COVID-era fall doesn’t have to mean staying inside! There are still activities and events you can enjoy at a safe, physical distance. 

Check out all of the family-friendly and sometimes even free activities that will help keep you and your family out of the house in Oakland. 

26 Annual Día de Los Muertos Festival | October 24 - 31

A sugar skull sits next to a white candle during Dia De Los Muertos in Oakland, CA back in 2018.

The Unity Council Día de Los Muertos Annual Festival is a free, outdoor festival that celebrates the vibrant, culturally-rich Fruitvale neighborhood. In honor of our 26th Anniversary, and to mark the tumult caused by the pandemic, we are guided by the festival theme of Curando Corazones (Healing Hearts) to create a physical space where people can safely gather and hone in art and culture as tools for community healing.  

This year, Unity Council is bringing back the online Muertos Mercadito (marketplace) to purchase crafts from local artists and vendors, as well as other DIY activities, workshops, and an in-person event on Sunday, October 31. Learn more about the event here.

Autumn Lights Festival | October 14 - 16

Bright lights illuminate a water feature during the Autumn Lights Festival in 2019.

The festive evenings blend live music, illuminated art, fire dancers, food and libations to make one unforgettable experience. This year, the annual tradition is in-person over three spectacular nights! The open-air Gardens at Lake Merritt are a beautiful place to enjoy a wonderful night out. With over 60 locally-made illuminated art displays sparkling throughout Oakland's seven-acre gardens, this is a can't miss event. Join the fun!

Boo at The Zoo | October 24-31

Boo at the Zoo Banner

Adapted this year for social distancing, the Oakland Zoo is extending Boo at the Zoo from a single weekend to an eight-day event; to eliminate crowding and provide all our Halloween guests a safe, family-friendly ‘pink flamingo scavenger hunt'. Grab a program as you enter the Zoo and follow the clues on our self-guided scavenger hunt to find all the costumed pink flamingos hidden throughout the Zoo. Instead of trick or treating in the Zoo this year, we are safely handing out pre-stuffed goodie bags to all children. 

Come and safely celebrate Halloween at Oakland Zoo this year!

Halloween Pumpkin Patches | Throughout September - October

Pumpkins of all sizes decorate the stands at the Piedmont Pumpkin Patch in Oakland.

Read our Where to Spend Your Halloween in Oakland, CA for a list of fun pumpkin patches to visit to get really spirited (pun intended 👻).