Can you feel the crunch, crunch, crunch of leaves beneath your feet? If fall is your favorite time of year then you’re in luck. This weekend you can kick up your heels at a barn dance, attend a pumpkin festival or get down at a goblin jamboree. We’ve got plenty more tricks and treats up our sleeve, just keep reading.

By Chantal Lamers


San Francisco

Pedal to the Presidio Family-Friendly Bike Ride
Join a Park Ranger and Presidio Trust guide for a gentle 4-mile bike ride. Roll through the history and nature of the Presidio at a family-friendly pace that’s fun for all! Rent a bike from Sports Basement or bring your own. Sat. Event details.

Adventure to the Exploratorium for Community Day
It’s your lucky day. You, and the entire community, is invited for a free day of fun at the always enlightening Exploratorium. This is a first come, first served basis, so remember to get there early! Sun. Event details.

East Bay

Light Up Your Night by the Lake
Get ready to stay out late for the annual Autumn Lights Festival at Lake Merritt. This magical four night light celebration is created by local artists and supports the non-profit Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt. You’ll be amazed and surprised by larger-than-life art installations, fire dancers and live music. Fri.-Sat. Event details.

Get into the Spirit at this Day of the Dead Celebration
Join OMCA as it comes alive for the 23rd annual community celebration honoring Days of the Dead traditions. Craft activities, tasty food, dance and music groups, colorful ofrendas, and ceremonia bring the community together for this healing tradition. Watch demonstrations of traditional Mesoamerican arts and cooking, and browse Days of the Dead merchandise by local artisans for your home altar at our mercado. Enjoy folkloric dance to mariachi muisc and join in a procession to open the celebration led by Aztec dancers and Days of the Dead committee members. Sun. Event details.

South Bay

Blow Something up at this National Chemistry Celebration
A celebration of chemistry, this event includes the Chemistry Wheel of Fortune where every child wins a prize, and hands-on chemistry experiments involving this year’s theme: “Chemistry Rocks!” Children will make colorful slime in the slime lab, experiment with boo bubbles and learn about the chemistry of rocks, soil, minerals and crystals. Sat. Event details.

Go Boo with Thomas and Percy!
Start those little engines for big Halloween fun! That’s right, Thomas the Tank engine and his BFF Percy are visit Roaring Camp Railroad for some major Halloween fun. Throw on your costume and take a train ride then partake in the fun from face painting to temp tattoos, storytelling, toy trains, picking pumpkins and cookie decorating. If that weren’t enough, Thomas will be able to talk to his little fan, too. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Explore a Spooky House by Candlelight
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 all new, spooky tour. Advance tickets are highly recommended. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Let Down Your Hair at this Play
Come to Palo Alto Children’s Theater’s Playhouse series, for an interactive version of Rapunzel that’s just right for little ones. Local high school students perform, bring classic fairytales to life for kids ages 2-6. See Rapunzel let down her wave of tangles blonde hair and see if she escapes the mean witch. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Work Day at Barn Dance at Pie Ranch
Give back and live it up at Pie Ranch in Pescadero! Grab your work gloves, gardening tools if you have them, and sturdy shoes and work on the farm tilling soil, pulling weeds, and cutting plants (at 1 p.m.). At 1 p.m. you can join a farm tour ($12-$20/person) to learn about the agriculture of the 27-acre ranch. Visit with cows, goats, chickens, and pigs, too. Then at 4 p.m. trade your work boots for dancing shoes! Bring a dish to share at the potluck dinner and and kick up your heels at the barn dance that follows featuring the Country Line Pickers. Sat. Event details.

North Bay

Head on out for a Goblin Jamboree
Get ready to get your boo on. That’s because the Bay Area Discovery Museum is hosting Goblin Jamboree. The October festivities feature an array of spooky (not really) activities around it’s Witches and Wizards theme, from wand making to a broom obstacle course and a real life slime room. Ewww. But there’s more from pony and train rides to face painting, hay mazes a haunted house and more. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Pumpkins and Trains at the Western Railway Pumpkin Festival
Get your Halloween Jack-o-Lantern-to-be and enjoy a train ride too! Trains depart every thirty minutes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and take you on a scenic five-mile trip to Gum Grove Station: a wooded glen full of pumpkins! There’s a hay bale fort, tractor rides, music and games, and food and pumpkins for sale. Wooo!! Wooo!!! Price of ticket includes unlimited train rides, admission to the museum, use of the grounds, and parking. Plus all monies go toward the Western Railway Museum–a nonprofit educational museum–and local Rotary Clubs support of youth and community. Sat.-Sun. Event details.

Did you pick out your Halloween costume yet? Tell us in the comments below!

–Chantal Lamers