Head Out

Our guide to Halloween's best haunts

It's that time of year again, when people prowl the streets wearing everything from barely-there bunny suits to floor-length cloaks. The classics might have a bit of a twist as a few cat suits take on a blue tinge (yes, Avatar is still around). But, whether you pick an old favorite or a dress made of meat, remember to swing by your friendly neighborhood bar — you might go home with something better than candy.

Through October

Discover Houston Tours
912 Prairie, 713-222-9255
www.discoverhoustontours.com

Take a new look at the Downtown Historic District as you listen to true tales and urban legends on these after-dark walking tours featuring the Ghost at La Carafe, The Donnellan Crypt, a Bridge Over Troubled Waters, The Barmaid's Best Friend and more. All participants receive a copy of Sandra Lord's Short Guide to the Paranormal. The tours will start at Niko Niko's in Market Square Park, at the 300 block of Travis near the corner of Congress. Register at least 15 minutes in advance; $15 per person. Parking is free after 6 p.m. and on weekends, except at specially marked meters.

The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Dr., John P. McGovern Building, 713-942-7054
www.thehealthmuseum.org/skeletons

From October 1 through 31, The Health Museum will be hosting its second annual Siege of the Skeletons, a community art project featuring papier-mâché skeletons submitted by teams from all over Houston. Tuesdays through Saturdays, the hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m. Visit the museum before October 23 to vote for your favorite skeleton, then come back October 30 to see if your pick wins. Skeletons also will be judged by Texas Medical Center partners and museum professionals. Viewing the skeletons is included with the purchase of a general admission ticket.

Houston Zoo
6200 Hermann Park Dr., 713-533-6713
www.houstonzoo.org

Bring your little ghouls and goblins to the Houston Zoo for Zoo Boo, Houston's largest family-friendly Halloween, which will run five days this year. Enjoy safe Halloween trick-or-treating, music and fun activities with a "naturally wild" twist Saturdays and Sundays, October 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And, for the first time this year, Zoo Boo will be debuting on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 15, 22 and 29. Pick a "child-size" pumpkin to paint and decorate from the Fiesta Mart Pumpkin Patch; participate in the costume parade; channel your inner artist and contribute to the Cooper Tools Monster Mural; or visit the Gardere Wynne Sewell Tatzoo Parlor for a spooktacular temporary tattoo. All this, and there will be Halloween-themed Meet the Keeper Talks and the animal-themed Trunk-or-Treat candy stations. All Zoo Boo activities are included with paid zoo admission. Zoo Boo is free for zoo members. Regular admission is $11 for adults, $6 for seniors, $7 for children ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2. Visit the courtesy booth at your neighborhood Fiesta Mart and purchase an adult zoo admission for $9 and a child zoo admission for $6.

Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main, 713-528-5858
www.lawndaleartcenter.org

Lawndale Art Center is presenting its "23rd Annual Día de los Muertos" events, an open-call, non-juried exhibition that celebrates the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos in a contemporary context. This program supports area artists and students by offering them an opportunity to show their works to diverse audiences in a museum-quality setting. This year's celebration will run October 18 to November 6 and include such events as the Retablo Exhibition and Gala and Retablo Silent Auction. Volunteers and sponsors are needed.

Phobia
18777 Hwy. 290, 713-526-3323
www.darke.com

Phobia Haunted House is more than ready for Halloween with eight different haunted houses staged in one convenient location. Darke Institute, Mind Control, 3D Clown Phobia, ClaustroPhobia, Dawn of the Machine, Exile: Simon Fowler Woods, Mania and Darkeworld are all ready and waiting every weekend in October. Prices vary from $13 to $50 depending on how many houses participants choose to visit.

ScreamWorld
2225 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W., 713-914-1313
www.screamworld.com

Promising to scare the "yell" out of you, ScreamWorld kicks off the Halloween haunt season as the longest-running haunted attraction in Houston. ScreamWorld is a fright factory comprised of three haunted houses and an outdoor maze and cemetery. Along with The Haunted Hotel, Edge of Darkness, Movie Monsters, Maze of Maniacs and The Tobias Strange Family Cemetery, newer attractions include The Psycho Path and Jake's Slaughterhouse. The park opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays throughout October. General admission tickets are $25 per person to visit the five haunted attractions (except October 22 through 24 and 29 through 31, when tickets are $30), and $35 for a VIP Fast Pass, with no waiting in line. Sundays and Thursdays are Super Discount nights, with tickets just $20.
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Saturday, October 23

The 13th Annual Halloween House Party
2212 Woodhead
www.2212woodhead.com

The 13th Annual Halloween House Party will directly benefit Bering Omega Community Services, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing compassionate care to people living with HIV/AIDS. The party's official DJ, Danny B., will provide musical entertainment, as will guest DJs Ambition and Bobby Blyss. There'll be an all-night open bar for those 21 and up. Costumes are required. The party begins at 8 p.m. and goes to 2 a.m. Tickets are $50 and are only sold online.
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