Time for treats
Local Halloween events include carnivals, concerts and costume contests
Some neighbors may keep their porch lights off, but local ghosts, goblins and Disney princesses need not despair.
This weekend, the Palo Alto area has several other spots for trick-or-treating and other Halloween festivities, including a garden mansion, downtown shops and a zoo. Music and dance events may draw in adults as well.
Below are some local options. (Note: Palo Alto's Fairmeadow Elementary School is not holding its annual haunted house this year; a staffer said the event had become too expensive and time-consuming.)
The Gamble Garden Halloween Haunted House happens in the garden mansion at 1431 Waverley St. in Palo Alto from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29. The event is aimed at kids ages 4 to 10 (with adults), and includes trick-or-treating and games. Admission is $15 general and $10 for members. Call 650-329-1356, ext. 201, or go to gamblegarden.org.
A "Witches' Delight Carnival" runs from 3 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 with carnival rides, a cake walk, games, an obstacle course and a costume contest. The event is at Santa Rita Elementary School, 700 Los Altos Ave., Los Altos. Admission is free, with tickets for games and other things $1. Go to santaritaschool.org/events/witches.html.
The funny-spooky animated film "Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" will be shown at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Atherton Library, 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane. The event is free, with refreshments. Call 650-328-2422 or go to smcl.org.
Halloween Game Day is at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Palo Alto Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St.; and the Mitchell Park Library, 4050 Middlefield Road. Board games and costumes are featured at this free event for kids ages 5 and up. Go to cityofpaloalto.org.
The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo hosts its Halloween Zoo Night from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 at 1451 Middlefield Road. The event is for members at the $100-plus level; there is no ticket price. A costume contest, guest animals, dinner, drinks and dessert are part of the evening. Go to friendsjmz.org.
Pipe organist James Welch plays his annual Halloween concert, with "spooky and humorous organ music" including Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and a jazz piece by Parisian organist Jean Berveiller. Costumes should be plentiful at the event, which starts at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. Tickets are $10. Call 650-856-9700 or go to welchorganist.com.
Costumes mix with country dance at the 30th Annual Halloween Costume Contra Dance Ball, set for 8 to 11 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Palo Alto Masonic Center, 461 Florence St. "Ghost callers" and a live band are planned at the Bay Area Country Dance Society event. Admission is $12 general, $10 for members, and $6 for students. Go to www.bacds.org/series/contra/palo_alto/.
Palo Alto's second annual Day of the Dead Community Celebration, on Oct. 30, starts with 1 p.m. storytime at the Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St.; and continues with altar-making for departed pets and endangered species at the Junior Museum and Zoo from 1:30 to 4 p.m., 1451 Middlefield Road. The Art Center will host art activities from 2 to 4 p.m. and music and dance performances from 4 to 5 p.m. All events are free. Call 650-329-2366 or go to cityofpaloalto.org/artcenter.
The city of Menlo Park kicks off its Halloween Hoopla Parade at 11:45 a.m. Oct. 30. The parade goes from Burgess Recreation Center at 701 Laurel St. to Fremont Park, Santa Cruz Avenue at University Drive. After the parade, kids can trick-or-treat at participating downtown businesses, and do arts and crafts in Fremont Park. Events are free. Call 650-330-2200 or go to menlopark.org.
Halloween Story Time at Kepler's Books happens at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 31, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. The free event features "Ollie's Halloween" by Olivier Dunrea and "The Curious Little Witch" by Lieve Baeten. Call 650-324-4321 or go to keplers.com.
Several businesses along Palo Alto's California Avenue (those with orange fliers) will offer free trick-or-treating for kids under 10 from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 31. Blossom Birth at 299 S. California Ave. hosts a carnival with games, a bake sale and other events. Games and baked goods cost one to two $1 tickets each. Go to blossombirth.org.
The Stanford Wind Ensemble and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra present a "chilling evening of works" in a Halloween concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 31 in Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. Tickets are $10 general, $9 for seniors, and $5 for students (free for Stanford students). Call 650-723-2720 or go to music.stanford.edu.