Things to do in San Jose

Spooktacular Halloween Events in San Jose

Thrills, chills, and good-natured Halloween fun await in San Jose. These spooky events promise a frighteningly good time!

As Halloween rolls around, something in the air changes. Summer fades away, and people embrace the impending celebrations. Halloween is a holiday we’re here for. People decorate their homes with otherworldly special effects in preparation for trick-or-treaters. Some create intricate costumes commemorating their dedication to the season.

Things go bump in the night in October in Silicon Valley, where spooktacular fun awaits. Excitement abounds as people explore the many Halloween things to do in San Jose. You'll find no shortage of Halloween events in this city for people of all ages.

Dive into family-friendly frights by day or haunt some local adults-only thrills and chills after the sun goes down. Put on your best costume and join us as we creep and crawl through some of the best Halloween events in San Jose.

Family-Friendly Halloween Fun

For families with children, Halloween is often one of the highlights of the year. After all, what's more fun for children than donning costumes and becoming another person for a night to get candy? San Jose, CA, has plenty of spooky events for children, including several outdoor events where they can get some fresh air.

1. Bascom Boo Bash at Bascom Community Center

In October, Bascom Community Center transforms into a haunted Halloween haven. Children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, can partake in festivities for an evening to remember. Children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, can partake in festivities for an evening to remember.

Dressing up may not be required, but it's encouraged to come in your Halloween best. Put on your costume, and show off your creativity at the photo booth. Try your hand at some of the carnival games, or settle in to make your own souvenir at the arts and crafts station. If you dare, venture into the haunted rooms for a frightfully good time.

Price: $5 admission per person, free for kids under 5.
Location: 1000 S. Bascom Ave. San Jose, CA 95128.

2. Trunk or Treat at Seven Trees Community Center

Let's face it: For children, one of Halloween's biggest appeals is trick or treating. Sweet treats, costumes, and decorations make for unforgettable memories. At Seven Trees Community Center, this beloved Halloween tradition extends a bit longer. It offers an extra day of candy gathering with its annual Trunk or Treat event.

Children 11 and younger get dressed up to wander through lines of decorated cars to gather their treats. Those aged 10 and older can join in on extra excitement at the community center's Haunted Hallway.

Location: 3590 Cas Dr.San Jose, CA 95111.

3. Spooktacular Halloween at Berryessa Community Center

At the Berryessa Community Center, October means one thing: Spooktacular Halloween. Here, your children's creativity will flourish at arts and crafts and pumpkin painting stations. Don't forget to go all out with some fang-tastic costumes. The first-place costume will take home a prize!

If you're brave, take some time to explore the haunted house. Volunteer actors and actresses lurk behind corners and blend into the shadows, just waiting to jump out.

After your heart stops pounding hard enough to leap from your chest, make your way to the carnival games or collect some sweets on the Candy Walk, where trick-or-treat stations await.

Location: 3050 Berryessa Rd. San Jose, CA 95132.

Photographer: Charles Parker

4. Children's Halloween Haunt at History Park

History Park is a treat to explore on any given day. But in October, this re-creation of a historic 1900s-era town becomes something truly spectacular.

Decorations adorn the houses, evoking the Halloween spirit with lights. Skeletons and ghosts loom in corners, while spiderwebs linger on usually pristine walls. Explore the historic houses with Halloween-themed activities, such as crafts and games.

Other buildings in History Park introduce visitors to cultures prevalent in the diverse city. The Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, for example, hosts a house where they share tidbits about Chinese association with common Halloween themes, such as spiders and bats.

The real show begins after the sun goes down. The Halloween Haunt Light Show wows visitors of all ages. Gobble up some snacks from local food trucks and enjoy the 30-minute show.

Location: 635 Phelan Ave. San José, CA 95112.

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5. Día de los Muertos at Children's Discovery Museum

Every year, the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose hosts its Día de los Muertos celebrations. While it isn't specific to Halloween, Día de los Muertos happens the day after.

This vibrant festival is primarily celebrated in Mexico and parts of South America to commemorate life and death, honoring loved ones who have been lost. It's a time for joy and bright colors, embracing the natural process of death and the happiness brought into our lives by those who have passed.

