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Worth a Look: Halloween festivities galore

This week's A&E highlights

This week, carve a pumpkin, don a costume, get spooked at a haunted house or catch a Halloween-themed concert.


Trick-or-Treat & Halloween Carnival

Whether you are a kid, you have a kid or you just get a kick out of seeing kids in costumes, head to Palo Alto's California Avenue on Sunday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the annual Trick-or-Treat & Halloween Carnival sponsored by Blossom Birth. Families are encouraged to don their most inventive Halloween attire, while participants age 12 and under can go trick-or-treating at businesses along Cal Ave, take part in a costume competition judged by Palo Alto Mayor Karen Holman and march in a costume parade led by the Stanford Band. The free event also includes dance performances, live kids' music by Andy Z, carnival games and other kid friendly activities. To learn more, go to


'Where History Meets Haunting'

Originally built in the 1860s, Mountain View's Rengstorff House at 3070 N. Shoreline Boulevard makes the perfect haunted house. Head to the historic property on Oct. 23, 24, 30 or 31 and explore some spooky history with a steampunk twist. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Go to or call 650-903-6392.


Halloween Family Concert

From John Williams' "Suite from 'Star Wars'" to Danny Elfman's "The Nightmare Before Christmas," Redwood City Orchestra will present popular music at its annual Halloween Family Concert on Sunday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m. The show takes place Caada College's Main Theatre, 4200 Farm Hill Boulevard. Tickets are $10-$30. Go to or call 650-366-6872.


'Scare on the Square'

Downtown Redwood City will be transformed into a Halloween headquarters on Thursday, Oct. 29, when "Scare on the Square" comes to Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, 5-8 p.m. Participants of all ages can enter their jack-o'-lanterns in a carving contest for cash prizes, join the costume parade and enjoy a 3-D light show. The festival is free. Go to or call 650-780-7000.


'Monster Bash'

Grab the little ones and head to the Mountain View Community Center, 201 Rengstorff Ave., on Friday, Oct. 30, 4-8 p.m. The annual "Monster Bash" features live music, games and snacks, followed by an outdoor screening of "The Boxtrolls" at 6:30 p.m. (bring a blanket for seating). Admission is free. Don't forget your costumes! Go to or call 650-903-6331.


Halloween Spooky Carnival

Looking for more family friendly Halloween festivities? Check out Menlo Park's Onetta Harris Community Center, 100 Terminal Ave., on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 4-6 p.m. There, you'll find the Halloween Spooky Carnival, whcih features face-painting, games and snacks. Costumes are encouraged at this free event. Go to or call 650-330-2250.


Pumpkin Patch

Even parents with packed schedules can find time for a visit to Webb Ranch, 2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley. The farm's pumpkin patch is open daily through Saturday, Oct. 31, and offers hay, train and pony rides; a petting zoo; a bouncy castle and face-painting. The patch sells organic pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn and more. Go to or call 650-854-3134.


'Pumpkin Splash'

For a twist on the typical pumpkin patch, there's Shoreline Lake's "Pumpkin Splash," 3160 N. Shoreline Blvd. The pumpkin patch is open daily through Sunday, Nov. 1, and on weekends it offers a bouncy castle and craft activities like pumpkin-painting and cookie-decorating. Come in costume for a chance to win an all-day boating pass. Go to or call 650-965-3779 .

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details