EVENTS This Week—CSICon, Halloween Parties & More

CSICon is into its second day, with lots still ahead. If you’re not at the Con, you can get a sort of impressionistic look at what’s going on by following #csicon on Twitter, where people tweet key points, jokes, and descriptions of what’s going on. Check out the schedule to see some good times to tune in, depending on what you’re interested in.

Today at 5:15 Eastern is the Paranormal Road Trip discussion, if you want to hear more about what Rebecca, Richard, and Jon encountered on the road. Unfortunately, Twitter probably won’t be able to do justice to tonight’s Halloween costume moonshine super dance party, which Rebecca is emceeing. But hey, I’ve got Just Dance 3 for the Wii, a Twinkie costume, and Everclear. THAT WILL BE JUST AS GOOD.

And odds are, you’ve got a ton of options for things to do near where you live, especially if you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween. Zombie laser tag? Roller skating in costume? Rocky Horror? Houdini séance skepicelebrity mashup? AC/DC cover band?

Wait, what?

Below are some of the events going on this week, including family events as well as events that would probably scar a child for life, so be sure to click on the hyperlinks to find out more about each party and meetup. Although there’s a ton of Halloween partying going on, you’ll also find various unrelated events, including some interesting talks, comedians, the Reason in the Rock conference in Arkansas, and more. Don’t see your area listed? Check out our events calendar, shoot us an email, or let me know in the comments what area you are interested in.


Events for Oct. 26–Nov. 1




Washington, DC, Sat., Oct. 27

The CFI–DC Secular Family Network is having a Halloween costume party for kids and adults, with crafts, dancing, games, and more. Be sure to RSVP.


Boston, MA—Multiple

Thurs., Nov. 1: Timothy Palmer, Oxford climate physics professor, speaks on “Predicting Climate in a Chaotic World—How Certain Can We Be?” as part of MIT’s annual John Carlson Lecture Series.

Sat., Oct. 27: It’s time for Heathen Halloween! The theme for this year’s Boston Atheists’ Halloween party is “Irreligious Beings and Concepts.” Dress up as an irreligious being, beast, personality, concept, etc. Click here for more info about the event, including the costume contest.


Dracut, MA, Tues., Oct. 30

Skeptical Spectacle: Paranormal Investigation?—The Greater Lowell Area Skeptics Society is getting together at a paranormal investigator’s presentation, followed by a ghost walk to look for evidence on the Middlesex Community Campus.


Lake Grove, NY, Mon., Oct. 29

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is hosting a talk by paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, “Hominid Evolution: How It Has Shaped Human Behavior, Ethics, and Morality.”


Philadelphia, PA, Tues., Oct. 30

Salman Rushdie discusses his new book, Joseph Anton: A Memoir, about his experiences  during the fatwa against him for writing The Satanic Verses. Co-event with Martin Amis, author of Lionel Asbo: State of England. The talk is simulcast, but a live book signing follows. $6. Tickets.




Savannah, GA, Sat., Oct. 27

Join Coastal Atheists and Secular Humanists (CASH) at Club One’s Rocky Horror-themed Halloween party! Prize for best costume.


Raleigh, NC, Tues., Oct. 30

Join the Triangle Skeptics for DJ Bingo, where the DJ plays songs for 30 seconds each and you find the title on your card. Join the group to find out the location.


Wilmington, NC, Sun., Oct. 28

The Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear are having a potluck Halloween party for adults and kids, with a chili contest, a raffle, and other fall activities.


Nashville, TN, Tues., Oct. 30

Vanderbilt University is hosting Northwestern law professor Dorothy E. Roberts to speak on her latest book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century. More details here.


Reston, VA, Sat., Oct. 27

Hispanic American Freethinkers (HAFree) is hosting a Halloween costume party / Fiesta de Disfraces Dia de Las Brujas, with a costume contest, raffles, music and more. Space is limited, so RSVP here. Over 21 only.




Little Rock, AR—Multiple

Sat., Oct. 27: The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers is hosting its annual one-day conference on secularism, Reason in the Rock, this weekend. It’s run on donations, but registration is required.

