Written by Devon Boen
It may be time to retire the bikinis, sunscreen and tropical drinks, but that doesn't mean the fun needs to stop. Fall in Montana is filled with fun activities to stave off the post-summer woes.
Food, Drinks And Fun
Wolf Point Volunteer Firemen’s Ball: Every year, the Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department takes a much-deserved break from extinguishing fires and serving the community to attend the annual Firemen’s Ball. The event, which will be held at the Elks this year on Oct. 13, will be a night filled with fun, food, drinks and music.
Mondak Heritage Center Oktoberfest: What would the month of October be without Oktoberfest? Fortunately, the people of northeast Montana won't have to imagine the month without the German tradition thanks to the Mondak Heritage Center in Sidney. The fourth annual event will feature German beer and brats keeping in line with traditional Oktoberfest offerings. Those looking to expand their cultural horizons and fill up on delicious food and drinks should stop by the event which is being held on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Heritage center.
Ales For Trails: Do you enjoy good beer and good causes? Then Ales for Trails may be just the ticket. The annual event held in Billings each year raises money for multi-use trails within the community by holding a beer tasting with live music and food. The event is being held on Friday, Sept. 28, in Dehler Park in Billings at 5 p.m.
There is no better way to kick off the Halloween season than visiting a spooky haunted house.
Terror On 36th Street: Terror on 36th Street is known as one of Missoula's favorite Haunted Houses. Those brave enough can visit the popular attraction on Friday, Oct. 22, and Saturday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 9 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 28, from 7 to 9 p.m.; and Friday, Oct. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 31, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. The event encourages anyone who is scared of the dark, clowns, and things that go bump in the night to attend if they dare.
Old Montana Prison: Also on the western side of the state is the 74th annual Old Montana Prison Haunted House. It is said the prison was home to at least one member of Butch Cassidy’s wild bunch, and the haunted house site claims, “Seventh Annual Old Montana Prison Haunted House: "Terror in the Cellhouse" takes you through the 1912 cell house and will paralyze you with fear.” Thrill-seekers and history buffs can come, take a haunted tour from Oct. 26-31 from 7 to 10 p.m. in Deer Lodge.
The Maize: The Maize in Billings is not just a corn maze, it is the site of all types of family fun. Open from Aug. 31 to Nov. 3, it has hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a kiddieville for children, pig races, and freshly-made kettle corn. The Maize is open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on all Fridays in October. Come, get lost in the maze or enjoy one of the other fun fall activities.
Missoula Maze: The Missoula Maze offers a bit more of a challenge for those who don’t mind driving a bit further. Unlike other mazes, this one changes its route and clues periodically through the fall season to keep its guests on their toes. New mazes will start on Oct. 4 and Oct. 18. On the maze website, it explains why this year is particularly special: “For the fourth annual Missoula Maze, we've incorporated the most challenging aspects of previous mazes into one very baffling and bewildering adventure. This is our best maze yet!” The Missoula Maze is open on Sundays, Thursdays and Fridays.
All Hallow's Eve
Halloween Party At Stockman's: For those staying around the Wolf Point area over Halloween, a festive party will be held at Stockman's 220 Club on Oct. 27 from 9 p.m. until close. Attendees should be sure to wear their most creative costume because a contest at midnight will determine whose was the best. Stockman's owner Don Tomsic said the audience will choose its favorite costumes and first place will be awarded $100; second place, $50; and third place, $25; so all potential competitors will need to stand out in the crowd.
Zombie Carnival: Come, celebrate the night of the living dead with a carnival dedicated to zombies. As strange as it may sound, the event is filled with fun activities and lots of creepy creatures. 2011 marked the carnival’s first year, and due to its success, it will live again on Oct. 6 in Billings at 10 a.m. and will last through the night. The organization putting it on, Zombies of Montana is a non-profit group whose goal is to bring more recreational activities to the state of Montana. The scary festival will feature a jello-brain eating contest, belly dancers, and a three-legged race, so those attending should be ready to live it up with the undead.