The Very Best Halloween Events in the Bay Area
Get geared up as Halloween is right around the corner! Whether you have a tiny tutu-wearing ballerina this year or a runner from the Bay to Breakers, there are loads of Halloween events around the Bay Area where your kiddos can don their costumes and get in the spooky spirit. From trick-or-treating at your local mall to animal encounters in the East Bay, our Halloween events list has got the perfect event for you!
photo: California Academy of Sciences San Francisco
The California Academy of Sciences is opening its doors to trick-or-treaters for the evening and inviting families to check out some spooky specimens. Roaming magicians will add to the ambiance, as will giant pumpkin carving, face painting and animal demonstrations. The museum will provide reusable trick-or-treat bags. Oct. 26, 6:30-9 p.m. Event details.
The Haas-Lilienthal House’s Halloween events offer visitors a chance to tour this beautiful Queen Anne Victorian in the dark! The gorgeous house is transformed into a Mayhem Mansion complete with a Hall of Horrors and a “Spookeasy” for a drink. Oct. 18-19 and 25-26, 7-10 p.m. Pacific Heights. Event details.
Japantown Halloween Carnival
Bring out the kids for a spooky evening of Halloween fun at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center. Carnival includes: Halloween games and prizes, arts and crafts activities, bounce house, haunted hallway, Halloween cupcake decorating and costume parade and contest. Prizes awarded to the scariest, cutest, most creative, best over all and most spirited family/group costumes. Oct. 25. 6-8:30 p.m. $7/person. All ages. Event details.
Family Halloween Day
Randall Museum’s annual Family Halloween Day is back at the renovated museum on Corona Heights! The whole space will be filled with spooky, but not scary, delights for the Halloween season. Come in costume and join in the fun. Explore new areas of the museum for unexpected surprises while enjoying familiar favorites like Creepy Crafts, Ghoulish Games, Trick-or-Treating, Live Music & Entertainment, Pumpkin Carving and more! Oct. 26. Randall Museum. Event details.
photo: San Francisco Zoo
Visit San Francisco Zoo & Gardens to welcome our favorite season, fall! Navigate through San Francisco’s largest hay maze, a 5,000-square-foot structure made from over 1,000 bales of straw and incorporates play areas within the design. Saturdays and Sundays in October. San Francisco Zoo. Event details.
Scaregrove returns to Stern Grove (19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard), on Friday, October 25 from 3 to 9 p.m. This year’s event will feature a costume contest and parade, haunted houses, carnival rides, food for sale, live entertainment and more! $10 per person; children under 2 years old are fre.! Oct. 25. Stern Grove. Event details.
Underwater Pumpkin Carving
Calling all mermaids and mermen to the nearshore tunnel at the Aquarium of the Bay at PIER 39 to view talented divers carve pumpkins underwater. It will be a mesmerizing event for all ages and a great chance to dress up like your favorite character for a family-friendly fun day. Oct. 27 and 31. Aquarium of the Bay. Event details.
photo: Lindsay Wildlife East Bay
Trick-or-Treat With the Animals at Lindsay Wildlife Experience
From meeting some not-so-scary animals, spooky story time and face painting to making crafts, there are plenty of activities for the whole family. Come hungry, because a food truck will be at Lindsay starting at 5 p.m. Oct. 25. 5:30-8 p.m. Walnut Creek. Event details.
Haunted Railroad 2019
The Haunted Railroad takes your family on a spooky (not scary) train ride through the haunted forest at Ardenwood. This ride is designed for families with children under 12. Actors play cowboys, pirates, witch and others; with colorful Halloween inflatables in between scenes (nothing will jump out or frighten young children). Ardenwood Historic Farm. Oct. 18-20, 25-27. Event details.
Boo at the Zoo
Stroll the Zoo in costume and follow the clues on your program to get your goodie bag full of yummy treats. Ride the spooky boo train and join the dance party. Plus, get your face painted, make treats for the animals, participate in hands-on Halloween-themed activities, and see how the animals at Oakland Zoo celebrate Halloween. Kids in costumes receive a free ride ticket. Oct. 26. Oakland Zoo. Event details.
25th Annual Dias De Los Muertos Community Celebration
Craft activities, tasty food, dance groups, live music, colorful ofrendas, and ceremonia bring the community together for this healing tradition. Celebrate this special two-day Días de los Muertos extravaganza with the newest exhibition ¡El Movimiento Vivo! Chicano Roots of Days of the Dead and learn about Chicano activists who introduced Días de los Muertos traditions to the United States in the 1970s. Oct. 19. Oakland Museum of California. Event details.
