In Costume for a Cause

It’s Halloween! As perhaps the greatest day of the year approaches, party-goers, trick-or-treat fiends, and candy junkies have an overwhelming number of event options here in the spookiest city in America. A great way to narrow down those options? This list of Halloween Happenings that come with a side of charitable contribution!

  1. Our first pick is actually 3-in-1, as the LGBT community marks the 30th annual Halloween New Orleans, a benefit week for Project Lazarus. This year is themed to support recent strides in the fight for same-sex marriage. Weekend passes for all events are also available via Halloween New Orleans’ website.
    • The Lazarus Ball: “The Wedding Shower”
      Oct. 24 from 7:30 to 11 p.m.,
      The National World War II Museum (945 Magazine St.)

      Kick the week off right with an open bar, food by renowned chef, John Besh, and a party under the soaring fighters of WWII. Dresscode is semi-formal cocktail attire and admission is $75 for the gala with silent auction.
    • “Chapel of Love” Costume Party
      Oct. 26 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.,
      Mardi Gras World East Bank (Port of New Orleans Place).
      Halloween New Orleans’ main event includes an open bar and a costume contest with celebrity judges Chet Pourciau, Chris Rice, Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi. Entertainment includes the Anniversary Show which will pay homage to the last 29 years of performances, as well as music by the amazing DJ ABEL. Admission is $95 and costumes are a must!
    • “The Honeymoon” Brunch and Second-Line
      Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m., House of Blues (225 Decatur St.)
      Nurse your hangover or enjoy the festivities for the first time with post-party entertainment by Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Well-Strung, the St. Peter Claver Gospel Choir. The brunch includes an open bar (of course!) and all-you-can-eat cuisine. After brunch, everyone is invited to second-line from the House of Blues to Oz (800 Bourbon St.).  Admission is $65.
  2. Ghostly Galavant Gala
    Oct. 25 form 7:30 to 10 p.m., The Cabildo (701 Chartres St.)
    Costumes are welcomed and encouraged for this gala Halloween party, benefiting the Friends of the Cabildo. Tickets are $45 (or $40 in advance) and include food, beer and wine from restaurants in the French Quarter.
  3. Vampire Lestat Reunion Ball
    Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., Generations Hall (310 Andrew Higgins Drive).
    The Queen of Halloween, author Anne Rice, serves as special guest for the 25th anniversary of this event. Semi-formal attire, costumes or masks are required. There will be a charity auction benefiting Friends of St. Alphonsus Church, live entertainment, a bazaar, tarot card readers, and food for sale. Tickets are $55 at the door (or $50 in advance).
  4. Operation Pumpkin
    Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St.)
    This is an annual fundraiser for Children’ Hospital of New Orleans. Kids are invited to trick-or-treat through the shops, watch carving contests, decorate pumpkins, and make masks. Even more fun? Surgeons from the hospital put their skills to great use carving Jack-o-Lanterns!  Admission is free, but the pumpkins are not. Carved pumpkins: $24. Plain pumpkins: $15. Caricature portraits: $5.
  5. Boo Fest
    Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,
    Lakeview Regional Medical Center (95 E. Judge Tanner Blvd., Covington)
    Adapting and Changing Children’s Environments with Successful Solutions (ACCESS), in partnership with Northshore Families Helping Families, is putting on this 4th annual family-friendly, inclusive and accessible event. Trick-or-treat at over 60 haunted houses at Lakeview Regional Medical Center with gates opening at 9:30 a.m. for special needs families. Boo Fest is open to the general public, and admission is only $1. This event raises awareness for and supports children with disabilities and their families.
  6. Park-A-Boo
    Oct. 25: 5-8:30 p.m., Oct. 26: 1-8:30 p.m., Oct. 27 1-5:30 p.m.,
    Lafreniere Park (300 Downs Blvd., Metairie)
    This event is meant for children 12 years and younger. Trick-or-treating, a “Boo House,” a maze, costume contests, face painting, entertainment, etc. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12, and free for children under 2. All proceeds go to the Kenner North Kiwanis Club.
  7. Boo at the Zoo
    Oct. 25-26 from 5 to 9 p.m., Audubon Zoo (6500 Magazine St.)
    This event features trick-or-treating, games with prizes, dancing mascots, performers on stilts, kid-oriented haunted houses, and a ghost train. Boo at the Zoo is meant for children up to age 12, and proceeds go toward (of course!) our Audubon Zoo. Admission is $17, though children under 1 get in for free. Warning! This event sells out very quickly!