Once Halloween was confined to just one spooky evening of costumed fun. Today the holiday is celebrated days in advance.
Here is but a sampling of Halloween happenings within close distance of Castro Valley and San Lorenzo. Feel free to comment at the end of this line-up if you know of other Halloween related events in the community, which are open to the public.
* Ongoing through Halloween
Moore Pumpkin Patch and Carnival Open Daily through Halloween from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Family-friendly Autumn-theme fun park and pumpkin patch at Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park at 9711 Dublin Canyon Road Castro Valley. Call 510-886-6015 to learn more.
Fear Overload Haunted House in San Leandro Open now through November 1. Days and times vary. For a complete listing of hours go here. Located at Bayfair Center, 15555 E. 14th St. San Leandro (upstairs near Macy's on the second floor). Two "bone-chilling" haunted houses. Ticket information can be found here. An infomation line can be reached at 510-730-2221.
Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch and Haunted House The Pumpkin Patch and store are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday through Halloween. The Haunted House attraction is open after school on weekdays and all day until 8 p.m. on weekends. It is located at 4414 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland. This is its 10th year. Reach it at 510-967-9363.
* Friday, October 19
Haunted Garage Castro Valley October 19 7 to 9:30 p.m. (Repeats again October 20, 26, 27 and 31). Eighth annual event at 20340 Forest Avenue, Castro Valley. For all ages, but scary. Free admission. Voluntary donations will be collected for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. For information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Saturday, October 20
Bal-O-Ween Spooktacular in San Leandro - The Historic Bal Theatre at 14808 E. 14th St. San Leandro presents a Bal-O-Ween Spooktacular event October 20 at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 each. Lord Blood Rah is host of this event which will feature lots of fun Halloween happenings, prizes and treats.
* Friday, October 26
The Unhaunted House Critter Tales at Sulphur Creek October 26 from 6 to 10 p.m. and repeats October 27 from 4 to 8 p.m. Advance registration is mandatory by calling 510-881-6747. Space is limited. Sulphur Creek Nature Center is located at 1801 D. Street, Hayward. Tickets are $8 (children under 3 are free). Travel through an Unhaunted House to learn the real truth about Halloween's dark and creepy creatures, listen to spooky tales, make crafts, roast marshmallows around a campfire, play games, enjoy tasty treats, have your face painted and go on a night hike. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
Halloween Haunted House in Hayward - Open October 26, 27. 29 and 30 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Matt Jiminez Community Center at 28200 Ruus Road Hayward. All ages welcome. Admission is $5 per person. See the community center transformed into a scary, yet safe, fun and family friendly haunted house. This event is sponsored by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District (H.A.R.D.)
* Saturday, October 27
San Lorenzo Village Homes Association Halloween Parade October 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at the Community Church at 945 Paseo Grande in San Lorenzo and come parade in costume. The parade ends at the San Lorenzo Village Homes Association office further down the street near the fire station. This event is for kids of all ages. There will be free goodie bags (while supplies last) and games. The San Lorenzo Library will also have a craft booth. Call 510-670-6283 for information.
Boo at the Zoo October 27 (and again October 28) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oakland Zoo. Event is being held throughout the zoo and is included with zoo admission and parking price. Halloween costume parade, train ride, face painting, zoo animal activities. Kids in costume get a free ride ticket. For more information call 510-632-9525 ext. 100.
Halloween Carnival in San Leandro October 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Marina Community Center, 15301 Wicks Blvd., San Leandro. This event is geared for youngsters ages 4 through 8 and features games and entertainment. Admission is free. Game tickets are 25 cents a piece. Come in costume. To learn more call 510-577-3462. It is being sponsored by the San Leandro Recreation and Parks Department.
Spooktacular Celebration in Hayward October 27 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Southland Mall, 1 Southland Drive Hayward near the inner court by Macy's. Free photos, arts and crafts, prizes and face painting while supplies last. You can find out more at 510-782-3527.
