NOW THAT OCTOBER HAS ARRIVED and Disney has delivered a sequel to the 1993 classic Hocus Pocus (after a long, long 29 years), it’s safe to say that the most haunted holiday of the year is around the corner. Lucky for us, Houston has turned itself into a freight fest, loaded with uncanny activities throughout the month of October.
Zoo Boo and Boo on the Boardwalk return this year and will run every day this month, however, Discovery Green’s Scream on the Green (they’re screening Monster House this year!) and Herman Park’s Urban Green’s Halloween Screen are one-night-only, so be sure to add to your calendar. The “Boo-you City” is creepin’ it real all month long with these thrilling events.
Read below for 11 family-friendly Howl-ween themed events throughout October.
September 22–November 1, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. | Color Factory, $36 and up
The latest immersive art craze to hit Houston, Color Factory is offering a family-friendly, interactive, brightly colored (obviously, hence the name) interactive experience this season: Haunted Hues. The limited-time art experience will offer Instagram-worthy photo ops with friendly ghosties, pumpkin decorating, and artsy snacks throughout. It’s kind of like getting all the treats without any of the tricks.
Weekends thru October 31 | Kemah Boardwalk, $49 and up
Boo on the Boardwalk is set to bring screams of delight to all who dare to attend. The event features live music from Houston artists like the Leslie Lugo Band and Velvet Punch, along with screenings of kid-friendly flicks including Hocus Pocus and Frankenweenie. For any and all witches in town this season, Boo on the Boardwalk will host a Witches’ Night Out, complete with tarot card readings and a witch-themed aerialist. Costumed kiddos can trick or treat while parents shop at Kemah’s retail stores. Those looking to immerse themselves in the season can visit the two Phobia Haunted Houses on the boardwalk this year, or enter one of several Freaky Food Eating Contests taking place throughout the month.
October 1–31, 9 a.m.–5:00 p.m. | Houston Zoo, $19 and up
Throughout October, take the whole family to visit the Houston Zoo Boo (wearing your favorite costumes, of course!) to see lions, tigers, bears, and oh, my—some spooky fall sights like animal jack o’lanterns, a pumpkin lantern tunnel, and the Scary-Go-Round. Every Friday night, join the park for Zoo Boo After Hours, where you’ll see new Halloween lights in the Bug House and African Forest, among other interactive party activities.
October 11–29 | 10 a.m. –6 p.m. | Children’s Museum Houston, $15
Little ghouls and boys can enjoy daily trick-or-treating at Children’s Museum Houston in addition to interactive, spooky season events and activities, with themes changing weekly. Save the day from evil spirits by ghost-busting at the museum, or become a mad scientist by experimenting with Creepy Concoctions. October 25-29 will bring Monster Mayhem, including a Halloween Happy House trick-or-treating party on October 27.
Saturday, October 15, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. | Houston Arboretum, $15 for non-members
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ArBOOretum Family Fall Festival. It's the Arboretum’s biggest event of the year, and the day is packed with activities. Look forward to a Halloween market, train rides, carnival swings, a pumpkin patch (and pumpkin decorating), and a petting zoo with pony rides. The most exciting of them all? The popular Trick-or-Treat Nature Trail will lead kids and parents on an adventure of discovery where they learn about animals that live at the arboretum and collect candy along the way.
October 15–16, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Nature Discovery Center, Free
Give your family pumpkin to talk about with the Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival. Enjoy ghoulish games, live animals, and photo-ops worthy of the hashtag #SquashGoals. The free event will have vendors, thousands of pounds of pumpkins (including heirloom varieties), and food from Moon Rooster and Ashy Legs BBQ.
Thursday, October 20, 7:30–10 p.m. | Hermann Park Conservancy, $12
Join Urban Green’s Halloween Screen for the viewing of the coveted Halloween classic, Ghostbusters. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and empty bellies for an unlimited supply of scary bites from Raising Cane's, Hughie's Tavern Vietnamese Grille, and brew from Saint Arnold’s. Not only will guests get to enjoy dinner and a movie, but 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards Urban Green and the care of Hermann Park.
Friday, October 28, 6–10 p.m. | Discovery Green, Free
Houston’s citywide Halloween celebration returns this year with a costume contest and live music for people of all ages. To really get in the spirit of Halloween, Discovery Green’s frightening film offering is Monster House. Wear your scary costumes and bring your blankets to the outdoor film screening.
Saturday, October 29, 12–4 p.m. | Fort Bend Museum, $10 for adults, $5 for children
Enjoy a historic Halloween at Fort Bend Museum with Miss Ivy’s Spooktacular Halloween Party. For those interested in maybe seeing a few ghosts (or just a slice of Houston history), tours of the 19th-century Moore Mansion will be offered, along with crafts, outdoor games, food and drink, and trick-or-treating for costumed families.
Saturday, October 29 | 3–9 p.m. | Constellation Field, $11 for adults, $8 for kids
Ever wanted to visit Disney’s Halloweentown? Sugar Land’s Constellation Field will turn your Marnie Piper dreams into a reality. Enjoy thrilling rides, all-you-can-eat sweets, and an eek-citing costume contest (this year, the costume contest will extend to our four-legged friends)!
Sunday, October 30, 6 p.m. | City Place, Free
Celebrate the eve of Halloween and Día de los Muertos with a free family screening of Pixar’s Coco at City Place Plaza. Craving some extra seasonal fun? Activities like face painting will be offered for those still looking for Halloween costume ideas, and characters from the movie will magically be available for a visit with fans.