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Family Fun for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and what better way to set the mood than with a variety of unique and delightfully scary events friends and family can enjoy together. Remember to pack your face mask (not to be confused with your Halloween mask) because you’re in for a treat with these socially distanced and virtual Halloween festivities.

Unique Drive-Thru Experiences

Pirates of Emerson Drive-Thru Haunted House
Marking its 29th year as a legendary scare house, Pirates of Emerson returns to Alameda County in Pleasanton with its new Haunted Drive-Thru Experience. The 45-minute show incorporates detailed sets, gruesome monsters, creepy audiovisual effects and haunted parking zones to bring the region's urban legends to life.

Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience
Located in downtown Los Angeles, fans of “Stranger Things” will find themselves back in 1985 unlocking the untold story of Hawkins featuring audio and visual effects sure to turn everyone’s world upside down as they dive deeper into the Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience. The experience launches in October and while Halloween dates are sold out, it is set to run through February.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: Live Drive Up Experience
The first of its kind Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: Live Drive Up Experience includes a multimedia story displayed across a 40-foot screen, as well as horrifying sets and live characters from Midnight Falls.

Nights of the Jack Drive-Thru
Halloween’s biggest Jack O'Lantern event returns to Calabasas this fall with Nights of the Jack Drive-Thru featuring thousands of hand-carved and illuminated pumpkins on display for viewers to see from the safety of their vehicle.

Haunt ‘O Ween L.A.
Haunt ‘O Ween is an all-ages, family-friendly Halloween drive-thru adventure that keeps the traditions and excitement of Halloween in a safe, interactive and immersive environment. Be prepared to wear a face mask for pumpkin “picking,” “door to door” trick or treating, video and photo opportunities, and more.

Urban Legends Drive-Thru Halloween Haunt
Prepare for a night of bone chilling screams at the Urban Legends Drive-Thru Halloween Haunt in Costa Mesa, featuring immersive storytelling sets, live performances, special effects and four interactive show zones.

Virtual Halloween

Crowning the Pumpkin King: The Building of a Disney Nightmare

The Walt Disney Family Museum is hosting Crowning the Pumpkin King: The Building of a Disney Nightmare on Halloween. During the virtual panel, artists and creators behind Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” will discuss the making of the groundbreaking animated film.

World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off
On October 12, the world’s greatest gourd growers will gather to set a new world record at Half Moon Bay’s 47th Annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. The event will be live-streamed on Facebook.

Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade
For the first time ever, the Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade will continue its almost 100-year tradition with an online celebration throughout October. Festivities include musical performers, variety acts, kids' crafts, artists and art contests, costume contests, and a drive-thru parade.

Festive Marathons

Hallowine Run
Sonoma Country’s annual Hallowine Run returns this Halloween for a day of running, wine tasting, local food, live music and more. Everyone is encouraged to wear costumes supporting frontline heroes and first responders. Runners may also participate virtually.

FIT FALL Halloween Harvest
Combining traditional Halloween and harvest themes, the FIT FALL Halloween Harvest 5k/10k returns to Huntington Beach on October 31. Runners are encouraged to wear costumes that support frontline men and women in uniform.

SLO Autism Annual Zombie Invasion Run
During the SLO Autism Annual Zombie Invasion Run on October 26, runners flee from zombies in a Family Friendly 1 mile race or a thrilling Survival 5K. Participants can wear different colored flags to signal how quickly zombies move towards them. There is also a Gladiator Paintball Park Zombie Hunt for those interested in joining experienced Zombie safari guides to take down zombies, clowns, wolfmen and other undead creatures.

Haunted Houses and Festivals

Scarecrow Festival
Every October, the coastal town of Cambria comes alive with hundreds of imaginative and lively scarecrows lining the streets. With social distancing in mind, visitors can view the Scarecrow Festival in four locations by foot or car. This year’s themes include Cambria by the Sea, Day of the Dead and Fantasy.   

Harvest Weekend 
Quarry Park Adventures in Rocklin is hosting events throughout October and beyond, including Halloween themed drive-in movies. The park will also host Harvest Weekend, a special event just for kids featuring pumpkin carving, rock painting, mining for gold, character meet and greets, and treats. 

SeaWorld Spooktacular
SeaWorld Spooktacular invites kids to enjoy an array of Halloween festivities, including the all-new Sesame Street Halloween Dance Party, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, animal encounters and more. Spooktacular runs every Friday-Sunday from October 2-November 1.

Spooky Dining Experiences

Knott’s Berry Farm “Taste of Fall-O-Ween”
Knott’s Berry Farm’s “Taste of Fall-O-Ween” is a family-friendly Halloween food festival featuring fall décor, themed food, an all-new art show, and a Camp Snoopy Trick-or-Treat Trail loaded with treat stations and spooky decorations.

The Bite L.A. Halloween Food Crawl & Creature Safari
The Bite L.A. drive-thru/drive-into haunted attraction offers a Halloween food crawl that snakes its way around eerie Legg Lake. Admission includes eight Bites, a campfire dessert, warm fall beverages and immersive entertainment that guests can enjoy from the safety of their own vehicle. 

Ghosts of the Past
Gather for an immersive outdoor three-course dining experience during Ghosts of the Past at San Diego’s Old Town Cosmopolitan Hotel. The experience includes themed cocktails and a spirited cabaret.

Old-Fashion Pumpkin Extravaganzas

Halloween at Descanso Gardens
Get ready for a pumpkin-filled month of Halloween at Descanso Gardens in Pasadena, featuring socially distanced pumpkin-themed displays. The Kitchen at Descanso will serve fall-inspired drinks and soups, including seasonal caramel corn and churros. Costumes and face masks are highly encouraged. 

Peltzer Pumpkin Farm
Peltzer Pumpkin Farm in Murrieta is hosting a five-week outdoor event celebrating all things Halloween. The fun includes pumpkin picking, a petting farm, pony rides, gem panning and the iconic Peltzer Express. Take photos with the giant sunflowers and the vintage farm equipment. Located up the road is Peltzer Winery, serving a tasty “Witch’s Brew” sangria among the harvest vineyards.

Pumpkin Palooza
Gather the family for a day at San Luis Obispo’s Jack Creek Farms Pumpkin Palooza celebrating all things pumpkin. Free activities include a petting zoo, wooden train, tractor tire garden, ponies, butterfly garden maze and more. 

Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch
Santa Barbara’s fall season is at its best at Lane Farms Pumpkin Patch. Kids of all ages can pet farm animals, go on hayrides, climb tractors, get lost in corn mazes and take home the perfect pumpkin.

Underwood Family Farms
During the month of October, Underwood Family Farms will transform into a 40+ acre Pumpkin Patch, Pick Your Own and Harvest Experience.

Note: As communities re-open after COVID-19-related closures, some parks, businesses and attractions may still be closed or have new protocols in place. Please verify local guidelines and regulations for all destinations and hours and availability of individual businesses before publishing. Check out Visit California’s Responsible Travel Hub for guidance on how visitors can travel within California safely.