Fall is upon us and we in Bakersfield know it takes little effort to scare up something fun to do this time of year. Whether it's thrills or chilling out with loved ones, there are myriad activities to fill up your social calendar.
Falling into a category of both new and returning is Scare Valley, which will open up along with the brand-new Halloweenville on Oct. 4 at the Kern County Museum. Creator Mike Ross, who also runs Christmas Town at the museum, said he was excited to move his haunt to a bigger spot.
(Last year, it opened indoors at Track House Bakersfield, which has since closed. Ross now operates another kart business, Captain Jack's, in a new location.)
"We have indoor and outdoor scenes, something we weren't able to do last year," Ross said. "There are all the elements and senses to set the tone for Halloween. And we’ve increased the haunted house size over 35 percent."
More than 30 actors a night will roam the attraction, most portraying zombielike creatures.
"It's an infected theme. Characters are kind of infected and you're going through trying not to get infected yourself."
Ross said he was excited by the caliber of performers from the more than 50 who will take part during Scare Valley's run: "Actors make the haunt; they are the fright."
Young ones might not be ready to be scared but Ross said that depends on the kid.
"It’s really up to the parents' discretion. My sixth-grader went through it last year and was fine. I'd say sixth- to seventh-graders, but I’ve seen a few brave (younger) kids."
Those with little ones can stick to the adjacent Halloweenville, which features fun for all ages.
"It's going to be a family festival of Halloween," Ross said. "We'll have a pumpkin patch, bounce houses, rock wall, laser tag, paintball where you can shoot zombies and a bunch of little creative things."
Those who want to fight back against the infected can try out the paintball station ($10 for 100 paintballs). Mounted guns are set up facing out on an area that will be populated by zombies needing to be neutralized.
Scare Valley/Halloweenville, 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 6 to 10 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 4 through Nov. 2, Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $15 for haunt, $10 Halloweenville activity wristband, $10 for paintball. 437-3330. scarevalley.com.
October Fun Fest: This year, Murray Family Farms is offering a "Plants vs. Zombies" theme with paintball activity as well as a flashlight corn maze, potato blasters, corn cannons, pumpkin patch, super slide and animal garden. Hours are 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 27 to Oct. 31, Murray Family Farms, 6700 General Beale Road. Admission is $5.99-$14.99. 855-868-7729. murrayfamilyfarms.org.
Tapia's Rosamond Pumpkin Patch: If you're out in southern Kern County and looking for family fun, head here for a ride on the haunted caboose, petting zoo, kids' activities and, of course, pumpkins. Check out the soft opening from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday or head back during the same hours Oct. 1 to 31, Tapia's Rosamond Pumpkin Patch, 1855 W Rosamond Blvd., Rosamond. 256-0577. facebook.com/TapiasRosamondPumpkinPatch.
Banducci's Family Pumpkin Patch: Oh my gourd — you'll find them in all shapes and sizes at this patch, which also features a cornfield. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 5 to 31, Banducci's Family Pumpkin Patch, 10747 Taft Highway. 832-2332. facebook.com/BanducciFamilyPumpkinPatch.
Tehachapi Apple Festival: This annual event will include food, kids zone, inflatables, balloon car and wiggle car races, petting zoo, carnival games, and a Judy Garland as Dorothy impersonator (11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday only), 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 13, Green Street, downtown Tehachapi. tehachapiapplefestival.com.
Fifth annual Children Are Precious Carnival: Enjoy kids activities, exotic reptile show, sack races, pie-eating contest, cake walk, surprise fairy tale appearances, food and more at the two-day event benefiting CASA and the Kayli Memorial Fund. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 13, Rancho Rio Equestrian Center, 5320 Peacock Park Lane. 631-2272, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvest Faire: Take part in an afternoon of fun with crafts, hand-crafted gifts, opportunity drawings, home decorations and music with The Honor Flight Band, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (lunch 11 a.m.-1 p.m.) Oct. 12, Mill Creek Christian Church, 1660 S St. $10, $5 children, free for children ages 5 and under. 327-1673. email@example.com.
