Whether you’re going out or staying home, there’s plenty of opportunity to celebrate Halloween, 2021 in the East Bay. From spooky cocktails to creepy cupcakes, we’ve gathered here some of our favorite East Bay happy haunts to check out this holiday weekend. We also have plenty of recommendations for folks who prefer to enjoy this year’s Halloween at home. Whether you’re planning to stay in or go out, we encourage everyone to be mindful and stay safe. Outdoor activities carry less risk than those indoors, an important thing to remember when celebrating with kids.

What Halloween events and specials do you look forward to every year? Share your spooky faves in the comments below.

Out and About

Alley & Vine’s Red Cauldron cocktail. Credit: Alley & Vine

At Alameda’s Alley & Vine, the Red Cauldron cocktail made with cherry, vodka, Cointreau and lemon will be available only on Halloween, a perfect potion to start your Halloween evening. Alley and Vine, 1332 Park St., Suite D (near Central Avenue), Alameda

Oakland’s own Angel Cakes will be giving out free cupcakes and cookies on Oct.31 from 3 p.m to 5 p.m., while supplies last. Assorted flavors will be available, and costumes are not required, but are encouraged. Angel Cakes, 745 5th St. (near Brush Street), Oakland

Temescal’s classic dive bar The Avenue is always decorated with a skull and skeleton theme, but for Halloween, the bar goes all out and creates a haunted experience truly not to be missed. Step inside for a good scare and have a drink while you’re at it. The Avenue Bar, 4822 Telegraph Ave. (near 48th Street), Oakland

Berkeley’s Broc Cellars is hosting an outdoor Halloween happy hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday Oct. 29. Expect live music, a balloon artist for the kids, food from Tacos El Precioso and sweet treats from Penelope Lao’s popular pastry company, Not Too Sweet. Broc Cellars, 1300 5th St. (near Gilman Street), Berkeley

To get your pumpkin spice on, head to Gott’s Roadside in Walnut Creek to enjoy their signature pumpkin shake: Organic vanilla soft-serve is spun with organic milk and organic spiced, roasted pumpkin. To make the shake even more festive, ask for “Spooky” sprinkles (black, orange and purple sprinkles). Gott’s Roadside, 1725 S. Main St. (near Broadway Plaza), Walnut Creek

Pomella’s Graveyard Parfait. Credit: Pomella

Israeli spot Pomella will be offering Halloween-themed desserts this weekend, including candied apples and a graveyard parfait with layers of chocolate cake, sweet potato mousse and chocolate sauce, topped with a meringue ghost. Pomella, 3770 Piedmont Ave. (near Yosemite Avenue), Oakland

The Haunted Soul cocktail from Teleferic Barcelona. Credit: Teleferic Barcelona

For a Spanish-style Halloween celebration, Teleferic Barcelona in Walnut Creek is offering a Haunted Soul cocktail to warm your dark night. The cocktail, made with Havana Club rum, Licor 43, salted cinnamon syrup and baked pumpkin puree pairs perfectly with their squid ink paella negra. Teleferic Barcelona, 1500 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Ste 2. (near S. Main Street), Walnut Creek

For a spooktacular throwback Halloween with delightful music, Yoshi’s will be hosting an 80’s-themed Halloween bash with music by mall-goer favorite Tiffany, complete with a costume contest. Dress in your best costume and dance the night away. Tickets begin at $34, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the show at 7:00 p.m. Yoshi’s, 510 Embarcadero West (near Clay Street), Oakland

Celebrating at Home

If you don’t mind a bit of a wait for luscious, Basque-style cheesecake, the famed Basuku Cheesecakes is planning a pop-up in Oakland on Halloween weekend (exact date/location not yet disclosed) with original Basuku cheesecakes as well as well as a few seasonal offerings. Quantities are very limited and the line tends to form early, so we recommend following Basuku Cheesecakes closely on Instagram for all the details.

James and the Giant Cupcake’s brainy creation. Credit: James and the Giant Cupcake

For a delectable, comforting dinner and dessert for the whole family, head to Homeroom and pick up a variety of mac-and-cheese platters, as well as their giant homemade Oreo cookies. The Oreos will have a festive, orange-colored cream filling, becoming “BOOreos” for the Halloween weekend. Homeroom, 400 40th St. (near Shafter Ave.), Oakland

If you’re planning for a wicked celebration at home, consider picking up dessert at James and the Giant Cupcake. Hot off celebrating its 10th year in business, James and the Giant Cupcake will be offering several Halloween-themed cupcakes, from “blood”-drizzled red velvet to a “brain”-topped vanilla cupcake. James and the Giant Cupcake, 6326 San Pablo Ave. (near Alcatraz Avenue), Oakland

Ono Bakehouse’s spooky mud pies. Credit: Ono Bakehouse

Hawaiian bakery Ono Bakehouse has created a mud pie to fit right in with your Halloween decor: The mudpie is made with Oreo cookie crust, coffee semifreddo and a rich chocolate glaze, and is available throughout Halloween weekend. Same-day preorders are available on their website starting at 9 a.m. Ono Bakehouse, 1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (near Berkeley Way), Ste B., Berkeley

If you fancy a natural wine to get you through a night of trick-or-treating, Snail Bar‘s bottle shop is offering 10% off any bottle of wine on the shelves from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m on Halloween. Snail Bar, 4935 Shattuck Ave. (near 51st Street), Oakland

For beverages, Umami Mart has put together a fun spooky-themed shochu pack to drink at home. They will also have their weekly coffee shop kissaten on Sunday, Oct. 31st, no word yet on if this week’s will have any holiday treats. Umami Mart, 4027 Broadway (near 40th Street), Oakland