Guide to Halloween in Texas: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

Fall festival motif on hay

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Heading to Texas for Halloween gives you a great chance to find a fun event or scary setting for everyone. You'll find frightening and fun events at zoos, theme parks, and haunted houses that are sure to give both kids and adults a Texas-sized scare. For something really unusual, enjoy a haunting concert in a natural cave, and since Texas is so close to Mexico, you can join in on a traditional Day of the Dead celebration, too.

Many events in 2020 have been modified or canceled, so be sure to confirm individual event details before venturing out.

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Corpus Christi: Day of the Dead Celebration

Celebrating Dia de los Muertos in the Hispanic Community

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In Mexico, the end of October begins a time-honored celebration known as “Day of the Dead.” Over time, the tradition has crept into the Mexican-influenced Texas border region. In fact, several towns across Texas now host their own version of the Day of the Dead celebration. One of the more unique events takes place in the historic South Texas seaport of Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi Day of the Dead events will be taking place virtually in 2020. Locals interested in participating can create their own Day of the Dead altar at home and submit it in a contest.

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Smithville: Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park

Wicked Halloween Park

Scream Hollow

Take a trip 35 miles outside of Austin to a spooky 20-acre forest near Bastrop. This scare park comes alive for Halloween beginning September 18 and running through November 7, 2020. The 22 buildings on-site include four haunted houses: Mansion of Terror, Lost Pines Asylum, Wicked Darkness, and The Slaughterhouse. You'll also find live music, a cafe and bar, merchandise, and movies.

Not for the faint of heart, each terrifying haunted house will provide you with at least 15 minutes of frightening experiences. You'll need to interact with this scary environment to find your way out. Children under 12—if you think they can handle the thrills and scares—must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.

Discount tickets are available online or at a higher price at the gate.

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Arlington: Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Over Texas Roller Coaster
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This annual event is always popular with kids and adults. Try to avoid the zombies and ghouls roaming the park, take some thrilling amusement park rides, and dare to enter the haunted houses. There are stage shows to entertain you and refreshments to keep you going from attraction to attraction. Be sure to come back after sundown when it's extra spooky and more ghouls are released and awaiting you in every dark corner of the park.

Fright Fest is open every weekend from September 25 until November 1, 2020, at Six Flags Over Texas. There are 20 chilling attractions, including new and more horrifying additions every year. In 2020, advance tickets for a reserved day are required to enter the park.

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Temple: Main Street Fright Fest

On Halloween evening, take the family to Main Street in Temple, south of Waco, where vendors line the streets selling arts and crafts and food. Look for fun and free activities for the kids such as ring toss and face painting. This is a safe, fun community Halloween event where you can wear your costume and indulge in some treats. The event is free to attend, but there is a suggested donation of two canned food items to support the organization Food for Families.

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Statewide: Boo at the Zoo

Lemur at zoo with Halloween decorations
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At zoos across Texas, you'll find Halloween festivities that include candy, face painting, hayrides, carnival games, bounce houses, and haunted houses—all set within the zoo's unique environment.

  • Fort Worth: Boo at the Zoo is a special after-hours event from October 22 to 25, 2020. Due to safety guidelines, the Boo at the Zoo in Fort Worth is a drive-through event in 2020 and guests will be able to enjoy music, costumed characters, and a behind-the-scenes look at animal exhibits, all from the safety of their own vehicle.
  • Waco: At the Cameron Park Zoo, Halloween night brings a special holiday event designed for children 2–12 years old. There will be Candy Stations spread throughout the Zoo, and themed exhibit areas all over the park.
  • Houston: Zoo Boo invites kids to come to the zoo in costume toting their trick-or-treat bags. There is no separate ticket needed for the family-friendly event, which takes over the zoo daily during regular zoo hours from October 2 to November 1, 2020.
  • Dallas: Halloweekend is the time to see creepy critters, have fun in the bounce house, go through the spider-themed hay maze, and hit the pumpkin patch. Adults can kick back at the beer garden. Entry is included with regular zoo admission for the event. Halloweekend at the Dallas Zoo is canceled in 2020.
  • Bryan: Aggieland Adventure Zoo and Safari Park typically holds Boo at the Zoo on October Saturdays, but it's canceled in 2020.
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Concan: Neal's Lodges Haunted Hayrides

More than 60 frightening characters are just waiting to scare you at these haunted hayrides along the Frio River, scheduled for October 23–24, 2020. If you make it out alive, enjoy the live music following the hayride as well as costume contests. This event is not recommended for children younger than 10 years old.