At this event, children enter a world of colorful altars and sugar skulls as they explore traditions and customs. Performances put on by spirited skeleton puppet characters and sugar skull processions are a few of the highlights you'll find at this family-friendly event.

Location: 180 Woz Way San Jose, CA 95110.

Photographer: Sam Brand

6. Annual Miccaihuitl at Sunrise Middle School

Celebrate the season immersed in culture at Sunrise Middle School. Every year, it puts on a family-friendly event known as Miccaihuitl, which is the predecessor of current Día de los Muertos traditions. It's an Aztec ritual for honoring the dead and harvesting.

Discover vibrant ofrendas, which are altars where people honor their ancestors. These altars are stunning displays of color and culture combined. Explore the numerous vendors and workshops throughout the school's grounds to learn more about Día de los Muertos.

You'll catch live music here, along with traditional Aztec and folklórico dancers ready to share their traditions and culture with the general public.

Location: 1149 E. Julian St San Jose, CA 95116.

Adult-Focused Halloween Events

Just because you've grown up doesn't mean you have to give up the Halloween spirit. Sure, trick-or-treating might be a thing of the past, but you can still throw on a costume and take the night by storm. You'll find all sorts of Halloween things to do in San Jose for people of all ages, but the adults-only activities can be a real blast.

7. The Official Halloween Bar Crawl — Saturday, October 26th

Each year, Crawl With Us hosts bar crawls around the nation. San Jose is lucky enough to make the list, and the Halloween Bar Crawl is a fan favorite. It's no wonder why, either — you're never too old to get in the spooky spirit and celebrate the night away.

You'll need a ticket to join in on the festivities, but a ticket provides access to two or three voucher items and an after-party. Along the way, you'll be guided through at least five local venues. You'll have access to discounts, such as waived cover at venues and specials on food.

Price: $18.41 (fees included).

A national costume contest is associated with this event, so be sure to dress up in your Halloween finest. It's not uncommon to see people with gruesome makeup that transforms them into rotting zombies and sinister monsters.

8. 31 Skulls at San Jose Woman's Club

In the Landmark Ballroom at the San Jose Woman's Club, a whole new way of celebrating the Halloween season unfolds. Dress up in your best goth formal attire and prepare for a night of artistic celebration. Its annual fundraiser, 31 Skulls, features 31 local artists who each create unique ceramic skulls.

Attendees can meet the artists and admire the skulls to the rhythm of live music or visit the spooky photo booth. As the night progresses, the skulls are eventually auctioned off in support of the San Jose Woman's Club. The artist takes home a portion of the winning bids, and the Woman's Club benefits as well.

Location: 75 S 11th Street San Jose, California 95112.

Even if you don't take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art, you'll have an experience you won't soon forget.

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Unique Halloween Celebrations

Sure, Halloween is traditionally a time to dress up and collect candy, but San Jose and the surrounding areas know exactly how to put on a celebration with a unique twist.

You can find all sorts of fantastic options in Silicon Valley that are sure to have you screaming with delight, from watching hordes of zombies running down the road to a pet-oriented event and all sorts of things in between.

9. Halloween in Japantown

Halloween and Japan might not seem to go together, but they do in San Jose's Japantown. Since 2003, Halloween in Japantown has been an annual event, but because it became so popular in 2017, the streets have had to close to accommodate the day.

Costume-clad visitors flock here to get a taste of culture and spend the day exploring everything Japantown brings to the city. This family-friendly affair features trick-or-treating at local businesses, giving children another chance at a candy grab before the big day.

Watch preschoolers, children, and San Jose Taiko members perform traditional taiko on massive drums, among other live music opportunities. We appreciate their dedication to their artistry. While you're here, don't miss the haunted house, where surprises and jump scares await around practically every corner.

Photographer: Klub Boks

10. Run With the Zombies — Saturday, November 2nd

If being chased by zombies sounds like a dream (or nightmare) come true, the annual Run with the Zombies race may become the pinnacle of Halloween festivities in San Jose for you. Each year, runners from all over the San Jose area prepare for a race like no other.

For a wicked good time, they put on their best costume makeup, creating gruesome injuries and painting their skin. The result is every participant running through the streets like a hoard of zombies from a horror movie.

