San Antonio's best Halloween and Dia de los Muertos events for frightful family fun
Break out the candy corn and decorations, carve those pumpkins, and coordinate costumes — Halloween is almost here. Options for a spooktacular time abound in San Antonio. And though Dia de los Muertos is a very different celebration, it follows closely behind Halloween on the calendar, making this time of year even more festive.
We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for trick-or-treating, photo ops, costume contests, movie nights, live music, and (mostly) non-spooky fun. Get dressed up, load up the car, and take the whole family to these frightfully fun activities.
Haunted River— October 26
Play tourist in your own town and take your pint-sized witches, goblins and superheroes to the Shops at Rivercenter for trick-or-treating from 6-8:30 pm, followed by a Halloween-themed river parade from 8-9 pm. There will be face painting, a costume contest, a DJ, and a photo booth as well.
Pumpkin Patch at the Pearl Farmers Market — October 27-28
Bring the whole family for face painting and photo ops in the pumpkin patch, and don’t forget the costumes. With a wide range of vendors selling everything from fair-trade caramels to handmade empanadas to locally sourced dog snacks, there are treats here for every member of the family.
Zoo Boo! at The San Antonio Zoo— weekends through October 28
A local Halloween favorite, the Zoo Boo! is back and better than ever this year. Free with zoo admission and for members of the San Antonio Zoo, this year’s Zoo Boo! promises to keep your littles entertained all day long (and likely quietly snoozing and dreaming of Halloween treats on the ride home). Enjoy featured shows by the Magik Theater and trick-or-treating throughout the zoo (with eco-friendly candy containing responsibly sourced palm oil, of course). Take the family through the Hay Craze, featuring an expanded hay slide and hay maze, enjoy pumpkin painting, and take part in the Bat Parade, which also signals the beginning of trick-or-treating at 4 pm. Be sure to dress up and enter the costume contest, too!
Slab Cinema screenings — through November 2
If you haven’t taken the fam to a Slab Cinema screening this year, fall is the perfect time. With cooler temps outside and Halloween- and Día de los Muertos- themed flicks on the big screen, you’ll score a parenting win with this family-friendly activity. Pack up a cooler full of snacks and beverages, grab some camping chairs or a blanket for your crew, and take in a movie under the stars. The screenings are also pet-friendly and begin at dusk. Here’s what the folks at Slab Cinema have lined up to celebrate the season:
- Hocus Pocus at Milam Park — October 27
- Book of Life at Mission Marquee Plaza — November 2
- Coco at Pickrell Park — November 2
- Corpse Bride at Plaza Guadalupe — November 2
Día de los Muertos at La Villita— October 27-28
This two-day celebration kicks off on Saturday at 10 am with free Starbucks coffee and Bedoy Bakery cookies (until they run out). Then, throughout the day, events for the whole family include food and art vendors, altar exhibition and contest, live music across two stages, a costume contest, a performance by the Guadalupe Dance Company, and poetry readings from local writers Victoria Garcia-Zapata, Rooster Martinez, Amalia Ortizm and Eddie Vega. Las Monas Performance Group will do their unforgettable dance, poetry, and puppet procession on both days as well.
Haunted History Halloween Tour — October 30
There’s no better place to entertain, delight, and educate the whole family the night before Halloween than the San Antonio Museum of Art. Ever mused about which objects in the museum are haunted? This tour will show you. Visit spooky mummy cases and learn about funerary objects, too. Costumes are welcome as well, but museum staff asks that you skip masks and props such as swords, scepters, and wands. Tours run at 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up begins at the Info Desk at 5:30 pm.
More Delightful Than Frightful— October 31
Kids 12 and under — and special needs children of all ages — can dress up in costume, enjoy Morgan’s Wonderland rides and attractions, and go trick-or-treating on Halloween night from 4:30-8:30 pm. Admission is $5 in advance or at the door, but if you take four nonperishable food items to benefit the San Antonio Food Bank now through October 30, you’ll receive free admission.