It’s the time of year that the fog disappears, the days grow short and the nights grow cool. In other words, it’s October, when thoughts turn to pumpkin spiced lattes and the Halloween festivities that make for fun and memorable times with friends and family. We’ve compiled here a selection of the best Halloween events and activities in and around Santa Cruz for 2019.
BEST PUMPKIN PATCHES
Rodoni Pumpkin Patch
4444 Coast Rd,Santa Cruz, California 95060
Post Street Farm
122 Post St, Santa Cruz, California 95060
Hours 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
The Great Pumpkin Patch (Soquel)
2125 Soquel Dr, Santa Cruz 95065
$5 per person hay rides, $5 cow train, $8 for the hamster ball things on the water. Very small pumpkins $5 each then the prices go up to $30 for the large ones.
Crystal Bay Farms
40 Zils Rd, Watsonville, California 95076
The favorite of many with different activities for the family and look at the events they have during the month of October
Arata’s Pumpkin Farm
185 Verde Road, Half Moon Bay, CA
About a 45 minute drive from Santa Cruz on Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay, Arata’s is open during the day with plenty of activities including hay rides, a petting zoo, and children’s train rides. But, for something different and a little scary (think older kids), try the hay maze and haunted barn at night! Be sure to visit Arata’s online for a full list of attractions and prices.
Usegi Farm is a lot of fun, too. Corn maze, pumpkin cannons, tractor rides through a huge field of flowers, merry go round…our kids loved it when they were little.
Swank Farms in Hollister
It has a lot of fun activities: Pumpkin Patch, Photo Ops, Sunflowers, Delicious Food, Corn Maze and train. It’s opening day for our BRAND new Trail of Lights & Frights! The trail is a magical, lit up pathway through the woods, full of surprises! Bring the entire family out.
Open Fridays & Saturdays in October AND Halloween!
Find them on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/SwankFarms/
Wilder Ranch State Park
Location: 1401 Coast Rd, Santa Cruz, California 95060
Heritage Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 11 AM – 3 PM
Expect historic tractors/engines, square dancing, hand cranked ice cream, living history demonstrations, children’s crafts & games, food for sale, apple tasting, and wagon rides.
Roaring Camp Railroads
Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party
Event dates: October 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
Train Departing Times: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1p, 2pm
Dress up for Halloween with favorites Thomas and Percy, for a 20-minute train ride, entertainment, and fun filled activities for the entire family. Your ticket includes a fun-filled day of activities: a train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy, Thomas & Friends themed entertainment, Storytelling and Video Viewing, Temporary Tattoos of Island of Sodor friends, and an Imagination Station with Arts & Crafts, a pumpkin patch and more. Guests will also can meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor.
Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, California 95062
Floating pumpkin patch at Simpkins swim center
Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 1 PM – 4 PM
Join us for our 4th annual Floating Pumpkin Patch Event on Sunday October 20th from 1 – 4 PM. Come swim with the pumpkins, ride the water slide, stand up paddle board in the deep end, and help raise money for learn-to-swim scholarships! There will be games and prizes for all who attend! Event entry fees = Adults $8; Children & Seniors $6; $5 per pumpkin & children 3 and under are free! For more information call the Swim Center at (831) 454-7960
Santa Cruz Live Oak Grange
1900 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, California 95062
Glass Pumpkin Patch
Event: Oct 26 & 27 at 10 AM – 4PM
The Santa Cruz-Live Oak Glass Pumpkin Patch returns with golden leaves and autumn breezes!
For the annual Glass Pumpkin Patch sale! This year we have a Bumper Crop of beautiful hand-made glass pumpkins and gourds, in a gorgeous array of colors, in all sizes and for every budget. Chris Johnson has been busy in the hot shop creating amazing new designs for this much-loved event. No purchase required – all are welcome to come enjoy the beautiful art glass and autumn in the beautiful Grange Garden.
Capitola Village Halloween Parade
Date: October 27, 2019 @ 2 PM
Ghosts, goblins, boys and ghouls…join us for the annual Capitola Village Halloween Parade! Line up begins at 1:30pm in the Beach & Village Parking Lot above Capitola City Hall. Parade begins promptly at 2pm. Parade will head down Capitola Avenue, wind through Capitola Village to the Esplanade ending at Esplanade Park, where trick-or-treat bags, balloons, and refreshments will be waiting. New Leaf Community Market will be there with treats! Trick-or-treating at Capitola Village shops following parade.
Line up in the Beach & Village Parking Lot above Capitola City Hall at 1:30pm. Parade begins at 2pm. Parade will head down Capitola Avenue ending at Esplanade Park. Trick or Treat bags and refreshments at Esplanade Park.
