Halloween 2022: How to Celebrate Spooky Season in Austin
Lift your spirits at these Halloween-inspired events for adults and kids alike
By Leslie Lehman and Avery Matschek
With Halloween just around the corner, businesses and organizations are hosting a myriad of events for Austinites to relish in the spooky season. From pumpkin patches to haunted houses to film screenings and more, there’s something for people of all ages among our favorite Halloween happenings below.
Oct. 18, 22 and 23
The Paramount Theatre’s Classic Film Series will return this October in partnership with the Hyperreal Film Club to present showings of several films, including The Faculty and The Strangers. Plus, movie lovers can come a little early to catch Q&A sessions with directors Robert Rodriguez and Bryan Bertino before the screenings of their respective films. Fans can also check out the classics, including Re-animator, The Shining, and A Nightmare on Elm Street, which will all be shown throughout the weekend.
Wednesdays in October
Drinks, swimming and a scary movie — what more could you ask for? Take a leap into Austin Motel’s festive seasonal screenings. Drinks will be served at the pool bar, and seats will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 5 p.m. in the pool lounge. Evil Dead is the movie pick for Oct. 19, and on Oct. 26, Psycho will be playing on the big screen. Admission starts at $20 per person and the screenings begin at dusk.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-ins
Watching scary movies is an essential part of the Halloween experience. The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-ins will host screenings of some of your favorite films this month, including The Lost Boys, The Addams Family, Harry Potter marathons, Young Frankenstein, Beetlejuice and even new releases such as Halloween Ends and Smile. Guests can grab a bite at the concession stand while watching a movie under the stars, an elevated version of the classic movie-going experience.
6:30 p.m. Oct. 31
Buckle up for six hours of Halloween-themed made-for-TV horror movies at Austin Film Society’s History of Television: Halloween. The movie marathon will be simulcast live on Austin Public and YouTube if you’d rather spend the holiday at home!
Día de los Muertos Festivities
4th Street & Congress Avenue
Downtown Austin will be the backdrop for Mexic-Arte’s Viva la Vida, a Día de los Muertos celebration that kicks off with a Grand Procession at noon, followed by a day of art activities, artist demos and retail booths. Participants can also tak in entertainment from a low-rider exhibition and a number of musicians.
Fareground Food Hall
Oct. 27 and Nov. 3
Commemorate the Day of the Dead by attending a Día de los Muertos-inspired Mixology Masterclass on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 at Bar Ellis, Fareground’s very own bar. The class includes food pairings, three full-sized specialty cocktails, recipe cards and takeaways. Tickets are available for $100 here. In addition to the class, several food and drink specials are available at Fareground through Nov. 6, including three drink specials and the “Little Red Mole” from Chef Richard Sandoval’s Taco Pegaso.
Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park
Nov. 1 and 2
Waterloo Greenway will host a celebration for Día de los Muertos at the Moody Amphitheater stage this Nov. 1 and 2. All are welcome and visitors are encouraged to bring belongings or decor to honor loved ones that have passed at this inclusive event for people of all ages. Make sure to stop by tables from groups such as Con Mi Madre and Mexican American Cultural Center to learn more about Austin’s Latinx community.
Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead, Dripping Springs
Through Oct. 31 (closed on Tuesdays)
Located roughly 20 miles west of Austin, Dripping Springs is currently home to the second annual family-friendly pumpkin festival at the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead. With more than 50 fall-inspired games, activities and attractions, this fest is a can’t-miss event for families. Each day features different activities — check the festival’s website to find details regarding the day of your choosing. And on Halloween day, admission is free for all!
Long Center for the Performing Arts
3 p.m. Oct. 23
With performances of music composed by longtime legends John Williams and Danny Elfman, the Austin Symphony Orchestra will present a festive afternoon for the family on Oct. 23. Attendees are invited to wear costumes to the concert, which will feature songs from Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, among others. Tickets are available here.
The 5th Annual Boo & Brew event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m Oct. 29 at the Arboretum in north Austin. Have fun in the Candy Crawl, enjoy live music from Matt Creaton or participate in face painting and raffles. Some participating vendors are Estancia Brazilian Steakhouse, Juliet Italian Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory. Come by and have a fa-boo-lous time with friends and family! The event is completely free, but RSVPs can be made in advance here.
Neill-Cochran House Museum
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 30
Who doesn’t love a carnival? The Neill-Cochran House Museum will host a day of scavenger hunts, trunk-or-treating, games and a bouncy house for kids and parents alike. Plus, this free event is open to the public so guests can drop in whenever they please!
The Austin Zoo
The Austin Zoo will host Boo at the Zoo on Friday and Saturday nights from Oct. 14 to 29. Attendees can relish in an eerie train ride, puppet show and visit to a haunted mansion — and visitors will see the animals in the dark! An individual ticket includes a train pass and unlimited visits to the haunted house.
Through Oct. 30
Think Austin’s signature Trail of Lights, but Halloween edition! Now through Oct. 30, Pumpkin Nights is making a return to Pioneer Farms. The walk-through light up show displays include a 40-foot dragon, 5,000 pumpkins, a spooky pirate ship and an undersea wonderland. Beyond this, there will be live fire dancers, Italian ice and pumpkin artists at this top-notch celebration.
Still Austin Whiskey Co.
Calling all Bob’s Burgers fans! This Halloween, the show’s shop will pop up at Still Austin Whiskey Co.. This all-day event will feature a special menu with themed dishes from the show, as well as Jimmy Pesto’s Cocktail Pop-up. Attendees will also enjoy a DJ, costume contest, photobooth and much more.
Rules & Regs at Fairmont Austin
1-3 p.m. Oct. 30
Drag queens and bingo and brunch come together to create a unique and celebratory Halloween experience at Rules & Regs, the Fairmont’s bar where you get a clear view of Austin’s skyline. Bust out your best costume because there will be prizes for the top costumes in the room, as well as prizes for the bingo winners.
2632 Ridgepoint Drive
Now through Nov. 5
The annual House of Torment Haunted House is celebrating 20 years of fear in Austin. Open now through Nov. 5, guests can visit three themed houses this year: The Abominations, Tormented and Return To The Illusion Manor. There will also be games to play and a bar called Torment Tavern to visit. Tickets range from $19.99 to $33 depending on the day.