- Celebrating Halloween traditions like carving pumpkins or a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in your home.
- Visiting an outdoor pumpkin patch, while wearing a mask and maintaining distance from others.
- Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at least 6 feet apart while wearing masks, with a very small group of neighbors or friends. Fewer people with more distance is safer.
- Having a virtual costume contest.
- Dressing up your house, apartment, living space, yard or car with Halloween decoration or decorating homes with images and objects to honor deceased loved ones.
- Preparing traditional family recipes with members of your household.
- Playing music in your home that your deceased loved ones enjoyed.
- Making and decorating masks or making an altar for the deceased.
- Participating in vehicle-based gatherings that comply with state and local guidance like drive-in movies and drive-through attractions, or car/bike parades where participants do not leave their vehicles.
- Avoid driving in areas where there are many pedestrians.
- Spectators should watch from their homes or yards and not gather with people they do not live with.
Halloween Guidance and Celebrations
Halloween will be different this year due to the continued pandemic. Celebrate safely in Palo Alto with the following safety guidance, join us for Halloween contests and events, and more!
Learn from other neighbors as they share their planning ideas with us. This web page will be updated throughout October.
City of Palo Alto Hosted Events
- Jack-O-Jaunt — Community members are invited to pre-register to bring their carved jack-o-lanterns downtown to one of the stroll-able Uplift Local streets to display their carved pumpkins alongside many others from our community for one night only. Other community members are invited to take a jaunt through the display to enjoy the seasonal fun. Jack-O-Jaunt will take place Friday, October 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register today to participate!
- Public Art Scavenger Hunt — The Public Art Program is putting together a fun scavenger hunt for all ages to wander downtown to find the many whimsical Greg Brown murals. Winners get bragging rights and the opportunity to send us their funny photos in front of the murals, which we will then share with our followers on social media. Download and print the scavenger hunt list or view the online map for an easier hunt!
- Celebrate Halloween with Your Library — The Palo Alto City Library has virtual events all month long and many tips and resources for you to enjoy Halloween throughout October. Learn more about their spook-tacular events, Halloween books, and spooky movies in their latest blog post.
- Most Creative Way to Safely Trick Or Treat Contest — As a way to help promote safe trick-or-treating, we’re sponsoring a virtual contest around creating the most ingenious ways to disperse candy to trick-or-treaters. Tag us on social media or send us an email! Winners will be featured on our social media pages.
- Join Our Mask-erade Contest — Ditch your traditional costume mask and decorate your cloth face covering keeping you and others safe during the public health emergency. Take a selfie and tag us @CityofPaloAlto on Instagram! Winners will be featured on our social media pages.
Other Local Events
Email us at email@example.com if you are hosting a safe virtual or outdoor Halloween event that you would like us to share with others.
- Drive Thru Trunk or Treat — Are you looking for a fun and safe alternative to Trick or Treating? Come by on Saturday, October 31, between 3-5 p.m. for a Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat! Enjoy car trunks and tailgates decked out in creative themes and participate in a visual scavenger hunt, all from the safety of your car. Children will receive a goodie bag with treats at the end of the drive-thru while supplies last. Please wear a mask. Peninsula Bible Church, 3505 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306.
- Once Upon a Midnight Dreary — Palo Alto Players presents Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. This virtual Halloween cabaret is what happens when some of your favorite Palo Alto Players ghouls set their macabre side free. Join us for a virtual cabaret of songs, dances, and scenes from Halloween-themed Broadway hits and beyond - perfect for homebound families during the spooky season. Plus enter the Players' Halloween Costume and Tableau Contest...if you DARE! Streaming October 23-31, 2020. Tickets are $20 per household. More info at paplayers.org.
- Midpen Media Movie Nights — Every evening in October join Midpen Media for a Spooky Movie Night experience. They have hand-selected five of our favorite classic films that fully embrace the Halloween spirit. They will be playing these ghostly features on Channel 30 at 8 p.m. and stream them live simultaneously on the Midpen Media Facebook Page.
- Pumpkin Decorating with Henna — Learn to decorate a pumpkin using the beautiful Indian art of mehndi. This live, one-hour Zoom class is hosted by Gamble Garden and taught by Priti Aggarwal, an acclaimed mehndi artist. You will design an unbelievable Halloween pumpkin using custom-made henna paste free from chemicals or dyes. No carving required! Saturday, Oct. 24, at 10:00 a.m. Fun for the entire family. All supplies (pumpkin and henna) provided. Register today!
- Virtual Glass Pumpkin Festival — Because we can’t offer the Patch onsite this year, we’ll be going virtual with opportunities to purchase glass pumpkins directly from the artists, while supporting the Palo Alto Art Center and the Bay Area Glass Institute. More details at greatglasspumpkinpatch.com. Event runs: September 24 – October 4
Halloween Neighborhood Resources Meeting
The City hosted a neighborhood resources meeting on September 30 for the public to get more information about the County's guidance on Halloween and to share ideas about how to celebrate the holiday safely this year. Watch the recorded meeting on YouTube and view the presentation.
Joint Statement of Local Public Health Officers Released on September 28
Local health officials highly recommend community members participate in lower risk activities to celebrate Halloween and Día de Los Muertos this year.
Read the County's full statement for more information.
To further protect yourself and your loved ones, be sure to monitor yourself during the 14 days after these holidays and pay particular attention from days 3 - 7 after the holidays when you are most likely to develop symptoms.
If you don’t feel well or you learn someone you had close contact with tested positive, get tested immediately and stay home until your appointment and while you wait for your results. To learn more about symptoms and testing, visit sccfreetest.org.
Continue to follow current Santa Clara County Public Health guidance by wearing a face covering when outside, washing hands frequently, and staying socially distanced from others not in your household.
Follow County and CDC Guidance to plan lower risk activities and celebrate safely.
- The Real Simple Magazine has advice on how to enjoy lower risk activities.
- Coloring pages and other fun printables for Halloween from The Spruce
- Coloring pages and printable projects from Better Homes and Gardens
- Show off your creativity with instructions for easy or epic costumes for the Instructables Halloween contest