Bayou City Boo

This year's best Halloween parties.

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, which means most of your partying will have to happen in advance. Don't worry, though, there's still plenty of spooky fun to be had, and with this summer's superhero movies and celeb gossip fresh in mind, you should have no trouble finding something to suit your style. Now, remember: Snooki, out. Honey Boo Boo, in.

Through October

Haunted Trails
11500 Antoine Dr., 713-618-3323

Weekends in October, as well as a couple of Thursdays, 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. Or, if you want to try a new challenge, visit the recently opened second location, Nature's Nightmare, at 1734 N. Sam Houston Parkway. Admission is $15.

The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Dr., John P. McGovern Building, 713-942-7054

From October 9 through November 11, The Health Museum will be hosting its fourth annual Siege of the Skeletons, an art project that exhibits contributions from all over the community. The museum showcases papier-mâché skeletons with this year's theme, "Funny Bones," so expect to see the silliest skeletons yet. The hours are 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

For the 14th year in a row, Houston Haunted Houses is open to provide chills and thrills to its visitors with the promise of three separate attractions — the Castle of Doom, the Texas Chainsaw Maze, and the Sanitarium, all of which boast movie-level monsters. Entertainment will also include a free concert, a free live freak show and free vendor booth spaces. Those who are too afraid to enter the house themselves can now buy a ticket to observe others getting scared from the safety of an observation room. The hours are from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. except on Sundays and the night before Halloween, when the attractions close at 11 p.m., and Halloween, when it closes at midnight. The cost is $20 per person for both the Castle of Doom and the Sanitarium; the Texas Chainsaw Maze is free.

Houston Zoo
6200 Golf Course Dr., 713-533-6713

Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo is back again to provide family fun this Halloween. Children can dress up in their favorite costume and show it off in the Costume Parade, paint themselves a jack-o-lantern at the pumpkin patch, trick-or-treat at candy booths and enjoy music from a children's DJ. The event will be open on Saturdays and Sundays, October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 12, 19, and 26. There will be special attractions such as the Tatzoo Parlor, where kids can get a temporary tattoo, the Monster Mural, where they can paint to their heart's content, and the Monster Mashquerade, where children can sing and dance around the Reflection Pool before joining in for the costume parade. All Zoo Boo activities are included with paid zoo admission. Zoo Boo is free for zoo members. Regular admission is $13 for adults, $7 for seniors, $9 for children ages 2 to 11 and free for children under 2.

Kemah Boardwalk
215 Kipp Ave., 281-535-8100

Every day in October, Kemah will be serving up a side of scary with its Dungeon of Doom event. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 p.m. on Fridays. On weekends, it starts at 2 p.m. and goes until midnight on Saturday and 10 p.m. on Sunday. There will also be the more kid-appropriate Little Boo haunted Fun House at Joe's Crab Shack Thursdays through Sundays. $15 general admission.

Lawndale Art Center
4912 Main, 713-528-5858

Lawndale Art Center is presenting its 25th Annual Día de los Muertos events, a celebration of Mexican culture and the customs of El Día de los Muertos. This program gives artists from the area as well as students the opportunity to show their works to diverse audiences in a museum-quality setting. This year's celebration will go from October 22 to November 10 and include the following events: the Retablo Exhibition, community and musical ofrendas, a papel picado workshop, and the Gala and Retablo Silent Auction.

18777 Highway 290, 713-526-3323

Phobia Haunted House is back again with its signature eight haunted houses, all of which are 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. Ticket prices go from $13 to $45 depending on how many houses participants choose to visit.

2225 North Sam Houston Parkway West,

Consistently voted into the upper echelons of horror, ScreamWorld is looking forward to another season of scaring people half to death. This fright factory is actually composed of three haunted houses and an outdoor maze and cemetery. Among the attractions are Maze of Maniacs, Edge of Darkness, The Skull Cave, Voodoo Swamp, The Zombie Graveyard with its new Vortex Tunnel, 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 $27 per person to visit the five haunted attractions and $35 for a VIP Fast Pass, with no waiting in line. Sundays and Thursdays are Super Discount nights, with tickets just $17.

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