Happy Halloween | Cal Parks

Happy Halloween

Published: October 27, 2011

Oh Halloween … a time for costumes, carved pumpkins, caramel apples and trick-or-treating. And bonus (!), with Halloween failing on a Monday, there’s plenty of time to do Halloween-themed things all weekend. This is particularly good news if you live near these California state parks that will be hosting fun (or spooky) Halloween events. Thanks to the California State Parks blog for putting together this great list of events.

Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

The Haunted Fort –Oct. 28 & Oct. 29

Sutter’s Fort, once a portal for weary pioneers, again serves as the gateway to their restless spirits, who return to tell the tales of their lives and melancholy deaths at this special family friendly event. Tours leave every 10 minutes, tickets available online. For more information please call phone 916 445-4422 or visit online.

Governor's Mansion State Historic Park

The Mansion After Dark – Oct. 29

If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, visit “The Mansion After Dark” at the Governor’s Mansion for a spooky good time.  With scary music to set the mood, visitors will see the mansion in a whole new light at night with dim lighting, darkened rooms and even “coffin corners.”  Guests can wander throughout the mansion with the guidance of costumed characters and storytellers who will captivate visitors with tales of the lives of past governors. In addition, fortune tellers will be on hand to share intriguing predictions for the future with guests who dare. For more information about this event or other activities happening at the Governor’s Mansion SHP, call 916-323-5916 or visit online.

Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Living History Ghost Tours – Oct. 28 & Oct. 29

Presented by the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation, the Living History Ghost Tours take visitors through the streets of Old Sacramento as they hear ghost stories and tales of yore.  Tours are on October 28 and 29 and leave every 30 minutes from the Eagle Theatre.  While you’re there, be sure not to miss a chance for an Old Sacramento Underground tour, where you can see the history of Old Sacramento first hand.   For advance tickets to the ghost tours or more information, call 916-808-4980 or visit online. Old Sacramento SHP is in downtown Sacramento off Interstate 5, J Street exit.

Columbia State Historic Park

3rd Annual Illumination of the Jack O' Lanterns – Oct. 29

Haven’t carved your pumpkins yet? No problem! Come to Columbia State Historic Park this Saturday for a pumpkin-carving contest and live music.  There will be prizes awarded for the most original, most gruesome, most entertaining, etc. and at dusk the jack-o’-lanterns will be illuminated.  This free event is sponsored by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. Call 209-536-1672 or visit online for more details. Columbia SHP is 3 miles north of Sonora, off Hwy 49.

California State Railroad Museum

“Spookomotive” Train Rides – Oct. 29 & Oct. 30

All aboard! This Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30 come to the California State Railroad Museum for a fun time for the whole family, a ride on the Spookomotive train! This diesel-powered train will be decked out with cobwebs and spiders and a “skeleton crew” staff will entertain passengers.  For more information call 916-445-6645 or visit online.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

Harvest Haunt Express Train Rides – Oct. 29 & Oct. 30

On Saturday and Sunday, stop by Railtown 1897 State Historic Park for a haunted train ride on the famous Sierra No. 3 train and on a vintage diesel locomotive. Trains will be festively decorated and manned by a ghoulish staff. Visitors can also enjoy live music, entertainment, caboose tours, velocipede bike rides for kids, free pumpkins for those taking a train ride, and more.  To make advance online reservations to ride behind Sierra No. 3, visit online or call (209) 984-3953 for more information. Railtown 1897 State Historic Park is located in Jamestown off Highway 49.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

“WHOOO’S THE WICKEDEST GHOST? A Spooky Trial” – Oct. 28-31

If you’re up for a history lesson, ghost tour and riveting performance all in one, then come to Old Town San Diego on October 28, 29, 30, and 31 at 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm. You’ll be able to see the “Whooo’s the Wickedest Ghost? A Spooky Trial”-an interactive trial where visitors can decide the guilt or innocence of former San Diegans with tragic stories. Be prepared to trek, as the tour is a walking tour and will last about an hour. The tour starts at the Robinson-Rose Visitor & Information Center, 4002 Wallace Street, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6-18.  For more information on the event go here and for tickets either go here or call (619) 220-5422 for ticket information. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is located off San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in San Diego.

Trick-or-Treat – Oct. 31  

On Monday  bring the kids out to Old Town San Diego where they can enjoy Trick-or-treating from 4–6:30 p.m. Participating shops & museums throughout Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will have goodies and treats for kids to collect. Admission is free.

Día de los Muertos – Nov. 1 & Nov. 2

Historical altars commemorating the people who once lived here in Old Town will be set up in three of the museums. Additionally, some contemporary altars will be set up around the plaza by some of our merchants.

What are your Halloween plans, and, more importantly, what costume will you wear?


  • What do ghosts add to their morning cereal? Booberries.
  • Why was the skeleton frightened to cross the road? Because he had no guts.
  • What is a Mummy's favorite type of music? Wrap!

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