Things to do in Houston

Halloween Events in Houston: Houston’s Halloween Happenings

Dive into Houston's spooky side with can't-miss Halloween events that bring thrills and chills for all.

Haunt the streets and public squares of Houston this Halloween. Bright and cheery, and glum and gloomy, dark days festivals and family-friendly events are all over town. Zip from the Museum District to Sugar Land, hunting and gathering for adventure and candy, and find the scene for you this season. 

1. It's Halloween on the Bayou!

Imagine you’re standing on a rolling green lawn, with a stately plantation-style house proudly standing before you. The ancient stone steps are draped with a carpet of grass under your feet, and smooth white columns gracefully lift a roof deck over the broad stone porch. You’re at an art gallery, it’s Halloween, and everything is spooky in the dark.

This is the marvelous Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, part of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. As if the estate didn’t have enough mood on the outside, inside you’ll find wall after wall of classic and modern paintings, exquisite sculptures, and local aficionados sipping wine in the grandeur of it all. Except it’s Halloween, and everybody is dressed as their favorite ghoul, which makes a lively contrast with the swirling beauty of the Texas Colonial surroundings.

The museum spent this Halloween hosting Sip & Stroll at Bayou Bend. This Halloween event in Houston draws adults 21 and over for live music from local bands, storytelling, and lively magic performances. Getting into the spirit of the season, visitors can opt into a super-spooky audio walking tour that will thrill, chill, and fill you with awe. Fair warning: the courtyard at Bayou Bend has a marble statue of a seated woman that’s a million times spookier at night, so try not to get too creeped out.

Location: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Sip & Stroll at Bayou Bend

2. Boo on the Boardwalk

All year round, the Kemah Boardwalk welcomes families to the Houston waterfront. Here, you have food, free entertainment, and thundering roller coasters. The boardwalk perches on its own little peninsula just across the lake from NASA’s Mission Control. Even on hot days, a cool mist off of the water helps keep the hot Texas sun bearable.

The boardwalk stays fun all year round. We love the fall decorations and the seasonal food treats (helllloooo, pumpkin spice!), but there’s nothing like the October chill that drops over the place as All Hallows’ Eve gets ever closer and things get gloomy on the Boardwalk.

Every weekend in October, the park hosts Boo on the Boardwalk, an all-ages and totes family-friendly spooktacular that’s a convenient 20 minutes or so from downtown Houston. Take the spouse and kids, dress up like spooky ghosts, and get your fill of kid-safe trick-or-treating, creepy crafts classes, and a costume contest that’s open to all ages. Daily events include Freaky Fridays, Spooky Saturdays, and Scary Sundays. Each offers a thumping live musical performance and discount rides for those who like their thrills on wheels.

Sometimes even the most sober and calm among us let our minds wander to the macabre, especially at Halloween. Once there was a clown named Corteo, who dreamed a dream of his own funeral. He saw a festival attended by the angels themselves. Share this dream with us at our performance of Corteo this touring season.    

Location: Kemah Boardwalk

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Boo on the Boardwalk

Photographer: Terren Hurst

3. Zoo Boo

The Houston Zoo is one of the local gems that makes this beautiful city the magical place it is for families with kids. On normal days, a stroll over the zoo’s 55-acre property is a self-guided tour that sees you and the kids marveling at the underground aquarium, the African Forest, and an elephant habitat where Tess’ daughter Tupelo might surprise you with a spray of water from her trunk if you get too close to the fence.

In October, there’s a chill in the air, and there’s a rise in your hair, as the creepiest of the two-, four-, and six-legged animals come out at night to put on an absolute extravaganza for visitors. For 2 wonderful weeks leading up to Halloween, the zoo takes on a new life, as orange and black bunting swirls over every surface and costumed kids bounce around the tour path taking in the wonder of it all.

The zoo keeps up a lively schedule of events during the festivities. You can try your best to scare passersby with the most terrifying pumpkin you can paint. Take pride of place in the costume parade, if the ghosts and goblins don’t scare you out of the park. And of course, make new friends with the animals (especially the bats) during creepy, crawly animal encounters.

Location: Houston Zoo

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Zoo Boo 2023

4. ArBOOretum Family Fall Festival

Guys and ghouls alike can keep themselves properly spooked at the ArBOOretum Family Fall Festival this year, which draws in families from far and wide for live animals, pumpkin decorating, and a trick-or-treating trail that’s positively macabre. Visitors can thrill to the nightmarish nature hike, hoot with the educational live owl show, and explore the depths of All Hallows’ at kid-friendly Halloween activities held at stations all over the nature center. 

Let your imagination run wild with the amazing facts you'll hear from the singsong voices of the tour guides, from the amazing truth about our earth's natural balance to the details of photosynthesis. Dash from one exhibit to another, point and laugh at the fun decorations of strategically placed skeletons, and feel yourself becoming a kid again, as the arboretum's educational program meshes artistry with the holiday themed extravaganza. 

Location: Houston Arboretum & Nature Center

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: ArBOOretum Family Fall Festival

Photographer: Matt Beltz

5. Halloween Monster Mayhem

Monsters and magic mix with science, invention, and technology at the Children’s Museum of Houston this Halloween. Delighted children shriek with shock and laugh with learning at endless educational and scary interactive exhibits. The museum becomes a monster house as it slips between teaching and fun at learning stations in the 3-plus toddlers’ playrooms. Older goblins will adore haunting the Matter Factory and the Math Mission, home to monster-themed events and costume contests. Tour the interactive exhibits in this haunted house and discover new frontiers with the wide-eyed wonder of a delighted child just coming awake in this amazing universe.

