For kids in Silicon Valley, Halloween has way more to offer than simply throwing on a costume and heading out to trick or treat in the neighborhood.
From parties to haunted train rides, Halloween activities for kids in Silicon Valley celebrate the season with a variety of chances to join in the festivities with family-friendly events and attractions.
ALSO SEE: Silicon Valley Halloween Events Guide
Pumpkin Patches and Attractions
Pumpkin patches offer a great opportunity to kick off the season and stock up on decorations. Local favorite Uesugi Farms in Morgan Hill is open daily throughout October, with a miniature train ride, corn maze and a hay ride, as well as plenty of weekend entertainment. Crowds are thinner on weekdays and parking is free (there’s a $5 fee on weekends).
For a more low-key pumpkin-picking experience, head to Full Circle Farm, a rural oasis in Sunnyvale. Pumpkins are available starting October 1, and all month the farm is offering special tours for children 2 to 5 years old. Tours include pumpkin picking, play time in the Children’s Garden, a visit with resident chickens and story time ($10 per child).
Pumpkins will also be available to visitors of the Pumpkin Train at the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad in Los Gatos. This haunted happening will feature frightening and fun rides on the miniature trains in Oak Meadow Park, carousel rides, pumpkin picking from local growers, and snacks from the snack shack. The Pumpkin Train will run Fridays through Sundays, October 16-31. Costumes are encouraged. Prices start at $5 for one ride each on the train and carousel.
Roaring Camp Railroad in the Santa Cruz Mountains town of Felton also gets into the Halloween spirit with Thomas and Percy’s Halloween Party, on weekends starting October 10. Kids can don costumes and celebrate the holiday with their favorite friends from Sodor with a 20-minute train ride, entertainment and activities such as face painting, cookie decorating and train play tables. Tickets are $24.
Trick or Treating
For children too young to trick or treat at night, Silicon Valley offers several daytime Halloween events in safe, kid-friendly locations. On October 27, Santana Row is throwing a free Halloween Family Fun Fest featuring arts and crafts, face painting, pumpkin decorating, Halloween photos and more. Kids can wear their costumes and trick or treat at Santana Row businesses.
In Willow Glen, the annual Trick-or-Treat on the Avenue will be held on Friday, October 30th. With two separate times for younger and older children (11am to 12:30pm for toddlers and preschoolers, 3pm to 4pm for school-aged kids in costume), kids can trick or treat with other children their age at local businesses. And at San Jose’s History Park, kids can enjoy Haunt History Park on October 31st from 11am to 3pm. It’s a scare-free annual tradition with arts and crafts activities and trick or treating at stations set up in the park’s historic homes. Admission is $5, or free for members.
On Halloween night, savvy kids in Silicon Valley head to the area’s hottest trick-or-treating spots. In San Jose, the Willow Glen/Cambrian area does Halloween right with over-the-top spooky decorations and plenty of houses in an easy-to-walk area. The blocks that border Lincoln Avenue are always popular, as is the area near Westgate Avenue and Koch Lane.
The charming Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose is also popular with trick-or-treaters, with a family-friendly vibe and quiet streets. In Los Gatos, kids head to Tait Avenue, in the Almond Grove area just off Santa Cruz Avenue for their candy fix.
Whatever you decide to do for Halloween, San Jose Police Department offers these safety tips:
• Welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and any exterior lights on, and do not give homemade or unwrapped treats to children.
• Make sure costumes are flame retardant so children aren’t in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns, and keep costumes short to prevent tripping. Make sure kids wear light colors or reflective tape on their costumes.
• Create a map of a safe trick-or treating route and set a time limit for your children to trick-or-treat. Accompany younger children, and make sure older children stay with friends.
• Try to get your kids to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well-lighted streets. Do not go inside anyone’s home. Remain on the porch at all times.
• What to eat? Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers.
Find more events and activities with the Silicon Valley Halloween Events Guide. Have another tip? Leave it in our comments section below.