Capitola Village Beach
Fourth annual SUP Gathering of the Sea Witches of Capitola
Date: Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 10 AM
Bring your boards and paddles. Informal paddle. Costume is required and knowledge of SUP also required. This year will be another fun SUP fest on the waters of Capitola Village. All costumed SUP Witches invited! Those needing to rent a board please contact Capitola Surf and Paddle at 831-435-6503. If they have enough interest they’ll open early to rent to those who need boards. So, if you need a board, contact them soon.
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Aptos Community Halloween Parade
Date: October 31, 2019 Thursday, at 3 PM – 4 PM
We welcome children of all ages to join us at the 1st Annual Aptos Community Halloween parade in the new Aptos Village Green.
Show off your costume and parade around the village green and Stop into local businesses who will be participating in our Safe Halloween, before your trick-or-treat plans. in front of New Leaf Aptos.
Crystal Bay Farms
Where: 40 Zils Rd, Watsonville, California 95076
Pumpkin Harvest Party Steven Graves Band & Doug Surfing Magician
Date: Sunday at 3 PM – 6 PM
Crystal bay farms for sure. Try and go on a weekend in October. Music, crafts fair purchase, and the best pumpkin patch around. Join the Steven Graves Band at the Crystal Bay Farms for a Pumpkin Patch Harvest Party with special guest Doug The Surfing Magician! There will be organic food and beer and crafts for the kids. DONATION ACCEPTED
Farm Discovery at Live Earth
1275 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville, California 95076
Harvest Festival: Pumpkin Patch & Apples Bash
Date: October 19, 2019 at 10 AM – 3 PM
Fun on the Farm for the family! Tractor Rides, Apple Picking, Face Painting, Food, Ice Cream, Beer & Cider, Live Music & more
Agricultural History Project
2601 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, California 95076
2nd Saturday on the Farm – Halloween on the Farm
Date: October 12 Saturday at 11 AM – 3 PM
Bring your friends, family and neighbors and come on out to enjoy good old-fashioned fun! This month we will be celebrating Halloween on the Farm! Come in costume and Tractor or Treat with us! We will have pumpkin & gourd decorating, pumpkin games, crafts & a puppet show. This action-packed day is admission free, and donations are gladly accepted. It’s fun for the whole family!
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BEYOND SANTA CRUZ
49TH HALF MOON BAY ART & PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
Date: OCTOBER 19-20.
The World Pumpkin Capital of Half Moon Bay celebrates its bountiful fall harvest and autumn splendor with a special display of gigantically enormous/heavyweight champion pumpkins, smashing entertainment with four stages of stellar live music, the home-spun Great Pumpkin Parade, boo-tiful harvest-inspired crafts, tasty Homestyle foods, premium wines, seasonal craft beer, pumpkin-infused ales, pumpkin-flavored artisanal cocktails, expert pumpkin carver Farmer Mike sculpting monster pumpkins into amazing one-of-a-kind masterpieces, photos with the gargantuan grand champion mega-gourd, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving for fun, the world’s largest mosaic pumpkin sculpture that measures 12-feet long, 11-feet high and weighs 10,000 pounds by artist Peter Hazel, the Xfinity Take 5 Lounge with giant screen TV, wet and wild waterballerz, ultra-thrilling bungee jump, Cornhole game area, Stay Cool Misting Tent, selfies and fun with the delightfully rotund, playful and mischievous Pumpkin Festival mascot “Gourdy”, and the Sunday-only “Made on the Coast” local artists block with art and live music, and the Sunday-only Great Pumpkin Run – 10k, 5k, Half Marathon and Kids’ Fun Run, plus sweet sponsor swag giveaways and samples. Festival admission is free. Pets are not allowed. Presented by the non-profit Half Moon Bay Beautification Committee which has raised several million dollars for community service organizations and civic improvements in its 49 year history.
46TH SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF
Date: OCTOBER 14
The Big Week launches with the World’s Greatest Gourd Growers and their titanic orbs doing battle in the 46th Annual SAFEWAY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PUMPKIN WEIGH-OFF, the Super Bowl of weigh-offs, on Monday, October 14 (7 a.m., on the IDES Grounds, 735 Main Street, Half Moon Bay). Organizers are offering a hefty, world’s biggest top prize of $7 per pound and $30,000 in total prize money for a new world record entered at Half Moon Bay plus beefed up overall prize money going to the Top 20. Superstar grower Steve Daletas’ gorgeous and gargantuan 2,170-pound weigh-off champion mega-gourd obliterated a formidable field of heavyweight contenders in winning the 2018 Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Daletas is expected to return along with a host of accomplished, veteran growers to contend for the $30,000 world record prize. The Goliath grand champion mega-gourd, along with the top four heaviest weigh-off pumpkins, will be displayed at the Pumpkin Festival, October 19-20.
Santa Cruz KOA Spook-tacular
Every weekend in October, the Santa Cruz / Watsonville KOA has a “spook-tacular” Halloween celebration! Camping sites for this event are usually booked a year in advance, but you may be able to pay for a day pass to participate in the festivities.
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