High spirits on HalloweenFrom one end of Main Street to the other, downtown Pleasanton has a reputation for ghosts. People sensitive to disembodied spirits have seen or sensed them in the older shops along Main Street and upstairs at the Pleasanton Hotel as well as at the Old Kottinger Barn, now Millfleur, on Ray Street.
Learn about bats and other creatures that go bump in the night
Every Halloween season, the Museum on Main gives folks a chance to commune with these spirits -- or at least points out their potential whereabouts -- on its guided Ghost Walks, which will leave the museum, 603 Main St., every half hour from 6-8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night. Organizers say to dress for the weather but note that costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for children 12 and under; call 462-2766.
This evening tennis buffs of all ages can enjoy the seventh annual Halloween Fun Night from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Pleasanton Tennis Complex on Hopyard Road and Valley. This free event draws hundreds every year to tour the Haunted Hallway of Horror, enjoy yummy treats and tennis games for all age groups and skill levels. Call 931-3446.
The Firehouse Fright Night Movie Festival continues at 10 p.m. tomorrow at the Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave., with a late night showing of the film "Insidious" (rated PG-13). Come prepared to act out a scene from this favorite horror movie for a chance to win prizes. The one-minute scene contest is limited to the first 10 acts that sign up, starting at 9:15 p.m. at the lobby. Tickets are $10.
Those seeking a more dramatic Halloween experience won't want to miss "Nightmare: A Terrifyingly Fun Night of Improv" as presented by the Creatures of Impulse, Pleasanton's teen improv troupe. Participants help create the story, setting and characters for completely unscripted theater. It's at 7:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, at the Firehouse Arts Center. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the door for students; general admission is $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 931-4828 or visit www.firehousearts.org.
Alviso Adobe Community Park offers a lot of Halloween fun today and tomorrow. City Naturalist Eric Nicholas and park docents will lead walks around the premises, sharing tales about nocturnal animals including spiders, snakes and frogs. The tour ends with participants making a Halloween craft. Ages 4 and up are welcome; the 45-minute tours begin at 7 p.m. and continue in rotation to 8:30 p.m. Fee is $5 for residents and $7 for non-residents.
The park will also host the fourth annual Pumpkin Carving Party from 1-3 p.m. tomorrow. Fee is $5 for residents and $7 for non-residents. Preregister online at www.pleasantonfun.com or by phone at 931-5340.
Also tomorrow, the Pleasanton Public Library will present "BATS!" at 2 p.m. with naturalist Corky Quirk, who will show a mix of slides, a live web camera feed, and several live bats as she introduces these endangered creatures. This free event is for kindergarten and up. No registration is required.
The Pleasanton Downtown Association is hosting a Fall Scavenger Hunt for children between 10 a.m. and noon tomorrow. Kids are invited to don their costumes and go to the museum to pick up Halloween bags and a clue, which will lead them to their next destination for a treat and another clue.
On Sunday morning the Rotary Club of Pleasanton is holding its second annual Halloween Spirit 5K Run & Walk and Kids' Challenge to benefit Rotary's Wheelchairs for the Needy program, in partnership with The Wheelchair Foundation. Also, $5 of each registration will be donated to a designated Pleasanton school district school or school club. The 5K Run/Walk begins at 9 a.m., with the Kid's Challenge at 10:15 a.m., with start and finish under the arch. Learn more at www.spiritrun.com.
That afternoon, from 1-4 p.m., Jack, Ryan and Evan Berry are holding their fourth annual Halloween Haunted House for the whole family, at 472 Tioga Court, which includes festive food and bubbling beverages. It will benefit the Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation since they've seen family members struggle with cancer; cost is $5 each or $25 per family.
Anyone 13 and older looking for a scary adventure might enjoy Pirates of Emerson at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, which features haunts, a corn maze and a Misfortune Teller. Tickets are $25 on Friday, Saturday and Halloween; other nights, $20. Some features cost more.
Last but not least, Moore's Pumpkin Patch offers a family fun park and pumpkins galore at the Valley and Bernal corner of the Alameda County Fairgrounds to decorate homes in preparation for the little ghosts and goblins that will descend on Oct. 31.