Family Guide to Best Halloween Activities

October 28, 2011 12:00 AM

Spirited Halloween Fun in Sacramento and Beyond

By Linda Bottjer
Did you hear that? Was it the wind or something spooky passing through the cool October air?
Halloween in and around Sacramento has plenty to offer to raise the spirits of both the alive…. and the
117120848 Family Guide to Best Halloween Activities

Spookomotive Train Rides
California Railroad Museum
125 I (Eye) Street
Sacramento, CA
(916) 445-6645
October 29 – 30, 2011
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: Coach – $10 adults, $5 youths (6-17), Under 5 free
Reviews, Directions & More Info:
View Directory Listing

All aboard these Halloween-themed trains decked out spooky season. You’ll go on a 40-minute ride along the Sacramento River with a skeleton crew who will keep the fun factor up and the fright factor down on this family friendly activity for all ages. Admission to the California Railroad Museum is included with the ticket price. Trains leave on the hour – from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Governor’s Mansion After Dark
1526 H Street
Sacramento, CA
(916) 323-5916
October 29, 2011
Hours: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
$6 adults, $4 youth (6-17), Under 5 free
Reviews, Directions & More Info:
View Directory Listing

From the darkened depths of this decorated Victorian mansion costumed guides will offer ghostly tales embroidered with accents of bats (not the baseball variety), coffins (the kind Dracula could call home) and pumpkins – great and small.

Outside storytellers will regale visitors with haunted happenings as fortune- tellers predict the future.

Could a political career be your next frightening opportunity?

sutters fort Family Guide to Best Halloween Activities
The Haunted Fort at Sutter’s Fort State Park
2701 L St
Sacramento, CA
(916) 445-4422
October 28 – 29, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
$6 adults, $4 youth (6-17), Under 5 free

This Halloween-related event is also educational. Inside this old adobe structure the rumblings of visitors and residents from centuries past are frequently heard, felt and occasionally seen.

Costumed volunteers lead the 45 – minute tour through dark rooms and by simple firelight to teach visitors more about the difficult journey of the pioneers from the 1800’s. Don’t be surprised if some of the old inhabitants lean against a tree or peer through a window to listen in.

Ghost Tours in Old Sacramento
Eagle Theatre
925 Front Street
Sacramento, CA
(916) 808-7059
October 28-29, 2011
Adults: $15, Youth (6-17) $10

Sacramento is steeped in history and as darkness takes over the streets the Historic Old Sacramento
Foundation is once again offering it’s popular Ghost Tours.

Volunteers costumed as ghostly guides and personalities of the past walk you through a time when gunfighters and gold miners as well as ladies of the night gave Sacramento its colorful historic past.

It is best to bring both courage and humor for sometimes the guide with the spirited personality might
turn out to be a spirited person. Tours leave every half-an-hour and are about an hour long.

CBS Sacramento Insider Tip: Tours are not exactly appropriate for children under 5 – and you MUST buy
your tickets in advance.

51489571 Family Guide to Best Halloween Activities

Old City Cemetery Lantern Tours
1000 Broadway
Sacramento, CA
(916) 808-5621
(800) 838-3006
October 28-29,2011
7:00 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9:15 p.m.
Tickets: $30

It is a cemetery and it has been around since the 1840s. Cue the spooky music.

Those enjoying their enternal sleep here include railroad executive Mark Hopkins, cholera epidemic victims and those who gambled big on California riches and lost everything.

Come in costume and join eerily garbed guides as you are lead by lantern light to the other world. “Residents” share their stories of gruesome deaths.

Tours last about an hour and 15 minutes – bring a flashlight.

CBS Sacramento Insider Tip: You must buy your tickets in advance online or by phone!

Voices are often heard in Preston Castle’s old infirmary

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Preston Castle Halloween Tours
999 Palm Drive
Ione, CA
(209) 256-3623
October 28-30, 2011
Ticket: $20, $10 students, $5 childrend

Few places are as creepy in the broad daylight as Ione’s Preston Castle in Amador County. This mansion
– featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures – is touted as Northern California’s only real haunted house!

Add the element of Halloween and the darkness of night to the former reform school and the spooks are sure to swirl from the kitchen where a murder occurred to the old infirmary. Here voices can still be heard where old rusting metal beds now lay empty.

During the Halloween weekend, the castle is offering a scare tour for the bravest – and a children’s fir with games and other family-friendly activities until 9 p.m. – so it’s really an event for everyone. There’s even a snack bar on site.

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight and a large bottle of ghost repellent.

Linda Bottjer is a full time writer whose natural curiosity buoys her sense of adventure. Her work can be
found at