Halloween Festivities Around the Bay All Month Long

Halloween is my favorite thing in the entire world, ask anyone. Every year I scour the internet looking for a full month’s worth of Halloween activities to take my kids to so we can wear our costumes many times and get all the items on our Halloween bucket list checked off. Pumpkin patch, check. Corn Maze, check. Trick or Treating, Check. Spooky stories, check!This year, my enthusiastic list-making is to the reader’s benefit. If anyone loves Halloween as much as I do, take notice, because I’m about to spell it out. These are my eight do-not-miss Halloween festivities for 2019!

Jack O’Lantern Jamboree - Oakland

Children’s Fairyland really throws a party the weekend of October 26th and 27th with the usual unlimited rides and fantastic entertainment but the big deals are the balloon animals, costumed characters, treat bags, parades, pirate school, and bounce houses. Come in costume for the extra fun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 10/26 and 10/27. $12/general admission, $6/members. All ages. Children’s Fairyland, 699 Bellevue Ave., Oakland. 510-238-6876, www.fairyland.org.

4th Street Trick Or Treat - Berkeley

Berkeley’s 4th Street merchants, such as Peet’s, Sur La Table, and MAC are open to trick or treat in for those kids who are too tiny to stay up late but still want to show off their costumes. Participating merchants will have a marking on or above their doors to let revelers know where the candy is. There will be live music, some entertainment, even a few treats and free samples for grown ups. 2 p.m.-5 p.m. 10/31. 4th St., at Hearst, Berkeley. www.fourthstreetshop.com.

49th Annual Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival

Half Moon Bay might not be famous for many things, but pumpkins are one thing that has put this little hamlet on the map. The coastal air makes pumpkin magic and grows some gourds that are as big as a smart car. All ages will be agog at the marvelous and gigantic pumpkins, but will also love the rest of the festival with crafts for sale, art, live music, food, wine, and children’s activities to do too. Expert pumpkin carvers will amaze the crowd with epic works of art unbelievably carved from pumpkins and gourds. There will be pumpkin flavored everything from pies to cocktails, as well as zip line rides, bungee jumping, and more.9 a.m.-5 p.m. 10/19-20. Free admission. All ages. Main St. between Mill and Spruce, Half Moon Bay. 650-726-9652; pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com

Goblin Jamboree - Sausalito

The Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito puts on an amazing Halloween to-do for the early childhood crowd. My two girls have so much fun at this candy-free event. Children can dress up and enjoy bounce houses, pony rides, petting zoo friends, a small train ride, a bunch of “everyone wins a prize” games, popcorn, face paint, stick on tattoos, and various local parenting-centered sponsors giving out swag and providing fun activities. Buy tickets online in advance to bypass the lines at the door. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct 19-20. $20.95/general admission, $17.95/members. Babies under 6 mo. are free. All ages. Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Way, Sausalito. 415-339-3932, www.baykidsmuseum.org.

Halloween Hoopla - San Francisco

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival hosts their annual Halloween event, and it is fantastic. Local celeb Unique Derique is the Emcee. Kids will enjoy  games, prizes, fortune tellers and more. Music and dancing are followed by a parade that everyone gets to join. This is a no candy event. Oct. 27. Noon.- 2 p.m. Free. Kids under 10. Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard St., San Francisco. 415-543-1718, ybgfestival.org.

Family Sundown SpookFari - Oakland Zoo

Grab your tent, bring your family, and get ready for an eerie overnight experience at Oakland Zoo! Take a trick-or-treat night tour through the zoo, make Halloween enrichment for the animals, meet creepy, crawly animals up close, and more! This year’s program also includes a special, spooky campfire song session with Andy Z! 5 p.m- 10 a.m. Oct 26/27. $80/person. All ages. Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland. 510-632-9525, www.oaklandzoo.org.

“The Coolest Corn Maze on The Planet” - Dixon

Between the Bay Area and Sacramento is a little farm town called Dixon and it boasts the coolest corn maze on the planet. Its actually way more than just that. There are tubs of dried corn for kids to “swim” in, giant hay bale structures to climb, and 50 acres of mazes and fun, including hay rides and a pumpkin cannon! It is open throughout the month and has free parking. There are food, drinks and pumpkins available for purchase.

$15/person for the maze, ages 5 and under are free. All Ages. Cool Patch Pumpkins, 6585 Milk Farm Rd., Dixon. 530-746-8725, www.coolpatchpumpkins.com

The Pirates of Emerson - Pleasanton

This crazy scary haunted house is for older kids, teens and adults. They mean to scare people, and it’s no joke! Its great for the crowd that’s too cool to trick or treat. There are 5 haunted attractions, including a maze, a pirate themed attraction, and some crazy Voodoo stuff! There is entertainment each night, fortune tellers, and a sideshow of oddities. Spooky! They allow all ages, but it is not for little ones. See the website for the various show times throughout October, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and Halloween, of course. $30/general admission. All ages but best for teens and up. Pirates of Emerson Haunted Themed Park, Valley Ave., Pleasanton. (At Alameda County Fairgrounds) www.piratesofemerson.com

So start working on costumes now and make a game plan to hit all the hot spots to maximize the Halloween fun!

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25 Sep 2019

By Jean Abernathy