Halloween in Anoka, Minnesota, has a rich history. It’s often called the “Halloween Capital of the World.” The tradition started in 1920 when Anoka hosted one of the first documented Halloween parades in the United States, aimed at curbing Halloween pranks and promoting a safer celebration.
Anoka’s Halloween festivities have evolved over the years, including parades, costume contests, and various community events. The city’s commitment to Halloween led to the establishment of the Anoka Halloween Committee, ensuring the celebration’s continued success.
Throughout the decades, Anoka has embraced its Halloween identity, with residents and visitors participating in a wide range of spooky activities. The city’s dedication to Halloween has made it a unique destination for anyone looking to experience the holiday in a special way.
Here’s an overview of family-friendly Halloween events you can enjoy in Anoka:
Anoka Halloween Parade
Anoka is known as the Halloween Capital of the World, and their Halloween parade is a must-see. It features creative floats, costumes, and a vibrant atmosphere.
October 21 at 7pm – Anoka Light up the Night Parade and Bonfire
October 27 – Big Parade of Little People
October 28 at 1pm – Gray Ghost Run & Grand Day Parade
The Anoka Grand Day Parade route is along Main Street Anoka. The Anoka parade starts West of Highway 169 and runs east through Downtown Anoka along Main Street.
The Fall Festival: Hosted by the Anoka County Fairgrounds, this event runs from October 6 to October 8 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. All activities listed below are free with gate admission:
- Not-So-Scary Haunted House Walk Through
- Hay Rides
- A free pumpkin (while supplies last)
- Live Entertainment
- Mini Midway (inflatables)
- Kids’ Activities
Many local schools and organizations host Halloween carnivals with games, prizes, and candy for kids of all ages. Check out Anoka-Hennepin School District events.
Haunted House Tours
Anoka offers several haunted house experiences that are family-friendly. These provide just the right amount of spookiness for kids and parents. You can visit the Anoka Haunted House starting Friday the 13th of October!
Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
Trick-or-Treat on Main Street
On October 14th, Anoka’s Main Street becomes a pedestrian-friendly trick-or-treat zone, called Monster Mash, and it’s perfect for kids to dress up and collect candy.
Costume and Halloween Window Display Contests
Many venues host costume contests with prizes for different age groups, allowing kids to showcase their creativity. You can also vote for your favorite window display in Downtown Anoka during Monster Mash. Pre-Kindergarten children are invited to show their best Halloween costume, homemade or store-purchased, on October 21 at 10:00 AM
Check out the local libraries and retail stores, like Three Pesky Penquins, who organizes spooky storytelling sessions to get everyone in the Halloween spirit.
Anoka Haunted House
This is the Anoka Community haunted house that has been operating in Anoka, Minnesota for over 30 years. The Haunted house is located on the Anoka County Fairgrounds and runs from October 13th – October 31st.
Participate in arts and crafts workshops where kids can create their own Halloween decorations. Check out Appleberry Attic and their Halloween cookie decorating class!
Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf
Enjoy a round of Halloween-themed mini golf with the whole family. Lilli Putt hosts Haunted mini-golf through October.
Anoka Halloween Movie Nights
Some parks and community centers host outdoor movie nights, screening family-friendly Halloween classics. Check out calendar to find them here.
Pumpkin Decorating Contests
Join local contests to showcase your family’s pumpkin decorating skills. On October 21 join in on the fun at the children’s pumpkin carving contest! Check out the Anoka Halloween Great Pumpkin Expo to find out how big is the biggest pumpkin this year! Children’s Pumpkin Carving Contest: Little ones are welcome to join in the fun on October 21 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM.
Anoka Historical Tours
Learn about the history of Halloween in Anoka with guided historical tours. Check out the Ghosts of Anoka Walking Tour, now through October 31st.
House Decorating Contest: Public Viewing
Click here to find the full list of address for public viewing between October 27 – October 28th
Anoka Pumpkin Smash
Smash it! Don’t trash it! On Saturday, November 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at Rick Sorenson Park (2015 State Avenue), Anoka’s Waste Reduction & Recycling Board is hosting a Pumpkin Smash. Bring your pumpkins/jack-o’-lanterns to be composted (instead of placing in the garbage).
These family-friendly Halloween events in Anoka, Minnesota, offer a wide range of activities for all ages to enjoy and celebrate the spooky season together. Whether you’re picking pumpkins, parading in costumes, or enjoying spooky stories, Anoka provides a vibrant and fun-filled Halloween experience for families.