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.
The Beetlejuice (oops, we said it!) Halloween house in southeast Austin is making a return for its second year with new features, including a seven-foot candy chute to avoid contact while handing out candy. Homeowner Jessica Martinez will collect money to donate to charities to help people struggling during the pandemic and more.
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.
Joel Pace, his family and others adapted to the pandemic with a drive-by experience. Pictures are welcome but viewers may notice differences. Diagon Alley is unfortunately no more but will be replaced with a new theme. The display will last through the month of November. Donations will go towards Zachary Scott Theatre, Foster Angels and Variety of Texas.
Here’s a list of more sent to KXAN in a ReportIt email:
- Carol Mason said, “If you are looking for a Halloween yard that’s amazing,” you can check out the display at 810 Jessie Street in Austin.
- Cari Staats is offering an enjoyable drive-by of Halloween fun for the kids. Depending on their mood, they can experience Freddy, Jason and a Skeleton Gang at 109 Grassy Lane in Elgin.
- Claudia Nobile shared there’s an “amazing” collection of outdoor Halloween decorations at 12202 Klondike Rush Point in Austin.
- Jessica Olvera is “being weird in Austin.” She shared an out of this world alien decoration display you can find at 8310 Reeda Lane.
You can view some of the listed displays in the slideshow directly below:
20th Annual Neighborhood Haunted House
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.”
The experience is free to the public. Address and times can be found in the invite below:
This Hollow is certainly the opposite of its name boasting four haunted attractions. Customers can walk through more than 20 buildings on 20 acres out in the Lost Pines of Bastrop, just east of Austin. The experience offers trained actors, animatronics and more. They also offer food, beer and live music. The park opens Friday at 7 p.m. and will be open Saturday, Halloween night. There is a special “Pitch Dark” weekend the first weekend in November. After that they’ll begin on their upcoming Twisted Christmas event. You can visit their website for more information including their COVID-19 precautions. You can purchase tickets online to avoid a wait on a separate website or purchase them at their castle gates with cash, credit or debit. Parking is free.
Leander Haunted Halloween House
A retired Air Force veteran who served 25 years and a realtor here in Texas are once again putting on their annual haunted house with actors. This year, though, they requested a showing by the Leander Fire Deptartment, Leander Police and Mayor Troy Hill, “to support our community through these trying times,” Mandi Jo Stine said in her ReportIt email. The fire department stumbled by their house during a call and encouraged them to make it a community-wide opportunity. Trick-or-treaters are asked to swing by between 6-7 p.m. on Halloween. They’re located at 906 Ridgemont Circle in Leander.
Dreary drive-ins and drive-throughs
Ventana Ballet’s UNDEAD
Austin-based professional dance company Ventana Ballet will transform its UNDEAD performance into a drive-in experience this year 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. You can learn more about the haunted drive-in experience and purchase tickets on their website.
The Globe Drive-In
The Globe in Manor will offer an accessible experience this Halloween. The local mini drive-in will show closed-captioned movies, starting with the 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.
The City of Cedar Park wants to give families a safe, socially distant photo op. Every night through Halloween, the city will project spooky lights onto City Hall Building One, located at 450 Cypress Creek Road. Their tip for the perfect pic is to stand a little far from the building so it can be better seen in the background.
If you’re craving more, Building Four at City Hall will have selfie backdrops in the windows. The city encourages families to come out in costumes to take pictures with the building backdrops. For a social shoutout, you can tag #iheartcedarpark
The Kind Clinic in south Austin is offering a ghastly grand opening. Your “quarantine crew” are invited to join the celebration aptly titled HALLO-QWEEN. It’s a drive-thru party to celebrate the clinic and officially give the community a closer look at the location and meet the staff.
The party starts at 11 a.m. on October 31. They’re located at 2800 South IH 35 Frontage Road #103 Fountain Plaza III. Food will be available. They do ask to bring your non-Halloween mask as well.
Palm’s Carwash is offering a “Tunnel of Terror” at both their Brodie Lane and Highway 183 locations. You can catch a glimpse of the clean horror on their website where you can find a link to their YouTube video as well as more information. Their performances last through the end of October. The frightening fun is for all ages.
2020 Onion Creek Legends Way Halloween Adventures
One Hays County neighborhood is offering a Halloween adventure for families this Saturday. In the Onion Creek Legends Way subdivision, you can pose for an aerial costume picture, perform activities at marked houses and trick-or-treat. You can learn more in the event photo below:
Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru
Patchwork Umbrella Therapies is offering a free drive-thru for folks in Round Rock on Friday, October 30 from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. The experience will be sensory-friendly and following strict CDC regulations. It’s located at 1201 S Mays St. Suite 100.
Ghisallo Cycling Initiative is hosting a ‘Trick-or-Treat Delivered to You’ event on Halloween. Bicycle-based candy couriers will deliver party packs and more to the 78702 community. The initiative has recruited nearly 50 volunteers and will distribute to roughly 1,200 kids across East Austin. You can sign up for a free candy delivery on their website.
If you know of more spooky spaces people can celebrate All Hallows’ Eve from, please share via KXAN’s ReportIt form.