For those looking for a frightful Halloween experience, consider Fear Overload Scream Park San Francisco Bay Area.
Plus Halloween running and hiking events.
You’re either a Halloween junkie or you’re not. For those who live for Halloween and love over-the-top haunted houses and nightmarish experiences with lifelike guts, gore, ghouls, and more, there’s Fear Overload Scream Park San Francisco Bay Area. There are two haunted houses set up in this former mall with mazes, monstrous characters, demonic stalkers, and unusual special effects on tap to create a spooky experience. Choose from The Plastic Surgeon in total blackout, Static Noise where it’s also pitch dark, or Line Entertainment with photo opps and oddball characters. Sept. 29-Nov. 11, 7-10 p.m. or 7 p.m.-midnight, $25-$50 (depends on general admission, fast pass admission, and VIP admission, 15555 E 14th St., San Leandro, FearOverload.com.
It’s the season of the witch, but just because ghosts and goblins are afoot doesn’t mean that you need to hide at home. It’s time to be out and about, meeting those ghoulies head on. Don’t hide out in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Come out for the Pumpkin Patch Dash track races and a spooktacular Halloween carnival for kids of all ages with face painting, games, and prizes. Races are for youth in kindergarten through eighth grade. T-shirts and goodie bags will be given out to participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Oct. 28, 9 a.m.-noon, $6, MLK Middle School Track and Field, 1700 Hopkins St., Berkeley. CityOfBerkeley.info.
Take a thrilling, chilling, spine-tingling Halloween Twilight Hike through the haunted hills of Coyote Hills Regional Park. Arrive in costume, learn about the creepy, crawly origins of Halloween, and, when the frights get to be too much for you, return to the visitor center for treats and a campfire story. Oct. 28, 5:30-8:30 p.m., $4, registration required, Coyote Hills Visitors Center, 4501 Pleasanton Ave., Pleasanton, EBParks.org.
It all started with one fateful meeting at Evergreen State College at Olympia, Wash., when two aspiring cartoonists first became friends: Matt Groening and Lynda Barry. Groening later went on to create a little TV series called The Simpsons, the global phenomenon that spawned a wave of “Don’t Have a Cow” T-shirts and introduced the perfect all-purpose grunt of annoyance “D’oh!” into the English language. Nearly 30 years later, the misadventures of doughnut-loving Simpson patriarch Homer, well-meaning Marge, intellectual killjoy Lisa, and everyone’s favorite hellion Bart continue to lampoon the foibles of modern American family life.
Barry, meanwhile, the Eisner-hall-of-famer underground cartoonist who invented both teenage angst and middle-age ennui started her cartooning career when fellow student and Evergreen College newspaper editor Groening published her comic strip, Ernie Pook’s Comeek. Together, they talk about life, friendship, and that sordid greaseball industry we all know and love: comics. Oct. 7, 8 p.m., tickets start at $25, 101 Zellerbach Hall, No. 4800, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CalPerformances.org.
The Oakland Ballet Company pirouettes on the golfing green in Ballet on the Green, a performance to raise funds for the company’s Discover Dance educational program. The event includes food, silent auction, and a golf tournament. Oct. 9, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., $250, Sequoyah Country Club and Golf Course, 4550 Heafey Road, Oakland, OaklandBallet.org.
Artist Andy Goldworthy is known for building unique structures that transform landscapes works of art—like an Australian hillside transformed into a stone house or an archway constructed over a British retaining wall. Now boulders and bones translates those mind-blowing sculptures into the medium of dance. Oct. 11, 8 p.m., tickets start at $40, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Room 4800, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CalPerformances.org.
Yippie ki yay, git along lil’ doggies. The Black Cowboy Parade celebrates the rich heritage of African-American cowboys and their contributions to ridin’, ropin’, and wranglin’. See how the West was fun. Oct. 7, 10 a.m., free, DeFremery Park, 18th and Adeline, Oakland, BlackCowboyAssociation.org.
Beep, boop. Hello, humans; take us to your leader … or to Con-Volution, the East Bay’s premiere fan-run science fiction and fantasy convention. See crazy costumes, attend panels, or just endlessly quote Monty Python at this celebration of all things geek. Oct. 6-8, $25-$60, San Ramon Marriott, 2600 Bishop Drive, San Ramon, Con-Volution.com.
The comedy queen of Atlanta, Nene Leakes, hosts a night of comedy, Girls Nite Out for Laughs, that’s going out there specially for the girls, with Tiffany Haddish, Loni Love, Adele Givens, Melanie Comarcho, and Hope Flood. Hilarity ensues. Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m., $45-$115, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com.
That politically incorrect scoundrel Bill Maher is at it again, shocking the squares, tweaking the bluenoses, and totally not being afraid whose toes he steps on. Better watch out; we got a real live wire here. Oct. 15, 8 p.m., $49-$95, Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, TheFoxOakland.com.
Trash-talking, free-wheeling comedian Chris Rock crashes the stage with his signature acid-tongued comedy take on politics, current affairs, and race relations for his Total Blackout Tour. Nothing is sacred when Rock starts rolling, so prepare to hear some heavy-duty truth bombs tossed in with laughs. Oct. 26, 8 p.m.; Oct. 27, 8 p.m.; Oct. 28, 7 p.m.; and Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $49-$125, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com.
In Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a holiday where families come together to remember their ancestors and pray to help their deceased loved ones. But it’s also a celebration of life, with dancing, decorations, and delicious sugar skulls! Oakland brings Day of the Dead to life in a festival with two entertainment stages, 200 food and art vendors, face painters, and a children’s play area at Fruitvale Village. Oct. 29, free, Fruitvale Village, East 12th Street and 33rd Avenue, Oakland, UnityCouncil.org/dia-de-los-muertos.
