Looking for some ghoulish fun this month? Benicia’s First Street is serving up ghosts, zombies, scarecrows and so much more in the next few weeks. Get into the Halloween spirit by spending a spooky night or day by the bay in Benicia. Here are some haunting tips for making the most of your visit.
Known for its art, shopping, history (some of it pretty eerie), and great bars and restaurants, this small town possesses some of the greatest ghost stories in all of the San Francisco Bay Area. Once a busy stop for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Benicia’s Depot still houses visitors of days long past.
Located at 90 First Street, you’re invited to drop in and tour the Haunted Depot on Fridays from 6-9 p.m., Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m., and on Sundays from 12-4 p.m. On Halloween, the Haunted Depot will be open from 6-9 p.m.
For those looking to take a walk on the wild side this Halloween season, we suggest booking a Ghost Walk with Paranormal Investigator Deborah Hogarty. Discover several secret places in downtown Benicia where she has detected a presence not of this world. This month’s tour will be Friday and Saturday, October 21 and 22 from 8-10 p.m. Advance reservations are required. For more information call (707) 745-9791.
While in town, be sure to check out the many decorated scarecrows peppering First Street and beyond. Local businesses have brought their imagination A-game to the streets for a spooktacular Scarecrow Contest. The public is invited to pick a favorite for a “Peoples Choice” award. You can vote online at beniciamainstreet.org or by picking up a ballot at one of the participating shops. Scarecrow Contest awards will be announced October 17.
On Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 2-6 p.m., the living dead will crawl along Downtown Benicia for the annual Zombie Brew Crawl. Don your creepiest zombie gore, or not, and enjoy a variety of craft beers that will be poured inside participating downtown shops. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 the day of the event. You must be at least age 21 to participate. Check-in starts at 1:30 p.m. at Benicia Main Street, located at 90 First Street. Tickets include a sampling glass, map of tasting locations, and an ID wristband. Only 400 zombies can participate, so get your tickets online here.
Ghoulish fun for all ages will be had on October 22 during Benicia’s Halloween Costume Contest & Sidewalk Stroll. This charming hometown tradition is great for the whole family. Locals and visitors alike gather in City Park to test out their costumes, followed by a little early Halloween trick-or-treating down First Street. Local merchants will pass out candy and treats along the way to the First Street Green for the awards ceremony.
Even your furry friends are invited to participate. The Canine and Critter Costume Contest takes place at noon on the Green, located at First and East B streets. The event starts at 10 a.m.
In preparation for Old Hallows Eve, the Benicia Public Library will be hosting its 20th AnnualJack-O-Lantern Contest on October 28. Great for all ages, kids and adults will bring their scariest carved pumpkin for a chance to win a prize. The contest is open to everyone and will begin at 7 p.m. Stay for some scary storytelling or very scary storytelling in the dark (recommended for brave kids 8 and up). The library is located at 150 East L Street.
And the kids aren’t the only ones having all the fun this Halloween! On October 30 the Camellia Tea Room and Christina S Fashion Destination will join forces for Bewitching Tea. This Halloween celebration includes the Haunted Hat Contest, a fashion show, and of course some very bewitching teas. Tickets are $45 and proceeds will benefit SafeQuest Solano and STAND of Contra Costa County, which are non-profit agencies that serve victims of domestic violence. Choose from three seatings: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Advance reservations are required. For more information please call Camellia Tea Room at (707) 746-5293.
Enjoy a safe and scary Halloween season all month long. For more information about Benicia and the many great activities coming up, please visit visitbenicia.org/events/.