Fall is finally here!
We all know that fall is more an idea that a reality here in Houston, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Pumpkin patches, pumpkin spice lattes, and the occasional crisp autumn day, embrace it all this autumn in Houston! [Featured image: @bryanmalloch]
1-4. Experience Magical Candlelight Concerts
Experience a magical spring here in Houston thanks to the amazing indoor and outdoor venues the city has to offer. Luckily, Fever Originals has brought its popular Candlelight concert series to beautiful venues for the season with concerts that include:
- Candlelight Halloween: A Haunted Evening of Classical Compositions
- Candlelight Halloween: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari feat. Film Score by Two Star Symphony
- Candlelight Soul: Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Al Green & More
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele
5. Experience this Magically Macabre Cocktail Soirée
Freely roam an open-world cocktail party at Casa Vega, the haunted home of Francisco and Molly Vega. After the mysterious death of their child Little Magpie, Francisco and Molly find themselves tormented by a strange entity that haunts the shadows of their home. You will have 2 hours at Casa Vega to savor a flight of miniature craft cocktails, sample darkly decadent chocolate truffles, and get immersed in the chilling lore. House of Spirits: Casa Vega is loosely based on real-life inspirations, including Spanish painter Francisco Goya, his famous Black Paintings, and several other Spanish folktales throughout the centuries. Get your tickets for House of Spirits: A Haunted Cocktail Soirée in Houston!
6. Get Your Tickets to this Blockbuster Van Gogh Exhibition
Artwork from the iconic post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh will come to life in a 360-degree digital spectacle that’ll illuminate and transform the physical space into a fully immersive exhibit. You’ll see Van Gogh’s work take over the walls and encompass your surroundings through the lenses of several dozen projectors, hyper-realistic VR headsets, or a mix of both.
7. Dine in the Dark Halloween Edition
Ever wondered what it is like to eat in the dark? Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate taste experience for many years. Studies show that 80 percent of people eat with their eyes; with that sense eliminated, the theory is that the other senses—namely taste and smell—take over to elevate your meal to a whole new level. After donning your blindfold in the darkened, candlelit room, you’ll soon realise that focusing on taste and smell alone can be a truly enlightening experience—provided you’re not afraid of the dark!
8. Get Your Tickets to Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration
Join a magical celebration like no other! Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration honors the Triwizard Tournament’s most iconic tradition in a whimsical immersive experience overflowing with magic and wonder. You don’t need to love dancing to have fun at this ball: you’ll find everything from performances and magical moments to beautiful photo ops and themed food & drink. You can also stop by the Yule Ball Market to browse exclusive merchandise and pick up a wand, if you don’t have one already. Ready for the magic to begin? Get your tickets for Harry Potter: A Yule Ball Celebration in Houston!
9-10. Watch A Scary Movie
Nothing says “Halloween” like watching a movie that will prevent you from sleeping for a week. Thankfully there are plenty of places in Houston where you can see such films in the company of a crowd, you know, strength in numbers.
- Rooftop Cinema Club of Houston is conjuring up a special batch of movies that will give you the heebie jeebies – the good kind.
- Located at Midway’s 150-acre East River development on 100 Bringhurst St., Moonstruck Drive-In screens a variety of 4K features on a 80 x 40-foot screen with a stunning skyline backdrop.
11. Experience Eternity at this Breathtaking Infinity Room Exhibition
To describe the glimmering works of Yayoi Kusama as “iconic” almost sounds like a disservice. Nothing less than mesmerizing, her kaleidoscopic infinity rooms have enchanted the world over, leaving those who’ve entered breathless, and those who’ve seen them secondhand taken with envy.
Now, Houstonians can experience the indescribable as MFAH becomes the new home of Kusama’s Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.
12. Wheel into the Starcourt Pop Up in Houston
From October 7 to October 31, visitors can step inside the iconic set of Stranger Things’ Starcourt in Houston. The Starcourt was of course a commercial center for the finest and zaniest of ’80s retail, a theater, arcade, and cultural hub for all things teenager. It was also a front for an underground Soviet base – but that’s neither here nor there.
