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Spooky Visits: Local Museums Offer Scary, Fun & Festive Activities

In addition to its fascinating Gold Rush past, the Sacramento area is rich with an amazing array of state-of-the-art museums and historic sites that offer visitors the chance to explore California’s fine art, history, science, and wildlife treasures all year long. This fall, many of the 30 members of Sacramento Area Museums (SAM) are offering fun Halloween and harvest-related events and activities – some for families, children only or specifically for adults. A sampling of the special activities is listed below (but please check with the various museums and/or destinations for other events and more detailed information):

“Spookomotive” Train Rides at the Railroad Museum – October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28

All aboard for some Halloween fun Old Sacramento style! Guests of all ages will enjoy diesel-powered “Spookomotive” train rides aboard a whimsically decorated train crawling with spiders, cobwebs and cornstalks while staffed with an entertaining “skeleton crew.” Guests are encouraged to come dressed according to weekly themes or in favorite Halloween attire: Superheroes & Villains (October 6-7), Pirates & Princesses (October 13-14) and Witches & Wizards (October 20-21) and Superheroes & Villains (October 27-28).

For more, visit CaliforniaRailroad.museum.

ArtMix Zombie at the Crocker Art Museum – October 11

Adult guests are encouraged to come dressed in their un-dead best, as the Crocker Art Museum teams up with The Sacramento Zombie Walk to offer a night of horror, movie shorts, performances, and dancing at the Deadly Disco. Visitors can test their skills at the Carnival of the Dead, become living experiments for some of Sacramento’s wildest make-up artists, make their own creepy creations, enjoy themed cocktails, and join the un-dead for apocalyptic photos.

For more, visit CrockerArt.org.

Ghost Tours at the Sacramento History Museum – October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27

The Sacramento History Museum & Alliance are proud to present an all-new season of Old Sacramento Living History’s annual “Ghost Tours: Mayhem in the Museum” over three weekends in October. For those who dare, the engaging tours depart from the Sacramento History Museum (101 I Street) every half-hour from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on the evenings the tours are available.

For more, visit SacHistoryMuseum.org.

Acorn Day at the State Indian Museum – October 13

Guests are invited to enjoy the autumn season and celebrate the acorn at the State Indian Museum! Special guest Diana Almendariz, Wintu/Maidu, will demonstrate traditional acorn processing along with lots of hands-on arts and crafts for children.

For more, visit Parks.ca.gov/?page_id=486.

32nd Annual Safe & Super Halloween at Fairytale Town – October 19, 20, 21 & 28

Dinosaurs will take over Fairytale Town for four nights of safe and fun trick-or-treating and family-friendly activities during the 32nd annual Safe & Super Halloween!  Guests can follow dino tracks throughout the park to meet and take photos with different dinosaur species, dig for giant fossils at the excavation site, visit the Reptile Lab to see growing dinosaurs and test their “dino roar” with the roar-o-meter.

For more information and tickets, visit FairytaleTown.org.

Monster Bash at the Sacramento Children’s Museum – October 20

Calling all monsters of the night…visit the Sacramento Children’s Museum for a night of spirited fun at the annual Monster Bash!  Guests are encouraged to gear up for Halloween by wearing their best costumes and get ready to dance the night away. They’ll have a DJ, refreshments and Museum play.

For more, visit SacKids.org.

Pumpkin Painting at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – October 20

Children of all ages are invited for a free pumpkin painting activity from noon to 3 p.m. at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum.

For more, visit OldSacSchoolhouse.scoe.net.

The Haunted Fort at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park – October 20 & 27

Friends of Sutter’s Fort, in partnership with California State Parks and B Street Theatre Company, are proud to present “The Haunted Fort” on two Saturday evenings in October. With a family-friendly format, guests will have the special opportunity to explore the dimly-lit Fort at night at their own pace, interact with knowledgeable docents in period attire (who will share scary, spooky and sometimes disturbing details of pioneer life in the 1800s), participate in fun and interactive stations set-up throughout the Fort, and also be entertained by talented performers from B Street Theatre Company.

For more, visit SuttersFort.org.

After Hours Science/7 Deadly Sins at the Powerhouse Science Center – October 25

Adult guests are invited to enjoy a night of wickedly good fun at After Hours Science where they will learn more about the science behind the 7 deadly sins while sipping on adult beverages. Science-themed costumes are highly encouraged.

For more, visit PowerHouseSC.org.

Count Watts’ Spooktacular at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center – October 27

For a spooky good time, join the Roseville Utility Exploration Center for some free electrifying fun at Count Watts’ Spooktacular where guests can take a thrilling walk through the Phantom Energy House and hunt down all the electronics that are wasting power. Visitors will meet Count Watts, dig through the boneyard, enjoy spirited activities, have their faces painted, and play games like the Lineman’s Challenge and Voltage Vampire Knockdown to win exciting prizes.

For more information, visit Roseville.ca.us.familyfun.

Boo at the Zoo at the Sacramento Zoo – October 27 & 28

Don’t miss out on a spooky good time as the Sacramento Zoo transforms into the kid-friendly place to be for Halloween from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Costumes are encouraged and kids can enjoy trick-or-treating throughout the entire zoo at 15 different candy stations plus special activities such as face painting, festive games, themed stage shows, magic shows with Trevor the Magician, keeper chats and even animal enrichments. Guests can also top off a perfect day with a ride on the spooky zoo train or the creepy carousel for an additional fee.

For more, visit SacZoo.org.

Trunk-or-Treat at the California Automobile Museum – October 28

Rain or shine, guests are encouraged to visit the Automobile Museum dressed in their favorite Halloween costumes ready to enjoy an afternoon of family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Young guests will enjoy making their own “trunk or treat” bag and venturing into the Museum to explore and find goodies to fill their Halloween bags with treats. Additional activities include crafts for kids and fun Halloween photo opportunities.

For more, visit CalAutoMuseum.org/trunkortreat.

Trick-or-Treating in Old Sacramento Starting at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum – October 28

The Old Sacramento Waterfront invites children to a fun, free and safe trick-or treating event in the district from 12 to 3 p.m.  Costumes are encouraged and interested children can pick up a map at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum before trick-or-treating their way through the historic district (treats available while supplies last).

For more, visit OldSacramento.com.

Trick-or-Treat Daytime Halloween Activities at the Children’s Museum – October 31

The Sacramento Children’s Museum is a great place to spend the afternoon on Halloween day. Guests are encouraged to dress in costume and participate in special trick-or-treat stations, hands-on activities and museum play from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more, visit SacKids.org.

For updated information, please visit SacMuseums.org/news-events/harvest-halloween.

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About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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