Get geared up as Halloween is right around the corner! While things might look a little different for Halloween 2020, there are loads of Halloween events around the Bay Area where your kiddos can don their costumes and get in the spooky spirit. From drive-in Halloween movies to outdoor events with some spooky animals, there’s loads to do with kids this Halloween!

The CDC has specific recommendations in place for Halloween 2020. We have updated our information to the best of our knowledge, but as we’ve learned in 2020, changes can happen at the last minute, so please check with your local city and county to get the most up-to-date info. on what is allowed in your area. Even if you can’t trick-or-treat, there are lots of fun ways to celebrate with the kids

photo: CuriOdyssey

Curiodyssey's Autumn Nights

Celebrate the spirit of Halloween every Friday and Saturday night in October at CuriOdyssey! Dance to spooky music and celebrate with a cash bar. Explore a land of creepy and fun jack-o-lanterns. Meet animals up-close and see them enjoy Halloween-themed wildlife enrichment. Play under festive lights and experience the noises of the night. Pick out your very own pumpkin to purchase to bring home with you!

When: Fridays and Saturdays in October
Where: CuriOdyssey, San Mateo

All Aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express

You'll need to travel to Sacramento for this Halloween activity but it is sure to be a memorable one. Celebrate the Fall Harvest on an unforgettable train ride with trick-or-treating, gem mining, photo opportunities and pumpkin picking. This 2.5 hour experience is fun for kids of all ages. Each ticket includes a train ride, time at our private park, treats, a pumpkin and kids will get a bag with stickers to decorate it. Costumes are encouraged!

When: Weekends in October
Where: River Fox Train, West Sacramento

photo: Kate Loweth

Harvest Faire at Roaring Camp

Welcome Fall with the Harvest Faire at Roaring Camp! Take the Redwood Forest Steam Train to Bear Mountain. Pick a pumpkin from the town pumpkin patch. Have fun with Covid-safe children’s heritage activities.

When: Weekends through Nov. 1
Where: Roaring Camp, Felton

Ghostbusters Car Cinema

Purchase your tickets for this drive-in movie night where they are showing the 1984 version of Ghostbusters

When: Fri., Oct. 16
Where: Central Park Sports Complex, Fremont

Beetlejuice Drive-In & Dine-Out Dinner

Head to Par 3 in San Mateo for a showing of Beetlejuice under the stars. You can order from their Dine-Out menu to enjoy family-favorites like fried chicken and popcorn before or during the show. 

When: Sat., Oct. 17. Lot opens at 5:30 p.m. and movie starts at sundown
Where: Par 3, San Mateo

photo: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Free Pumpkin Drive-Thru

Pick up a free pumpkin (one per person, four max per car) while supplies last. 

When: Oct. 17-18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: G & M Farm, Livermore

photo: Winchester Mystery House

Halowe'en Flashlight Tours at the Winchester Mystery House

Hallowe’en Is Not Cancelled at the Winchester Mystery House, but it does look a little different this year! The Hallowe’en Flashlight Tour is a self-guided evening tour that allows brave guests to explore the dark halls of the mansion while hearing unnerving stories of the home’s haunted history. It is a rare chance to glimpse one of the world’s most alleged haunted mansions at night…all alone!

When: Oct. 21-25 and Oct. 28-Nov. 1
Where: Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

photo: Winchester Mystery House

Spooky Staycation at Hotel Valencia Santana Row

Book a staycation at Hotel Valencia Santana Row and tour the famously haunted Winchester Mystery House, conveniently located right across the street! Hotel Valencia Santana Row offers a hauntingly eerie package that is perfect for Bay Area families who want to turn their deliciously creepy Winchester Mystery House flashlight tour into a luxurious spooky staycation. 

The Winchester Mystery House Package includes:

  • Luxurious accommodations for two
  • Complimentary deluxe breakfast buffet
  • Specialty Winchester Mystery House amenities
  • Discounted tickets on Winchester Mystery House tours


photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Hoist the anchor and cruise on over to BADM for the longest-running Halloween festival in Marin! This October, BADM will transform into a family-friendly spooky spectacular that will get everyone in the Halloween spirit! Goblin Jamboree has been reimagined into a week-long celebration packed with spooky programs and frightful delights. 

Advanced ticket reservations are required. All visitors will reserve tickets for a 2.5 hour timeslot and must depart at the end of their timeslot. Goblin Jamboree is rain or shine.

When: Oct. 24-25 and 28-31
Where: BADM, Sausalito

Niles Canyon Railway Halloween Train Ride

Wear your costumes on this exciting train ride leaving from Sunol Depot. 

When: Oct. 24-25
Where: Niles Canyon Railroad, Sunol Depot

photo: Oakland Zoo

Boo at the Oakland Zoo

Adapted this year for social distancing, we are extending Boo at the Zoo from a single weekend to an eight day event; to eliminate crowding and provide all our Halloween guests a safe, family-friendly pink flamingo scavenger hunt. Grab a program as you enter the Zoo and follow the clues on our self-guided scavenger hunt to find all the costumed pink flamingos hidden throughout the Zoo.

When: Oct. 24-31
Oakland Zoo

Sloth-oween at the SF Zoo

You're invited to come dressed in Halloween costumes (and masks!) to celebrate Sloth-oween at the zoo! Enjoy a self-guided walk around the zoo to find our five sloth-themed haunted houses, including “Franken-sloth’s Fort,” where you will learn some creepy facts about sloths.

When: Oct. 24-Nov. 1
Where: San Francisco Zoo

photo: Sour Patch Kids

Halloween CAR-nival

Wear your costume and play some carnival games at this fun event. Tickets required and parents will need to remain in their cars. They will be handing out pre-packaged candy and there are prizes for the carnival games. 