Boo-at-the-Zoo: Costumes are encouraged at this annual event offering games as well as wildlife presentations and animal encounters where animals receive treat-filled jack-o-lanterns, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Oct. 19 and 20, CALM, 10500 Alfred Harrell Highway. Cost is $5-$10, free for members and children 12 and under. 872-2256. calmzoo.org.
2019 annual Safe Trunk or Treat: Come dressed in your favorite costume and trick or treat safely, 5-7 p.m. Oct. 25, Kern County Sheriff's Office, 1350 Norris Road; Sheriff's Activity League, 1700 Flower St. Free; all are welcome. 391-7500.
Kernville Fall Festival: Expect the usual games and activities along with dachshund races and chili cook-off, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 27, Riverside Park, 10 Kern River Drive, Kernville. 760-376-2629. gotokernville.com.
Optimal Cares Halloween Car Show and Trunk or Treat: Cars and costumes — what could be better? Get in on the fun from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 26, Bakersfield RV Resort, 5025 Wible Road. 716-8000.
Annual Harvest Party: Partake in candy, activities, games and cupcake walk, 11 a.m., Oct. 26, Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3700 Union Ave. Free. 325-0929. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Festival: Enjoy carnival games, candy, prizes, photo booths, bounce houses, face painting, and indoor activities for kids, 4-6 p.m. Oct. 27, Westside Church of Christ, 7300 Stockdale Highway. Free. 831-4460. westsidelife.org/fallfestival.
Annual Harvest Festival: Kids can enjoy games, candy and fun activities, 5-7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, Olive Knolls Church, 6201 Fruitvale Ave. Free. 399-3303. oliveknolls.com.
Safe Halloween: Kids can trick or treat at candy stations and enjoy entertainment and live music, 5 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31, Kern County Museum, 3801 Chester Ave. $10 for ages 5-13, $5 for ages 14 and above; free for ages 4 and under. 437-3330. kerncountymuseum.org.
Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat: Watch a chili cook-off, enjoy bounce house, games, candy and opportunity drawings, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31, Olive Branch Community Church, 12000 Olive Drive. Free. 589-9003. eventbrite.com/e/fall-festival-trunk-or-treat-tickets.
Fall-Le-Luiah Festival: Enjoy food, games, candy and prizes, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 31, Heritage Bible Church, 2323 Mt. Vernon Ave. Free. 833-2800. heritagebible.us.
Halloween Parade: Children will be dressed to spookily impress for this event, 9 a.m. Oct. 31, Bakersfield City School District, 1300 Baker St. 631-4600. bcsd.com.
Halloween Carnival: Bring your little ones for some low-key spooky fun, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. Free.
MAGIC & MYSTERY
Chris Lopez Halloween Spooktacular Magic Show: The local performer promises a fun, family Halloween magic show with laughs, suspense and magic recommended for ages 7 and above. The intimate shows only seat 20 so get your tickets early. Performances are 7 p.m. Oct. 11 and 12 and 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at Stockdale Affairs Event Center, 201 New Stine Road, Suite 350. Cost is $15 in advance, $20 at the door and includes a souvenir lanyard and soda. 324-6561, ChrisLopezMagic.com.
George the Giant’s Strange Museum of Oddities & Wonders: Performance artist George the Giant, aka George McArthur, returns with his pop-up museum of oddities and unusual memorabilia. Self-guided tours will be available from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 10 p.m. Saturdays on Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26. Cost is $5. Private guided tours will be held at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, 7 p.m. Oct. 17 and 24 and Fridays and Saturdays at 11 p.m. Cost for the tours, which run 60-90 minutes and include exhibits not featured elsewhere, is $25. A ticket link is available at facebook.com/GeorgetheGiantsStrangeMuseumOfOdditiesAndWonderss. The museum will be located at 2007 H St. next to the Fox Theater.
