Guide to Halloween and October events in San Antonio area

‘People are strange when you’re a stranger’

Top Left: Briscoe Museum's Smoke & Embers The Art of Vaquero BBQ, Top Right: Child engages with monarch butterfly at 2019 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, Photo by Drake White, Bottom Left: Muck and Fuss Halloween dog costume contest, Bottom Right: Charles Keller - people's choice category River Clicks photo exhibition at the Witte Museum.
Top Left: Briscoe Museum's Smoke & Embers The Art of Vaquero BBQ, Top Right: Child engages with monarch butterfly at 2019 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival, Photo by Drake White, Bottom Left: Muck and Fuss Halloween dog costume contest, Bottom Right: Charles Keller - people's choice category River Clicks photo exhibition at the Witte Museum. (KSAT 12)

SAN ANTONIO – Fall is finally here and I am so excited. I’m not your typical Texan - I prefer cooler weather and I’m happy the heat of the summer is on its way out. (I also love the rain!)

Welcome back to your monthly Things To Do newsletter and if you’re new to this, then welcome for the first time. You’ll like it here. I find a ton of stuff to do in San Antonio and the surrounding areas and package it up nicely for you so you can pick and choose what awesome stuff you want to check out during any given month.

I am so excited about Halloween. Fun fact about me - I have two sons (and a lovely stepdaughter) and we’re dressing up as the very hungry caterpillar and a random assortment of foods this year. I’m going to be a slice of swiss cheese. 🧀 So if you see a grown woman walking around dressed as cheese - it could be me.

There’s a lot going on as we kick off the holiday season. I count October as the official kickoff because of Halloween.

Here’s a list of some of the events going on in the San Antonio area in October:

Family Flashlight Night - Experience the San Antonio Botanical Garden at night with Family Flashlight Night on Oct. 1. Explore the Botanical Garden by moonlight and find your way through the light maze.

Wizard Trivia Night - Celebrate the start of the month at Sheer Celebrations with some Harry Pottery trivia and cupcake decorating. The cupcake decorating class will be $25 per person. The class takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Come and Take It Celebration - This three-day festival celebrates the first shots for Texas Independence in Gonzales from Oct. 1-3. Enjoy live music on the square, a carnival for the kids, a car show, arts and crafts, bingo, a battle reenactment and more.

Professional Bull Riders Tour - For the first time in nine years, the top 30 bull riders on planet earth will buck into the home of the Alamo on Oct. 2 and 3. The AT&T Center will be transformed into a man vs. beast gladiator arena for the PBR Unleash the Beast Tour with over 750 tons of dirt, six miles of steel and more than 120,000 pounds of bovines.

Smoke & Embers: The Art of Vaquero BBQ - Pitmaster Adrian Davila of Davila’s BBQ in Seguin will lead an in-depth, hands-on demonstration of the history and techniques behind barbecue and traditional vaquero cooking methods. This event will take place Oct. 7 at the McNutt Sculpture Garden at the Briscoe Western Art Museum.

Coming Out GAYla - Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day and the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce is celebrating a little early on Oct. 9 with an inaugural GAYla. Dress to impress for an evening of glitz and glamour at the Hilton Palacio Del Rio. There will be a cocktail reception, followed by dinner, an awards presentation and dancing.

Melissa Etheridge - The Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge will be performing at the Tobin Center on Oct. 13. She recently released her 15th studio album and has been a force in the American rock scene since the late 80s.

Dark Circus Market and Festival - Victoria’s Black Swan Inn is hosting an open market and Halloween-themed festival complete with a costume party on Oct. 16. There will be clowns, burlesque, fire and live music to help bring the spooky season to life. Tickets can be purchased online.

Victoria's Black Swan Inn in spooky mode (Victoria's Black Swan Inn)

Beer Festival - Cheers with beers on Oct. 16 at the San Antonio Beer Festival. This event benefits the San Antonio Food Bank. From 1 - 6:30 p.m. at Crocket Park in downtown San Antonio, festival attendees can sample from 400+ craft brews from more than 100 local, regional and worldwide breweries. This is the second-largest single-day beer fest in the entire state of Texas.

Sips and Sounds of the West: Norteño Night - Enjoy an evening under the stars on Oct. 24 with live music and classic Norteño, Tex-Mex, country at the McNutt Sculpture Garden at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. There will be food truck fare, dancing and drinks.

The Beach Boys - Iconic band The Beach Boys will be performing at the Tobin Center on Oct. 25. The long-awaited San Antonio performance was first postponed from April 2020 but the boys are finally back in town.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo - The duo will be performing at the Tobin Center on Oct. 26. They have sold over thirty million records worldwide and helped San Antonio ring in the Tricentennial in 2018.

Dog Costume Contest - Muck & Fuss Craft Beer and Burger Bar in New Braunfels is hosting the 3rd annual Howl-o-ween Dog Costume Contest on Oct. 27. Owners will have 30 seconds to present their dog’s costume to the crowd and judges. The winners will be chosen based on crowd participation.

Texas Cyber Summit - The 4th annual Texas Cyber Summit, a Cybersecurity and Hacker Conference, will take place Oct. 29-30 at the Marriott River Center.

Dia De Los Muertos - Local artists and sisters, Manola and Maria Ramirez will create a community alter celebrating Día de los Muertos. The alter will be located at the Pearl from Oct. 30 - Nov. 7. Visitors can participate by lighting a digital candle for their loved ones who have passed.

2020 Dia De Los Muertos altar at the Pearl. (The Pearl)

David Sedaris - Best-selling author David Sedaris, known for his humor and eventful stories, will be in San Antonio at the Tobin Center on Oct. 30. See the humorist share deeply personal and darkly hilarious stories from his new work, Calypso.

