October 18, 2011

October Ushers In Halloween Fun from the River to the Sea In Wilmington, N.C. & Island Beaches

Wilmington, NC – October 2011 – October ‘scares up’ nearly two dozen Halloween-theme events in Wilmington, North Carolina's historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. Visitors can experience this spooky time of year with ghoulish festivals, ghostly tours, murder-mystery dinner theatre or cruise, pirate adventures, haunted attractions, costumed races, creepy nature programs, and organized trick-or-treat events. Following is a sampling of mysterious, haunted, historical and educational festivities:

Ongoing (year-round)—
Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. 6:30pm & 8:30pm. Costumed guides lead visitors through alleyways with tales of haunted Wilmington. Nightly tours at 6:30pm and 8:30pm. Admission charge. Meets at Water & Market streets. Reservations required: 910-794-1866; www.hauntedwilmington.com

Ongoing (year-round)—
Haunted Pub Crawl. 7:30pm. Guided tour to 5 haunted pubs. Ages 21 and up; admission charge. Meets Wed.-Sat. in October & Monday, Oct. 31. Meet at Fat Tony’s (131 N. Front St., Wilmington). Reservations required: 910-794-1866; www.hauntedwilmington.com

Ongoing (year-round)—
Haunted Cotton Exchange Tours. Day/eve tours by appointment. Admission charge. Cotton Exchange parking lot street entrance, Wilmington. 910-409-4300; www.hauntedcottonexchange.blogspot.com

Each Tuesday in October—
Murder Mystery Dinner Cruises. Solve an exciting who-dunnit during a 2- hour dinner cruise along the Cape Fear River. Audience participation; prizes. Boards at 6pm; departs 6:30pm at dock (Water & Dock sts). Admission charge. Reservations: 910-343-1611; 800-676-0162; www.cfrboats.com

Each Monday through Saturday in October; Sun. 30th & Mon. 31st—
Pirate Treasure Hunt. 4pm-6pm. Arrrr! Join a costumed pirate storyteller on an exploration of Masonboro Island’s natural treasures. Kids will learn about the history of famous North Carolina pirates, such as Captain Kidd and Black Beard. Admission charge. Wrightsville Beach Water Taxi & Cruises, 275 Waynick Blvd. (across from Blockade Runner Resort), Wrightsville Beach. Advance reservations required: 910-200-4002; www.capefearnaturalist.com

Through October 31 (Thurs.-Sat. night & Oct. 30-31)—
Panic Attack Haunted Attraction. 6pm-12midnight. Over 30,000 square feet of Hollywood-quality special effects, elaborate sets, and terrifying live actors evoke one’s deepest fears. New this year: live snakes & Temple of Doom. Intensity warning: This haunted attraction is not for children under the age of 13. Admission charged. 1290 S. 15th St., Wilmington. 910-685-6551; www.panicattackhaunt.com

Oct. 20; 27—
“Murder in the Library” Dinner Theatre. 6:30pm. Porch Theatre Company presents this murder-mystery dinner theatre whereby characters in books come to life at night and folic ‘til the sun rises. Performances on Oct. 13 & 20 held at Front Street Brewery (9 N. Front St., Wilmington). On October 27, a special Halloween performance will staged at The Balcony on Dock (33 S. Front St., Wilmington) and audience members are invited to dress as their favorite book character. Reservations required. Admission charged. Advance reservations: 910-232-6611; www.porchtheatre.com

Oct. 21-22; 28-29—
Ghost Ship Tour. 7pm-10pm. You’ve seen the Battleship North Carolina on paranormal programs, now come see for yourself! Come and experience Ghost Ship, a haunted house with ghouls, ghosts, and zombies set on the Battleship for some great and scary Halloween fun. Admission charge. Line forms at 6:30pm. You must be in the ticket line by 9:30pm to ensure a ticket. Note: Not recommended for young children. Battleship North Carolina, #1 Battleship Rd., Wilmington. 910-251-5797; www.battleshipnc.com
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Oct. 21-23—
30th Annual Halloween Festival at Poplar Grove Plantation. “Haunted” hayrides, carnival rides and games, “haunted” barn, non-scary Fun House with fortune tellers, games, stories, pony rides, food, costume contests, and more. Fun for all ages, including children. Costume contest (all ages) is Saturday 6pm. Free admission; activity fees vary. Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 US Hwy. 17 N. Wilmington. 910-686-9518; www.poplargrove.com

Oct. 20-22—
Ghost Hike. 7:30pm. Join a park ranger down the trails of Fort Fisher State Recreation Area to explore the unexplained phenomena that surrounds Fort Fisher. Bring a flashlight and meet at 7:30pm at the visitor center to explore trails that are normally closed at night. Space is limited; reservations are required. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, 1000 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach. 910-458-5798; www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fofi/main.php

Oct. 20-23; 27-31—
“Carnival of Carnage” Haunted House. Fri. & Sat. (7pm-midnight); Thurs. & Sun. 30/Mon. 31 (7pm-10pm). Admission charge; NHS Lyceum Academy fundraiser. Rated PG-13. Hanover Center, across from Independence Mall, behind Steinmart, Oleander & Independence Dr., Wilmington. 910-251-6100 ext. 222.

