Halloween is about scary things. And clowns -- even friendly burger chain clowns -- are pretty scary. So it's a stroke of marketing genius that the Houston Zoo will host the McDonald's Zoo Boo. At the event, screaming fruit bats, stalking wolves and pasty white men with bright red hair and huge feet send chills up your kiddies' spines. Little ones can see a nightly lighting of 500 pumpkins, participate in a costume contest and explore the Creatures of the Night Happy Haunt. "Local artists have created eight haunted house rooms, each with a special animal theme," says zoo director Rick Barongi. "The key is to give families a safe Halloween experience." Ronald himself will host a "magic show," where he may attempt to drop the fat content from a Big Mac. If he fails, we're sure the wolves won't mind eating it. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Saturday, October 18, through Sunday, October 26. 1513 North MacGregor, 713-533-6713, www.houstonzoo.org. $7; $3 for kids. -- Bob Ruggiero
Courtesy of the Houston Zoo
Give 'em their shivers at the zoo's Creatures of the Night Happy Haunt.
One hundred years ago, the Wright Brothers got their little plane 120 feet into the air. The Wings Over Houston Airshow Festival invites you to crane your neck and see how far aviation has come since then. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, October 18; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 19. 510 Ellington Field. For information, call 713-266-4492 or visit www.wingsoverhouston.com. $15 to $100; $5 to $100 for kids. -- Lisa Simon
Make Like a Tree
Your little monkeys scamper up trees without ever thinking of the science beneath their perches. This weekend, they can learn about the wonders of photosynthesis at the "If Trees Could Talk WonderWeekend" at the Children's Museum of Houston. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 18; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 19. 1500 Binz. For information, call 713-522-1138 or visit www.cmhouston.org. $5. -- Keith Plocek