Scary, Fun & Festive Activities Just in time for Halloween

In addition to its fascinating Gold Rush past, the Sacramento area is rich with an amazing array of state-of-the-art museums and historic sites that offer visitors the chance to explore California’s fine art, history, science, and wildlife treasures all year long.

This fall, many of the 30 members of Sacramento Area Museums (SAM) are offering fun Halloween, Día de Los Muertos and harvest-related events and activities and events in Midtown – some for families, children only or specifically for adults.  A sampling of the special activities is listed below (but please check with the various museums and/or destinations for more detailed information):

Scary, Creepy Science at the Powerhouse Science Center – Weekends in October
Get ready for some hair-raising fun at Powerhouse Science Center all through October. They have five weekends worth of weird science for the whole family where guests will discover magical moon phases, concoct potions in their haunted laboratory and learn about bloodthirsty creatures and candy chemistry, too. Visitors will cackle with delight when they slingshot pumpkins and get into the guts of those gourds. For more, visit

Halloween Activities at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – Saturdays in October
Always festive, fun and free, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will have lots of hands-on activities for children to enjoy every Saturday (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in October. On October 28, they can trick-or-treat through the district (a costumed character will be outside participating stores).  For more, visit

“Sips & Spirits: The Train Ride” by the Railroad Museum Foundation – October 27
The California State Railroad Museum Foundation is proud to present an all-new Halloween-inspired event for adults – “Sips & Spirits: The Train Ride” on one evening only. Ticketed guests will delight in a frightfully fun train ride on the Sacramento Southern Railroad while enjoying a blood-shot cocktail and being entertained by a Mad Scientist and his minions, Monster Mash dancers and more. Train ride guests will indulge in hard cider and nibble on delicious appetizers provided by Fat’s Catering all while enjoying a dark night on the railroad – it’s Halloween fun, adult-style!  For more, visit

Midtown Trick-or-Treat from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Participating Businesses on 23rd-25th & J-K Streets
Kids in costume are encouraged to stop by participating Midtown businesses that will offer free treats while supplies last (flyers will be posted on the windows of participating businesses and be handed out with locations and addresses listed). Plus, there will a fun raffle contest with prizes provided by participating Midtown businesses along with a series of special activities happening at Relles Florist (2400 J Street) that include a pumpkin patch, mini pumpkin and gourds decorating and even a special Halloween Design Class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. To register in advance for the Design Class, please visit

Día de Los Muertos Events & Activities Presented by the Sacramento History Museum – Thru November 4
In honor of “Day of the Dead” activities celebrated each year in Mexico and in major cities around the world, Sol Collective and the Sacramento History Museum have teamed up to present a series of community workshops and special weekend activities that showcase the traditions and/or demonstrate how to create some of the special items used in “Day of the Dead” celebrations. The effort culminates with a Día de Los Muertos celebration on November 4.  For more, visit

Día de Los Muertos Festivities at the California Museum – Thru December 30
The California Museum will celebrate Día de Los Muertos through a new exhibit and a series of special events exploring the Mexican cultural tradition of honoring deceased loved ones started by the Aztecs and continuing to flourish in present-day California. Highlights include: Community Altar offering visitors the opportunity to honor lost loved ones (October 7 thru December 30); “Arte y Almas: Día de Los Muertos 2017,” a new exhibit honoring historic Latino Californians through altar installations by contemporary artists from Mexico and California (October 13 thru December 30); Día de Los Muertos Fiesta, featuring a performance by Maquilli Tonatiuh Aztec Dancers, live music by Dinorah, food and drinks for sale by Mayahuel, costume contest, free face painting, hands-on activities for kids and more (October 13, 6-10 p.m.); and Sugar Skull Workshops, five sessions where participants learn how to design and decorate “calaveras de azúcar” or sugar skulls (October 28 & 29). For details and tickets, visit

Ghost Tours at the Sacramento History Museum – October  27 & 28  
Departing from the Sacramento History Museum, visitors to Old Sacramento journey back in time to hear ghostly tales and spooky stories as they walk through the history-rich streets and re-live 19th century lore. Entertaining yet knowledgeable tour guides will take daring and inquisitive guests through Old Sacramento’s infamous locales to experience a bit of the dark side of California’s history.  For more, go to

10th Annual Halloween Pub Crawl 2017 from 4 to 11 p.m. - October 28th
Spirited adults – in costume or not -- are invited to “crawl” through Midtown enjoying food and drink specials at participating watering holes during the 10h Annual Halloween Pub Crawl presented by Xoso Sport & Social League. Plus, interested crawlers can participate in a costume contest that is sure to provide some visual chills and thrills. For more, visit

