The night of tricks and treats is upon us, and there’s no shortage of ways to celebrate the spookiest time of the year in the Bay Area. Whether immersive haunted experiences are your thing or you’d rather lay low with a decidedly scare-free activity, we have plenty of local options to keep you entertained, engaged and excited to close out the month.
Hear this multi-talented artist discuss her wide range of work
In celebration of Filipino American History Month, the San Francisco Public Library welcomes multidisciplinary talent Lydia Ortiz who will discuss the breadth of her practice — which includes illustration, design and photography. Ortiz is currently a children’s book art director and designer at Chronicle Books and moonlights as an editorial illustrator as well (her work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, WIRED and more). During this free online event, Ortiz will discuss her artistic journey and how she created and curated her career trajectory.
Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m.
Summon the spirits during this spooky streaming music event
There’s no better way to get into the Halloween spirit than to start early with Devilish Inspirations: Summoning Witches, Demons, and Black Magic at the Piano. Hosted by San Francisco Conservatory of Music director Edwin Outwater and iconic drag queen/horror aficionada Peaches Christ, the streaming event is composed of a series of unique music videos created by local pianists. Proceeds from ticket sales and donations will benefit the Ross McKee Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Bay Area piano culture.
Thursday, October 28, 7 p.m.
Get down to the sights and sounds of local hip-hop pros
Prepare to be thrilled, spooked and awed by the Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s Hip-Hop Halloween, featuring everyone from Frankenstein to the Mummy and more. Conceived, directed and choreographed by Stuck Sanders, with additional choreography by Alee Martinez, Vincent Hwang, Ninja Sutton and Francis Tyrell, the show centers on a group of trick-or-treaters who make their way from a graveyard to a haunted house where they meet up with classic monsters (all to the beats of Bay Area DJs).
Friday, October 29, 7 p.m.; Saturday, October 30, 2 p.m.
Take in two new works from this contemporary dance company
The three co-artistic directors of local award-winning contemporary company RAWdance are debuting two works online, including one world premiere, created for the stage and re-envisioned for film. Shadow (part 1), choreographed by Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, features a quartet of dancers from San Francisco and New York. The Healer, choreographed by Katerina Wong in memory of her late aunt, combines ancient history and traditional Chinese medicine beliefs to illuminate themes of resilience.
Friday, October 29, 6 p.m.; Saturday, October 30, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Dance your way through the weekend
If you’re not feeling the spooky vibes this weekend, celebrate the holiday with salsa instead. BEI San Francisco is hosting the Halloween day party, Salsa by the Bay: Salsaween Edition, on the hotel’s new rooftop terrace. The limited capacity event includes plenty of dancing, but also a delicious array of tacos and nachos available for purchase. The party features live beats from DJ Walt Digz, DJ Tony O and DJ Pablo.
Saturday, October 30, 3–7 p.m.
Prepare to scream and shout all night long
Bay Area production company Into The Dark is ready to freak you out with a freaky good time, courtesy of Peaches Christ, David Flower Productions and Non Plus Ultra. The first-ever Terror Ball, taking place at the San Francisco Mint, will feature everything from an open bar to a costume contest to a carnival fun zone. The $150 ticket includes admission to a 9 p.m. performance of the immersive, haunted experience, The Immortal Reckoning.
Saturday, October 30
Sing along with one of the great onscreen classics
San Jose’s 3Below Theaters presents an interactive, family-friendly experience featuring the iconic film that transcends generations: a sing-along version of the digitally restored 1939 Academy Award-winning film The Wizard of Oz. Including on-screen lyrics of all the songs, the screening is intended for all ages, and audience members are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite character. There will also be an on-stage costume parade (with prizes!), munchkins, flying monkeys and more.
Saturday, October 30, and Sunday, October 31, 2 p.m.
Enjoy tricks and treats in Tahoe in support of a good cause
Pack up the car and prep the kiddos for a can’t-miss donation-based, family-friendly Halloween Spookytacular at the site of the future Desolation Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. Featuring trick or treating, carnival games, music, food and drinks, the costume-optional event supports the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and the El Dorado Community Foundation’s Caldor Fire Fund. The property is matching all proceeds up to $50,000, with the goal of raising $100,000.
Sunday, October 31, 3–6 p.m.
Listen to the Afro-Cuban-inspired piano stylings of these legendary musicians
Renowned Cuban pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán returns to Burlingame’s Kohl Mansion, along with the Grammy Award-winning Harlem Quartet. In his local debut with the ensemble, López-Gavilán will deliver an eclectic program featuring the work of Robert Schumann, as well as four of his own original works set in a distinctive Afro-Cuban style. The evening will also include arrangements by López-Gavilán of Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia, and Billy Strayhorn’s Take the “A” Train.
Sunday, October 31, 7 p.m.
Visit this city landmark for all the Halloween festivities in one place
The San Francisco Ferry Building is your one-stop shop for all things family-friendly this Halloween. Kick off the day with a kid’s activity station and scavenger hunt; hit a socially distanced, high-intensity interval workout class taking place at 10 a.m. on the Back Plaza; and make a stop at the Fog City Flea on the first floor of the marketplace to shop from makers and merchants selling artisan jewelry, apparel, accessories and more. There will also be plenty of seasonal treats at purveyors like El Porteño, Humphry Slocombe and Recchiuti Confections. Hog Island Oyster Co. is serving up an Autumn Equinox Cocktail made with reposado tequila, Fernet, tamarind, ginger, apple and lime, paired with Hog Island Sweetwater Oysters.
Sunday, October 31, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.