A Frightful Fete and Magic Show: The new downtown restaurant and mercantile known for sourcing local ingredients has added some spice for its latest dinner event. Along with dinner and choice of beer or wine, guests can take in a close-up magic show with magician Ron Saylor. Speciality cocktails will also be available for purchase. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m., followed by the magic show at 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at Dot x Ott, 930 18th St. Cost is $80 and you must be 21 or older to attend; tickets at eventbrite.com. 324-7112, email@example.com.
THEATER / ART / MOVIES
Dark Dial: Haunted Radio: Tune in to a different old radio show every week at the library, 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays with CBS Radio Mystery Theatre's “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, Oct. 1; Suspense's “Ghost Hunt,” Oct. 8; Mercury Theatre's “The Hitchhiker,” Oct. 15; Lights Out's “The Dark,” Oct. 22; and “War of the Worlds,” starring Orson Welles, Oct. 29, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. 868-0701. kerncountylibrary.org.
"Night of the Living Dead Live": Enjoy this humorous re-imagining of George A. Romero’s legendary classic 1968 film, but note this is not recommended for young children or sensitive viewers. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Oct. 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26; and 2 p.m. Oct. 13 and 20, Bakersfield Community Theatre, 2400 S. Chester Ave. Admission is $10-$14 at squareup.com/store/bakersfieldcommunitytheatre. bctstage.org/reservations.html or 831-8114.
Ghosts Art Show: Check out ghost- and spirit-inspired artworks, along with live artists at work and more spooky fun, 5-9 p.m. Oct. 4, Bubble Pop Gallery, Fox Theater, East Lobby, 2001 H St. 324-1369. www.bubblepopgallery.com. (Show moves to Temblor Brewing Co., 3200 Buck Owens Blvd., Suite 200 for the rest of the month.)
Horrorfest: Prepare for scares with a month of creepy Wednesday screenings including infected "28 Days Later" (Oct. 2), the original zom-com "Shaun of the Dead" (Oct. 9), 1974 classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (Oct. 16) and alien suspense flick John Carpenter's "The Thing" (Oct. 23). Hitchcock's macabre masterpiece "Psycho" will screen on Oct. 31. Shows are at 7 p.m., Reading Cinemas Valley Plaza with IMAX, 2000 Wible Road. Admission is $9.50. 833-2230, readingcinemasus.com.
"The Turn of the Screw": This show presented by Theatre in the Black is based on the Henry James novella (which Netflix is adapting into "The Haunting of Bly Manor" for 2020) and will take advantage of its surroundings at the historic downtown building. Note: Seating is limited. Snacks, including dessert, and wine served at 7:30 p.m, show at 8 p.m. Oct 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26, Guild House, 1905 18th St. Cost is $30, includes snacks and wine. theatreintheblack.com.
"Spooky Stories to Tell in the Library": Modeled after "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," this tour follows Camp Always' lead counselor, Taylor, around the grounds at night so guests can earn their survival badges. Expect thrills and laughs at this 16-and-over event. Three tours will be offered starting at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24, Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. Event is free but you must register at eventbrite.com when tickets go live on Oct. 9.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show”: Let’s do the Time Warp again with this singalong and act-along performance alongside the 1975 film courtesy of Velvet Darkness, 11:59 p.m. Oct. 26, Fox Theater, 2001 H St. Admission $5-$20, prop bag $3 (no outside props will be allowed). Thebakersfieldfox.com, 324-1369.
Cinema Macabre: Screening of the 1960 Hitchcock classic “Psycho” will be hosted by the Boogeyman (aka Patrick Spurlock), 6 p.m., Oct. 30 Beale Memorial Library, 701 Truxtun Ave. Free.
Second annual Oktoberfest 2019: Who needs to go to Germany when we have this event serving Oktoberfest beers and food items, along with stein races, corn hole, giant beer pong, costume contest, prizes and DJ, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 5, Bootleggers Craft Pub and Eatery, 955 Oak St. Free; must be 21 and above. 322-2123. facebook.com/events/bootleggers-craft-pub-eatery-oktoberfest.
