October 7, 2016

Top Halloween Events & Activities in Orange County


As the leaves change color, pumpkin-everything invades grocery stores and ads, and the weather finally moves past sweltering, there is a switch in the typical offerings of things to do in Orange County. Halloween is just around the corner, and whether you are planning your next California vacation, or searching for new things to explore in your neighborhood, we’ve complied a list of the top Halloween events and activities in Orange County.

1. Experience Knott’s Scary Farm
Perhaps one of the most thrilling things to do when visiting the Orange County area is a trip to Knott’s Scary Farm . Open every Thursday to Sunday in October, from 7pm-1am, the Buena Park theme park transforms into a spooky wonderland of monsters, thrills, and chills. Find more information and plan your visit at the Knott's Scary Farm website . If you're planning a trip to the area and want to enjoy the beach as well as Knott's Scary Farm, we recommend finding a Beachside vacation rental in nearby Long Beach or Newport Beach .

(P.S. for smaller travelers Knotts also features Knott's Spooky Farm , with kid-friendly non-scary activities and decorations.)

2. Enjoy Halloween Time at Disneyland
If you are looking for a theme park that is more family friendly, you can't go wrong with Disney's Halloween Time . Make plans to visit Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure during the Halloween season. From September 9th, to October 31st, Disneyland will be decked in friendly Mickey Mouse-shaped pumpkins, costumed characters, Dios de Los Muertos festivities (including face painting and other displays), a behind the scenes tour of Disneyland titled ‘Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour’, the Main Street Pumpkin Festival, and more! On select nights during the Halloween season, tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party are available-where Disney villains come out to play, fireworks are mystified, and everyone can join in trick-or-treating. If you are interested in Mickey’s Halloween Party, be sure to act fast, tickets sell out quickly! You may even want to start planning for next year!

3. Pick Pumpkins
If you are looking for a more down-to-earth and budget-friendly Halloween experience, head to Irvine, where Tanaka Farms offers the perfect pumpkin patch experience. From September 26th, to October 31st, Tanaka Farms provides the opportunity to pick pumpkins directly from the vine, wagon tours, a corn maze, and petting zoo! Exploring the 30 acres of Takaka farms offers many opportunities for family photo opportunities, and lots of hands-on activities that will keep kids occupied. For even more fun, visit the Harvest Festival every Saturday and Sunday at Tanaka to  vote in the annual Scarecrow Contest, watch the pumpkin cannon launch a pumpkin into the hills, and lots more family fun!

Looking for more pumpkin patch options in Orange County? Check out the Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Park Railroad or Pumpkinpalooza at Zoomars , or read more on our Top Fall events for 2017 blog post !

4. Explore Naples Island
One of the most unique Halloween option in Orange County is a visit to Naples Island , near Belmont Shore, Long Beach . Nestled in a community that prides itself on decorations and festivities, Naples Island offers fun for families, couples, and groups on both Halloween and Christmas. If you are around Long Beach on the actual night of Halloween, this is also a great location to collect a quality stash of sweets. So grab your best costume and enjoy the twinkling lights, October night air, and sound of boats in the canals while trick-or-treating along a line of festive homes.

And if you want to stay nearby and experience more of Long Beach, be sure to take a look at our Long Beach vacation rentals in Belmont Shore and on the Alamitos Bay .

5. Visit a Haunted House
If all of this sounds too tame for  you, check out one of our local haunted houses:

Higgins Manor in Mission Viejo

Note, most of these haunts are too scary for young kids!

6. Have a Merry Halloween at Santa Ana Zoo's "Boo at the Zoo"

Santa Ana Zoo's Boo at the Zoo keeps Halloween "Merry not Scary" making this event perfect for families with young kids. Participate in the costume parade, explore the trick or treat trail, and of course enjoy plenty of entertainment, animal presentations, and more! And, if your older kids are getting bored with these more tame attractions and want a more scream-worthy experience, there's also a haunted house available for an additional fee.

7. Have a Beachy Halloween at Doheny State Beach's Halloween Haunt

Free Halloween fun at the beach? Sign us up! Doheny Beach's Halloween Haunt takes place at picnic sites A and B and there's no charge for admission (though donations of non-perishable food items are encouraged)! At the beach Halloween haunt you'll find plenty of family-friendly opportunities for arts and crafts as well as fun at the fun zone. So dress up and get ready to celebrate Halloween by the sea!

8. Have a Classy Creepy Time at Casa Creepy

Known for it's beautiful architecture and stunning ocean views, San Clemente's Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens enjoys getting in the spooky spirit for Halloween with "Casa Creepy," one of the largest family-friendly Halloween events in Southern Orange County. For this Halloween event Casa Romantica transforms into a 1920's themed haunted house and gardens, delivering a unique and beautifully spooky experience. If you've never visited Casa Romantica before, don't miss this event!

Ready to start planning?

Whether you are looking for a scary night, magical one, or a little bit of both, Orange County has you covered for a Halloween you will never forget! But don't stop there! Take a look at some of these other fall events and fun things to do and see in and around Orange County:
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