For a guide to the best seasonal celebrations, read on. The list will be updated constantly through October 31, so check back.
Hangman’s House of Horrors. A friend recently asked me, hypothetically, if I’d be into going to a haunted house. Hypothetically, I said, I’d have to either be wheeled through, grocery cart kiddie style, or carried. And then I went into this whole other hypothetical situation in which my friends leave me behind and I never make it out. All this to say, I’m a wimp. Luckily, there’s one night of this Fort Worth haunted house that’s lights up and specifically for “scaredy cats,” families, and kids. That’s October 28, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Big fan of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller?” Be there on October 27 to try and break the world record for most dancing zombies. Know the dance or wanna learn (it’s fun, I promise)? Go here to participate. Otherwise, it’s open nightly. Some creepy location off I-30, Oct. 26-Nov. 3.
Primebar’s Halloween Spectacular. Late night Uptown fun includes VIP table options, costume contests (prizes are worth up to $500), and live DJs. Primebar, Oct. 27.
Halloween at the Old Monk. The Old Monk really loves Halloween, as evidenced by the pumpkin-carving contest they’ve got going through October 31. But Oct. 27 is the day to party (though you can still carve up a gourd if you want to). The DJ starts at 9 p.m., and there’s a costume contest with serious prizes. Best individual costume gets $200 cash, scariest gets $100, crowd favorite another $100, and the best group costume gets a $150 gift card. Nearly identical parties (with exact same start times, pumpkin carving opportunities, and prizes for great costumes) can be found across 75 at Idle Rich, Renfield’s, and Black Friar. Old Monk, Oct. 27.
Ghostland Observatory. This Austin duo has the perfect name for a Halloween party, and they know it–showing up in Dallas around Fright Night and encouraging folks to attend their concert in costume. “Stranger Lover” makes for a good soundtrack to an evening full of masked identities. Palladium Ballroom, Oct. 27.
Oak Lawn Halloween Street Party. 3500 Block of Cedar Springs, Oct. 27.
Halloween British Invasion Mischief Night. What could be better than a British-themed Halloween party? Timothy Oulton supplies the Union Jack paraphernalia, attendees supply the costumes (best one wins a prize), and the lounge supplies drink specials and a DJ. Candleroom, Oct. 27.
Pumpkin Carving Contest. We know. Sometimes punching a pillow just doesn’t cut it. Take out your excess rage on an unfeeling, though cute, fruit. The Libertine supplies the gourds and knives, and you supply the artistry. First-, second-, and third-place winners get $100, $50, and $25 bar tabs. Carving starts at 7 p.m., and judging starts at 10 p.m. The Libertine, Oct. 29.
The People’s Last Halloween Party. Free. The People’s Last Stand, Oct. 30.
Halloween on Halloween Party. The I Heart Cinema-sponsored fun starts at 7 p.m. with DJ Casper in the lobby, but the movie screens at 8:30 p.m. sharp–as sharp at the knife Michael Myers used to murder his sister, probably. There’s also a short documentary about the making of the 1978 movie. Once you’re good and jumpy, there’s a set from Denton-based band Savage and the Big Beat. Don’t miss the costume contest, Halloween-themed drink specials, “tricks,” and all the “cinematic swag” you can stuff in your plastic jack-o’-lantern. Texas Theatre, Oct. 31.
For more bars and parties, go here for our nightlife editor’s picks.
Hitchcocktober. Catch Vertigo, long considered one of Hitchcock’s spookiest masterpieces and the greatest film of all time, outdoors, during the evening hours.Â Angelika Film Center, Oct. 25.
Halloween. The original 1978 movie that inspired a dynasty of slasher flicks, of course. Texas Theatre, Oct. 27, 28, and 31.
Autumn at the Arboretum. Many towns have a pumpkin patch every fall, but Dallas has a whole pumpkin village. We admit it’s kind of insane to build even one house out of pumpkins, let alone four. But you know what? It’s also kind of awesome. Photo ops abound, and of course, there’s a pumpkin patch where you can get your own gourds. (No stealing from the displays.) Dallas Arboretum, through Nov 21.
Halloween Nights at the Zoo. The gates of the Dallas Zoo close at 4 p.m. and reopen an hour later to bring you a Halloween adventure you and the kids won’t forget. You’ll get to meet a myriad of characters, including Zoohilda and her wacky sisters, storybook characters, and more. There’s also a stage show on Cat Green and trick or treating (each attendee gets six candy coupons, but you can always purchase more). Wear your costume and end the night with a backward ride on the Haunted Carousel. Dallas Zoo, Oct 25-28.
Ghost Tales. The Dallas Storytellers Guild presents two evenings of super creepy storytelling geared toward teenagers and adults. Scary Movie ain’t got nothing on this. (And seriously, leave the little kids at home.) Bath House Cultural Center, Oct. 26-27.
Trick or Treat at the Dallas Farmers Market. Fresh produce (we bet you could treat yourself to a pumpkin or two) and yet another opportunity for the kiddos to collect tons of candy in costume. Dallas Farmers Market, Oct. 27.
Monsters of Film Music. This goes under “adult” and “kid,” because there’s no denying the awesomeness of hearing excellent film scores played live by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This is truly one way to make Halloween fun for the whole family. Before the show, there’s arts and crafts, an instrument petting zoo, and more. Meyerson Symphony Center, Oct. 30.
Fall Festival with Trick or Treating. Head to Frisco, where kids can trick-or-treat around the buildings of the Frisco Fire Safety Town. Parking is tough, so there’s a free shuttle. Frisco Fire Safety Town, Oct. 26.
Halloween Fest 2012. In Bedford, you’ll find face painting, a bounce house, carnival rides, arts and crafts, trick or treat stations, and concessions. The best part? It’s all free with a single canned good donation per person to the Tarrant County Food Bank. Boys Ranch Activity Center, Oct. 26.
Boo at the Zoo. Come dressed up (for safety reasons, only children are permitted to wear masks) and enjoy Halloween dÃ©cor, events, games, candy, and of course, zoo animals. Fort Worth Zoo, Oct. 26-28.
Halloween in the Park. No Blair Witch stuff here, just clean wholesome fun at a pretty park in Farmers Branch where you’ll find game booths, trick-or-treat stations, a petting zoo, pony rides, live entertainment, food vendors, and the Haunted Hedge. Admission is free with canned food donations to Metrocrest Social Services. Farmers Branch Historical Park, Oct. 27.
NYLOween. NYLO Plano takes a cue from The Walking Dead and transformed the hotel into a veritable hotspot for the undead. There’s a DJ, specialty cocktails, and a costume contest with a $400 prize. NYLO Plano, Oct. 27.
Trek or Treat 5K. Head to Allen for Halloween festivities as big as the shopping center in which they’re held. Early risers can participate in the 5k fun run (costumes are encouraged), and then there’s a full day of live music, hay rides, trick or treating, and more. At 7 p.m., there’s a screening of Despicable Me. Love that movie. Watters Creek, Oct. 27.
Treat Street in the Fort Worth Stockyards. This family-friendly evening includes hayrides, a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, games, prizes, trick or treating, and more. If all that wasn’t enough to get your kids excited, how about telling them that Radio Disney will be there, too? Come out and enjoy a fun (and free) party. Perhaps you’ll see the ghosts of cowboys past. Fort Worth Stockyards, Oct. 31.
Trunk or Treat. Cleverly, the City of Lake Dallas has turnedÂ EMS vehicles into “Zombie Response Units” as part of a community-wide trick-or-treating alternative. Lake Dallas City Hall, Oct. 31.
Compiled with help from web edit intern Iris Zubair.