Houston Arboretum presents Science Spooktacular: A Week of Halloween Fun! for children and families Oct. 19-24

Registration now open for weeklong event

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center presents a weeklong event for children and families Oct. 19-24 called Science Spooktacular: A Week of Halloween FunPhoto credit: Houston Arboretum.

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center presents a weeklong event for children and families Oct. 19-24 called Science Spooktacular: A Week of Halloween Fun! This hands-on program will incorporate both virtual and socially distant on-site offerings and is being held in lieu of the Arboretum’s popular ArBOOretum fall festival, which will not happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic that precludes large, in-person gatherings at the nature sanctuary.

Registrants for Science Spooktacular will enjoy daily activities ranging from spooky bedtime stories to creating slime in a fun science show. Starting Thursday, Oct. 22 children and families will have the opportunity to visit the Arboretum in person and put their nature knowledge to the test on the Halloween Trail which will remain open until the end of the week-long celebration on Saturday, October 24. All virtual activities will be recorded and can be viewed after the live presentations.

“While we are disappointed that we can’t welcome our usual crowds to the beloved ArBOOretum Fall Festival, we believe Science Spooktacular will be an excellent alternative, spreading out science education and the fun of Halloween over six days,” says Debbie Markey, Executive Director for the Houston Arboretum. “We hope kids will enjoy all the creative activities we have planned, similar to our virtual summer camp, which was hugely successful.”

All virtual events will be held from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. The Halloween Trail at the Arboretum can be explored in person any time from Oct. 22-24 between 7 a.m. and dusk. The lineup of events includes:

  • Monday, Oct. 19: Songs & Stories – Virtually led spooky songs and bedtime stories
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt – Do-it-yourself scavenger hunt in your backyard or neighborhood
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21: Crafts & Pumpkin Decorating – Learn about Arboretum critters and decorate your pumpkin virtually with Arboretum Naturalists.
  • Thursday, Oct. 22: Halloween Trail & Photo Op at the Arboretum – Explore the Arboretum in a whole new way – imitate wildlife, search for critters, and finish the Halloween Trail for a special treat.
  • Friday, Oct. 23: Science Show – Conduct spooky experiments while watching a fun, interactive science show.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24: Animal Encounter & Activity Replay – Missed previous activities? Tune in for a replay of all recordings with a grand finale of an Animal Encounter with some special reptile friends.

Access to the full week of Science Spooktacular virtual programs is free for members and costs $10 per family for nonmembers. Advance registration is required at https://houstonarboretum.org/events/science-spooktacular/. All proceeds from this event support the Arboretum’s wide variety of education and conservation programs.

Registrants will receive a list of all supplies needed for the activities prior to the event. They can either buy materials on their own or purchase Activity Bags for $15 per person from the Arboretum. These kits include: a small pumpkin and decorating kit; nature craft materials; Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt printout; Halloween Trail map printout and Science Show experiment supplies.

Consider becoming a member of the Houston Arboretum for free admission to certain events and discounts on programs and purchases. You will also receive free parking. 

If you order Activity Bags, they can be picked up at the Nature Center Building between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Oct. 14-18.

Generous sponsors for Science Spooktacular include:

  • Event Sponsor: H-E-B
  • Additional Sponsors:
    • Forney Construction
    • Gigi & Ernie Pekmezaris
    • Elisa & Cris Pye
    • Ethel & Chap Hutcheson
    • Service Wire Co.
    • Cullen Geiselman
    • Andrew Abendshein
    • DFIN Solutions
    • Best Care Cleaning Supplies

For more information, visit our website at www.houstonarboretum.org or call 713-681-8433.