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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Fridays and Saturdays
Creepy Hollow Haunted House
12872 Valley Vista Dr., 800-357-3323
Creepy Hollow Haunted House features three haunted houses — 288 Scare Factory, Pitch Black and the Haunted Woods — at one location. The houses are open from 7 p.m. to midnight, and entry is $25.
Friday, October 26
Captain's Costume and Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise
#8 Kemah Boardwalk Suite G, 281-538-9600
On October 26 at 8 p.m., head out on the sea for a little dose of murder. Audience members can participate as characters in the solution of a live-action murder-mystery show.
The Gardens Houston
12001 Beamer Rd., 832-304-1848
The Gardens will be hosting the Nawty Hotties and the Hunks of Horror Halloween Ball starting at 8 p.m. The party includes a DJ and live comedic and musical entertainment as well as five costume contests complete with cash and prizes. Awards include sexiest female, male and couple, and most original costume for couple and single. Entry is $25 at the door and discounted in advance. There will be an additional $2.25 convenience fee for credit card/debit card purchases. Women 18 and older are welcome; men must be 21 and older.
October 26 and 27
901 Town & Country Blvd., 713-868-1444
Guests who attend the ComedySportz Halloween-themed matches called Hysterical Horrors, which will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday and at 8 and 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, will receive discounts on tickets. Two teams of improvisational comedians will battle for points and laughs, all with a Halloween theme. There will also be a halftime costume contest with the opportunity to win prizes.
The Houston Symphony will be celebrating Halloween with a performance of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, a dramatic and spooky story all in music, led by Colombian conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The Friday concert will begin and end earlier and will be preceded by commentary in order to deepen the audience's connection to the performance, after which there will be a question-and-answer session with some of the artists. Friday's showing begins at 7:30 p.m., Saturday's at 8 p.m. and Sunday's at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices begin at $25.
1900 Kane St., 713-802-9370
MECA's Day of the Dead event opens at 7 p.m. on October 26 and is followed by events on October 27 and 28 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., respectively. MECA will present Dia De Los Muertos: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future once again this year and will feature Dia de los Muertos celebrations from throughout Latin America, with an altar exhibit competition, foods from the Americas, vendors selling authentic Latin American Dia de los Muertos arts and crafts, and a Calavera Fashion Show, all to represent as much of the festival's culture as possible. It is held at MECA's campus, located at the Dow School in Houston's Old Sixth Ward. Opening night admission is $25 ahead of time and $35 at the door; the following days' admission is free of charge.
2200 Southwest Fwy. #150, 713-528-6399
The Mezzanine Lounge will host a costume poker tournament with prizes, drink specials and no entry fee on Friday, followed by a black and orange ball with skaraoke and a $200 costume contest, also with drink specials, on Saturday. On the following Monday, there will be an engaging game of spooktacular bingo, and All Hallow's Eve itself brings another round of skaraoke and, of course, drink specials.
Saturday, October 27
Sixth Annual Montrose Pub Crawl
sponsored by the Houston Press, the Montrose Crawl has come back for its sixth year. This event infuses a traditional pub crawl with the spirit of trick-or-treating as several hundred people dress in costume and visit bars and pubs on Westheimer in Montrose. This year's event will encompass 11 separate venues, including Brasil, Poison Girl, Boondocks, Anvil, Etro Lounge, Catbirds, Royal Oak, Slick Willie's, El Real Tex-Mex, Mo Mong and The Hay Merchant. All Montrose Crawl participants are asked to dress in costume and to assemble at Brasil and Poison Girl at Dunlavy and Westheimer at 6 p.m. on October 27. Costumed participants will enjoy drink specials and Halloween activities at the bars as well as no cover, and the Montrose Crawl will award prizes for best costumes throughout the evening. This year's honorary Grand Crawler, Chef Bryan Caswell, will select the grand-prize winner.
The pub will be celebrating with a Halloween Bash featuring the songs of Ozzy and Metallica as performed by tribute bands OZZ and MTA.
3700 Main, 713-529-9899
The club will be celebrating Discoween with Disco Expressions from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and invites all visitors to "get funky." Tickets are available for purchase online.
1500 McKinney, 713-400-7336
From 6 to 10 p.m. at Discovery Green, Houston will have its fifth annual citywide costume contest. The party, dubbed Scream on the Green, will feature prizes, music, and a showing of the animated film Coraline.
Howl at the Moon
612 Hadley St., 713-658-9700
Head to the Howl at the Moon Dueling Piano Bar for its Howl-O-Ween Bash. There will be plenty of drinks to be had, including lager shots and select beers. There will also, of course, be a costume contest with $1,500 in cash and prizes.
801 St. Emanuel, 713-522-2010
SportsMonkey is bringing back its annual Pimp and Prostitute Ball for its 16th year. It starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 2 a.m. This year will feature multiple DJs, $3,000 in cash and prizes for the costume contest with awards for Pimp of the Year, Classiest Ho, and Best Overall Costume. In order to be part of the contest, you must register by 10 p.m. The party will include drink specials and costs $10 in advance and $15 at the door. You may also buy a SuperPimp VIP pass, which costs $40 in advance, but be aware that the supply is limited.
