Calling All Witches!
By Darren Nelson, feature writer for My Local Utah
If you are looking for a fun-filled Halloween tradition in Utah, or just someplace to get your witch on, then look no further than historic Gardner Village. Every year from mid-September through October, Gardner Village in West Jordan goes all out for the Season with their Witchfest celebration.
Now, if you have never been to Gardner Village, you should know it is a unique shopping experience. It is a small village enclave filled with boutique-style shops selling everything from clothing and arts and crafts to food and furniture. The village provides a pleasurable shopping experience as you walk from cottage to cottage to see the unique wares each shop offers.
But we are here to talk Halloween, and for this holiday season, Gardner Village turns the atmosphere up a notch with their annual Witchfest. So, grab your broom and come along.
Witches Night Out
First and foremost, the big event that stands out during the 45-day Witchfest celebration is Witches Night Out. Part festival shopping, part cosplay, this two-night event really brings out your inner witch. With a combination of shopping amazing deals, prize drawings, and good food, Witches Night Out is the perfect girls’ night out. They have a parade at 8 pm, and witch displays that come to life within the village. The whole place gives off a fun, spooky vibe of old Salem, but witch trials are replaced by great bargains and happy witches. Guests are encouraged to dress the part too, donning their own hats and gowns. Oh, and no tickets are needed to get into this premier Halloween extravaganza—just show up and have fun!
Like Witches Night Out, every Friday and Saturday in October is Witches Weekend. Here you can experience interactions—including some great photo ops—with living, breathing Gardner Village witches in the Center Court area. Fridays, noon-3:30 pm and Saturdays, noon-4 pm. Food trucks and activities in select shops.
The Scavenger Hunt
Another free event is the With Scavenger Hunt, held twice during Witchfest—once on the first Saturday (September 17th) and on Halloween (October 31st). This hunt is billed as “touchless,” which means you are navigated through the village by signs and your phone. Again, this event is free to everyone. Click here if you want to learn more.
Witchapalooza Dinner Theater
Nothing beats a delicious dinner with great entertainment. This year’s new show is “Runnin’ with the Devil.” Back by popular demand is everyone’s favorite Malevolent Master of Ceremonies: The Devil. Perhaps Witchapalooza’s most beloved character has prepared an evening of fun and music. Sure to become a tradition of your Halloween season, Witchapolooza requires reserved tickets. Click here to learn more.
Breakfast With a Witch
A traditional buffet breakfast (eggs, pancakes, potatoes, sausage, coffee, juice, etc.) will be served every Friday and Saturday throughout October. Gardner Village witches will entertain diners with a presentation of Witches Got Talent. Tickets for this one go fast, so schedule your breakfast today. Click here for more information.
Manifestations Dining Entertainment
More food and entertainment together. A dinner theater tribute to Edgar Allen Poe and Miraculum—An Evening of Wonder can be seen at Gardner Villages Mystique Dining and The Prestige: Parlour of Magic. For more information and reserved tickets, click here.
A Great Escape
Escape rooms are fun group events, and Gardner Village has some—including “The Witches of Mystic Manor.” This Halloween-themed escape room is available for up to eight players. Click here to learn more about the escape rooms.
Also, open during Witchfest is Ricochet Canyon amusement park. Fun rides, games, activities, and pony rides—all with an old west/witch theme. No reservations are needed, and admission is free. Tickets for some attractions are paid for within the park.
Hair and Nails with a Witches Flair
Soulstice Day Spa & Salon in Gardner Village will help release your inner witch with a manicure, pedicure, and a witchy updo. By appointment only. Clip-in hair extensions and nail stickers are available on a walk-in basis.
New to Witchfest this year is the VW Photo Bus. Take your own Bewitching photos using this iconic bus backdrop at Camera Shy. Available October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 at 2 pm each day through close. Various photo packages are available starting at only $15.
Shopping and food go together like witches and cauldrons. Gardner Village has several eateries available including Archibald’s Restaurant, Happy Camper Deli & Bakery, and The Cackling Cantina. Sweet treats, including yummy caramel apples, can be found at Chocolate Covered Wagon. Food trucks will also be around on Fridays and Saturdays.
Every great Halloween experience needs a souvenir, right? Gardner Village’s official souvenir store, Seven Gables Mercantile, is where you will find your witch-themed t-shirts, stickers, tote bags, and more. Don’t forget to check out the Witchfest puzzles created by local artist, Eric Dowdle.
With the ambiance and charm of a small pioneer village, Gardner Village is the perfect spot for a Witchfest. Plenty to see and do here during the Halloween season. Grab a pointy hat and some friends and come by for food and fun. And don’t miss the witch on the roof or the poor old witch who didn’t see what was coming while flying by the old flour mill.
Location: Gardner Village, 1100 West 7800 South, West Jordan, Utah
Dates: September 17 – October 31
Cost: Admission to Gardner Village is free
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, (Halloween, Monday, October 31, close at 5 pm
Parking: Free Monday – Thursday, Friday, and Saturday $7 per car
(Receive exclusive shopping coupons when you pay to park)