2020 Halloween in Houston
COVID-19 put a damper on several holidays this year. While it is imperative we remain careful and cautious, we can still enjoy Halloween. Relish Houston’s wonderful October weather and pick outdoor activities over indoor ones. Be open to staying at home and participating in events virtually. Wear a mask and be smart. We curated tons of options for everyone, keeping varying levels of comfortability in mind. Happy Halloween!
Get in the October spirit with a cute pumpkin patch visit. Take pictures, grab a couple pumpkins to carve or decorate, and enjoy fall Houston weather! Check out Old MacDonald’s Pumpkin Patch in Humble, Froberg’s Farm Pumpkin Patch in Alvin, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church’s patch in River Oaks, or Memorial Drive United Methodist Church’s patch right in our Beltway 8 backyard! Nature Discovery Center will be hosting a Petite Pumpkin Patch this year. Although the in-person event is sold out, you can still purchase pumpkins online and participate in the raffle.
Halloween Movies @ Sawyer Yards Drive-in Theater
Social distance and experience your favorite spooky movies in person! All through October, the drive-in theater at Sawyer Yards is showing Halloween-themed movies like Hocus Pocus, Coco, Pulp Fiction, Scream, Beetlejuice, and more. Get your tickets online before they sell out!
Science Spooktacular @ Houston Arboretum
The Arboretum is hosting a weeklong family-friendly event from Oct. 19-24, featuring both virtual and socially-distanced, in-person gatherings. Kids and parents can look forward to spooky bedtime stories, DIY slime tutorials, and nature lessons! Arboretum, with nature facts and fun, can be accessed anytime between 7 a.m. and dusk. The virtual activities will be recorded so they can be watched later and will be streamed from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. The Halloween Trail includes DIY scavenger hunts, pumpkin decorating, craft time, and science experiments. Access to the virtual programs are free for members and $10 per family for nonmembers.
Drive-By “Reverse” Parade @ West U Colonial Park
West U Parks and Rec is hosting a “reverse” parade, starting on Byron Street on Oct. 23 at 5:30 p.m. Instead of parade-goers on the street watching the floats pass by, parade-goers will stay in their cars and the costumed characters standing on the street will walk by and greet them. The characters can be viewed safely from a distance. Treats will be handed out, and costumes are encouraged!
The City of West U is also holding a Virtual Halloween Costume Contest for all residents, offering fantastic prizes broken down by age categories. Just submit a photo on the City’s Facebook page or use #WESTUCOSTUMECONTEST and/or send a photo to [email protected]. Deadline: Nov. 1.
Boos and Booze @ Bellaire Parks
Want to treat a friend or special someone to a Halloween treat? Sign up to “Boo” a friend with a custom “You’ve Been Boo’d” sign and a themed basket. Baskets can be child-friendly (Boo Basket) or adult-friendly (Booze Basket). Baskets can be picked up from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Oct. 28 and 29. The “Boo’d” sign will be delivered to your recipient’s house if the recipient lives in the Bellaire area; otherwise, you can pick up the sign with the baskets. Purchase your Boo kits here through Oct. 16.
Zoo Boo @ Houston Zoo
Zoo Boo, one of Houston’s most fun Halloween events, started on Oct. 2, and will continue through Nov. 1. Costumes are welcomed (for both kids and parents), but be sure to check the guidelines for what kinds of props are allowed. Zoo Boo will feature special animal enrichment shows, picture-worthy spots around the Zoo, and a spooky train and carousel ride. Guests 10 years and older must wear masks. For safety reasons, candy will not be handed out this year.
Houston Ghost Tours
Want to experience the paranormal in a more realistic way? Houston Ghost Tours offers guided tours across Houston, including Hermann Park, downtown, Old Town Spring, and Tomball. Tours last about an hour and involve walking around haunted spots where you might catch a glimpse of paranormal creature. Having done one of these tours recently, I can attest that it is fun and not too scary. So if you’re nervous, try it! Students can get a student discount if they bring their student IDs, too.