Halloween Carnival in Hayward October 27 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Matt Jiminez Community Center at 28200 Ruus Road, Hayward. This free event is for all ages. Booth tickets are 25 cents a piece. Come in costume and enjoy carnival games, food for sale, prizes, a costume contest and more all in a safe family-friendly environment. Sponsored by the Hayward Area Recreation Department (H.A.R.D.).
Halloween Extravaganza in San Leandro October 27 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Manor Branch Library 1241 Manor Blvd., San Leandro. Free event open to the public includes face painting, games, crafts, entertainment, balloon sculpting, refreshments and more fun. Everyone is invited to wear costumes. For further details call 510-577-7971.
Columbia Manor Haunted House in Castro Valley October 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. (Repeats October 31 from 7 to 10 p.m.) 16776 Columbia Drive Castro Valley. Backyard scare maze is open to public free of charge.
* Sunday, October 28
Kangazoom Halloween Block Party at Cal State October 28 from 12 to 7 p.m. a block party for families will be held at California State University, East Bay 25800 Carlos Bee Drive Hayward. Bounce houses, live entertainment, a D.J., a play area for kids age 5 and younger, international food concessions, a basketball tournament, games, prizes and more will be offered. Children are encouraged to come in Halloween costumes. To learn more call Kangazoom at 510-786-9666.
* Wednesday, October 31
Safe Treats, Safe Streets: October 31 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm; kicks off at Zocalo Coffeehouse, 645 Bancroft Avenue. For kids 15 and under. Free candy while supplies last. Nearly 30 businesses take part. Wear costumes. Bring cameras to take pictures with the Broadmoor Ghoul.
Halloween Story-Time in Castro Valley October 31 from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the Castro Valley Library, 3600 Norbridge Avenue. Special Halloween story-time and trick or treat fun for children age five and younger. Wear your costume and bring your trick or treat goody bag. For more information call 510-667-7900.
Pink Halloween Stroll at Senior Center October 31 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the San Leandro Senior Community Center 13909 E. 14th Street San Leandro. Come stroll to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Halloween. Eden Medical Center mammographer, Joyce McMullen will be on hand to share information about breast self examination and screening. Senior volunteer cancer survivors are organizing this free event open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Wear pink (attend in costume if you like). Call 510-577-3462 for more information.
Trick or Treat Storytime in San Leandro October 31 from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. at the San Leandro Main Library located at 300 Estudillo Avenue. Young children are invited to wear their costumes, hear Halloween stories and trick or treat throughout the library. Call 510-577-3960 for further details.
Halloween Kids Crafts in San Lorenzo October 31 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the San Lorenzo Library located at 395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo. All materials provided. Free admission. Call 510-670-6283 with questions.
Trick or Treating at Castro Village October 31 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Castro Village Shopping Center located on Castro Valley Boulevard at Santa Maria Avenue in Castro Valley. Trick or Treat from store to store. Enjoy a special children's concert with Lori and RJ Cotton Candy Express held near the Lime Leaf Thai restaurant in the center.
Trick or Treating at Bayfair Center October 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. The shopping center is at 15555 E. 14th St. San Leandro. Meet at the Center Court of the mall and get a free trick or treat bag and list of participating stores.
Halloween Comedy Performance in Castro Valley October 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library located at 3600 Norbridge Avenue. Balloon artistry and Carnival of Chaos comedy show for families. The first 100 children who arrive in costume will receive a treat. For more information, call 510-667-7900.
Pumpkin Patch Festival Redwood Chapel Castro Valley October 31 from 5 to 8 p.m. Come play games, enjoy a petting zoo and get candy at 19300 Redwood Road, Castro Valley. More information is available here.
Trick or Treating at Southland Mall October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Southland Mall (1 Southland Mall, Hayward). Children are invited to come in costume and trick or treat store to store, mall wide.