Spellbound! The 8 Best Halloween Happenings In San Francisco

Halloween may be known as the day of the dead, but that doesn’t mean our night should be just as lifeless. And that seems to be the idea around town, too, since we’ve found a plethora of wicked-cool shindigs worth hopping on a broom to get to. So, whether you’re looking for a downright sinister zombie party to a relatively innocent carnival-filled bash, these events are too ghoul for school. Scour the list below and have a hair-raising good time.

Run, Sweat, and Fear

If the thought of eating a ton of candy puts your diet plans in panic mode, then this Halloween event is your saving grace. Instead of pigging out on cocktails and ooey-gooey confections, Run, Sweat, and Fear is all about fitness. Set up as a spooky 5-mile course, participants will run for their lives (okay, not really, just pretend!) and can take home the prize as either first man or woman to cross the finish line. And once you make it out in one piece, standing on the scale is bound to feel a lot less scary!

When: Monday, October 29, 6:30 p.m.

Where: West Portal Library, 190 Lenox Way (at Ulloa Street); No phone.


Clift’s Sixth Element-Themed Costume Party

It’s never fun to show up as one of the only few actually donning a costume at a Halloween party. Talk about embarrassing! But at Clift’s annual costume party going down this Wednesday, note that all attendees are required to dress in their spookiest getups. The theme this year is the "sixth" element — a futuristic fete that's a fusion of Mad Max and The 5th Element. And we hear some handcrafted cocktails will be a-brewin’ and tunes from house to dub-step will be spinnin’ inside the Redwood Room. Trust us, this won’t be your typical apple-bobbing shindig.

When: Wednesday, October 31, 9 p.m to 2 a.m.

Where: Clift, 495 Geary Street (at Taylor Street); 415-775-4700.

Halloween Bingo

Sure, Friday the 13th may be known for providing us with bad luck, but we’d like to think Halloween isn’t so ill-fated. And to test that theory out, we suggest attending Piper Shoe Parlor’s Halloween Bingo and compete for a stellar gift card prize from the shop. Just try not to cross any black cats on the way there, and you’re golden.

When: Friday, October 26, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Piper’s Shoe Parlor, 1682 Haight Street (at Cole Street); 415-553-6884.

Provo Craft’s Street Crafting

There’s no denying that part of the Halloween fun is getting crafty on all the possible holiday DIY's at our disposal. And our Pinterest boards can certainly attest to that. To help us get in on the creative handiwork is Provo Craft’s outdoor Street Crafting event where we can construct anything from festive cards to 3-D skulls. Whatever you whip up, no doubt it’s destined to be boo-tiful.

When: Saturday, October 27, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive (at Bandshell in the Music Concourse); No phone.


Workspace Halloween Party

It’s a tough call choosing between a haunted house or a costume party when mapping out your Hallow’s Eve agenda — but luckily Workspace is making it easy on us. For its H’ween bash, the entire space will be decked out in the most hauntingly eerie décor. And aside from the cobwebbed space, expect cheap drinks, marshmallow ghosts, and jams performed by Hungry Skinny.

When: Wednesday, October 31, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Where: Workspace, 635 Divisadero Street Suite A (at Grove Street); 415-874-9186.

Zombie Nightlife

Addicted to shows like The Walking Dead? Then, listen up! The California Academy of Sciences is bringing to life a zombie-filled soirée complete with dead-frightening makeovers and survivor challenges. But, if you start craving brains afterward, you might want to get that checked out.

When: Saturday, October 27, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: California Academy of Sciences, 65 Music Concourse Drive (near John F. Kennedy Drive); 415-379-8000.

Price: $12; Buy here!


It’s hard to imagine a more spook-tastic Halloween gathering than this year’s Scaregrove. Stern Grove will be hosting everything from carnival rides to haunted houses, so we can cross out all the best seasonal must-dos off our list. And with tickets at just $8 a pop, there’s certainly nothing scary about the price.

When: Saturday, October 27, 3 to 9 p.m.

Where: Stern Grove, 832 Folsom Street Suite 1000 (near 4th Street); 415-252-6252.

Price: $8; Buy at the McLaren Lodge Annex.

Arata Pumpkin Farm

If all these above options seem over-the-top, we suggest you keep things traditional by heading out to Half Moon Bay’s Arata Pumpkin Farm. There, you can do everything from get lost in the hay maze to board the full-steam-ahead train ride. The only side effect is a yearning for the season to never end, but enjoy the autumnal fun while it lasts!

Where: Arata Pumpkin Farm, 185 Verde Road (near Cabrillo Highway), Half Moon Bay; 650-726-7548.

When:Now through Sunday, November 11, 9 a.m to 7 p.m.

Photo: Via Facebook/ Arata Pumpkin Farm

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