Halloween in California
So you’re interested in things to do for Halloween in California, well you’ve come to the right place! I’m about to let you in on a little secret us locals don’t like to broadcast, but between the weather, and all the spook-tactular offerings available, October is the perfect month to visit California. With something to do for kids of all ages like scare zones and pumpkin festivals, making this time of year even more fun. California always has the perfect blend of seasonal activities and family friendly experiences that you are bound to appreciate.
Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld San Diego | San Diego ,CA
SeaWorld San Diego welcomes the first-ever “Howl-O-Scream” event, San Diego’s newest frightening night time attraction, kicking off on September 17 through October 31. Brave guests can enjoy this new event featuring three terrifying haunted houses, seven expansive scare zones and unpredictable hordes of nightmarish creatures throughout the park. During the day, families can participate in the park’s annual family-friendly “Halloween Spooktacular,” with trick-or-treating, hay maze craze, spooky hula hoops, costume parades, and a pumpkin search throughout the park.
Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND California Resort | Carlsbad, CA
“Brick-or-Treat” at LEGOLAND California Resort is back with even more Halloween excitement, as the park is open after dark every Saturday in October. Enjoy rides open late, trick-or-treating, live entertainment, Halloween décor, and more! Eat, drink, and be scared with seasonal food and beverage options for the whole family. Additionally, SEA LIFE Aquarium will join in on the celebration with Halloween décor, live creatures, and spooky exhibits.
Related Article: A Royal Review: Legoland Castle Hotel San Diego
Now through Oct. 31: Halloween Time and the Oogie Boogie Bashat Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
Both Anaheim parks kick off the season in a big way: Disneyland Park has the Main Street Pumpkin Festival, a blinged-out Haunted Mansion, and special fireworks. Disney California Adventure Park, meanwhile, has its own holiday-themed rides, such as Monsters After Dark at Guardians of the Galaxy and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree. The Oogie Boogie Bash is already underway: You can collect goodies on the Treat Trail, see the Frightfully Fun Parade, and check out the villains lurking along the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, like Maleficent, Scar, and Captain Hook.
Sept. 9–Oct. 31: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles
The Los Angeles theme park keeps finding new ways to freak out its fans during its annual evening scarefest of walk-through experiences inspired by Hollywood horror greats. This year’s lineup, under the theme of “Never Go Alone,” includes experiences inspired by The Exorcist, The Bride of Frankenstein and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. This year’s event also includes some Halloween-friendly rides (such as Revenge of the Mummy—The Ride), the Terror Tram, and upgrade options such as an RIP Tour.
Sept. 16–Oct. 31: Knott’s Scary Farm, Buena Park
Most of the year, it’s all pie and Peanuts characters at this Buena Park theme park. But on select nights during Halloween season, Knott’s Berry Farm takes its creepiness mandate quite seriously, with more than 1,000 “horrifying creatures” waiting behind corners and amidst the fog at the dozen-plus mazes, fright zones, and thrill rides. Save by buying your tickets online ahead of time and consider upgrading to a line-skipping Fright & Fast Lane pass.
Sept. 11– Oct. 31: Fright Fest, Valencia and Vallejo
The two Six Flags theme parks in California offer an array of haunted mazes, scare zones, and zombies who start roaming after dark. At Magic Mountain, in L.A. County’s Santa Clarita area, the fun begins Sept. 11. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, in Vallejo, kicks things off Sept. 25.
Oct. 30–31: Scarium of the Pacific, Long Beach
Boo at the Zoo at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens | San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Zoo & Gardens will host “Boo at the Zoo”, featuring ‘Sloth-oween’ – a self-guided, sloth-themed “slow” stroll around the zoo on Oct. 23-24 and 30-31. Additionally, guests can participate in a costume parade and contest each afternoon , while enjoying a special Oktoberfest beer and food garden. Guests can also find sloth-themed haunted houses, such as “House of Franken-sloth” and “Dracu-sloth Dungeon,” marked by signs with interesting sloth facts and puns.
Ghouls and goblins aged 12 and up can enjoy the bone-chilling thrills of their worst Halloween nightmares at the Artichoke Festival’s 2nd Annual “Welcome to Your Nightmare” haunted house throughout October at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center. The event will also feature special themed discount nights to reward those who dress in costumes for designated days, like zombie or witches and warlocks night.
Carmel-by-the-Sea’s 105th City Birthday Party & Halloween Parade| Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
On October 31, 1916, the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea was founded, and the day has been celebrated annually since. This year, the village welcomes city dignitaries, costumed kids and beloved pets, residents and visitors alike to enjoy a city birthday celebration and Halloween parade throughout downtown, beginning at 4 p.m. on Halloween day. The celebration will continue with trick-or-treating and fall festivities throughout the village’s charming shops and boutiques.
