Lifestyle

Celebrate Halloween with the Best Costumes and Events in Texas

Young or old, Houston and Dallas residents will have no shortage of events to celebrate Halloween and escape from reality for a few hours with a creative costume and sugary sweets.

Halloween Events in Houston

Enjoy Halloween while helping dogs in need find a new home at Bridgeland’s 10th annual Howl-O-Ween Fest, taking place on Oct. 27 at Josey Lake, providing free fun and games for all ages. This festival will have food trucks, pumpkin decorating, a magic show and trick-or-treating for both children and dogs!

The 7 – Acre Wood in Conroe will be the site of the 18th annual Thrill at the Mill, on Oct. 27. Here, visitors can indulge in delicious food and activities including a petting zoo, mini golf, hayrides, pony rides and more!

Sugar Land will host its own Halloween party on Oct. 28 with the city’s Halloween Town. This event will feature a costume contest, activity stations, a pumpkin patch and more entertainment for kids and adults to enjoy.

Halloween Events in Dallas

Scare on the Square in McKinney, is a free event on Oct. 31 from 4-7 p.m. that gives groups of all ages a safe and friendly venue to enjoy Halloween. A costume contest, pumpkin races, candy and more help to make this event a spooky success.

Halloweekend at the Dallas Zoo brings together the best parts of the holiday, with trick-or-treating for kids, a craft beer garden for adults, a pumpkin patch, hay maze, bounce house, animal encounters and more on Oct. 28 and 29. A special Halloween day at the zoo (and costumes are encouraged). What could be more fun?

At Friscovania in Frisco, experience a kid’s carnival concourse, live music, fortune tellers, trick-or-treating, a runway show, costume contest and more. It’s all happening on Oct. 27 from 3 – 8 p.m.!

Best Group Costumes

Gather your friends, children, loved ones or neighbors! It’s time to pick an award-worthy group costume for 2018.

Looking for a costume that offers a bit of mystery or magic?

Solving mysteries with fashionable flair was the highlight of this cast of characters. Bring a mystery to life as the gang of Scooby Doo while seeking the home offering the biggest candy bars on Halloween night. You could also honor that cast from the wizarding world of Harry Potter for this holiday. Grab robes and wands before heading out for an enchanting evening.

Prefer superpowers to magic? Flex those muscles as one of these bands of superheroes like The Incredibles, The Avengers or The Guardians of the Galaxy.

Other group costume ideas include:

  • Mario, Luigi and friends
  • The characters from Toy Story
  • Disney princesses and princes
  • Characters and dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and Jurassic World
  • Dominos
  • Crayon Colors
  • Group of minions
  • The three little pigs
  • Sesame Street characters… and more!

What’s your favorite group costume idea or Halloween celebration?

Food Lifestyle

Enjoy a Texas Date Night Out

Whether it’s a first date, an anniversary or a spontaneous night out, both Houston and Dallas offer fantastic dating opportunities near Darling Homes communities.

Houston

Couples of all ages have plentiful options for both understated dinners and energetic activities.

Upscale Outing

Delight in upscale dining at Robard’s Steakhouse in The Woodlands. This restaurant provides a gorgeous atmosphere with award-winning food making it ideal for a special night out. With items ranging from roasted corn & king crab chowder to filet mignon and truffle risotto, this menu has items to please every palette.

Romantic Dinner for Two

Romance is in the air at 13 Celsius, a European wine bar and cafe. With a wine list featuring selections from all over the world, this location’s expansive menu includes savory selections such as cheese plates and delightful desserts like s’mores and affogato.

Fireside Seats and Groovy Beats

At Cottonwood, spend a warm night on the patio or grab a fireside seat and enjoy live music while sipping one of the 42 craft beers on tap. Check the Cottonwood Facebook page for a list of upcoming musical guests.

Dallas

Elevate the average date night with a stop at one of these Dallas restaurants.

Decadent Dinner with a View

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, on the 50th floor of the iconic and recently renovated Reunion Tower, offers 360-degree views of the city from its revolving dining room, where you can indulge in decadent Asian cuisine, pan seared Texas red fish, crispy Texas quail or a variety of dumplings. Before calling it a night, take a few minutes to explore as this location also features two casual bars just outside of the dining room.

Tastings and Tapas

There is no need to debate where to wine and dine, rather be a tourist in your own city and select a progressive date. Dallas Wine Tours offers expeditions that stop at three different locations for wine tasting and appetizers. The locations rotate The company provides transportation and a guide for the duration of the tour, creating a fun and relaxing day out.

Appetite for Adventure

At the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Las Colinas, couples can take time out at the spa or choose from four different delectable restaurants. With the Mandalay Canal on Lake Carolyn, visitors can also enjoy a romantic gondola ride around the area or stand up paddle boarding.

Whether you’re looking to relax or have a unique adventure, opportunities for a fantastic date night out are just around the corner for Darling Homes residents.

Lifestyle

Hit Plays and Musicals Coming to Texas

From the musical sensation Hamilton to Charles Dickens’ timeless classic A Christmas Carol, both Dallas and Houston will have a wide range of musicals and plays over the next few months for theater fans to enjoy.

Dallas

The upcoming Broadway season in Dallas will be kicking off on Nov. 27 with the holiday favorite Elf the Musical bringing a whimsical set and story to the stage through Dec. 2. Though the season debuts with a lighthearted play, the rest of the works coming to the stage in Dallas in the next few months cover a broad range of stories, featuring everything from history to heartbreak.

