It’s that special time of year when things that are frightful become delightful and when cobwebs in the corners are the height of home décor. From Smurfs and superheroes, eye-patched pirates and fairy princesses to Angry Birds and Honey Boo Boo, Halloween is the perfect time for Sacramento kids to get their spook on.

Appropriate for all ages

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Hooowloween Open House
City of Sacramento Front Street Animal Shelter
2127 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 808-7387

Date: October 28 – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Free food, games and treats are part of the fun at the Front Street Shelter’s second annual Hooowloween event. A spooky haunted house is open for those who dare and guests are invited to join shelter staff and volunteers in their costumed hijinks. Adoptable cats, dogs, rabbits and other pets will be happy to see ghouls of all ages. Guests can even get their faces painted to look like the animal they want to take home. There are plenty of activities to enjoy and it is a great opportunity to see this beautiful community animal shelter.

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The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center
3615 Auburn Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 808-3942

Date: October 27 – 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Guests don’t have to be Buzz Lightyear or a mad scientist to enjoy Halloween at The Discovery Museum Science & Space Center. Tricks and treats await guests as they roam through the museum and grounds. Be sure to watch out for eerie surprises and creepy creatures during the night. The stars will be out for a funny, frightful movie in the planetarium and children can enjoy making special Halloween crafts.

Age 10 and under


Spooktacular Halloween at Funderland
Funderland Amusement Park
1350 17th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95822
(916) 456-0115

Dates: October 27-28 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This spectacular Spooktacular allows guests to give a treat back to the community. Children can get free ride tickets and free entry to the event by bringing a new game or new art supply to donate to the nonprofit River Oak Center for Children. Come in costume if desired or visit the face painter for a whole new look. Kids can also win prizes in pumpkin decorating and costume contests throughout the day. The little ones will enjoy the rides and carousel as well as a trip on the Not So Scary train or visit to the Silly Haunted House.

Age 5 and higher


Old Sacramento Ghost Tours
Eagle Theatre
925 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 808-7059

Dates: Select days throughout October

The Ghost Tours are proof that real life and history can be spookier than computer-generated images or monsters dripping with fake blood. Not recommended for those under the age of five, the hour-long walking tours are extra eerie because the legends told are true. Experience frightening Sacramento Gold Rush-era tales of railroad robbers and star-crossed lovers and meet the ghost of murder victim Mary Shaw. Reservations are required and proceeds of the tours support the educational programs of the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation.

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Ages 10 to adult


Heartstoppers Haunted House
2300 Mine Shaft Lane
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
(916) 572-2733

Dates: Select days throughout October, click here for a schedule

Heartstoppers features four different haunted houses: Dr Lash’s Sideshow, Ghàst Estate Asylum, the Deadlands and Hangtown. Each has a different theme and unique special effects. Visitors are faced with a ruthless murderer being stalked by the ghosts of his victims, long-dead members of an asylum for the criminally insane and other wandering monsters and ghostly ghouls. Allow one to three hours to enjoy the complete skin-crawling experience. Due to the frightening intensity of Heartstoppers, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Pregnant women and people with bad backs or heart problems should take caution as well.

Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at