Celebrate Autumn 2023: Top 7 Ways to Enjoy the Season in Madison
Pour yourself a glass of cider— fall is here! October in Madison is a special time of year. Brightly colored leaves scatter the sidewalks. Houses are decorated for the holiday. There’s always football on a TV and a blanket to wrap yourself in.
The city comes alive this season. So we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to take advantage of the city this month.
The Best Madison Pumpkin Patches
Enchanted Valley Acres
Do you prefer a pumpkin that is round and smooth? Or do you like the ones that are a bit oblong and warty but have tons of character? Wander acres of vine-ripe pumpkins at Enchanted Valley Acres and decide which pumpkin feels right for you this year. Then, when you’re done… try out the giant slides, grab a bite to eat from the food truck, or take a wagon ride.
Hours: Friday-Sunday 9 AM-6 PM
The Best Madison Haunted Houses
Schuster Farm Haunted Forest
This haunt is so much more than a decorated house. You’ll be walking through the woods, in the thick of the elements. Every snap of a twig could mean something ominous. If you’re into adrenaline, this haunted experience is the ultimate. Stick around afterward for hot apple cider and candy apples.
Screamin’ Acres Haunted House
Screamin’ Acres is a creative attraction. It’s self-described as an “artistic horror experience”. They hire the most qualified actors and costume designers. This level of thoughtfulness makes it a truly unique Halloween experience.
Ghost Tours are not as scary as a traditional haunted house. Nothing will jump out and scare you or chase you through a field with a chainsaw. But ghost tours are a great way to get outdoors and learn about local lore.
King Street Spirits Ghost Walk
King Street and Capitol Square are the oldest parts of the city. Somewhere so old is bound to have ghosts. Learn all about the secret dark history of Madison’s beautiful capital.
State Street Ghost Walk
Meet a ghost named Pete, phantom organ players, and suspicious stage managers. Walk along Madison’s main entertainment district and learn about those who inhabit the night.
UW Campus Ghost Walks
The University campus hosts many legends of lore. Are there bodies underneath the statue of Abe Lincoln? What’s the story behind the underground dweller known as Tunnel Bob? Find out these stories and more on the UW Campus Ghost Walk.
October doesn’t have to be all spooky nights and frights. It can be good cheer and good beer! You can always count on this at a good ole’ fashioned Bader’s Gameday! Check this fall’s Badger game day schedule here.
Trunk or Treats
Trunk or Treats have gained significant popularity in the last decade. Parents love it because much of the “stranger danger” factors of trick-or-treating are eliminated. There’s no knocking on random doors. Kids love it because they get to dive into trunks full of candy and fill up to their heart’s content. And if your house isn’t already overflowing with candy, trunk or treats happen throughout Halloweek. You can wear your costume more than once and celebrate as much as your heart desires.
Run A Halloween 5K
The idea of running for fun may be scary to some people. But the positive energy and festivity on race days are undeniable. And even more for a holiday race! Good spirits (not spooky spirits!) are palpable. To participate in a Halloween Fun Run, sign up for the Haunted Hustle, a two-day event. The races begin at dusk on Saturday, October 21rd.
Participants can join in either a 10Krun, a 5k run, a 5K Dog Jog, or a 5K Zombie walk. Stick around after the race to enjoy a bonfire, s’mores, and entertainment while your post-run endorphins surge.
Sunday’s race day includes a Half Marathon, A relay option, and a Kid’s Run.
The Best Madison Halloween Parties
If 21+ events are your poison, there is no shortage of Halloween Parties happening around town.
Halloween Bar Crawl
Pop through all of Madison’s best spots in one night. This bar crawl is renowned as one of the largest in the nation. And it’s no surprise- they’re offering a $1,000 prize to the winner of the bar crawl’s costume contest.
Fred Astaire’s Halloween Party
Dress in your best and join in a night of dancing at the Fred Astaire Studio downtown.