It’s time to ring in the holiday season with that spookiest of holidays – Halloween. All Hallows’ Eve seems to be a holiday of extremes. People either love it and completely immerse themselves in the costumes, candy, haunted house decorations and celebrations, or they hate it, lock the door, ignore the trick or treating children outside and watch TV. In San Francisco, we love Halloween. It seems this city will take any excuse to dress up. Gone are the days of the gritty Castro Halloween celebration with its array of incredible costumes. Today, Halloween seems to have moved indoors, often to the dance floor, and we have a concentration of clubs and hotels here in Union Square that will get you in the Halloween spirit whether you prefer a sophisticated costume ball or an all-out dance party.
But first, we’ll discuss the treat part of trick or treat. We also love delectable foods in San Francisco, and Halloween is a great opportunity to enjoy delicious, Halloween-themed confections and snacks. This year, Macy’s in Union Square will be offering a Halloween Cupcake Decorating class on the Saturday before Halloween in their basement housewares department with celebrity baker Elvia Buendia from La Luna Cupcakes. Forget mini snickers and packets of M&M’s. Elvia will show you how to make and decorate decadent cupcakes and cakepops in outrageous flavors like tres leches, tiramisiu and red velvet. To top things off, Elvia will show you how to transform these treats into Halloween-themed center pieces featuring owls, ghosts, witches and other cute Halloween images. You get to take home the recipes, so you can recreate them for your own Halloween bash. Tickets and details are available on Eventbrite. If that’s not enough spooky eating for you, Williams-Sonoma will hold a whole series of Halloween-themed cooking demos throughout the week leading up to Halloween from pumpkin whoopee pies to Halloween breakfasts to spooky suppers. Details are available on their website.
If you’re looking for something a little more sinister than sweet, there’s plenty going on at Union Square’s dance clubs to keep you in costume and on the dance floor. The renowned Ruby Skye is transforming itself into the Temple of Doom for six nights of serious Halloween partying. Celebrity DJs and their giant dance floor filled with costumed patrons are sure to make this an exciting party. Maybe you want something less Hollywood and more creepy side show? Infusion Lounge is throwing a party they’re calling Wicked Circus on Saturday, Oct. 29 complete with evil clowns, carnival décor, freak shows and other twisted circus paraphernalia. If freaky isn’t your style, you can stop by Vessel’s lighthearted 90’s-themed shindig. This is actually a pop-up party by Club 1994, a regular 90’s dance party that features the music of the era, masups and DJ Stretch Armstrong. Of course, Saturday’s edition will evoke classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scream and the Blair Witch Project. Tickets and details are available on Vessel’s website. Yet, what if you want something a bit more sophisticated, a grand masquerade ball perhaps? The Hilton has you covered with six rooms magically outfitted for an unforgettable Halloween night (also on Saturday). Renowned DJs will pump beets into each room, and the evening will culminate with prizes for the best costumes, so be sure break out your most elaborate getups! You can buy tickets here.
Halloween can be an odd holiday in a city like San Francisco. You will not find many trick or treaters on the streets of Union Square. Instead, it’s best to join friends at a house party, throw your own party or dance your heart out in costume. For details on fun Halloween events throughout the city for both adults and families, visit HomeforHalloween.com.