CINCINNATI – This weekend promises to be a frighteningly good time, with multiple Halloween-themed parties, grand-opening celebrations, dancing and music events.
Roald Dahl's 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory': Thursday-Nov. 4. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown. $31-$104. It's golden tickets for everyone who attends a showing of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The New Musical" at the Aronoff Center's Procter & Gamble Hall. The touring Broadway Musical tells the classic story of Charlie Bucket, the boy whose bland life takes a colorful turn when he unwraps a golden ticket that grants him access to Willie Wonka's candy factory. www.cincinnatiarts.org
moe.: 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown. $37.50-$44.50. moe., the progressive rock band founded in 1990, is still on the road entertaining crowds across America. The jam band will perform familiar and new tunes during Thursday's show at the Taft. tafttheatre.org
'Peter Pan' at Music Hall: 7:30-9 p.m. Thursday; 8-9:30 p.m. Friday; 2-3:30 p.m. and 8-9:30 p.m. Saturday; 1-2:30 p.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. Sunday. Cincinnati Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. $20-$125. Let your imagination take flight this weekend when the Cincinnati Ballet presents Carmon DeLeone's original composition of "Peter Pan" at Music Hall. The Lost Boys, Captain Hook, swashbuckling pirates, a hungry crocodile and Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn't grow up, will whisk you away to Neverland during their playful performance on the Springer Auditorium stage. www.cballet.org
Heroes Rise Street Dance Experience: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday; 5:30-11:30 p.m. Saturday. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown. $15 Friday; $10 Saturday. If you are a fan of street dance, then you won't want to miss Heroes Rise: Street Dance Experience this weekend. On Friday, the experience will showcase the street-style dances of Breaking, Popping, House, Locking, Krump, Memphis Jooking, Wakking, Vogue and African Street styles performed in the Harriet Tubman Theater at the Freedom Center. Saturday will showcase "The Battle," which will feature performances judged by a guest panel for various cash prices. This event is sponsored by The Millennium Robots in partnership with People's Liberty, Elementz, the Freedom Center and UC's College-Conservatory of Music. www.heroesrisecincinnati.com
Comedian John Witherspoon: 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Funny Bone, 7518 Bales St., Space A-120, Liberty Township. $25-$55. 21 and older. John Witherspoon has had a prolific career both as a comedian and actor. On the big screen, Witherspoon may be best remembered for playing Ice Cube's dad in "Friday," "Next Friday" and "Friday After Next." He's also appeared on multiple television shows. Witherspoon's stand-up is described as "wickedly" funny and sure to make you laugh. liberty.funnybone.com
Gordon Lightfoot: 8 p.m. Saturday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown. $54-$63. The legend that is musician Gordon Lightfoot not only lives on but will also rock the Taft Theatre this Saturday. Lightfoot's career spans more than a decade and includes such hits as “Early Morning Rain,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Carefree Highway,” “Sundown” and “(That's What You Get) For Lovin Me.” Lightfoot will likely play a few of those hits, plus a few rare deep cuts from other tunes while on stage in the Queen City. tafttheatre.org
The Mavericks: 8 p.m. Sunday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown. $48-$58. The band that defies clear genre definition will perform its first studio album released on the Mono Mundo Recordings label this Sunday. The Mavericks founded the independent label in 2016 and recently released "Brand New Day," which is a follow-up to their 2015 album, Mono. tafttheatre.org
Halloween Parties: It's time to wake the dead. Enjoy bone-rattling fun by participating in multiple bar crawls, costume parties and unique "haunt" events taking place throughout Greater Cincinnati this weekend. As a matter of fact, there are too many to list here, which is why I created this ultimate Halloween party guide for 2018. An example of events listed in the guide includes the annual Rhinegeist Brewing Halloween party taking place Friday, the Nightmare in Pleasant Ridge pub crawl on Saturday and the Creatures of the Night costume party taking place from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. at the 21C Museum Hotel the same evening. For more details and other party suggestions, tap here.
