The Brainerd Lakes area plays host to a full slate of Halloween activities leading up to the big day and of course, on October 31st as well. With fall colors all around and typically mild temperatures, it’s fun to check out all the Halloween happenings, from family-friendly, candy-filled events to those more on the spooky side!

This time of year in Central Minnesota is bursting with excitement for crisp, cool air, the return of crackling fires, and enjoying the seasonal bounty of apples and pumpkins. From hayrides to harvest festivals, the best of fall can be found around Gull Lake.


Copper Creek Garden Center on Hwy. 371 will host a pumpkin carving workshop on October 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. Pick your pumpkin, carve it while enjoying hot cider or chocolate, and leave the mess! Take a photo of your creation at the onsite picture station and post it on social media to enter the center’s contest. Prizes range from $50 to $150!

Also on the 23rd, Historic Hauntings, sponsored by the Nisswa Area Historical Society, features an evening of games, candy and prizes for kids under 10 from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by a scary tour of the buildings and grounds of The Nisswa History Center and Museum from 8 to 10 p.m.

On October 30, the Nisswa Fire Department will hold its 23rd annual Haunted Barn and Hayrides. With not-so-scary activities from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by scary hours from 6 to 8:30 p.m., attendees will enjoy bonfires, games, concessions, and some friendly tricks and treats.

Gather the little goblins together for the Nisswa American Legion’s annual Children’s Halloween Party on October 31 from 1-3 p.m. in the Legion parking lot. Specifically for kids 10 and under, the event will provide hot dogs, trick-or-treat bags, and prizes.

Later that day from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Lutheran Church of the Cross will host a costumed Truck-or-Treat in the church parking lot, complete with treats, decorated trunks, and carnival games hosted by the church youth.


Brainerd welcomes all guys and ghouls to its annual Trick-or-Treat Spooktacular on October 30 across the downtown area. Kids come in costume to enjoy treats and more. At 11:30 a.m., the costume parade and contest kicks off, followed by trick-or-treating at participating businesses from 12 to 2 p.m. From noon to 3 p.m., the Halloween celebration settles on South Seventh Street for live music, food, and kids’ activities.

If you’re looking for something a little different, Minnesota School of Diving will hold its 23rd annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest on October 30. BYO gutted pumpkin and carve it underwater for a chance to win a prize. Be sure to stick around for the post-dive barbecue.

For your furry friends, check out Howl-O-Ween at Buster Park, a playground for dogs. On Halloween day from 1 to 3 p.m., dress up your pampered pooch for this canine costume contest, complete with prizes, not to mention treats for dog tricks.


Check out the Haunted Hollow Haunted House and Hayride over at Holst Acres in neighboring Staples. Running October 22-23 and 29-30 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., this event is recommended for ages 13 and up. Take a hayride through the woods and explore the haunted house, at your own risk, of course!

Over at Northland Arboretum in Baxter, a signature scare event on October 23 (6:30 to 7:30 p.m.) features both low-scare and high-scare haunted trails, so there’s something for everyone. On October 30 (4 to 6 p.m.), the arboretum will host its low-scare trail along with Trunk-or-Treat for the younger set. The Great Pumpkin and other themed attractions will make appearances at this popular outdoor event.

Mission Tavern in nearby Merrifield will put on a Halloween bash from noon to 5 p.m. on October 30. Festivities include Trunk-or-Treat in the parking lot, “corn grab” with free prizes, photo opps on the Tav Truck with the skeleton crew, outdoor beer tub, campfire for BYO s’mores, and costume contest with cash prizes and gift cards.

On Halloween evening, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby hosts its annual Trick-or-Treat Parade for kids 10 and younger. Participants will roam along the candy trail to the main Care Center and will be able to greet the center’s residents through their festively decorated windows.


After taking in all the Halloween happenings, come back to your peaceful cabin on Gull Lake to pour a glass of wine to go with all that holiday candy. At Gull Lake Beach Resorts, we pull out all the stops to create the perfect home base for enjoying all the activities of the season. Whether you’re looking for family-focused fun or more intense chills and thrills, you can find a range of festivities in the Gull Lake area. Contact us today to book your fall getaway!