Celebrate Halloween in a Texas State Park

Katy Schaffer, 512-389-8046, katy.schaffer@tpwd.texas.gov

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AUSTIN – Texas State Parks are getting spooky this month, offering fun Halloween activities for the whole family throughout October.

Here is a sampling of some of the Halloween events scheduled this month in Texas State Parks. Regular park entry fees will be charged, but children 12 and younger get in free, unless the event charges separate fees.

In South Texas, check out Estero Llano Grande State Park’s ninth annual Spooky Science Fest from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Because this year’s theme is Jurassic Estero, the park will have a dinosaur program and maze. Families can also expect traditional fall fare like hayrides, costume contests, face painting, storytelling and fair food. Kids can also learn about knot-tying, fishing, archery, camping, poisonous and edible wild plants and wildlife. The event is $5 for both kids and adults. For more information, call 956-565-3919.

On the coast, head to Galveston Island State Park for Witch Crafts from 1 to 2 p.m. on Oct. 24 and 31. Join a park ranger to make do-it-yourself Halloween crafts, including paper witch hats, wands and spider décor. Dressing up is encouraged for tricks and treats. Call 409-737-1222 for more information.

Several Central Texas parks will be hosting Halloween activities. At McKinney Falls State Park, listen to park rangers tell scary stories around a campfire from 7 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 and 29. Don’t forget to bring marshmallows, roasting sticks and chairs. For more information, call 512- 415-8793.

Garner State Park is celebrating Halloween with an Autumn Celebration from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Families can enjoy pumpkin painting, carnival games, a photo booth, face painting, free candy, spooky tales and campfire treats. Dressing up in costume is encouraged. For more information, call 830-232-6132, ext. 236.

At Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, join park rangers for a haunted hike to the summit of the pink granite dome at 7 p.m. on Halloween night. For more information, call 830-685-3636.

If you’re in East Texas, run from the zombies at Eisenhower State Park’s Zombie Apocalypse Hike from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. The guided hike will teach kids wilderness survival skills, including how to find food, shelter and water, as well as how to survive a zombie attack. Dressing in costume is encouraged. For more information, call 903-465-1956.

At Lake Livingston State Park, celebrate Halloween with a full day of fun, family-friendly activities on Saturday, Oct. 31. The park will have a pumpkin carving contest, a miniature pumpkin decorating workshop, story time around a campfire and trick-or-treating. For more information, call 936-365-2201, ext. 306.

In North Texas, spend Halloween night at Abilene State Park, which will host costume and campsite decoration contests. Kids can trick-or-treat or participate in a haunted hike. Call 325-572-3204 for more information and to make a reservation.

In West Texas, the whole family can camp out at Franklin Mountains State Park from 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. Bring costumes, make sugar candy skulls, go trick-or-treating, star gaze, roast marshmallows and share campfire ghost stories. Rangers at the park will also teach participants how to set up a tent and campsite. Participants must bring their own tents, food, water, hiking shoes and flashlights. For more information and to make a reservation, call 915-544-0753.