We are wrapping up the month with a ghastly roundup of events. Whether you honor the ancestral celebration of the Day of the Dead or want to get dressed up to celebrate Halloween — we got you.
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Luna Mexicana at Paramount Theatre
Now in its sixth year, Oakland Ballet’s beloved presentation of Luna Mexicana is back for its usual two-night run. Luna Mexicana tells the story of a girl named Luna who, on Día de Muertos, falls asleep in front of the altar she set up to honor her ancestors. Her loved ones visit her in her sleep and take her on a journey through the afterlife. The presentation includes choreography by the Oakland Ballet’s artistic director Graham Lustig, performances by the Aztec dance ensemble Nahui Ehekatl and Co., and Ballet Folklórico de México Danza.
Friday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 29, 2 p.m., $30-$75, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland
Downtown Berkeley’s Halloween Hootenanny
Get into the Halloween spirit this at downtown Berkeley’s fourth annual Halloween Hootenanny. The event features live music from The Hank Rother Country Review, DJ O’Acres spinning “hauntingly delightful tunes,” face painting and tarot card reading.
Friday, Oct. 28, 3-7 p.m., free to attend, Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza
Día de los Muertos festival at Fruitvale
Fruitvale is the place to be for any and all Latinx cultural celebrations. But none more than the Día de los Muertos festival, which for the past 27 years has taken over International Boulevard between Fruitvale and 42nd Avenue. It is one of Oakland’s largest gatherings, attracting over 100,000 people yearly. Stop by to patronize vendors and local businesses, and admire the community ofrendas.
Sunday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free to attend, International Boulevard between Fruitvale and 42nd Avenue, Oakland
Free chocolate tasting at the Xocalate Bar
Chocolate lovers can celebrate Día de Los Muertos at the Xocolate Bar — reopened after pandemic struggles — with free chocolate sipping, ofrendas, a raffle, kids craft activities and more. All of Xocolate’s sweets are all-natural, made with conflict-free cacao, and often organic as well. You’re asked to register online ahead of time.
Sunday, Oct. 30, 2-6 p.m., Xocolate Bar, free to attend, 1709 Solano Ave., Berkeley
Day of the Dead at Jack London Square
Over at the Square’s plaza, stop by to enjoy an afternoon filled with live mariachi music, DJs, face painting, crafts for kids, folkloric dancers, and a Halloween costume contest. Lay down a blanket near the grassy area, and don’t forget to layer up.
Sunday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., free to attend, Jack London Square Plaza, 472 Water St., Oakland
‘Thrillomena’ at Philomena Pizza
Get your costumes out of storage and stop by Philomena Pizza for a chance to win a $100 gift card for the best costume. And even if you don’t win the big prize, everyone who shows up wearing a costume will get discounts on pizza and cold beer.
Saturday, Oct. 29, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., free to enter the Halloween contest, 1801 14th Ave., Oakland
The Haunted Garden at Camron-Stanford House
Is Camron-Stanford House, the last of the Victorian homes that once lined Lake Merritt, haunted? According to Iliana Mortin, Camron-Stanford’s executive director, there’s a lot of energy in the home from its previous occupants—some of whom died in the house. This weekend, you’ll get the chance to check out the museum’s latest exhibit, Ghoulish and Ghastly: Victorian Monsters in Popular Culture, explore the Halloween decor throughout the home, roam around the garden, play games, listen to music, and make Halloween crafts.
Sunday, Oct. 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $5 (free for kids under 5), Camron-Stanford House, 1418 Lakeside Dr., Oakland
Other Halloween events in Berkeley and Oakland this weekend
If you like to go all out on Halloween weekend and are looking to dress up and dance to DJs spinning frightful tunes well into the night, here are some recommendations for all of you ghouls.
Come to Berkeley High from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, for a Día de los Muertos event that will include a range of activities including student poetry, ofrendas, bike repair, a lowrider car show, a food pantry and flu vaccines. The event is co-hosted by Latinos Unidos de Berkeley, the Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement and other community groups.
The Ohlone Dog Park Association is holding a costume contest for little pooches at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30. Dogs will dress up, people will dress up and prizes will be given to both.
Your tax dollars are at work creating a clown room, an insane room, a graveyard and more for the city of Berkeley’s free House of Screams Haunted House (1730 Oregon St.) — open from 6-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. Youth 9 and under need adult accompaniment. Registration is recommended.
Awards for scariest, cutest and most creative costume will be given in the contest following the Halloween parade at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in San Pablo Park (2800 Park St). The free, city-run event goes until 5:30 p.m., and registration is recommended.
The South Berkeley Farmers Market (63rd and Adeline Street) is celebrating Day of the Dead from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 with an altar created by students at the Bay Area Hispanic Institute for Advancement. Bring photos or offerings for your loved ones who have died.
Crybaby (1928 Telegraph Ave.) is hosting Hyphy Halloween on Friday, Oct. 28 for all you hyphy music lovers. For those who prefer reggaeton and other Latinx sounds, the Gasolina Halloween Party is happening on Saturday, Oct. 29.
Over at Zanzi Oakland (19 Grand Ave.), there’s the Wakanda Costume Party on Friday, Oct. 28, for those who enjoy Afrobeat sounds. On Saturday, Oct. 29, there’s the Freakfest Halloween Costume Party.
If you’re looking for an outdoor costume party, Torch Oakland (1630 San Pablo Ave.) is hosting two on its rooftop lounge: On Saturday, Oct. 29, there’s a Haunted Rooftop Halloween party from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday, Oct. 30, there’s the Halloweve party from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Looking for a party at an LGBTQ+ place? Port Bar (2023 Broadway) is hosting a series of Halloween events starting Tuesday, Oct. 25.
Que Rico (381 15th St.) is also hosting Hocus Pocus Halloween Drag Brunch on Sunday, Oct. 30, and Halloween Night Bash on Monday, Oct. 31.