Feeling a little wild this weekend? We hope so because it’s another awesome weekend in the SF Bay Area, and this one’s all about the creatures! Carve pumpkins to help animal enrichment at the zoo or have a hoot building owl boxes. If your mood is more festival than furry, head down to Half Moon Bay for the ultimate harvest festival. Still looking for a costume and maybe some warmer gear as we head into the chilly months? You wont want to miss the biggest kids consignment sales of the year. Whatever you do, gather your lil’ goblins and groove!
Boo at the Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo transforms into a magical Halloween wonderland for their annual Boo at the Zoo event. Come dressed in costume to seek out candy treat stations located throughout the Zoo, make a Halloween themed craft to take home, stop in to see the brand new bug exhibit, walk the haunted nature trail, and watch in amazement as the Zoo animals chow down on tasty Halloween pumpkin treats. All the activities are free with paid Zoo admission. Sat. & Sun. Also Oct. 26 & 27. 11a.m. – 3 p.m. San Francisco. Free with admission, see website. All Ages. Event details.
The Buddy Club’s Master Magician Show
The Buddy Club Children’s Shows, the Bay Area’s longest-running shows for families, begins its 27th season of shows with America’s funniest – Master Magician Jay Alexander! This Sunday’s performance at the Randall Museum Theatre will offer comedy and magic for the whole family. After the show, be sure and check out the Randall Museum, which offers free admission, a toddler tree-house play room, and more. Sun., 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. San Francisco. $8/person; kids under 2 are free. All Ages. Event details.
Hotel Transylvania at Movies in the Park
Get in the mood for Halloween with this fun, animated family flick that features Dracula’s daughter as the proprietress of a spooky hotel. Popcorn, hot chocolate, hot dogs and drinks will be available for purchase, just bring warm clothes, blankets and chairs! Movies begin at dusk. Fri., 7 p.m.Oakland. Free. All Ages. Event details.
Autumn Lights Festival at Lake Merritt
Light up your weekend with a visit to the enchanting Gardens at Lake Merritt where acres of landscape are transformed into a magical nighttime wonderland. Art installations, live music, fire dancers, glowing waterfalls, and garden paths alight with hundreds of luminaries, there is no better way to welcome the darkening days of autumn. All proceeds benefit the Gardens. Tickets are discounted when purchased in advance. Sat. & Sun., 6-10 p.m. Prices vary. All Ages. Event details.
Grand Opening of Mr. Mopps’ Children’s Books
Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards winner Mr. Mopps’ Toy Shop is opening a children’s bookstore, just four doors down from the toy shop! Come help kick off this kids lit venue with a book signing with Parker “Yo Gabba Gabba” Jacobs’ new book, The Goon Holler Guidebook. The main character of book, Toobaloth, will also be in attendance for photo opportunities and signings in his own special way. There will be limited edition posters, face-painting, glitter tattoos, and books, books, and more books! Sat., 9:30 a.m. – 5: 30 p.m. Berkeley. Free. All Ages. Event details.
The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival
If you’re looking for the ultimate Harvest and Pumpkin festival, this is your jam. This festival has it all including crafts, live music (there’s a kids stage sponsored by Radio Disney), a haunted house, festive food, the world’s largest pumpkin sculpture, a Halloween parade, and a fun pumpkin weigh-off. There are tons more of pumpkin-related activities, perfect for your family. Sat. & Sun., 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Half Moon Bay. Free. All Ages. Event details.
St. Paul’s Nursery School Halloween Fun Faire
Celebrating its 34th year, the St. Paul’s Halloween Fun Faire is more delight than fright. Children are invited with their parents to come in costume, play games and enjoy the ever-popular Ghost Town Railroad. Enjoy story time, cookie decorating, face painting, and much more! Delicious snacks and activities are available through the use of Punch Cards sold at the door. Get the family in the Halloween spirit and don’t miss it! Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Burlingame. Free. 2 and up. Event details.
Just Between Friends Mega Sale
The Bay Area’s largest baby, children’s and maternity consignment sale! Held twice a year at the San Mateo Event Center, shoppers can find over 35,000 items including baby gear, clothing, shoes, toys, furniture and more at 50-90% off of retail prices. Sunday is the half-price sale when many items go 50% off! This is likely a great bet for some Halloween costumes, too! All unsold, donated items benefit InnVision Shelter Network which serves over 1,700 homeless children on the Peninsula. Fri., Sat., & Sun., Fri: 12-9 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. -6 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. San Mateo. $3 for first day only, otherwise free. All Ages. Event details.
D.I.Y. Owl Box Workshop
A good nesting cavity is hard to find! Join a ranger for a morning of owl box construction and to learn about what species in the area can benefit from them. Learn about the dangers that are commonly faced by nocturnal friends and what folks can do to help. Meet at the parking lot in Paradise Beach Park. Sat., 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Tiburon. Free. All ages. Event details.
Goblin Jamboree at Bay Area Discovery Museum
Children and families are invited to come in costume and explore the Bay Area Discovery Museum, transformed into a haunted wonderland complete with games, attractions and live entertainment. Enroll in the witches’ school, take a train or pony ride, visit the petting zoo and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment! Sat. & Sun. Oct. 19 & 20. 9 a.m. -5 p.m. Sausalito. $15/general; $13/members. 0-8. Event details.
— Amber Guetebier
photo credit: Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival