Things to do in Austin the week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2
1. An In-Person Conversation with Kathy Najimy with “Hocus Pocus”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 29. $24-$44. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-474-5664,thelongcenter.org
The 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus” has helped countless kids and adults alike get into the Halloween spirit. See it in a whole new way with this event that will bring at least one of the Sanderson sisters back to life. Actress Kathy Najimy takes the stage for a live discussion and Q&A before a screening of the movie. She’ll be telling behind-the-scenes stories, among other stories, as one of the witches in an evil coven who are accidentally freed.
2. The Umlauf’s fifth annual Straw Fest
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27. Free. 605 Azie Morton Road.umlaufsculpture.org/strawfest
It’s finally starting to feel like autumn, so let’s celebrate appropriately. The Umlauf’s annual fall festival returns for the whole family with pumpkin carving, face-painting, a petting zoo, live music and more. A family and pet fall fashion show may prove to be the highlight. Purchase snacks and beverages on-site; plus, there will be free samples from Texas Keeper Cider and Still Austin Whiskey Co.
3. The Austin Séance
7 p.m. Oct. 28-30, 9 p.m. Oct. 30-31. $15. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. austinseance.com
Just in time for Halloween, A. Lucio and Jake Cordero of the Austin Séance will set out to explore the supernatural. At the Vortex and its intimate Pony Shed, they will host a session taking a deep dive into American spiritualist history and its tools, as well as give a modern interpretation of an old-time séance. Innumerable techniques are employed by spiritualists and others for making contact with the other side.
4. Scare-Tacular at Gingerland
5 to 11 p.m. Oct. 30. $20. 15709 Richards Drive, Del Valle.eventbrite.com/e/scare-tacular-at-gingerland-tickets-75934994613
The day before all the trick-or-treating, 365 Things Austin is throwing a haunted bash at Gingerland Austin with enough thrills and chills for the whole family. The evening will have a haunted hayride, petting zoo, hay maze, a pumpkin patch and a bar with kid-friendly and adult beverages. For the hayride, you’ll hop on the back of a tractor-pulled trailer and enjoy a relaxing ride under the Texas sky. Just make sure you're paying attention to what's around the next turn.
5. The Roosevelt Room’s Halloween
4 p.m. Oct. 31. Free. 307 W. Fifth St. facebook.com/TheRooseveltRoomATX
Enjoy Halloween night with a classy spin. The downtown cocktail bar will have haunted decor and candlelight for one night only. But that’s not all: The Roosevelt Room will have spooky live jazz starting at 9:30 p.m. Classic black-and-white horror films will play on the projector. A Halloween-inspired drinks menu will be available. Plus, guests who come in costume and order from that menu can get 20% off their bill.
6. André Aciman at BookPeople
7 p.m. Nov. 1. Free. 603 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-5050, bookpeople.com
In a spellbinding exploration of the varieties of love, the author of the worldwide bestseller “Call Me by Your Name” revisits its complex and beguiling characters decades after their first meeting. In “Find Me,” which he’ll speak about and sign in this author event, Aciman shows us Elio’s father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, who has become a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman completely upends Sami’s plans.
7. Second annual Pours for Pups
Noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 2. Free. Zilker Brewing, 1701 E. Sixth St.facebook.com/events/698405590661429
Zilker Brewing loves our furry friends so much that the East Austin brewery is partnering up with Happy Hearts Dog Rescue to host the second annual Pours for Pups fundraiser. The dog costume contest starts at 1 p.m., so make sure your four-legged companion is dressed to impress. Plus, Silly Artist will be on-site from 1 to 3 p.m. drawing up one-of-a-kind caricatures; pups and people both welcome.