Upcoming Broadway shows at Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas include:

  • Elf the Musical; Nov. 27 – Dec. 2, 2018
  • The Phantom of the Opera; Dec. 19, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019
  • The Book of Mormon; 29 – Feb. 3, 2019
  • Anastasia; Feb. 19 – March 3, 2019
  • Hamilton; April 2 – May 5, 2019

The Dallas Opera is staging the beloved four-act opera Carmen by Georges Bizet this fall. Carmen’s iconic storyline, following the lives of a gypsy and the men who love her, is running Oct. 19, 21, 24, 27 and Nov. 2 and 4. The Winspear Opera House, where Carmen will be performed, will also host the holiday play A Christmas Story on Dec. 12 – 16 and feature the Tony Award-winning show Chicago Dec. 18 – 23.

Houston

Houston’s upcoming selection of Broadway plays is incredible, with fan favorites such as The Phantom of the Opera, Waitress and The Book of Mormon all coming to stage within the next few months. All of the awe-inspiring works will be performed at Sarofim Hall at The Hobby Center.

Upcoming Broadway shows in Houston include:

  • The Phantom of the Opera; 7 – 18, 2018
  • The Book of Mormon; 15 – 20, 2019
  • Waitress; 29 – Feb. 3, 2019
  • Anastasia; March 5 – 10, 2019
  • The Play that Goes Wrong; March 26 – 31, 2019

At the Alley Theater, the wintertime favorite A Christmas Carol will be on stage Nov. 16 – Dec. 30 for viewers to be enchanted by the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and holiday spirit. The Houston Grand Opera has two major productions this fall with The Flying Dutchman, a haunting love story, showing between Oct. 19 and Nov. 2 and La Bohème, an enchanting love story, premiering Oct. 26 and running through Nov. 11.

With epic tales of love, loss, war and adventure crossing the stages of Dallas and Houston in the coming months, theater fans will have plenty of options to spend a night out enjoying the best of the Lone Star State’s performing arts.

Community Travel

Best Places to View Fall Foliage in Texas

Leaves are beginning to change in Darling Homes communities in Dallas and Houston, and there are a few hidden gems throughout the Lone Star State where visitors can go to experience autumn’s beauty.

Below are three Texas state parks and natural areas that offer visitors an unparalleled look at fall colors, and this leaf color map from Thrillist is an excellent tool to keep track of when leaves are at their most brilliant.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area, located northwest of San Antonio, is known for its radiant beauty during autumn. Filled with striking maple trees that turn brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red, Lost Maples is renowned for its rugged beauty.

At this park, visitors can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, including:

  • Over 10 miles of trails meandering along the edge of a 2,200-foot cliff
  • Camping at a selection of over 30 campsites
  • Fishing in the Sanibal River or Can Creek
  • Geocaching
  • Wildlife watching
  • An off the grid weekend – no cell service here!

Tyler State Park

At Tyler State Park, a peaceful retreat nestled in northeast Texas, visitors will delight in seeing the changing leaves from the comfort of the car with a scenic drive or getting an up close view at the vibrant hues from one of many hiking and walking trails.

This beautiful park offers its visitors a plethora of activities, including:

McKinney Falls State Park

Near Austin, at McKinney Falls State Park, visitors will find themselves enchanted by the capital region’s hill country, where Onion Creek flows over limestone ledges to create a breathtaking waterfall. During autumn, this scenic park is brimming with incredible colors.

While visiting McKinney Falls State Park, explore the outdoors by:

  • Camping at one of 81 sites
  • Mountain or road biking
  • Fishing in Onion Creek
  • Bouldering
  • Joining a Ranger Program on birding, geocaching and more

Texas is filled with incredible opportunities to see fall foliage while exploring the outdoors!

At Home Home Decor

Decorating Home for Autumn

The air is turning crisp and the leaves are taking on a golden hue which can only mean it’s time to find inspiration for autumn décor for your Houston or Dallas home.

Warm and inviting spaces are a hallmark of Darling Homes’ designs. To add a sophisticated autumn touch, accent your home’s natural beauty by placing a wreath on the front door, adorning the mantel with pumpkins or lighting candles with seasonal favorites on the coffee table.

Need more inspiration? The 2018 Good Housekeeping list of autumn décor helps homeowners discover some of the simplest yet most endearing home decorating tricks in the book.

Fall décor suggestions include:

  • Dried wheat wreaths to adorn the front door
  • Fall-themed throw pillows
  • Rustic-colored blankets in shades of orange, brown, red and yellow
  • Dried leaf garlands
  • Acorn accents for side tables and centerpieces
  • Pumpkins and squashes positioned throughout the home for a hint of autumn
  • Doormats with festive fall phrases such as ‘give thanks’

Autumn brings with it opportunities for indoor entertainment, whether you spend your nights and weekends in the living room with the fireplace burning or cozying up in the media room, take time to find your inspiration for fall décor on the Dallas and Houston Pinterest boards from Darling Homes. With a mix of pre-made and DIY décor ideas, these boards are the top choice for those looking to spice up their seasonal décor.

DIY projects for autumn can include:

  • Charming candy jars filled with candy corn or painted acorns
  • A garland made of glittering leaves
  • Pumpkins crafted out of yarn
  • Burlap wine bottle covers
  • Rustic mason jar candle holders
  • Chalkboard pumpkins embellished with a fall message

Whether seeking a craft for the holiday season or a new twist on autumn-themed home décor, these tips and tricks are certain to help bring a taste of fall into any Darling home.