Sort of spooky: Halloween fun for families

The Piedmont Ave pumpkin patch has been going strong since the 1990s. (Photo courtesy of

There’s more to Halloween than Oct. 31, especially when you’re young (or young of heart). Here’s our tally of family-friendly events and activities that are walkable (or a very short drive) from Piedmont. We’ll add more as we learn of them.

Halloween parades

An event for the whole family, the Piedmont Ave parade is now in its 36th year, with trick-or-treating at local stores, music, and more. Parade starts at Yosemite Avenue (near Pomella and Doña restaurants). Find the full schedule on the Piedmont Avenue Merchants Association’s website. Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Montclair Village Association promises a day of Halloween activity including face painting, pumpkin decorating, and trick-or-treat giveaways. More information on the MVA Facebook page. Sunday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also close to Piedmont, the Rockridge District Association parade offers another round of spooky(ish) family fare, including trick-or-treating, crafts, and music. Halloween HQs are the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library at 5366 College Ave. and the College Avenue Presbyterian Church at 5951 College Ave., but festivities run the length of College from Alcatraz Avenue to Broadway. Sunday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The venerable Children’s Fairyland is serving up two weekends of Halloween fun for families with Halloween Jam. There are twice-daily afternoon parades and a rotating calendar of (slightly) spooky performances and activities. A full schedule is on the Fairyland website. Saturday, Oct. 21 to Sunday Oct. 22, and Friday, Oct. 27 to Sunday, Oct. 29. Fairyland hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; parades are at noon and 3:30 p.m. Tickets (paid) available here.

Pumpkin patches

The Wildwood Dads’ Club Pumpkin Patch by Coaches Field (898 Red Rock Road, Piedmont) offers pumpkins in all sizes and shapes through Oct. 29. Monday to Friday, 4 – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mountain View Cemetery’s Pumpkin Festival overlaps with the Piedmont Avenue parade and offers free pumpkins, crafts, and an animal show, along with food trucks, all on the cemetery grounds at the top of Piedmont Avenue. Saturday, Oct. 28, 12-3 p.m.

The Piedmont Avenue pumpkin patch is tucked in the backyard of a slim storefront near Pleasant Valley Road but brimming with pumpkins of all sizes, shapes, and colors. Accessible via the seasonal Halloween store at 4414 Piedmont Ave. Pay a visit to the adjacent haunted house for a fee.

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