San Francisco doesn’t hold back when it comes to Halloween festivities. At the end of each October, masked and costumed citizens take to the streets, duck into crowded bars, explore spooky aircraft carriers, and tour thematic shows. There are plenty of events and parties around town, but here are a few of our favorite ways to spend the fall holiday in SF.
Dig into the city’s creepy past
You don’t need made-up monsters and mythical baddies to find something worth freaking out about. San Francisco’s own storied past contains enough real ghouls and villains to entertain any horror movie fan. Wandering the exhibits of the San Francisco Dungeon, visitors get up close to the city’s historical underbelly, meeting characters like gang leader Sam Roberts and famed kidnapper Shanghai Kelly, and exploring Alcatraz’s gruesome past.
145 Jefferson St Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94133
Fly away to a Halloween party on the USS Hornet
The yearly Halloween party on the aircraft carrier is not to be missed. A huge concert, an epic costume contest, and tours through the ship’s creepy twisting hallways provide plenty of entertainment from the time you board at 7:30 p.m. to the last spooky scream at 1 a.m.
707 W Hornet Ave, Alameda, CA 94501
Get spooked while learning
Science and nature can be magnificent but they can also be crazy scary. No one knows this better than the crew at the California Academy of Sciences, which hosts a SuperNatural shindig around Halloween each year to help families explore the creepy crawly side of nature and spooky scientific effects, all with scientists on hand to explain everything.
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118
Bar crawl in costume
There are a number of Halloween themed crawls around town to fit any particular taste in bars, timing and location, but one of the best is run by San Francisco Pub Crawls. Crawloween, as the company calls the yearly escapade, includes a string of over 20 bars, with over 7,000 people expected to attend. Drink specials start at noon on 10/25 and run all weekend. Buses are on hand to help weary crawlers and photographers will be snapping pics of the debauchery.
Shop for a costume at TreasureFest
If you haven’t prepared a costume and the increasingly chilly days are reminding you precious time is running out, head over to TreasureFest on Treasure Island to shop for a last minute getup. Beyond the usual vintage wear, the special Halloween Market provides everything you need to win your next costume contest.