Bay Area Halloween and Fall Celebrations

The Winchester Mystery House's “All Hallows’ Eve” is a new seasonal event offered on select autumn nights through Halloween.


Halloween and autumn events are back. Venues around the Bay Area are hosting fun celebrations to get families in the spirit of the season.


Goblin Jamboree – Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Goblin Jamboree is a week-long celebration packed with Halloween-themed programs and frightful delights. Show off your costumes and enjoy the Flying Ghost Design, Hay Maze, X-Ray Skeleton Puzzle, Hay Mountain, Cauldron Kitchen, Día de los Muertos crafts and more. Capacity is limited. Advanced ticket reservations are required. Oct. 23-31. $20-25.

San Francisco

Halloween Hoopla – This annual Yerba Buena Gardens Halloween celebration features fun performances and activities for kids under 10 and their adults. The Hoopla grand finale is the costume parade. Performances will include The Unique Derique, Caterpillar Puppets and the Alphabet Rockers. Oct. 30. 12-2 p.m. Free. 799 Howard St. 415-543-1718.

Randall Museum Family Halloween Day – Come in costume and enjoy the Halloween fun. There will be creepy crafts, ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, live music and entertainment, pumpkin carving and more. The event will be held outdoors. Due to Covid, reservations are required and admission is limited. Oct. 30. There will be two timed ticketed entries: 10-11:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. FREE. 199 Museum Way.

Super Natural – Explore the California Academy of Sciences at night in your favorite costume. The event includes family fun with science, specimens and, of course, trick-or-treating. There will also be activities in the gardens and Living Roof. Oct. 22. Early admission for those with VIP packages is 5 p.m.; general admission is 6:30-9 p.m. $40-60. 55 Music Concourse Drive. 415-379-8000.

Boo at the Zoo Featuring "Sloth-oween" -- Celebrate a family-friendly Halloween at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens' Boo at the Zoo. This year features "Sloth-oween," a self-guided, sloth-themed stroll around the zoo's haunted gardens. Guests must make reservation in advance to attend. Younger guests can participate in a costume contest with prizes awarded for Best Costume, Best Family Costume and Best Animal Costume. Oct. 23-24 and 30-31. Sloat Boulevard at the Great Highway.

Ferry Building Halloween -- The Ferry Building will have Halloween fun including a kid's activity station and scavenger hunt. They can make crafts or go on a scavenger hunt for hidden items around the building shops to win a candy prize. There will also be artistic live pumpkin carving on the Ferry Building's South Plaza as well as a festive photo booth and circus performers. Oct. 31. Ferry Building, San Francisco.


Haunted Hanger – Enjoy a kids’ Halloween carnival and the Helicopter Pumpkin Drop at the Hiller Aviation Museum Haunted Hanger. Come in your best costume. Oct. 23 and 24, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: Kids’ Carnival and Paint-a-Plane. Oct. 30, 5-6:30 p.m.: festival and Helicopter Pumpkin Drop. Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.: festival and Helicopter Pumpkin Drop. $11-18, 4 and under free. 601 Skyway Road, San Carlos. 650-654-0200.

Pumpkin Days – CuriOdyssey is celebrating the spirit of Autumn during October with a harvest celebration for families. Festivities include Halloween-themed science experiments, animal ambassadors, a pumpkin patch, jack-o-lanterns and more. Wear a costume. Oct. 1-31, Wednesdays-Sundays. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $12.95-15.95. 1651 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. 650-342-7755.

Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Weigh Off – The 48th Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off will take place Oct. 11 despite the pumpkin festival being cancelled. This year organizers are upping the ante. The top prize has been increased to $9 a pound (from $7 a pound). The event will be held from 7-11 a.m. The event will be held at IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay.

San Mateo Harvest Festival – Enjoy arts and crafts, handmade gifts, kids’ activities, food, entertainers and more. Nov. 12-14. Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $4-9, 12 and under free. San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo.

East Bay

Boo at the Zoo – Calling all ghosts, goblins and witches. Enjoy a family-friendly Halloween event at the Oakland Zoo with a spooky animal-themed scavenger hunt and fun goodies. Instead of trick-or-treating this year, children will receive pre-stuffed goodie bags. There will also be costume contests and winners will receive tickets to the zoo’s nighttime lantern festival, GLOWFARI. Tickets must be reserved in advance on the online ticketing system. Friday, Saturday and Sundays, Oct. 8-31. $20-24. 9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland. 510-632-9525.