When: Oct. 24-25
Where: Beresford Parking Lot, San Mateo

photo: iStock

Story Time Science: The Halloween Episode

Join the Exploratorium for Story Time Science—a storybook read-aloud followed by a simple related activity geared toward very young children. This episode is about Halloween, but it's also about sounds—all of them fun, and one a little spooky! Join in as the Exploratorium's own Vivian Altmann reads Skulls! by Blair Thornburgh, illustrated by Scott Campbell and then join in some activities together.

When: Oct. 28, 1 p.m.
Where: Virtual

photo: Fairyland Staff

Halloween Jam at Children's Fairyland

More delightful than frightful, more kooky than spooky​, the festivities will be a little different this year, but Children's Fairyland will still have plenty of decked-out sets to wow your little ones.​ Kids can march in a physically-distanced Monster Mash Parade and collect their own special surprise treat at the end! Parades happen twice daily, after each session. No costume? No problem! Costumes are encouraged for kids of all ages, but not required. Reserve your ticket in advance as numbers are limited.

When: Oct. 28-Nov. 1
Where: Children's Fairyland, Oakland

photo: istock

Get SuperNatural at Home

Click or treat! Join the California Academy of Sciences online for a skele-ton of fun at the Academy’s first-ever SuperNatural Halloween @ Home virtual event. From the comfort and safety of your own home, enjoy an entertaining evening of spirited science, kooky costumes, and tasty treats—livestreamed directly to you and your family! This is a fundraising event and various donation levels are available.

When: Oct. 30, 5-6 p.m.
Where: Virtual

photo: Bricoleur Vineyards

Halloween Pizza Night at Bricoleur

Executive Chef, Shane McAnelly, is serving delicious wood-fired pizza, fresh salads, and wine. Roam the spooky 40-acre property in costume, taste Halloween treats, pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, and compete in a costume contest! 

When: Oct. 30, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Bricoleur Vineyards, Windsor

photo: boophotography via iStock

Light Show Drive-Through at Dusk

Berkeley's Fourth Street will magically light up for two nights and we can all come see the cool show! Drive by at dusk to see the colors, patterns, and shapes dancing on the buildings.

When: Oct. 30-31, 6:30-10 p.m.
Where: Fourth Street, between Hearst and Virginia, Berkeley

photo: Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus under the Stars

Wear your costume and decorate your vehicle for a wicked fun time! Prizes will be awarded to the ghouls and goblins with the most spirited vehicles. Then watch Hocus Pocus under the stars. 

When: Oct. 31
Where: Dublin Iceland Parking Lot, Pleasanton

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Meow & Howl-o-Ween Drive-Thru

Costumed kids (and pups!) can drive by for a fun pupstop and say Howl-O to East Bay SPCA shelter dogs. Candy and non-food treats will be available for kids. Free East Bay SPCA activity book to take home. Plus, optional treats to take home for dogs and cats. 

When: Oct. 31, 1-3 p.m.
Where: East Bay SPCA, Oakland

Dinner, Drive-In Movie & Halloween Parade

Par 3 at Poplar Creek is hosting a safe and fun Halloween event in the great outdoors!  With Dinner & Parade or the Drive-In, Dine-Out & Parade experience—there are two great ways to celebrate. The festivities start at 5 p.m. with a kids costume parade along the golf course complete with trick or treat goodie bags for every child. At 6 p.m. the Drive-In Movie begins with a showing of the blockbuster hit Goosebumps 2 – A Haunted Halloween.  Dinner reservations  can be made before or after the parade and Drive-In & Dine-Out guests can dine before the movie or during the show with dinner to-go. 

Chef Alicia Petrakis is cooking up her famous, delicious comfort food and a ghoulish kids menu that includes some very scary options for just $10 each:

  • Guts and Eye balls (Spaghetti & Meat Balls)
  • Mummy Dogs & Fried Worms (Puff Pastry Wrapped Hot Dogs & French Fries)
  • BBQ Bat Wings & Fried Worms (BBQ Wings with French Fries)
  • Green Slime (Traditional Mac N Cheese with Green Coloring)
  • Candy Corn Quesadilla (Inside Out Chicken Quesadilla with three cheeses) 

When: Oct. 31
Where: Par 3, San Mateo

photo: Party City

Trunk or Treat Drive Boo

Families boo-ckle up and get ready for a fun and eerie ride as you drive through Red Morton parking lot where there’s no shortage of Halloween spirit! Your family will marvel at decorated cars and tricked-out trunks, play a ghoulish game of I Spy and enjoy a bag of treats and prizes upon departure. Sign up for 30-minute slot in advance. 

When: Oct. 31
Where: Red Morton Park, Redwood City

photo: YBGF

20th Annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (Virtual)

20th Annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival's Halloween Hoopla goes online! This year’s free virtual program features interactive performances and fun for kids under 10 and their adults, and the return of the Yerba Buena Pumpkin Patch display. Kids and their adults are invited to be part of the show through the #PumpkinPatchPageant and close out the event with the online Costume Parade, led by The Clown Prince of Fools: Unique Derique!

When: Oct. 31

Howl at the Moon on Halloween

On Halloween night, the garden at Filoli comes to life under the second full moon in the month of October, also known as a “Blue Moon.” Visitors are encouraged to come dressed in costumes and bring a flashlight for the scavenger hunt to uncover spooky findings in the garden. At 6:45pm, the evening with culminate with a howl at the moon.

When: Oct. 31, 5-7 p.m.
Where: Filoli Historic House & Garden, Woodside

Boo Bash Drive-in Movie Night

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. for drive-in movies. You can choose from Hotel Transylvania at 5:45 p.m. or Sleepy Hollow at 9 p.m. There will be contests and food trucks. 

When: Oct. 31
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, Pleasanton

—Kate Loweth


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