Halloween Activities for Babies & Toddlers

Parent Q&A

  • I have a thrill-seeking 2-year-old who loves scary activities, but is still a toddler. We just moved here and I'm looking for any and all interesting recommendations for Halloween-themed activities he might enjoy. What do you guys recommend?

    I would love to hear responses as well!  I love Halloween, we just moved here, and have a 2.5 year old.  If you wouldn’t mind sharing what you find out?

    The youth association in Lafayette does a haunted house at the Community Center every year. The first few hours are “not too scary” and aimed at little kids. (Later in the evening it turns into “scary.”) I know it’s this weekend (Sat the 27th I think) but I’m sure you can find more info on Google. Happy hallloween!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Halloween in Berkeley for Toddler

Oct 2014

Hi Everyone!

I wanted some suggestions on what to do with my Toddler for Halloween (aside from Trick or Treating). Last year, we went to a small carnival at an elementary school in El Cerrito but ended up being stuck in traffic for a long time on our return home. I'm looking for ideas in the Berkeley area... A place where he can see other children dressed up and receive candy. Any carnivals/festivals close by? Also, what's the closest pumpkin patch? Are these places accessible by public transportation? Are there events leading up to Halloween night that I can take him to? Thanks! Marisela

The two activities we usually hit up are the Halloween Festival on 4th Street and the Halloween parade on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Both are fun, well attended, and the businesses hand out candy to the kiddos. Berkeley Halloweener

Berkeley Public Library has programs on days leading up to Halloween. Different branches have events on different days. All ages are welcome but mostly kids under 5 come. Kids come in costume. They do stories and songs and have younger children in mind. amh

Halloween Spooktacular at Downtown Berkeley YMCA! Kids can dress up and trick- or-treat inside the Y. They have a pumpkin patch, bounce houses, a carnival and swimming. Lots of fun for the younger crowd and you don't need to be a member. $5 per family 3:30-6:00. Y Fan

Halloween Activities for an 11-month-old?

Oct 2009

i love halloween and want to take my 11 month old to some kind of costume parade or baby friendly activity. anybody have any ideas for halloween type activities for an 11 month old, preferably in the day time???? Aisha

Hopefully, you will receive many recommendations on charming, age-appropriate daytime activities for 11-month old babes and parents. My daughter is much older and I'm not up on the activities for wee ones. I do have a bit of (hard-earned) advice, which you no doubt may already have a sense of: Halloween for your child's age group is more for the parents (and the photo album) than for the children.

It's true that there is nothing sweeter than donning your year- old in a ladybug, tiger, bunny costume and having her/him walk to the 3-4 neighborhood houses for a 5:00 PM trick or treat fest--after tons of photos are taken. Or going to a farm or pumpkin patch (such as the lovely Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont www.ardenwoodaffairs.com - (510) 797-5621)and enjoying the colors and bounty and harvest of the season. And no doubt, any/all experiences for any/all age groups is registered in their minds as ''experience'' from which to grow/learn/enjoy.

All that being said, please avoid my early mistake: don't take your little one to places that are favored by older kids. I made the mistake of taking my 4 year-old toddler to Russell Street in Berkeley and I think she'll be in therapy for years because of it (we were there @4 minutes and fled with my little one in tears at the first mummy that jumped out of the ground up at her--oye vey). From your email request, you are no doubt smarter than I was. But this stands out in my ''bad mommy'' repetoire and I wanted to share it.

Also, in costume choice: prepare for both very hot and very cold weather in your choice of costume. How many years my daughter sweated or froze her way through Halloween; it can be 95 or 55 degrees on October 31 (usually has been hot).

How much fun for you to begin the wonderful customs we enjoy with our children at this rich time of year! Linda

Fun Halloween activities for babies & toddlers

Sept 2009

My sister and niece are coming to visit for a long weekend over Halloween this year, and we'd like to line up some fun activities for the kids (ages 5, 2.5 and infant) to do. We plan to go to a pumpkin patch down in Half Moon Bay one morning and probably Boo at the Zoo on Halloween morning, but any suggestions of other events would be appreciated. And if anyone knows when trick-or-treating is in Berkeley, let me know. Our particular area of Berkeley doesn't seem to do trick-or-treating; I think last year we had 10 kids max. Anyone have a suggestion for a good trick-or-treating neighborhood in Berkeley? Marjorie

If you don't mind crossing the Berkeley border into Oakland, there is a great parade on Piedmont Avenue Oakland on Halloween day, Saturday, October 31, 2009 (with all the stores acting as candy stations) and all the month of October, there is a great small pumpkin patch at the corner of Piedmont Avenue & Pleasant Valley Ave. Their website is http://www.fpe.cc The Piedmont Avenue Pumpkin Patch is open every day 8am-8pm through Halloween and you can come dressed up any time. They also take classroom reservations by calling 510-967-9363. Good News

For trick-or-treating, go to either Mariposa in Berkeley near the Arlington Circle or Russell Street above College or just over the Oakland border to Lawton between College and Broadway. Those places could each be called ''a zoo'' on Halloween. For more sedate trick-or-treating, try the flats... between Rose and Cedar and between MLK and McGee is a pretty flat and plentiful area... easy for littler kids. Have fun! Marjorie too!