Halloween Jam at Children’s Fairyland – Enjoy outdoor fall fun and festivities at Children’s Fairyland including decorated sets and rides. Each day there will be two daily sessions for guests to attend and at the end of each session there will be a costume parade. Reserve tickets in advance. Oct. 22-31. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. $15, under 1 free. 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. 510-452-2259.

Halloween Roller Skate Boogie – There will be roller skating, a live deejay, bounce houses, carnival games, food trucks and costume contest. Oct. 30. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Grove Park, 1730 Oregon St., Berkeley. 510-981-6671.

Six Flags Fright Fest – It features family-friendly events during the day and thrills when the sun goes down. There will be haunted attractions, entertainment and even monsters on the rides. No costumes for guests over 12. Reservations are required. Through Oct. 31. $29.99-54.99. 1001 Fairgrounds Drive SW, Vallejo.

Silicon Valley

Winchester Mystery House: “All Hallows’ Eve” – This new seasonal event is offered on select autumn nights through Halloween and features the “Lost in the House Tour,” a theatrical paranormal investigative adventure and a family-friendly Jack O’ Lantern Trail through the Victorian gardens. $29.99-69.99. 525 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose.

Halloween Haunt at California’s Great America – Features terrifying scare mazes, spooky shows and frighting themed zones with tons of monsters. Spooky classics like Killer Clown Town, Tooth Fairy and Backwoods will return this year. Head to Orleans Place for a voodoo dance party with Halloween activities, circus acts, live music, festive lights and haunting décor. Select nights through Oct. 31. $34-65. 4701 Great America Pkwy., Santa Clara.

Día de los Muertos at Children’s Discovery Museum San Jose – Honor the lives of departed ancestors and loved ones at this annual celebration. Oct. 23. All day. $14-15, under 1 free. 180 Woz Way, San Jose.

History Park’s Halloween Light Show – Every weekend evening during the month of October History Park will transform into a haunted, family-friendly Halloween party from 5-9 p.m. The event will include a light show projected on the front of the Pacific Hotel. There will also be photo opportunities, a unique pumpkin patch and food. History Park will also have trick-or-treating, a costume contest, crafts and more on Oct. 24 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. $5-10. 1650 Senter Road, San Jose.

Annual Community Fall Festival – Via Services will present this free fall celebration featuring a costume contest, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, food and drinks, games and more. Oct. 9. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There is no parking at the festival site. Free shuttle service will be available from: 12100 Stevens Canyon Road, Cupertino.

Monster Mash – This is a kid-friendly Halloween bash for parents and children 12 years old and under. Come dressed in your favorite costume and spend the evening playing games, trick-or-treating and making spooky crafts. There is a discount if you register online. Oct. 29. 7-8:30 p.m. $10-17. Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Road, Cupertino.

Roaring Camp Railroads Harvest Faire – Go for a ride on the Redwood Forest Steam Train to Bear Mountain where you can pick a pumpkin from the town pumpkin patch and enjoy children’s heritage activities. The event includes crafts, trick-or-treating, gold panning, live entertainment and more. Oct. 9-31. $24-33. 5401 Graham Hill Road, Felton. 831-335-4484.

13 Days of Halloween on the Wharf – Enjoy 13 days of frightful fun at the Santa Cruz Wharf. Play games, get a photo taken in the photo booth, dance to “Thriller” at Zombie Night, go trick-or-treating at Wharf businesses and more. Oct. 19-31. Free. 21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz.

Halloween at the Boardwalk – The event includes a collectable Halloween candy bag that you can fill with treats from participating Boardwalk businesses and a $10 MyBoardwalk Card that can be used for outdoor midway or arcade games. There will also be a costume contest and Frightwalk, a scary walk-through attraction under the Boardwalk. Oct. 31. 12-7 p.m. $12. 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz.

Gilroy Gardens: It’s a Whole New Boo – Gilroy Gardens’ Halloween celebration includes shows, rides, decorations and displays throughout the park and trick-or-treating. Oct. 1-31. Fridays: 5-10 p.m., Saturdays: 2-10 p.m., Sundays: 1-9 p.m. $45. 3050 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy.

Teresa Mills-Faraudo is as associate editor of Bay Area Parent.