Eater SF has recited it at least twice before, but maybe the third time’s the charm: Trick-or-treating is canceled this year! So please keep your distance and stay safe out there. The city has officially banned any gatherings of more than 12 people, and the SFPD will be keeping watch this All Hallows Eve. But that doesn’t mean the party is totally dead, because restaurants, bakeries, and bars are still serving sweet treats, and there are a few fresh activities to get out of the house. So if you are looking for fun things to do, here’s how to make Halloween feel festive this year — even if you’re screaming at home.
Go visit the pumpkin patch
The great pumpkin festival in Half Moon Bay was cancelled this year, but you can still go straight to the source, and pick a few decorative gourds fresh from the farm. Farmer John’s, Andreotti Family Farms, and Lemos Farm are all open for pumpkin business. Swing by Dad’s Luncheonette for a burger or Sam’s for a quarter of chowder and family pack of crab cakes on the drive home.
Pull up to the drive-in movie theater
Drive-in movie theatres are jumping out all over the Bay Area, and tickets are selling fast. Unfortunately, on the holiday itself, both Ghostbusters and Interview with a Vampire are already sold out at Fort Mason, as is Invasion of the Body Snatchers at Pier 70 — the latter includes dinner from La Cocina, so no wonder it’s a hot ticket. But additional dates are available, and there are other drive-in theaters around the Bay.
Venture out on a beer crawl
Ye olde village of Bernal Heights is hosting a socially distant pub crawl, which seems like a not too scary way to space out day drinkers. Highlights include Old Devil Moon, the occult-themed bar with an expertly curated beer list, and Cellarmaker for square pizza and Emmy’s for oversized meatballs.
Order in a wild pizza party
Parents might usually rely on pizza delivery to line children’s stomachs before an evening of sugar, but this year, pizza and a movie might just be the home entertainment that will keep you from going insane. And Square Pie Guys is delivering in this moment of desperation, providing a party pack with two pizzas, two salads, and monkey bread.
Have a deranged arts and crafts night
You could carve pumpkins or decorate cookies, but why not make mutant Barbie dolls, instead? Doc’s Clock usually hosts a Barbie Mutilation Night, and this year, they are offering craft kits to go. For the low price of $25, that includes a doll, art supplies, the odd extra body part, and a baby bottle of tequila.
Dress up for a costume contest in a mortuary
Curio, the bar that calls a former mortuary home, has a big outdoor patio that spills onto Valencia. And they’re hosting a costume contest, to the tune of live piano, with free drinks for the winning. The theme is “mythical creatures” this year, but of course, all animals welcome.
Escape to the rooftop for a drag dinner
Pair pumpkin pie with whiskey flights
Seven Stills brewery and distillery managed to snatch a star pastry chef, because Angela Pinkerton of Pie Society is swinging through for a Halloween pie pop-up. There are chocolate-walnut and sweet potato pies baked with whiskey in the filling, as well as pumpkin and passionfruit pies that simply pair well with whiskey on the side.
Get a scary cute cupcake
There’s a mini cupcake war brewing on either side of Mission, because both Bernal and Noe serve up super cute treats this time of year. Noe Valley Bakery has fondant devils and bats in magical greens and purples, but have you seen those coconut mummies at Black Jet?
Keep all the candy for yourself
But at the end of the day, Halloween is all about the sugar rush. If your poison is chocolate, Recchiuti Confections does beautiful seasonal boxes this time of year, and is looking ahead to Dia de los Muertos with skulls laced with burnt caramel. And for straight sugar, Miette has candy corn, cream pumpkins, gummy spiders, and more.