Family Halloween Events & Fall Festivals in Marin & the Bay Area

September 29, 2015

Halloween Girls in Witch CostumesHalloween is one of our favorite holidays, and there's so much family fun to be had at this time of year. Find the Halloween event or fall festival that's right for you! We'll keep updating our list of events for Marin and beyond as we find more this fall. If you have an event you'd like to see added to the list, please contact us.

Marin and Sonoma Events

  • Harvest Celebration
    Slide Ranch, Muir Beach
    Saturday, October 17, 10 am–4 pm

    Celebrate the season of bounty with Slide Ranch. Family activities include live music, local organic cuisine, nature craft activities, food and gardening workshops, and more. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day by the sea at tis coastal education farm. Activities are suitable for all ages. Fun for all ages is guaranteed. Tickets are $25 per person in advance and $30 at the door; children 2 years and under are free! For more info, visit their website.
  • Tolay Fall Festival
    Tolay Lake Regional Park
    Lakeville Highway at Cannon Lane, Petaluma
    Saturday and Sunday, October 17–18 & 24–25, 11 am–5 pm
    The 9th annual Tolay Fall Festival takes place over two long weekends in October at the site of the old Cardoza Ranch off Lakeville Highway, which was famous for its pumpkin patch. In addition to pumpkins and fall decorative items for sale, attractions and activities include a Native American village, the Nighttime Creatures Barn with Creepy Crawly Critters Room, nature hikes, a giant straw maze, a hands-on children's area and kiddie corral, and hay rides. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children 12 and under; free for Sonoma County Regional Parks members. Parking for non-members is $7. School field trips may be scheduled on October 9–10 and 15–17 from 9 am–3 pm. For more info, call (707) 565-2041 or visit their website.
  • Annual Giant Pumpkin Festival at Kunde
    Kunde Winery, Kewood
    Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 11 am–4 pm

    Come see giant pumpkins on display at the annual Kunde Family Estate Giant Pumpkin Festival! Cash prizes will be presented for the overall heaviest pumpkins. But that’s not all – other attractions will include junior pumpkin decorating, face painting, professional pumpkin carving, wines by the glass, food trucks, and delicious pumpkin desserts! Fun for all ages! Location: 9825 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. For more info, visit their website.
  • Marine Science Sunday: Creatures of the Deep
    Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito
    Sunday, October 11 & 25, 10 am–5 pm

    This month, the Marine Mammal Center celebrates Halloween with a creepy collection of stories about the animals that live in the deepest parts of the ocean! Learn how elephant seals can dive to 5,000 feet and stay underwater for two hours at a time without imploding (!), find out how a sperm whale searches for its nemesis, the mysterious giant squid, and discover more about spooky looking animals like the Vampire Squid and Goblin Shark. Free admission. Location: 2000 Bunker Road, Fort Cronkhite in Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween Harvest Festival!
    Marinwood Community Center
    Friday, October 16, 5–7 pm

    This fun event is for children 12 and under. Carnival games, pumpkin carving and decorating, Halloween bounce house, trick-or-treat bag decorating, face painting, caramel apples and more! Tickets: $10 in advance here; $15 at the door. Adults are free. Food will be available for purchase. Location: Marinwood Community Center, 775 Miller Creek Road, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 479-0775 or visit their website.
  • Goblin Jamboree Fundraiser
    Bay Area Discovery Museum
    Saturday and Sunday, October 17 & 18, 10 am–4 pm
    Bring the whole family in costume to explore all the fun at the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Goblin Jamboree Family Fundraiser. Experience the museum as it’s transformed into a spooktacular Halloween wonderland complete with Witches and Wizards school, pony rides, petting zoo, kid-sized hay maze, live entertainment, and more. Tickets available at the door. Admission: $16.95 general, $13.95 members, free for children under 6 months. For more info, visit their website.
  • Tam Valley Haunted House
    Tam Valley Community Center, Mill Valley
    Friday–Sunday, October 23–25

    The theme for TCSD's annual Tam Valley Haunted House is "Nightmares"! Dare to enter into a world of your worst nightmares and see if you can survive from one terrifying room to the next! The Haunted House has three different tours: 3:30–4:30 pm Not Scary, for children under 8 with all the lights on and a fun tour of the different areas; 5-6:30 pm Scary, for children over 9; closed 6:30–7:30 pm to feed the volunteer monsters then back open 7:30–9 pm for a truly horrifying experience. Cost: $5 per person. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.
  • Halloween Music and Magic Show
    Mill Valley Community Center
    Friday, October 23, 4 and 6:30 pm

    It's a spooktacular time for the whole family! Kick off the evening with some lively music. Then... thrills and chills with Magic Mike as amazes us with his Halloween magic show. It's a 45-minute show for goblins ages 3 to 103. Two performances. Cost: $9 general, free for kids 3 and under. For more info, visit their website.
  • Graveyard Stroll
    Lucas Valley Field, San Rafael
    Saturday, October 24, 7–9:30 pm

