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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Fluffy Chickens & a Floating Pumpkin Patch

Candy and costumes make Halloween one of the most anticipated kid-holidays of the year. Check out these local activities for safe fun.

Santa Rosa: Halloween at Howarth Park At this annual Howarth Park event, tiny ninjas, gypsies, and monsters run around and get candy at stations in the park. Then, sufficiently high on sugar, they hop on the park’s train and carousel or take a pony ride. The event, open to ages 12 and younger, happens October 26. Kids must register for one of three time slots: 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m., 12:45–1:30 p.m., or 2–2:45 p.m. The basic pass is $6; a $15 pass gets kids access to the amusement and pony rides. Sign up and find out more at

Rohnert Park: Halloween with Harry Potter The Harry Potter books have inspired millions of kids around the world to read. And when the films came out, their scores also exposed little ears to orchestral music. The Santa Rosa Symphony will be performing parts of those scores, as well as telling stories, at this interactive concert. Kids are encouraged to dress up in costumes for the performance, which will be held on October 27 at 3 p.m. at the Green Music Center. Admission is $10–$20 and includes a 2 p.m. pre-show instrument petting zoo and photo booth. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

Petaluma: Trick-or-Treat Trail Scads of costumed kids (ages 12 and younger) raid the sweets stashes of Petaluma businesses at this free annual event, which will be held this year on October 31, 3–5:30 p.m. Download the trick-or-treat map at, or just follow the orange and black balloons around downtown.

Santa Rosa: Blind Scream Some people find terror thrilling. And for them, there’s this annual event, which features two haunted houses that promise real scares. Note that they may be too freaky for kids, especially young ones. (And, for safety reasons, parents aren’t allowed to hold their children.) But for the intrepid, they’re a dose of Halloween horror. The houses—Witch House and Lil Horrus’s Fun House—are set up in a 15,000 square-foot space in the Santa Rosa Plaza and run October 11–13, 17–20, 24–27, and 29–31. They open at 7 p.m. and run until 10 or 11 p.m., depending on the day. Tickets are $15–$35 and are available at and at the door. On certain days, the purchase of refreshments will benefit area high schools. See website for details.

Santa Rosa: Floating Pumpkin Patch Not all pumpkin patches are in dirt. Some are in water. That’s right! At this annual event, at the Ridgway Swim Center, orange orbs float in a pool, where kids can capture them, no getting filthy required. It will be held on October 19, with activities and games starting at 1:30 p.m. and the “patch” opening 2–6 p.m. Tickets, which are $10, will only be sold in advance, at Kids younger than 2 get in free.

Santa Rosa: Funtazmagoria The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County gets freaky at its Mad Scientist Lab, where kids will explore electricity and creepy critters. And in the Art Studio, there’ll be spiderwebs, slime, and stuff that glows in the dark. The lab and studio will run Wednesdays–Mondays, October 18–31, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. On October 27, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., kids can parade in costumes, fling eyeballs, create magic elixirs, and watch pumpkins fall from the sky. Regular admission fees apply: $9–$12 or free for babies younger than 12 months. For more information, see