Top October Events in the East Bay
Sip fine wine at a country club; enjoy Disney on Ice; attend a Halloween bash; and more.
Luminous artworks fill the gardens at the Autumn Lights Festival.
Photo courtesy of Visit Oakland
10/5–10/6 One of Northern California’s most authentic Oktoberfests can be found in downtown Clayton. Featuring a beer garden inspired by the ones in Germany, this festival combines tradition with a full-size carnival. German food and beer, live music, and street performances are among the many attractions on offer. claytonoktoberfest.com.
Free Movie Night
10/10 The second Thursday of each month, Diablo hosts a free movie night at the Orinda Theatre. This month, join actor Jeffrey Weissman (George McFly) at a screening of Back to the Future Part II. orindamovies.com.
Autumn Lights Festival
10/17–10/19 Immerse yourself in acres of illumination at one of Oakland’s most distinctive events. For three nights, Lakeside Park at Lake Merritt comes to life with music, light art, fire dancers, food, and drinks. This all-ages community celebration makes for an enchanting experience. autumnlightsoakland.com.
Food and Drink
Wine and Dine 2019
10/17 Head to Danville’s Crow Canyon Country Club to experience the epicurean output of up to 40 local businesses. Sip fine wines, savor microbrews, and sample culinary creations while enjoying live music. With a silent auction rounding out the night, this annual event is bound to impress. sanramon.org/events.
Disney on Ice Presents: Worlds of Enchantment
10/17–10/20 Disney on Ice is coming to the Oakland Arena, this time bringing four of your favorite stories to the rink. Take a plunge into The Little Mermaid’s aquatic world, come to life with the playthings of Toy Story, race with the crew from Cars, and let it go with the princesses of Frozen. disneyonice.com.
DogFest Bay Area
10/26 Raise the ruff at this festival to support Canine Companions for Independence. As you stroll through Jack London Square, stop by the booths selling food, wine and beer, doggy treats, crafts, and more. There’s even a pet costume contest. The walk is accessible for people and pups. cci.org/dogfest.
Phobias and Nightmares
10/15–10/31; 10/22, 10/24–10/26 Face your fears in Pleasanton at Museum on Main’s Phobias exhibit. Down the street at the Firehouse Arts Center, the Creatures of Impulse improv troupe brings your nightmares to the stage. museumonmain.org, firehousearts.org.
10/18–10/19, 10/25–10/26, 10/31 For a few nights a year, the Southern Pacific train depot in Benicia becomes a hub for ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. If you dare, step inside this historical building, where spooky surprises lie around every corner. visitbenicia.org.
Zombie Brew Crawl
10/19 Join the undead for a walk around downtown Martinez. As you limp along Main Street, sample beers from craft breweries. Zombie costumes are optional, but cash prizes are awarded for the best ones. downtownmartinez.org.
That Old Blackhawk Magic Party
10/26 Blackhawk Museum’s Halloween bash is back. Featuring a DJ and live music, this “out of this world”–themed party is sure to get you on your feet. blackhawkmuseum.org.
Pixieland Halloween Spooktacular
10/26–10/27 Grab your little pumpkins and put on a costume for a magical day at Concord’s Pixieland. Take a spin on the Ghost Train, where 1- to 8-year-olds can collect sweet treats as they exit. pixieland.com.