California Halloween Events


Halloween Events in Santa Cruz

Trick or Treat on the Wharf

October 31, 2023, 3-6 p.m.

Santa Cruz Wharf Little witches, goblins, and ghosts and their parents can enjoy safe and sane trick-or-treating at wharf businesses.


Santa Cruz Halloween & Mask Making Festival

October 21, 2023, 12-4 p.m.

London Nelson Community Center
301 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 

Thriller Dance Dress Rehearsal in Laurel Park 3 p.m., Carnival Games, Making Masks

Mask Making Festival is an annual  tradition which includes mask-making, the Thrill the World dance, and a child-friendly tour of the Haunted House. ALL FREE. 

Family-friendly Haunted House from 12-3 p.m. (FREE)
Thrill the World Dance: 3-3:15 p.m.

Thrill the World 

October 28, 2023, 3 p.m.

Laurel Park
Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz Boardwalk Fright Flicks

October 4-25, 2023, 8 p.m.

Cocoanut Grove Ballroom
400 Beach Street
Santa Cruz, CA
$15, 21+

  • US movie October 4, 2023
  • Child's Play movie October 11, 2023 (Chucky flick)
  • Zombieland movie October 18, 2023
  • Halloween movie October 25, 2023

WEDNESDAYS AT 8PM Bring your friends for an evening of fun and frights! Enjoy your favorite classic horror and suspense films in the Boardwalk's historic Cocoanut Grove ballroom. (21+) Full bar with drinks for sale, themed nights

 Themed giveaways: Oct. 4: One free admission to the Fright Walk Oct. 11: Light-up Shot Glass Oct. 18: Spooky Blood Bags for Adult Beverages Oct. 25: “More Boos Please” Skeleton Beer Coozies You are encouraged to come in costume, but no masks allowed.

Harvest Faire

October 7-8, 2023

Roaring Camp Railrods
Felton, CA

Take the Redwood Forest Steam Train to Bear Mountain. Pick a pumpkin from the town pumpkin patch. Activities include ACTIVITIES Picnic Lunch, Local Beer & Wine, Kids Activities & Games, Live String Band, Raffle Prizes, Rail and Trail Info

Candlelight Classics Halloween Concert at Boardwalk with Listeso String Quartet

October 19, 2023, 6:30 & 9 p.m.

Cocoanut Grove
400 Beach Street
Santa Cruz, CA

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.

Seating is assigned on a first come first served basis in each zone

Tentative Program

Thriller - Michael Jackson
Funeral March of a Marionette - Charles Gounod
String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor (Dresden Quartet), Op. 110: II. Allegro Molto - Dmitri Shostakovich
Tubular Bells (Theme from The Exorcist) - Mike Oldfield
Stranger Things (Theme) - S U R V I V E
Beetlejuice (Theme) - Danny Elfman
The Addams Family (Theme) - Vic Mizzy
Halloween (Theme) - John Carpenter
Psycho (Prelude) - Bernard Herrmann
Ghostbusters (Theme) - Ray Parker Jr.
Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saëns
Night on Bald Mountain - Modest Mussorgsky
Der Erlkönig - Franz Schubert
Medley from The Nightmare Before Christmas - Danny Elfman
In the Hall of the Mountain King - Edvard Grieg

Santa Cruz Floating Pumpkin Patch

October 21, 2023, 1-4 p.m.

Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave.
$8, $6 approx. price, Ages 4-12 & 65+ years
$5 approx. price Per Pumpkin,
County of Santa Cruz Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services Event! 
Simpkins Family Swim Center  is putting a fun spin on the tradition of pumpkin picking by creating a patch in the pool just for you! Floating Pumpkins! • Raffle! • Games & Prizes! Sweet Treats! • Stand up Paddle Boards! This is a drop-in, rain or shine event; pre-registrations are not required. Visit for the schedule of activities and admission information.

Swim with the pumpkins, ride the water slide and stand up paddle board in the deep end. In addition to pumpkins, activities planned for the day include games, prizes, music, popcorn, and pumpkin decorating, and the waterslide! Costumes are encouraged! Bring your suit and towel, your friends and family, and make a day of it! This is a drop-in, rain or shine event and help raise money for learn-to-swim scholarships! There will be games and prizes for all who attend!

Thomas & Percy's Halloween Party

October 13-15, 21-22, 28-29, 2023, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

 Roaring Camp Railroads
5401 Graham Hill Road
Felton, CA 95018
(831) 335-4484
$25-27 all ages, order tickets early!

Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas and Percy, for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family.  Pick-a-Pumpkin, Halloween Crafts and Costume Contest are part of the fun.

Thomas Train Play Tables
Pumpkin Decorating
Live Music with Peter Apel
Mr. Miraculous the Magician
Photos with Thomas, Percy & Sir Topham Hatt

Thomas the Tank Engine talks to his fans! Dress up for Halloween with favorites for a 20 minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family. 

Zombie Thrill the World Performance on the Wharf 

October 28, 2023, 5:30 p.m.
Thriller Zombie Dance 
Apocalypse Wharf Specials
Ghostly fun at the Wharf stage

Downtown Santa Cruz Children's Halloween 

October 31, 2023, 2-5 p.m.

Free Halloween activities and merchant trick-or-treat on Pacific Ave. from Laurel to Water St. FREE rick-or-Treat Downtown
Annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat . Pacific Avenue will be closed to vehicles for this annual afternoon of costumed fun for the whole family. Visit your favorite merchants or treats. Trick-or-Treat Downtown

2023 Festival of Monsters

Friday, October 13, 2023, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

The MAH - Museum of Art & History
705 Front St.
Downtown Santa Cruz

Monsters lurk in our culture. They rise in times of growing prejudice, discrimination and othering. The 2023 Festival of Monsters hosted by the UC Santa Cruz Center for Monster Studies  explores the ways monsters and tropes of monstrosity both preserve and conflict with forms of social and cultural injustice.

The 2023 Festival includes a free public day a with performances, readings, presentations from monster-makers, and  a $10 admission exhibit at MAH entitled Werewolf Hunters, Jungle Queens, and Space Commandos: The Lost Worlds of Women Comics Artists.

On Friday the 13th, the Festival begins at the MAH with a full day of public events including a panel with Black Nerds Create, a talk with the creators of Theater of Terror, a reading by author Addie Tsai (Unwieldy Creatures), a Q&A and mask display by locally-owned Trick or Treat Studios, a keynote by Mallory O'Meara (The Lady from the Black Lagoon).

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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