Halloween & Fall Fun in Marin

Fall is here, and so is our guide to all things Halloween in Marin! Get the scoop on pumpkin patches, activities and events, craft and costume ideas, and more.

Get Spooked this Halloween at a Haunted House in Marin!

October 16, 2017

Haunted house Marin

Everyone loves to get scared at Halloween—even if it's just a little scared—and the perfect place to get some thrills and chills this October is at a family-friendly haunted house. Here's our rundown of haunted houses here in Marin this Halloween season. All are suitable for the entire family, unless otherwise noted.

Keep in mind that some haunted houses have different versions for different audiences at different times, and some kids' tolerance for the spooky and scrary can vary.

Novato Horsemen Haunted House

600 Bugeia Lane, Novato
October 20 & 21, 27 & 28, 7–10 pm

Bring the kids out for a night of scare and fun at the Novato Horseman Haunted House in Novato. Admission is $5 per person. For more info, visit their website.

Tam Valley Haunted House

Tam Valley Community Center, Mill Valley
Friday–Sunday, October 20–22

The theme for TCSD's annual Tam Valley Haunted House is "Summon the Reaper". The Haunted House has three different tours: 3:30–4:30 pm: Not Scary, for children under 8 with all the lights on and a fun tour of the different areas; 5-6:30 pm: Scary, for children over 9; closed 6:30–7:30 pm to feed the volunteer monsters then back open 7:30–9 pm for a truly horrifying experience. Cost: $6 per person. Location: 203 Marin Avenue, Mill Valley. For more info, visit their website.

Halloween Craft: Recycled Glass Pumpkin Votives

October 15, 2017

Halloween pumpkin votives recycled craft

This easy craft project is so much fun to make, and the finished product looks fantastic, especially when lit with a flickering LED candle. Best of all, you can make them using materials from your recycling bin! These Halloween pumpkin votives are simple to make, and are a perfect craft project for all ages, with parental supervision, of course. My daughter and I created the pair of jack-o-lanterns lanterns shown here.

This project is a little messy, so make sure you have a good work area that's easy to clean up. You can also create variations on this craft: use white tissue to make ghost lanterns, and green to make monsters.

Halloween Craft Project: Paper Jack-O-Lanterns

October 12, 2017

Pumpkin paper lanterns Kids always love to make fun decorative crafts, especially at Halloween, when they can help make the house or classroom extra spooky. These easy-to-make paper jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween-time take on the traditional paper lantern craft project, and are simple enough that almost anyone in the family can make them. Make a bunch with different face designs and hang them around the house.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Orange and green construction paper (we used 12 x 18" sheets, but letter size will work, too)
  • Black markers, paint, or construction paper

Not-So-Scary Halloween Fun for Toddlers and Preschoolers

October 10, 2017

Tolay Fall Festival

Halloween with really little kids is kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, they usually love the costumes and the candy. On the other, the spooky parts of the holiday can sometimes be scary and older kids can be intimidating. We've chosen eight fun and not-too-spooky Halloween events from across the Bay Area that are perfect for little ones. You can find even more family fun for this fall in our Halloween event guide, too.

Note that the annual Tolay Fall Festival has been cancelled due to the Sonoma wildfire emergency.

Get Ready for the Goblin Jamboree at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

October 9, 2017

Goblin Jamboree

Come get a jump on Halloween at the 31st annual Goblin Jamboree fundraiser at the Bay Area Discovery Museum! Bring your little goblins to this year’s spooky family event on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 from 10 am to 4 pm. This year’s theme is "Witches and Wizards" and they have put together a cauldron of spooky themed programs and activities to entertain your entire family.

Ride a train or real ponies, create your own wand and potions, make your way through a broom obstacle course and some hay mazes, play with glow-in-the-dark trains in the Bay Hall, explore the spooky sticker room, and and enjoy a full brew of games, activities and live entertainment. This year's event will feature live musical performances from the JimBo Trout, Juice and Jelly, and Beau Mathews. This event is the perfect Halloween party for kids ages 6 months to 10 years.

A Visit to Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

October 9, 2017

Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch

This weekend we paid a visit to the popular Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch, a certified organic pumpkin patch that has been a Marin County tradition for 20 years! Located in the small west Marin village of Nicasio, the farm is just west of the Nicasio Village Square right on Nicasio Valley Road. Nicasio Valley Farms Pumpkin Patch is open seven days a week through Halloween from 10 am to 6 pm, and it's always worth a visit.

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch and Amazing Corn Maze

October 2, 2017

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch

Petaluma Pumpkin Patch, a Halloween fixture in Sonoma County since 1993, is popular for a number of reasons. For one, it's a real pumpkin patch that's not too far from civilization—it's right off the North Bay's major freeway. Second, it offers a nice mix of real country attractions and other more commercial activities like bounce houses, climbing walls, and pony rides. Third, their pumpkin prices are really reasonable: from $2 for the smallest pumpkins to $14 and up for really large examples.

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm in Petaluma

October 2, 2017

The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm

One of our favorite local pumpkin patches is the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at Spring Hill Farm, located in the Two Rock Valley area just outside Petaluma. The Great Peter Pumpkin Patch is a classic old-time pumpkin patch that's kind of out in the middle of nowhere (which is part of the fun). It's on a real working farm that produces the yummy organic Spring Hill Jersey cheese that you may have seen in farmers' markets or stores around town.

Family Farm Fun at Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch

October 1, 2017

Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch

Located on a 30-acre farm off of Stony Point Road in Sonoma County, the Santa Rosa Pumpkin Patch is definitely a must-visit attaction for families this fall. While its address is in Santa Rosa, it's actually located in the rural area just outside Rohnert Park, making it an easy trip from Marin.

Experience Life on the Farm at McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

September 26, 2017

McClelland's Dairy Pumpkin Patch

McClelland's Dairy is a family-run, certified organic dairy farm located just west of Petaluma, and their annual Halloween pumpkin patch just keeps getting better and better every year. McClelland's offers a lot of fun for families, especially if you are looking for a genuine farm experience. If you haven't been there yet, it's definitley worth putting on your fall family itinerary. Attractions and activities here range from a farm animal petting zoo and a look into the dairy's milking barn to a giant slide and obstacle course to a new Haunted Forest and an air-powered pumpkin cannon. You can hang out here and play all day!