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SACRAMENTO MUSEUMS Scary, fun & festive activities for fall season
auto museum

SACRAMENTO —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, Día de Los Muertos and harvest-related events and activities – some for families, children only or specifically for adults.  A sampling of the special activities is listed below (check with the various museums and/or destinations for more detailed information):


Scary, Creepy Science at the

Powerhouse Science Center

– Weekends in October

Get ready for some hair-raising fun at Powerhouse Science Center all through October. They have five weekends worth of weird science for the whole family where guests will discover magical moon phases, concoct potions in their haunted laboratory and learn about bloodthirsty creatures and candy chemistry, too. Visitors will cackle with delight when they slingshot pumpkins and get into the guts of those gourds. For more, visit

Halloween Activities at the

Old Sacramento Schoolhouse

Museum – Saturdays in October

Always festive, fun and free, the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum will have lots of hands-on activities for children to enjoy every Saturday (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in October. On October 21, children can paint real pumpkins to take home; then on October 28, they can trick-or-treat through the district (a costumed character will be outside participating stores).  For more, visit


Día de Los Muertos Events & Activities

Presented by the Sacramento

History Museum – thru November 4

In honor of “Day of the Dead” activities celebrated each year in Mexico and in major cities around the world, Sol Collective and the Sacramento History Museum have teamed up to present a series of community workshops and special weekend activities that showcase the traditions and/or demonstrate how to create some of the special items used in “Day of the Dead” celebrations. The effort culminates with a Día de Los Muertos celebration on November 4.  For more, visit

Día de Los Muertos Festivities

at the California Museum

— thru December 30

The California Museum will celebrate Día de Los Muertos through a new exhibit and a series of special events exploring the Mexican cultural tradition of honoring deceased loved ones started by the Aztecs and continuing to flourish in present-day California. Highlights include: Community Altar offering visitors the opportunity to honor lost loved ones (thru December 30); “Arte y Almas: Día de Los Muertos 2017,” a new exhibit honoring historic Latino Californians through altar installations by contemporary artists from Mexico and California (October 13 thru December 30);  and Sugar Skull Workshops, five sessions where participants learn how to design and decorate “calaveras de azúcar” or sugar skulls (October 28 & 29). For details and tickets, visit


Ghost Tours at the Sacramento

History Museum –

October 20, 21, 27 & 28

Departing from the Sacramento History Museum, visitors to Old Sacramento journey back in time to hear ghostly tales and spooky stories as they walk through the history-rich streets and re-live 19th century lore. Entertaining yet knowledgeable tour guides will take daring and inquisitive guests through Old Sacramento’s infamous locales to experience a bit of the dark side of California’s history.  For more, go to

“Spookomotive” Train Rides

at the Railroad Museum –

October 21, 22, 28 & 29

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: Princesses & Pirates – October 21 & 22, Witches & Wizards – October 28 & 29. For more, visit


31st Annual Safe & Super

Halloween at Fairytale Town

– October 20, 21 & 22

Fairytale Town guests will take off to a galaxy far, far away for three nights of trick-or-treating and family fun in space at the 31st annual Safe & Super Halloween! They’ll enjoy a fun space adventure, meet popular intergalactic characters, take part in Jedi training and light saber fitness plus travel to Dagobah, Endor, and Tatooine. This three-night extravaganza also features 15 treat stations, a nightly costume parade and hands-on activities. For more, visit


Wee Halloween at the

Crocker Art Museum – October 25

Don’t miss one of Sacramento’s major annual Halloween happenings for children ages 3 to 5! Costumed kiddos and their grownups take a delightful stroll through the Museum and encounter enchanting music and dance performances by beloved Sacramento entertainers and artists. At each stop, children will receive a small gift for their specially decorated treat bag. The magical tour ends with sweet treats and a silly dance party. Guests need to register in advance at


The Haunted Fort at Sutter’s

Fort State Historic Park

– October 27 & 28

Friends of Sutter’s Fort is proud to present an enhanced and family-friendly “The Haunted Fort” on two special evenings in October. 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 a number of talented performers from B Street Theatre Company. For more, visit

“Sips & Spirits: The Train

Ride” by the Railroad Museum

Foundation – October 27

The California State Railroad Museum Foundation is proud to present an all-new Halloween-inspired event for adults – “Sips & Spirits: The Train Ride” on one evening only. Ticketed guests will delight in a frightfully fun train ride on the Sacramento Southern Railroad while enjoying a blood-shot cocktail and being entertained by a Mad Scientist and his minions, Monster Mash dancers and more. Train ride guests will indulge in hard cider and nibble on delicious appetizers provided by Fat’s Catering all while enjoying a dark night on the railroad – it’s Halloween fun, adult-style!  For more, visit


Trunk or Treat at the

California Automobile

Museum – October 29

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 venturing into the Museum to explore and find goodies to fill their Halloween bags with treats.  Additional activities include some kid's crafts, storytelling, and a fun Halloween photo opportunity in Sparkplug Square. For more, visit


Boo at the Zoo at the

Sacramento Zoo – October 28 & 29

The Sacramento Zoo invites guests to get out those costumes, grab a trick-or-treat bag and head to over for the daytime Boo at the Zoo to enjoy trick-or-treating throughout the ENTIRE zoo at 15 different candy stations, face painting for kids, festive games, themed stage shows, magic shows with Trevor the Magician, keeper chats and even animal enrichments. Visitors can top off the perfect day with a ride on the spooky zoo train or the creepy carousel for an additional fee. It’s a safe and fun Halloween celebration perfect for all ages. For more, visit


Trick-or-Treat Daytime

Halloween Activities at the

Children’s Museum – October 31

The Sacramento Children’s Museum is a great place to spend Halloween during the day.  From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they’ll have special trick-or-treat stations, a costume parade, active Museum play and more.  For more, visit

Haunted Headlight Tours

at the California Automobile

Museum – October 31

California Automobile Museum guests are invited to attend one of the special evening tours being offered on Halloween night where they will be led around the Museum by a spirited guide who will share intriguing stories about some of the horrific accidents/stories that have happened with some of the cars.  Guests may run into some nice and not-so-nice spirits that still haunt the Museum and its cars. After the tour, guests will end in The Undertaker's Lounge for refreshments where they can use their free drink ticket and purchase additional beverages. Recommended for ages 13 years and older. For more, visit


Día de Los Muertos Activities

at the Sacramento Children’s

Museum – November 1 & 2

Children and families are invited to join the Sacramento Children’s Museum in celebrating Día de Los Muertos and the wonderful folk art tradition of decorating grinning sugar skulls with bright color and glittery adornments.  For more, visit


 To stay connected to Sacramento Museums, “like” them on Facebook at, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the website at