With all due respect, Bette Midler, we happen to think there are a lot of things much worse than adorable babies wearing Princess Leia costumes (that’s why people have children, right?). Every year, Nashvillians gather round the candy corn bowl, plan their Halloween week diet around their eventual pumpkin ale and Snickers binge, and think up the best costume known to man (unless you’re the kind of person who doesn’t dress up, which means you’re probably unwittingly dressing up as a member of Arcade Fire #hipster). We’ll have multiple Halloween guides coming your way in the forthcoming days (5 best neighborhoods for trick or treating, etc.), but we thought we’d take the first look at Music City’s parties. Let’s break down Nashville’s best bashes on All Hallow’s Eve!
This Night At The Shores Will Leave You (Un)DEAD
All good zombie purists know that the living dead can’t be stopped by water (according to George A. Romero, who depicted zombies attacking a city by traveling through a river in “The Land Of The Dead”). That means you can expect to see plenty of zombies at Nashville Shores on Halloween! Nashville’s favorite water park is hosting a beer fest for the ages. Tons of pumpkins, “ghoulish” decorations, zombies serving you beers from 40 different breweries, and a costume contest. So basically it’s like if Halloweentown were at a water park and you could drink a ton of beer. Pretty cool.
Soul Music & Free Southwest Flights
Soul music is gettin’ spooky this October 31st! Lucky for you, you won’t have to make a deal with the devil to attend this soul music soiree – only a 15 dollar ticket (or 10 dollars in advance for the non-procrastinators). You’ll be toe-tappin’ to the music of local favorite Magnolia Sons and legendary soulman Charles Wigg Walker at The Sutler. This is a great way to have a rowdy Halloween if you’re not a total “Halloween person” – just enough festive holiday stuff to get you in the spirit, but probably no DJ dressed as a ghost exclusively playing EDM remixes of “Monster Mash”. There will be a special pumpkin ale and imperial stout and a costume contest – AND HERE’S THE KICKER: Grand prize is two roundtrip flights anywhere Southwest air flies! Dress as a zombie James Brown and get your passport champ – you could win BIG (second prize is a 5 course meal for 4 at The Sutler).
A Creepy Night Outdoors For The Truly Brave Adventurer
Trick-or-treated till you had so much candy it made you sick? Been there. Drank too much of a cocktail designed to look like fake blood and woke up feeling like an actual zombie? Done that. Stayed at home hiding in the back of your house without the lights on to avoid the holiday entirely? We know you have. But have you ever been on a creepy overnight trip in the great outdoors? This canoe trip will take you through the deep, dark waters with your fellow Nashvillians! Bring along your camping gear, flashlight, favorite food to cook over the fire, and your best ghost story. It’s going to get spooky!
The Full-Scale Halloween Rager
If you’ve lived in Nashville long enough to know the vibe of neighborhoods, you know this to be true: Midtown knows how to party. Nashville’s hotspot for the young professionals set. They go big or they go home (to a loft in The Gulch, probably – #respect). Halloween is no exception! Division Street is getting shut down for all things Halloween ’14 – 16 participating bars, LED giveaways, a stage with festival-worthy production, booze, and a ton of hot national and local acts. Just a few? Naughty By Nature, Ugly Kids Club, Captain Midnight, Trubz, DJ Rage, Dread Savage, The Trinity Schill Kill…the list goes on! Dress up in something noticeable so your friends can find you in the crowd – there will be a lot of people fist-pumping in this group. WHOOP!
A Grown-Up Party, Franklin Style !
Sometimes you want to escape the aforementioned fist-pumping and have a festive night that packs a different kind of punch (one that wouldn’t have a name like “jungle juice”, for example). Look no further! Boos & Booze is a Meetup party, combining the forces of groups like Nashville Hiking Meetup and Franklin Funseekers (a group of really awesome 40+ year olds from the 615) to put on a killer costume contest and great drink specials at Franklin’s coolest hangout, The Bunganut Pig. This costume contest is multi-faceted, so come with a category in mind: Most Original, Most Frightful, Funniest, & Best Couple/Group Costume. You got this! Live music & dancing will be going down too, so bring some comfy shoes (or some durable dance floor socks).
