Fall Family Fun (Bismarck)

Depending on your age, Halloween demands a certain kind of celebration. If you’re over 30 and therefore too old to have fun, the holiday is all about making sure you don’t run out of little Twix bars for the trick-or-treaters for fear of getting your house egged. If you’re still young and cool, it’s all about drinking beer and pretending you’re not tired of listening to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” And if you’re a little kid, it’s all about enjoying wholesome fun with your parents and not getting so scared that you wind up ruining your Paw Patrol pajamas later that evening. Here are some good, clean, and local Halloween celebrations that you can take the kids to.

Twin Cities Horror Festival

Most genres tell pretty well what a story is going to be about. If it’s a romcom, two very attractive people are going to overcome some ordeal to find out that they’re exactly attractive enough for one another. If it’s action, a guy with a testosterone level that would disqualify him from running in the Kentucky Derby goes about saving the day via rocket propelled grenades. If it’s noir, a detective narrates everything in a voice that sounds like he gargles razor blades after meals. 

Local Fall Beers



Bauhaus Brew Labs

Named after Bauhaus Brew Labs’ “COO, head brewer, and janitor” Matt Schwandt, Schwandtoberfest is one of Bauhaus’ few very traditional beers. It is brewed in the fashion of Bavarian harvest celebration beer, which would have aged in a cool cave beginning in March. Schwandtoberfest is rich copper in color, and 5.7% ABV to give it the right extra oomph that celebrating the harvest calls for. This is a malty lager, with just enough hops to balance its sweetness without overpowering it. Its Mandarina Bavaria hops give it a subtle floral flavor with a hint of tangerine, and it finishes clean as a dry lager should.

Mean Girls

I love the movie Mean Girls. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, it tells the story of a dewy Cady who has to start going to public school because her zoologist parents ran out of animals to look at in Africa. There she makes a couple of outcast friends before she is inducted into the most popular clique of girls in the school — the Plastics, comprised of a dreadful bull goose named Regina, a disenfranchised sycophant, and one who is only marginally intelligent enough to breathe. Cady and her outcast friends hatch a cunning plan to knock the bull goose off of her perch at the pinnacle of the school’s social hierarchy, but Cady’s loyalties are tested as the toxicity of popularity seeps in through her pores and turns her into the very thing she’d sought to destroy. Tim Meadows plays the high school principal, and he is always fun to see in movies.

Silver Knight Sugar Gliders

The sugar glider is so cute that it defies description. That it’s a type of possum, an animal most Americans only know as a toothy ghost-faced garbage ravager, is hard to believe. With its giant inkwell eyes, puppy dog ears, and pointy pink snoot, a sugar glider would look right at home on the shoulder of any of Disney’s upcoming princesses. And it’s an entertainer, too — listen to its squeaky little bark or marvel as it kites through the air and you’ll want a dozen of them. But should you rush out and buy so many exotic marsupials all at once? To get to the bottom of such a conundrum you would want to consult with Tianna Nelson of Silver Knight Sugar Gliders in Minneapolis.