October 31st falls on a Tuesday this year, which typically means that many spooky-season events take place the weekend before Halloween night. Such is the case for 2023, with Halloween events for both kids and adults coming up over the 28th and 29th. Don’t let the haunted holiday sneak up on you, because there’s plenty to do around Novato whether you’re looking for trick-or-treat fun for the kids or wanting to enjoy some adult beverages at the HopMonk’s Halloween bash.
Novato Parks and Recreation presents the Not-So-Scary Halloween Show at City Hall on Saturday 28th of October at 10am (doors open 9.30am). This free, all-ages event features magician Mike Della Penna, and while Halloween events are almost required to promise “no tricks, just lots of treats”, we suspect Mike has a few tricks up his sleeve, maybe some cards too, and who knows what else?
Also on Saturday, the traditional Downtown Novato Safe Trick or Treat takes place from 11am to 2pm, with a variety of participating Downtown businesses welcoming kids in costumes to trick or treat at your friendly neighborhood stores. Not so much shop local as spook local, perhaps.
Novato Horsemen’s famous Haunted House is back again and apparently “scarier than ever”. Open for frights and scares on the 27th and 28th from 7pm – 10 pm at 600 Bugeia Lane. $5 admission for a unique Novatoi Halloween experience.
Sunday 29th, The Quest is hosting their annual Trunk or Treat celebration, with free hot dogs and a jump house, in addition to decorated cars with trunks full of candy for the kids, with costumes encouraged. Everyone is welcome, from 11am to 1pm.
On the evening of Halloween itself, SNO Youth Services and The Shop present Pumpkin Decorating and Creation from 6 to 7pm on the 31st. Costumed kiddies, frolicking families, and even “too cool” teens are invited to make and decorate petite pumpkins and add to their candy stashes. You’ll find the fun (and The Shop) next door to South Novato Library.
During the day on the 31st, the animal lovers at Marin Humane will be at Pacheco Plaza for the Howl-O-Ween Spooktacular, with free trick or treating and a pet costume contest. The fun runs from 4-6pm.
In addition to all this kid-centric fun, there is grown-up Halloween galavanting to be had in Novato.
On Friday the 27th at the HopMonk Tavern, their annual Halloween Bash is headlined by tongue-in-cheek soft rock tribute band Mustache Harbor, while Saturday the 28th sees a second Halloween party at the HopMonk, this time with The Hots and The Soul Section on deck.
Elsewhere on Saturday night, you can catch Villains Cabaret at the Trek Winery, at 7pm. According to the folks at Trek Winery, you can expect a night “filled with the songs of all your favorite Villains from Broadway to the movies! Featuring past Beach Blanket Babylon cast members and new special guests.”
Planning some at-home Halloween fun? Another spooky season decorating project can be found via Novato’s Nugget Market, which has a cookie decorating kit for sale that comes packed with professional buttercream icing bags and other fixings for kids to get creative within the kitchen.
As for those other Halloween staples, you can pick up pumpkins at most of the places you grocery shop in Novato, from Harvest Market on San Marin Drive to Nugget Markets on Ignacio, or Sloat Garden Center on Novato Blvd. Whole Foods, Safeway, and Trader Joe’s have pumpkins in stock as well.
For costumes, Five Little Monkeys, on Grant Avenue, carries adorable costumes for kids year-round! Goodwill on 7th Street is another great option for inexpensive items that can be turned into fun costumes with a little creativity. If you’re short on time, you can find ready-to-go costumes at Target and Costco, both in Vintage Oaks.