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Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Fun, frightening fall activities you autumn know about

Illustrated by Ndidi Nwosu

By Arielle Noah     10/20/20 9:56pm

As sweater weather approaches, the leaves might not change color in Houston, but the need for pumpkin-themed activities goes from nonexistent to inescapable. Here’s a list of physically distanced and virtual activities you can do to satisfy that autumn craving while still participating in Rice’s Culture of Care and staying safe. 

BYOChair Movie Night: “Hocus Pocus”

Parking Lot 6 (behind Rice Media Center)

Why was the Rice student sad? Because their mask broke and they couldn’t witch it back together. Speaking of witches, the department of visual and dramatic arts and Rice Cinema are presenting “Hocus Pocus” as the third screening in their free fall outdoor movie series. Bring a blanket, chair, snacks and whatever else you need to get comfortable, and head on over to the Rice Media Center on Saturday, October 31 from 7-10 p.m. Tickets must be reserved online in advance and are available on a first come, first serve basis. 

Sawyer Yards Drive-in

2302 Summer Street

Drive-in movies are a great way to get those Halloween scares without any COVID scares. The Drive-In at Sawyer Yards is showing Halloween favorites like “Casper,” “Beetlejuice” and “Halloweentown” from October 19 - November 1. Movie goers are welcome to bring their own snacks, and concessions from local restaurants The Burger Joint and El Patio will be available with contactless order and pickup at the drive-in. You can purchase tickets ranging from $5-$38 depending on the day of the week and time. 

Houston Scream Fest

1500 Elton Street

You scream, I scream, we all scream! For $60 a person, you can enjoy Houston’s largest Halloween theme park featuring haunted houses, live music, horror movies and other attractions every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until November 1. Try to escape from the weeping woman at Casa De La Llorona and fight zombie hordes (with paintball guns!) at the Zombie Hunt. For the fainter of heart, you can watch the School of Rock and local ZZ Top tribute band ZZ Roxx perform. And, to combat the inevitable dry throat from all that screaming, they’re offering free beverages with the entry ticket. Masks are required at the festival, physical distancing of six feet must be followed and you may not enter if you exhibit COVID symptoms.

Haunted Trails

11500 Antoine Dr

The only thing you need for this outdoor adventure is a lot of adrenaline, some friends and $25 per ticket. Every weekend and select weekdays until November 1, you dodge killer clowns and monsters only imagined in nightmares when you embark on two different panic-inducing haunted trail attractions: Haunted Trails and Psycho Hollow. This outdoor open-air attraction requires attendees to wear masks and socially distance from other groups. . Masks are required and they follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for their employees and events. 

Phobia Haunted Houses

5250 South Sam Houston Parkway East

Variety is the pumpkin spice of life, right? When you visit Phobia Haunted House’s “screampark,” you can choose from a variety of eight different haunted houses every weekend until November 1 (with special encore nights on Nov. 6, 7 and 13). Experience the downfall of humanity at the hands of artificial intelligence when you venture through the Dawn of the Machines attraction, or witness the “clinical trials” of Dr. Phylo Darke at the Darke Institute. Ticket prices depend on how many of the eight haunted houses you want to attend, starting from $15. Masks are required for entry and physical distancing is necessary between different groups.

Houston Symphony Haunted Halloween POPS


The Houston Symphony will live stream a spooky performance from the Jones Hall for Performing Arts on Saturday, Oct 31 at 8 p.m. CST. From “Psycho” to “Harry Potter,” listen to classic, chilling scores when you tune into the concert from the comfort of your home on Halloween night. Listeners will receive the live stream link via email following their online purchase of a ticket, which are $20 each. 

Numbers Full Moon LiveScream


Calling all streamers and screamers! Numbers Nightclub is hosting a virtual Halloween event on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. CST. There will be a costume contest, pumpkin carving contest and a chance to win cash and prizes! To enter the costume contest, you must  purchase one of two merchandise packages, which include a numbered wristband for live prize giveaways during the stream and tons of Halloween merch, , and be in costume on  Twitch, Zoom and Facebook Live on Halloween night. For those not participating in the contest, the stream will be free to access with an optional $20 donation. All proceeds from the event will go toward Numbers’ survival costs. For more information, visit the Numbers Full Moon Halloween Livescream Eventbrite page

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