Park It by Ned MacKay: Keen for Halloween

Goblins and ghosts will gather to celebrate Halloween with non-scary activities at several East Bay Regional Parks in coming days. Here’s a roundup.

A day of “Halloween Hijinks” is in store from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Fremont, with naturalist Mindy Castle.

There will be three 10-minute puppet shows starting at 11 a.m., apple cider pressing at noon, Halloween crafts at 1 p.m. and Halloween games at 2 p.m

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27 are also the last runs of Ardenwood’s Haunted Railroad, a train ride designed for families with children under 12. The ride is from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

However, tickets have been available online in advance since Sept. 15, and may be sold out. For information, visit and Ardenwood is at 34600 Ardenwood Boulevard just north of Highway 84. For information on the Halloween program and admission fees, call 510-544-2797. Parking is free.

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Sunol Regional Wilderness will celebrate the Halloween spirit with an “All Hallows Hike” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, led by naturalist Ashley Adams.

Ashley will talk about the history of Halloween, and lead a search for its not-so-creepy animals. The family-friendly hike will end with a campfire.

Sunol Regional Wilderness is at the end of Geary Road off Calaveras Road about five miles south of the town of Sunol. There’s a parking fee of $5 when the kiosk is staffed; the hike is free of charge. Call 510-544-3249.

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At Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, there’s a “Halloween Hijinks” program for children ages 3 to 5 years from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 29, led by naturalist Francis Mendoza. The group will play games, explore the park, and create crafts related to the theme of the day.

Parent or caregiver participation is required. No Native American or culturally appropriated costumes, please.

Coyote Hills is at the end of Patterson Ranch Road off Paseo Padre Parkway. There’s a parking fee of $5 per vehicle when the kiosk is attended. The Halloween Hijinks program is free. For information, call 510-544-3220.

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Redwood Regional Park in Oakland will be the venue for a “Howloweenie Roast in the Redwoods” from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

While strolling through the trees, learn the story of Slugderella, a strangely overlooked fairy tale character. Will she be stuck cleaning the forest floor, or will her forest friends help her make it to the ball?

After arriving at the campfire the group will make a craft, eat some treats, sing songs and hear stories. Bring your own hot dogs for roasting or pack your dinner. The naturalists will provide s’mores.

Registration is required, and there’s a fee of $5 per person ($7 for non-district residents). For information, call 510-544-3187. To register, call 888-327-2757, select option 2 and refer to program number 22456.

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They aren’t specifically Halloween-themed, but there are a couple of good programs scheduled during the weekend at Tilden Nature Area near Berkeley.

Predators of the forest and meadow are the topic of a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27 with interpretive student aide Brianna Contaxis-Tucker.

And there’s an easy walk to Jewel Lake from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 with naturalist Anthony Fisher, to see what animals live there.

Both programs meet at Tilden’s Environmental Education Center, which is at the north end of Central Park Drive. Call 510-544-2233.

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Back to Halloween: naturalist Eddie Willis will preside over a creepy critters program from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch.

Eddie will explain why some of the critters really aren’t creepy, and help visitors make a craft to take home: snake crafts at noon, bats at 1 p.m., owls at 2 p.m. and tarantulas at 3 p.m.

Meet Eddie in Black Diamond Mines’ uppermost parking area at the end of Somersville Road, 3½ miles south of Highway 4. The park charges a $5 parking fee when the kiosk is staffed. The program is free. Call 888-327-2757, ext. 2750.

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Big Break is big on bats, too. The regional shoreline has scheduled a program from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28 featuring facts on the flying furballs.

The park is at 69 Big Break Road off Oakley’s Main Street. For information, call 888-327-2757, ext. 3050.

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This is just a sample. There’s always lots to see and do in the regional parks. For the full story, visit the website,

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