Sun., Oct. 28: The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers is hosting a Building and Growing a Group workshop by Michael Werner, humanist leader and cofounder of SMART, a secular program for addiction recovery.


Austin, TX, Sat., Oct. 27

CFI Austin is having a potluck Samhain celebration with activities for kids and adults, including a costume contest. Let them know what food and drinks you’re bringing when you RSVP.


Dallas, TX, Sat., Oct. 27

The Fellowship of Freethought (FoF) Dallas is joining Camp Quest in hosting a teen/youth trip to Six Flags Fright Fest. For details, including cost, and to RSVP, click here.


Houston, TX, Tues., Oct. 30

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is hosting a lecture by Robert T. Bakker, Ph.D., called “Life After the Dinosaurs: Darwinian Saga of the Mammalia.” Tickets are $18; $12 for members.




Cleveland, OH, Sun., Oct. 28

The Cleveland Skeptics are getting together for a trip through a Judgement House (formerly called a Hell House), the church version of a haunted house, intended to scare you with the idea that, as the Cleveland Skeptics put it, “you may die at any time and go to hell, preferably right after you had pre-marital sex with your abortion doctor while high on marijuana and scratching off a lotto ticket with a bottle of gin.” RSVP to make sure they have room for you in the group.


Olathe, KS, Sat., Oct. 27

The Kansas City FreeThinkers is getting together for the annual Halloween bash, complete with costume contest and Jell-O shots. Over 21 only. $1 at the door. Find out more about the event and joining the group here.


Overland Park, KS, Sat., Oct. 27

The Midwest Skeptics Society is hosting a discussion with Hiten Soni, M.D., on “The Evolution of Anger.” They’ll discuss the evolutionary fitness, neurobiology, and physiology of anger, among other related topics and questions.


Kansas City, MO, Sun., Oct. 28

Camp Quest Kansas City is having its first annual Superstition Bash for kids of all ages (accompanied by at least one parent or guardian). Kids are encouraged to wear costumes to this free event, which has activities, games, and more. You must register to attend.


Saint Louis, MO, Thurs., Nov. 1

Climate Reality–St. Louis is hosting a talk by environmental author and advocate Bill McKibben, “350: The Most Important Number in the World.”


Springfield, MO, Sat., Oct. 27

The Springfield Freethinkers are getting together at the Rocky Horror Picture Show—virgins welcome! Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. Get more info here.


Akron, OH, Fri., Oct. 26

The Akron Secular Student Alliance is hosting a debate on the existence of God between Freedom from Religion Foundation’s Dan Barker and philosophy instructor Howard Ducharme. The SSA, Cleveland Skeptics, and others are likely meeting up at The Office Bistro & Lounge afterwards. More details from the CS Meetup page.




Mesa, AZ, Mon., Oct. 29

Arizona State’s Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict is presenting James Morone, professor and chair of political science at Brown, and his talk “Saints, Sinners, and Power: The Role of Religion in a Secular Government.” Free, but you have to RSVP.


Scottsdale, AZ—Multiple

Sat., Oct. 27: The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix (HSGP) is having its Second Annual Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner—even those who have not been touched by his noodly appendage are welcome. Pirate costume encouraged. See the HSGP page for suggested donation and to RSVP.

Sun., Oct. 28: The Valley of the Sun chapter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation is hosting Jim Lippard, writer, skeptical activist, and authority on Scientology for a talk on “The Decline and (Probable) Fall of the Church of Scientology.” See the Meetup page for more info.




San Diego, CA, Tues., Oct. 30

The San Diego New Atheists and Agnostics are going Halloween roller skating!

Get in costume and join them the night before Halloween. (I’m pretty sure that comb in your back pocket doesn’t count as a costume, BTW).


Stanford, CA, Sat., Oct. 27

Wonderfest presents Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen, and Richard Zare, Stanford Professor of Chemistry, discussing a scientific insights into cooking in “Scientific Cooking Kills Joy?” See the Wonderfest website or the Meetup page for more info.