San Antonio Museum of Art - Trick or treat at the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Visitors are encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween costumes as they explore the museum’s galleries. Swords, scepters, weapons, wands and full-face masks will not be permitted.

Costume Party - Celebrate Halloween on Oct. 31 at Krause’s Cafe in New Braunfels with live music, a costume contest and more.

10-Acre Corn Maze - A “Texas-sized corn maze” will be at Trader’s Village every weekend in October and November. There are actually three mazes located across 10 acres with one maze designed specifically for tiny tots that is just under a half-mile long.

River Clicks Photo Exhibition - Discover the beauty of the San Antonio River Basin through the eyes of contest winners of the 4th Annual River Clicks Photo Contest at the Witte Museum. River Clicks is included with museum admission and showcases the extraordinary features of the San Antonio River Basin. The exhibition will run through Nov. 7.

San Antonio Zoo Boo - This is a fun, non-scary Halloween event for the entire family. Zoo Boo is open daily through Oct. 31. Little ghouls and goblins are encouraged to wear their best costumes to participate in a daily costume contest.

Bier Fest - SeaWorld San Antonio is bringing back Bier Fest with more than 65 brews for beer connoisseurs to enjoy every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 7. Beer selections include brews from Shiner Beers, Altstadt Brewery, Busted Sandal Brewing Company, Karbach Brewing, Yuengling, Ranger Creek Brewing, Corona, Modelo, Budweiser, and more.

Fright Fest - Six Flags Fright Fest is back for all of October. There are thrills by day for the kids and frights by night for the older crowd.

Howl-O-Scream - This SeaWorld San Antonio tradition has already begun and runs through Halloween. The peaceful park will be overrun by creepy creatures and will feature scare zones and haunted houses.

13th Floor - This popular San Antonio haunted house is back for the 2021 season with two new attractions, including The Dollmaker and Bad Blood. 13th Floor will be open on select nights through Nov. 6.


Free:

Boerne Book & Arts Fest - Celebrate the literary arts at Boerne Main Plaza on Oct. 2. There will be live performances, author discussion panels, children’s activities and more. Author panels include topics ranging from the wildfire that destroyed John Erickson’s ranch and the setting for his popular series “Hank the Cowdog,” a panel discussion on the Heroines of World War II to a focus on Texas ranches and Texas Rangers and the origins of the Old Spanish Trail.

DoSeum Family Night - A limited-space event will take place from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the San Antonio DoSeum. A link for ticket reservations will be posted at 8 a.m. on Oct. 4. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is required for everyone who wishes to attend - including members.

Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival - The culmination of this month-long festival will take place on Oct. 16 at Confluence Park. The family-friendly event will include monarch butterfly tagging demos, a Forever Journey altar that will honor those who have died, a story walk, kayak outings, food trucks, presentations, and dozens of educational booths and vendors.

A child engages with a monarch butterfly at San Antonio’s 2018 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival. (Texas Butterfly Ranch)

Herb Festival - The Pearl farmer’s market will celebrate the 30th Annual Herb Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 16. This year’s featured herb is parsley. There will be cooking demonstrations and activities for adults and children as well as an opportunity to speak with experts about gardening questions. Free samples will be available for people to take home.

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Trick-or-Treat

Texas Transportation Museum - The Spook-track-ula and Trick R’ Treat Special will offer trick-or-treating from 2-6 p.m. on Oct. 23, 24 and 30. Come dressed in costume and enjoy a scavenger hunt that will end with a sweet treat.

Pride Families Fall Festival - This trunk-or-treat event will take place from 1-3 p.m. on Oct. 24 at 1303 McCullough Avenue. The event is free and open to all LGBTQ+ and ally families. There will be a costume contest with prizes for three age groups and the best trunk space will get an award.

Latched Support Trunk-or-Treat - This outdoor event will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 29 at Cross Roads Church, located at 8102 Midcrown Drive. Masks will be required when walking around to the booths.

Bracken United Methodist Pumpkin Patch - Trick-or-treat at the pumpkin patch from 5-7 p.m. on Oct. 30.

Night Owl Kustom Paints Trunk-Or-Treat - There will be a costume contest, car show awards ceremony, live performances, food and competitions at this second annual trunk-or-treat event from 6 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 30 at 5504 Bandera Road.

Devine Acres Farm - Trick-or-treat among the trees at Devine Acres Farm from 12:30-2:30 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 31. Farm Admission includes access to more than 50 attractions, plus farm animals galore.

Natural Bridge Caverns - Trick-or-treating will take place at Natural Bridge Caverns on Oct. 30 and 31 from 3-5 p.m. There will also be free entertainment provided by Zoomagination and Happy Tails Entertainment.

San Antonio Museum of Art - Trick-or-treat through the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. The whole family is welcome to tour the halls decked in costumes to trick-or-treat. No swords, scepters, weapons, or wands and no full-face masks are permitted.

San Antonio Zoo Boo - There will be trick-or-treating at San Antonio Zoo Boo from 4-5 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 6-7 p.m. on Saturdays.

SeaWorld San Antonio - Trick-or-treating will be available during the park’s daytime Halloween Spooktacular which runs through Oct. 31.


Pumpkin Patches

Hello, gourd-geous. 🎃 It’s time once again for a favorite fall tradition for many families - visiting the pumpkin patch.

I’ve put together a map with locations of some of the more popular pumpkin patches people can visit in the San Antonio area.


Trending:

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I am so happy it’s spooky season. 👻 If you know of an upcoming event that people might be interested in please send your idea(s) my way at mpatton@ksat.com.

-Mary Claire Patton, KSAT Digital Journalist


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.