Hello ACA! The plethora of pumpkin-flavored items on display at your local grocery store can only mean one thing: It’s fall y’all! And although it may not feel like fall quite yet, we’ve rounded up some great options to celebrate October and Halloween. Whether your plans involve getting spooked or getting crafty, we’ve included a diverse list of options for you to explore. Enjoy!
House of Torment (2632 Ridgepoint Dr, Austin, TX)
This north Austin haunted house is lauded by numerous news outlets as a premier destination for shrieks and thrills, and the Travel Channel considers it one of America’s scariest haunted houses. The facility features 40,000 square feet of terror and three different attractions. Ticket prices vary by day of the week and start at $19.99. Open 7 nights a week starting October 10. https://www.houseoftorment.com/
Haunted ATX (501 I-35, Austin, TX)
For a unique fright experience, you might try a limousine tour that features historic Austin landmarks that are reportedly haunted, including the Tavern, Driskill Hotel, Clay Pit, and Littlefield House. Over an approximately 3 hour tour, you’ll travel to each location in a hearse and briefly tour each landmark. Cost is $49 per rider with a two rider minimum during booking. Book online: http://hauntedatx.com/
Alamo Drafthouse (various locations)
If you prefer to be terrified from the comfort of a theater seat, then check out Alamo Drafthouse’s October calendar of events. Each location has themed movie parties featuring films such as Practical Magic, The Shining, Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice, and classic Hitchcock. https://drafthouse.com/
The Gas Station (1073 SH 304, Bastrop, TX)
Getting scared can work up an appetite, so travel to the infamous fuel stop featured in the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The site was recently renovated into a BBQ joint featuring horror movie memorabilia. And if you fall into a BBQ-induced coma and can’t make the drive back to Austin, no worries – there are 4 rustic cabins behind the property for rent, if you dare to stay… Open daily from 10am-7pm, closed Mondays.
Urban Axes (812 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX)
Prepare for the zombie apocalypse and brush up on your competitive hatchet-throwing skills. Yes, that’s a thing. At Urban Axes, you can attend public walk-in hours and receive safety instructions and 1-on-1 throwing practice for $20/hour. Or, assemble your squad together and reserve a private throwing lane for 6-12 players. Hours vary by day, check the website for walk-in hours or to make a reservation: https://www.urbanaxes.com/austin
Austin’s Museum of Weird (412 E 6th St, Austin, TX)
October isn’t just about getting scared and spooked, it can also be a celebration of all things weird and odd. Hailed as America’s Strangest Attraction, Austin’s Museum of Weird features various curiosities and oddities such as real mummies, shrunken heads, wax figures, and Fiji mermaids. It’s a classic “dime museum” in the style of PT Barnum. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 8 and under. Open 7 days a week from 10am-midnight. https://www.museumoftheweird.com/
Sweet Berry Farms Harvest of Fall Fun (1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls, TX)
For some family-friendly fall festivities, look no further than Sweet Berry Farms! Admission and parking on the farm is free, and you only pay for the activities you want to participate in, including hayrides, pumpkin painting, scarecrow stuffing, a maze, and pumpkin patch picking. Each activity ranges in price from $2.75-$10. Open 8:30am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday until November 4; closed on Wednesdays. http://sweetberryfarm.com/index.html
Barton Hill Farms (1115 FM 969, Bastrop, TX)
Another great pumpkin patch option is out east in Bastrop. For $15.95 per person ($11.95 if you purchase in advance online), you and family can enjoy a pillow bounce house, face painting, duck races, barrel train rides, a corn maze, and views of the Colorado River. Open Saturdays 10am-7pm and Sundays 10am-6pm, also open on Monday, Oct 8 from 10am-6pm. https://www.bartonhillfarms.com/
The Jersey Barnyard (3117 SH 159, La Grange, TX)
If you’re willing to venture out further east, check out the Frerichs family’s 100-year old Jersey dairy farm. In addition to pumpkin picking and free pumpkin painting every Saturday from 10am-12pm, the farm offers guided farm tours, feeding animals, cow milking, and tractor hayrides. A special visit may be in order on November 10 if you want to take part in the Great Pumpkin Run Texas 5k and Fall Farm Festival. Open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturdays 9am-6pm, and Sundays 1pm-6pm. http://www.texasjersey.com/pumpkin-patch
8th Annual Boo Bash (Downtown Georgetown Square)
This family-friendly event is completely free and features various merchants, food vendors, and a DJ. Come in costume and enjoy this trick-or-treat event on Sunday, October 28 from 1pm-4pm. http://www.downtowngeorgetownassociationtx.org/Boo-Bash-.html
Polkapocalypse (304 E 44th St, Austin, TX)
We truly saved the scariest for last – a polka festival at the Elisabet Ney Museum! Come in costume (there’s a contest!) and enjoy four different Polka bands on Sunday, October 28 from 12pm-5:30pm. Admission is free and you can bring your own picnic and chairs (no beer allowed). http://texasfolklife.org/event/fifth-first-annual-polkapocalypse-with-brave-combo-friends
Lucy in Disguise (1506 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX)
You’ll be needing a costume if you plan on winning any of the local area costume contests and Lucy in Disguise is here to guide you. This Austin gem does costume rentals and sales and has every variation of character and costume you could possibly think of.
As academic advisors, we know fall can be a busy time of year as spring registration gears up. We hope this list allows you to slow down a bit, take time for yourself, and enjoy some of those cooler temps!
Article by Stephanie Cantu