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 Bay Area Events Top Picks

Weekend guide for 10-24-2014 to 10-26-2014 by the Hauntmistress

It’s the weekend before Halloween and our calendar is chock full of fun things to do. Here are our Top Picks for trick or treating, parties, ghost walks and tours, and more!

Ghost walks are taking place all over the Bay area this weekend. On the Pleasanton Ghost Walk on Friday and Saturday the spirits will guide you on a haunted tour of the things that go bump in the night! On the Suisun City Ghost Tour on Friday the paranormal history of Suisun’s Waterfront area is revealed and you’ll find all types of spirits of the past that still linger. On the Benicia Ghost Walk on Friday and Saturday, spooky tales of the history of Benicia are revealed by paranormal investigator, Devin Sisk.

Do you prefer to take tours indoors? There are plenty of those this weekend. Scares abound in the dimly lit halls of San Francisco’s Haas-Lilienthal House, an 1886 Queen Anne Victorian transformed into Mayhem Manor on Friday and Saturday. Tour the magnificent manor led by a ghoulish host, with spooky surprises at every turn. Have a drink at the “Spookeasy” at the end of the tour to calm nerves. Not to be outdone, the Rengstorff House in Mountain View offers up History Meets Haunting on Friday. Living historians and costumed docents create a bone-chilling and unforgettable interactive haunted house experience. Meanwhile, the Patterson House Fall Candle Light Tours on Saturday and Sunday in Fremont offers up a beautifully decorated 19th century home for the fall season.

This weekend is also an opportunity to do some early trick or treating! At the Walnut Creek Trick or Treat on Friday you can get candy from participating merchants. At the Lafayette Trick or Treat Street on Friday kids and their parents are invited to trick or treat on Mt. Diablo Boulevard from Oak Hill Road to Dewing Avenue and in La Fiesta Square. Meanwhile, at the Pleasant Hill Trunk or Treat kids can go from car trunk to car trunk collecting candy from community members who have decorated their vehicles for this spooktacular event. The Westgate Center Trick or Treat in San Jose on Saturday offers candy, carnival games, music, and more. Bring your little goblins for trick or treating at Strawberry Village in Mill Valley on Saturday. Further north, in Santa Rosa, Montgomery Village Tricks & Treats invites kids to come in costume on Saturday for a contest, get candy at a treat booth, watch a balloon artist, paint a pumpkin, and more. On Sunday, stroll from shop to shop collecting goodies and showing off your Halloween costume at the Town Center Corte Madera Trick or Treat.

There are also plenty of pre-Halloween parties this weekend. On Saturday in Alameda you’ll enjoy the USS Hornet Monster’s Ball. There will be a live band, tours of the ship, a costume contest, and more. All ages are welcome. For adults, Saturday’s Masquerotica brings together many of San Francisco’s most gifted underground artistic, creative, theatrical, and sex-positive communities in a celebration of art, beauty, and sensuousness. Halloween Massive at the Westin Hotel in San Francisco features more than 20,000 square feet of party space, state of the art lighting, an insane sound system, and a costume contest.

On Friday don’t miss Scaregrove, an annual Halloween event in San Francisco’s Stern Grove. Come dressed in your favorite costume and enjoy carnival rides, a haunted house, live entertainment, music, food, hay rides, and more!

Also on Friday at San Francisco’s de Young Museum you’ll find an after-hours Día de los Muertos celebration presented in partnership with the Mexican Museum. Meanwhile, over at the California Academy of Sciences you’ll find SuperNatural Halloween. This fun-filled evening for all ages includes face painting, photo booths, a giant pumpkin carving demonstration, special dive programs, and activities.

If you’re in the Sacramento area on Friday or Saturday don’t miss The Haunted Fort. Sutter’s Fort, once a portal for weary pioneers, again serves as the gateway to their restless spirits, who return to tell the tales of their lives and melancholy deaths at this special event for all ages. Or, you can venture through centuries of history and hear ghost stories dating to the Gold Rush era during Old Sacramento Ghost Tours. Guides (and ghosts!) will relate tantalizing tales of how folks lived and died in the city. Visit with murder victims and colorful characters from Sacramento history’s spookier side.

At the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley on Saturday you can design and build your own robot in a special Halloween-themed Design Quest engineering station, then test which items your robot can drop into the Witches’ Cauldron. You can also meet some of the slimiest, scaliest, and hairiest creatures you’ll ever see at the Happy Creepy Halloween. Over at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, the Chabot Trick or Treat Party offers appearances by special costumed friends, spooky read-a-longs, and scary science activities.

At the Hiller Aviation Halloween Haunted Hangar in San Carlos on Saturday you can explore the Museum’s Haunted Hangar, win candy and prizes in the Aerial Carnival, and discover surprises in the Museum’s Gallery while counting down to the main event of the witch’s pumpkin drop!

Last but not least, on Saturday and Sunday artists from all across the country share their creative talents at the Danville Fall Crafts Festival, featuring colorful paintings, hand crafted jewelry, vibrant photographs, hand blown glass, whimsical ceramics, unique wood crafts, and more.

If all of this fun doesn’t make you excited about the Fall, then check out our map of pumpkin patches and haunted houses or our Events Calendar. There are many more activities happening around the extended Bay Area!


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