Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, which means Wednesdy morning could prove to be wicked. Whether you’re looking to avoid the school night screams or just can’t get enough of Halloween, we’ve got your Bay Area daytime trick-or-treat happenings and hootenannies. Scroll down for our picks.
11th Annual Children’s Halloween Hootenanny
“Nightmares and Fears” is the theme for this year’s annual festival. Come dressed as your favorite scary creature to vie for the top spot in the costume contest. Other events include a big bouncy house, games, a raffle and live music. The Haight-Ashbury Street Fair hosts this event to give area families a fun, safe, and free place to celebrate Halloween fun. Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Skate park next to Kezar Pavilion. Free. All ages. Event details.
Boo at the Zoo
Bring your wild bunch to the SF Zoo for trick-or-treating, a costume parade, and arts and crafts. The animals will get some special treats, too! Watch as they stomp and chomp on pumpkins and other healthy snacks. Zookeepers have even set up a haunted nature trail for those feeling brave. Oct. 28-29, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. All ages. Event details.
The most atmospheric Halloween event around, Scare Grove (from SF Rec and Park) is popular among older kids and teens for its genuinely frightening haunted house (they show horror movies on the walls!). There’s plenty for tots, though, like the tamer haunted house, incredible jumpy houses, live music and magic shows, hayride through the woods, climbing wall and awesome crafts. Go early to avoid the crowds. Oct. 27, 3-9 p.m. Stern Grove. $8, Free under 2. All ages. Event details.
Halloween Hoopla at Yerba Buena Gardens
This beloved annual hoopla includes eco-friendly crafts courtesy of Children’s Creativity Museum and Trash Mash-Up, a spooky graveyard, roving performers, palm reading from the mysterious Madam Z and a photo booth. The program culminates in a Halloween Costume Parade, where everyone shows off their Halloween finery! So grab the kiddos, get on those costumes, and bring it to the hoopla! Oct. 29, noon–2 p.m. Yerba Buena Gardens/SOMA. Free. All ages. Event details.
Spooky Studio Halloween Party
Maker Studio SF is hosting a killer Halloween fest at Ghiradelli Square and you’re invited! Enjoy DIY crafts, tricks, treats, drinks, music and more. Costumes encouraged. Oct. 28, noon-7 p.m. Ghiradelli Square. Free. All ages. Event details.
Halloween Fun at Ghiradelli Square
Head to Ghiradelli Square’s West Plaza for free children’s activities like balloon art, caricatures, face painting, magic, music, trick-or-treating from store to store and more. Oct. 28, noon-4 p.m. Ghiradelli Square. Free. All ages.
photo: DTLA Halloween Festival
ARF Howl-o-ween Costume Party
Show your support for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation and have a blast doing it. Come in costume, play games, make crafts, and meet some of the ghoulish, and totally unscary, Therapy Animals! (No pets of your own, though.) Oct. 29, 2–4 p.m. Walnut Creek. Free. Ages 14 and under. Event details.
Jack O’Lantern Jamboree
Children’s Fairyland describes their annual bash as more “delightful than frightful.” The $10 admission price gets you unlimited to access to all the rides and shows, plus bouncy houses, balloon twisting, treat stations and, get this, PIRATE SCHOOL. Oct. 28-29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oakland. $10/non-members, $5 members. All ages. Event details.
Bay Street Boo Bash
Head to Bay Street shopping area for some creepy cool fun including pumpkin decorating, face painting, Halloween treats, a costume parade for the little ones, spooky magic show, doggy costume parade, festive photo booth and Monster Mash dance performances. After all that, they may need a nap before trick-or-treating. Oct. 29, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Emeryville. Free. All ages. Event details.
Trunk and Treat
The perfect non-scary and safe trick or treat, just come in costume and get ready to have fun. There will be food and drink, carnival-type trunk games, balloon twisting, face painting, prizes and more. Oct. 28, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fremont. Free. All ages. Event details.
Halloween Festival at Alameda South Shore Center
Pop on your costume and head to Alameda for this annual festival that includes family-friendly trick-or-treating at participating merchants, frightening face painting and a silly selfie booth. Oct. 28, 1-4 p.m. Alameda. Free. All ages. Event details.
Spooky Times at Deer Hollow Farm
Dress in costume and explore the haunted barn and farm. Stop for some creepy crafts and visit with all the non-scary animal friends. This year’s adventure will bring Suzy and the Talking Pumpkin to life as kids read the story boards posted throughout the barnyard and grounds to follow the adventures of Suzy the ‘Scare-a-crow!’ Oct. 28, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Los Altos Hills. $5 with costume, $7 without costume. All ages. Event details.
22nd Annual California Ave Trick-or-Treat & Blossom Halloween Carnival
Kids can don their costumes and head out along the avenue where participating businesses will be ready to dole out the goodies. There will be carnival games, fire trucks and police cars, story time, a costume contest, Halloween photos, live music from Andy Z and a host of other spooky-fun toddler and kid activities. All proceeds raised from the event support Blossom Birth Services, a nonprofit resource center for expectant and new families. Oct. 29, all day trick-or-treating, events held 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Palo Alto. Free. 0–12. Event details.
Downtown Halloween Hunt
Trick-or-treat at participating businesses then listen to kid-friendly tunes from Purple Fox and the Heebie Jeebies, face painting and more! Oct. 28, 1-3:30 p.m. All ages. Event details.
Mountain View Monster Bash
Celebrate Halloween with your family, friends and neighbors at the Mountain View Monster Bash! Enjoy games, crafts, trick-or-treating, costumes and more. Oct. 28, 1-3 p.m. Mountain View. Free. All ages. Event details.
Creepy Crawly Halloween in Downtown Campbell
The streets will be closed off so that all the ghosts and ghouls can trick-or-treat at the downtown businesses. Then join in the costume contest to win prizes donated by local merchants. Oct. 29. 4-7 p.m. Campbell. Free. All ages. Event details.
Downtown Morgan Hill Safe Trick-or-Treat
Join local families and stroll the streets of downtown Morgan Hill that are closed to traffic so kids can trick-or-treat at local businesses. It’s a great and safe way to enjoy Halloween. Oct. 31, 5–7 p.m. Morgan Hill. Ages 0–12. Event details.
Trick-or-Treat Willow Glen
In San Jose’s Willow Glen area, the merchants along Lincoln Ave. between Minnesota and Willow host a trick-or-treat session during the day. Babes-in-arms/strollers; toddlers, and preschoolers can head over from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the school aged crowd can trick-or-treat from 3-4:30 p.m. Oct. 31, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. & 3–4:30 p.m. San Jose. Free. All ages. Event details.
Over the Hill
Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party
Percy will be joining Thomas the Tank Engine on the rails. Kiddos can wear their Halloween costumes, play Thomas- and Percy-themed activities, including the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy. Plus meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, and enjoy art & crafts, storytelling and more. Oct. 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Felton. $20-24; children 2 and under are free. All ages. Event details.
photo: NY Pet Festival
It’s DOGtoberfest at Strawberry Village: treats for the tots plus a costume contest for your pet! Wear your costume for some pre-Halloween free trick-or-treating from 3-6 p.m. at Strawberry Village merchants, then register your pup for $15 at Woodlands Pet Food & Treats for the contest and parade at 5 p.m. All proceeds go to the Milo Foundation, a non-profit pet rescue and sanctuary.Oct. 28, 3-6 p.m. Mill Valley. Free. All ages. Event details.
Where will you take your little ghouls to get their trick-or-treat fix? Let us know below!
—Kate Loweth, Melissa Bouse and Amber Guetebier