Villa Park, CA, Sun., Oct. 28

Caltech’s Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture this Sunday features University of Oxford research psychologist Dr. Kevin Dutton, talking about the topic of his book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us. If you can’t make it in person, you can catch the live webcast. For details about both, see the Skeptic magazine event page.


Denver, CO, Wed., Oct. 31

The Mile High Skeptics are having a Houdini Séance Halloween Party. The live event will be webcast, with other groups and individuals joining from around the country with questions for Houdini’s ghost, including James Randi, Jay Novella, Banachek, Jami Ian Swiss, and many others. Plus ghost science experiments and more. RSVP here.


Fort Collins, CO, Sat., Oct. 27

The Skeptics in the Pub are playing Zombie Laser Tag on Saturday night. Dress up like a zombie to get $5 off. For more info, see the Meetup page.


Las Vegas, NV, Mon., Oct. 29

The UNLV Secular Student Alliance is presenting a Comedy Night with Keith Lowell Jensen, skeptic and atheist comedian, and Johnny Taylor. Free and open to the public. You can find more info on the Las Vegas Atheist’s page for the event.


Ogden, UT, Sat., Oct. 27

Atheists of Utah–Ogden Sect are having a Halloween/End of the World Party (The Sequel!).

Celebrating as if this is their last Halloween, AofU will have food, drinks, a costume contest, and more.


San Diego, CA, Sat., Oct. 27

Join the San Diego New Atheists and Agnostics at the North County Halloween Bash, featuring an AC/DC tribute band. Check with the Meetup page for more info on how to join the group. The location is shown only to members. (And trust me, just Google mapping Highway to Hell won’t get you there.)




Portland, OR, Fri., Oct. 26–Sun., Oct. 28

CFI’s Third Annual Portland Humanist Film Festival is running all weekend, showing 17 films, including Kumare and Let’s Talk about Sex, with a Q&A with the producer, plus wine and microbrewed beer, raffles, and more.




Scarborough, ON, Thurs., Nov. 1

The Moral Atheists at University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, are featuring a discussion “The Mind in Society” on Thursday night. See the Meetup page for more information.


Ottawa, ON, Tues., Oct. 30

The National Museum of Science and Technology and CFI-Ottawa present the first Café Scientifique of the 2012/2013 seriesAlternative Medicine: Healing or Deceiving?




Guildford, UK, Thurs., Nov. 1

The Horsham Skeptics in the Pub are meeting up with the Guildford Friends for a talk by skeptical paranormal investigator Hayley Stevens: “I’m a Ghosthunter—Get Me out of Here.” RSVP to get in on the event.



Skepticon is only two weeks away—Nov. 9–11, in Springfield, MO. If you’re planning on  going, be sure to stop by the Farmer’s Gastropub on Saturday night and chat with us. Rebecca, Amy, Heina, and a bunch of us will be there, plus many Freethought Bloggers will be there the same night, trying to top last year’s party, when the pub ran out of beer!

It’s not too late to register for Skepticon. And it’s still free. AND I think the Best Western Rail Haven still has some rooms super cheap (around $60). Just mention the Con. (I believe you have to call to get the rate, not book online—800-304-0021. Everything about this conference is fantastic, from the organizers to the speakers to the attendees to the pub. Seriously, just make arrangements. You won’t regret it.


Want to promote your skeptical, atheist, humanist, science, or just all-around geeky event or group on our events calendar? Click here to send us the details.

Image credits: 4ELEVEN Images and jamieanne.

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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  1. The HSGP sounds fun, however I’m not so sure about the costume of choice.
    Personally, I’ve always wanted to dress as one of the astronauts from “2001” (in the coveralls, not the EVA suit).

  2. You don’t *have* to wear a pirate costume. I think the main page says that any costume is fine.

    You could wear the coveralls and put a small skull & crossbones patch on it somewhere. See if anyone notices.

  3. Surely, and don’t call me Shirley, living in Cleveland is Hell House enough? from Columbus, HA!

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