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A guide to Halloween parties, costume contests and movies in Austin

Eric Webb
Austin 360

Hey.

Boo.

Halloween is here in Austin. And unlike last year, COVID-19 vaccinations have allowed for a more traditional version of the spookiest holiday. 

Here are a few things to check out this week. It's not everything, but please, our hearts can take only so much scaring.

House of Torment's scary clowns will be available for torment through Halloween in Austin.

October 27

Freaky Float at the Austin Motel pool (5 p.m. gates, 7 p.m. movie): Watch "Little Shop of Horrors" as you splish and splash, or just from the deck chairs. Reserve a $20 spot in advance. (austinmotel.com/event/freaky-float-little-shop-of-horrors)

October 28

Thursday Fright Night at Jo’s Coffee South Congress (6 p.m.): Head over to the java joint for a free screening of "Beetlejuice." (joscoffee.com/events/2021/10/7/thursday-fright-night)

Cosmic Halloween at Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden (4 to 8 p.m.): The South Austin drinks hub hosts its "first large-scale, family-friendly themed event" in more than a year. Take photos in the pumpkin patch and sip on fall seasonal cocktails. There's a costume contest for humans and dogs at 6:30 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m., Good Party ATX will do free tarot card readings for your pooch. Donations accepted; they'll go to Central Texas Food Bank.

Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden has pumpkins and pooches for Halloween.

And there's more! Cosmic will celebrate the release of Roughhouse Brewing’s Shakey Graves imperial stout, named after the Austin musician. The beer has notes of chocolate, toffee and candied figs and coffee on the finish. Sales at the event will benefit the food bank, and the first 50 people to purchase a can of Shakey Graves will get a free custom-branded YETI colster. The fun will be hosted by DJ Mel. (cosmiccoffeebeer.com)

October 29

Meanwhile Brewing's Inaugural Werewolf Costume Contest and Dog Party (7 p.m.): the Southeast Austin brewery sez: "Come enjoy a night of dog-friendly tricks and treats and impress some of our favorite pup influencers on your way to prize town in the costume contest." DJ Flo will be there with a "highly curated dog-friendly playlist." (meanwhilebeer.com)

More:10 haunted spots in Austin, around Texas to scare you this Halloween

Trunk or Treat at Balance Dance Studio (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.): Find candy, sand art, face painting and more. Proceeds benefit the dance companies. (facebook.com/events/540763817158211)

October 29-31

Halloween weekend at Dripping Springs Distilling: Friday brings a Halloween happy hour followed by a family screening of "Coco" in the oak grove; Saturday has a costume contest, kids activities and a screening of "It"; and Sunday has trick-or-treat stations and more. (drippingspringsvodka.com)

October 30

Thriller Chiller at Chaparral Ice (starts at 4 p.m.): Head to the Crossover in Cedar Park for a "family-friendly event (that) will get guests into the spooky spirit and includes a free haunted house to explore," plus trunk-or-treating. There will be a costume contest, with the winners receiving a family four-pack of skate passes. (cp.chaparralice.com)

Hill Country Galleria's Boo Bash on the Lawn (noon to 4 p.m.): A family event with balloon artists, characters in costume, treat bags and costume contests for both guests and dogs.

Never Trust The Living Halloween Party at Hotel San Jose (8 p.m. to midnight): A shindig on SoCo with drinks, DJs and a costume contest. Free to show up. (sanjosehotel.com/regular-event/nevertrusttheliving)

Halloween Fest at Punch Bowl Social (9 p.m. to 2 a.m.): Expect a DJ playing spooky songs, a costume contest, the special What's Up Witches shareable punch cocktail and the usual games and eats. (punchbowlsocial.com)

Halloween Howl at Meanwhile Brewing (8 p.m.): A ticketed concert on the outdoor stage features classic rock with a Halloween twist. Expect a costume contest, games and prizes. (meanwhilebeer.com)

Halloween Bash at Dreamland (6 to 10 p.m.): The Dripping Springs entertainment complex hosts Hair Metal Giants onstage, plus a costume contest and other carnival-esque fun. Plus: photo opps with 3,500 pumpkins. Gourd lord. (Good gourd?) (dreamlanddstx.com)

Boo & Brew at the Arboretum (3 to 5 p.m.): Trick-or-treating, music, costumes, the yooshz. Also, beer. (thearboretum.com)

October 30 and 31

Ventana Ballet's "Undead" at Spider House Ballroom (7 and 9 p.m. shows each night): According to the dance company, "Horrifying hipsters, exiled ex-wives, and slapstick sidekicks are just a few of the spooky characters rounding out the company’s immersive reimagining of the classic ballet 'Dracula.' This year, the audience will decide the fate of these poor, unfortunate souls." (ventanaballet.com)

Ventana Ballet's "Undead" show rises from the grave this year again, just in time for Halloween.

October 31

South Congress Candy & Cocktail Crawl: Bunkhouse and MML Hospitality are offering drink specials on Halloween night like Bloody Motel Martini and Spooky Shandy. Also, "wicked sweets." Stops include Austin Motel, Hotel San Jose and Jo's Coffee.

Touch of Trey, a Grateful Dead and Phish Halloween Tribute Concert, at Meanwhile Brewing (7 p.m.): A ticketed concert on the outdoor stage for jam band lovers. (meanwhilebeer.com/events/touch-of-trey-halloween-concert)

Spooky Silent Disco Party at the Belmont (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.): Your classic silent disco experience on West Sixth, with three DJs on deck. Costumes encouraged. (heventbrite.com/e/spooky-silent-disco-party-the-belmont-tickets-168096556325)

Through October 31

House of Torment Haunted Houses: The Austin institution so beloved that Megan Thee Stallion had to stop by when she was in town for Austin City Limits Music Festival. Make your way through three themed attractions: "The Boogeyman," "The Forsaken" and "Operation: Laughing Place." Also open Nov. 5-6 and 12-13. (houseoftorment.com)

Nightmare on Gibson Street: The Gibson Street Bar always decks out their joint in fine frightening fashion for the entire month of October. Walk in through the giant fanged mouth, and find DJs and dry ice punch bowls on Friday and Saturday. Is there a costume contest on Sunday night? There is a costume contest on Sunday night. (gibsonstreetbar.com)

Pumpkin Nights at Pioneer Farms: Well, it's described as a spectacle. That's a good sign. Beautiful lights, big orange things, recreations of historic homesteads. Really, the meaning of the season. (pumpkinnights.com/austin)

Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park: Get thee to Bastrop for five haunted attractions, including a haunted hayride. (screamhollow.com)