Get Spooked with these Halloween Events

Halloween is upon us and Santa Cruz County has all the spooky fun this October! Trick-or-Treating on the Wharf, Halloween Parades, Pumpkin Patches, and so much more! Check out some of the best Halloween events throughout the county!

Pumpkin Patches
Throughout October
Whether you’re looking for pumpkin picking with ocean views or patches decked out with spooky decor, Santa Cruz County has plenty of spots to get you (and your home) in the fall spirit! Check our list here for the best places to pick your perfect pumpkin in Santa Cruz County this fall!

Roaring Camp Railroads: Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party
October 14 – 15; October 21 – 22; October 28 – 29, 2023
Little engineers won’t believe their eyes, or their ears! Percy will be joining Thomas the Tank Engine on the rails! Also, Thomas the Tank Engine™ will be able to talk to his fans! Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas™ and Percy™, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family. Activities include: face painting, story telling, train play tables, pick a pumpkin, cookie decorating, coloring, and more.

Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics at the Cocoanut Grove
October 19 & 27, 2023; 6:30pm & 9pm
Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Santa Cruz. Get your tickets now to discover Halloween-inspired music at Cocoanut Grove under the gentle glow of candlelight.

13 Days of Halloween on the Wharf
October 19 – 31, 2023
Join the Santa Cruz Wharf for 13 days of frightful fun! Take part in the Great Pumpkin BINGO Hunt, snap a photo at our scenic photo booth, and enjoy festive Wharf specials ALL 13 days! It all kicks off October 19. For the Great Pumpkin BINGO Hunt, take your Bingo Card to the Wharf any day during the 13 Days of Halloween on the Wharf. Find hidden pumpkins on the Wharf. Match their ghoulish image on your bingo card and stamp your card. There’s also a photo booth on the Wharf Stage for all 13 days: Snap a festive photo with your family with the scenic Monterey Bay and Lighthouse as your backdrop. Wharf Specials – all 13 days – enjoy fabulous, unique specials from restaurants and gift shops perfectly catered to the Halloween theme. And of course, Trick-o-Treating on the Wharf – October 31, 3:00 – 6:00 pm. Bring the family to show off your creative costumes and trick-o-treat at Wharf businesses.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: Fright Flicks – “Halloween” (2018)
October 25, 2023; 7:30pm – 10pm
Bring your friends for a night of fun and frights! With a cocktail in your hand, enjoy this creepy movie filmed right here in Santa Cruz. Themed giveaways for the first 50 attendees each night; full bar featuring signature drinks; snacks available for purchase; fun inflatable chairs available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Fruition Brewing: Spooky Paint and Sip
October 26, 2023; 6pm – 9pm
Join Fruition Brewing for their 2nd annual Spooky Paint & Sip. Joey VonZombie aka JVZ Ink will be leading you in a spooktacular Halloween-themed painting! The ticket price includes your supplies and your first beer.

Watsonville Film Festival Presents: 6th Annual Dia De Muertos
October 27, 2023; 4pm – 9pm
Join us and Watsonville Film Festival to celebrate this beautiful tradition with a community event at the Watsonville City Plaza featuring altars, live music and dance, hands-on activities, and the screening of Coco! Also, check out local artisan goods in Romo Park, Watsonville Farmers’ Market offerings and more!

Henry Cowell Trunk or Treat
October 27, 2023; 4pm – 6pm
There will be a Halloween-themed evening in the Redwood Grove and Visitor Center! Costumed staff will be spaced throughout the Redwood Grove and waiting to share stories with you and your kiddos and the Visitor Center will remain open with Halloween and moderately spooky decor.

Haunted Halloween Music at Cabrillo College
October 27, 2023; 12:30pm – 3pm
Go to Cabrillo College for some very spooky music of all genres in a collaborative effort of the entire music department! Costumes recommended!

Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds: Trunk or Treat
October 27, 2023; 3pm – 6pm
There will be free entry to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds where your family can enjoy prizes, treats, games and more!

County Sherif’s Office Trunk or Treat
October 27, 2023; 5pm – 8pm
Join the county Sheriff’s Department for their annual Trunk or Treat event! Free parking and shuttle service will be provided at the Capitola Mall.

Nightmare Before the Nutcracker
October 27, 2023 7pm – 9pm
Go to the ballet in your Halloween costume! It doesn’t have to be a Nutcracker-related. There will be a Costume Contest, and the winner will get an awesome prize! So be sure to dress to impress for this nightmareish event. While their usual Nutcracker Production includes all ages from 4 to 104, this event has only invited their most seasoned dancers to perform this Halloween themed spin on a Christmas ballet. This show was made for the whole family to enjoy! Just make sure that kids are 8 years old and older. There are some scary dances that might be a little much for the little ones.

