halloween-candy.jpgAs you know, SFPD is promising another “Zero Tolerance” Halloween, which means no street parties. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do this wekend — on the contrary, as in years past, many events have sprung up to replace the once imperative Castro event.

Here are our picks for this weekend — just remember, BART may be running more trains, but won’t be running any later, for the holiday.


In celebration of Halloween, Stern Grove is offering a little bit of everything at their Scaregrove event. Hosted by SF’s Rec and Park Department, the family-friendly Friday night features live stage entertainment, a haunted house, and everyone’s favorite: hay rides.

All-access passes are just $8 per person and can be purchased in advance at McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park throughout the week: Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Scholarships are also available for Individuals and families who are eligible or currently enrolled in the Youth Scholarship Program.

For more information, visit SF Rec and Park’s website at sfrecpark.org.

What: Scaregrove’s Halloween Event
When: Friday, October 28 from 4pm to 9pm
Where: Sigmund Stern Grove: 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd.
Cost: $8 per person buys you an all-access pass.


Who knew that SF’s Palace Hotel was one big room full of horror and tragedy? City Guides has you covered on one of their creepiest walking tours yet, an hour-long parade through the Palace Hotel in an hour-long Ghost Walk. Kings and presidents have met their maker in the hotel, love has ended in similar tragedy, and it is said that mysterious occurrences and ghosts still appear at the hotel.

The tour starts up at 6:30pm at the Palace Hotel’s lobby. For more information, visit www.sfcityguides.org

What: Ghost Walk at The Palace Hotel
When: Saturday, October 29 at 6:30pm
Where: The Palace Hotel: 2 New Montgomery St. SF
Cost: Free

Come in costume and start your trick-or-treating early at the Japantown mall when Japan Center Malls hosts their Spooktacular Hallowen Party from noon to 4pm. In addition to being able to trick-or-treat throughout the entire mall, there will be lots of games and decorations, as well as a craft table and face-painting.

For more information, visit Japantown’s website at www.sfjapantown.org.

What: Japan Center Malls presents: Spooktacular Halloween Party & Trick or Treat in Japantown
When: Saturday, October 29 from 12pm-4pm
Where: Japantown Peace Plaza on Post and Buchanan St.
Cost: Free

Circus Center’s kicking off its fall fundraising season with a haunted house tour like no other, running every 15 minutes from 6-7pm and featuring vampires, monsters, and a freak show. Guests must navigate their way around a crazy clown asylum and operation room gone mad. This haunted house is best enjoyed for those 13 and up.

For more information, visit Circus Center’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/sfcircuscenter or call (415) 759-8123.

What: Halloween at Circus Center: Haunted House Tours
When: Saturday, October 29 from 6pm-8:30pm
Where: Circus Center: 755 Frederick St.
Cost: Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children.

Aykut events is kicking off Halloween weekend with an international ball of global proportions. Featuring Yolanda Be Cool, Franceso Signorile, DJ Turker, DJ Aykut, and Trevor Simpson of World Town/Ultra Records in the International/Eurohouse room, the spectacular includes a Latin Room with Avance and DJ Edwin Cornejo, a Persian/Middle Eastern/International room with Dr. T, Top 40/Mashup room with Solomon, a Russian Room with DJ Playdoughboy, and even an 80’s and 90’s room with DJ Bruce, and much more. Tickets start at $65.

For more information, visit the Eventbrite event page.

What: Aykut Events presents: Halloween International Ball at the Hilton SF
When: Saturday, October 29 from 9am-2am
Where: The Hilton Hotel SF: 333 O’Farrell St.
Cost: Between $65 and $75, depending on how many tickets you buy


It’s a little known fact that pets love dressing up almost as much as their owners, which is why this year’s Very Fashionable Howl-O-Ween is perfect for dogs and humans alike. Benefiting the SFSPCA, the event includes a costume contest where pet-owners can win a variety of prizes awarded in a variety of categories, such as “Best In Show”, “Most Likely to Make You Howl” and “Dynamic Duo”. The event, which includes food and drinks operates on a suggested donation of between $5 and $15, the higher price being if you attend the VIP party at 2:15pm.

To RSVP, email jholt@sfspca.org by October 28th.

What: Kimpton Hotels Presents A Very Fashionable Howl-O-Ween
When: Sunday, October 30th from 3pm to 5pm
Where: 495 Jefferson St. at Hyde at the Cannery Courtyard
Cost: A suggested donation of between $5 and $15, depending on if you’re attending the VIP Party.

As if Halloween weren’t exciting enough, Circus Center is about to make things even wilder with their Carn-EVIL celebration this Sunday. Featuring haunted funhouse tours (with tricks and treats!), carnival games, trapeze, tightrope, and juggling lessons, as well as face-paiting and pumpkin decorating, the event concludes at 5pm with a special matinee circus show.

For more information, visit Circus Center’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/sfcircuscenter or call (415) 759-8123.

What: Halloween at Circus Center: Carn-EVIL
When: Sunday, October 30 from 11am-5pm
Where: Circus Center: 755 Frederick St.
Cost: Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Halloween’s the perfect time dress in costume and act a little silly and ODC School and Rhythm and Motion Dance Program want to help you and your family shake up your Sunday. From 1pm-2pm, family dance lessons will be available at the ODC Dance Commons. The dance of choice? Thriller, of course.

For more information, visit their website, email info@odcschool.org or call (415) 863-9830 x100

What: ODC School/Rhythm & Motion Dance Program presents: Halloween Family Dance Class at ODC
When: Sunday, October 30 from 1pm-2pm
Where: ODC Dance Commons: 351 Shotwell St.
Cost: $5 per person/$20 per family max.


Some might think it’s creepy enough having Ed Lee as mayor, but SF City Guides is upping the scary factor with am hour-long Ghost Walk of City Hall on Halloween night at 6:30pm. Such highlights of the tour feature disinterred remains, assassinations, and little-known facts about the cemetery that once covered Civic Center.

For more information, visit www.sfcityguides.org.

What: Ghost Walk of City Hall
When: Halloween night: October 31 at 6:30pm
Where: South Light Court, through the Goodlett Pl. (Polk St.) entrance
Cost: Free

Get a little too in the spirit for Halloween? Berg Injury Lawyers’ got you covered with free cab rides from 10pm to 4am. Due to the program’s popularity (read: SFians’ drunkenness) , there’s a price cap at $35. Fares exceeding $35 must be paid in cash. Those in the CIty way too inebriated to drive can call Luxor Cab at (415) 282-4141, in Alameda, Oakland and Berkeley Veterans Cab at (800) 281-4488.

What: Berg Injury Lawyers’ Halloween Safe and Sober program
When: Halloween night, from 10pm to 4am
Where: SF, Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley
Cost: Free and safe!

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the author

Always in motion. April Siese writes about music, takes photos at shows, and even helps put them on behind the scenes as a stagehand. She's written everything from hard news to beauty features, as well as fiction and poetry. She most definitely likes pie.

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