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San Antonio: Haunted River

Haunted River

 San Antonio's River Walk

The Haunted River event and parade are canceled in 2020, but the family-friendly Haunted River, Jr. event is scheduled to take place on October 23, 2020.

At the Arneson Theater on San Antonio's River Walk, this party for those 18 and over will have live music, dancing, an adult costume contest, a haunted river parade floating by, and trick or treating to round out a not-too-spooky night of fun. The event and costume contests are free. Food truck fare and adult beverages will be available for purchase.

There is also a family-friendly Halloween event called the Haunted River, Jr., at the Shops at Rivercenter. The family party also has music, family and kid's costume contests, and the opportunity to go trick-or-treating along the Riverwalk. The kids' version takes place on October 23, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Waxahachie: Screams Halloween Theme Park

The Screams Park is closed for the 2020 Halloween season.

Located on the Scarborough Faire Site outside of Dallas, this seasonal theme park offers five full haunted houses, a "scaryoke" singing contest, a food court, and a tavern open on selected Friday and Saturday nights in September and October. There's live entertainment, games of skill, and you can even have your fortune read. No costumes permitted at this event, which is only for attendees aged 16 and older.

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Sealy: Boo Bash

Boo Bash in Sealy is canceled in 2020.

The whole family can enjoy Halloween evening during the Boo Bash in Sealy, where there will be music, balloons, face painting, food and drink, contests, games, and plenty of treats. The little ones can go on a train ride and interact with mellow ghosts and goblins. Wear your costume to this one, and enjoy the holiday in this charming little town west of Houston.

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Boerne: The Haunted Show Concert

Concerts at the Cave Without a Name are canceled in 2020 until further notice.

The Haunted Show at the Cave Without a Name features haunting music played inside the cave with the formations as a backdrop. Enjoy a family-friendly evening loaded with fun and surprises. Costumes are welcome at this event, which features a range of music from classical to jazz.

Cave Without a Name is a natural, living cavern with amazing formations of stalactites, stalagmites, and cave drapery. North of San Antonio, it's in the Throne Room where the beauty and natural acoustics enhance musical performances and lends a mystical feel to the Haunted Show each year.

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New Braunfels: Día de Los Muertos

Day of the Dead ofrenda
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Día de los Muertos in New Braunfels is canceled in 2020.

Head to downtown New Braunfels for a Día de Los Muertos Festival celebrating the holiday and Latinx culture. This family-friendly community event just outside of San Antonio features kids' activities, live entertainment, food trucks, arts and crafts booths, face painters, an ofrenda (traditional altar), shopping specials, contests, and more. Enjoy the vibrant scene with mariachis and Day of the Dead-costumed participants.

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Houston: Halloween Festival

The Houston Halloween Festival is canceled in 2020.

The Houston Zombie Walk puts on an annual Houston Halloween Festival as a fundraiser. The festival is open to the public with a $10 donation and features entertainment and activities for the entire family including live music, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, beer tents, a "fright zone," kids' costume contest, and more. There's something for all ages at this event.

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Denton: Halloween Fest

Halloween Fest is canceled in 2020.

Held out at the North Texas Fairgrounds on Halloween Day, this festival provides fun for all ages just outside of Dallas. Organized by the Denton Pride Foundation, this is one of the biggest LGBTQ+ holiday events in Texas. Halloween Fest features costume contests, a Halloween Drag Show, Halloween games for all ages, and plenty of food and beverages. If you don't win a cash prize for your costume, you might win a prize in one of the raffles.

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Salado: Fright Trail

The Fright Trail in Salado is canceled in 2020.

Held at Tablerock Amphitheater in Salado, the Fright Trail offers games, contests, and spooky tales for children. Adults can experience some of the "horror classics" (think Headless Horseman and Frankenstein), and everyone can expect the unexpected. Tablerock’s one-half mile walking trail is the setting for the thrills, chills, and a bit of fairy fantasy.

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Victoria: Symphonic Spooktacular

Victoria: Symphonic Spooktacular

Victoria Ballet

The 2020 ballet season at the Victoria Ballet Theater is canceled.

Here's something different: a night of performing arts in honor of Halloween: This annual family-friendly event features Victoria Symphony musicians and Victoria Ballet Theatre dancers. Come dressed in costume and enjoy a family-friendly Halloween concert at the Victoria Fine Arts Center, about two hours southeast of San Antonio.