Summer season is over and fall is lastly within the air! Or, should you dwell within the San Francisco Bay Space like I do, you recognize that fall is within the air someplace. We don’t precisely have seasons in our a part of Northern California. However though the Bay Space can’t match the breathtaking autumn leaves of the East Coast in September and October, the autumn season at all times has loads for households with children to do.
Whether or not you’re an area on the lookout for a weekend staycation or a customer to the Bay Space on the lookout for a seasonally applicable journey, listed here are 15 enjoyable fall actions for youths close to San Francisco.
Editor’s Be aware: Whereas most fall favorites are working very near regular in 2022, some have completely moved to reservations techniques that will not have been in place in 2019 and earlier. At all times verify the corporate’s web site or social media pages for the most recent necessities. Bear in mind as effectively that wildfires often affect Northern California travel considerably in fall months in a few years, so verify the most recent air high quality when there are fires within the area.
Final up to date: September 2, 2022.
(*Bookmark this put up and verify again commonly, as native points of interest launch their fall actions at completely different occasions. We will probably be updating this put up commonly in September and early October as info turns into obtainable.)
Enjoyable & Household-Pleasant Issues to Do within the San Francisco Bay Space within the Fall
Fall means tons of alternatives to take your children to one of many many apple orchards within the better Bay Space for a day of apple choosing. Essentially the most handy choices with pick-your-own fields for San Francisco day trippers are:
- Clearview Orchards (Watsonville): Open Saturdays and Sundays September 3-October 30, 2022. Advance ticket buy for parking and entry required.
- Gizdich Ranch (Watsonville): Open weekends for u-pick apple choosing September 10, 2022.
- EARTHseed Farm (Sebastopol): Open most Saturdays in late August, September, and October. Reservations open every Tuesday for Saturday occasions.
- Apple-a-Day Raztlaff Ranch (Sebastapol): The 2022 season begins early/mid September TBD. Traditionally open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays throughout September and October.
- Chileno Valley Ranch (Petaluma): Choosing obtainable on Sundays in September and October 2022, with reservations required.
Lemos Farm (Half Moon Bay)
Lemos Farm is the Bay Space’s most well-known pumpkin patch and with good motive! Households flock from throughout Northern California to go to every year. With pony rides, a haunted home, a not-so-haunted prepare, hay rides, and a petting zoo all along with an awesome pumpkin choice, it’s a Halloween custom for a lot of Bay Space households.
In 2022, the Pumpkin Patch will probably be open beginning September Three and can stay open into November. In September, it’s open Wednesdays to Sunday (plus Monday September 5 for Labor Day); in October, it’s open on daily basis, and in November, dates are TBD. Timed reservations are required, with two overlapping classes (mornings 9/10am-2pm and afternoons 12pm-5pm) provided every day.
Boo on the Zoo (Oakland)
Head over to the East Bay for the Oakland Zoo’s annual Halloween Boo at the Zoo daytime occasion in late October. In 2022, the occasion takes place throughout regular zoo hours (10:00am-4:00pm) from October 22-31. Advance reservations are required. Reservations open 28 days upfront of every celebration date.
Guests can go on self-guided scavenger hunt to trick-or-treat for animal buying and selling playing cards all through the zoo. Visitors can put on costumes and enter the zoo’s costume contest by posting on social media for an opportunity to win tickets to the vacation occasion on the zoo, Glowfari.
Boo on the Zoo (San Francisco)
The San Francisco Zoo normally hosts a Boo on the Zoo occasion of its personal, however 2022 plans haven’t but been introduced. Keep tuned to this house for extra info as it’s introduced.
The next is info from 2021’s occasion: San Francisco Zoo is getting again within the spooky spirit as effectively! Its personal annual Boo at the Zoo occasion can be dubbed Sloth-o-Ween in 2021, the place friends can take a self-guided gradual stroll round zoo grounds to go to haunted homes. There’s a dressing up contest at midday in addition to a German beer backyard with Oktoberfest fashion treats and eats.
The occasion takes place on two Saturdays and Sundays, October 23-24 and 30-31, 2021. Advance reservations are required, and open on the market precisely 2 weeks previous to the occasion date/time of entry.