13. Stroll through Houston’s Very Best Pumpkin Patches
Is there anything more representative of the fall season (outside leaves) than the pumpkin? Whether it’s sipping on a pumpkin spice late, digging into pumpkin pie, or re-reading instructions on how to properly carve a jack-o-lantern, the pumpkin is (literally, in the latter case) the face of autumn. Get your hands on one of your own at one of these bountiful pumpkin patches around Houston!
14. Breathtaking Places To See Fall Foliage In Texas
Let’s be real, the only way you can see fall colors in Houston is through filters and photoshop. Those that seek the upmost fall experience with breathtaking sights of blazen, changing leaves, will have to take their PSL to-go on a state-bound road trip. Here are the 10 best places in Texas to see fall foliage.
15. Roll into this Mini-Golf Cocktail Bar
With 23,000-square-foot to play with, Puttery will comprise four themed mini golf courses across two levels in addition to multiple bars. Despite it’s exciting design, Puttery aims to be recognized for its speciality cocktails and chef driven menu as much as it’s elegant putting courses. Whether you’re eating or playing, a delectable food and beverage program with shareable plates and craft cocktails aims to tempt people in regardless of whether they plan for some light competition or not.
16. Scream at the Largest Horror Amusement Park In Texas
Houston Scream Fest, billed as the largest haunted amusement park in Texas, is coming back to life this October. The park is plagued with multiple haunted houses, a carnival-style midway, a zombie paintball course, live concerts, big screen horror movies, eats, and (free!) drinks Pre-sale tickets are now available at $10.
17. Fly into the Witch Market
Thorn and Moon’s Magickal Market is an enchanting monthly bizarre, a covent of charming vendors, witchcrafted goods, and occult oddities all (spell)bound together in one wickedly sweet atmosphere. The market takes place on the first Saturday every month, which in October, lands on the second!
18. Boo on the Boardwalk
Boo on the Boardwalk is back for another year and promises a bag of treats for all ages. On weekends throughout October, the Kemah Boardwalk will feature themed nights full of Halloween fun activities. Whether you shriek by for Freaky Fridays, Scary Saturdays, or Spooky Sundays, you’ll be in for a hauntingly good time, with live music, magic shows, and festive entertainment.
19. Go On a Daring Journey Of The Most Haunted Places In Texas
Gather around the campfire, folks, for Halloween season is here. Ushering in the celebration of all that is spooky, we’ve compiled a list of the most haunted places in and around Houston as well as the grim tales that beseech them.
20. Have Second Breakfast at the Hobbit Cafe
You don’t have to journey all the way out to Mordor to enliven your Tolkien-esque fantasies. Here in Houston, just southwest of Montrose is The Hobbit Café. Since 1972, the café has served all the hobbits, elves, wizards, and dwarves the best food Middle Earth, Houston has to offer.
21. Dance All Night at this Twin Peaks Nightclub
The public can now see what’s behind the red curtains at the new, Lynchian-inspired nightclub, Cherry. The darkly lavish new nightclub is a concept from Hospitable Viking the group behind The Commoner + The boulevardier, Rosemont, and the 006 Bar. It’s set in the two-story space formerly occupied by the Nightingale Room – which is rather appropriate all considering.
22-26. Cozy Up at Houston’s Best Coffee Shops
Thankfully, there are plenty of coffee houses scattered about the city for residents to take refuge, re-energize, and maybe eat a scone or two.
- Rev up your mornings at the motorcycle and coffee garage.
- Secret Garden offers various international coffees with options in the form of Vietnamese, Greek Espresso, Greek Freddo Cappuccino, Turkish Coffee, and more.
- Husband-and-wife caffeine team, Manuel and Martha Gil, have recently opened Segundo Lab inside Ironworks near downtown, bringing rich, creative java flavors to the Second Ward.
27. Celebrate Oktoberfest
King Bier Haus in The Heights is a gorgeous indoor and outdoor beer garden punctuated with twinkly lights, luscious accents, and woodland furniture in the heart of Houston’s hottest neighborhoods. This also one of the few places in town that you can find top notch German beer and cuisine. Here, you can fill your flagons from any number of lagers, weissbiers, hefeweizens, and dunkels.