Annieglass Pumpkin Watercolor Workshop
October 28, 2023; 1pm – 3:30pm
Autumn is here and so are pumpkins! Join in the fun with Santa Cruz artist, Heidi Michelle as she guides participants in painting a pumpkin still life. She starts her class with basic design techniques to warm up the group, then moves into a demo, followed by a step-by-step process of painting fall leaves and pumpkins. Items provided: good quality paper (10”x 14”), a board and tape, a brush, palette, and paint. You will come away with a finished beautiful watercolor, 10″ X 14″ of your own to give or keep. Cost: $95.00.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Chili Cook-Off
October 28, 2023; see time details below
Bring your appetite and join the fun as both professional and amateur chefs work their culinary magic and compete for the title of Best Chili!
Cook-Off Schedule: 9:00 am – 10:00 am: Chef’s prep (no heat); 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: Chili cook time; 10:00 am: Tasting kits go on sale; 1:00 pm: Public tasting begins; 4:00 pm: Winners announced at the Colonnade Stage (front of Pirate Ship). Although not Halloween specific, there are plenty of folks dressed up, in great spirits, and serving up amazing chili!

Evergreen Cemetery: Dia De Los Muertos
October 28, 2023
This October look forward to another vibrant gathering as we collectively celebrate life and death. For the past 5 years, the team at the MAH has had the opportunity to experience, grow, and share Día de los Muertos with more and more of Santa Cruz County.  Join us for the Día de los Muertos community celebration of traditional music, dance, and art at Evergreen Cemetery. Enjoy live performances by Senderos’ Centeotl Danza y Baile at 12:30 and Ensamble Musical de Senderos at 2pm.  Stroll through the cemetery in a self-guided presentation of community altars. Learn about Dia de los Muertos from our community partners and leaders of Senderos. Hear the story of Dia de los Muertos in our community and the importance of honoring this beautiful celebration, together.

Downtown Santa Cruz Halloween Bar Crawl
October 28, 2023
Prepare to be spellbound by some atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the macabre ambiance, where haunted histories intertwine with contemporary charm. Savor the spine-chilling experience as you explore a selection of Santa Cruz’s most iconic bars and pubs, each offering exclusive food and drink specials tailored to tantalize your taste buds.

Witches Ball at the Brookdale Lodge
October 28, 2023
Fall is coming soon and so is the Witches Ball. Don your most fabulous frock for the best party of the year! Go to the Brookdale Lodge, the most haunted place in California …. if you dare! Vendors and multiple bars to tickle your fancy. Spellbinding witch hat and costume contest. Dance the night away. An exquisite time to be had by all! Lots of spooky vendors! Party will be held both inside and outside. Brookdale Cafe and Grill will be open for midnight pancakes.

Natural History Museum: Macabre Halloween Party
October 28, 2023; 6pm – 9pm
Come in costume and imbibe cauldron-concocted cocktails while exploring the chasms of the world beneath our feet. The seventh annual Museum of the Macabre will be bigger than ever with freakish festivities and special exhibits outdoors and inside the Museum’s galleries. This year’s tricks and treats will unearth the mysteries of the underground: costume contest; outdoor movie screening of Tremors; freakish features including mysterious fossils, creepy crawlies, magnificent minerals, fascinating fungi, and more; admission to the new exhibit Underground: Unearthing Unseen Worlds; treats for sale including Areperia 831, Discretion Brewing, and curated cocktails; many other shocking examples of nature’s dark side.

Howl-O-Ween Doggie Date Night at Anna Jean Cummings Park
October 28, 5pm – 9pm
Go to the dog parade and costume contest, then linger to watch Nightmare Before Christmas with your pooch outside in the park.  Don’t have a pet, but love dogs?  Go anyway and cuddle with one that is up for adoption! Free and no registration needed.

Live Earth Upper Farm: Spooky Pie Workshop
October 28, 2023; 12pm – 4pm
Join Live Earth for an unforgettable culinary adventure where they’ll teach you the art of crafting pies that are as spooky as they are scrumptious. Their expert bakers will guide you through every step, from creating spine-chilling pie crusts to conjuring up eerie fillings. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned baker, this workshop is perfect for all skill levels. Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume and embrace the spooky spirit! Bring your friends and family along for a ghoulishly good time. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn, bake, and indulge in some devilishly tasty treats.

