What is How-To Halloween?

How-To Halloween is a grass-roots festival dedicated to fostering the do-it-yourself spirit of the spooky season. It combines elements of a maker fair, comic con, craft show, theme park, music fest and Halloween carnival,.. so there is truly something for everyone. It promises to be an immersive experience that is both inspirational and educational with countless exhibits, displays, contests and hands-on activities.

How much does it cost?

We are excited to announce a reimagined festival experience with a completely new format and pricing. How-To Halloween is now an OUTDOOR festival and is FREE to the public! (That’s right, no more box office lines or ticket surcharges.) The main event will be happening outside in the Riverside Parking Lot of Impression 5 Science Center, and all ages are welcome to walk right up and join in the festivities. There will be a huge variety of activities available for no cost that will keep you busy for hours, and some participants may charge a small fee (usually only a few bucks) to cover the cost of materials for certain how-to sessions. 

The event will also feature special programming and entertainment inside Impression 5 Science Center, and keep in mind that regular admission fees will still apply to enter. For those who’d like to do a little shopping, there will be many vendors offering unique Halloween-themed items for sale as you explore the grounds. In the end, you’ll have a fun-filled day for your whole gang at a really great value.

Is How-To Halloween appropriate for children?

Parents can rest assured that their little ones will have tons of fun in a safe environment reminiscent of the excitement that happens in your own neighborhood on Halloween. There aren't any startle scares or anything overtly disturbing on display. A parade of zombies will close out the day, but it's about as family-friendly as a zombie walk can be.

Does the event have a theme?

Of course, the festival is all about Halloween, but each year we showcase a specific genre. Our theme for 2023 is incredible technological world of ROBOTS which includes actual engineering marvels along with stunning recreations from science fiction. The brainiacs from Waverly High Robotics Club will be providing demonstrations of their student-built mechanical monster, and you can meet the droids from Star Wars, the Autobots from Transformers, and many more special cybernetic guests from across the pop culture universe.

Should we dress in costume?

We strongly encourage ghouls and goblins of all ages to arrive in your coolest, most amazing creations and be a part of the huge spectacle at the show. But for those not fully decked out, we’ll have face painters on hand along with some maker sessions showing how to build elements of your own costume. Also, be sure to bring a bag because there will be trick-or-treat stations throughout the grounds.

When is the Downtown Lansing Zombie Walk?

The 13th Annual Downtown Lansing Zombie Walk is a festival highlight, and all ages of the undead are welcome to walk. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation in support of the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Please check the Z-Walk website for all the details.

Will there be food available?

For the first time, we are welcoming vendors that sell any variety of food and beverages. So if you have a food truck, baked goods booth, candy company or even a lemonade stand, you’re invited to sign up and help feed our hungry crowds.

Does How-To Halloween benefit any charities?

We assist many local charitable organizations and nonprofits, and we are collecting donations for the Greater Lansing Food Bank during the Downtown Lansing Zombie Walk. Some of our exhibitors also represent charities such as The League of Enchantment who are part of Make-A-Wish as they raise funds for visits to children hospitals, and we're also promoting support for our nonprofit partners including the Lansing Makers Network. So please give generously... and thanks for your help!

Where do I park?

Free parking is available in the Impression 5 Science Center’s Cityside Lot and the adjacent lot (both are just north of the building). There is also an abundance of public parking lots in Downtown Lansing, and remember that metered spots are free all weekend long.

What’s the deal with the silver cartoon pumpkin thingy?

Robot Pumpkin is the name of our mascot which represents all the innovative tech and mischievous curiosity that we promote at our event. You can see a real life audio-animatronic version of Robot Pumpkin (custom built out of some repurposed junk) on display at the show.