What’s more American than street food? A melting pot of tacos al carbon, Greek gyros, Vietnamese pho, Filipino adobo, Southern fried chicken, and foods from all countries and cultures coming together to be eaten out of cardboard bowls or skewered on sticks at San Francisco’s Street Food Festival presented by La Cocina. Oct. 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., $5-$30, 420 23rd St., The Potrero Power Station, San Francisco, SFStreetFoodFest.com.
Bend your brain at Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, where dreamers, tinkerers, and entrepreneurs all gather to look for the next big thing. Attend expert seminars, join thought-provoking conversations, see pop-up performances, or just join the after-party. Oct. 27-28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., one-day ticket $160, two-day ticket $280, various locations, BerkeleyIdeas.com.
Bob Coomber is determined to become the first wheelchair hiker to cross the 11,845-foot-high Kearsarge Pass through the Sierra Nevada. The New Parkway hosts Tal Skloot’s new documentary, 4 Wheel Bob, following his quest. Oct. 3, 7 p.m. $10-$12. New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakland, TheNewParkway.com.
The golden age of cinema never ended in Mill Valley; the Mill Valley Film Festival celebrates highbrow films from around the globe, with screenings, panel discussions, and live music. Oct. 5-15, $129- $149, 1001 Lootens Place, Ste. 220, San Rafael, MVFF.com.
Those wacky Marx Brothers are back at it, taking higher education to a whole lower level in Horse Feathers. College President Groucho has a plan to help the school’s ailing football team steamroll its way to victory. Does it involve shenanigans? You bet. Oct. 20, 4 p.m., free-$12, BAMPFA, 2155 Center St., Berkeley, BAMPFA.berkeley.edu.
The children of the night …what music they make. To celebrate his 80th birthday, Philip Glass teams up with the Kronos Quartet to bring life to the undead by providing the score to the classic 1931 horror movie Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. Oct. 31, 8 p.m., $50-$125, Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, ParamountTheatre.com.
Hold on to your hair extensions, because two of the biggest names in heavy metal come together for a truly epic rock reckoning. Old school heavy metal giants Scorpions and Megadeth rock the stage of the Oracle Arena in a maelstrom of monster metal madness. Dubbed the “heroes of heavy metal” by Rolling Stone magazine, the Scorpions emerged from Germany’s ’70s hard rock scene, eventually morphing into one of the world’s most recognizable power metal acts. Just this year, the band was honored for its 50-plus years of rocking with inclusion in the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame. Their American counterparts Megadeth are widely considered one of the four godfathers—along with Slayer, Metallica, and Anthrax—of modern thrash … or would it be better to say one of the four horsemen of the arockalypse? Grow out your hair, throw on your leather, and scribble pointy Stussy S’s all over the margins of your steno pad, because the metalacalypse has begun. Oct. 4, 7 p.m., tickets start at $29, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, OracleArena.com.
The gloaming is that liminal, melancholy time at the end of the time when the setting sun makes the sky golden and the clouds red; it’s a transitional time between day and night. Like its namesake, The Gloaming dwells on the threshold between two traditions, a crossroads between numinal Celtic mystery and modern jazz fusion. Oct. 12, 8 p.m., $36 in advance, $40 at the door, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley, TheFreight.org.
Alison Krauss, the bluegrass fiddler and sassy songstress who helped revitalize American interest in that old time sound with her contributions to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack (including voicing the creepy siren ballad), shares the stage with folktronica fusion legend David Gray. Oct. 19, 7 p.m., $45-$125, UC Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley, TheGreekBerkeley.com.
Harken back to the bygone days of yesteryear with The Dustbowl Revival and its eclectic Depression-era boogie beat. It’s so retro that it sounds like it should be coming out of a tombstone radio preceded by a fireside chat. Oct. 27, 8 p.m., $24 in advance, $28 at the door. Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley, TheFreight.org.
The Oakland Gran Fondo is the grand bicycle tour d’bay, offering several routes, from a challenging trek on the 28-, 55-, or 88-mile circuits through the East Bay hills, or a more level, family-oriented tour of the Oakland waterfront. All proceeds support Bike East Bay. Oct. 1, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., $35-$170, 44 Webster St., Oakland, OaklandGranFondo.com.
Alameda Bike for the Parks is your chance to ride your bike along all 22 miles of the Island City’s shoreline to help benefit Alameda parks. Oct. 7, 9 a.m., adults $45, kids $20, Washington Park, 740 Central Ave., Alameda, Bike4Parks.alamedaparks.org.
Pity poor Sarah. Her father is dead, her mother is in hysterics, and she’s being haunted by the ghost of a dead rabbit that keeps pushing her to deal with her deepest psychological issues. That’s just like a rabbit, isn’t it? It all happens in Imaginary Comforts, or The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit. Opens Oct. 5, 8 p.m., $30-$97, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, BerkeleyRep.org.
World War I is looming on the horizon, and a group of dedicated suffragettes must each decide what’s most important to them: women’s liberation or supporting the war effort, in this play, Strange Ladies. Opens Oct. 14, 8 p.m., $15-$30, Central Works, 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CentralWorks.org.
In The Liar, meet Dorante. He’s an awesome guy, but he’s an incurable liar. Meanwhile, his straight-laced manservant Cliton simply will never bend the truth. Put these two together, and you’re sure to have wacky doings a-transpirin’. Opens Oct. 20, 8 p.m., $34-$40, Center REPertory Company, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, CenterREP.org.