Where last year brought us an entirely socially distanced Halloween, 2021 offers more options to celebrate this spookiest season. There's plenty of fall fun to be had on the Peninsula, with both in person events and some virtual activities.
Here's a sampling of local events to celebrate Halloween. And with the pandemic still lurking, for in-person events, check for COVID-19 protocols before you go.
Webb Ranch Pumpkin Patch In addition to choosing a pumpkin from Webb Ranch's organic patch, visitors can enjoy a haunted house, bounce houses and obstacle course. Weekend visitors can also take part in hay rides and visit petting and reptile zoos. Reservations are required to take part in weekend activities (reservations are not required for pumpkin purchases only or for weekday visits). Through Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. 2718 Alpine Road, Portola Valley. For more information, visit webbranchinc.com.
Gamble Garden Pumpkin Hunt Children can search the gardens at Gamble Garden for plastic “pumpkins” at this event that also offers arts and crafts, scavenger hunt, prizes, treats and free ice cream. Oct. 23, 10:30 a.m. at 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. For more information, visit gamblegarden.org. For an at-home pumpkin hunt, Gamble Garden has created a Pumpkin Hunt at Home kit to throw a scavenger hunt in a backyard or outdoor space, available for purchase through Oct. 25.
War of the Worlds at Stanford Live A Martian invasion comes to Stanford Live, courtesy of Rhum and Clay Theatre Company, which presents a drama inspired by Orson Welles' 1938 radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' sci-fi novel "The War of the Worlds" — and the panic it touched off in the listening audience. Oct. 28-29, 7:30 p.m. at Bing Concert Hall, Stanford. live.stanford.edu.
Guess the Pumpkin's Weight Visitors to the Los Altos Hills Town Hall are invited to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin on display there, through Nov. 1. The closest three guesses will receive Los Altos Hills prizes. 26379 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills. losaltoshills.ca.gov.
M-A Trick Or Treat Street Menlo Atherton High School hosts a safe Halloween event for children under 12 and their families, with games, pumpkin decorating, a costume contest and trick or treating. Oct. 27, 5-8 p.m. 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton. mabears.org.
Jack-O-Jaunt Residents can show off their skills with a knife and a gourd in a pumpkin carving competition and display hosted by the city of Palo Alto. Participants can carve pumpkins at home or during a carving workshop. Oct. 29, 6-8:30 p.m. (workshop takes place Oct. 29, 3:30 p.m.). Lytton Plaza, University Avenue and Emerson Street, Palo Alto. Go to cityofpaloalto.org.
Stanford Symphony Halloween Concert The Stanford Symphony Orchestra and the Stanford Wind Symphony present their annual Halloween concert, featuring music from film and TV, including "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Jurassic Park" and "Star Trek," ending with a costume competition, with the winner serving as guest conductor for the encore. Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive, Stanford. events.stanford.edu.
Midpen Media Center Movie Night The center offers a free, in-person screening of the 1963 thriller "Dementia 13," about a scheming widow whose plan to steal her late husband's fortune is disrupted by the appearance of an axe murderer on the family estate. The film is one of director Francis Ford Coppola's first films. Popcorn and candy will be available. Oct. 29, 7 p.m. Midpen Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto. The film can also be viewed online via the center's Facebook page. midpenmedia.org.
Halloween Hoopla Redwood City hosts an event for kids in grades K-5, featuring creepy crafts, a spooky dessert and ghoulish games. Kids are invited to come dressed in costume. Oct. 29, 6-9 p.m. Red Morton Community Center, 1120 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City. redwoodcity.org.
Movie Night at Purissima Park The youth commissions of Los Altos Hills and Los Altos host a free family movie night with a screening of the animated "Addams Family" movie, complete with popcorn. Guests should bring blankets, lawn chairs and flashlights — and are invited to wear Halloween costumes. Oct. 29, 7-9 p.m. at Purissima Park, 27500 Purissima Road, Los Altos Hills. RSVP required. losaltoshills.ca.gov.
Hip-hop Halloween Peninsula Ballet presents a spooky show danced by classic Halloween characters including Frankenstein's monster, The Mummy and werewolves, set to music by Bay Area DJs. With guest dancers from the Tribe Dance Company. Oct. 29, 7 p.m. and Oct. 30, 2 and 7 p.m. Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City. peninsulaballet.org.
Mountain View Monster Bash This fall festival features a twisty maze, Halloween-themed games, music, stilt walkers, a bubble show and a roaming magician. The event also features Dia de los Muertos crafts for kids. Oct. 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Rengstorff Park, 201 S. Rengstorff Ave., Mountain View. mountainview.gov.
Fright Night at The Ameswell Hotel This spooky evening features a themed movie, cocktails and games on the hotel's lawn. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket. Event is dog-friendly. Oct. 30, 4-9 p.m. at The Ameswell Hotel, 800 Moffett Blvd., Mountain View. theameswellhotel.com.
Movies in the Park at Coyote Point San Mateo County Parks, CuriOdyssey, San Mateo County Libraries and the San Mateo County Parks Foundation host an outdoor screening of "Cruella," along with fun family activities. Bring blankets and dress warmly. Oct. 30, 5:30 p.m. (activities) and 7 p.m. (movie). Coyote Point Recreation Area, 1701 Coyote Point Drive, San Mateo. eventbrite.com.
Trick or Treat Walk Thru Menlo Church hosts an event with trick-or-treat stations, an inflatable slide and an open-air bounce house. Oct. 30, 5-7 p.m. at 950 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. menlochurch.churchcenter.com.
Halloween in Downtown Mountain View Businesses in downtown Mountain View host an afternoon of Halloween fun, with decorated storefronts, trick-or-treating at stores and discounts and specials for customers in costume. Oct. 31, noon-6 p.m. Downtown Mountain View. For a map of participating businesses, visit chambermv.org.
Queer Horror Gravest Hits Carla Rossi, "Portland's premier drag clown," hosts an evening of international horror short films at Stanford Live. The films are drawn from the Queer Horror movie nights hosted by Rossi at Portland's historic Hollywood Theatre. Nov. 5, 9 p.m. at Bing Studio, Stanford. live.stanford.edu.