Tips and Treats at California’s Nice America (Santa Clara)
Northern California’s beloved theme park at all times will get within the fall spirit, however this yr guarantees one thing new and fairly attractive for households. In earlier years, California’s Nice America provided a daytime kid-friendly fall occasion and a night scare-the-living-daylights-out-of-you hang-out. The scary stuff is completely retired in 2022, and Nice America goes all in with an excellent larger full time family-friendly Halloween pageant, Tips and Treats.
Tips and Treats will characteristic 4 themed realms – two “tips” (Ickyville and Spooky Spires) and two “treats” (Everfall and Candy Tooth Acres). Costumes are welcome, distinctive seasonal theme park meals abounds, and youngsters can trick or deal with as effectively.
The occasion is open throughout common park working hours September 23-October 30 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (notice that the park is closed the one Sunday for a 49ers house recreation on October 23, so Tips and Treats is open the earlier Thursday as an alternative). Purchase every day tickets upfront on-line for one of the best pricing.
Don’t miss my full planning guide to California’s Great America with kids earlier than your go to. And search for protection of the occasion on my web site and social media channels later this month, as my household plans to attend one of many first celebration dates!
Winchester Thriller Home (San Jose)
The Winchester Mystery House is a mansion constructed by the eccentric widow of the Winchester Rifle Firm proprietor, with doorways and stairs that always result in nowhere. Whereas touring the house is a enjoyable tour for households year-round, probably the most becoming time to go to is the month of October. Legend has it the home is haunted by the ghosts killed by Winchester rifles, and its former proprietor apparently constructed it in such a haphazard style to appease spirits who have been haunting her.
Whereas the Winchester Thriller Home had had some family-friendly Halloween occasions previously for all ages, there’s nothing deliberate particularly for youthful children in 2022. But it surely’s actually a great time of yr for an everyday tour to get your repair of the bizarre and barely spooky as a household.
And for households with teenagers who get pleasure from a great scare again after two years off is Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse. This walkthrough hang-out options spirits and the paranormal as effectively an an out of doors carnival with creepy actions. Be aware that this occasion recommends friends to be age 13+.
Youngsters’s Fairyland Halloween Jam (Oakland)
Halloween Jam will return to Youngsters’s Fairyland in 2022, however dates and particulars are nonetheless TBD. Keep tuned to this house for extra info as it’s introduced.
The next is info from 2021’s occasion: Youngsters’s Fairyland is a beloved little kid-friendly native amusement park that was one in all Walt Disney’s inspirations for Disneyland. It’s holding a seasonal occasion of its personal, Halloween Jam, on the final two weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) of the month of October – October 22-24 & October 29-31.
The occasion options fall enjoyable completely outside, with decked out rides and units within the park and isn’t too scary for infants and toddlers. There’s a bodily distant Monster Mash parade with treats and costumes are inspired however not required.
Reservations are required and two every day time slots can be found – 9am to midday or 1pm to 4pm. Be aware that Fairyland at present requires masks in all areas (together with outside) of all friends no matter vaccination standing.
Thriller Spot (Santa Cruz)
One other native attraction that’s enjoyable year-round however particularly throughout the Halloween season is the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz. Youngsters will probably be amazed at this “gravitational anomaly” that’s stated to defy the legal guidelines of physics. Water flows uphill and bizarre phenomena abound. Whether or not the trigger be aliens, the supernatural, or only a good optical phantasm, it’s good clear household enjoyable.
In 2022, advance reservations are advocate, particularly for weekends and holidays particularly as these dates are likely to promote out. Parking is an extra $5 charge – deliver money or verify as playing cards aren’t accepted and advance buy for parking shouldn’t be obtainable.
CuriOdyssey’s Pumpkin Days (San Mateo)
CuriOdyssey has not but introduced its plans for fall occasions. Keep tuned to this house for extra info as it’s introduced.
The next is info from 2021’s occasion: CuriOdyssey is a superb science playground and zoo on Coyote Level close to San Francisco International Airport. In 2021, it’s providing Pumpkin Days, a harvest pageant for households. Visitors can conduct Halloween-themed science experiments, discover a pumpkin patch, and spot jack-o-lanterns – all after all whereas seeing the animals there too.
The occasion takes place throughout common daytime working hours in October, Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm. Masks are required for ages 2 and up. Advance tickets/reservations are beneficial.