A 27 Club-Themed Show & A Rooftop View
Did you go with the bear costume this year? Chances are, you’re going to need to step out of the sweaty crowd and get some air. Acme Feed & Seed has got you covered! This recently opened multi-level downtown restaurant has already become a fixture on the Nashville food/entertainment scene. They’re pulling out all the stops for Halloween night! You’ll see live music on two floors, drink specials, a costume contest, a “haunted” lounge, and most importantly – a rooftop DJ. The dancin’ doesn’t have to stop when you need to cool off, champ. Bonus? The view from the Acme roof is breathtaking, and the people-watching on Halloween in Nashville is the stuff of legend. Bring your camera, AND your video camera – the performances are going to be stellar. Barn Burner, Steelism, and Music City Topper presents: The 27 Club (Ghosts Of Halloween’s Past).
For Anyone Who Has Ever Wanted To Shoot Zombies With A Paintball Gun
Sure, you’ve taken the “Would You Survive In A Zombie Apocalypse?” quiz on Buzzfeed (and maybe not been entirely truthful on how quick your reaction time is to manipulate your results). Well, here’s how to put your skills to a real-life test. Demons On Demonbreun has all the trappings of a typical (and awesome) Halloween party – a 5 bar pub crawl (including Two Bits & Dawg House), drink specials, and costume contests. But what other event in the city has ZOMBIE PAINTBALL? Scope out the zombies and then knock ’em dead (you know – if they weren’t already). This is going to be a crowd of real thrill-seekers. A fun bunch, y’all!
For Fans Of Circus Performers & Cold, Hard Cash
Are you a fan of American Horror Story’s most recent installment? Do you like extra money? If you are an American, you probably answered yes to one or more of those questions. You’re in luck! A Nightmare on MStreet is an annual Halloween blowout on the block that the locals love. Situated near MStreet restaurants and perfectly situated near downtown, Nightmare On MStreet has a ton of things that stand out: aerial performers, contortionists, dancers, DJs, drink specials, photo booths, and obviously a costume contest. The unique thing about this contest? Winner gets $1000 in cash. Helloooo, moneybags!
This Hardcore Halloween Will Be SO METAL
OK, by this time you may be getting slightly zombie-weary, but no fear: this one’s gonna be hardcore. Springwater is West End’s answer to a true dive, and they’re giving us the goods on Halloween. They have been putting on Zombie Prom for 10 years now, and this is the FINAL ONE. Come get in on the action before it is too late! Splatter some fake blood on that corsage and jam to Too Fat For Love (who will be performing Motley Crue covers), Appetite For Dysfunction (performing the music of Guns N’ Roses), and DJ Tyrannosaurus Copter, who will be spinning some heavy metal vinyl. Face painting, loud music, mayhem – you’re gonna rage, Nashville-style.
An Interactive Midnight Movie Experience That Gets Rowdy
The Midnight Movie that started it all, y’all. These days there are a ton of “cult sensations” in film: The Room, Sharknado…the list goes on. Rocky Horror Picture Show was one of the first films ever to inspire the rowdy, interactive audience call-back style of viewing that film buffs know and love today. Come enjoy your Halloween with something crazy and whimiscally fun – there will be drink specials, a midnight showing of the film (obviously), costumes galore, and the live cast “LITTLE MORALS”. Great place to have some controlled, not-stumbling-through-crowds-in-the-street fun!
There you have it, y’all! A breakdown of Nashville’s best Halloween bashes. Which one do you wannado?
For all your Nashville adventures (happy hours, live music, networking events, free yoga classes, the occasional zombie paintball session), grab Wannado! We’ll make sure you’re connected to all the right opportunities for you that the city has to offer. Happy Halloween!