Hi Marjorie,If you're in the Piedmont Avenue area on Halloween, there will be plenty of fun events going on. Ranging from free cartoons to see at the Piedmont Theatre,the Annual Halloween Parade, which starts at Blockbuster's videos,trick or treating for the children compliments of the of the merchants along Piedmont Ave., a haunted house and kid friendly activities at Piedmont Avenue Elementary school, a Pumpkin patch at the Mountain View Cemetery,story time at the Piedmont Ave. Library branch and a variety of other family fun things to do in the area. Interested? Check out the wonderful, Piedmont Avenue Merchants Association(PAMA) web site...Our family has attended this event for years, it's a guarateed fun time for all! Denise

We hope you have the opportunity to come check out our Halloween Event at the Berkeley YMCA. We are hosting ours on Friday, October 30th from 5-8pm. $5 per family. We'll have one gym geared towards 0-5 year olds, and another geared for 6- 10 year olds. Lots of games, art, tumbling, etc. For more information just give me a call or email me. 510-665-3238. Eden

My family will be attending a halloween even at play cafe (their new site www.playcafellc.com). The new owners are wonderful people to talk to and have done a great job with the cafe. We will also attend an Asheba concert on Oct. 23rd, 2009. There is also a nice halloween event in livermore, pumpkin patch and all. see ya, Sam

Carnival or something else on Oct 31 for toddler?

Sept 2008

My 16 month old daughters official 1st Halloween is coming soon and I have been looking for places to go trick or treating during the day or even a carnival of some sort, does anybody have any recommendations? I know there are several things to do on the weekend, the Oakland Zoo and Fairyland but I would like to also to do something on the official day. Recommendations please!! Are there any halloween family picnics that weekend ...where adults can get dressed up??...(I miss getting dressed up for Halloween, too) Julie

Although it is usually the Saturday before Halloween (not on Halloween itself), you and your child should check out the Piedmont Avenue Halloween Parade. It's sponsored by the local merchants association. The street is blocked off for several hours for the parade and trick or treating. The parade begins at 11:00 am at (I think) Piedmont Avenue and Yosemite (near MacArthur Boulevard) in Oakland. Both parents (many pushing strollers) and kids parade dressed in costume. Some parents and kids just line the street and watch as the parade goes by. Then many businesses on the street pass out treats (signs designate which are trick or treat stations). Although the beginning of the trick or treating can be a zoo, there's no reason you can't take a break between the parade and the candy grab to let things calm down a bit. Anyway, we love the day. Won't miss the parade

tumble & tea cafe in Oakland hosts a special ''My First Haunted House'' for kids 5 and under all day Halloween which culminates in a Halloween Spooktacular Party from 5-8pm. Ira Marlowe will perform his new Halloween songs for kids, they'll be treats and games and a ton of fun for families with small children. visit www.tumbleandtea.com for ticket info or call 510-601-7378. Sue

Montclair Village in Oakland usually has a Halloween parade that starts in the park and winds it way through the village, with many of the merchants handing out candy. We used to live there and went all the time, but moved three years ago, so I don't know whether they still have it. There were other activities associated with the eventin Montclair Park, too. I'm sure the Montclair business association has a website that would have info.

The Tilden Park Merry Go Round is having Scary Go Round. It will be open on Halloween and is a good place to go. They open October 10 each Fri, Sat, and Sun night through Halloween. No admission charge, just the normal tickets to ride the carousel. www.tildenmgr.com Halloween Mom

Interesting Halloween activities with a 16-month-old

October 2002

Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I want my little one to get a taste of the fun, so I am looking for some interesting Halloween activities to do with my 16 month old. I've seen signs for carnivals and parties at Tilden, the YMCA, etc., but I'm not clear if any of these have activities appropriate for younger kids. I checked the past recommendations, but they are about 5 years old, and don't specify what would be fun for toddlers. Festivals, street fairs, carnivals, anything in Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito/Oakland for the week leading up to Halloween would be perfect. What did your kids love? All suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, and happy trick-or- treating! Pumpkin-loving Mom

If you're willing to adventure as far as Fremont, the Candle Lighters sponsor a yearly Ghost House. It's open and running through Oct 30. The house and the games are all geared towards little kids and they have ''good fairies'' to take the less adventurous kids through (they warn them they are coming so no one jumps out at you). You could take Bart. It's at the Fremont Hub, at the old Carriage House (historical site). This is a mild ghost house compared to some of the more realistic ones around. It's $2.00 per person to go through and all the game ticket are 25 cents a piece. The face painting is the only one that costs multiple tickets, depending on the design.

You should also check with your local (large) malls. Some of them have trick or treat nites where the kids can dress up and go from store to store collecting candy in a safe environment. another Halloween fan

Consider the Albany Preschool Pancake Breakfast for Halloween fun for your little one. There will be lots of little kids (and some moms & dads)in costumes, halloween-related crafts and activities, music, a silent auction and of course, pancakes. It's on Sunday, October 27th from 9 am to 11am at the Albany Comunity Center (Marin at Masonic). Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for kids and are available in advance from the preschool or at the door. Katia

The Oakland Zoo has a cute Boo at the Zoo thing on the 27th. Rockridge Shopping District has a trick or treat down college avenue, which ends up in the library for great story telling by the librarians. 

Activities where babies can show off their costumes?


What are some fun Halloween activities in the East Bay where babies can show off their cute costumes? Jodi

The Parkway Theater is holding a baby costume contest witth their 630 showing of night of the living dead. I am not much on the movie, but it will be great fun with all the babies. By the way, every monday night the Parkway theater shows movies and babies are allowed. See their website at picturepubpizza.com. They have good food, and it is fun to see all the babies. last week they showed Space Cowboys. I think this month they are going for the oldies (not my favorite), but they should be getting back to the newer ones in November. Molly

Habitot Children's Museum does a fun and not to spooky party for kids the Saturday before Halloween, October 28th. We've always enjoyed it. Kathy

Fairyland and the Oakland Zoo always have wonderful daytime Halloween events. Shoshana

There are parades in Montclair and in Piedmont. Check the Montclarian for info. Gab

I didn't see the original post, but I see many responses about good places to go on Halloween. This would be for children and adults of all ages, not just infants The New School of Berkeley has a Halloween fair every year. It is Saturday October 28, 11-4 at Cedar and Bonita in Berkeley. HUGE yard sale with tons of kids stuff, pumpkins, really good food for sale, kids' activities, live music, and much more. It's a funky low-key atmosphere and just a nice place to be. Sybil

More Halloween activities for young children

Oct 1997

We have been to San Leandro carnival, Lawrence Hall of Science, Oakland Zoo, and Jack London Square activities. 

All were fun, but the Jack London Square party was really great- kids love the activities, it is a beautiful setting, the Barnes & Noble bookstore is a great place to take a rest and peruse a book; also, if you call the Jack London Square Hotline (I don't have number, you can get it from information) you can get information on having your kids join their Kids'Club free- a membership allows your kids special benefits in stores in Jack London Square, like eating free (from the kids menu) at T.G.I. Friday, Kincaid's Bayhouse and Pizzeria Uno, when the parents buy a meal. We use our membership all the time to eat at these restaurants. Have fun! Dianne

St. John's Church 2727 College Ave. Saturday Oct 25 at 6:30 PM All ages - wear a costume - meet the coffin monster - see wizards - drink from the witches' cauldron Admission: a book, food item, toy, or treat for a homeless child or a donation in any amount. Teens are invited to come early at 3pm to help build the haunted house.

Although I've not been to an event at LHS, the party advertised on their web page sounds fun to me! Here is some of their blurb: LHS Harmonious Family Halloween Party. Sat., Oct. 25, 6:30 pm - 9 pm. Music, science and spooky fun are in harmony during an evening of entertainment, games, art activities, a treasure hunt and costume parade. TX are $9 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. 642-5134 And, if you're a Neighborhood Mom, be sure to come to the Halloween party on Sun., Oct. 26, 3;30 - 5 at Epworth Church on Hopkins. RSVP by 10/24 to Debbie at dwoods [at] uclink4.berkeley.edu or 643-3012. We'll have games, refreshments, prizes, and a costume parade. Also, I think the downtown Y is having a family Halloween party. Call the Y for info. Debbie

For a Halloween party: The Randall museum has a party scheduled for Halloween, 6-9pm. I've gone in past years, when my child was as young as 3, and I think it would keep the attention of anyone up to preteen years. The museum has an animal room, somewhat like the Lindsey Museum but smaller, I believe. It's located on Museum Way, near 14th and Castro in SF. I'd suggest calling to find out more if you're interested. Wendy


From: Gail

There is an annual Halloween parade on College Avenue in Rockridge. It is happening this year, although I am not sure what day. I have heard rumors that it will be on Saturday, Halloween, but do not know this for sure. I live in the neighborhood and have not yet seen flyers for it.

From: Deborah

the Piedmont Ave parade is always the Sat before Halloween (the 24th this year). I believe it starts at 10:30, but there should be flyers up at shops on Piedmont Ave with the exact time. The parade is very low-key and lots of fun: A bag-piper and a mounted police officer and LOTS of kids in costume (with their parents). Then there's trick-or-treating at most of the shops afterwards. It's wonderful. There's also one on College Ave that I believe is the Sun before Halloween in the afternoon. Don't know about Solano.

From: Diana

A while back, someone asked about neighborhood Hallowe'en events, and I mentioned the toddlers parade & trick-or-treating on Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland. I now have all the details and thought I'd pass it on. There's a green space at Lakeshore & Mandana which will be the meeting ground. The event starts at 11:00 am on Saturday, and is specifically geared to babies and toddlers. I think there will be a pumpkin patch, and a clown (or is it a magician?) Anyway, I think the whole thing only goes on for an hour or two, and the local businesses will have treats for the kiddies.