Oktoberfest at King’s Bier Haus takes place from October 14 – 16 with massive tents, live German music, exclusive themed beers, competitions, and much more. Find tickets here.
28. Visit The Hidden Castle in Texas
A short drive outside of Houston in the small town of Bellville Texas lies a medieval castle equipped with a 3,000-pound drawbridge, moat, and a knightly guest quarters.
29. Embrace Everything Pumpkin
Beyond the Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts of the world, awaits a cornucopia of local bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops that know how to enrich your autumn experience in Houston with all the season’s best flavors. (Trick or) treat yourself to 10 of our favorite spots to get fall treats in the city!
30-34. Sweeten Up at a Speakeasy
There’s something special about speakeasies. The secretive, vicarious forbidden feel of transporting back to the prohibition make imbibing cocktails all the more tantalizing. Stow away in wonderful hidden bars that Houston has to offer!
- So Clutch, the owners of the Concrete Cowboy, Clutch Bar, and a host of establishments in other US cities, opened the doors of the Sugar Room on Washington Avenue. The cocktail lounge hidden inside a local bakery features a glamorous selection of drinks as well as tasty treats.
- Tucked away in the corner of Cantina Barba’s back patio is a scanty, nondescript, somewhat rusty container. The door on which advertises “Mijo’s Mezcal Bar” – which, to our knowledge, lays the smallest bar in Houston.
- Relive the ’20s and all of its splendor at the Daisy Buchanan Lounge, from the group behind Gatsby’s Prime Steakhouse. The flashy new 52-seat lounge, located at what was once Bar Victor on 4321 Montrose Blvd, is made in the image of the era infamously captured in Scott F. Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby.
35. Unwind Inside This Cozy Beer And Wine Bus
Parked on Montrose Blvd., Bacco Wine Garden is an intimate, fire-lit, two-story bar and patio that serves wine, beer, and an assortment of Italian comfort food. Beyond the wraparound balcony, there lies a dazzling wine and beer bus for patrons to share an even more intimate experience.
36-38. Hit the Dive Scene
Houston thankfully has plenty of places to take shelter in a flurry of rain: whether to escape the weather, shoot a round of pool, grab a cheap beer, or to play a song on a jukebox, consult this list to discover where to go.
- Those who leave up their festive decorations year round, like the people over at Grand Prize Bar, are complete freaking lunatics – and we love them for it.
- La Carafe Wine Bar is a historic haunt housed in a building that’s stood for over a century and remains to be the oldest in the city of Houston.
39-40. Or, Hit a Patio Bar
One surefire way to capitalize on the weekend, weekday, weeknight – really just any time – is to have a couple drinks amongst friends in the open air of a patio. Get out and about this season at some of our favorite watering holes in town
- Nestled on 1239 W 19th St. among a familiar crowd of patio bars – Preslee’s, McIntyre’s Heights, and Bungalow Heights– is a newcomer known as Moonshine Deck, a throwback Americana-inspired bar and kitchen with moonshine and whiskey to boot.
41. Transport Yourself To Madrid at this Clubby Restaurant
If you’re looking for a taste of Spanish cuisine, with the sight, sound, and feel of Madrilenian nightlife, MAD Houston is your ticket.
42. See a Burlesque Performance
Come for a night of spectacular dance performances that you will never forget. With a line-up of amazing performers, sit back and be taken away by their dance moves and amazing costumes. This is the perfect way to start your weekend in style. Share this experience with colleagues, or even on a date that will have you talking about it into the weekend.
43. Roll Your Own Sushi
Don’t let the sushi chef have all the fun! Come and learn how to spread, layer, tuck and roll your way to sushi heaven! In this fun, hands-on social cooking class, you’ll learn all the skills needed to make sushi and spring rolls like a pro, including how to prepare sushi rice, cut your fresh ingredients using proper knife skills, and master the art of rolling using a variety of techniques. It’s the perfect activity for friends, family, colleagues, or even a romantic date! This class is for all levels and even for those who just want to sit back, relax, and watch (to later taste) the products being ellaborated!
