🔒Family-friendly Halloween fun🎃: Non-scary haunted houses, pumpkin hunts and monster mash events to avoid scarring your kids for life

A young boy shown in this stock photo. ( Orbon Alija, Orbon Alija/iStockphoto)

HOUSTON – You don’t want to scar your kids for life by taking them to just any haunted house. Because seriously, you’re not your great Aunt Mildred who babysat you that one Halloween weekend, took you to a gore-fest haunted house that had the clown with the sharp teeth that still haunts your dreams and wakes you on random Tuesdays.

Ok, there’s perhaps some personal trauma -- which is why I’m writing to you to help you avoid the crazy inappropriate stuff and find the sweet, tricksy side of the season that we all want to remember about Halloweenspast and share with our growing little ones.

We’ve got you covered. There are several events happening throughout the season with kid-appropriate attractions your little one is sure to love. We especially love some of the events -- like the haunted house at the National Museum of Funeral History -- that give parents the opportunity to see it before their kids go through.

If only, Aunt Mildred....if only....

Anyway, here’s the list of Halloween events for the whole family across the city, from non-scary haunted houses to pumpkin hunts, candy extravaganzas and more:

Bellaire Great Pumpkin Hunt 🎃

When and where: Oct. 27, 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (The hunt starts at 4:30 p.m.) at Bellaire Town Square Great Lawn & Pavilion 7008 S. Rice Avenue, Bellaire, TX 77401

About the event: Come dressed in your Halloween best and hunt for toys, candy & prize-filled pumpkins! There will be music, prizes, games, and more! For more information, contact the Bellaire Recreation Center at 713-662-8280.

Children’s Museum Houston’s Halloween Monster Mayhem 👻

When and where: Oct. 11-Oct. 29 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., General admission on the museum’s first floor

About the event: This October, come partake in spine-tingling experiments, spirit-lifting interactive and slime-filled fun during Halloween Monster Mayhem. Creep your way through the museum in search of goblins, goodies and goo! Grab your favorite costume and your best ghoul-friends to set out on a trick-or-treat quest every day.‍ Daily Trick-or-Treating is offered Tuesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m, Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and all day Saturday.

Special events:

Oct. 11 to 15: Geekbusters

Save the Museum from ectoplasmic chaos! Help the Geekbusters gang investigate and explore pesky ghouls.

‍Oct. 18 to 22: Creepy Concoctions‍

Mad science takes over as we mix up creepy concoctions and experiments with you.

‍Oct. 27: Halloween Happy House

Monsters take over the Museum as it magically morphs into the Happy House! Join Radio ONE for a free, safe, friendly, trick-or-treat party for little ghosts and goblins.

‍Oct. 25 to 29: Monster Mayhem!

Howl at the moon while you bask in Houston’s ultimate Halloween event for kids. Be sure to come dressed in your most boo-tiful or frightfully freaky costume!

CityCentre 10th Annual Halloween Trick-or-Treat

When and where: Oct. 30, 2 p.m.-5 p.m. at CityCentre

About the event: Celebrate Halloween by dressing up in your favorite costume and prowl CityCentre for free candy on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. Join DJ Dave in the plaza for spooky tunes, a witchy Halloween performance, and fun activities from Life Time Athletic 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Stores and restaurants throughout CityCentre will have goodies for the the little trick-or-treaters and be marked with a festive balloon outside their door. Trick-or-treating will take place rain or shine and the event is bring your own bucket/bag.

Houston Family FunFest 🧛‍♂️

When and where: Oct. 29-30 at La Centerra in Katy and The Woodlands Mall

About the event: “Bring your family and friends out to Houston Family FunFest in Katy!” the event’s website reads. “There will be music, games, giveaways, activities and more for the kiddos and mom & dad, too. Be sure to have the kids dress in their Halloween costumes for the costume contest! The event is free and open to the public.”

Houston Zoo Boo 🐘

When and where: Zoo Boo will be held October 1-31 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with last entry at 4:00 p.m. at Houston Zoo

About the event: Costumes are strongly encouraged, and guests will have plenty of favorites to experience, including visiting our Giant Pumpkin and the Carved Pumpkins. The zoo will also have a Pumpkin Lantern Tunnel between the lions and tiger exhibits, a spooktacular Scary-Go-Round and photo opportunities all over the zoo. In addition to its chimp walkway with Halloween-themed lights and fog, the Bug House will have glowing lights during the day and during Zoo Boo After Hours.

See some of the new attractions this year here.

Kemah Boardwalk Aquarium Halloween Kids Bash 🐠

When and where: Oct. 31 11 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Kemah Boardwalk Aquarium

About the event: “Have a spook-tacular time! Families can enjoy trick-or-treating, scavenger hunt, keepers and Halloween-themed arts and crafts,” the company’s website reads.

National Museum of Funeral History’s Haunted House 🏚

When and where: Oct. 1-Oct. 31: Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

About the event: “Our family-friendly haunted house is recommended for ages 7 and above,” the museum says on its website. “We encourage parents of children of all ages to walk through the house free of charge to determine if this is something they want their child to experience.”

The cost for the haunted house is $5.00 ages 12 and above, $3.00 for children aged 7-11 and half price if purchased in conjunction with a museum ticket.

Scream on the Green 😱

When and where: Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. at Discovery Green

About the event: Houston’s citywide Halloween celebration returns with a costume contest, music and a screening of “Monster House.” Costume contest registration is onsite at the Anheuser-Busch stage from 6:45 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. The contest begins at 7 p.m. and winners are announced at 9:30 p.m. Costumes will be judged based on originality, execution, and overall appearance. Contest prizes include tickets to Green Mountain Energy Ice at Discovery Green, gift cards to The Grove, an H-E-B Celebration Zone reservation and more. There are six costume categories: infant to 8 years old, 9 years old to 18 years old, best male over age 18, best female over age 18, best family costume and best dog costume. Music will be provided by DJ Mohawk Steve, roaming characters will entertain the crowd and Kona Ice truck will be onsite. “Monster House” will be shown starting at 7:30 p.m. as part of Bank of America’s Screen on the Green.

If you’re going out of town...

Dallas Arboretum’s Autumn at the Arboretum

When and where: Sep. 17–Oct. 31, 2022 at the Dallas Arboretum

About the event: “The 17th annual Autumn at the Arboretum is upon us and we are excited to once again share 100,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, hailing from THE pumpkin capital of Texas, Floydada, throughout the garden. This year’s theme ‘A Fall Fairy Tale’ features the return of Cinderella’s Carriage, along with themed pumpkin houses that make up the acclaimed Pumpkin Village, and of course, a maze for younger visitors. Other gourd-eous displays reimagine classic tales of Jack & The Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, The Sword in the Stone and One Thousand and One Nights.”

Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments! If you have an event you’d like to include on our official KPRC 2 Community Calendar, fill out our form here.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.