall-inspired craft stations geared towards children ages 4+ and pumpkin decorating with painting & bedazzling. (Details)

Decades Rewind
Saturday @ Knight Theater
Take a trip down melody lane with Decades Rewind, featuring over 60 songs effortlessly blended into unique medleys from the most prominent decades in music history. This fully live concert experience features an 8-piece rock band and six brilliant rocking vocalists surrounded by rock and roll stage lighting, poignant videos of American culture, and over 100 costume changes. (Details)

First Date
Through Nov. 20 @ Booth Playhouse
When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds that they are not alone on this unpredictable evening. (Details)

COMMUNITY CALENDAR + FAMILY FUN

Bad Boy World of Outlaws World Finals
Thursday-Saturday @ Charlotte Motor Speedway
One of the most prestigious dirt racing event in the country, the Bad Boy World of Outlaws World Finals returns for three days of heart-pounding, clay-slinging action. The competition brings together the top series in the sport – the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and the Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series. The weekend of racing will culminate in the crowning of all three series champions. (Details)

1st Ward Food Fest
Friday @ Enclave Apartments
This kid and pet-friendly event features live entertainment, food trucks, tent vendors, corn hole tournaments, movie screenings at dusk, and more! Bring your own beverages, coolers, chairs, and blankets to the grass lot on the corner of 6th and Myers, and kick back and enjoy the festivities. (Details)

Christian Book Lovers Retreat
Friday-Sunday @ Embassy Suites by Hilton
The Christian Book Lover’s Retreat is a bonanza for readers with a weekend full of fun, games, giveaways and author book signings. From the popcorn social to the PJ party, readers will enjoy a weekend of inspiration. (Details)