Fairyland's Jack O'Lantern Jamboree
More delightful than frightful, more kooky than spooky—there’s no better place for family-friendly fall fun and games than Fairyland’s Jack O’Lantern Jamboree. Now in its 38th year, this annual Halloween-time tradition includes a full roster of autumnal activities including goody bags, treat stations and bouncy jumpers for big and little kids. Oct. 26-27. Children's Fairyland. Event details.
The Halloween FestiFall includes a carnival, haunted house, trunk-or-treat and a pumpkin splash. Get spooked by goblins, witches and vampires. Young children are encouraged to visit the “Lights On” Haunted experience. Oct. 26. El Cerrito Community Center. Event details.
photo: Miramar Events Peninsula
Hillsdale Halloween Spooktacular
Take the party inside on Halloween and trick-or-treat at the stores at the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Balloon artists will make Halloween figures for the kids. Kids can participate in spooky games, take pictures at the graveyard photo booth, enjoy eerie face paintings by Young Art and more. Oct. 31, 5-7 p.m. San Mateo. Event details.
Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival
Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful pumpkin season with a special weekend filled with four stages of blockbuster entertainment, the Great Pumpkin Parade, harvest-inspired crafts and home-style foods. Farmer Mike swill sculpt a monster pumpkin, plus there will be an opportunity to take photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, enter into pie-eating and costume contests and so much more. Oct. 19-20. Event details
Kids Carnival at the Hiller
Join the excitement with special activities just for kids! Aircraft checkouts, cockpit exploration, glider and helicopter construction and more are just some of the activities available at each Kids’ Carnival. Oct. 27. Hiller Aviation Museum. Event details.
photo: Winchester Mystery House South Bay
Halloween Family Night
This Halloween, join the Children’s Discovery Museum for an “all treats, no tricks” bash for the entire family. Come in costume and experience the spoooooooooky magic of the Museum after hours. Enjoy the haunted cube of doors, the freaky fidget, glow bones and more. Oct. 31. 6-8:30 p.m. San Jose. Event details.
Winchester Mystery House: Trick-or-Treat Trail
Boos and ghouls of all ages are invited to the Winchester Mystery House for a family friendly trick-or-treat trail! Visitors will wind their way through the gardens of Sarah Winchester's property in search of candy, tricks and treats from caretakers of the Estate. There will also be games, bouncy houses and additional family-friendly activities at the end of the trail. Oct. 26-27. Event details.
The Great Pumpkin Fest
The Bay Area's premier Halloween event for kids return select weekends in fall 2019 and includes Halloween activities for the entire family. At The Great Pumpkin Fest, kids 12 and under can wear their costumes and trick-or-treat with the PEANUTS gang, race through a hay maze, decorate mini-pumpkins, color PEANUTS pictures, dance in a foam pit and more. Sat.-Sun. through Nov. 3 excluding Oct. 27. California's Great America. Event details.
photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum Marin County
Hoist the anchor and cruise on over to BADM for the long.est-running Halloween festival in Marin! BADM will transform into a family-friendly spooky spectacular that will get everyone in the Halloween spirit Take a seat at a Slime Banquet in the captain's quarters, show off your creativity during Treasure Chest Design, or make waves in Ocean Experiments. This annual museum fundraiser is the perfect way to kick-off your family's Halloween celebrations in style. Oct. 19-20. Bay Area Discovery Museum. Event details.
Tam Valley Haunted House
Dare to enter into a world of your worst nightmares and see if you can survive from one terrifying room to the next. The Haunted House has three different tours: 3-4:30 p.m. Not Scary for children under 8 with all the lights on and a fun tour of the different areas; 5-6:30 p.m. Scary for children over 9; Closed 6:30-7:30 p.m. to feed the volunteer monsters then back open 7:30-9 p.m. for a truly horrifying experience. Oct. 25-27. 3:30–9 p.m. (Children under 8 recommended to attend 3-4:30 p.m.). Mill Valley. Event details.
Town Center Halloween Fun
Families are invited to celebrate Halloween weekend with a special trick-or-treat event at Town Center Corte Madera where merchants will hand out candy to the little ones. Kids can also enjoy a unicycle juggler comedian show at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Four-legged family members are also invited to join in on the fun. Oct. 27. Town Center Corte Madera. Event details.
—Kate Loweth, Melissa Bouse and Amber Guetebier
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