So, you say little Timmy isn't quite ready for an all-day Halloween movie fest featuring all seven (!) Saw movies? Hmph. Well, you know your 5-year-old best, we suppose, but that doesn't mean you and your children can't enjoy Halloween and the arrival of fall. Your family can choose from several options for some frightening ... meh ... fun throughout the Dallas area. Maybe on the way home you can tell your kids the one about the crazed killer with the hook for a hand. Or not. Hey, they're your kids.
Denton, October 24
Between the coffin races, the salsa tasting competition, tons of costumes and the start of Cirque du Horror, Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival offers a hefty dose of fright for the whole family. You’ll catch at least one father-son duo at the 3rd annual Coffin Races. The festival takes place at right off Denton's downtown square, at East Hickory and Industrial Street.
September 29 - November 25
Have you ever wanted to see a mosaic of pumpkins and gourds in the shape of Texas? Really? Now, you're scaring us. Well, you should go to the Dallas Arboretum for Autumn at the Arboretum. There will be tens of thousands of pumpkins there for you to take selfies with — we won't judge — and/or buy.
Plano, October 30
The Heritage Farmstead Museum hosts an evening of fall family entertainment. Enjoy trick-or-treating, crafts, tractor rides, and if you ever wanted to feed chickens, now’s your chance. Costumes are encouraged. (Did you know that chickens are distant cousins of Tyrannosaurus rex? Keep your eye on them.)
October 22 - 25, 2015
The Dallas Zoo transforms into a spooky twilight setting for four nights during the week leading up to All Hallows' Eve. Dress the kiddos up and bring them out to trick or treat at 14 different stops throughout the zoo; howling at the moon is completely optional. In addition to the treats, there will be a pirate-themed animal show and many other wild surprises.
Denton, Oct. 24 - 25, 31
This show is so great it gets its own shout out. For the seventh year, David Pierce will direct a hair-raising evening of family-filled fun. The acts are candy-corn sugar coated with a bone-chilling eeriness. The event rolls out the tents at Dan’s Silverleaf in late October.
Grapevine, October 24
Go to Grapevine for the ultimate fall family experience at Nash Farm. This 5.2 acre farm is a historic landmark and has a family cemetery among other frightful things on its grounds. Enjoy an evening of spooky, historical storytelling as dusk sets in.
Fort Worth, October 31
Save your money for the trick-or-treaters and head to the free evening events happening at the Fort Worth Stockyards. There will be hayrides, costume contests, y’all can decorate a pumpkin or two and there will be plenty of trick-or-treating and other spooky surprises.
Burleson, October 2 - November 2
Take the family camping during the month of October at North Texas Jellystone Park and experience Yogi’s Fall Fiesta. The family fun includes a magic pumpkin patch, their 2nd annual Screaming Squash Sprint Pumpkin Derby, scary movies, a "Hey Hey Hey" Ride and much more. Why wouldn’t you want to yabba dabba do this? (Our wordplay there wasn't exactly scary, but it was pretty horrifying.)
If candy and animals are what you are looking for, look no further. The Fort Worth Zoo claims to offer just that. The zookeepers will be delivering 30 Wild Encounters, facts and stories about 30 specific breeds of animals outlined on the website. There will also be treat stations, although they require specific tickets.
What's more thrilling than roller coasters? Roller coaster without lines, natch. Since you're more likely to see a ghost, go for the second most scary coaster combo — goblins and ghouls. Dress up, or just come as you are to experience the annual Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texas as an array of events take place, including the spine-chilling renaming (and re-storying) of the current rides and attractions. Actually, this one looks like it could be pretty scary. Anything with an attraction called Piggy's Blood Shed that involves carnivorous pigs running a diner has got to be scary in so many ways. Six Flags says Fright Fest isn't recommended for anyone younger than 13 or who scares easily. But go ahead. We're sure little Timmy can take it.