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Spooktacular Halloween Events in Santa Barbara


Co-le dressed up for Santa Barbara Halloween event at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo, The Santa Barbara Zoo

Every year when the harvest moon rises, residents and visitors alike are treated to bewitching Spooktacular Halloween events in Santa Barbara. And this year is no exception. We’re talking ghoulish carnivals, haunted houses dance parties and more, all designed to celebrate the trick or treat season in true Santa Barbara style. Here’s a list of some of my favorites:

The Haunt & Harvest Festival
October 18, 4 to 11 p.m. (The Haunt 7 to 11 p.m.)
October 19, noon to 11 p.m. (The Haunt 7 to 11 p.m.)
October 20, noon to 10 p.m. (The Haunt 7 to 10 p.m.)
Cost: $12 to $30
Don’t miss the inaugural Haunt & Harvest Festival at Earl Warren Showgrounds. This family-friendly event features old fashioned carnival rides and entertainment for all ages. Kids 12 and under are invited to trick-or-treat and enter the costume contest. Everyone attending is invited to enjoy the live music, food trucks and, for those 21 and over, the beer garden. The highlight is the three heart-pounding haunted houses referred to as The Haunt, recommended for ages 13 and up: The Tunnel of Terror, The Barn, and Hall of Darkness.

Boo at the Zoo
October 18, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
October 19, 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.
October 20, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Member Costs: $18 Adults, $12 Children (age 2 to 12)
Non-Member Costs: $20 Adults, $14 Children (age 2 to 12)

Trick or treating at the Santa Barbara Zoo? Of course! In fact, Boo at the Zoo is one of the most popular family Halloween traditions for those of us who call Santa Barbara home. That’s because it offers revelers three nights of safe, traffic-free, trick-or-treating. Kids of all ages are promised monster-ous thrills and chills including a trick-or-treat trail, Boo Choo Choo train rides, creepy-crawly animal encounters, ghoulish games and more.

Afterparty at MOXI: Morbid Curiosity
October 25, 7 to 10 p.m.
Cost: $25 (Early-Bird, Limited Availability); $35 (Advance); $40 (Door)
Those who are into oddities, mysteries, untold stories and the delightfully dark and bizarre are in for a real treat this year at MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. Don your favorite Halloween costume (suggested, not required) and head over to the adults-only celebration (must be 21 years or older). This will be a night of drinks, dancing, dissections, and exploration of some of the more curious aspects of Halloween. And it’s your chance to get up-close and personal with creepy specimens, enter the bug-eating challenge (yuck!), solve puzzles, learn about the famous ghosts of Santa Barbara, discover the artistry of gore and much more. Plus, attendees are invited to rock the rooftop with live music from The Olés. Local food and drink will be available for purchase.

Halloween Cupcake and Wine Pairing
October 26, 12 to 7 p.m.
Cost: Cost of wine pairing and $6 per cupcake trio
What could be more devilishly delicious than cupcakes and wine? This Halloween tradition for the 21 and over crowd returns again this year, thanks to DV8 Cellars partners and Alison Riede of Sugar Cat Studios. All you have to do is head to Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone neighborhood to sip delicious wine and indulge in yummy cupcakes. Dress up for a chance to win special awards.

Thrills and Chills Dance Fest
October 26, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free.
The Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Gardens will be transformed into a World Dance for Humanity party! This free, family-friendly dance fest takes place before dark. Get your face-painted or wear your favorite costume. Watch dance groups perform their own spooky choreographies. If you want more, you can even perform your own! World Dance for Humanity will teach you a new Halloween dance medley leading up to the event, so arrive early. And be on the lookout for a series of flash mobs around town this month where you can learn some new moves. No experience is necessary. All ages are welcome to participate.

Howlin’ Good Time – Yappy Hour at The Set
October 26, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free.

Don’t forget your furry family member this year. Make sure he or she has a howlin’ good time at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort’s Halloween-themed Yappy Hour at The Set. Dress your pet in costume and let them enjoy some treats. Humans will appreciate the spooky S’mores (don’t allow your dog to eat any chocolate) and the Pumpkin Pie Martini (alcohol is not good for your pet either) along with other seasonal cocktails. The puptastic evening takes place on The Set’s outdoor patio where you and your pet can enjoy fire pits and ocean views. Everyone who attends will receive a complimentary appetizer when they purchase two entrées.

Gourmet Halloween Candy and Wine Pairing
October 31, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 ticket includes a flight of four wines and candy pairing; Wine club member tastings are complimentary.
The Riverbench Santa Barbara tasting room is celebrating Halloween with a spooky-delicious pairing of gourmet candy and estate-grown wines. Enjoy chocolate truffles, caramel corn, and other Halloween goodies. One taste and you’ll agree: Halloween candy is surprisingly tasty when paired with sparkling wine, rosé, chardonnay and pinot noir.

Downtown Trick-or-Treating
October 31, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free.
Witches, goblins, and ghosts are invited to a safe treat or treat experience at the shops in Downtown Santa Barbara. Make sure your little one is dressed for the occasion and has their own Halloween goodie bags for trick-or-treating. Stores along State St., Anacapa St., Chapala St., other side streets and La Cumbre Plaza are participating. Just follow the balloons to the stores that are waiting with treats for kids in costume.

Carr Winery Halloween Party
October 31, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free.
Carr Winery is offering revelers 21 and older all the bone-chillin’ fun one can have in an evening filled with spooktacular wines, live music, a costume contest and more. All the ghoulish amusement takes place in the haunted wine cave.

poster for voodoo lounge8th Annual Voodoo Lounge Halloween Dance Party
October 31, 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Cost: $35 (Single ticket); $65 (Two tickets); $120 (Group of four tickets)
A favorite Halloween tradition for those 21 and over here in Santa Barbara is this wickedly fun dance party. This year, the event, featuring spirited drinks and a full bar, benefits local non-profit TV Santa Barbara. Head to The Funk Zone Lounge located at 209 Gray Ave., Santa Barbara, where you’ll find the party filled to the brim with entertainment. Rock out to DJ Scott Topper, enjoy the haunted photo booth, get your fortune told by tarot card readers, and be amazed by special dance performances. There will be a cash prize costume contest and, of course, the Voodoo Altar.

For more Halloween events in Santa Barbara, check out Visit Santa Barbara. Meantime, if you are considering buying or selling a home here, visit me, Cristal Clarke on my comprehensive website. Or call me at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at Have a safe and happy Halloween!



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