Get geared up as Halloween is right around the corner! Whether you have a tiny tutu-wearing ballerina this year or some spectacular superheroes, there are loads of indoor 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 a book-themed party in San Jose, our Halloween events list has got the perfect event for you!
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. 27, 6:30-9 p.m. $55/adults, $40/children over 1 (VIP Packages available for additional cost with 5 p.m. admission.) All ages. 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. 19-20 and 26-27, 7-10 p.m. Pacific Heights. $22/adult and kids 13+; $17/child 8-12 advance; Limited tickets at door. Ages 8 and up. 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. 26. 6-8:30 p.m. $7/person. All ages. Event details.
photo: Lindsay Wildlife Experience
Trick-or-Treat With the Animals at Lindsay Wildlife Experience
Come in costume and play games at the Arachnid Arcade, be frightened by some taxidermy in the “creepidermy” room and meet a mad scientist. Every child will receive their very own Lindsay Wildlife Howl-ooo-ween trick-or-treat bag. 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. $10/members, $15/non-members. All ages. Event details.
Trick-or-Treat at Bayfair Mall
Treat your kids to an afternoon of trick-or-treating fun. Start with a costume parade and scream contest at Center Court and then go trick-or-treating at participating Bayfair Center stores, which will hand out candies to costumed children. Perfect for little toddlers and kids of all ages. Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m. San Leandro. Free. Ages 13 and under. Event details.
Happy Creepy Hall-oween at Lawrence Hall
Participate in Halloween-themed activities at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Meet some of the slimiest, scaliest and hairiest creatures you’ll ever see, launch pumpkin catapults and much more science-y spooky fun! Meet spooky critters from 1:30-4 p.m. Oct. 27, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Berkeley. $12 /adult; $10/child 3-18; children 2 and under are free (includes museum admission). All ages. Event details.
photo: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
Spellbound: A Celebration of Books and Make-Believe
Join the Children’s Discovery Museum in celebrating the season of make-believe through the fun of dress-up and the joy of reading. Don your costume and take part in the “all treats, no tricks” bash featuring healthy treat stations, science magic and a book giveaway. Oct. 31. 6-8:30 p.m. San Jose. $20 non-members, $5 members. All ages. Event details.
Winchester Mystery House: Halloween Candlelight Tour
Tour the rambling mansion at night with only the moonlight, flickering candlelight and your imagination to light your way through the rooms and halls on this spooky tour. Advance tickets are highly recommended. Oct. 11-14, 17-21 & 24-31, 6:30-11:30 p.m. (tours are one hour). $20-$49. Ages 8 and up. Event details.
Hillsdale Halloween Spooktacular
Take the party inside on Halloween and trick-or-treat at the stores at the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Not only will the little ones get the traditional helping of candy, the center is also offering slime making, cookie decorating and ghoulish games. Oct. 31, 5-7 p.m. San Mateo. Free. Ages 12 and under. 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. 20-22. 3:30–9 p.m. (Children under 8 recommended to attend 3-4:30 p.m.). Mill Valley. $8. All ages. Event details.
—Kate Loweth, Melissa Bouse and Amber Guetebier