We’ll be honest: We’ve had our Halloween costumes picked out since, like, July (Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale, anyone?). What can we say? There’s truly nothing better than playing dress-up, getting the okay to eat pounds of candy, and decorating over-the-top pumpkins. Although Halloween is a highly ranked holiday for many people, it’s not a day people often rush to request time off work for. But that’s probably because they’ve never heard of these must-attend Halloween events hosted around the country. Read on for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades and the Times Square Ball Drops of Halloween.

Lexington, KY - Thriller 2015-Photo by Matt Goins Herald-Leader

1. Lexington, KY: Mark your calendars; on October 28, the 17th annual Thriller Halloween event will take place in Lexington. During the day, this event includes a marketplace, dance showcase, and parade, but at night, it turns into an apocalyptic affair. Locals and tourists alike dress up like zombies and re-enact — you guessed it — Michael Jackson’s infamous “Thriller” music video in true flash-mob fashion. (Photo via Matt Goins)

New Orleans Krewe of Boo

2. New Orleans, LA: As if NOLA wasn’t animated and vibrant enough every other day of the year, on October 20, always-packed roadways are filled with those participating in Krewe of Boo, the city’s official costume parade, complete with 3D papier-mâché and fiberglass props and floats to frighten and captivate crowds. Still not hair-raising enough? Hit up one of the city’s many vampire, ghost, or voodoo tours. (Photo via Hilton New Orleans Riverside)

Chicago Halloween Gathering

3. Chicago, IL: Sure, Christmas in Chicago is oh-so-pretty, but how about Halloween? The city’s Halloween Gathering on October 24 includes a goosebump-inducing parade, Tarot card readings, acrobatics, ghost stories, mask-making workshops, and a dance party. Taking place in the heart of the city along the Chicago Cultural Mile, this event is not to be missed — regardless of your age. (Photo via Molly Memisi)

Wizarding World - Tri-Wizard Ball - credit Allison Usavage

4. Ithaca, NY: There’s something so magical about the ever-idyllic upstate New York. Harry Potter fans, unite — on the weekend of October 26 (AKA Wizarding Weekend), the city of Ithaca will transform into a Halloween festival focused on all things magic. Quidditch matches, Horcrux scavenger hunts, and life-sized human chess matches are calling your name. And if you’re looking for something even more spirited, be sure to stop by an Advanced Potions cocktail class. (Photo via Allison Usavage)

Key West Fantasy Fest (Credit to Fantasy Fest)

5. Key West, FL: Turn Halloween into Halloweek at the Fantasy Fest in Key West, which takes place from October 19 until October 28. Don’t mind the still-warm weather; the event’s costumes, street fairs, and parades will have you shaking in your boots. To forget your fears, stop by Casa Marina‘s new bar HMF Sidecar Bar for some Fantasy Fest-inspired sippers. (Photo via Fantasy Fest)

How do you make your Halloweens scary fun? Let us know @BritandCo!