Top Ten Houston Halloween Events for Babies, Toddlers and Families!

Pumpkins, black cats, and scarecrows: bring ’em on!  This little bit of crisp air we have had in Houston for the last few days makes it clear that Halloween is on the way!  There is nothing I enjoy more than dressing my little guy up- I mean, seriously, what is cuter than a baby in costume?!   While perusing the internet trying to find the perfect critter to transform Jake into this year, I realized that I am going to need some good excuses to dress him up as much as possible.   Last year, we did the obligatory infant “trick-or-treat,” but let’s face it, with an infant, that gets old after about 2 houses.  So this year, we are going to check out what Houston has to offer my little Pumpkin for our favorite holiday.  Here is the list I have compiled- if spaced out appropriately, I think I can basically keep him in costume all month :).

Zoo Boo 2012

The Houston Zoo’s annual Halloween event.  Kids and Adults are encouraged to come in their spookiest costumes to take part in fun for the whole family!  Pumpkin patches, Monster Mashquarade and a kids DJ will be just part of the festivities.

Saturdays and Sundays
October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Friday mornings
Oct 12, 19, and 26
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Scream on the Green

This annual citywide Halloween celebration and costume contest is THE Halloween party for the whole family. Ghouls and ghosts will be lurking around downtown on Halloween at Discovery Green.

Saturday, October 27, 6 – 10 pm

Happy Halloween Mansion at the Children’s Museum

Celebrate two spooky weeks of trick-or-treating, costume wearing and hair-raising fun!  Giant spiders, creepy critters, friendly, flying ghosts and wicked bats welcome you to a spellbinding adventure as the Children’s Museum of Houston magically morphs into the Happy Halloween Mansion.  Wander through the Mansion’s hallways in search of goblin goodies, terrifying trinkets and more!

October 13 – 31, 2012

Tricks, Treats and T-Rex at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Enjoy crafts, creepy crawlies, chemistry concoctions and more as you join us for our annual Halloween spook-tacular. Costumes encouraged!

Mad Scientists will shock you with their spine-chilling skills; Creepy Chemists will delight you with their bizarre concoctions; Terrorizing Taxidermists will unleash their crazy creations! Discover the scary side of science at HMNS this Halloween!

October 27, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

ArBOOretum

Children and grown-ups alike are encouraged to wear costumes. Wear comfortable walking shoes to enjoy a forest trail with scattered trick-or-treat locations. Stops along the trail will include activities for kids to learn about native wildlife.

October 27, 2012

Members’ only admission:10 – 11 a.m.
Open to public: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

BOO on the Boardwalk

If you don’t mind a little drive, this event runs all month long! Face your fears in the terrifying Dungeon of Doom Haunted House or the kids can enjoy the Little Boo Haunted Fun House. Plus, pumpkin decorating, trick or treating and much more!

October 1-31, 2012

Ghostly Gardens at Moody Gardens

This free event might be a good reason to go to Galveston for the weekend.  Spooktacular fun will include trick-or-treating at various locations throughout the complex, Creepy Crafts, face-painting and a costume contest for guests in the Garden Lobby with prizes for the best costume.

October 28, 2012
2-4pm

White Tiger “Smash the Squash” at the Houston Aquarium

For something totally outside the box, check out the free show.  Watch the white tigers get a change to their routine with a little bit of pumpkin play!

October 20, 21, 27, & 28

Times: TBA

Pumpkin Patches!

There’s not much that makes if feel much more like Fall than spending time in a pumpkin patch!  There are some great ones inside the loop or if you don’t mind a short drive, “full-service” patches equipped with hay rides and other events for the kiddos!  Great for the photo ops too!

Many local churches have started offering pumpkins for sale as Fall approaches as a fun way to raise money for the parish.  One to note is St. Luke’s United Methodist on Westheimer, which uses the pumpkin dollars to support it’s Pure Sounds Youth Choir.  The pumpkins officially cover the lawn starting on September 30th and run thru October 31st.

For about a reasonable (35-mile) drive out to Hockley, TX, the Oil Ranch‘s Pumpkin Patch and Scarecrow Festival is fun for the whole family.  The hay ride will take you thru over 60 decorated scarecrows!  Festivities begin on October 1st and are open seven days a week for the month of October.  On a side note, I have not been here as an adult, but some of my favorite childhood memories are the yearly visit to the oil ranch!

For a slight shorter drive out to Brookshire, TX, check out Dewberry Farms.  Open weekends from Sept 29th- Nov 11th, offereings include pumpkin patches, corn maze, barnyard animals, and much more!

Pics, Pics, Pics!

Whether they are for bragging rights, or to embarrass your little one in 18 years, pictures in costume are a MUST!  Whether you decide to go with a pro or not, why not make an event out of the photo session?  Find a pile of crisp fall leaves and let Baby go crazy, or if you make a trip to the pumpkin patch, make sure you get a shot in the sea of orange.
If you decide to go pro- make sure you use someone experienced with working with kids who will make it fun for everyone.  One to check out is Jennifer Waldhauser at www.LittleBranchPhoto.com.
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