Fleet Week (San Francisco)
In early October, the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard descend upon the Metropolis by the Bay, bringing numerous guests with them. The spotlight of the week’s celebrations is a powerful air present over the water, with the Navy’s Blue Angels doing stunts and tips. The noise will be fairly deafening, so be prepared with some ear safety for the little ones.
San Francisco Fleet Week is again for one more yr in 2022. The occasion runs from October 3-11 this yr, with the air present happening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the lengthy vacation weekend.
Hit the Wharf (San Francisco)
September and early October are sometimes the sunniest and warmest occasions in San Francisco correct, so the autumn is a good time to get the children exterior for an journey strolling the waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Though it’s positively touristy, that’s at all times a part of the enjoyable for me and particularly for my children. You may simply spend a full day or extra at Fisherman’s Wharf, so try my Fisherman’s Wharf guide for families to select one of the best actions.
And for a extremely spooky twist throughout October, add in a visit to Alcatraz if you are on the wharf. The world’s most haunted jail even provides evening excursions for the actually courageous.
A variety of points of interest within the space, from Alcatraz boat excursions to Aquarium of the Bay, require or advocate advance reservations, so plan accordingly.
Gilroy Gardens Halloween Boo (Gilroy)
Gilroy Gardens isn’t as well-known of a theme park as among the massive names in Northern California. However it’s positively my favourite for households with younger children (see my full Gilroy Gardens guide). Gilroy Gardens at all times has a Halloween occasion with loads of not-too-scary enjoyable for households.
The Halloween “Boo” occasion this yr takes place from October 1-30, 2022, with the next park hours this yr: Fridays: 5pm-10pm Saturdays & Sundays: 1pm-9pm. Plus, the park can be open extra weekdays the week previous to Halloween: Monday-Thursday, October 24-28: 5pm-10pm.
At evening, Gilroy Gardens lights up the park with seasonal decorations and lights. Youngsters can trick or deal with on “The Boo Path,” watch “The Nice Massive Boo” dwell musical present with characters, experience “The Boo Practice,” or see a lounge singer, a storytelling scarecrow, or a mad scientist on “Boo Alley.” Costumes are welcome, speciality treats abound, and there’s even beer and wine for the grown-ups.
G&M Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch (Livermore)
What child hasn’t wished to get misplaced in a large life measurement maze of corn? Sheer awesomeness abounds on daily basis in October out in Livermore at G&M Farms. There, a area of corn is become a murals that can be a maze that households can discover collectively. In previous years the maze themes have included Peanuts, emojis, Charlotte’s Internet, and Woman Liberty.
There’s additionally a pumpkin patch that has a hay bale maze good for toddlers in addition to a cow prepare and plenty of extra choices.
G&M Farms is open Wednesdays via Sundays from October 1-31, 2022. Be aware that among the pumpkin patch actions are solely provided on weekends.
Oktoberfest at Speisekammer (Alameda)
Speisekammer has not but introduced its plans for Oktoberfest 2022. Keep tuned to this house for extra info as it’s introduced.
The next is info from 2021’s occasion: Even with the beer flowing freely, Oktoberfest occasions are normally fairly family-friendly. My little hometown of Alameda hosts fairly the celebration on the native German watering gap, Speisekammer. For a number of Sundays in late September and early October, the restaurant celebrates in family-friendly fashion with loads of German meals and beer, polka music and dancing, and a jumpy home (haus!) for the children.
The occasion this yr is pared again, with occasions on simply two Sundays – September 26 and October 3 – and solely music and meals. However even should you miss the occasion itself, Speisekammer is open the remainder of the autumn, with an expanded out of doors eating space. Positively price a cease to make dinner out into your personal Oktoberfest celebration!
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Boo Fest & Oktoberfest (Vallejo)
Like its different Bay Space theme park counterparts, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo has some particular fall choices as effectively. When you’ll wish to depart the little ones at house for the park’s terrifying night hang-out Fright Fest, the park has two family-friendly choices throughout daytime hours.
Child’s Boo Fest is a standard fall pageant with Halloween actions and leisure in addition to trick-or-treating. And the entire household can get in on the Oktoberfest motion with German meals and leisure provided (together with beers for adults). Boo Fest and Oktoberfest each happen on choose days TBD September 24-October 30, 2022.
What do you think?