Spooky Halloween Events
Find Halloween fun in the East Bay!
Ready the candy, score a spooky costume, and carve the pumpkins—Halloween is here! To help you find the best events for the frights (or fun) you crave, we’ve organized October’s happenings by age group. Whether you’re looking for a night of fun with the girls or a family-friendly celebration with the kiddos, here are this holiday’s spookiest events.
Pirates of Emerson Bay: (September 28 – October 31) Pirates of Emerson celebrates more than 20 Years of Fear with eight haunted attractions not for the faint of heart (or for the young ones!). Test your nerves with Mental Maze, Corn Walk, and the classic – and classically scary – Pirates of Emerson. Don’t forget to check out the Carnevil and Bone Ball while you’re there. Alameda County Fairgrounds, Corner of Bernal and Valley Ave., Pleasanton, $20 (Friday, Saturday, and Halloween Night $25), piratesofemerson.com.
Zombie Brew Crawl: (October 20) Spend the afternoon with 20 of Northern California’s breweries as they pour their tastiest handcrafted brews at 20 separate downtown locations. Come dressed in your zombie best to be entered into the zombie costume contest. Not ready for the day of the dead to end? Not to worry. Stop over at Creek Monkey Taphouse to take part in a Zombie-themed Halloween party and dance the night away with the living dead. Main S.t, Martinez, 2:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m., $25, purchase tickets at eventbrite.com, creekmonkey.com.
Murder Ballads Bash: (October 26) Experience a night of eerie live music with this year’s “killer” acts at the 11 Annual Murder Ballads Bash, which features the thrilling tunes of Luther Monday and Karry Walker, The Earl Butters, The Happy clams, Danny Allen & The Pretty Monsters, and more! Make sure to come dressed in your Halloween best and be prepared for a night full of terrifying tunes. 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, Doors open at 8:30 p.m., show starts at 9:30 p.m., $8-15 sliding scale, starryploughpub.com.
Monster’s Ball: (October 27) The Monster Bash is now the Monster’s Ball! The USS Hornet has teamed up with 107.7 The Bone to bring you the Haunted Hornet’s annual event. Take part in the costume contest (with a $500 cash prize!) while dancing to 60s hits performed by the Cocktail Monkeys. Meet your favorite Dee Jays from The Bone, take a spooky haunted tour of the Hornet and enjoy a special burlesque performance by The Kitten Club. USS Hornet, 707 W Hornet Ave., Pier 3, Alameda, 7:30 p.m.-1:00 a.m., $25, uss-hornet.com
Worth the Drive:
San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawls: (October 26, 27, & 31) Why spend your Halloween in one bar when you can spend it in dozens? Grab your friends, dress up in your ghouliest attire and scare patrons while you enjoy exclusive drink specials. Registration at Bar None, 1980 Union Street, San Francisco, pubcrawls.com.
Just For Kids:
Spooktacular Celebration: (October 20) Kick off the Halloween holiday with a day of magic, crafts and candy! Make sure all your little ones come dressed for the “spooktacular” occasion and are armed with their trick-or-treat bags. Grand Court, Stoneridge Mall, Stoneridge Shopping Center, Pleasanton, 11 a.m., simonmalls.com.
Boo at the Zoo: (October 27–28) Visit your favorite animals or take a ride on the spooky boo train. Collect tasty Halloween treats along the way and even make your own special treats for the animals. Get your face painted and then join the costume parade. Kids in costume get a free ride ticket. Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland, Event included with regular admission, oaklandzoo.org.
Creepy Happy Halloween: (October 27) Enjoy Lawrence Hall of Science’s amazing exhibits and activities and participate in the special Halloween events! Build you own pumpkin catapult and visit the Hall’s creepiest critters in the Animal Discovery Room. Kids dressed in costume get a free ticket for a 3-D film of their choice. Lawrence Hall of Science, 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, 12 – 4 p.m., events included in regular admission, lawrencehallofscience.org.
Not-Too-Spooky Halloween: (October 31) On this normally haunted holiday, come in costume for a haunted-less celebration geared toward infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Make masks and wands, play miniature golf in the garden graveyard, fly paper ghosts in the Wind Tunnel, and sit in the Witch’s Tent for not-too-spooky Halloween stories. Habitot Children’s Museum, 2065 Kittredge St., Berkeley, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., $9.75, children under 12 are free, habitot.org
The Great Pumpkin Party: (October 13) Sleepy Hollow School hosts a pumpkin patch with a host of activities for kids (and adults!) of all ages. Play creepy carnival games, take a tour of the horrifyingly haunted house, or watch the mystical magic shows. There’s also an obstacle course, petting zoo, a photo booth, and much more. Sleepy Hollow School, 20 Washington Ln., Orinda, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., $15, beyondthecreek.com.
