The best spots to find spooky Halloween tricks and treats in the Bay Area
It’s officially spooky season (aka: Halloween)! And if spooky is your thing, you’re in luck! The Bay Area is abuzz with spooktacular events all month long. Whether you’re looking for a slightly chilling fright night, an outdoor craft fair with fall treats or a Halloween-themed railroad ride or animal adventure, kids and families across the Bay will have plenty of ways to gather with gourds and get ghoulish. Of course if you need a nearby pumpkin patch fix, looking for an epic apple picking adventure in the Bay Area, or want to test your navigational skills in the best corn maze near you (who also host some frightfully fun events to boot)—we gotcha there too.
Six Flags Boo Fest: Enjoy this new family-friendly adventure of Trick-or-Treat Street around the park and get candy by your favorite characters. Enjoy all this season has to offer—with a few special animal shows with a twists of their own. Be sure to check out The Wildlife Halloween Experience, Drench! Halloween, and Ghoul School. For older kids, check out Fright Fest.
When: Sept. 24-Oct. 31
1001 Fairgrounds Dr.
Pirates of Emerson Haunted Theme Park: This freaky walk-through theme park features the Dorm of Doom, Hillbilly Holler, Maze Haze and the Mystery Mansion. Online, timed-entry tickets only which means if you want to go to this event, get your tickets now.
When: Sept. 30-Oct. 31; Thurs.-Sun.
Alameda County Fairgrounds
The Greater, Bigger Boo at Gilroy Gardens: Enjoy a live musical show as you "Do the Boo'' with a charming cast of Halloween characters at Gilroy Gardens’ Lakeside Amphitheater. Meet Vinnie the Vampire, Cranium the Mad Scientist, and Wendella the Witch on a quest to save Halloween. Plus, trick-or-treat down Boo Alley, ride the Boo Train, see the pumpkin pyramid and make your way through the hay maze.
When: Oct. 1-31
3050 Hecker Pass Hwy.
Trail of Lights & Field of Frights at Swank Farm: Follow a magical trail of twinkling lights on the farm that will consist of several special surprises as well as a spooky treat or two!
When: Oct. 1-31, Fri.-Sun.
4751 Pacheco Hwy.
Thomas & Percy's Halloween Party: Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas and Percy, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family.
When: Oct. 15 & 16; 22 & 23; 29 & 30
5401 Graham Hill Rd.
Halloween Jam at Fairyland: We’re a bit batty about Halloween Jam. This six-day event is a boo-tiful time, more kooky than spooky, and full of outdoor fall fun and festivities at Fairyland! Enjoy seasonal surprises like decked-out sets, a creepy crawly scavenger hunt, arts and crafts stations where you can make your own bat costume, and the ghost town formerly known as Old West Junction. Kids get a special Halloween goodie bag.
When: Oct. 21-23 & Oct. 28-30
699 Bellevue Ave.
Bat Fest Community Event: It's our biggest and most exciting event of the year—Bat Fest! Join Saved By Nature for an evening festival celebrating local animals of the night, with live bats, owls, and other creatures. It's a fun time under the stars! With a special guest speaker, food trucks, live music, festival games, arts and crafts, mini-pumpkin patch, REI lounge and community partner organization booths.
When: Oct. 22
Rancho Canada del Oro Open Space
4289 Casa Loma Rd.
Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum: Goblin Jamboree returns for a celebration packed with Halloween themed programs and frightful delights. Flying ghosts, steampunk robots, a hay maze, bone digs and a shadow puppet theater are just a few of the fun things this annual fundraising event has to offer.
When: Oct. 22-23; Oct. 26-30
557 McReynolds Rd.
Haunted Hanger: Visit the Hiller Aviation Museum to see the gallery decked out in Halloween adornments and take part in the Great Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt. Kids can also paint a plane in seasonal Halloween colors, try the famous Helicopter Pumpkin Drop and join a variety of other special carnival activities.
When: October 22-31
Hiller Aviation Museum
01 Skyway Rd.
Boo at the (Oakland) Zoo: Calling all ghosts, goblins, and witches—enjoy this family-friendly Halloween event with a spooky animal-themed scavenger hunt! Grab a program as you enter the Zoo and follow the clues on our self-guided scavenger hunt to trick-or-treat for animal trading cards throughout the Zoo. Upon completing your scavenger hunt, collect a limited release trading card and a candy bar from our presenting sponsor OCHO Candy.
When: Oct. 22-31
9777 Golf Links Rd.
California Academy of Sciences SuperNatural Halloween: Shake your bones at a silent disco in Steinhart Aquarium. Satisfy your sweet tooth at trick-or-treat stations. Marvel at mystical magic shows. See what slithers and scuttles at live animal demonstrations. Meet mad scientists and ogle at unusual specimens. Create crafts to "DIY" for. Transform into living (or undead) art with face painting. Immortalize your spirit at a photo booth. And last but not least: Teens can rest in peace at an exclusive teen lounge with arcade games, snacks, and more.
When: Oct. 28
55 Music Concourse Dr.
Halloween Hoopla at Yerba Buena Gardens: Creep, crawl and slither your way over to the 22nd annual Halloween Hoopla for kids 10 and under along with their adults. With performances by Chelle! & Friends, Caterpillar Puppets and Coventry & Kaluza, palm reading from the mystical Madam Z, houlishly good craft-making at the activity tables, and Emceed by marvelous magician Calvin Kai Ku, Halloween Hoopla is the place to be for family-friendly frights and delights. The Hoopla grand finale is the annual Halloween Costume Parade—all kids are welcome to join in their best Halloween looks.
When: Oct. 29
750 Howard St.
Learn All about Bats: Want to know the truth about bats? They’re actually fascinating mammals—not just freaky Halloween decorations! Participate in an outdoor, interactive experience with bats to learn some incredible truths about these mythical creatures. All ages are welcome and the event is free to everyone.
When: Oct. 29
Environmental Volunteers EcoCenter
2560 Embarcadero Rd.
Jeepers Jack O'Lanterns at Paradise Beach: Join rangers to carve a spooky Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween! A limited number of pumpkins will be available (bring your own). Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Remember to bring a water bottle, sunscreen, a hat and lunch. No pets (except service animals) are allowed at this park. Park entrance fee is waived for participants.
When: Oct. 29
Paradise Beach County Park
3450 Paradise Dr.
Halloween Hijinks at Ardenwood Historic Farm: Celebrate this bewitching holiday with puppet shows, pressing apples into cider, and Halloween games.
When: Oct. 30
34600 Ardenwood Blvd.
The Haunted Garden at Camron-Stanford House: Play lawn games, dip into fall-themed arts and crafts and enjoy seasonal music and snacks at this laidback family event.
When: Oct. 30
418 Lakeside Dr.