All year long, parents tell their kids not to take candy from strangers, but the rules change on Halloween. If you still have qualms about sending your little ones running through the neighborhood after dark in search of treats, there are some alternatives around town for you. Some even occur the weekend before Halloween to allow children and parents to attend a full of day events without missing school or work. No matter where you are in Houston, don’t miss out on the best alternatives to trick-or-treating near you.
1500 McKinney St.
Houston, TX 77010
Hours: Oct. 27 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Located in the heart of downtown Houston, Discovery Green will host its annual Scream at the Green featuring karaoke, a costume contest for children, another one for adults and one for dogs, a screening of the film “Coraline,” magicians, a DJ, mad science demonstrations and fortune tellers . Be sure to bring a comfortable blanket to sit on if you want to stay and watch the movie on the big screen outside at the park.
6200 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030
Dates: Oct. 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28
Hours: Fri – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sat and Sun – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Price: $9 children 2 to 11/$13 children 12 and older, adults
The Houston Zoo’s Zoo Boo is a popular Halloween alternative held Friday through Sunday in October. A pumpkin patch will be available at the event for picking pumpkins to carve into jack-o-lanterns at home. On weekends, your children may participate in a costume parade around the reflecting pool. Your child may even trick-or-treat at stations set out around the zoo’s exhibits. Note that some of the stations will be closed on Friday mornings.
1500 Binz St.
Houston, TX 77004
Hours: Oct. 31 – 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $9 children 1 and older, adults/$8 seniors
If you kids want a party on Halloween night, but you don’t want to have your home filled with children hyped up on candy, go to the Children’s Museum of Houston’s Halloween Spooktacular. For this special night, the museum will be open until 8 p.m. with festivities kicking off with a dance party at 3:30 p.m. Trick-or-treating will be held inside the museum’s Halloween Mansion and your kids may paint their own tiny pumpkin to take home. Other crafts, photo opportunities and activities will be available during the event. Kids – and parents – are welcome to come in costume.
4501 Woodway Drive
Houston, TX 77024
Date: Oct. 27 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $15 per person
The Houston Arboretum hosts its ever-popular ArBOOretum festival again this year. Members of the arboretum get in free and may arrive an hour early to beat the crowds. The cost covers the carnival games, live animal showings, entrance into the discovery room, pumpkin decorating, face painting and trick-or-treating on the trails of the arboretum until 4:30 p.m. Proceeds from this event help to further the educational causes of the Houston Arboretum, and it’s a great way to introduce your kids to the natural flora and fauna of Houston.
2099 Lake Robbins Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77380
Date: Oct. 28 – 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
If you are on the north side of town, head up to The Woodland’s Trick or Treat Trail the Sunday before Halloween. Kids may trick-or-treat at Town Green Park as well as participate in games, see live entertainment and compete in a costume contest. There will also be booths available for parents to get ideas and information about local activities their kids may do throughout the year.