Ghost Walk: (October 19–20 and October 26–27) Let the spirits guide you as you meet the ghosts of Pleasanton! This two hour haunted tour will take you throughout Pleasanton as you hear spooky stories of its former residents. Come dressed in costume or in your most comfortable pair of walking shoes. Tour starts at the Museum on Main, 603 Main St., Pleasanton, every 30 minutes between 6–8 p.m., $18 for adults, $13 for children 12 and under, museumonmain.org.
Haunted House: (October 24–30) Bring your little ones to Orinda Theatre Square's first annual haunted house for a night of safe scares. The haunted house is geared towards ages 5 through 13, and admission is free. Bring canned and dried goods to donate to the Food Bank of Contra Costa. 5–9 p.m., open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Orinda Theatre Square, Orinda, orindatheatresquare.com.
Downtown Halloween Carnival: (October 27) Spend the Halloween holiday with family fun activities, including a costume contest, games, harvest arts and crafts fair, and activity booths. Purchase your children’s Fun Pass for full access to all the haunted Halloween fun. Downtown Livermore, 1–-5 p.m., $5, livermoredowntown.com.
Worth the Drive
Halloween Haunt: (September 28 – October 28) Known as Northern California’s largest and scariest Halloween event, this haunting Halloween attraction is one you won’t want to miss! In addition to Great America’s already thrilling rides and attractions, Halloween Haunt features hair-raising haunted mazes, Halloween scare zones, and frightening live stage shows. Be prepared to scare…and scream! California’s Great America, 4701 Great American Pkwy., weekends only, $25.99-$34.99, cagreatamerica.com.
Orinda Theatre, 4 Orinda Theatre Square, Orinda, 7 p.m., $5, lamorindatheatres.com.
Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton, 9:30 p.m., $10, firehousearts.org.
“Frankenstein” and "The Bride of Frankenstein” Double Feature
At select Bay Area movie theaters, visit fathomevents.com to find a theater near you.
Brentwood City Park, 710 Second St., Brentwood, 6:30 p.m., free, brentwoodca.gov.
Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., Pleasanton, 9:30 p.m., $10, firehousearts.org.
Pick Your Pumpkin Patch!
Bay Street Pumpkin Patch:
This East Bay patch also features a pumpkin carving contest, jumpy house, hay maze, petting zoo, play area, and more! 5600 Christie Ave, Emeryville, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., speerfamilyfarms.com.
Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm:
Don’t miss the Plumpkin Playland, Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm Express, farm animals, duck race, and gift shop. Enjoy food and drinks on the weekends at the Plumpkin Pantry or Dickey’s Barbeque and take part in the live Scarecrow contest on October 13. 1060 Pine Ln., Clayton, 9 a.m.–8 p.m., some activities require fee, cvpumpkinfarm.com.
Voted “Best Seasonal Attraction” in Diablo Magazine! Find your way through the Cornfield Maze, spend time with the farm animals and take home fresh produce, decorative gourds and Indian corn. The weekends feature pony rides, pedal carts, a face painter, and G&M’s famous Cow Train. 487 East Airway, Livermore, Monday–Friday, 2–6 p.m., Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Cornfield Maze requires a fee, gmfarms.com.
Joan’s Farms and Pumpkin Patch:
Features a maze, farm animals, hayride and an antique museum. Visit the refreshment stand and gift shop before picking out the pumpkin—or gourds or Indian corn—of your choice. Don’t forget to check out the special features area, which includes gold panning, the Old West town, teepees, covered wagon, fort maze and more. 4351 Mines Rd., Livermore, open daily, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., joansfarm.com.
Moore’s Pumpkin Patch:
Family owned and operated since 1984, Moore’s brings pumpkins and includes all the fun of a carnival! Children can use “Pumpkin Patch Travelers” to cart their pumpkins around and than enjoy all the rides and games the carnival has to offer. Alameda County Fairgrounds, corner of Bernal Ave. and Valley Ave., openly daily 10 a.m.–8 p.m., moorespumpkinpatch.com.
Pick of the Patch Pumpkins:
Pumpkin picking just got more fun! After choosing the perfect pumpkin, burn off energy in the inflatable jumpers, slides, and mazes. Don’t forget to take snapshots of your child in the “memory zone.” 1096 Oak Grove Rd., Concord, Sunday–Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m., additional cost for inflatable area, abctreefarms.net.
Shadelands Ranch Pumpkin Patch:
On top of the huge selection of pumpkins and gourds, kids will enjoy the petting zoo, playing in the straw bale hideout, painting their own pumpkins, and free popcorn. Also enjoy free kids movies every Friday in October at 7 p.m. 2660 Ygnacio Valley Rd., Walnut Creek, open daily from 9 a.m.–9 p.m., walnutcreekhistory.info.