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.
■ 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.
■ 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.