If horror movies and gory haunted houses aren't your thing, take heart. The Midpeninsula has plenty of Halloween events planned that probably won't spark nightmares -- unless you see some kid dressed as Honey Boo Boo.
Here are some of the local events planned, including pumpkin-decorating, orchestra concerts and carnival games.
Members of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo can start the festivities early with Halloween Zoo Night on Oct. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitors will come in costume to the zoo at 1451 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto and learn about "Halloween science" while seeing the animals and sharing refreshments. (The cost to become a member is $100.) Go to friendsjmz.org or call 650-326-6338.
A Halloween singles' party happens from 8 p.m. to midnight Oct. 26 at the Sheraton Hotel at 625 El Camino Real in Palo Alto, organized by the Singles' Supper Club and the Society of Single Professionals. Tickets to the costume party are $20. Go to singlessupperclub.com.
A kid-friendly haunted house is planned at Landels Elementary School at 115 W. Dana St. in Mountain View on Oct. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m., and on Oct. 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. Event organizers promise an event suitable for the youngest members of the family, with treats and "minimal spooks." Tickets are $3 general, with family tickets priced at four for $10. Go to landels.mvwsd.org.
Mountain View's Shoreline Lake is sprouting a pumpkin patch by the water this year, along with family activities held at the Aquatic Center and Lakeside Cafe on the weekend of Oct. 27-28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A bake sale, a pumpkin-decorating contest and a Halloween jump house will be among the offerings. The cafe is at 3160 N. Shoreline Blvd. Go to shorelinelake.com or call 650-965-3779.
The city of Menlo Park hosts its free "Halloween Hoopla" on Oct. 27, starting with a costume parade beginning at 11:45 a.m. in the Maloney Street parking lot off Santa Cruz Avenue. Trick-or-treating happens after the parade with participating downtown merchants, and then entertainment and crafts at Fremont Park. Go to menlopark.org.
A free outdoor showing of the 2006 animated horror/comedy movie "Monster House" starts at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 27 as part of a free family Halloween party at the Mountain View Community Center and Rengstorff House at 201 S. Rengstorff Ave. The party goes from 5 to 8 p.m. and also includes music, games and refreshments. Go to mountainview.gov or call 650-903-6331.
The Bay Area Country Dance Society brings the October spirit to contra dancing and waltzes on Oct. 27 with its annual Halloween Costume Ball at the Palo Alto Masonic Temple, 461 Florence St., downtown. The party goes from 8 p.m. to midnight, with music by The Rosin Doctors. Tickets are $13 general, $11 for society members and $6 for students. A potluck dinner is planned; costumes are optional. Go to bacds.org.
"Spooky Times at Deer Hollow Farm" means haunted barns, farm animals, kids' activities and crafts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 27, at the farm in the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve near Mountain View. Admission is $7 general ($5 for those in costume). Go to fodhf.org.
Families come in costume to The Redwood Symphony's Family Halloween Concert at 3 p.m. Oct. 27, featuring Rodriguez's "A Colorful Symphony," based on "The Phantom Tollbooth." The concert is in the Canada College Main Theatre at 4200 Farm Hill Blvd. in Redwood City, and tickets are $20 general ($25 at the door) and $10 for students. Go to redwoodsymphony.org.
Carnival games, fall crafts, refreshments, a costume parade and a "Monster Maze" are planned for a "Halloween Spooktacular" from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Red Morton Community Center, 1120 Roosevelt Ave., Redwood City. Admission is $5 per child. Go to redwoodcity.org or call 650-780-7311.
Eighteenth-century music for Halloween (sad, mad and generally dark) will include Vivaldi's concerto "La Notte" and revenge songs by Henry Purcell when The Albany Consort performs a Halloween concert from 7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 27. The event is at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1715 Grant Road, Los Altos. Tickets are $10-$25. Go to albanyconsort.com or call 408-480-0182.
Palo Alto marks Day of the Dead from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 28, at the Palo Alto Art Center at 1313 Newell Road, the Junior Museum and Zoo at 1451 Middlefield Road, and the Children's Library at 1276 Harriet St. Events will include art activities, storytelling, a display of community altars, live music and dance performances, and refreshments. Go to cityofpaloalto.org/artcenter.
Also in Palo Alto, Gamble Garden goes all out for its annual Haunted House and Puppet Show from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28. The event, which features games, costumed goblins and witches, and trick-or-treating, is meant for kids ages 4 to 10 with an adult. Nick Barone Puppets perform at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 general and $10 for members. Go to gamblegarden.org or call 650-329-1356.
Trick-or-treating and a carnival brighten up Palo Alto's California Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 28. Participating avenue merchants put up signs, and a carnival is planned between Ash and Birch streets, along with costume contests, a costume parade, a silent auction, music and dance performances, and activities including "build-a-mummy." Go to blossombirth.org.
"Bachtober" means pipe organist James Welch's 20th annual Palo Alto Halloween concert, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave. The musician's sons Nicholas and Jameson will play works by Grieg and Clementi, and their father brings on the Bach with Toccata in D Minor and other classics. Admission is $10 for the concert, scheduled from 8 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29. Go to welchorganist.com or call 650-856-9700.
The Lytton Gardens senior community at 656 Lytton Ave. in Palo Alto connects with the younger generation at its annual "Safe Halloween" family event with indoor trick-or-treating, a pumpkin walk, Halloween bingo, face-painting and other festivities. The free event is planned from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Go to lyttongardens.org or call 650-328-3300.
Stanford's Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble play their annual Halloween concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 31 in Dinkelspiel Auditorium on campus. Music by Beethoven, Ravel, Leonard Bernstein, Giancarlo Aquilanti, John Williams and other composers is planned. Tickets are $10 general, $9 for seniors, $5 for non-Stanford students and free for Stanford students. Go to music.stanford.edu or call 650-725-ARTS.
The New Life Church in Mountain View is hosting a "Trunk or Treat" kids' Halloween event with costumes, decorated cars, a bounce house, live music, games and free candy for kids from the cars' trunks. The party goes from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31 at 1912 San Luis Ave. Go to newlifepcg.org or call 650-967-3453.