While the ongoing pandemic puts a damper on yet another spooky season, there’s still plenty of Halloween-ing to do in Central Arkansas in 2021 — Halloweekends in the Ouachita Mountains at Magic Springs, meeting a ghost named Charles at Benton’s historic Royal Theater, the much anticipated (and adults only) Festival of Darkness presented by Lost Forty Brewing in downtown Little Rock, dancing to “Thriller” on Halloween night in Conway’s Simon Park. A short roundup:
Halloweekends at Magic Springs
SATURDAY 10/2 – SUNDAY 10/31. Noon – 6 p.m. every weekend. 1701 East Grand Avenue, Hot Springs. Single-day tickets starting at $24.99.
Among the highlights of Magic Springs’s Halloweekends are the interactive Magic Farms Hay Maze, a walk through the “Living Dead” Cemetery, spooky roaming characters, food, rides and, new for 2021, “Legend” the Baby Dragon at the Pinecone Theater.
Locked In: A Royal Haunted Tour
THURSDAY-SATURDAY 14-16, THURSDAY-SATURDAY 21-23, and THURSDAY-SUNDAY 28-31. 7-9 p.m. The Royal Theatre, 111 South Market Street, Benton. $10.
Sadly, this year’s annual Spook City event was canceled, but visitors can still come meet one of Benton’s ghostly residents at one of its most historic venues. Meet your guide “Charles,” the ghost who haunts Benton’s Royal Theatre, and his spooky new friends, for a special two-hour haunted house tour. The Royal Theatre dates back to 1920 and at one time was owned by actor Jerry Van Dyke of “Coach.” Tickets can be purchased at theroyalplayers.ticketleap.com.
Festival of Darkness 2021: Nighty Night Release Party
SATURDAY 10/23. 5-9 p.m. Lost Forty Brewing, 501 Byrd Street, Little Rock. $15-$200.
Come celebrate the release of Lost Forty’s Nighty Night Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout and sample countless other brews and spirits from more than 20 Arkansas breweries and distilleries in downtown Little Rock. Keep a look out for zombie lumberjacks, live music, and a tasty lineup of some of Central Arkansas’s best food trucks. The Festival of Darkness isn’t just a beer festival; it’s also a fundraiser for Recycle Bikes for Kids.
Tickets range from the $15 Designated Driver Pass to the $200 Day of the Dead Pass.
Thriller in the Park
SUNDAY 10/31. 6-8 p.m., Simon Park, 805 Front Street, Conway. Free.
If you live in the Conway area and are fans of the late King of Pop, bring the family to Conway’s Simon Park this Halloween and pay tribute with your best “Thriller” dance. Before the big dance, there will be games, candy giveaways and a costume contest. The third annual Thriller in the Park is free to the public and is hosted by Morrilton-based dance studio Funk Fusion Dance Company.