Tarantula Awareness Festival | Madera County, CA
The Tarantula Awareness Festival on October 30, invites guests to enjoy a variety of activities including arachnid races, hairy leg contests, scream-offs, and a costume parade. The spider-themed festival isn’t for the faint of heart, as it celebrates the start of the local tarantula mating season, which takes place in October each year. Neighborhood tarantulas emerge from their burrows to find a mate, then hunker back down for the winter. The spiders’ emergence serves as a forecast for cooler temperatures and rain in the coming weeks. The festival also aims to bring awareness to the California Brown Tarantula and its benefits to the environment.
Oct. 25–Nov. 2: Dia de Los Muertos, Los Angeles
The annual Day of the Dead remembrance for departed ancestors—rooted in Mayan, Pre-Colombian, and Aztec traditions—is celebrated on downtown’s historic Olvera Street. Come each evening for the processions, featuring blessings, dances, treats, and face-painting. Not far away, the Hollywood Forever Cemetery will do its own one-day festival on Oct. 30.
Oct. 30: Thriller Flash Mobs and Ghost Tours, Santa Barbara
In this annual tradition, hundreds of fleet-footed zombies will perform the iconic “Thriller” dance at a variety of locations around Santa Barbara. Learn the moves ahead of time through Zoom or online videos, so that you can join either in person or from afar. To fill out the weekend, take a walking tour of spooky sites around town with Santa Barbara Ghost Tours, or practice a few more dance moves at the Fields of Funk costume party on Oct. 31 at scenic Elings Park.
Ghost Tours/ Haunted Houses
New Halloween Experience at Winchester Mystery House | San Jose, CA
Winchester Mystery House’s all new Halloween event for 2021 explores the legendary estate’s supernatural lore for the autumn season. All Hallow’s Eve is an estate-wide Halloween experience, featuring both indoor and outdoor activities. “Lost in the House” is an all new nighttime tour that will have guests exploring the dark and dizzying hallways of the cursed Winchester Estate in search of those who have been lost in the house. The “Jack O’Lantern Trail”, an all-new outdoor experience, features hand carved Jack O’Lanterns throughout the estate’s Victorian Gardens. In addition to marveling at the lighted displays guests will enjoy the “Lost in the House” Light Show – a projection mapped light show that uses the iconic front of the mansion as a canvas.
Santa Barbara Ghost Tours | Santa Barbara, CA
For a fun and spooky scare this Halloween, join Professor Julie Ann Brown as she tours through the streets of Downtown Santa Barbara, sharing the stories of the local resident ghosts. Santa Barbara Ghost Tours offers a variety of intimate tours including the Downtown Paranormal Wine and Spirits Tour, Legends, Myths and Mayhem Tour, Dead of the Night Tour, and more.
The Haunted Hotel Disturbance | San Diego, CA
“The Disturbance” at The Haunted Hotel is an all new thriller attraction in San Diego’s Mission Valley. All those entering the new Haunted Hotel can feel the terror created by the upset souls within, as they descend to the hotel basement in the “hellevator” and witness Zombies permanently imprisoned in a variety of creepy rooms throughout the hotel.
Bridgerton Masquerade Ball at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa | La Jolla, CA
Estancia will host its first-ever Bridgerton Masquerade Halloween Soirée on Sunday October 31 from 5-9 p.m. Over-indulge in an evening featuring live entertainment, performances, unlimited food and beverage experiences. Whether you favor the Featheringtons or Bridgertons, come dressed in your best Regency-era costumes. The event will also feature specialty cocktails including the Featherington Flirtini, Dirty Duke Martini, The Pink Lady of Danbury and more. For those looking to escape for the evening or the weekend, the Bridgerton Halloween Package includes two tickets to the Masquerade, Bridgerton themed sweet treats in-room, Regency-era fans to add to costumes, free parking and a waived resort fee.
Spooky Tea at The Wayfarer Downtown LA | Los Angeles, CA
Get in the Halloween spirit at The Wayfarer Downtown LA’s first annual “Spooky Tea,” offered throughout the month of October. The new boutique hotel will be serving witches tea, deathly morsels, devilish delights, and ghoulish cocktails. For those feeling festive, costumes are encouraged!
Spooky Seaside Escape At Terranea | Palos Verdes, CA
According to local legends, there are many supernatural beings hovering around the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Throughout the month of October, Terranea invites guests to participate in a variety of Halloween-themed experiences, including a self-guided spirit-filled nature walk to the Point Vicente Lighthouse, home to the phantom “Lady in the Light.” Guests may also enjoy spooky family-friendly stories, a haunted Kids Club Discovery Garden, zombie archery adventures, petrifying putting at The Links, a variety of terrifyingly delicious culinary treats, and more.
Halloween on the DL
Visiting Southern California
Did you know there is something truly magical about visiting Southern California during off-peak season times? The skies are blue, the weather is perfect, and the crowds are non-existent. I mean can you really beat beach hopping in Orange County over Christmastime? Or Disneyland during Halloween? We have so many festive events happening here on the daily, and an endless amount of spots to make some great memories. So get Instagram ready, and let The JetSet Family prepare for a proper SoCal adventure.
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