October is packed with Halloween events, and we’re ready to celebrate! Pumpkin decorating, crafts, haunted trails, costume parties and festivals galore! Here’s a few stand-out events happening in the Austin area. For a full round-up of events, be sure to check out our special calendar of family Halloween listings so you don’t miss a thing!

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Boo at the Zoo @ Austin Zoo
Fridays & Saturdays through October 30, 6:30-9 p.m.
Wear a costume, ride the Haunted Train, explore the Haunted House and see the animals by the glow of your flashlight! Austin Zoo will be illuminated and decorated for the occasion. Tickets are $12.50 and include a train pass and unlimited Haunted House visits. You can call 512-288-1490 to order tickets.

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Haunted Halloween Trails @ Pioneer Farms
Fridays & Saturdays through October 24, 7-10 p.m.
This year’s theme will be “Grimm’s Ghostly Tales,” featuring three separate spooky trails each night — one for young children (amusing, rated G), another for those who want spooky surprises (rated PG) and a scary, scary trail for the adventurous (frights galore, rated PG-13).  Spook lights, ghoulish stories, pumpkins, food, drinks and souvenirs promise to add to the fun. Palm readers and fortune tellers will be on site all nights to give visitors a peek into their past or future. Admission is $12 a person, which you can purchase online here.

The Pumpkin Express @ Austin Steam Train
Sunday, October 11 & Sunday, October 18, departs at 11 a.m., returns at 2:30 p.m.
The Pumpkin Express takes you to the sleepy town of Bertram where we will step off for 30 minutes to pick a pumpkin from the Depot Pumpkin Patch. Kids of all ages will enjoy a chat with Farmer Brown, take a tour of the historic 1912 train depot and sip apple cider. This ride is 3.5 hours round trip with a 30 minute layover. Tickets start at $26.

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Pumpkin Decorating Workshop @ IKEA Round Rock
Sunday, October 11, 6-7:30 p.m.
Bring your own pumpkin, and they’ll have fun decorating supplies in the IKEA Restaurant! RSVP is appreciated. Just email RoundRock027.marketing@ikea.com to let them know how many kids are in your group. Free!

Community Halloween Carnival and Haunted House @ Metz Recreation Center
Thursday, October 15, 5:30-8 p.m.
You are invited to join the fun at the annual Metz Halloween Carnival. They will provide free music, door prizes and a costume contest. Games will be $0.25 a ticket & haunted house $1.00. Haunted House opens at 6:30 p.m., Costume contest begins at 7:30 p.m.

Spooktober 5K & Fall Fest @ Austin State Supported Living Center
Saturday, Oct. 17, race starts at 9 a.m., Fall Festival runs from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Head out to a fun 5K or Kids 1K for a great cause or just attend the annual Fall Festival that will feature live performances, food trucks games, prize drawings and much more! Click here for info about registering for the race.

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Leander’s Fall Fun Festival @ Leander Fire Department
Saturday, October 17, 5:30-10 p.m.
The Leander Fire Department has carnival style games, vendors, food, haunted house, silent auction and more at this family event.  All proceeds go to our Health & Safety Fund and the Benevolent Fund.  Tickets for games start at just $.50 and touring the Tower of Terror is only $5!

Fall Fun Festival @ Ashley’s Playhouse
Sunday, October 18, 1-4 p.m.
Enjoy a bounce house, games, playhouse tours, train rides and more BYOP: Bring your own pumpkins for decorating with our supplies! Or, be one of the first 200 kids in line to receive a FREE mini pumpkin from APH!

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Halloween Cookie Decorating @ Safari Champ
Monday, October 19, 6-7 p.m.
Kids can decorate cookies with a Halloween theme. Cost is $10 and includes admission to Safari Champ.

Hairy Man Spookyfest @ Cat Hollow Park
Saturday, October 24, 1-4 p.m.
The 21st Annual Hairy Man Spookyfest is a fun-filled day of food, arts & crafts fair, children’s activities, special performances, and live mu­sic! Participate in a costume contest, park scavenger hunt, pump­kin decorating, train rides, Halloween themed crafts, scary snacks station and more. Admission for the festival is free, however there is a suggested donation of two non perishable food Items or $2 per person that will go to the local Round Rock Serving Center Food Bank.

— Fall Potluck & 5k Harvest Hustle @ Johnson’s Backyard Garden – Garfield Farm
Saturday, October 24, 2 p.m.
Take part in a 5k Harvest Hustle and 1-mile Kids’ Fun Run around the farm. Rogue Running is sponsoring the race, and it will surely be top-notch! Expect to get a sneak peak of the fall crops as you weave your way through fields of brassicas and carrots, just to name a few. This is a fantastic way to celebrate with friends and family, and experience first-hand where your food is grown! The Fall Potluck will happen directly after the Harvest Hustle. At this one-of-a-kind meal, guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share with their fellow locavores and farm-lovers. For more info & to sign up for the race, click here.

Spooktacular Grand Re-Opening Celebration @ Northwest Family YMCA
Saturday, October 24, 5-8 p.m.
Check out the trick-or-treat trail, games, refreshments and so much more. Plus, take a tour of the new facility and be entered for a chance to win prizes! Free event!