44. Make Your Own Macaroons
Together with a classically trained Pastry Chef Instructor, this cooking class demystify the making of these highly sought-after meringue-based sandwich cookies known as Macarons. Our Pastry Chef Instructor will take you through a detailed demonstration, before you will be guided step-by-step in replicating the process of meringue mixing, otherwise known as ‘macaronage’, piping, baking, assembling and of course, eating!
45. Saunter Through Houston’s Fresh New Market
Railway Heights is now open on Washington with two stories of vibrant businesses, food stalls, local vendors, and an art gallery on the second floor.
46. Enjoy these Dazzling Chocolates
Heralded as one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine, Kate Weiser is a nationally-recognized chocolate-maker renowned for her dazzling seasonal treats. With several stores in Dallas and Fort Worth, the confectioner goes over the top for Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day – and this year, Weiser’s creations are going to be in Houston for all three holidays.
47. Get Medieval at Ren Fest
The 48th Annual Texas Renaissance Festival, the largest renaissance festival in the nation, returns to Texas this October with a kingdom of entertainment for the whole family.
Every year since 1974 the town of Todd Mission travels back to the 16th century, becoming a bustling village filled to the brim with stages, shops, artisans, vendors, and no shortage of characters – from kings, queens, and knights, to fairies and elven-kind. It’s annual attendance clocks in around 500,000 visitors – making it the Nation’s Largest Renaissance Festival.
48. Treat Your Dog to Sophistication at this Luxury Canine Cafe
Treat your furry friends to a life of luxury at the brand new PUCCI Cafe & Boutique opening in Cinco Ranch in Katy today.
Opening today, September 19, PUCCI Cafe & Boutique is a one-of-a-kind, European-inspired concept in Houston where canines and owners alike can experience class and sophistication. Located in Katy in Cinco Ranch, PUCCI spans 2,500-square-feet and its outfitted with a multi-level lakeside patio, dog park, cafe, and bakery.
49. Experience the Beauty of Japan at this Cultural Celebration
Immerse yourself in the most spectacular facets of Japanese culture this fall at Tokyo Night Festival. The two-day festival slated for this November touts itself as “the largest Japanese festival the nation has seen” and promises sumo wrestling, live performances, endless eats, and much more!
50. Elevate Your Lifestyle at these Houston Rooftop Bars
Nothing quite says “living the highlife” like clinking glasses on a city rooftop. Touch the sky this season with a brunch, evening, or nightcap on the most jaw-dropping rooftops in Houston.
51. Learn to Cook Paella
Discover the mouth-watering flavors of an authentic paella without ever leaving Houston! Join expert chef Laurent in this unique, hands-on cooking class that will transport you to the streets of Valencia, Spain. Learn to prepare this exquisite recipe infused with saffron, smoky chorizo, fresh seafood and textured vegetables. You will also learn how to flavor profile and blend Spanish flavors.
52-59. Eat Your Heart Out
Houston’s culinary scene is a vast, rich landscape populated with delicious eateries, scrumptious bakeries, and Tex-Mex as far as the eye can see.
- Whether it’s a classic Neapolitan-style Margherita, a traffic cone-sized slice, or some warped creation piled high with everything and the kitchen sink – we don’t discriminate when it comes to pizza. Any way you slice it, here’s 10 of the best pizza parlors in the Houston area!
- Not all buffets are created equal. When seeking out a local in which to stock up on calories to last you the winter hibernation, we recommend heading to one of our 10 favorite all-you-can-eat buffets in Houston.
- Whataburger, Taco Bell, McDonald’s – the usual suspects when it comes to late-night munchies. Sometimes, though, you got to broaden your horizons, especially when a glorious late-night food scene of delis, pizzerias, taquerias await in the city of Houston.
- Hot, cold, rain, or shine, ice cream is a good call on any day. Here’s the scoop on where to find the best ice cream in Houston
- Like breakfast tacos, kolaches are synonymous with breakfast in Texas. Savory, comfortable, portable – perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, or bought-by-the-dozen hangover cure. Unlike similar handheld breakfast staples such as donuts, bagels, and croissants, it’s not so easy finding kolaches outside of Texas. We’d probably travel more if you could, but for now, we’ll stay here in Houston with our favorite comfort breakfast food on the go.
- Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of pie at our favorite diners in Houston
60. Make your own Pasta from Scratch
Learn how to make the perfect handmade pasta dough and then transform it into beautiful Pappardelle noodles and bowties! This pasta making class in Houston is completely hands-on.
61. Trick or Drink in Houston
Get ready to experience the best bars that Houston has to offer—all in one night! Go back to the good old days of trick or treating with an adult twist. The treat is a bev! You’ll be able to enjoy drink specials all night for an incredible time without breaking the bank. You’ll receive a wristband that’ll grant you entry into all of the participating bars and clubs around Houston, so you don’t have to worry about paying for entrance. Feel free to let your freak flag fly and get dressed up for the frightful occasion!
62. Celebrate the Ogre, the Myth, the Legend, at this Rooftop Rave
Since its release in 2001, Shrek has spawned a successful franchise comprised of 4-feature-length movies, including a Shrek the Halls special, as well as two spin-offs. Furthermore, the character and franchise hero has transcended its entertainment medium, turning into a one-size-fits-all meme – something which confounds even the writers here at Secret Houston.
63-64. Glamp In The Stars
New resident Texan, Elon Musk, promises that humans will land on Mars by 2026. If you can’t wait that long, you can spend a few nights at Basecamp Terlingua, an other-worldly glamping experience that integrates the future with the past, giving its visitors the impression of luxury camping in the cosmos.
- Horizon on the Hill in Marble Falls is a wedding venue like none other. The countryside venue offers sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, a majestic look over Lake LBJ and Lake Marble Falls, and a dazzling stardome that acquaints visitors with a magical view of the constellations.
65. Blast Off at Houston Space Center
On 20 July 1969, Apollo 11’s lunar module lands on the moon. It may be the most important day in the history of space exploration. After more than a decade of struggle in the space race, NASA lands a huge win for America, but also for mankind. Now visitors can pay homage to the astronauts and dreamers who made it all possible, with a visit to the Houston Space Center. See crafts that have been into orbit, get up close to space suits, and find out more about the future of space travel.
66. Go on a Mystery Picnic Date
This self-guided food adventure by Amazingco is the perfect way to explore Houston’s best neighborhoods and avoid the crowds! Starting with a picnic basket, have fun solving personally-curated clues and riddles sent to your smartphone that’ll take you on a journey to collect your special gourmet picnic food bit by bit.
67. Take your Tastebuds on a Trip to Thailand
Experience the taste and sense of Thai cuisine, crafted specially by Chef Jett who values the robust, fresh flavors of traditional Thai cuisine and a diverse culinary executive Chef background for over 32 year. His vision is to bring the deep-rooted, refined tradition of Thailand’s culinary arts to Houston, promoting the uniqueness of Thai culture by using its finest ingredients, making this a dining experience you will never forget! This is the perfect experience for something special, whether it is a romantic date night or celebrating.
68. Visit’s Houston’s First Vintage Pin-Up Coffee Truck
The corner of West Alabama and McDuffie St. in Montrose is home to two of our all-time favorite H-town establishments: West Alabama Icehouse and Tacos Tierra Caliente among our top patios and food trucks, respectively. Now, another new hot spot is in the mix. Welcome to the neighborhood, Coffee and Hot Tease – the city’s first pin-up coffee truck
69. Eat All The Food at this Texas-Sized Food Festival
Indulge your carnivorous cravings at the Southern Smoke Food Festival for a cause in Houston this fall. The three-day festival is your chance to raise funds for food and beverage workers and meet the makers – of the best barbecue the Lone Star State has to offer, that is.
70. Check Out all the Fun Happening at Discovery Green
It’s sure hot right now, but this summer heat – and summer as a whole – will be over before we know it. In anticipation of cooler pastures, Discovery Green has announced its fall program including the return of Scream On The Green, Dia de los Muertos, and other seasonal favorites!