Celebrating 35 Years of Halloween Haunts 

Wehr Nature Center’s Halloween Extravaganza returns October 19, 20, and 21, 2023 for its 35th Anniversary edition. It is hard to believe, but Halloween Haunts has been entertaining and educating Milwaukee area families since 1988. While the program has changed and grown over the years, it remains true to its original idea: to educate families about misunderstood nature in a kooky, slightly spooky way. Halloween Haunts makes learning fun for families and its success speaks for itself.

Thank you to all the families that have made our event their Halloween tradition for so many years! We'd love to have you share your favorite Halloween Haunts memory or photos with us. Complete the form below or bring them along to this year's event.


Share Your Memories of the Haunts

Please share your favorite Halloween Haunts story, photos, or videos with us.

Visitors enjoy our first Bones character in 1993. Were you there? Tell us about it!
Visitors enjoy our first Bones character in 1993. Were you there? Tell us about it!
Oct. 30, 1988
October ?,?, 1993

1st Halloween Hike

Wehr Naturalist Sue Cook leads the first Halloween themed hike. It features a giant spider, werewolf, vampire (mosquito) and a witch. Visitors enjoyed cider and popcorn by a campfire after the walk.

Jack-o-lanterns Part of the Show

Fifty Jack-o-lanterns lined the 3/4 mile trail in 1989. Volunteers collected pumpkins from the Milwaukee House of Correction farm in Franklin and had a "carving party" to transform them into Jack-o-lanterns. 

Halloween Hikes Expands

Halloween Hikes expands to two nights, with hikes leaving the building every 30 minutes. Characters included a tick (pictured), a devil who talked about prairie fires, and a witch. 

Familiar Characters Debut

The Druid made his debut, telling the story of the origin of Halloween by a fire on the savannah. The Witch had a cauldron now and was the finale on the amphitheater stage. 


The witch becomes the finale at the amphitheater stage, complete with a bubbling cauldron.

Big Changes and a New Name

The event grows to four nights over two consecutive weekends with the support of our first corporate sponsor, Bank One. Larry Gietl of Gietl Signs hand paints our iconic banner.

DCF 1.0