Different races are offered during this event, from kid’s run to marathon. Whether you're a runner wanting to join in the fray or you don't have an athletic bone in your body, this is an event worth visiting. Watching the zombies parade down the road and appreciating their creativity is just as fun as running yourself.

Location: Hellyer County Park, 985 Hellyer Ave, San Jose, CA 95111.

11. Barks n' Brews at Ganado Feed

Ganado Feed, a beloved local feed and pet supply store, believes pets are an essential part of the family. Your furry friend shouldn't have to miss out on the fall spirit! That's why Ganado Feed hosts its annual Barks n' Brews event each October, inviting people to bring their pets for a good cause.

Proceeds generated go to a local animal rescue, and you're left with the memories of a grand time. Here, vendors sell their merchandise and beer as you explore. Plus, a pet photo booth offers beautiful pet portraits with a harvest-themed backdrop. You'll even find a pet-friendly pumpkin patch to pick your next Jack O'Lantern.

Location: 433 Vineyard Town Ctr, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, USA.

12. BOO Alley at Gilroy Gardens

Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park is great any day of the year, bringing cheer and thrills to all who visit. After all, why else would it be among the Silicon Valley attractions you don't want to miss? However, around Halloween, it gets better than ever.

Dressing up in costumes is fun, but dressing up in costumes and climbing on thrilling rides, like the snake-themed Timber Twister Coaster, is wildly better. Unless you add candy. After all, what's Halloween without a sweet treat?

For Halloween, Gilroy Gardens becomes BOO Alley, where you can trick or treat along the Boo Trail. Wander into Downtown BOO Alley, where a pumpkin pyramid and hay maze await, along with drinks that look like potions from a witch's cauldron.

As the sun sets, BOO Alley transforms even further, with a shimmering light tunnel that glimmers to music. Join costumed actors as they tour the venue to solve mysteries, or catch them on the stage as they set off on a wacky adventure.

If you dress up, remember the dress code is family-friendly! Leave the weapons and masks at home.

Location: 3050 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA 95020, United States.

13. A BOO-tiful Downtown Halloween in Los Altos

About 30 minutes from San Jose, you'll find Los Altos, a charming city that believes Halloween is serious business. Each year on Halloween, it holds its annual event: A BOO-tiful Downtown Halloween. It starts and ends before the sun goes down, making it a top pick for families of young children in the area.

Starting at noon, stores lining downtown set up orange pumpkin signs in their windows, welcoming young trick-or-treaters inside for a sweet treat. After you've made your way through the shops, check out the rest of the fun, family-friendly festivities.

Games and a balloon artist add a child-friendly touch to the celebrations, and you'll even find areas where you can create your own creepy crafts.

14. Monster Bash in Mountain View — Saturday, October 26th

Mountain View is only 14 miles from San Jose, and it sure knows how to put on spooktacular Halloween events. Its annual Monster Bash Monster Bash festival attracts families looking for a monstrously good time. Throughout Rengstorff Park, where the event is held, you'll find all things Halloween, from spooky games to dazzling performances.

Children particularly love the array of inflatables and the Treat Trail, a mini maze for trick-or-treaters to snag something sweet. The youngest members of your family can delight in puppet shows and storytime, offering a not-too-spooky Halloween event.

When hunger strikes, don't let it turn you into a beast. Stop by one of the local food trucks for fare you won't hesitate to sink your fangs into.

Embracing the Halloween Spirit in San Jose

In a bustling city like San Jose, there's always something going on. Plenty of events beg to be explored. The same rings true as the Halloween season rolls around. Of course, other holidays see similar treatment, such as the long list of Christmas events in San Jose.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, we're sure you'll agree this city knows how to celebrate. We can appreciate the over-the-top spectacles you'll find in the heart of Silicon Valley. In fact, we enjoy them so much that we love to visit here.

Our shows in San Jose embrace the same passion for innovation that you find in this city. We love all things flashy and cutting-edge, and it shows when we take the stage. Our team strives to put artistry in motion as we perform daring feats, show off innovative special effects, and push beyond what seems humanly possible.

We dare to dream of otherworldly adventures ripe with excitement, joy, and inspiration. In a world where so much can feel mundane and routine, we revel in subverting expectations and creating new ones.

You don't even have to jump through hoops to make it happen — we do it for you. All you have to do is show up. We can't wait to see you there!

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