By Chris Lane
By Olivia Flores Alvarez
By Angelica Leicht
By Jef Rouner
By Jef With One F
By Jef With One F
By Marco Torres
It's time once again to don a costume and head over to your favorite haunt for a chance at cheap drinks and expensive prizes. But be warned: You'll have to get your partying out of the way before the big day actually arrives. With the holiday falling on a Monday, most bars have decided that Halloween is coming early this year. Harry Potter's fans will be sending out the franchise with a bang, and the Super Hero Renaissance is far from over, so don't be surprised if any Norse gods or steroid-pumped soldiers show up on your doorstep.
The Houston Press Halloween Bash featuring the Lucky Devil Thrillshow, a daredevil stunt spectacular that will make you think you're in Vegas, lights up downtown the Friday before Halloween. RVSP to the House of Blues Foundation Room Concierge at firstname.lastname@example.org. Party is free. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Discover Houston Tours
912 Prairie, 713-222-9255 www.discoverhoustontours.com Check out the Downtown Historic District with the help of a few ghost stories on one of the Discover Houston Tours annual Ghost Walks. Spend 90 minutes listening to tales such as the Ghost at La Carafe, The Donnellian Crypt, a Bridge Over Troubled Waters, The Barmaid's Best Friend and more. The tour will start at the Spaghetti Warehouse at 901 Commerce Street. Advance reservations are required at $15 per person. Paid parking is available in adjacent parking lots, and free on-street parking will be available Mondays through Saturdays after 6 p.m. and all day Sundays.
11500 Antoine Dr., 713-618-3323 www.thehauntedtrails.com Starting at 8 p.m. every weekend in October, thrill-seekers can face their nightmares in the aptly named Haunted Trails, where they will roam through constantly changing forest trails in a deep, dark wood. Admission is $15.
The Health Museum
1515 Hermann D., John P. McGovern Building, 713-942-7054 www.thehealthmuseum.org/skeletons From October 4 through November 6, The Health Museum will be hosting its third annual Siege of the Skeletons, a community art project featuring papier-mâché skeletons submitted by teams from all over Houston. This year's theme is "From Books to Bones," meaning that artists will be drawing inspiration from literary works as they compete for prizes. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Houston Haunted Houses
1500 Elton St., 713-946-2266 www.houstonhauntedhouses.com Houston Haunted Houses is celebrating its 13th Year of Terror, and so to thank its customers, it is giving away a free car. Entertainment will include a free concert, a free live freak show, free vendor booth spaces, and four separate haunted houses. The hours are from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and the cost is from $15 to $25.
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 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And, to help visitors avoid the weekend crowds, Zoo Boo will take place on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 14, 21, and 28 as well as Halloween Monday, October 31.
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 Monster Mural; or visit the Tatzoo Parlor for a spooktacular temporary tattoo. This year's events will also feature the Monster Mashquerade, which will be taking place on weekends around the Reflection Pool. Children can sing, dance, and learn all the moves to "Thriller" before joining in for the costume parade. 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 $12 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $8 for children ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2.
Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main, 713-528-5858 www.lawndaleartcenter.org Lawndale Art Center is presenting its 24th Annual Día de los Muertos events, a celebration of Mexican culture and the customs of El Día de los Muertos. This program gives area artists and students the opportunity to show their works to diverse audiences in a museum-quality setting. This year's celebration will go from October 17 to November 5 and include such events as the Retablo Exhibition, community and musical ofrendas, a papel picado workshop and the Gala and Retablo Silent Auction. Volunteers and sponsors are needed.
18777 Highway 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 $45 depending on how many houses participants choose to visit.
2225 North Sam Houston Parkway West Houston, 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 and $29 for a VIP Fast Pass, with no waiting in line. Sundays and Thursdays are Super Discount nights, with tickets just $17.