Things To Do

The Master List: The Best Things to Do in Dallas This Halloween Weekend

It seems almost criminal to even think about Halloween when Your Texas Rangers are in a do-or-die Game 7 of the World Series tonight, but, on the off chance you're planning to peel yourself off the couch or barstool, we've got a way for you to calm your sports nerves and scare the rest of your body before the official haunted holiday on Monday.

In anticipation of Halloween, the Mixmaster has checked out the best haunted houses in the metroplex, but if chainsaw-wielding monsters aren't your thing, then a visit to some real-life scare grounds will send a chill down your spine. Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano is revisiting some of the most infamous stories in North Texas in its pre-Halloween tours at 7 and 8:30 p.m. tonight.

Murder and Mayhem: True Crimes of Collin County explores crimes, criminals and the locations around the county where these dark moments in history unfolded. Guides will tell tales of Bonnie and Clyde and the massacred Muncey family on the historic locations where they lived or visited. You'll even see where Jesse James and his brother Robert stayed when they were briefly hiding out in Collin County. The tour isn't recommended for kids under 13, so leave them at home with a babysitter and the Goosebumps series. You'll also need to purchase tickets, $20, in advance, so call 972-881-0140 or visit

Of course, if you want the little ones to experience Halloween with more treats than tricks you'll need to take them somewhere that doesn't look like a crime scene. We think the kids won't be afraid of newts and lizards, so take them down to the Dallas Zoo for a special after-hours party designed for families and younger kids. At Halloween Nights at the Zoo, kids can meet characters from their favorite books, get close up at animals and reptiles exhibits, ride the "haunted" carousel and trick-or-treat around the zoo grounds. Sounds like a much better plan than sneaking them into that showing of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The zoo is open for Halloween thrills from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and tickets are $10 for adults and children over three. Call 469-554-7500 or visit for more information.

We'll have more Halloween recommendations after the jump, along with some events that don't involve candy or costumes, but for all things Halloween, pick up a copy of the Observer and check out the guide to the best haunted houses and parties in town. Better yet, don't even step away from the computer. The online Halloween guide is right here.

EnLIGHTened Evening: Diwali and Aurora 2011 Friday, October 28, in the Dallas Arts District Back before The Office jumped the shark, Kelly invited Michael and the gang to a Diwali celebration, which Michael thought was like Halloween and thus dressed for it accordingly. Well, Diwali is the festival of lights observed by Hindus and Jains, and the festival is a reminder to these believers that good triumphs over evil. The Crow Collection of Asian Art is having their own festival of lights tonight, and EnLIGHTened Evening: Diwali kicks off at 6 p.m. with a do-it-yourself Diwali diya (small lamp) class, followed by various activities through midnight. You can learn the history of Diwali at a storytelling workshop, see the new exhibition, Qui Anxiong: Animated Narratives, and take in a diya dance performance. DJ Woodtronic will be spinning music in the Worldtronic Chill Lounge, and complimentary Indian beer and samosas will be served there. After visiting the Crow Collection, stay in the Arts District for Aurora 2011, another celebration of light featuring works from 100 visual, video and sound artists. Hal Samples, Kevin Obregon and the collective SourGrapes are among the artists that have created stunning light and video displays to light up Flora and Routh Streets and the surrounding area. Mayor Mike will flip on the lights at 7:30 tonight, and organizers are encouraging people to wear glow sticks, reflective paint and lights. Admission to both of these Art in October events is free. Visit and for more information.

Billy Zinser: Studio Visit Opening Reception Saturday, October 29, at The Public Trust Last year, Billy Zinser, a finalist for the 2010 MasterMinds Awards, wowed us with his Macrodons, a collection of colorful plastic creatures, but he really made an impression at Artopia with a giant inflatable Macrodon that welcomed guests to Victory Park. Zinser's latest exhibition features new and old works, plus a new series of Macradons, at The Public Trust. Billy Zinser: Studio Visit is an intimate look in the artist's studio as the gallery features portions of Zinser's workspace alongside his works. Zinser will also create a small painting during the exhibition, and the gallery will broadcast weekly updates on the piece on its website. An opening reception at the gallery begins at 6 p.m. tomorrow, and the exhibition continues through December 3. Admission is free. Visit, and don't forget that we're still accepting nominations for the 2011 MasterMinds Awards through November 1.

Boom Town Saturday, October 29, at the Eisemann Center Aerial performers and acrobats always amaze us with stunts that we'd be too chicken to ever try, but that's the reason we pay good money to watch them. Cirque Mechanics, a troop of aerial ballers formerly from Cirque du Soleil and the Moscow Circus, are currently on tour with their latest production, Boom Town, the story of two saloon operators looking to cash in on the gold rush in a small town in the 1860s. But the story's not as important to us as the stunts promised by Cirque Mechanics. See performers sway on chandeliers, take to the air on a crane and climb pretty much everything on the set. The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, and tickets are $44 to $62. Call 972-744-4650 or visit

Zombies in the District Sunday, October 30, in the Dallas Arts District Sure, the Zombie Walk in Deep Ellum gave the undead reason to roam the streets, but those who are hungry for brains deserve one more day to party, right? At least that's what the folks at the Arts District must think because they're inviting all blood-soaked and gut-spilling guests to haunt the streets for Zombies in the District. Since zombie gear doesn't need dry cleaning, we're sure you've still got your costume, so march down to the Meyerson Symphony Center at 6 p.m. Sunday to participate in the walk. Zombies will crawl to the AT&T Performing Arts Center for a special performance of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance featuring kids from Booker T. Washington. After that, enjoy a screening of the 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead at 7 p.m. in Sammons Park. Organizers would like to remind parents that the film isn't suited for little zombies. Admission to Zombies in the District is free. Visit for more information.

Monster Mash Pumpkin Bash Monday, October 31, at Texas Theatre Yeah, we know Monday's a work day, but it's also Halloween and another excuse for you to skip out early and blame it on the kids. But after you take the young ones to trick-or-treat, go to a Halloween party for adults who love the holiday as much as the kids. Texas Theatre and have teamed up to present the Monster Mash Pumpkin Bash, a party and screening of Pumpkinhead (1988). At 6 Monday, show up in your costume or as yourself for food, pumpkin ale and Hitchcocktails and stay for the film screening at 8 p.m. You won't have an excuse after Monday to wear that slutty cat costume, so use this opportunity to get the most of it. Visit for tickets.

Follow the Mixmaster on Twitter and Facebook.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Elizabeth Bair
Contact: Elizabeth Bair