With Halloween on a Thursday this year, next week's Almost Friday is bound to be a ghoulish one.
But it also means that this weekend is the weekend to party if you're hoping to do so without a workday hangover. We've rounded up some of the best haunted happenings, including midnight cruises, animalistic fun at the zoo, bar crawls, and more.
Friday, Oct. 25
Made Up Theatre's Halloween Spooktacular
Fancy a bloody slasher telling a long-winded ghost story, or (just maybe) an off-the-cuff comedic bit? Fremont's Made Up Theatre will celebrate the spookiest of seasons with a special improv sesh featuring two scary-funny shows in one night. Go for macabre improv games and more. // 8pm, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25-26; 4000 Bay St Suite B. (Fremont), madeuptheatre.com
Saturday, Oct. 26
Halloweekend Pub Crawl
Don your most badass costume, and possibly some comfy walking shoes, for SF's foremost Halloween pub crawl, in the Marina. Drink-and-treat beginning at check-in point Bar None; participating bars include The Blue Light, Silver Cloud, Comet Club, and more. Lookout for special themed drinks. // Saturday, Oct. 26; check-in 3-7pm at Bar None, 1980 Union St. (Marina), pubcrawls.com
As if one Halloween-themed pub crawl wasn't enough, Crawloween is back and with more participating bars than ever. Last year some 7,000 costumed imbibers inundated participating bars for discounted booze, good vibes, and dancing. Ticket purchase includes unlimited rides on the M Ride Pub Crawl Shuttle, which will take you from bar to bar from 3pm to 8pm. // Saturday, Oct. 26th, 2-10pm; noon to 6pm check in at Mayes Oyster House, 1233 Polk St. (Tendernob); tickets ($19-$45) at eventbrite.com.
Exploratorium's Tactile Dome
Halloween is all about sensory overload. Exploratorium's legendary Tactile Dome is open for special evening hours, so go journey through the geometric, iridescent attraction in total darkness. // 6:15pm to 7:30pm, Saturday, Oct. 26th; Pier 15 (Embarcadero), exploratorium.edu
Union Square's Westin Hotel will transform into a four-room electric banger capable of raising the dead. Expect DJs spinning dance floor bops, on-site drummers filling the halls with percussion waves, drink specials, a costume contest, and more. Discounts are available to groups of eight or more. // 9pm to 1:30am, Saturday, Oct. 26th; 335 Powell Street (Union Square); tickets ($45 and up) at eventbrite.com.
A Nightmare on Van Ness
Now in its 11th year, A Nightmare on Van Ness is an extravagant, left-of-center way to get in the Halloween spirit. The Regency Ballroom will come alive with performances from Far East Movement, Too $Short, Miled Medina, and more. This year's theme is Upside Down World; expect dizzying lights, thunderous sound bombs, and glorious boozy creations. // 6pm to 2am, Saturday, Oct. 26th; 1300 Van Ness Ave. (Tendernob); tickets ($49 and up) at eventbrite.com.
Boo at the Zoo
Get up close and personal with the more creepy creatures of the animal world at San Francisco Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo. Not only can you watch adorable AF animals (lemurs!) gobble up gourds by the dozens, but costume competitions, pumpkin carving stations, and a petting soiree at the Insect Zoo are all slated to happen throughout the weekend. This is a family-friendly event, so you can bring the young ones without worry. // 10am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27; Sloat Blvd and Great Highway (Lake Merced), sfzoo.org
Virgin Hotel's Drag Me to Hell
Hosted by the Virgin Hotel and A Club Called Rhonda, and featuring drag legend Juanita More!, this bash will transform all 13 floors of the hotel with various Halloween embellishments. There will be three stages for live performances, including one at the rooftop bar, Everdene. Expect sick dance beats, stiff themed drinks, and numbers from local queens that'll, indeed, drag you to hell (in the best way possible...glitter, pedicured claws and all). // 8pm to 2am, Thursday, Oct. 31; 250 4th St. (SoMa); tickets ($100-$175) at eventbrite.com.
Titanic Masquerade: Pier Pressure SF Halloween Party Cruise
Cheers to Halloween 2019 onboard a yacht with bay views. This 10th annual seagoing venture will feature unlimited drinks from bars on all three deck levels; live DJs and two dance floors, and table and bottle service for VIP ticketholders. Masks and quasi-formal attire are a must. // 7pm to midnight, Thursday, Oct. 31; Pier 40 (Embarcadero); tickets ($25-$249) at vipnightlife.com.
The Ultimate Halloween Tour of San Francisco
Take on four of San Francisco's most celebrated Halloween havens (North Beach, the Castro, the Mission, and Polk Street) in one fell swoop, courtesy of this three-hour shuttle tour. // 7pm to 10pm, Thursday, Oct. 3; pick up at Pier 39 (Embarcadero); tickets ($55) at eventbrite.com.
Cal Academy's Creatures of the NightLifeCreatures of the night will reign at Cal Academy's NightLife on this evening featuring a performance from Heklina, DJ Omar Perez, a colorful interactive Dia de Los Muertos altar, and Halloween-themed spirits. The African Hall will double as a haunted movie theater, and a costume contest will be held outside on the West Garden stage. // 6pm to 9pm, Thursday, Oct. 31; 55 Music Concourse Dr. (Golden Gate Park), calacademy.org