13 may be unlucky – but not you – cause you just came across this roundup filled with haunted houses, spooky sites, kid-friendly fun, mansion and costume parties, and lots more thrills and chills to get you in the Halloween spirit.
Screams® Halloween Theme Park
The 27th season of Screams® Halloween Theme Park is open every Friday and Saturday night through Saturday, October 28. Screams® Halloween Theme Park is the ultimate Halloween experience in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with 5 Haunted Houses and a whole lot more including walk-through attractions, exciting live stage entertainment, Scary-Oke, shops, food, pubs, and games of skill for an entire night of Halloween fun.
Each of Screams’ five haunted houses will have unique themes that will provide totally different haunt experiences – see below to find what makes you scream!
- Bootlegger’s Bayou takes you on a twisted trip through the bowels of the terrifying… but beware… if you get lost here there’s a depraved and gruesome family waiting for you…
- Times Up Maze Enter at your own risk! Tick Tock goes the clock, you’re running out of time… run, run, give it all you’ve got, before that dreadful chime…
- Zombie Wasteland Apocalypse The infected have taken over! Containment is futile… can you find your way through the wasteland of carnage? Survivors think you’re zombies… the Zombies think you’re food!
- TerraMythica Castle Take a terrifying trip through the dark, horror infested halls of the TerraMythica Castle and experience the evil being conjured throughout its cursed, medieval corridors…
- Klownz in 3-D Step right up and into this diabolical circus of the deranged! Try if you can, to survive a trip through this depraved circus of madness… all in 3-D (yes, you actually wear 3-D glasses through this haunted house)
Black Lagoon Halloween Pop-Up in Fort Worth
Black Lagoon, the renowned award-winning Halloween pop-up experience from industry vets Kelsey Ramage and Erin Hayes, is now in Fort Worth and will be taking place at Nickel City (212 S. Main St.) though October 31!
Open from 12 p.m. – 2 a.m. daily, guests will be able to fully immerse themselves with twisted and spooky environments, including dark, dungeon-like decorations with skulls, coffins and other elements that pay homage to goth, horror and all things Halloween. The drinks menu goes alongside the eerie decor, serving up six eerie elixirs, including:
- Hellfire Fizz: Feel the enchanting embrace of this evilly earthy cocktail, combining the boldness of Lot 40 Dark Oak Rye Whiskey with Carrot, Turmeric, Fresh Lemon, Lustau Amontillado, Greek Yogurt, Bitter Queens Caribbean Spice Bitters, Absinthe, and Seltzer.
- Book of Blood: Turn an eerie page with this macabre libation, Black Lagoon’s twisted interpretation of a Margarita featuring Montelobos Mezcal, Giffard Pimente D’Espellette, Fresh Beet, Fresh Lime Juice, Miso Falernum, and Absinthe.
- Death Rattle: Unearth a cocktail that stirs up a symphony of haunting flavors–with a base of Ford’s Gin, this potion teases the senses with the tantalizing flavors of Lustau Brandy, Lustau Amontillado Sherry, Pineapple & Lime Juice, Spiced Oat Orgeat, Saline, and Bitter Queens Caribbean Bitters.
- Night Crawler: As the moonlight wanes and shadows deepen, this Lot 40 Rye Whiskey-based elixir emerges from the darkness with Super Acid Apple, Rooibos Tea, Cinnamon, and Lustau Rojo Vermut.
- Crystal Flesh: Gaze into the depths of a low-ABV libation that captivates with the devilish draw of Lustau Rose Vermut, Ritual Gin Alternative, Aperol, Giffard Pamplemousse, Fresh Lemon & Seltzer.
- Satanic Panic: Indulge in the spellbinding allure of a spirit free cocktail that flirts with the forbidden: Ritual Tequila Alternative combines with its diabolical counterparts, Pineapple, Miso Falernum, and Fresh Lime.
The Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival
The Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival is back again for their third and final year! The beloved fall fest takes place over six uniquely-themed weekends until Oct. 29. The event will again be held at the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead (419 Founders Park Rd. Dripping Springs, Texas 78620), only a 38 minute drive from Austin.
With 50 autumn-inspired games, activities, and attractions, the festival will surely have something for all ages to enjoy, including armadillo races, an exotic petting zoo, camel and pony rides, face painting, a hay maze, life-sized 3D impression art, a corn pit as well as seasonal foods and beverages from 17 local businesses, and so much more!
Spooky Silent Disco Halloween Party at The Belmont
Spooky Silent Disco is holding it down with a pre-Halloween party on October 27 from 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. at The Belmont. Expect hundreds of party-goers decked out in their Halloween hotness singing, dancing, and drinking with three DJs battling for your attention all-night long. Costumes are not required, but they’re strongly suggested and a whole lot of fun! Your experience includes a pair of Quiet Events headphones and glow in the dark gear. This event is rain or shine, and 21+ to party.
