Halloween is the spookiest holiday of the year. It’s when the goblins a ghouls take over some of our favorite family destinations, turning them into thrilling attractions like Six Flags Fright Fest and Great America’s Halloween Haunt. But what if you (and your kids, of course) don’t want to be scared this year?
To help you track down the perfect celebrations for your family, we rounded up the not-so-scary events coming to the Bay Area this month. Now, you can party in your costume and collect candy all week long from South Bay to San Francisco and even into the North Bay!
Then, sneak in a few real scares with our roundup of the Bay Area’s haunted tours which you can enjoy in October and year-round!
October 21 + 22
Photo courtesy of Bay Area Discovery Museum
The Bay Area Discovery Museum is celebrating Halloween with a Witches and Wizards themed event! Wear your costumes and come on down for pony rides, face painting, crafts, train rides and much, much more. Proceeds from Goblin Jamboree support the museum’s mission to transform research into early learning experiences that inspire creative problem solving so buy your tickets online today.
October 26 + 28
In Menlo Park, the community celebrates with two full days of Halloween fun. On Thursday, October 26, stop by the Onetta Harris Community Center for the ninth annual carnival. Then, join the community on Saturday for the annual Halloween Hoopla Parade and Trick-or-Treat. Come in costume and join the parade to Fremont Park where you’ll find carnival games, crafts and a magic show!
This week, San Francisco Recreation & Parks’ Mobile Rec Event is going festive for Halloween. Complete with a climbing wall, safety equipment and themed activities, it’s a great option for a free celebration in the city! Stop by Stern Grove on Friday from 3 – 9 p.m.
Kicking off at Lesher Center for the Arts in Downtown Walnut Creek, join the costumed goblins, superheroes, princesses and witches to trick-or-treat from business to business! From 2 – 5 p.m. on Friday, everyone is invited to this free and whimsical event, but please remember to bring your own candy bag.
Get those costumes on and bring the whole family down to Pleasant Hill Park on Friday evening from 6 – 8 p.m. Collect candy from community members who have decorated their vehicles for this fun, spooktacular event then check out the fun crafts and activities! Each child will go home with a goodie bag and heaps of treats donated by our community.
October 27 – 29
Photo courtesy of Habitot Children’s Museum
Join Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley for their annual Not So Spooky Halloween. Over the whole weekend, they’ll be celebrating with educational crafts, activities and even a few treats to take home!
At the California Academy of Sciences, they’re hosting a trick-or-treat night among spooktacular animals and spine-tingling specimens. Complete with a Silent Disco in the Steinhart Aquarium, magic shows, live animal entertainment, crafts, face painting and more, it’ll be a night to remember for the whole family. General admission begins at 6:30 p.m. and costs $50 for adults and $35 for children. If you want even more fun, buy tickets to the Werewolf, Vampire, and Mummy Party beforehand!
October 28 + 29
Over the years, Boo at the Zoo has become one of SF Zoo’s most popular events. Included with regular admission to the zoo, you’re invited to trick-or-treat throughout the grounds, watch animals enjoy festive treats, brave the not-so-scary Haunted Nature Trail and catch the last weekend of ZOOtoberFest! Adults can also stop by Oktoberfest-inspired Zoo Brew Haus and taste specialty beers in a keepsake mug.
October 28 + 29
Image courtesy of Oakland Zoo
In the East Bay, the Oakland Zoo is celebrating with Boo at the Zoo as well! Included with regular zoo admission, you can stroll the zoo in costume, collect candy, make treats for animals, get your face painted, join the dance party and ride the spooky train. Kids in costume even get a free ride ticket!
From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, Deer Hollow Farm will offer haunted barns and a “dark forest”, children’s activities and crafts, the farm animals we’ve come to love, and plenty of festive games. For just $7 admission, you can explore this 160-year old working farm in the middle of Silicon Valley while it’s filled with Halloween fun! If you’re in costume, admission is only $5 and kids under 1-year-old are free.
Halloween in Jack London Square is going to the dogs! The whole family (including your costumed pet) is invited to this free celebration on Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. The waterfront will be packed with dog-friendly activities and people-friendly food and drinks. Enjoy paw painting, pet pampering and even a pet psychic then snap a photo at the pooch photo booth! RSVP on Facebook for event updates.
This free, family-friendly event is Mountain View’s celebration of Halloween from 1 – 3 p.m. on Saturday. Come in costume and experience all the community fun for yourself — complete with games, crafts and prizes.
This year’s Halloween costume contest and sidewalk stroll in Benicia includes a Canine & Critter Costume Contest. Along with all the fun of trick-or-treating and community entertainment, this will also be one of your last opportunities to explore the Haunted Depot, a frightening haunted house inside the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot.
Adults, don’t miss the Zombie Brew Crawl on Main Street Saturday, October 14th and bring the whole family down every first and third Saturday of the year for the Ghost Walk through Downtown Benicia!
October 28 + 29
For just $10 admission over Halloween weekend, you can party with Children’s Fairyland in Oakland. Come in costume and enjoy unlimited rides, parades, goodie bags, pirate school, crafts and more!
Photo courtesy of Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and Alice Lin
Yerba Buena Gardens’ 17th annual Halloween Hoopla is a kids’ show packed with Halloween fun! Explore the Yerba Buena Pumpkin Patch, compete in the annual Mummy Wrap, walk in the Halloween Costume Parade, and enjoy entertainment and shenanigans from CHELLE! and Friends, the Pi Clowns and mysterious palm reader Madam Z. Stop by between noon and 2 p.m. for this free event.
In 2017, Oakland’s Día de los Muertos event is celebrating its 22nd year. This outdoor Fruitvale festival includes live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans and art installations created by community members paying homage to los muertos. Get ready for food, drinks and fun for the whole family!
This free Halloween party is taking place in Japan Center Malls in Japantown Peace Plaza. Join the fun from noon to 4 p.m. with games, pumpkin decorating, bounce houses, arts and crafts, face painting, removable tattoos and, of course, trick-or-treating!
For $8 per child and no charge for adults, you can join the fun and celebrate All-Hallows-Eve with Strawberry Recreation District. Complete with carnival games, a jump house, candy hunt and costume parade, it’s sure to be exciting for the whole family!
Sausalito is the place to be on Halloween day. Before trick-or-treating through downtown, you can go through the haunted house while it’s kid-friendly from 4:15 – 5 p.m. Then, enjoy the Firefighter BBQ at the Johnson Street Firehouse, march in the Halloween parade, collect candy through Trick or Treat Lane and enter your pooch in the Howl’O’Ween Dog Costume Contest! For full details and schedule info, check out the website.
Join the local businesses of Downtown Willow Glen and thousands of San Jose children for this Halloween trick-or-treat event on Tuesday afternoon. From 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. toddlers, preschoolers and children in strollers are free to collect candy. The, from 3 – 4:30 p.m. school-aged kids in costume will take to the streets! Get more information here and check out photos from last year’s event on Facebook.
From all of us at McGuire Real Estate, have a safe and happy Halloween!