Happy Halloween Bunco: Get ready to play at this 21-and-over gaming event that also has a costume contest. Food served at 5 p.m., game starts at 6 p.m. Oct. 5, Mauricio's Grill and Cantina, patio area, 10700 Rosedale Highway. $10 to play; $1 to enter costume contest. RSVP required at 589-5292 or facebook.com/events/mauricios-grill-cantina.
Second annual Oktoberfest: Support the Junior League at this 21-and-over gathering featuring traditional German food, beer, desserts, warm pretzels and live bluegrass music with The Brothers Barton, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Junior League of Bakersfield, Community Center, 1928 19th St. Admission $55, $85 for VIP, includes VIP seating, early entry, souvenir mug and specialty dessert. 322-1671. juniorleagueofbakersfield.org.
CSUB Party in the Park: With a "Halloween Nights" theme, alumni and their friends are encouraged to dress up and enjoy local fare, wine, craft beer and a performance by Lonely Avenue; includes souvenir glass to take home, 6-9:30 p.m., Oct. 18, CSUB, Alumni Park, 9001 Stockdale Highway. Cost is $25-$50, includes souvenir glass. 654-3391. eventbrite.com/e/2019-party-in-the-park-halloween-nights.
Bakersfield's second annual Halloween Pub Crawl: Eat, drink and be scary for the costumes-encouraged caper with drinks at Crash Lounge, Muertos Kitchen, Sandrini’s Public House, and more. And food special locations Food specials available at Muertos, Jerry's Pizza & Pub and Tacos Las Salsas Express; 4:30-9 p.m. Oct. 26, starts at Riley’s, 1523 19th St. Cost is $12-$36; must purchase in advance at eventbrite.com.
Fifth annual Halloween Bash: Costumes required at this 21-and-older bash with dancing, music, costume contest at midnight, drink specials, tacos and burritos, 9 p.m. Oct. 26, Elements Venue and Banquet Centre, 3401 Chester Ave., Suite H. Cost is $10-$25. 301-4681. eventbrite.com.
Halloween Party: Enjoy Tantric and Stereo Citizen in concert, 5 p.m. Oct. 26, 1933 Event Center, 7900 Downing Ave. Admission is $13 in advance, $18 at the door. 829-5377. eventbrite.com.
Byte Me Halloween Event: Enjoy DJs, dancing and full bar with bottle service, 8 p.m. Oct. 26, Brooklyn's Event Center, 4500 Buck Owens Blvd. Admission is $15-$320. 426-3901.
Halloween Night: Enjoy drink specials in Brimstone; live music upstairs in Prairie Fire; and DJ Chuck in The Prospect Lounge, 9 p.m. Oct. 31, The Padre Hotel, 1702 18th St. No cover charge. 427-4900. thepadrehotel.com.
Halloween Full Moon Bike Ride: All are welcome to attend this family-friendly bike ride on the Kern River Parkway Trail from Beach Park to The Marketplace, starts 7 p.m. Oct. 13, Beach Park, 3400 21st St. Lights and helmets are strongly encouraged. 321-9247, bikebakersfield.org.
Third annual Hart Park After Dark: Activities this year include spider hat crafts and boo bracelets, family storytime, music, photo ops, games and more, 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 19, Section 7 of Hart Memorial Park. Free.
Fright Hike/Wind Wolves Night Hike: Bring a sweater, flashlight, water and snacks for this evening adventure, 6:15 p.m. Oct. 26, Wind Wolves Preserve, 16019 Highway 166. Free. 220-5057. Registration recommended at riverrunrvpark.com/events/fright-hike-wind-wolves-night-hike.
Bakersfield Monster Mash Dash: Bring the family for the 5K run/walk, Little Monster Dash and costume contest, 9 a.m. Oct. 27, Park at River Walk, 11298 Stockdale Highway. Cost is $25-$40, includes haunted house medallion, glow in the dark event shirt and awards. BakersfieldMonsterMashDash.com.