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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!