Science is a teacher to us all. We sit in awe before the majesty of what we've learned, and we celebrate the fire of knowledge through ECHO, a tribute to wisdom set in a swirling melody of color, invention, and the empathy of a girl's heart. Share an evening with us as we explore evolution and the sweet, delicate balance between people, animals, and the numinous natural world we all share.

Location: Children's Museum of Houston

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: BOO!seum

6. Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival

We adore the scary season, but October isn’t all garish ghosts and spooky skeletons. We revel in the harvest time, when there’s a chill in the air and every day is sweater weather. Children crunch around in the dry leaf litter, while the fields lie low and your breath leaves trails behind you with every step.

Revel in the season this year at Old Time Christmas Tree Farm, where we’re all getting together for a pumpkin patch adventure. Rattle down the dusty trail on a hayride, pick pumpkins for the obligatory carving and/or Thanksgiving pies, and rejoice in the warm welcome of your neighbors at the farm.

Location: Old Time Christmas Tree Farm

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Fall Family Fun

Photographer: Priscilla Du Preez

7. Scream on the Green

Discovery Green sets a feast of fellowship and fun for the whole family this year with a free screening of Hocus Pocus, one of the great films of the season. Present yourself and the kids you’ve brought with you to the costume contest, with on-site registration that makes it easy and fun to get a ribbon for being the spookiest of them all. Live music animates the astounding performances of Cirque Olympus (no relation, but we love them dearly).

Location: Discovery Green

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Scream on the Green

Photographer: mrpablogomez

8. Halloween Town

When the weather turns and the leaves start to fall, the once-quaint and brightly lit market at Sugar Land Town Square transforms. Ordinarily a place for fitness meetups and family outings, the square grows dark and grim. Spirits stir in the shadows. You can feel the chill run up your spine as the forces of family-friendly darkness gather all around you. 

Soon you'll be trick-or-treating with the happy laughing children, trying on fun costumes, and cheering for live entertainment. This is Halloween Town, a fall festival of laughter and screams in Sugar Land’s Constellation Field, which is about 15 minutes southwest of downtown Houston.

Vibe to live music and chill on the lawn. Shop at the festively festooned merchants’ booths. Join the festival, bring the children, and lay down a lifetime of fun Halloween memories for the entire family.

Location: Sugar Land Town Square

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Halloween Town

9. Urban Green’s Halloween Screen

The great green hill of the McGovern Centennial Gardens rises majestically over the southern edge of the Natural History Museum, brushing the edge of the zoo and ensconced in the heart of the Museum District. Young urban professionals come together for Urban Green, hosted on the grounds of the gardens.

When Halloween is in an air that’s starting to chill with the evening breeze, the lush green grounds become something new. This pedestrian space becomes a grand outdoor theater, a place for picnics and community fellowship. This Halloween, the screen comes alive with Egon and Peter, heroes of our childhood, as they battle Gozer the Gozerian in the original Ghostbusters, shown ten times taller than reality itself on the mounted screen dominating the hill. This is one chilling onscreen performance you don’t want to miss.

Admissions to the Green are $12 for just the movie and $37 for the full package, which includes the bottomless meal service and a full stomach to enjoy the show. 

Location: Urban Green

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Urban Green’s Halloween Screen

Photographer: AJ Fashola

10. Miss Ivy’s Spooktacular Halloween Party

The sun has set, and you’re in the gloaming. The magnolias all around you are silhouetted against the cloudy moonlit sky. Somewhere in the distance, a wolf howls. Are you in danger? You’re touring the Victorian Colonial Moore House, the grand plantation-style mansion with a dark and haunted past. As the gloom closes around you this spooky season, the rest of your tour group pops out of the chapel yard and bounces off together to explore the latest family-friendly horrors on this guided tour.

Welcome to Miss Ivy’s Spooktacular Halloween Party in Houston, held at Miss Ivy’s at the Fort Bend Museum on October 31. Come in your favorite costume and be ready for ghost tours, trick-or-treating, and lively craft events. Oh, and did we mention there’s a costume contest? It’s one of the most thrilling events of the year, so don’t be afraid to go all out. You and your family are drawn together as you daub the canvas for fall-themed paintings, listen to seasonal music performances, and savor the free candy for all comers at this one-of-a-kind costume party.

Location: Miss Ivy's

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Miss Ivy’s Spooktacular Halloween Party

11. Montrose Crawl

If the Montrose Crawl is your style, then you might also enjoy the vibrant music festivals in Houston. Slip into your favorite costume, shut off the lights, and lock your doors because you’ll be out and about with a lively group of like-minded rabble-rousers. It’s part bar crawl, part party with a one-of-a-kind spooky twist. You’ll make the thrilling journey from Wild to Roswell’s Saloon, stop by Boondocks and tip back the shots at Pistolero’s with laughter and scares along the way. Prepare for one wild night.

Location: La Grange and Poison Girl

Date: To be announced for 2024

Website: Montrose Crawl

Unmasking the Magic: Houston's Halloween Extravaganza!

Halloween is a special time in Houston, offering a unique twist to the things to do in Houston. The leaves don't turn like they do back east, and the night air kisses your skin with a warmer mist than the typical October in Alaska.

Here, families hold their kids by the hand and come together for Halloween parties in Houston to laugh and shriek with the best that the holiday can scare us with. 

We are part of this city-sized family, celebrating not just Halloween but also the Christmas events in Houston. We welcome our friends, old and new, through the veil and into a theater silent with the gasps of thousands of astounded onlookers.

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