    Join rangers for a head start on Halloween! Experience this one-of-a kind program that uncovers one of Marin’s most interesting but little known cemeteries. All treats (and tricks) are free. This event is ideal for all ages. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight, and treat bag. Hot chocolate and snacks provided. Heavy rain will cancel the event. Questions: Contact Supervising Ranger Craig Solin at (415) 473-2816. For more info, visit their website.
  • Trick or Treat on Fourth Street
    Downtown San Rafael
    Saturday, October 24, 1–3 pm

    Costumed children enjoy treats from downtown merchants, a San Rafael tradition. Come to the City Plaza on Fourth Street between Lootens and A street for a trick or treat bag and enjoy visitng our participating merchants. For more info, visit their website.
  • Trick-or-Treat Downtown Novato
    Grant Avenue, Novato
    Saturday, October 24, 11 am–2 pm

    The Downtown Novato Business Association will host its annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event along Grant Avenue in downtown Novato. Every year this Halloween event is popular with kids and their parents. Businesses along Grant Avenue will give out candy and there will be a variety of other fun activities at various locations downtown. This is a fun event for the entire family. For more info, visit their website.
  • Scream on the Green Faire
    Downtown Novato
    Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25, 10 am–4 pm

    Bring the entire family for the first Scream on the Green Faire weekend in Downtown Novato. Activities include: Safe trick-or-treating downtown on Saturday from 11am–1 pm, a haunted house, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, live music, children's play area, and food and beverages. Location: Sherman Avenue and the Civic Green and City Hall complex. For more info, visit their website.
  • Pumpkins on Pikes!
    Tara Firma Farms, Petaluma
    Saturday, October 24, 2–10 pm

    The festivities start in the afternoon with great food, music, and pumpkin carving. Everyone will get the chance to display their jack-o-lantern on a pike in the corn field. When the sun goes down the pumpkins are lit. $10 BBQ plate will be available for dinner. Bring your favorite plate of food if you would like to take part in the potluck. Admission: $20 per person and $15 for farm members. Includes pumpkin. Purchase tickets here. Location: 3796 I Street, Ext, Petaluma. For more info, call (707) 765-1202 or visit their website.
  • WOW! Jumping Jacks Halloween Faire
    Strawberry Recreation District 
    Sunday, October 25, 11 am–12:30 pm

    Come in costume to celebrate All Hallows Eve with other wizards, witches, fairies, astronauts, and cartoon characters. Play carnival games, bounce in the jump house, enjoy the candy and prize hunt and costume parade! Fee: $8 per child; no charge for adults. For more info, visit their website.
  • Jeepers Jack-O-Lanterns
    Paradise Beach Park, TIburon
    Sunday, October 25, 11 am–1 pm

    Join ranger staff at Paradise Beach Park in carving your own spooky Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween! A limited amount of pumpkins will be available (or you’re welcome to bring your own). This event is ideal for all ages. All skill levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. Dress in layers and wear sturdy shoes. We will provide supplies, smocks, and healthy snacks. We request that no pets (except service animals) attend. Park entrance is waived for participants.Questions: Contact Ranger Sarah Burkhart at Meet at the fishing pier. Park entrance is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Make a Sugar Skull Halloween Cake
    Cake Art, San Rafael,
    Sunday, October 25, 1–3 pm

    Cast an enchanting spell on your family and friends with this spooky Halloween treat. First fill, stack and decorate a two layer cake using delicious chocolate fudge icing and specialty Halloween candies. Then add a chilling touch on top of your cake with a sugar skull lantern. Then, add a tea light underneath to light up your sugar skull. Cider and cookies will be served. All ages welcome. Cost: $55. Location: 1512 5th Avenue, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 456-7773 or visit their website.
  • Movie: Monster University
    Sausalito Library, Edgewater Room
    Wednesday, October 28, 3 pm

    This movie is for kids of all ages. Come and enjoy Pixar's Monsters University. Free. Location: 420 Litho Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Goblin's Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat
    San Anselmo
    Wednesday, October 28, 5–7 pm

    Put on your costume and trick-or-treat on San Anselmo Avenue between Woodland and Tamalpais. For more info, visit their website.
  • Magician Timothy James
    Belvedere-Tiburon Libary
    Thursday, October 29, 4 pm

    Marvel at the magical skills of magician Timothy James. For ages 5 and up. For more info about this library event, please visit their website.
  • Sausalito Haunted House 
    Game Room, Sausalito City Hall 
    Saturday, October 31, 4:15–8 pm

    Come see what spooky terrors lurk in this year’s inception of the annual Sausalito Haunted House. They’re dying… to meet you! Haunted House schedule: child-friendly 4:15–5 pm and full haunt from 6:15–8 pm. Cost: $3 per person or $5 per family suggested donation. Location: 420 Litho Street, Sausalito. For more info, visit their website.
  • Sausalito Halloween Parade and Trick-or-Treat Lane
    Caledonia Street & Robin Sweeny Park, Sausalito
    , October 31, 5:45–8 pm

