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Halloween isn’t all about the candy. A number of spots in the area are offering alternative options for celebrating Halloween. All these events take place on Halloween, Saturday, Oct. 31 unless otherwise noted.

At Mai-Kai, 3599 N. Federal in Fort Lauderdale, the seventh annual “Hulaween” returns on Friday, Oct. 30, for “Night of the Zombie.” Rising from the ground at 5 p.m. and lurching past midnight, the ghoulish event will feature a costume contest and the bar’s many deadly tropical drinks will be half price until 7 p.m. This year’s top prize for the best costume is $300 cash plus a $50 gift certificate from The Mai-Kai. Second place will receive $200 and third $100. For more information call 954-563-3272 or go to

On Friday, Oct. 30 the Atlantic Hotel, 601 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., will offer a three-course full moon dinner on the fifth floor oceanfront terrace at 7 p.m. followed by a costume party at 9 p.m. Tickets are $39.95 per person (plus tax and gratuity), call 954-567-8020 or go to

Max’s Social House gets in the “spirit” of Halloween on Oct. 30 with drink specials all night. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and include a signature SocialWeen cocktail, discount drinks and light bites before 10 pm. There will be a costume contest, tickets are available at

If you really want to be good to your trick or treaters, head over to J.P.’s Chocolates, 2410 Wilton Drive, and pick up some of the caramel apples and pumpkin truffles they’re making for the holiday.

Cantina Laredo in the Village at Gulfstream Park celebrates Dia de los Muertos and Halloween with a Blue Moon Pumpkin ‘Rita special. The drink, usually $12, will be $6 from Saturday, Oct. 31 until Monday, Nov. 2.

The witches are brewing up a mischievous night for annual Halloween Block Party on the 200 block of South Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard (A1A). The event is the largest Halloween event on Fort Lauderdale Beach, with five Halloween-themed events including Spazio’s “Monster Mash” dinner & movie, Blondies hosting “The Devil’s Dungeon,” Tsukuro promising “No Trick/Just Treats” for its full moon party, Sangrias getting a jump start on Dia De Los Muertos and Rock Bar holding “The Spider Ball” (I didn’t know they had any!).

The restaurants and bars lining Hollywood Blvd. in Downtown Hollywood present “Hollyweird” a Halloween block party. The Greek Joint, Mickey Byrnes and Whiskey Tango join forces to bring costume contests, live music and food and drink specials from 9 p.m. - 2a.m. There will be costume contests with $10,000 in prizes, live music from three bands. There is no cover and no entrance fee.

Halloween’s going to the dogs as a number of places hold pet costume parades and contests. There’s always a cuteness factor in these things that I can’t resist. “Max’s Thrill”, a pet costume contest takes place on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6-8 p.m. at Max’s Grille in Boca’s Mizner Park as it joins forces with Tri-County Humane. To pre-register your pup, call 561-368-0080. The canine costume contest at Harbourside Place at 200 N. Federal in Jupiter on Halloween at 6 p.m. is sponsored by Pucci & Catana Luxury Pet Boutique and the first 25 dogs to arrive in costume will receive a goodie bag and the first place winner will receive a $200 Pucci & Catana gift card. There will be complimentary drinks, live music and light bites for people and pooches alike. The “Dogs, Beaches and Brews” Halloween party on Friday, Oct. 30 begins at 5 p.m. Bring your pup to the dog beach at A1A and Sunrise anytime beginning at 5 p.m. Then head over to the Parrot Lounge at 911 Sunrise Lane for doggie happy hour. The doggie costume contest is at 8 p.m. and they’re asking for a $5 donation to benefit Everglades Angels Dog Rescue and Milo's Dog Rescue.

Deadline Dash

Even with Halloween hogging the column inches, I couldn’t let “Taste of the Island” on Nov. 2 slip by without a mention. Billed as “an evening of food and libation in the Island City,” it brings more than 30 area restaurants to historic Richardson Park on the south end of Wilton Drive for an evening that is a foodie’s delight. Expanding beyond Wilton Manors’ borders the event highlights restaurants and bars from across eastern Broward County, each offering a “taste” of their culinary and beverage specialties.

The businesses participating as of my deadline are; Angelo Elia Pizza Bar Tapas, Another Perfect Party, Aruba Beach Café, Big Dog Station, Blue Martini, Bravo, Brew Café, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, Courtyard Café, Dapur, Delacaseas, Edible Arrangements, The Filling Station, Funky Buddha, Gold Coast Coffee, Humpy's, Rumors’ HOBO's Grill, Joe's Seafood Shack, JP's Chocolate Shoppe, Kelly's Landing, New York Subs & Wings, Red's Bar, Southport Raw Bar, Spanx The Hog BBQ, Stork's Catering & Events, Thasos, Warsaw and Wilton Liquor.

This is a good chance to enjoy some favorites and check out some new places, while benefitting the Wilton Manors Historical Society, Development Alliance and Kiwanis. They’re limiting ticket sales to 700 this year, so you won’t have to battle your way to the food tables. Tickets are $35 and available at, Wilton Manors City Hall, Wilton Manors Library, Hagen Park or on-line at