Capitola Village Halloween Parade and Trick or Treating
October 29, 2023; 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Ghosts, goblins, boys and ghouls… Don’t miss the annual Capitola Village Halloween Parade! Line up begins at 1:30 pm in the Beach & Village Parking Lot. Parade begins promptly at 2:00 pm. Parade will head down Capitola Avenue, wind through Capitola Village to the Esplanade, ending at Esplanade Park, where trick-or-treat bags and refreshments will be waiting. Trick-or-treating at Capitola Village shops following parade.

Downtown Watsonville Candy Crawl
October 30, 2023; 2pm – 6pm
Attention all ghouls and ghosts! The 3rd annual Downtown Candy Crawl is Monday, October 30, 2023, from 2-6 PM for a hauntingly good time as you trick-or-treat your way through downtown Watsonville businesses! Save the date and let’s fill our bags with treats and memories that will last a lifetime! Free event; 13 and under.

Boulder Creek Halloween Celebration
October 31, 2023; 5pm
Put on your silliest, scariest or wackiest costume and join the Boulder Creek Downtown Trick or Treat on Halloween! This is one of the BCBA’s favorite events to host. Come by our table in front of the Sheriff Substation – you might get to meet Beaker from the Muppets! There will be traffic control volunteers at the intersections and crosswalks from 5-7 ONLY! Please do not cross at Forest Street. Crossing the highway will be allowed at Lomond Street and at the 9/236 intersection. The highway will not be closed, so limiting the places to cross will keep you and your kids safer! Trick or treat!!

Boulder Creek Halloween Afterparty
October 31, 2023; 6pm – 8pm
Not ready to finish your evening after downtown Boulder Creek businesses close from the trick-or-treating fun?  Head over to the Bear Creek Community building for family fun until school night bedtime!  There will be: Dancing, dinner, haunted house, photo booth, costume contest at 7:45.

Scotts Valley Halloween Treasure Hunt
October 31, 2023; 10am – 9pm
Join the fourth annual Scotts Valley Halloween Treasure Hunt! Pickup your Treasure Map Tuesday October 31st from Togo’s Scotts Valley and begin your journey. Event runs from 10am – 9pm and participating businesses on the map will be sharing treasure. Sights, sounds and adventure awaits. Fun for all ages.

Trick-Or-Treat on the Santa Cruz Wharf
October 31, 2023; 4pm – 6pm
Little witches, goblins, ghosts, superheroes and their parents can enjoy trick-or-treating on the beautiful Santa Cruz Wharf. Stroll the Wharf and visit your favorite businesses for sweet surprises. Special guests Spiderman, Princess Elsa and Moana will hand out candy and provide photo opportunities galore for kids (and kids at heart)! Snap a scenic family photo at the photo booth overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay. Play the Great Pumpkin Hunt Wharf trivia game. Find 5 pumpkins hidden on the Wharf with a Wharf trivia question and answer. Turn in the answers to participating businesses and win a prize. The event is free!

Downtown Santa Cruz Trick or Treat
October 31, 2023; 2pm – 5pm
Every Halloween, the Santa Cruz Police Department and the City of Santa Cruz close down Pacific Avenue for kids to trick or treat! Watch for signs in the windows of participating businesses.​

Passed Events

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: Fright Flicks – “Us”
October 4, 2023; 7:30pm – 10pm
Bring your friends for a night of fun and frights! With a cocktail in your hand, enjoy this creepy movie filmed right here in Santa Cruz. Themed giveaways for the first 50 attendees each night; full bar featuring signature drinks; snacks available for purchase; fun inflatable chairs available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Watsonville: Organic Harvest Festival
October 7, 2023; 12pm – 4pm
A free fun-filled afternoon for the whole family! Meet organic farmers from around the central coast, enjoy live music, kids activities, food samples, product samples, wine and beer tasting tickets for sale, and cheeseburgers and pulled pork sandwiches for sale.

Roaring Camp Railroads Harvest Faire
October 7 – 8, 2023
Welcome Fall with the Harvest Faire at Roaring Camp! Take the Redwood Forest Steam Train to Bear Mountain. Pick a pumpkin from the town pumpkin patch. Activities include: Pick a Pumpkin, Harvest Themed Kids Crafts, Blacksmith, Gold Panning, Live Entertainment.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: Fright Flicks – “Child’s Play”
October 11, 2023; 7:30pm – 10pm
Bring your friends for a night of fun and frights! With a cocktail in your hand, enjoy this creepy movie filmed right here in Santa Cruz. Themed giveaways for the first 50 attendees each night; full bar featuring signature drinks; snacks available for purchase; fun inflatable chairs available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Santa Cruz MAH: Festival of Monsters
October 13, 2023
On Friday the 13th, the Festival of Monsters begins at the Museum of Art and History (MAH) with a full day of free public events including: All Day: Trick or Treat Mask Display, 9:30 AM a reading from the book Unwieldly Creatures from the author and discussion, 11:15 AM artists from locally owned Trick or Treat Studios will demonstrate masks, 2:00 PM Black Nerds Create panel discussion, 3:45 PM talk with the creators of Theater of Terror graphic novel, 5:00 PM Ceremonial opening for the 2023 Festival of Monsters, 5:30 PM Mallory O’Meara, author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon gives her keynote on the legacy of women in horror.

Vampire Ball at Chaminade Resort & Spa
October 13, 2023; 8pm – 10pm
Join us in the Chaminade Courtyard for hauntingly captivating performances, mesmerizing music and decadent hors d’oeuvres. Come in your finest attire or costumes and prepare for a night that will awaken your inner vampire (21+ only event). Ticket price includes one specialty cocktail, passed hors d’oeuvres, and access to full cash bar and entertainment: live band, fire dancers, vampiress contortionist, fortune tellers, vampire photo backdrop, and costume contests.

Actors Theatre: The Thin Place Spooky Play
October 13, 2023; 8pm – 10pm
A Veteran medium and a woman grappling with loss seek answers that lie across the fragile boundary between our world and the next. This provocative and spooky play transforms the theater into an intimate séance, crafting an unnerving testament to the power of the mind.

Tractor or Treat at the Agriculture History Project
October 14, 2023; 11am – 3pm
Come on out for some amazing fall fun! Second Saturday on the farm, Tractor or Treat! Kids and families will enjoy trick-or-treating around the farm, fall crafts, drive a tractor, enjoy a hay wagon ride around the fairgrounds and so much more!

Heritage Harvest Festival at Wilder Ranch State Park
October 14, 2023; 11am – 3pm
It’s time to celebrate harvest time! Participate in historical activities and living history demonstrations including blacksmithing, the Pelton water wheel, and machine shop demonstrations. Enjoy live old-time music, baked goods, and hand-cranked pumpkin ice cream for sale. Enjoy kids’ crafts and games and partake in the apple cider press and heritage apple tasting!

UCSC Harvest Festival
October 14, 2023; 11am – 3pm
Enjoy a day on the farm at UCSC! Fun includes live music from local bands, apple pie contest, workshops, face painting, honey tasting, apple pressing, pumpkin painting, a farm stand, and tractor rides!

Chaminade Resort & Spa Fall Festival
October 14, 2023; 3:30pm – 7:30pm
Join the Chaminade in celebrating the beauty of the season with an evening of family-friendly activities, including two bounce houses, s’mores, face painting, and the haunted forest (the best one yet!) There will be costume contests and great prizes, including for your dogs. Don’t miss out on this day of fall magic. Fun, food trucks and a full cash bar for cocktails.

Felton Farmer’s Market: Pumpkin Decorating Bonanza
October 17, 2023; 2pm – 5pm
Welcome the fall and its fading light with free pumpkin decorating! At this annual tradition, kids and adults alike will sit down to celebrate the harvest season, the coming holidays and the joy of playing with food. Rodoni pumpkins of all shapes and sizes will be dressed up with veggies, string, pipe cleaners, buttons, and googly eyes. Vendors take advantage of the theme – when you are done with the market hunt seek out some pumpkin ice cream and cardamom carrot pumpkin bread!

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk: Fright Flicks – “Zombieland”
October 18, 2023; 7:30pm – 10pm
Bring your friends for a night of fun and frights! With a cocktail in your hand, enjoy this creepy movie filmed right here in Santa Cruz. Themed giveaways for the first 50 attendees each night; full bar featuring signature drinks; snacks available for purchase; fun inflatable chairs available on a first-come-first-served basis.

London Nelson Center: Halloween
October 21, 2023; 12pm – 4pm
Join the city for a traditional Halloween Festival, including mask-making and the Thriller dance flash mob!

Scarecrow Sip and Stroll in Downtown Felton
October 22, 2023; 10am – 4pm
Sip apple cider as you stroll charming Downtown Felton and cast your votes at the shops with your favorite scarecrow display.