Howl-o-ween Dog Costume Contest, presented by KPRC 2 @ Levy Park
This annual event is going virtual! Participants must pre-register and attend a socially-distanced photo session on Oct. 17 to complete their entry. Winners will be announced live on Houston Life (KPRC 2) on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. Grab your pup(s) and start brainstorming your matching outfits. Registration is free, and category winners get a prize!
Feast of Saint Arnold, presented by St. Arnold’s Brewery
Oktoberfest wasn’t viable this year, but you can pay homage to the patron saint of beer brewers by having your own feast at home. Sign up a group of six for a package featuring a full meal, special St. Arnold beers and pint glasses, and Zoom access to the festivities put on by St. Arnold’s Brewery. Packages can be picked up on the morning of the Oct. 18 for the celebration later that afternoon.
The Texas Renaissance Festival @ Todd Mission, TX (77363)
COVID can’t stop the 46th season of the Ren Fest! Face masks are required by everyone, and if patrons are eating or drinking, they must remain stationary. 190 hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the fest in addition hand washing stations in bathrooms. Staff will be subjected to temperature checks, and 6-foot social distancing measures are required throughout the grounds. At night, all facilities and areas will be decontaminated. The Fest is open through Nov. 29, but why not go in peak spooky season?
Galaxy Frights @ Space Center Houston
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31, celebrate Halloween in a “cosmic” way at Space Center Houston. Costume parades around the new SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will occur at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. There will be socially distanced candy stations, pop-up science labs, selfie stations, a huge inflatable full moon, Halloween music and lights, a scavenger hunt, robot appearances, space films, and special guests speakers including NASA astronauts Mike Foreman and Bill McArthur. Get your tickets in advance so you don't miss out!
The Great Pumpkin Hunt @ Bellaire Town Square,
Bellaire’s annual Great Pumpkin Hunt will be happening on Thursday Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. Join your neighbors in the Bellaire Town Square for candy, prizes, and pumpkin hunting! The hunt begins at 4:30 p.m. Live music will be provided by The Lost Boys. Popsicles, a moonwalk, and face painting are also to be expected-- all for free!
Trick-Or-Treat @ CITYCENTRE
Trick-or-treating is on at CITYCENTRE. Families will have the opportunity to roam around CITYCENTRE in search of spooktacular treasures during a neighborhood trick-or-treat Saturday, Oct. 31 from 12 – 3 p.m. Participating merchants will be identified with balloons and include Sal y Pimienta, Hemline, Bowl & Barrel, The General Public, The Escape Game, J. Crew, bellagreen, Yard House, Seasons 52, Sephora, Cyclone Anaya’s, Brahmin, Sweet Paris, Kendra Scott, Fellini, Paper Source, Grimaldi’s, lululemon, Eddie V’s, Sweet, Yi Peng, The Tasting Room, Lily Rain and Studio Movie Grill. Public health precautions will be in place to abide by CDC guidelines, and CITYCENTRE strongly recommends every trick-or-treater wear a mask.
Boo on the Boardwalk @ Kemah Boardwalk
Kemah’s annual Boo on the Boardwalk will feature night activities, including live music and entertainment. There will be a haunted fun house, Halloween crafts, balloon artists, vampire stilt walkers, and more. A special Dia de los Muertos celebration will take place on Sunday, November 1st with themed music, folk dancers, and crafts.
This year, the usual haunted houses are taking extra COVID-19 precautions to ensure your safety. Masks are required, hand sanitizer stations will be available, attractions will be regularly cleaned and sanitized, and staff will be temperature checked each day. If you need some suggestions, the scariest attractions around town include Haunted Trails (a totally outdoor attraction with ventilation), Phobia, and the Houston Terror Dome.
Lives from Jones Hall: Ghosts, Ghouls & Goblins
This year on the Oct. 31, the Houston Symphony will be livestreaming a morning full of Halloween-themed music from movies like Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Ghostbusters. Livestream packages are available so you can purchase a pass for the whole family to watch and listen.
Editors’ Note: For more ways to spend this Halloween in the spooky spirit while staying safe indoors, read Savannah Kuchar's story. Want to take your own deep dive into Houston’s haunted history? Check out this article Haley wrote a few years ago about haunted Houston spots.
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