Oct. 20-23 & 26-30—
“The Mizrabell Kids Another Gothic Tale of Epic Woe & Sorrow in Monster Mash Mansion.” Journey Productions presents this dark, daring, dismal, dastardly, yet mostly funny musical for all ages. Admission charged. Thalian Hall Studio Theatre, Wilmington. 910-632-2285; www.thalianhall.org

Oct. 21-22 & 28-31—
Halloween Ghost Trolley. 6pm-9pm. 30-minute horse-drawn trolley ride through historic district and a visit to the “haunted barn.” Horses and tour guides are dressed in costume. Halloween-theme stories, songs & treats. Admission charged. Departs at Market & Water Sts.; 910-251-8889; www.horsedrawntours.com

Oct. 21-23—
Halloween Festival at Poplar Grove Plantation. “Haunted” hayrides, carnival rides and games, “haunted” barn, non-scary Fun House with fortune tellers, games, stories, pony rides, food, costume contests, and more. Fun for all ages, including children. Costume contest (all ages) is Saturday 6pm. Free admission; activity fees vary. Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 US Hwy. 17 N. Wilmington. 910-686-9518; www.poplargrove.com

Oct. 22—
Fort Fisher Fall/Halloween Festival. Fort Fisher State Historic Site (10am-5pm) and Fort Fisher State Recreation Area (2pm) team up for a joint Fall/Halloween Festival. Begin your day at Fort Fisher State Historic Site at 10am with cannon firings, guided tours, Civil War exhibits, and hayrides. Then at 2pm, meet at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area parking lot for an afternoon of Fall/Halloween themed programs and games, candy for Trick-or-Treaters, and ghost hikes. A hayride shuttle will transport visitors between Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and Fort Fisher State Historic Site. Advance reservations required for nighttime ghost hikes; space is limited. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Loggerhead Rd., Kure Beach; 910-458-5798; www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/fofi/main.php; and Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Hwy. 421, Kure Beach; 910-458-5538 www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher

Oct. 22—
Halloween Pirate Adventure. 11am-5pm. Hop aboard the M/V Shamrock along with Capt. Don Juan Cortez, local pirate storyteller, on an adventure out to Masonboro Island, a land teeming with pirates and their booty! Learn about the rich nautical history of our waterways as you search for buried treasure! Admission charged. Tours depart across from Blockade Runner Resort on the hour, beginning at 11am. Discounts for kids in costume. Blockade Runner dock (sound side), 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach. 910-200-4002; www.capefearnaturalist.com

Oct. 23—
Carnage International Film Festival. 1-3pm & 3:45-5:45pm. A day of movie short & feature films from the genres Horror, Sic-Fi, Thriller, Suspense, Gore. Thalian Hall, Wilmington; 910-632-2285; www.thalianhall.org

Oct. 25—
Batty Battleship’s Halloween Bash. 5:30pm-8pm. Batty Battleship is a fun, family-oriented trick-or-treating event for little ghouls and goblins with games, activities, food, and storytelling. Admission charged; children 2 and under are free. Battleship North Carolina, Wilmington. 910-251-5797; www.battleshipnc.com

Oct. 26 & 27—
Trick-or-Treat Under the Sea. 5pm-8:30pm. Families can enjoy thrills & gills in the same day. Indoor trick-or-treating, face painting, story-telling, magic shows, spooky divers and haunted gardens are highlights at this family Halloween party. Note: only umbrella strollers permitted. Admission charged (children 2 and under free). NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Loggerhead Rd., Kure Beach; 910-458-8257; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

Oct. 28—
Kooky Spooky Jam-Boo-Read! 5-7pm. A kids’ street festival with scary stories and non-scary fall-theme games and activities. Kids are invited to arrive in costume or as a favorite book character for the zombie dance party. Other Halloween/fall theme activities throughout the month of October. Admission charge. Children’s Museum, Wilmington. 910-254-3534; www.playwilmington.org

Oct. 31—
AquaCamp: Spooky Critters. Halloween day camp (ages 5-12) features slippery, slimy animal programs and crafts. Admission charge; pre-registration required. NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, Kure Beach; 910-458-8257; www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher

Oct. 31—T
rick-or-Treat at the Mall. 5-7pm. Kids arrive in costume and retailers provide candy. Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Dr., Wilmington. 910-392-1776; www.shopindependencemall.com

Festivals and events provide a fun and affordable way to experience a destination. For more information about Fall featured events, experiences and seasonal specials, visit www.gowilmingtonandbeaches.com. For a free official visitors guide to Wilmington, N.C.'s historic river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, please call 910-341-4030 or 1-866-266-9690. Or stop by the Visitor Information Center located at 505 Nutt St., Wilmington, or visit www.gowilmingtonandbeaches.com. For a complete calendar of events, visit www.gowilmingtonandbeaches.com/events. Before traveling, please call event venue to confirm date, time, prices.
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