“Spookomotive” Train Rides at the Railroad Museum – October 28 & 29
All aboard for some Halloween fun Old Sacramento style! Guests of all ages will enjoy diesel-powered “Spookomotive” train rides aboard a whimsically decorated train crawling with spiders, cobwebs and cornstalks while staffed with an entertaining “skeleton crew.” Guests are encouraged to come dressed according to weekly themes or in favorite Halloween attire: Superheroes & Villains – October 14 & 15, Princesses & Pirates – October 21 & 22, Witches & Wizards – October 28 & 29. For more, visit

Wee Halloween at the Crocker Art Museum – October 25
Don’t miss one of Sacramento’s major annual Halloween happenings for children ages 3 to 5! Costumed kiddos and their grownups take a delightful stroll through the Museum and encounter enchanting music and dance performances by beloved Sacramento entertainers and artists. At each stop, children will receive a small gift for their specially decorated treat bag. The magical tour ends with sweet treats and a silly dance party. Guests need to register in advance at

Midtown Association’s Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade - October 28
the crowd-favorite Midtown Halloween Festival & Pooch Parade will be on on Saturday, October 28, 2017, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Marshall Park (915 27th Street). Four-legged friends will strut by while competing in an entertaining costume contest that will include playful prizes for the winning pooches.

The Haunted Fort at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park – October 27 & 28
Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud to present an enhanced and family-friendly “The Haunted Fort” on two special evenings in October. Guests will have the special opportunity to explore the dimly-lit Fort at night at their own pace, interact with knowledgeable docents in period attire (who will share scary, spooky and sometimes disturbing details of pioneer life in the 1800s), participate in fun and interactive stations set-up throughout the Fort, and also be entertained by a number of talented performers from B Street Theatre Company. For more, visit

Count Watts’ Spooktacular at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – October 28
Join the Roseville Utility Exploration Center for free family fun while learning more about saving energy at home. Take a thrilling walk through the Phantom Energy House (warning: your energy waste may be shocking!) and meet Count Watts the Voltage Vampire. Guests can take home a free decorated or carved pumpkin and also knock out energy waste in carnival games where prizes flow like electrons. Come in costume for a spooky good time! For more, visit

Trunk or Treat at the California Automobile Museum – October 29
Rain or shine, guests are encouraged to visit the Automobile Museum dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes ready to enjoy an afternoon of family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Young guests will enjoy venturing into the Museum to explore and find goodies to fill their Halloween bags with treats.  Additional activities include some kid's crafts, storytelling, and a fun Halloween photo opportunity in Sparkplug Square. For more, visit

Boo at the Zoo at the Sacramento Zoo – October 28 & 29
The Sacramento Zoo invites guests to get out those costumes, grab a trick-or-treat bag and head to over for the daytime Boo at the Zoo to enjoy trick-or-treating throughout the ENTIRE zoo at 15 different candy stations, face painting for kids, festive games, themed stage shows, magic shows with Trevor the Magician, keeper chats and even animal enrichments. Visitors can top off the perfect day with a ride on the spooky zoo train or the creepy carousel for an additional fee. It’s a safe and fun Halloween celebration perfect for all ages. For more, visit

Trick-or-Treat Daytime Halloween Activities at the Children’s Museum – October 31
The Sacramento Children’s Museum is a great place to spend Halloween during the day.  From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they’ll have special trick-or-treat stations, a costume parade, active Museum play and more.  For more, visit

Haunted Headlight Tours at the California Automobile Museum – October 31
California Automobile Museum guests are invited to attend one of the special evening tours being offered on Halloween night where they will be led around the Museum by a spirited guide who will share intriguing stories about some of the horrific accidents/stories that have happened with some of the cars.  Guests may run into some nice and not-so-nice spirits that still haunt the Museum and its cars. After the tour, guests will end in The Undertaker's Lounge for refreshments where they can use their free drink ticket and purchase additional beverages. Recommended for ages 13 years and older. For more, visit

Día de Los Muertos Activities at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – November 1 & 2
Children and families are invited to join the Sacramento Children’s Museum in celebrating Día de Los Muertos and the wonderful folk art tradition of decorating grinning sugar skulls with bright color and glittery adornments.  For more, visit

To stay connected to Sacramento Museums, “like” them on Facebook at, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the website at


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