Enjoy an open bar party with Grey Goose and musical entertainment from DJ Bizz and DJ Alo. Tickets are $50, and the event is from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551
Numbers will be holding its Underworlds Halloween Monster Bash on October 27, featuring entertainment by the DJs Mina and vv James, as well as musical guests Goth, Industrial and EDM.
Join in for the Orange Show's Pumpkin Carving Workshop and learn how to make jack-o'-lanterns on a higher level. The event is free and runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring their children to this family-friendly event, along with their own pumpkins (none will be provided).
This year will bring the Something Wicked Music Festival, Houston's first-ever Halloween dance music festival, to the Sam Houston Race Park. The event will feature Nero, Flux Pavilion and Zedd along with performers Danny Avila, Deorro, Jack Beats, Killsonik, Le Castle Vania, Modestep, Tritonal, tyDi, W&W and Zomboy.
The White Swan
4419 Navigation Blvd., 713-923-2837
The White Swan will be partying it up with Samhain Fest XI, which will feature musical entertainment from ZIKE, Chronophage, Serpent Sun, Blood Stone and TV Casualties. The festivities start at 8 p.m., and the cost of entry is $10.
October 27 and 28
Texas Renaissance Festival
21778 FM 1774, Plantersville, Texas, 800-458-3435
Make your way over to the Texas Renaissance Festival for a slightly older take on Halloween in the All Hallows Eve Adventure, which will feature a Banshee Screeching Contest, a pumpkin-carving contest, a costume contest and a candied-apple-eating contest as well as themed performances throughout the day and the opportunity to trick-or-treat. The event will be open from 9 a.m. to dusk each day.
October 27 and 31
Halloween Masquerade Ball and Cruise
#8 Kemah Boardwalk, Suite G, 281-538-9600
In celebration of Halloween, take on the role of detective (or don't) as part of this costumed murder mystery show with a big dash of comedy. It starts at 8 p.m. on October 27 and 7:30 on Halloween proper.
Tuesday, October 30
6400 Richmond, 832-251-9600
Stereo Live will be celebrating with its Third Annual Vampire's Ball featuring special guests Dada Life and will include three decorated theme rooms. The party will start at 9 p.m., and ages 18 and up are welcome.
Wednesday, October 31
Brenner's on the Bayou
1 Birdsall St., 713-868-4444
Head over to Boo on the Bayou for a night of cocktails, music and a full dinner buffet. Entrance is $50, but costume contest winners will have a chance to win a gift certificate for twice that at second and third place, while the first-prize winner will receive a $250 dinner for two. The event begins at 6 p.m.
Deborah Colton Gallery
2445 North Blvd., 713-869-5151
Celebrate a plastic fantastic Halloween from 7 to 10 p.m. this Halloween at the Deborah Colton Gallery, where you can shop with artist Paul Horn as part of his collaborative art project Paul-Mart, take in a musical performance by Daniel Johnston and enjoy refreshments as provided by Sorrel Urban Bistro. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.
1515 Pease St. #101, 713-927-0525
On Halloween night, enjoy a live performance from The Twelves at the Engine Room from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Also providing entertainment are DJs Josh DuPont, James Reed, Damon Allen, Grrrl Parts, Mishka, Vance Lawrence, Disco Daddies, 2t0ne and Reggie Pumarega. Tickets are $10 ahead of time and $15 normally. This event is only for those 18 and older.
1001 Austin St., 832-360-2222
Head over to MKT bar at Phoenicia to be a part of its Halloween event, Get Your Ghoul On! Visitors are invited to come in costume to enjoy a variety of complimentary snacks and spooky drink specials, including Babies' Back Ribs, Buffalo Bat Wings and Devil Eggs, as well as Smokin' Sangria and pumpkin gelato. Admission is free, and the event runs 7 to 10 p.m. There will also be costume prizes.
300 Westheimer, 713-526-6551
Numbers will be celebrating Halloween with a costume contest with a large cash prize, drink specials, prize-filled balloons and a cheap cover earlier in the evening. Doors open at 9 p.m. for all ages.
The Washington Avenue Block Party will feature DJ Taylor Tran, as well as onstage performances from Guts to Glory, Uprising, and Rewind. The party will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. and will include a costume contest with a $2,000 prize, food trucks, carnival games and a VIP lounge. After the main event ends, the party will go indoors at Roosevelt Lounge from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. This portion will feature a guest DJ, DJ Affect, as well as resident DJs Taylor Tran And DJ Bizz.
Kamibashi Asian Art
Enjoy the fun of Halloween and autumn all year long with an abundance of cute but spooky Kamibashi products, including their Freak-O-Bags and handmade and fair-trade dolls. The latest addition to the Kamibashi gang is the female vampire string doll. Also available are Kamibashi cards that share the Halloween theme. Order online or visit the websites for stores carrying Kamibashi.
1222 Westheimer, 713-528-4565
For the trick-or-treater who's not so concerned with candy, Erotic Cabaret is ready with its more mature costume collection.
2801 Polk St., 713-228-9445
Celebrating its 60th year of business, Frankel's is available to meet all your costume needs, both online and off.
1515 Studemont St., 713-861-9080
Party Boy provides the party and the costumes that go with it, so it's a good place to go if you'd like to take your celebration to the home front.
Like most costume places, Southern Importers is gearing up for the Halloween season and has a wide variety of goods ranging from the Middle Ages to the '60s to the presidential race.