    Kids of all ages are welcome to come in costume for a Halloween Parade and for some trick-or-treating. Parade begins at fire station (at 333 Johnson and Caledonia) Come on down to the Sausalito City Hall, located at Caledonia and Litho Streets in Sausalito for a spooky time. For more info, visit their website.
  • Make an Edible Halloween Haunted House
    Cake Art, San Rafael
    Friday, October 30, 6:30–8 pm 

    Trick or Treat! Get ready for Halloween by decorating a Chocolate Cookie Dough house! Construct white chocolate and fondant ghosts and skeletons. ‘Landscape’ your yard with cookie crumb graves, fondant gravestones, candy bones. Light your house using tea lights. Come for a thrilling, chilling time as we decorate while listening to eerie music amongst lighted pumpkins and candles! Cider and cookies will be served. Great parent/child (one house) class. All ages welcome. $50.00 Location: 1512 5th Avenue, San Rafael. For more info, call (415) 456-7773 or visit their website.
  • Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trail
    Downtown Petaluma
    Saturday, October 31, 3–5:30 pm

    Join over 60 participating downtown Petaluma merchants for a fun and safe community Halloween for the entire family and goodies for costumed kids under 12. Prepare for a hautingly "ghould" time  as the scary, the cute, the ugly and the creepy descend on Downtown Petaluma. For more info, visit their website.

Other Bay Area Events

  • Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival
    Historic Main Street, Half Moon Bay
    Saturday & Sunday, October 17 and 18, 9 am–5 pm

    The World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with a special display of gigantically enormous, heavyweight champion pumpkins, three stages of smashing entertainment, non-stop live music, the Great Pumpkin Parade, a bone-chilling haunted house, harvest-inspired crafts, homestyle foods, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting a monster 1,200+ pound pumpkin into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, photos with the grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun (not a contest), Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands, the Take 5 Lounge with giant screen TV, festival-label wine. and Mavericks Pumpkin Harvest Ale. Admission is free. For more info, visit their website.
  • SuperNatural Halloween 2015
    California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
    Friday, October 23, 5–9 pm

    Grab your costume and have yourself a ghoulishly great time trick-or-treating your way through the Academy at night, among spooky skulls and spine-tingling specimens! Early admission for benefactors at 5 pm; general admission at 6:30 pm. For more info and tickets, visit their website.
  • MiniMakers Felt Mask Workshop
    Social Print Studios, San Francisco
    Saturday, October 24, 10 am-1 pm

    Kids can create super-cool felt woodland animal masks — perfect for a Halloween costume, play time, or just to hang on your wall and admire! This project is best suited to children ages 5-8; each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entirety of the workshop. Tickets are for purchase here; your ticket price includes a 3 hour workshop, all crafting materials, food and beverages, individual gift bags for adults and children, and entry into Land of Nod giveaways.
  • Jack O’Lantern Jamboree at Children’s Fairyland
    Children's Fairyland, Oakland

    Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25, 10 am–5 pm
    Come in costume and enjoy a spooktacular extravaganza with unlimited rides, a parade, goody bags for kids, arts and crafts, pirate school, clowns and magicians, and much more. Cost: $10 per person ($5 for members). For more info, visit their website.
  • Celebrate Halloween with Charity and the JAMband
    Park Chalet, San Francisco
    Sunday, October 25, 3–5 pm

    This free family concert for all ages features dancing in disguise, a costume parade, and, of course, some candy. Make sure you wear a costume you can really move in. Grown-ups are encouraged to dress up, too. Charity and the JAMband will perform at 4 pm. No reservations necessary. For more info, visit their website. 
  • Spooky Sleepover Family Overnight
    San Francisco Zoo
    October 24, 5:30 pm to October 25, 10 am
    This unique sleepover event is filled with fun family-friendly activities. Set up camp in the zoo, enjoy a pizza dinner, then meet with a zookeeper and take guided nighttime tours before heading back to the campsite for more fun before bedtime. In the morning you’ll wake to the sounds of the zoo before enjoying continental breakfast. Finish off the Spooky Sleepover with an early morning tour as the animals wake up for the day. You're invited to continue the fun during the annual, all-day Halloween celebration, Boo at the Zoo! For families with children 6 and up. For more info, visit their website.
  • 15th Annual Halloween Hoopla
    Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, San Francisco
    Saturday, October 31, noon–1:30 pm

    The 15th annual Halloween Hoopla features interactive performances and games for kids under 10 and their adults. Led by the ever-popular Unique Derique, the program features live music from Venezuelan Music Project, roaming shenanigans from Pi Clowns, mysterious palm reader Madam Z, crafting with Trash Mash-Up and the Children’s Creativity Museum. Join the annual Mummy Wrap and more games. Bring your camera for the Ghoulish Photo Booth! The program culminates in the eagerly awaited Halloween Costume Parade, where everyone shows off their Halloween finery. For more info, visit their website.

Photo: iStockPhoto