LIST: Local Halloween decorations and drives you can enjoy from a distance


(KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Halloween might feel a little hollow this season without some of our normal activities due to COVID-19.

The City of Austin offers a breakdown of CDC guidance and local orders in place during the holiday on their webpage, including recommended low-risk activities.

Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority, states to “only gather in-person with our households and celebrate virtually or at a distance with those outside of our homes.”

Despite these pandemic tricks, if you will, some local venues and individuals are treating Austinites to socially-distanced decorations and more, instead, to keep the spirit of the night “undead.”

Juicy features

The Beetlejuice (oops, we said it!) Halloween house in southeast Austin is making a return for its second year with new features.

Homeowner Jessica Martinez created a seven-foot candy shoot to avoid contact while handing out candy.

And there’s a twist:

Martinez will collect money to donate to an Austin food bank of her choice to help people struggling during the pandemic.

Harry situations

This next attraction might be up your Diagon Alley. This Central Texas family is using a little Metamorphmagus-magic, changing the appearance of their Hogwarts-home to accommodate COVID-concerns.

Hogwarts castle fitted to the side of the house (2019).

Joel Pace and his family, with the help of others, are adapting to the pandemic with a drive-by experience instead of allowing people to walk through. Pictures are welcome but viewers may notice differences. Diagon Alley is unfortunately no more but will be replaced with a new theme.

“This year we are building the Hogwarts Castle and some other stuff,” Pace said. “It is the gift that keeps on giving, and we generally get back more than we put into it.”

Donations are again welcome, with money, this time, going towards Zachary Scott Theatre, Foster Angels and Variety of Texas. Construction will be completed by Halloween and last through the month of November.

Dreary drive-ins

Austin-based professional dance company Ventana Ballet is reimagining its UNDEAD performance. It will transform this year into a drive-in experience with safety and sanitary requirements in place. Viewers will be transported to Dracula’s Cave from their vehicles in a parking lot at 2400 E Cesar Chavez St on October 30 and 31.

“We wanted to find a safe way to bring back some Halloween fun to our audiences this year,” company founder and director AJ Garcia-Rameau said in a press release.

You can learn more about the haunted drive-in experience on its website. Tickets go live on Thursday, Oct. 22 and can be purchased there.

On that same date, The Globe in Manor will offer an accessible experience.

The local mini drive-in will show closed-captioned movies, starting with a Halloween classic: Hocus Pocus. This is a significant alternative to some drive-ins which offer small handheld devices for deaf patrons to read as that can take away from the movie experience.

You can learn more about their movie offerings throughout the month on their website.

Nerve-racking neighborhoods

A north Austin neighborhood house will be open for its 20th year of Halloween haunts, but fear not, safety measures are in place to curb any health scares.

Homeowner Tony Sansevero described the changes to KXAN in a ReportIt email:

“We’re taking off the roof, opening up the space and adding a theme this year ‘Monsters of the Movies’, which will include a hopefully-awesome drive-by yard display. But wait! There’s more! They’ll also be an open ‘Monsters of the Silver Screen’ Art Gallery, and that’s not all! This year there’s a Virtual Tour of the largest classic monster toy collection in Austin, including a Horror Stamp collection and other weird memorabilia.”

Sansevero said Austinites will hopefully also be able to access it online. His bone-chilling cold-open launch will be Saturday, Oct 20. The best part: it’s absolutely free to the public. Address and times can be found in the invite below:

(Courtesy: Tony Sansevero)

If you know of more spooky spaces people can celebrate All Hallows’ Eve from, please share via KXAN’s ReportIt form.

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