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From frightened felons to the Day of the Dead


All Hallow's Eve is nearly upon us, which means two things: buy enough candy to keep the trick-or-treaters from TPing your house and plan ahead to find the best parties around. Luckily, Boise doesn't fall short when it comes to Halloween celebrations.

Considering the Old Idaho State Penitentiary is pretty haunting even on a sunny afternoon, it's the ideal place to spend a dark autumn night--assuming you don't mind a few nightmares. The Pen hosts its annual Frightened Felons party Friday, Oct. 25, and Saturday, Oct. 26, and the two-night spread means two different experiences.

All ages are welcome Friday, when families can explore the supposedly haunted prison. Boise Rock School will perform in one of the cell blocks, actors will portray prisoners-past, and zombies will perform the classic "Thriller" dance during the global flash mob, Thrill the World.

It's ages 18 and older only on Saturday, with haunted tours, palm readers, a costume contest, food trucks and brews from Crooked Fence Brewing. Get tickets in advance at The Pen will also stay open late on Thursday, Oct. 31, for those who need more thrills.

Speaking of thrills, a horde of zombies will perform the iconic choreography of "Thriller" at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, on the Grove Plaza.

The kids are once again the focus on Tuesday, Oct. 29 Saturday, Oct. 26, as Zoo Boise presents its annual Boo at the Zoo, where kids can not only score on the candy front while wearing costumes, but see the animals.

Finally, the Idaho Historical Museum brings back its popular Day of the Dead exhibit from Tuesday, Oct. 29-Saturday, Nov. 9, when alters created by more than 100 area artists and students will be on display at the museum and at the Sesqui-Shop in downtown.

The main celebration will be Saturday, Nov. 2, when the large woodblock banners will be taken through the city streets in a procession from the Sesqui-Shop to the museum from 5-9 p.m.