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The Ten Halloween Celebrations You Can't Miss

Andrea Powell | October 23, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

Haunted House at the Jelly Belly Factory
What: The daily free tours at NorCal’s favorite candy factory get a Halloween twist with detours through a special “decorated haven of Halloween delights.”
Where: The Jelly Belly Factory, Fairfield
When: October 20 – 31, 9am – 4pm
Cost: FREE
Why: There’s never been a better time to overload on free candy. Oh wait.

Marin Halloween Fest
What: Featuring a “bring one, get one” costume swap, pumpkin weight-guessing, and a pet costume contest.
Where: Marin Country Mart Farmer’s Market, Larkspur
When: Saturday October 25th, 9am – 1pm
Cost: FREE
Why: A “costumed pup parade.” That just says it all.

Zombie Walk
What: San Francisco’s zombies will awaken and drag themselves through the streets of the Castro and the Mission in a gory collection of food for the SF-Marin Food Bank.
Where: The two-and-a-half mile walk starts at Jane Warner Memorial Plaza (Castro and Market), San Francisco
When: Saturday October 25th, 2pm
Cost: Free, but an RSVP is requested (and don’t forget to bring some canned food!)
Why: Your chance to be weird for a good cause (though come to think of it, San Francisco is full of those opportunities).

Haunted Halloween at the Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel
What: In keeping with the strange magic of this tiny coastal paradise, the Point Montara Lighthouse – which operates as a hostel full-time – throws an annual Halloween party that includes carnival games, a pie-eating competition, and even a full orchestra.
Where: Point Montara Lighthouse, Highway One
When: Saturday October 25th, 2-5pm
Cost: Suggested donation of $8/adult and $4/child
Why: Montara sits just north of Half Moon Bay, the epic source of most of the pumpkins in California. Talk about a “locally sourced” Halloween.

“Thriller” Dance-Off
What: Thrill the World is an annual dance performance that performs at the same time all around the world. In other words, the world’s biggest (and greatest?) flash mob.
Where: Studio One Art Center, Oakland
When: If you want to perform, free dance lessons start at 12pm. Otherwise, the performance begins at 3pm.
Cost: FREE, but a $10 suggested donation
Why: It’s probably the most awesome thing you’ll do all year.

North Beach Halloween Extravaganza
What: The Friends of Joe DiMaggio Playground invite the whole city to this 7th Annual neighborhood festival featuring music, food trucks, a haunted house, and more.
Where: Joe DiMaggio Playground at Lombard and Powell, San Francisco
When: Sunday October 26th, 3-6pm
Cost: FREE
Why: Tiny San Francisco can make it difficult to give kids an “authentic” Halloween experience, but this festival promises to deliver hay bales, pumpkins, and lots of good old-fashioned fun.

Pet Pride Day
What: San Francisco Animal Care & Control hosts this pet-themed Halloween party every year with on-site adoptions, a pet costume contest, and a “canine freestyle” obedience and tricks training.
Where: Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park
When: Sunday October 26th, 11am – 3pm
Cost: FREE
Why: What’s cuter than a fluffy Golden Retriever? A Golden Retriever dressed as a ghost.

Halloween Masquerade
What: A proper adult Halloween party with costumes, themed drinks, and plenty of dancing.
Where: Rouge Night Club, San Francisco
When: Friday, October 31st, 9pm
Cost: $20
Why: Might be a better idea than that college party you were planning on crashing.

Black Light Art Show
What: Local artists will be showing off Halloween-themed art using UV reactive fluorescent colors under a black light.
Where: Studio 23, Alameda
When: Friday October 31st, 7pm
Cost: FREE
Why: A mellower way to get that creepy, back-of-da-club black light effect.

Crawloween Pub Crawl
What: An adult form of trick-or-treating, “treats” are given out at each bar to those who come in costume.
Where: Starts at Mayes Oyster House, San Francisco
When: Saturday November 1st, 2pm-6pm
Cost: $15 buys you a wristband, which leads to very discounted drinks at participating bars.
Why: Don’t be that adult that goes door to door asking for candy. Ask for something better.

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