- Los Angeles Theme Parks: The theme parks in the entertainment capitol go all out for Halloween. Disneyland gets all dressed up and the Haunted Mansion begins its run as the "The Nightmare Before Christmas," which will last until the end of the year. Also at Disneyland, everyone's favorite cartoon mouse hosts Mickey's Halloween Party. For a truly scary time, Universal Studios says their Halloween Horror Nights are the scariest in town. Not to be outdone, Knotts Berry Farm becomes Knotts Scary Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain hosts Fright Fest included in their regular admission.
- Halloween in the Los Angeles Area: If you'd rather party than scream yourself silly, the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval is sometimes billed as the "World's Largest Halloween Street Party." We especially enjoy the way folks along the harbor side of Newport Beach's Balboa Island decorate their homes for the holiday - it's a much quieter way to enjoy a bit of the seasonal fun. If you like your Halloween fun with a lot of fake blood and gore, you might like the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride or Delusion, an interactive theater/haunted house experience produced by actor Neil Patrick Harris and John Braver.
Or get outta town and head for Calico Ghost Town, where you can take a haunted hayride, run from creepy clowns or see an authentic vaudeville freak show.
- San Diego: Goings-on planned in San Diego include a Halloween Monster Bash in the Gaslamp and Haunted Trail at Balboa Park. Any time of year, the Whaley House is reputed to be one of the most haunted in the country.
- San Francisco: The long-standing street party in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood ended after violence in 2006. The Exotic Erotic Ball is in its 31st year (but will be held the weekend before Halloween).
- Silicon Valley and Santa Clara County: Gilroy Gardens offers month-long seasonal themes and a Halloween Camp Night which allows families to camp overnight in the park. Even though tour guides make a point to tell you it's not haunted, Winchester Mystery House offers special Fright Night evening tours in October. In the Santa Cruz Mountains, Roaring Camp Railroad runs a Children's Ghost Train with costumed characters recounting the The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
- Napa: You'll have to join the Wine Club at Castello di Amorosa to get in, but their annual Halloween Pagan Ball is so much fun that it's well worth it. Held in a recreated Italian castle with an atmosphere closer to Venice's Carnevale than anything we've seen this side of the ocean, a dungeon full of horrors, good wine and food, we think it's more fun than all those Southern California theme park events put together.
- Haunted Lighthouse Tours: The Point Sur Lighthouse between Big Sur and Carmel offers a special Halloween Ghost Tour and so does the Point San Luis Lighthouse near Pismo Beach.
- Napa: The Napa Wine Train also hosts a Halloween costume party on board their train.
- St. Helena: The St. Helena Historical Society sponsors an annual "Spirits of St. Helena" Cemetery Tour, more fun than creepy, with characters dressed in period costume.
- Pismo Beach: The Point San Luis Lighthouse does a special ghost tour in October.
What do you like to do in California at Halloween?