Take a walking tour of the Winchester Mystery House by flashlight. Photo courtesy of Winchester Mystery House.
It's the time of year where haunts reign supreme and we are all looking for the thrill of Halloween but without paying an arm and a leg. We've found some wicked cheap Halloween events that are either in-person or virtual. From family friendly to adult only, there are events for everyone. Get your costumes ready and cue the haunted music...
Editor's Note: To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or at an in-person event.
The Halloween Jam is on at Children's Fairyland. Photo courtesy of Children's Fairyland/Facebook.
Open daily from 10am-9pm, the Uptown Oakland Pumpkin Patch is just a two-minute walk from 19th St/Oakland
Station (located at 1911 Telegraph Avenue). This family friendly pumpkin patch has giant slides, zorb balls, and more. Entrance to the pumpkin area is free but tickets are required for the attractions area and are available online
beginning at $20 for an hour of play.
Halloween isn’t cancelled at the Winchester Mystery House this year, but it does look different. This season take the “Hallowe’en Flashlight Tour,” a self-guided evening tour that allows only the brave to explore the dark halls of the mansion while hearing stories of the home’s haunted history. Don’t miss this rare chance to glimpse into one of the world’s most alleged haunted mansions at night. Advance tickets are required and available online
from $24.99. Take BART to Milpitas
and transfer to VTA Bus #60 to the Winchester Mystery House.
Join the Lesher Center for the Arts for a spooky, new family tradition and a fun, safe alternative to Trick-or-Treating on the Rudney Plaza October 24-25. A donation of $30-$45 per family is requested and can include a pumpkin for your family to carve at home, or a pumpkin painted by one of the special guest artists. Family-friendly costumes and dress-up are encouraged. Families can also enjoy a mini-Monster Mash Party with Halloween treats and special appearances by, and photo opportunities with, your favorite villains and princesses. Tickets are available online
and will sell out fast! Take BART to Walnut Creek
Station and the fun is just a 10-minute walk away.
Celebrate El Día de los Muertos with the Oakland Museum of CA. Photo courtesy of Oakland Museum of CA.
More delightful than frightful, more kooky than spooky, join Children’s Fairyland for Halloween Jam October 28 to November 1. While the festivities look a little different this year, there still will be decked out sets to wow little ones. Kids can also march in the physically-distanced Monster Mash Parade and collect a special surprise treat at the end. Costumes are encouraged for kids of all ages. Reservations and tickets are required in advanced and available online
. Admission is $9 per person. Take BART to 19th St/Oakland
and Fairyland is a 15-minute walk away.
Can you burn with desire and remain silent? When a bride’s former lover pays her a visit, she disappears before the ceremony. The vengeful groom follows them into the woods, unfazed by Death, Spirits, or the Moon. As passion and blood feuds converge, the fate of the three lovers hurtle toward the inevitable. By turns witty and gruesome, featuring texts in both Spanish and English, this new adaptation of Federico García Lorca’s “Blood Wedding” examines the bonds of tradition, the legacy of family, and the price of conformity. Live streams of “Blood Wedding” take place on multiple nights with tickets available online
beginning at $20. “Blood Wedding” will be on demand beginning November 6.
Join Christian Cagigal on a virtual ghost hunt through San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Audrey Penven.
For 25 years, the annual Oakland Día de los Muertos Festival has welcomed tens of thousands of visitors to the vibrant, culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood for a free, outdoor, family-friendly event taking place to commemorate the Mexican traditions around the Día de los Muertos. Festival attendees enjoy world-class live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans, and the stunning altares created by community members paying homage to los Muertos. This year, the 25th anniversary of this incredible cultural event is going virtual. Through November 2, "Real Fruitvale," a mini-docu series that shows the resiliency and ingenuity of artists and changemakers from the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland will be released. This series highlights five Black and Latinx pillars in the Fruitvale who are thriving, despite incredible odds and who are transforming their community. More info on this free virtual event can be found online
The popular Pleasanton haunted walking tour is going virtual. Meet the ghosts of Pleasanton’s past in this unique annual event hosted by Museum on Main. Two ghost hosts will be live on Zoom to guide you and your loved ones through a virtual tour of Downtown Pleasanton’s most haunted locations. Tours begin at 7pm on various days and $15 per screen online reservations
are required. These haunted tours are for all ages.
Turn out the lights, wrap up in your favorite blanket, power on your device, and join ghost guide Christian Cagigal on a virtual San Francisco Ghost Hunt. Cagigal invites you into his home in San Francisco where he’ll share tales of the City’s most notorious haunted places. This Zoom edition of the tour includes a bit of spooky magic and recounted tales of Cagigal’s favorite haunted histories that are not normally highlighted on the tour. The tours take place Friday-Saturday through October 31. Online reservations
are required and is $25 per device (perfect for a family night in).
Attend the largest virtual Halloween party starting October 29 on ZapLife. Photo courtesy of ZapLife.
A minority-led start-up founded by two women, ZapLife was created in response to the shut-down orders of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bringing life back to dance studios, nightclubs, and social events, they've established a platform/app for creators to showcase their talents and to create the social experiences its users crave. Starting October 29, ZapLife will begin officially livestreaming three days of nonstop music and partying in celebration of the app and Halloween. Participate and experience virtual games, contests, Haunted Houses, live DJs, and more. ZapLife bridges the gap between you and where you want to be, bringing the action to you. For more info, check out ZapLife's Instagram page
and be sure to download the app on the App Store or Google Play.
On the eve of the eve of All-Hallow’s Eve, the Exploratorium brings one of their favorite annual events, the Cemetery of Dead Science, online. While they look to science as a trusted source for understanding the world around us, knowledge is ever-evolving. For this event, look at debunked science from pasts both distant and recent. You’ll also dig into the scientific process to better understand how questionable concepts can gain legitimacy. The event features “Full-Spectrum Science: Shorts! - The Steady State Theory” with Ron Hipschman and “Decay” with Odd Salon. This free online event takes place on October 29 at 7pm on YouTube
. Adults only (18+).
Yerba Buena Gardens’ 20th
annual Halloween Hoopla is going virtual this year. This free program features interactive performances and fun for kids under 10 and their adults, and the return of the Yerba Buena Pumpkin Patch display. Be part of the show through the #PumpkinPatchPageant and close out the event with an online Costume Parade led by The Clown Prince of Fools: Unique Derique. The event is free but registration is required online
. The fun begins at 11am on October 31.
Go behind the scenes with artists and creators of Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Photo courtesy of Disney/Tim Burton Artistry.
Join the Chabot Space & Science Center for a special, spooky virtual telescope viewing on Halloween night. For the first time since Halloween 1944, a rare and extra special Blue Moon will grace the skies of the Bay Area. Observe and learn about the Blue Moon with a presentation and virtual look through Chabot’s most powerful telescope, “Nellie.” Weather permitting, you’ll get a glimpse of the Blue Moon, Mars, and more deep sky objects. The viewing begins at 9pm on Facebook
live October 31 and is free.
Join The Walt Disney Family Museum for a frightfully fun virtual Halloween panel as the artists and creators talk about the holiday stop-motion favorite, Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” discuss the making of this groundbreaking animated masterpiece and memories from working on set alongside the creative genius Tim Burton. Speakers include Kat Alioshin, Fon Davis, and Kathleen Gavin. Tickets for Crowning the Pumpkin King: The Building of a Disney “Nightmare” are available online
for $5 for members and $10 for non-members. The fun begins October 31 at 1pm.
Get ready for a frightful night.
Staying in or heading out this Halloween? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable. Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay.