Halloween Events in Santa Cruz 2019

Santa Cruz Halloween

Have no fear, your Santa Cruz Halloween Guide is here!

We’ve got midnight movies, costume parades, haunted houses, and early trick or treats—all leading up to the big day, which happens to fall on a Thursday this year.

Here’s a day-by-day listing of all the Halloween-themed events this month. Check back weekly for updates:

Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches
No Halloween guide would be complete without a mention of our great local pumpkin patches. We rounded up all the best and you can find them here, in our guide to Santa Cruz Pumpkin Patches.

Midnight Movies at the Del Mar

Nothing like a midnight movie at the Del Mar to get into the Halloween spirit, especially with classics playing all month like The Exorcist and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • The Haunting 10/4
  • House (Hausu) 10/5
  • Killer Klowns from Outerspace 10/11
  • Donnie Darko 10/12
  • The Exorcist 10/18
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 10/19
  • Ghostbusters 10/25
  • Halloween 10/26
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show 11/1 & 11/2

Saturday, October 19

13 Days of Halloween on the Wharf

When: 10/19 – 10/31
Where: Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf

Get ready for Halloween with a spooky, family fun countdown! Head to the Wharf for 13 days of activities including Great Pumpkin BINGO, festive photo booth, zombies, Thriller dance moves, and unique specials from Wharf restaurants and gift shops. All the fun leads to trick or treating on the wharf on Halloween.

Get more info here.

Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch & Apples Bash

When: 10/19 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Live Earth Farm, Watsonville

Experience the joy of fall on a farm—wander a pumpkin patch, pick apples, and ride a tractor. Or maybe take a workshop with Santa Cruz Master Recyclers or try a family yoga session. Enjoy live music and grab a bite to eat from Good Dogs Food Truck, Companion Bakery, and Fruition Brewing.

Get more info here.

Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party

When: 10/19 – 10/20 & 10/26 – 10/27
Where: Roaring Camp Railroads

Straight from the Island of Sodor, Thomas the Tank Engine and his buddy Percy are hosting a Halloween party that includes a 20-minute train ride, storytelling and video viewing, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, a pumpkin patch, and photo ops with Sir Topham Hatt.

Get more info here.

Sunday, October 20

Floating Pumpkin Patch at Simpkins

When: 10/20 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Simpkins Family Swim Center

If you’ve ever wondered if pumpkins sink or float in water, spoiler alert…they float! Bring the whole family for an afternoon of swimming, games, waterslide fun, and pumpkin picking with a twist from the floating pumpkin patch.

Get more info here.

Thursday, October 24

17th Annual Scotts Valley Haunted House

When: 10/24 – 10/26 from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Where: 555 Glenwood Drive, Scotts Valley

Scream for a good cause! Scotts Valley High School will raise the hair on the back of your neck while raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This year’s theme: Schmetterling Slaughterhouse. Not recommended for children under 10.

Get more info here.

Friday, October 25

88 Keys Halloween Concert

When: 10/25 at 12:30 pm
Where: Samper Recital Hall at Cabrillo College
Cost: Free event but tickets are required

This is a Santa Cruz Life favorite for all ages. No tricks, just treats in the form of a spooky, family-friendly Halloween concert put on by the music students at Cabrillo College. Tickets are free but required for entrance.

Get more info here.

5th Annual Trunk or Treat

When: 10/25 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office – 5200 Soquel Ave.

Instead of house to house, kids can go from car trunk to car trunk to collect treats. There will also be a petting zoo, haunted metro bus, games, and new this year: a kids’ parade and ‘Dunk a Swat’. Don’t miss a performance by Watsonville Taiko at 5:15 pm.

Get more info here.

Food Trucks and Free Movie in the Park

When: 10/25 at 4:30 pm; Movie starts at 6:30 pm
Where: Skypark, Scotts Valley

Come in costume and receive a treat from all the food trucks including Saucey’z, Holopono, Mattia Pizza, G’s Mexicantacos, and Aunt LaLi’s. Enjoy food truck fare, a beer and wine garden, live music, and “Spider-Man, Into the Spider-Verse”. 

Get more info here.

Saturday, October 26

Gault Elementary Annual Halloween Parade and Carnival

When: 10/26 Parade at 9:00 am; Carnival 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Gault Elementary; Parade starts at The Buttery

The Gault Elementary Halloween Parade & Carnival has been a favorite community tradition since 1948! All of Santa Cruz is invited to this fun, family-friendly event. The day begins with a costume parade on Soquel Ave. (meet at The Buttery) followed by the carnival at Gault Elementary.

Get more info here.

The Boo Bash

When: 10/26 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: 23845 Summit Road, Los Gatos 95033

Bring the family and enjoy a day on the summit! Loma Prieta Home & School Club and the Summit Store are partnering to bring entertainment for all including a rock climbing wall, Jacob’s Ladder, velcro wall, haunted garden, food trucks, shave ice, games, face painting, and more.

Get more info here.

Halloween Mask Making Festival and Haunted House

When: 10/26 Festival from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm;
Haunted House 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm & 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Louden Nelson Community Center

Halloween spirit is an understatement at Louden Nelson. There will be mask making activities, mystery touch tanks, a Thriller zombie flash mob dance, and a haunted house with versions for both young and older children.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Derby Girls DOUBLE HEADER!

When: 10/26 Doors open at 4:00 pm; Game times at 4:30 & 6:45
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Come cheer on the Santa Cruz Derby Girls at their last home game of the season. It’s a Halloween themed double-header and dressing up is strongly encouraged! May we suggest unicorns, vampires, skeletons, and monsters? As always, there are some very special half time shows planned for both games, food trucks onsite, and full concessions.

Purchase tickets below and use Discount Code: SCLife19 for 10% off.

Get more info here.

The Missing Arm of William Waddell

When: 10/26 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Bring a flashlight for this guided walking theater experience in the redwoods and prepare yourself for the spooky and slightly silly haunted tale about Big Basin’s last lumber mill owner and his fateful encounter with a grizzly bear. Afterwards, enjoy ranger apples cooked around the campfire and more storytelling fun. The trail is stroller and wheelchair accessible.

Get more info here.

Haunted Harbor Trick-or-Treat Event

When: 10/26 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Harbor

An eerie adventure at the Harbor awaits, where little ghouls and goblins can visit trick-or-treat stations throughout the southeast harbor.

Get more info here.

Museum of the Macabre

When: 10/26 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Explore all things mysterious and macabre at the Museum of Natural History after dark. Come in costume and enjoy cauldron-concocted cocktails, freakish nibbles, and strange museum curiosities. This year’s event showcases the art of taxidermy and will feature live demonstrations and artful displays.

Get more info here.

Annual Halloween Monster Bash at Palomar Ballroom

When: 10/26 from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Where: Palomar Ballroom

You can expect plenty of bumps in the night at Palomar’s Annual Monster Bash, including Swing lessons, dance performances, social dancing, and a monster mash line dance. Get your costumes ready for the contest!

Get more info here.

Witches Ball 2019

When: 10/26 from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am
Where: Brookdale Lodge

Welcome to the most haunted hotel in California! The Brookdale Lodge is the perfect venue for a Witches Ball, complete with live music by the Coffin Bangers aka Deep Pockets, a costume contest, witches hat contest, food truck court, fortune teller, photo booth, and multiple bars.

Get more info here.

Severino’s Halloween Party

When: 10/26 from 8:00 pm to 11:30 pm
Where: Severino’s Bar & Grill

Severino’s is creepin’ it real with their annual Halloween party. Enjoy delicious drink specials, a costume contest, and live music by Fishhook.

Get more info here.

Sunday, October 27

Trunk or Treat

When: 10/27 from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Cruise Coffee, Scotts Valley

Join the Scotts Valley Fire District, Santa Cruz Mustang Club, and Cruise Coffee for a safe trick-or-treating experience for all the kids. All cars are welcome to dress their trunks up—award for best dressed trunk!—and pass out candy. Bring your camera for photos with a fire engine from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

Get more info.

Día De Los Muertos Festival & 5k/3k Run

When: 10/27 from Run at 9:00 am; Festival 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: El Rosal Bakery

The bakery that brings you the best tamales in town, is hosting an exciting 5k/3k run followed by a Día de los Muertos celebration. There will be jump houses, piñatas, face painting, traditional sugar skull decorating, Ballet Folklórico and Aztec dancers. A fun, cultural event for the whole family!

Get more info here.

Capitola Village Children’s Halloween Parade

When: 10/27 Line-up begins at 1:30. Parade starts at 2:00 pm
Where: Parade winds through Village and ends at Esplanade Park

The Capitola Village Children’s Halloween Parade begins near the Capitola Police Department, and works its way down Capitola Avenue to the Esplanade stage where refreshments will be served. Enjoy trick or treating at Village shops after the parade.

Get more info here.

Beer, Brats, Blues & Boos

When: 10/27 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Chaminade Resort & Spa

Oktoberfest meets Halloween at the annual Beer, Brats, Blues & Boos. Make sure your costume gives you room to enjoy assorted sausages and sides plus local craft brews. The Vinny Johnson Band will provide the perfect funked up blues and soul for a fun afternoon.

Get more info here.

Halloween: Thursday, October 31

Halloween at the Seymour Center

When: 10/31 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: Seymour Marine Discovery Center

Wear your costume to the Seymour Center and receive $2 off regular price admission!

Get more info here.

Halloween Baby Bash

When: 10/31 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Where: Mini Mint, 3912 Portola Dr.

Dress up your babes, walk along East Cliff with other mamas, and invite your friends to join the party. Enjoy a costume contest and baby-friendly treats back at the shop.

Get more info here.

Sea Witches of Capitola 4th Annual SUP Gathering

When: 10/31 at 10:00 am
Where: Meet at Capitola Beach Bandstand

The Capitola Sea Witches are planning their 4th Annual Halloween Paddle Out. All costumed witches are invited to join the wicked, wet fun, but please only experienced paddlers on the water.

Get more info here.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Presents A Westside Halloween

When: 10/31 from 2:30 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

A dog costume parade on West Cliff, trick-or-treating at the Swift Street Courtyard, costume contests for dogs and adults, TACOS…Can there by any more fun packed into one event? Join Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Woofpack 831, and the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter for a Westside Halloween!

Get more info here.

Trick-or-Treat Downtown

Halloween downtown Santa Cruz

When: 10/31 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Downtown Santa Cruz

Head Downtown with your little ghosts and goblins for trick or treating at local businesses on Pacific Ave. Even if you don’t go for the candy, the people/costume watching is well worth a mid-afternoon trip to downtown.

Get more info here.

Trick or Treat on the Wharf

When: 10/31 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Wharf

13 Days of Halloween culminates with trick-or-treating on the wharf. Meet some costumed characters while you’re at it. Businesses will be handing out treats between 4:00 and 6:00 pm on Halloween.

Get more info here.

Trick-or-Treat at Capitola Mall

When: 10/31 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Capitola Mall

Mall shops will be giving out candy and other goodies between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. Come earlier and join the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery on a costume parade around the mall.

Get more info here.

Haunted House & Halloween Fun

When: 10/31 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Santa Cruz Mountain Arts Center

Don’t miss Halloween fun, creepy illusions, and spooky artwork at the Art Center’s annual Haunted House. Enjoy treats and a few tricks with art and science.

Get more info here.

Bruno’s Halloween Party

When: 10/31 at 7:00 pm
Where: Bruno’s Bar and Grill, Scotts Valley

This is the only Halloween party featuring identical twins playing dueling pianos! The fun continues with dancing downstairs to The Ape & The Alien’s electronic music. Food, drinks, and a costume contest round out the festivities.

Get more info here.

SambaDá Halloween Bash

When: 10/31 8:00 pm Doors / 9:00 pm Show
Where: Moe’s Alley

A full-on dance party—it’s SambaDá, what else would you expect? Well, on Santa Cruz’s favorite holiday, you get a bonus costume contest with cash prizes. Get your tickets early for this one!

Get more info here. 

About Christine Candelaria

Christine Candelaria is a local mom of four who enjoys sharing her Santa Cruz adventures. You can follow her #santacruzlife on Instagram at @theaumsmama.