Your three Live DJs are spinning all night:
DJ 1 (Green): Top 40 Dance Hits
DJ 2 (Red): 80’s, 90’s & 2K Throwbacks
DJ 3 (Blue): Hip Hop, R&B
LCRA Parks’ Third Annual Tricks, Treats and Trails Event
The third annual Tricks, Treats and Trails event is back at McKinney Roughs Nature Park (1884 SH 71 West Cedar Creek, TX 78612). Enjoy a day of family fun collecting goodies from the trick-or-treat trail and getting into the spooky spirit with Halloween face painting. Adventure awaits with rock climbing, archery and paintball experiences for all ages. A food truck will also be on site. Complimentary parking is available at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Additional details may be found here.
The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 28, 2-8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 29, 12-4 p.m.
Cost: $10 for ages 13 and older, $20 for ages 4 – 12, and FREE for children three years and younger.
Austin’s Commodore Perry Estate’s Spooky Sites For The Season
This Halloween, enjoy a delightful stay at Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection’s, and discover why Austin is a must-visit destination during the fall season. On Sunday, October 29 from 4 – 7 p.m., friends, guests, and neighbors are invited to a Haunted Mansion Party featuring trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, scavenger hunt and an intimate performance by the Bros Fresh.
Cost: $35 per adult | $15 for children 12 & under
Kid Friendly Spooky Fun this Halloween Season at Hotel Viata
As Spooky Season is in full swing, Boo Bash, a kid friendly event at Hotel Viata, is taking place on Sunday, October 29. Attendees will be able to mix and mingle with their favorite Disney heroes, princesses, villains and Halloween friends.
For $40, which includes entrance to the event for two, guests can meet their favorite characters, get unlimited dazzling glitter tattoos from Tinkerbell, dance with Cinderella on the dance floor, paint a pumpkin with Rapunzel, fill up a goodie bag at the trick or treat stations and jump around in the bouncy castle.
Solo tickets are available for $12. There will also be a petting zoo put on by Tiny Tails available for an extra cost of $10.
Characters in attendance include Jack and Sally Skellington, Cruella de Vil, Bruno and Mirabel Madrigal, Elsa, Rapunzel, Spider-Man, Belle, Tinkerbell and Cinderella. Laurel, the Hotel’s restaurant will offer snacks and Halloween cocktails available for purchase.
Austin’s Lefty’s Shop of Horrors: Halloween Events and Cocktails
Lefty’s Brick Bar in East Austin is hosting a month-long immersive Halloween experience like no other. The bar has transformed into Lefty’s Shop of Horrors until October 31, featuring five hauntingly unique and Instagrammable spaces, an eerie food and drink menu, and wickedly fun events happening all month long–including a tarot residency every Wednesday night, Howl-O-Ween for your furry friends, and a Murder Mystery Party.
- Every Wednesday from 7-9 p.m.: Tarot Readings with Sound and Sight Tarot
- Scene Kid Thursdays: Emo music all night long!
- Halloween Drag Bingo: Free to play with devilishly delightful prizes awarded each round. Wednesday, October 25 from 7-9 p.m. Eventbrite linked here with more info.
- Howl-O-Ween: Dog costume party benefiting Austin Bulldog Rescue on Sunday, October 29 from 2-4 p.m.
- Morgue-Arita: Frozen, Reposado Tequila, Lime, Coconut Water. Choose a flavor: Original, Spicy, or Bloody.
- Pennywise Painkiller: Frozen, Rum, Pineapple, Orange, Coconut.
- Bloody ‘n Brined: House-made Michelada with Best Maid Pickle Sour Beer.
- O Negative: Vodka, Mixed Berry, Pomegranate, Acid Syrup.
- Left 4 Dead: Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Blue Curacao, Orgeat, Grapefruit, Lime, Ghost Pepper.
- Pumpkinhead: Bourbon, Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla Infused Angostura Bitters, Orange Peel, Cinnamon Stick.
- Graveyard Guzzler: Dark Rum, 151 Proof Rum, Grapefruit, Lime, Cinnamon. Our take on the Zombie. Served in a take-home souvenir cup and best enjoyed for 2.
Punch Bowls(Serves 2-4 people):
- Deal with the Devil: Salted Caramel Vodka, Midori, Apple Cider, Lime. Serves 4-6 people.
- Child’s Play Punch: Candy Corn Vodka, Dry Curacao, Lemon, Champagne.
Fall Happenings at The Driskill: From The Driskill History Tour to a Halloween-Themed Tea
The Driskill embraces its history all year long, but Halloween is an especially spooky time at the downtown Austin hotel. Locals and travelers alike can book The Driskill History Tour, a guided tour that explores the rich history and haunted past of Austin’s oldest hotel. Guided tours are available daily at 4 p.m. and are free to hotel guests and $10 for non-hotel guests – making it a great last-minute, spooky activity for all ages.