Diwali Festival of Lights: 5-9 p.m. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams. Free admission. This month's Art After Dark event at the Cincinnati Art Museum celebrates the special exhibit "The Fabric of India and Diwali." The exhibition that focuses on India's festival of lights will be on view through Jan. 6, 2019. Friday's festivities will include food for purchase from Bombay Brazier and Amma's Kitchen, specialty cocktails, live music from Vikas Sondhi, docent-led tours, henna tattoo stations and dance performances at the museum. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Fall Fest Weekend: Noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Washington Park will fill with the scenes and sounds of autumn when it plays hosts to the Fall Fest Weekend. Local vendors will sell crafts, homemade items and baked goods. Children will be able to visit a pumpkin patch, get their faces painted, participate in relay races and enjoy other activities presented by Happen, Inc. and The Red Balloon Cafe + Play. Bands will also perform both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Halloween Walk in the Woods: Noon-3 p.m. Saturday. Blue Ash Nature Park, 4433 Cooper Road, Blue Ash. Free. Looking for something to do with the little ones in your life? The Blue Ash Halloween Walk in the Woods is geared toward children 10-and-under. Children are welcomed to dress in costume and trick-or-treat in the Blue Ash Nature Park. They'll be able to get their faces painted by Clown Town from 12:30-2:30 p.m. and enjoy the magic of Tom Bemmes at 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Fountain Square Ice Rink Opening Weekend: Noon-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St. Downtown. $6. Skate straight into the holiday season when the O'Keeffe's Company Ice Rink returns to Fountain Square this weekend. The rink will open Saturday with two special events. The first will be a Halloween-themed "Watch it, Wear it: Villains are People Too" costume party from noon-3 p.m. Guests are welcomed to skate in costume with iconic Disney villains. The fun continues from 7-11 p.m. with an "Opening Night Dance Party." Then on Sunday, Fountain Square and the rink will host a Cincinnati Bengals Watch Party from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The entire weekend will feature free skate rentals with each $6 paid rink admission. The rink typically charges $4 to rent skates. myfountainsquare.com
Little Kings 60th Anniversary Dinner + Bourbon Tasting: 6-9 p.m. Thursday. Montgomery Inn, 925 Riverside Drive, Downtown. $60. All hail Little Kings! The Cincinnati-made cream ale sold in the iconic seven-ounce green bottles turns 60 this year. To mark the occasion, the Montgomery Inn is hosting a four-course dinner with a bourbon and Little Kings pairing. The event celebrating Little Kings makes perfect sense after Little Kings and Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. owner Greg Hardman explains the beer's history, which involves Schoenling Brewing and Ted Gregory, the founder of Montgomery Inn. You can learn more about that history here. Dean Gregory of Montgomery Inn, Molly Wellmann of Japp's and Hardman will also discuss the beer's history during the event. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.
Grand Opening Weekend at The Birdcage: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday. The Birdcage, 927 Race St., Downtown. Get ready to work up a sweat on a Technicolor-lit dance floor when The Birdcage opens Downtown. The new LGBTQ-friendly nightclub is celebrating its grand opening with three nights of fun this weekend. There will be music from DJ Patrick B, a drag show and a "Sunday Church Tea Dance." For more information, and photos from The Birdcage, tap here. For information about the grand opening, visit the event Facebook page.
Sonder Brewing Grand Opening: 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday. Sonder Brewing, 8584 Duke Blvd., Mason. Sonder Brewing in Mason will offer more than just craft beer when it hosts its grand opening this weekend. BrewRiver Creole Kitchen will serve up delicious gastropub food in the brewery's fully equipped kitchen. Sonder also features a fenced-in lawn with an over-sized beer garden that sits adjacent to bocce ball courts, cornhole, volleyball and fire pit areas on 6.5 acres of land. For more information about the grand opening, visit the event Facebook page.
Queen City Beer Mile 2018: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Queen City Exchange, 32 W. Court St., Downtown. 21 and over. $25. Lace up your running shoes for this truly unique showcase of local athleticism. The Queen City Exchange will celebrate its second anniversary with the Queen City Beer Mile this Saturday. Participants will run or walk one mile and drink one 12-ounce beer at four separate bars along the race route. The registration fee will get you a Queen City Beer Mile T-shirt, the four beers along the route, one 16-ounce Fifty West Brewing Co. draft beer and food at Queen City Exchange after the race. For more information, visit the event Facebook page.