Dittmar’s Halloween Spooktacular @ Dittmar Recreation Center
Saturday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.
Check out the Haunted House, and enjoy a carnival that begins at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch “Casper” in the park at sundown. Free event!

Last Straw Fest & Pumpkin Carving Competition @ UMLAUF Sculpture Garden & Museum
Sunday, October 25, 12 – 4 p.m.
Last Straw Fest features Pumpkin-Carving, the Haunted Garden, Sculpted Scarecrows and more. Families can sculpt their holiday pumpkins and participate for prizes. Overseen by “Professor Pumpkin” from the Texas Society of Sculptors, this event features community judges who will choose the most amusing, spooky, artistic and lovable creations. Non-perishable items will be accepted in lieu of admission. Free event!

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Austin Symphony Halloween Children’s Concert @ Long Center
Sunday, October 25, 3 p.m.,
It’s creepy, crawly and so much fun it’s spooky! Your little ghost or goblin will help haunt Long Center’s Dell Hall for the Austin Symphony’s annual Halloween Children’s Concert. This exciting concert features frightfully fun symphonic music that is stimulating for young eyes and ears (ages 2–10). The entire family is invited to dress up in their favorite costume and enjoy “boo-tiful” music with their Austin Symphony Orchestra! Tickets start at $8.

21st Annual Halloween Festival and Hayride @ San Gabriel Park
Thursday, Oct. 29, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
The Festival will be held inside the Community Center. Admission is free, but each booth or activity charges a fee to participate. Hayrides will load outside the Community Center, with the first ride leaving at at 5:30 p.m. Ticket sales will STOP at 8 p.m. but all tickets sold will be honored. Tickets will be $1 for children ages 1-4 years and $2 for everyone else (ages 5 – adult). The Hayride is not scary – it is a friendly hay ride through the park with Halloween themed decorations, aimed towards younger children. Then you can watch Disney’s Halloweentown (PG) at 6:45 pm at the Gazebo in San Gabriel Park. Bring your own refreshments.

Creative Action Kids’ Ball @ Central Market North Lamar
Friday, October 30, 5-8 p.m.
You’re invited to this free, interactive event with treats, kid and family-friendly activities, and dancing as we celebrate kindness, strengths, treasures, and creativity! Build your own costume or wear your own and add to the fun! White Ghost Shivers will perform. Free event!

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Halloween Hootenanny @ The Thinkery
Friday, October 30, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Whether you come dressed as a paleontologist, superhero, princess, or a buzzing bee you will love doing spooky science with us! The evening’s spooktastic line up includes exploding pumpkins, vomiting pumpkins and smoking pumpkins, Thriller dance lessons, owl pellet dissections, glow-in-the-dark slime, a costume contest and more. Tickets are $11-$15 and can be purchased online here.

Spooktacular @ The Bullock Museum
Friday, October 30, 5-8 p.m.
Explore the Bullock after hours at this family-friendly Halloween extravaganza, featuring performances, games, interactive activities, art, and more. This year’s program will introduce children and their families to Texas “creepy crawlies” through activities and special screenings of Flight of the Butterflies in the IMAX Theatre. Get hands-on with spooky science from Girlstart and show off your Halloween costume for a special prize. Free event!

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Sinister Circus Halloween Carnival @ Northwest Recreation Center
Friday, October 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Come one come all, step right up to the main event of the year under the Northwest Big Top! You’ll find everything to have a haunting good time: bounce house, popcorn, carnival games, candy, prizes, a sinister circus trick-or-treat trail and even more Halloween fun! *First 10 tickets & endless trips through the Trick-or-Treat Trail FREE! Additional tickets for only 25¢.

Halloween Party on the Plaza @ The Domain II
Friday, October 30, 6-8 p.m.
Join The Domain for a Halloween Party on the Plaza! Enjoy a live performance by Superband, a kids costume parade, face painting, balloon twisting, a pumpkin patch photo opportunity, crafts, games and giveaways. Costumes encouraged. Masks permitted on children ages 12 & under. No toy weapons, please. Free event!

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Halloween Storytime: Trick or Treat for Books @ BookPeople
Saturday, October 31, 11:30 a.m.
Storytime will be in the amphitheater, featuring stories full of monsters, ghosts, and witches (but none of them will be too scary). Then, after storytime, join the costume parade around the store, and then kids can get their treat — a free book to bring home! This Halloween Party is perfect for witches and wizards ages 7 and under. Free event!

Viva la Vida Festival 2015 @ Mexic-Arte Museum
Saturday, Oct. 31, 12 – 8 p.m.
This year, Austin’s largest and longest-running Day of the Dead event features a grand procession, a Day of the Dead mercado, live music, a Sugar Skull float by local piñata artisans Monica and Sergio Lejarazu from Jumpolin Piñatas, an exhibition with community altars highlighting the states of Mexico inside the Museum, and educational programs. Attendees can also taste traditional foods from Austin’s best food trucks, hands-on art activities, and artist demos. The grand procession begins at 6th Street between Chicon and Comal and travels an entire mile west on 6th Street to the festival location. People of all ages can take part in the parade. To participate, register here.

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