If you're the kind of family that loves everything about the harvest season, here are a couple of activities you do not want to miss.
If you like DIY costumes, you can join in on one of two Mask Making Workshops on Thursday, October 28. The first will take place from 3:30-5pm at Studio One Art Center. The second will happen later that evening, from 6:30-8pm at the Malonga Casquelord Center for the Arts Annex. Tickets are free if you RSVP in advance by leaving a message for Oakland Parks & Recreation Specialist Ms. Neal-Madison at (510) 238-2786 Or, a $5 donation may be given at the door.
You can get your pumpkin on today at one of several local patches and farms. Over the past 12 years, the North Piedmont Pumpkin Patch has become a family favorite. This year it has moved to 4414 Piedmont Avenue, just across the street from the Tiki Bar and next to Chevron.
Oakland's closest mall, Bay Street in Emeryville, has a Pumpkin Patch located at 5600 Christie Ave. Last time OL staff drove by, they were still setting up, but the website promises a petting zoo, pumpkin carving contests, and a hay maze.
Towards the end of the month, Piedmont Avenue businesses celebrate Halloween fun starting with a parade at noon and trick-or-treating at participating stores on the avenue. Also, this year marks the 5th year that locals will enjoy a Pumpkin Festival at...where else?...Mountain View Cemetery.
Children can choose a free pumpkin and enjoy four jumpers, a hay-bale tunnel, a clown balloon artist, face painting, refreshments and a treat bag. (Parents must accompany their children to this event.)
This year City Slicker Farms is teaming up with People's Grocery to host an annual Harvest Festival on October 30th. The Harvest Festival is a celebration of food in West Oakland, and those who help to cultivate and distribute it. This year City Slickers is also celebrating the completion of their newest Community Market Farm at Fitzgerald and Union Plaza Park (located at the corner of 34th St. and Peralta St.).
Several of the pumpkin patches mentioned above have kiddie-friendly Haunted Houses right next door. If you'd like something more spook-tacular, try out the the Redwood Heights Recreation Center at 3883 Aliso Ave (ages 7-9) or the Teen Haunted House at the Veteran's Memorial Building in Alameda at 2203 Central Ave. The Oakland City Parks Department is also hosting a Haunted House in two parts at Studio One Art Center - one from 4-6pm and another from 6:30-8:30 pm.
For animal lovers, there's the Oakland Zoo's annual Halloween Event "Boo at the Zoo"
On Saturday, October 30th, kids and their adults are encouraged to stroll the zoo in costume from 10am-3pm. Price of admission includes many perks and kids in costume ride free on the Boo Train! On Sunday, October 31st the fun continues with safety tips and treats from FedEx and Safe Kids.
Chabot Space and Science Center and Children's Fairyland also host similar events. More details at www.chabotspace.org and www.fairyland.org