As the autumn leaves crunch under your feet and midterm season approaches, Halloween is the perfect time to get out of your dorm, temporarily forget about those stressful papers, and enjoy the weekend. 

Halloween at the Boardwalk

The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk hosted a Halloween Spooktacular on Oct. 31. For $12. Event-goers could purchase a Trick-or-Treat Package and fill a collectable Boardwalk bag with candy from food and shopping vendors. 

For a Halloween scare, those brave enough to venture “under the Boardwalk” had a go at the Fright Walk. Its eerie ambiance, high-tech lighting, and mechanical jumpscares were capable of giving even seasoned thrill-seekers a heart palpitation or two. 

For those who wanted to show off their Halloween costumes, the Boardwalk also hosted a costume contest. Those participating in costumes were photographed at Neptune’s Gate, where pictures were sent to the judging committee. Categorized by age groups, entrants had the chance to win a Boardwalk gift card and have their winning photo posted to the Boardwalk’s Facebook page. 

Rodoni Farms U Pick ‘Em Pumpkin Patch

When driving north on Cabrillo Highway, the heavy mist makes it easy to miss the handmade sign inviting you to Rodoni Farms Pumpkin Patch.

The Rodoni family has been cultivating the Santa Cruz farmland for over 75 years after Dante Rodoni began growing brussel sprouts at Wilder Ranch. The third-generation farming family now specializes in beets, artichokes, peas, beans, leeks, and of course, pumpkins. 

While Rodoni’s sells farm-fresh produce other months of the year, the farm transformed into a Halloween harvest from September 25 through October 31. Complete with a five-acre corn maze, tractor rides, and spooky wooden cutouts for visitors to take photos with, the pumpkin patch welcomed visitors of all ages.   

“My favorite part about the pumpkin patch is all the beautiful colors of pumpkins and, of course, seeing the excitement on the little kids’ faces when they come up, adults too,” said Siri Rodoni, co-owner of Rodoni Farms, in an email. “We also love that it’s become a destination and a family tradition for many people from all over the Central Coast.”

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History’s Día de los Muertos Celebration

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History’s (MAH) Día de los Muertos celebration included a variety of performances and art showcases on the weekend of Oct. 31. 

Local artists were responsible for the creation of the displays. Día de los Muertos street chalk art was at the MAH’s main entrance since Oct. 21, with several local artists lending their talents to the project.

A COVID-19 themed project, Recordando Recuerdos, or Remembering Memories, seeks to honor those who lost their lives during the pandemic with colorful memorials created by the public.

The MAH partnered with the community organization Senderos for several of the listed events and exhibitions. Senderos describes itself as dedicated to bringing Latino culture and history to a wider audience through art. Live music and a short film were be performed by the group, in cooperation with the MAH, at the Evergreen Cemetery.

Evergreen Cemetery was also the site of memorial altars, known as “ofrendas,” that honor those buried at the grounds. An additional ofrenda was be built and maintained at the MAH in downtown and was open to the public. An opening ceremony was held on Oct. 8 and a closing ceremony was on Nov. 1.