For those looking for a hauntingly elegant way to celebrate the spooky season, The Driskill will host their first-ever Halloween-themed tea – A Truly Terrible Tea – from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29. Guests will enjoy a luxuriously spooky spread of Halloween-themed treats from The Driskill’s executive pastry chef, Kristen Groth. In addition to tea, guests 21 and up can also enjoy a variety of spirits, wines and themed cocktails, which will be available for purchase at a cash bar.
The Driskill has also teamed up with Wish Upon a Star Parties for the tea, bringing live performances hosted by some of the silver screen’s most popular villains. Guests will also have the opportunity to participate in rounds of classic villain trivia for a chance to win prizes, including a one-night stay for two at The Driskill.
Tickets for A Truly Terrible Tea are $75 for children and $125 for adults and can be purchased through Tock.
Austin Arboretum’s 6th Annual Boo & Brew
The Arboretum is hosting their 6th Annual Boo & Brew event on Saturday, October 28 from 4-6 p.m. Costumes are welcome!
Guests will enjoy:
- Candy Crawl-Trick or Treat at our Arboretum retailers
- Live music by Matt Creaton
- Face Painting
- Balloon Art
- Alcohol Samplings by Beerburg Brewing, Big Country Hard Seltzer, Meridian Hive, Soco Ginger Beer, Starbase Brewing and Watertight Cocktails
- Vendor booths including Focused on You Chiropractic, Little Kitchen Academy, Salvation Army, We Are Blood and WorkCastle
- Hay maze and selfie station hosted by LandCare
- Enjoy alcoholic beverages at Estancia Brazilian Steakhouse, Juliet Italian Kitchen, and The Cheesecake Factory
- Raffle for gift cards from your favorite Arboretum retailers!
This event is FREE.
RSVP to Eventbrite: https://tinyurl.com/4h264ms5
Austin’s MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM’s Festive Treats
Austin’s MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM has unveiled a selection of devilishly good drinks and treats just in time for Halloween, boasting offerings for kids and adults alike.
The museum’s new, festive treats include The Dark Cone, a chocolate soft-serve ice cream topped with Oreo crumbles and a gummy eyeball, creepy cotton candy adorned with candy worms, and a selection of ice cream sundaes featuring spooky toppings like meringue ghosts, gummy bugs, and licorice bats. While guests explore more than a dozen different installations, including a 3-story slide and the iconic sprinkle swimming pool, they can enjoy unlimited servings of their favorite treats.
Guests can also purchase themed drinks including the Bloody Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic sipper served in an IV bag featuring lemonade and grenadine, and The Black Widow, a boozy concoction presented in a bubbling cauldron combining Tequila Sauza, Triple Sec, blackberry pureé and sour pucker powder.
Experience Spooky Season and Family Bonding Time at Jellystone Park™
If house-to-house trick or treating is not doing it for the kiddos any longer, pack up and head to Jellystone Park™ which is crawling with festive scare zones during their upcoming Halloween Weekends! There are multiple Texas locations, but the closest from Austin is in Canyon Lake (San Antonio location).
To celebrate the spooky season, Jellystone Park™ goes all out with themed weekends through October 29, featuring costume and campsite decorating contests, Halloween-theme crafts, haunted trails, pumpkin patches, fun passes, and trick or treating, as well as Halloween Fun Passes (all of the festive activities for 20% off). Whether you’re looking for a place to throw a Halloween bash, spooky soiree, or get straight up scared, this park is the perfect destination for fall.
San Antonio is the Place to Be for Day of the Dead
Fall is underway, and that means San Antonio will soon usher in its annual Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) celebrations, one of the largest in the U.S.
Day of the Dead is a time-honored Mexican tradition honoring loved ones who have passed away. San Antonio’s businesses, from the corner bakery to the four-star hotel, display elaborate altars where passersby are invited to light a candle in memory of their loved ones – the candles are thought to light the way back home for the dearly departed. The town is filled with strains of mariachi and festooned in bright colors with many dressing as Calavera Catrinas.
Here’s what to expect during San Antonio’s Dia de los Muertos celebration:
- The Day of the Dead San Antonio River Parade takes place on October 27 and features a flotilla of colorful barges.
- The 11th annual Dia de los Muertos Festival takes place October 28–29, featuring live music, margarita trucks, altar workshops, a remembrance wall and more. The annual festival will be held in La Villita, an artisan village listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Guests of all ages can expect to see community-made altars celebrating the deceased and sugar skulls as decoration as well as face art.
This event is FREE.
Cover photo Andrea Piacquadio
Leean Vargas is the Highlight Reel newsletter editor at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She is a concert enthusiast who loves traveling, photography, good food, and discovering new hangout spots in her beloved city, Austin, Texas.