October has arrived. As Halloween approaches, fans of the spooky season can find any number of fun and exciting things to do to celebrate. A new tradition, Shaqtoberfest, is upon us for its sophomore year.
Hosted at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Shaqtoberfest is scary fun for all ages. There are carnival rides, haunted trails, a variety of food and merch, along with scares around every corner. It’s open now, Thursday through Sunday, until the end of the month.
The location of Shaqtoberfest is part of its appeal. First setting sail in 1936, the Queen Mary started out as a British passenger ship. It was permanently docked in 1967 and is now a destination for tourists. It serves as a museum and a hotel on the coast of Long Beach. And for the second straight year, the Queen Mary plays host to a Shaq-themed, month-long Halloween party.
Each night starts off with a video introduction by Shaq, followed by some wild antics from the many freaks and weirdos running around trying to scare people as the evening goes on. You’ll see everything from children being chased with chainsaws to crazy clowns on stilts. If you don’t like to be frightened, this event is not for you.
Throughout the night, there is a steady stream of dance music playing at the LVCRFT Block Party Stage, with DJ Reaper and Skeleton Sam. A number of food and merchandise vendors surround the stage’s vicinity. There’s everything from Shaqtoberfest hoodies to Pink’s hot dogs available to attendees.
Venturing further into the event space, you will find bumper cars, a tilt-a-whirl ride, a Wacky Shack, and a few other fun activities. A personal favorite of mine is shooting hoops with severed heads. Be sure to take a ride on the Ferris wheel. You’ll get a great view of the surrounding area while at the top.
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Perhaps the most noteworthy highlight of Shaqtoberfest is the haunted trails. There are five of them and they are all worth checking out. If your time is limited, the Grey Ghost is the one not to miss. The path leads through the actual Queen Mary, a haunted vessel with plenty of its own ghost stories.
While the Big Fella was not in attendance, there certainly was something endearing about the combination of Shaq and Halloween. It’s not a groundbreaking idea, but it was a lot of fun for a Sunday night. I would certainly recommend this to anyone looking for a few hours of scary fun this month. Make sure to pay for the VIP upgrade, as it will save you significant time getting into the haunted trails.