Houston Halloween Fun And Autumn Weekends

Author: Selina Andersson

Tags : Baby, Cheap Vacation, Fall Getaway, Kids, North America, Teens, Texas, USA

Autumn is the season is time to start planning the ghost stories you're going to share with the family on a scary Halloween family break in Houston, Texas. Around the country, family vacationers can find a variety of haunted attractions -- a scary haunted house, a real haunted house or a haunted house tour -- but Houston also programs spooky, scary fun at a space center, local farms, childrens museums, nature exhibits and more. 

For more haunted house options across the country, visit our Haunted House and Halloween Weekend Breaks Directory Page.

Haunted Houses & Grownup Scary Fun in Houston, Texas

If you’re looking for intense Halloween frights this year, Houston boasts a real haunted house with "real" ghosts. Nightmare on the Bayou (713/868-3344) at 1515 Studemont Avenue, Houston, TX 77007, is right next to Houston’s oldest graveyard and is open Fridays through Sundays from late September through the first weekend in November.

Sunday night is Family Night; other online discount coupons, for military and service personnel, will come in handy by reducing the $32 ticket price. Be warned:  Nightmare on the Bayou has high intensity scares, so get ready to scream your head off. Your older kids will love the 15,000-square-feet of haunted attractions, while younger kids can enjoy other activities in Houston. Keep in mind that this haunted Bayou has over 14,000 Facebook fans, so some visitors have lived through the experience.

Halloween Themed Houston Fun for Younger Kids

What's scarier than being strapped into a huge rocket and thrust into outer space? Home of the NASA Space Center, Houston offers many opportunities to learn about space exploration and the perils faced by astronauts. If you're lucky, NASA staffer Liz Warren will have one of her famous space carving pumpkins on display -- each year she likes to tackle another NASA vehicle in her creations. Additionally, several new exhibits have opened since the Space Shuttle program ended.

A three-week Happy Halloween Mansion festival that culminates in early November with Dia de los Muertos is the highlight of The Children’s Museum. Themed to the rafters, it has 15 interactive galleries for babies to children 12 years of age. The museum is open daily except Monday; Thursdays from 5pm-8pm is Family Free Night.

If your family loves science there are tons of exciting places where you can all stretch your left-hemispheres. The Houston Museum of Natural Science has nine educational halls where Spirits and Skeletons, plus displays of nocturnal insects, add a Halloween flavor to the learning. The museum is free Thursday afternoon, and is included with the others on the Houston CityPass for admission discounts. (Note: the IMAX theater and select exhibits require an additional fee).

Houston also has the Downtown Aquarium with its own spooky-themed underwater adventure complete with shipwrecks, white tigers, shark voyages, sunken temples and more.

Halloween in the Great Outdoors

Another “free” activity that everyone will enjoy is the Kemah Boardwalk in Kemah, 20 miles outside Houston. The 35-acre carnival of sorts offers restaurants (including the Aquarium restaurant with a 50,000-gallon tank), shopping, an arcade and rides like a carousel, Ferris Wheel and quite a few more. From late September to the Big Day, it all becomes Boo on the Boardwalk, with weekend events, kids costume parades and evening concerts. Once in awhile, weather gets the best of Houston and the boardwalk is closed as it dries off. Be sure to call before your visit to make sure it’s up and running.


More nature-oriented activities can be found at the Armand Bayou Nature Center in Pasadena, Texas, about 28 miles from Houston. It’s the largest urban wildlife refuge in the United States. Families can walk along the boardwalk through swamps and marshes looking for birds and other wild animals. Check their schedule for breakfast pontoon boat tours of the Bayou and then make them really scary by mentioning the alligators that might surface unexpectedly. There’s also a butterfly garden, an 1800's farm site and touch-tables that are perfect for the curious little ones. The modest admission fee (free for 3 and under) supports a great cause; closed Monday.