There are many places to go in the Rio Grande Valley for Halloween activities. With so many fun options to choose from, everyone can stay booked the entire spooky season. There is something for everyone with family-friendly activities or gory and scary ones.
For anyone wanting something scary, Donna’s Corn Maze and Monte De Los Muertos is the place. Located in Donna at 807 N Valley View Rd., this Halloween staple in the Valley has been around for years. Owner John Billman started the corn maze on his property in 2004 after he came across a magazine that featured corn mazes in farms. Billman was a vegetable farmer but wanted to come up with ways to create more business.
“I would ask my farmer friends here in the Valley, ‘You think people would come to a corn maze?’ and everybody kind of laughed at me and said, ‘You’re crazy. Nobody’s gonna pay you to go into a cornfield,'” he said.
But in his first year, 3,000 people did.
However, the corn maze won’t be available this year. Billman said Donna irrigation ran out of water in June. But his pumpkin patch and haunted attraction will be available. Though he is not into scary movies himself, Billman has been hiring actors for years to go into his monte and dress up as characters to scare visitors.
“I have an area that’s over 4 acres; it’s overgrown and brushy, and I’ve created trails in there,” he said. “I created a haunted trail several years ago and I’ve been posting that every year as well in October.
“I get different types of customers here — some that just want to be with their families and outdoors and playing all the activities, and then I have some who strictly want to do a haunted attraction. And the bonus part is that a lot of times they’re a-first timer. They get to not only experience our haunted trail, but they get to enjoy the corn maze park as well. So those are the two things that will be happening come October.”
Visitors are taken into the monte on a trailer carrying around 60 people. A smoke machine and the darkness adds an extra scary factor people are looking for.
“I have a minimum of 20 scenes, and each scene is different,” Billman said. “I could have a vampire waiting for you. Think of any type of character of any villain or scary movie scene and I’m gonna have it.”
These attractions open the first weekend of October and are open every weekend after for the rest of the month.
Another haunted house worth a visit is the Toluca Ranch Haunted House in Weslaco.
For an activity suitable for all ages, consider visiting a pumpkin patch. Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch is located in McAllen. Rick Vega and his wife Melinda have been handling the patch since 2017.
“I’ve always loved ranches — the idea of visiting a ranch and spending time there,” he said. “Other people also would like to be out there and experience the same things.
He added that the opportunity welcomed his wife’s knack for decorating.
“We want to be able to provide the community with a place they can come out to and experience a nice outdoor time with their families and take pictures and make memories that will last a lifetime,” he said.
The lower Valley has options for activities as well. The fall season isn’t complete without a trip to the T-Ranch Pumpkin Patch in La Feria. Not only does the patch have lots of fall-themed photo displays, but there are multiple ranch games and activities for everyone to enjoy.
“Our iconic pumpkin house is the first of its kind in the RGV and sets us apart from other pumpkin patches in the area,” Sarah Treviño, who manages the ranch with her sister, said. “Most can’t resist snagging a photo in front of this unique prop. We have all kinds of animals, including goats, sheep, potbelly pigs, donkeys, llamas, cows, longhorns and more.”
Every Saturday and Sunday in the month of October, the patch will have local vendors and live music during pumpkin patch hours.
This pumpkin patch opens Sept. 30 and closes Nov. 13.
Alpaquita Ranch, located in Raymondville, grew in popularity around the end of the pandemic. Once people were going outside and doing more outdoor activities, this ranch featuring alpacas opened to the public and became a favorite place for people to visit. The owners then decided to decorate it for every season, whether Christmas, Easter, or Halloween.
During Halloween time, families can visit and enjoy the pumpkin patch. This spooky season there is something for everyone to enjoy!