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.
Discover Houston Tours
912 Prairie, 713-222-9255
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
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.
6200 Hermann Park Dr., 713-533-6713
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
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.
18777 Hwy. 290, 713-526-3323
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.
2225 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W., 713-914-1313
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.
Saturday, October 23
The 13th Annual Halloween House Party
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.
Thursday and Friday, October 28 and 29
BooTown presents "The Farmer and the Badger" as its Halloween performance. The show is based on a Japanese folktale of the same name. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets to the October 28 performance are $15 and include a post-show party and reception with the cast. The Friday performance is pay-what-you-wish, with a suggested donation of $8.
Saturday and Sunday, October 30 and 31
1900 Kane St., 713-802-9370
This October 30 and 31, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., respectively, MECA will present Día de los Muertos: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Future. This event features Día de los Muertos celebrations from throughout Latin America, with an altar exhibit competition, foods from the Americas, vendors selling authentic Latin American Día de los Muertos arts and crafts, and a Calavera Fashion Show. It is held at MECA's campus, located at the Dow School in Houston's Old Sixth Ward.
Texas Renaissance Festival
21778 FM 1774, Plantersville, Texas, 800-458-3435
Head to the Texas Renaissance Festival for an old 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. The event will be open from 9 a.m. to dusk each day. Entry is $23 per person.
Saturday, October 30
The 19th Hole Bar and Grill
202 Sawdust Rd. # 118, Spring, 281-363-2574
This bar's Halloween Bash will feature Paris Green and Seven Candles Fall. The party starts at 8 p.m.
BFE Rock Club
11528 Jones Rd., 281-894-1811
BFE Rock Club will be holding a party with the Absolute Pistols, Alkari, Covington and Purapharm.
12612 Malcomson Rd., 281-655-5656
If you're in the mood for something more formal, head to Halloween at the Chateau. This event will consist of a costume party with prizes for the top three costumes, a full open bar and a buffet of hors d'oeuvres and desserts. The DJ entertainment will be provided by Partyman. Entrance is $80 per person. The party goes from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
3700 Main, 713-529-9899
The Club will be celebrating Discoween with Disco Expressions. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12.
Dan Electro's Guitar Bar
1031 E. 24th St., 713-862-8707
Head to Dan Electro's for a Beans Barton Halloween with Beans Barton and the Bipeds, with a possible appearance by the Tribal Lilies belly dancers. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m.
Fourth Annual Montrose Pub Crawl
The Montrose Crawl has returned for its fourth year. This event combines 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 nine separate venues. All Montrose Crawl participants are asked to dress in costume and assemble, 2604 Dunlavy, near 6 p.m. on October 30. From there, the Montrose Crawl will make its way down Westheimer, with stops at Poison Girl, Boondocks, Anvil, Etro Lounge, Catbirds, Royal Oak and Slick Willie's. Costumed participants will enjoy drink specials and Halloween activities at the bars, and the Montrose Crawl will award prizes for best costumes throughout the evening. The Montrose Crawl will peak at Slick Willie's at midnight, when a grand prize for best costume of the night will be awarded. After the grand prize selection, the Montrose Crawl will move on to Little Bigs on Montrose. A portion of all drink sales during the Montrose Crawl will be donated to the Houston Area Women's Center, which is the Montrose Crawl's official charity.
The Hideaway on Dunvale
3122 Dunvale Rd., 713-977-3515
The Hideaway will be holding a Halloween Bash with Feo Y Loco. The party runs from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The price is $8 at the door. Ages 21 and up only.
JP Hops House
2317 S. Hwy. 6, 281-496-0623
JP Hops House will be having a Halloween Party complete with a costume contest and featuring Smythe and Taylor.
315 Grand Ave., Bacliff, 281-559-3773
Scott McGill and Old Dog Mad will be the headliners at Katie's Bar's Halloween Party. There will be drink specials and prizes for the best costumes.
801 St. Emanuel, 713-522-2010
Lucky's Pub will be celebrating Halloween with the 14th Annual Pimp-n-Prostitute Ball. Starting at 8 pm. and going till 2 a.m., this party will feature multiple DJs, including the Kung Fu Pimp, a $3,000 costume contest with prizes for Pimp of the Year, Classiest Ho and Best Overall Costume, malt liquor and drink specials. In order to be in the costume contest, you must sign up by 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. There'll also be SuperPimp passes available for $40 in advance; they include a special VIP area, special entry into the party, complimentary domestic draft beer all night and three drink tickets that can be used for selected well drinks.
Ragin Cajun Sugar Land
16100 Kensington, Sugar Land, 281-277-0704
Ragin Cajun will be holding its fourth annual Halloween Party.
813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483
Warehouse Live presents Danzig with Possessed, Marduk, Toxic Holocaust and Withered. Doors open at 6 p.m., the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. All ages are admitted.
707 N. Shepherd, suite 500, 832-863-3275
From 5 to 7:30 p.m., Wonderwild will be holding its Wonderwild Monster Bash — its annual Halloween party. The party will feature prizes, a costume parade, cupcakes from Sprinkles Cupcakes, frozen yogurt from Berripop, food from Green Plate Kids and a performance by Tom's Fun Band.
Sunday, October 31
18307 Egret Bay Blvd., 281-335-0002
Scout Bar's Halloween Bash will include entertainment from EraseTheVirus, Born From Ruins and Dykes On Bykes.
Sherlock's Baker St. Pub Clear Lake
2416 Bay Area Blvd., 281-461-4702
Celebrate Halloween with entertainment from the Windbreakers and the Slags.
COSTUMES / PARTY FAVORS
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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. Also available are Kamibashi cards that share the Halloween theme. Order online or visit the Web site for stores carrying Kamibashi.
5705 Richmond, 832-251-8400
There are more than 1,000 costumes to choose from, hundreds of stockings and other accessories available including handbags, hats and shoes. This is the exclusive provider of Trashy-brand costumes in Houston, and it also offers a large selection of men's costumes and women's plus-size costumes and accessories.