Fall-O-Ween: These autumnal H-Town experiences scream ‘fall’

What are the best things to do in Houston right now? Read on for fun fall activities, events, and more.

File images of Fall (Canva/KPRC 2)

This is the Things to Do newsletter, a preview of local events emailed out each week by the KPRC 2 digital team. To subscribe, visit click2houston.com/newsletters.

Fall is here, Houston!

We’ve paid our dues. We survived another sweltering Texas summer. Now, temperatures are falling...well, from hellishly hot to tolerably toasty, but, regardless, temperatures are falling and autumnal bliss is within our grasp (or as close as it’s gonna get). So don’t squander it. Embrace the season full-force. Pull on your plaid, grab yourself some gourds and chase the fall vibes.

Appreciate Houston fall for all its subtlety with these seasonal events and experiences.

☕ Delight in autumnal bliss: Craft markets, coffee, and cool(er) weather

Flea by Night at Discovery Green (Discovery Green)

Montrose. It’s one of Houston’s most-walkable neighborhoods. Packed in its four square miles are beloved, longstanding restaurants and bars, eclectic stores, world-class museums, incredible coffee shops, and more. And now that Texas’ triple digit heat is behind us (and technically in front us, but don’t think about that now) take advantage, meander, explore.

I’m kind of mad for Montrose (Can you tell?) and I put together a neighborhood guide with a few of my favorite affordable spots. Read it here.

Oh, and good people of Montrose and beyond, if you’ve got any recommendations, please, please share. My inbox is always open. Email me at bzamora@kprc.com.

The craft fair is another experience made all the better by cooler temps. Discovery Green will host its popular Flea by Night event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The open-air market features local artisans and small business owners selling vintage, handmade, recycled, repurposed and local goods. For details, go here.

Also happening in downtown Houston this weekend, the Carnivale Spooktacular at Market Square. Crazy about crystals? Dreaming of a new divination set? Do you harbor a deep-seated desire to consort with unknown forces? Or, are you merely occult-curious? Drop by the fair from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and browse more than 50 vendors selling curios, doodads, one-of-a-kind knickknacks and other magical items and accoutrements.

And for more craft fairs and art markets, reference our fall extravaganza guide.

The last thing I’ll list in this category: Cozy coffee shops. Fall and coffee go hand in hand. Need I say more? Well, actually, I’ll say a little more. Houston’s got some seriously comfy, cozy coffee houses, quirky places where time slows and a great cup of coffee comes with a table and a chair. Here are some of my favorites.

And again, if you’ve got any recommendations, drop them in my inbox. I’m crazy for caffeine and am always on the hunt for my next jolt of java because coffee is life. 🤪

🌽 Family-friendly fun and frights

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center's ArBooretum fall festival (Houston Arboretum & Nature Center)

Plenty of Houston-area events and experiences offer family-friendly harvest and haunted revelry throughout October. Here are a few standouts for your consideration.

First, kick off your weekend on a high note at the Houston Symphony’s Hocus Pocus Pops Spooktacular, held Friday evening at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands. The acclaimed company will present a spine-tingling selection of spooky season standards, haunt-y hits and creepy classics. Also on the event program — The Goblin Parade. Costumed kiddos in the crowd are invited onstage to prance and dance to their heart’s content. Oh, and admission? It’s FREE. For all the particulars, head here.

In its 20th year, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center’s annual ArBOOretum event returns Saturday and invites little ghosts and ghouls to traverse the twisty Trick-or-Treat Nature Trail, soar to new heights on carnival swings, pet ponies, snap fantastic fall photos in the pumpkin patch, and more.

Meanwhile, at the family-run Dewberry Farm in Brookshire, Texas, visitors can handpick the perfect pumpkin, navigate a complex corn maze, assemble a beautiful autumnal bouquet, ascend hay mountain and collect confections shot from a candy cannon (Um, seriously though, how cool is that?!) on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month.

For more family-friendly frights and fall frolics, browse our Halloween event guide crafted with kiddos in mind.

😱 Boos, booze, the moderately macabre and the particularly petrifying

House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soirée (FEVER)

For fright night fun that won’t keep you up at night, try a guided ghost tour. On Saturdays in October the Galveston Historical Foundation offers its haunted harbor tours aboard the Seagull II. During the spooky, high-seas adventure you’ll hear the haunted history of Galveston’s harbor. Admission is $25 and there’s alcohol on-site. The boat departs by 5:30 p.m. Sail away, if you dare.

Searching for a not-so-nautical adventure? Swing by the House of Spirits in Missouri City for a haunted cocktail soirée. During the two-hour immersive experience, wander a macabre mansion, participate in a sinister séance, meet mystics and invoke a paranormal presence with a giant Ouija board. What could possibly go wrong?

And for a truly bloodcurdling experience, visit the 13th Floor, a haunted house in Houston with three separate, yet equally eerie attractions: In “Chop House,” a chainsaw-wielding lunatic dressed as a pig wanders an abandoned meat processing plant; In “Legends of the Deep” step aboard a capsized steamship populated by a particularly creepy crew; and in “All Hallows Eve,” dodge demented, flesh-eating trick-or-treaters in search of blood, guts and, of course, candy.

For more heart-pumping horrors, peruse our list of Houston-area haunted houses curated for fear fiends. Read — and attend — at your own risk!

Need more ideas, inspiration, etc.? Read our fall bucket list for 40 of the city’s best autumnal experiences. And if you want even more, try our weekend guide for the most promising cultural offerings the Houston area has to offer this weekend.

Stay cool Houston,

Briana Zamora-Nipper ✌️

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About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.