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Get Spooky in San Jose

Your 2020 Guide to Getting Spooky in San Jose

It’s that time of year – with Halloween and Día de Los Muertos around the corner you may be wondering how to celebrate your love for all things spooky while being mindful of physical distancing protocols and the safety of yourself and everyone around you.

Kudos to you for being a responsible visitor! Celebrations do not have to be canceled, just respectfully modified to our current situation. Whether you’re a San Jose local or celebrating from afar, here are some ways you can still get into the ghostly spirit in San Jose!




Halloween Activities on the Row

Virtual Event | 10/27

Every year, Santana Row offers Halloween festivities for the entire family. This year, with safety protocols in place and al fresco in full swing, Halloween has transformed into a virtual takeover event for kids on Santana Row’s Instagram page on Tuesday, October 27! Families of all ages are invited to tune for the little “ghouls” and "boos" to enjoy some seasonal entertainment that’s more silly than scary with Kiddle Karoo’s Halloween Adventure, a fun-filled musical Halloween adventure the kids will love! In addition, get creative with Santana Row by entering the Halloween-themed Santana Row Coloring contest. Download their official spooky coloring page. Tag #ColorTheRow with your to share your work of art on social media to win a shopping gift card.




Winchester Mystery House Hallowe’en Flashlight Tours

Santana Row | Now to 10/31

Imagine entering a haunted house in the dark alone. Due to safety protocols, your only guide into this dark abyss is glow from your flashlight and the voices ominously telling you to get out if you can. Self-guided tours occur during October nights. Reservations are needed so book now if you want that prime Halloween night-time slot!

Locals Know: Want more year-round ghost stories? Become a member of the Skeleton Key Club to unlock special privileges and more. Your membership keeps the mansion’s doors open for future generations to come!




Downtown Rooftop Screening of Pixar’s Coco

Downtown | 10/31

Cozy up with the family in your very own social bubble with a silver screen feature while overlooking the city views of Downtown San Jose! Local cinema junkies love 3 Below Theaters & Lounge and they’re creatively transformed their rooftop parking garage into an #alfresco dining experience. Order your Halloween package for Pixar’s Coco to accommodate dinner and social bubbles fit for two, three or four.

Locals Know: This pop-up event won’t last forever. Up On The Roof: Dinner & Movies For (A) Change is scheduled through the month of October so take the family to the movies all month long for a series of films curated around social justice, racial awareness, and amplification of minority voices.




Dia de Los Muertos 2020

Virtual Event | 10/31

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday to celebrate the lives of lost ancestors and loved ones. It’s a time to honor those who have lived before us and thank them for the paths they’ve paved for the future. As with many events in 2020, this long-time tradition (usually taking place in Plaza de Cesar Chavez) has gone virtual with a 2-hour streaming joint event in partnership with several prominent arts organizations, including the San Jose Multicultiral Artist Guild, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and Teatro Vision among many others. Be part of the online opening ceremonies, Aztec dance ceremony, altar building, face painting and sugar skull demonstrations, a virtual altar experience, storytelling, dancing, singing, theatrical performances, magic, an altar exhibit, a virtual photo booth and a band.





Avenida de Altares: A Drive-Thru Celebration

Mayfair | 10/30 & 10/31

Avenida de Altares (Avenue of Altars) is a free drive-thru Day of the Dead event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31. Families and community members will drive through an impactfully lit outdoor gallery of Altars created by local artists. Calacas (skeletons) will be roaming the outdoor gallery while live music is playing, and goodie bags (w/ candy and art kits) will be distributed. Some lucky folks will also receive goodie bags with gift certificates to East San Jose restaurants!



31 Skulls Fundraiser

Virtual Event | 10/31

Join Local Color and 31 local artists for a virtual fundraising event on Halloween! Arts nonprofit Local Color will be raffling off 31 hand-painted ceramic skulls created and donated by regional artists who will be sharing their design and announcing the winner. The event will be streaming live on YouTube. A link will be shared with you prior to the event. Get your tickets and support local arts in San Jose.



Live Reading of The War of the Worlds

Virtual Event | 10/1 to 11/1

During its 1938 debut, this infamous radio play based on the novel by H. G. Wells, had many terrified listeners convinced that an actual alien invasion of Earth was taking place.

Performed live at Tabard Theatre, this live reading is presented via multi-camera and live streamed directly to you in the comfort and safety of your own home. The performance is approximately two hours, including one intermission. Video preshow will start 30 minutes prior to the performance time.



Come for Halloween fun in San Pedro Square Market! Dress in costume for a spooky celebration with food and beverage specials, music and more!


Courtesy of Happy Hollow Park & Zoo


Happy Hollow Not So Creepy Crawlers

Online Activity | Ongoing

With inspections underway for a rephrased reopening, San Jose’s favorite zoo has taken their spookiness online to demystify some of their so-called "creepy crawly" creatures and show you that these animals are actually quite fascinating!


Extend the Haunt

Make your night extra spooktacular with a meal from one of San Jose's restaurants doing al fresco, take out or delivery. Dine Downtown 2.0 runs through November 15 so make be sure to try a number of spots to extend that San Jose haunt even past Halloween. Plus, craft cocktail bar 55 South has creatively turned their pop-up al fresco experience into a pirate ship fit for Halloween vibes.



Better yet, turn Halloween into a staycation and explore new neighborhoods in San Jose! Hotel Valencia is offering a Winchester Mystery House package to get make your San Jose Halloween easy and convenient. For more hotels offers, check out available hotels in San Jose.

Want more fun? Check out our roundup of paranormal sightings and activities in Haunted San Jose!