A Quad Cities Halloween: 10 Things to Do
by Logan Volkert
From graveyard-wandering ghosts and pumpkin patches to costumed kiddies and candy, Halloween is a holiday of celebration and of finding the beauty in the grotesque, the light in the dark, the face behind the mask. Death is natural, and Halloween reminds us that without it, life wouldn’t be nearly as special.
Because of my love for Halloween, I thought I’d share some events that are happening here in the Quad Cities throughout the month of October. From family-friendly parades to some pretty awesome, I mean super horrifying, haunted houses, hopefully this list will give you something to do when the flickering of a television screen is no longer entrancing you.
I know many of us Leathernecks are family people, so I’m kicking off this list with some family-friendly events. Don’t worry, you can always watch that slasher flick once the little ones go to sleep in what I would hope is not, but probably is, a sugar-induced coma.
Not So Scary Halloween Walk
Think of a botanical center in the middle of a summer day, and you might picture vivid flowers and pleasant aromas. Think of that same botanical center on Halloween night, and you might imagine writhing tentacles and pungent odors. Fear not, for the Rock Island Botanical Center’s walk through the garden isn’t so scary. Sure, you and your loved ones might find some spiders lurking about, but they aren’t real…
Taking place on October 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.
Rock Island Botanical Center: 2525 4th Ave.
Dia de los Muertos at the Figge
As I said earlier, Halloween is a time for celebration, and Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, embodies the embracing of what we would normally perceive as depressing. At the wonderful Figge Art Museum in downtown Davenport, you and your family can learn about Dia de los Muertos through various unique art installations. You can also enjoy the Day of the Dead Family Day, which will be hosting music, dancing, live performances, and everyone’s favorite: food. Dress as a Catrina (Learn about what that is at the Figge!) and enter for a chance to win a prize for best costume.
Installations available to see now through the November 14.
Day of the Dead Family Day is on October 24, from 12pm – 3pm.
Boo at the Zoo
If oversized Venus Flytraps or art aren’t your thing, then maybe zombie giraffes and werewolves are. Well, there will unfortunately be no such creatures at the Niabi Zoo on Halloween. However, there will be various local businesses and bucket-loads of candy. At the Niabi Zoo, you and your family can enjoy a night of trick-r-treating alongside local names who will each decorate a specific area of the zoo with a unique Halloween theme.
Taking place on October 30 and 31, from 9am – 3pm.
Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, IL: 13010 Niabi Zoo Rd.
Speaking of celebrating alongside your kids, why not attend some of the Quad Cities’ Halloween parades? We hold parades for Thanksgiving, and while you probably won’t see a building-sized inflatable Oogie Boogie, you might see some other cool floats and costumes.
Witches’ Walk and Costume Parade
The Witches’ Walk and Costume Parade will begin at 6:30pm on October 30 and will take place in downtown Le Claire. This event will feature a costume contest, kid-friendly activities, games, food, and, thankfully, candy. Lots of candy.
Davenport will be hosting a Halloween parade at 6:30pm on October 30. I guess you have to choose between Le Claire and Davenport, sorry. This parade will start at the corner of 3rd and Pershing St.
Bettendorf will also be hosting a Halloween parade at 6pm on October 30, meaning you can leave less than halfway through and attend either Le Claire or Davenport’s parades instead. How fun! This parade will start at the corner of 23rd and Middle Rd. and will end at the Life Fitness Center.
Finally, we have what are probably the most anticipated events on Halloween: haunted houses. For those of us who no longer enjoy dressing up and asking strangers for candy, or for those of us who do enjoy it but are called weird for asking an adult who happens to be younger than ourselves for free candy, haunted houses are the next best thing. So, if you don’t like the buzzing of chainsaws or the flashing of bright lights in near pitch-black rooms, well, I understand. You can always get that heart rate up by watching horror movies instead.
Here, you will traverse dark woods as you try and make it to the outpost in one piece. You will be watched. You will be followed. And you will… not have a map, compass, flare gun, or rescue chopper. Although, you will have your phone. There will also be snacks, beverages, and alcohol for those who survive and need to forget.
Open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm – 11pm.
3501 207th St., N Port Byron, IL.
Shock House was voted one of the top 10 haunted houses in Illinois, and its name is reminiscent of the totally not B horror movie, Shocker. You will quite literally feel shock as you navigate a disorienting house filled with creatures, crazies, and everything else that makes a haunted house, well, haunted.
Open every Friday and Saturday from 7pm – 12am.
2621 4th Ave., Rock Island, IL.
Terror at Skellington Manor
Terror at Skellington Manor, or the Theater of the Macabre, is another top 10 voted haunted house in Illinois. The manor will, unless you have no soul, shake you to the bone as you experience nauseating special effects and supposedly real paranormal activity alongside the usual suspects of blood and terror.
Open every weekend from 7pm – 12am.
420 18th St., Rock Island, IL.
Factory of Fear
Finally, we have my personal favorite: The Factory of Fear, which, after 25 years, is the Quad Cities’ longest running haunted house. Here, you will follow narrow corridors through 5,000+ square feet of darkness, facing bloody actors and sensory-debilitating rooms along the way. For what it’s worth, I was called a “pretty boy” by a large, chainsaw-wielding, pig mask-wearing butcher. Gnarly.
Open every weekend from 7pm – 12am.
5027 4th Ave., Moline, IL.