Storefronts are lined with bright orange pumpkins, which means everyone’s favorite haunted holiday is back. Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year, with many local events taking place the weekend before. So get set for a fun Halloween in Novato, and add a few dates to your diary.
The Halloween fun starts early, Saturday, October 7, to be precise, with a free family event at Novato City Hall. At magician Mike Penna’s Not So Scary Halloween Magic Show tricks reign over treats in this silly, fun, laughter-filled show. The show starts at 5:30pm and is free to all.
On Saturday, October 21, you can enjoy some early Halloween fun at Pocket Park (behind the Novato Gymnastics Center), where there’s a free outdoor screening of Disney’s Hocus Pocus, starting at approximately 6:30pm. Catch Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and friends in an amusing 90’s witchcraft-themed romp. Should the weather turn beastly, the screening will take place inside the Recreation Center. Bring a lawnchair and a blanket for a neighborhood evening of family fun.
The Novato Horsemen Haunted House returns over two weekends, October 20 & 21, 27 & 28, from 7pm till 10pm. Admission is $5. Find their haunted fun at 600 Bugeia Lane.
The fourth annual Novato Scream on the Green takes place Friday 27 and Saturday 28, with the “Chamber of Horrors” Haunted House open Friday from 5:30pm till 9pm, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday, when the full Scream experience kicks in, including costume contests and live entertainment.
Local businesses will be well-represented that same Saturday for the Safe Trick or Treat along Grant Avenue. From 11am till 2pm, kids are invited to visit Grant Avenue stores for candy and other fun activities.
That same weekend, for more grown-up fun, there’s two opportunities to get dressed up at the HopMonk Tavern. Rock Candy offer hard rock covers on the Friday night, while the HopMonk’s Hollywood Halloween Bash on Saturday 28 is headlined by top-shelf pop/soul party band Pride and Joy, and features a costume contest. If you’re looking for a chance to show off your stylish Halloween threads and dance the night away, the HopMonk is a great option.
Meanwhile, on Halloween itself, Pacheco Plaza gets into the Halloween Spirit with their annual Halloween Fest, including a spooky DJ dance party, games, face painting, balloon animals, prizes, pet costume show and more. The fun runs October 31 from 3:30pm till 5:30pm.
On to the business of Halloween decor and treats. There are plenty of places to pick up pumpkins in Novato, from Trader Joe’s to Safeway and Whole Foods. You can carve them, you can light them, or just line a few up on your front porch for that seasonal, feels-like-Fall ambience.
For costumes, you can go ready-made, at Target or Party City, both at the Vintage Oaks shopping center, or CVS, with stores on Grant Avenue and Novato Blvd. Alternatively, don’t forget Novato has a Goodwill Store on 7th Ave, if you’re looking to get a little more creative.
Candy? If you’re expecting a lot of trick or treaters, CostCo is a good bet, if you have a membership. Alternatively supermarkets like Safeway and Lucky, or drug stores like CVS, will have piles of sugary treats at this time of year.