Ready for all things spooky and scary? Want some gruesome ghoulish glee? We’ve got a boo-tiful bundle of family-friendly events across the Lone Star State, all with social distancing and safety rules in mind.
Get ready for the 5th Annual Halloween costume contest from TTBF. This is your chance to dress up as your favorite literary character…on Halloween! To enter, on October 31 post a picture on Instagram with your book-ish costume and tag #TTBF. Then, check @txteenbookfest on Instagram on November 1 to see if you won. A few lucky winners will get fun literary prizes.
At Austin’s living-history park, every evening of Pumpkinfest enjoy a schedule of family-friendly events, demonstrations, live music and more. From a new lighted walking tour of the decorated historic sites to an array of spooky ghost tours, pumpkin-carving demonstrations and outdoor movies to Texas yodeling, circus performers, light up DJ’s, a Pioneer Pumpkin Patch, Dia de Los Muertos exhibits, a Ghost Egg Hunt and food, Pioneer Farm’s programs celebrate the spirit of the Orange Orbs in a uniquely Austin way.
All activities require masks and social distancing with mandatory small-group rules and other mandated health orders.
October 23-31, 7-11pm nightly. Prices vary by activity
DALLAS-FORT WORTH METROPLEX
It’s finally fall, with piles of pumpkins rolling in to the Dallas Farmers Market from Floydada, TX! With over 25 pumpkin varieties, you can take your pick of all the fall favorites. The patch is open every day inside The Shed. Get your local Texas pumpkins y’all! Thru October 31.
In the heart of Grapevine sits Nash Farm. This 5.2-acre historical landmark, which centers around the house barn and family cemetery Thomas Nash built in 1869, celebrates life as it was on the Texas prairie. October 24, 7 – 9pm, head to the historic barn for tales of old, popcorn and cider. Stories get spookier as the night wanes. $3 per person, ages 3+
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center presents A Week of Halloween Fun! This hands-on program includes both virtual and socially distant on-site offerings and is being held in lieu of the popular ArBOOretum fall festival, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Science Spooktacular daily activities range from spooky bedtime stories to creating slime in a fun science show. October 22-24, children and families have the opportunity to visit the Arboretum in person and put their nature knowledge to the test on the Halloween Trail. All virtual activities will be recorded and can be viewed after the live presentations. Free for members, $10 per family for non-members. Registration required.
Investigate the spookiest city in Texas to hear true and historically correct tales of ghostly happenings at each stop on a spine-tingling night that offers something for everyone. Walk along the streets and back alleys of downtown while listening to a top-notch storyteller bring alive the chilling and gruesome history of San Antonio’s wicked past. The walk is 1 mile, socially distanced, and lasts 90 minutes. Not suitable for under 5s. $15-$18
For 2020, Six Flags Fiesta Texas and other parks in the chain are holding Hallowfest. This all-new Halloween event features a modified haunted experience that is intended to keep guests and team members safe while having fun. Those in attendance can expect several spookily-themed features in outdoor settings. Daytime activities include themed photo opportunities, new decor and more. Hallowfest also features Fiesta Texas’ award-winning entertainment and a new fireworks display, the Frightful Finale, on select evenings. Shows are free with park admission. Hallowfest runs thru November 1
Divine (or Devilish) Dress Up
The Taylor Public Library is hosting a virtual costume contest as well as a no-carve pumpkin decorating contest. October 18-29, submit a photo or short video of your costume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Costumes will be judged in six different age categories, including family groups. In the pumpkin decorating contest, all projects must represent a book or movie character. More information at the library section of the Taylor, TX website. Submit pumpkin entries, which will be displayed on the library’s Facebook page and in the library, by October 18.
Julie Tereshchuk is the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Lifestyle Magazine, and loves a good costume contest.