Monterey Events in October 2021: Halloween Activities, Festivals & More

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: August 26, 2021

You will find a variety of fun Monterey events in October 2021. They include a variety of fun things to do for Halloween, the annual Butterfly Parade in Pacific Grove, and Carmel's City Birthday Party.

You will find top show at the Golden State Theater and find some other fun things to do this month in and around the bay.

Monterey Events in October

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Butterfly Parade & Bazaar

Date: Saturday, 10/2

Location: Robert H. Down on Pine Avenue, Pacific Grove

Time: Starts at 10:30 am

Cost: Free to all who attend

This annual event is a welcoming of the Monarchs back to Pacific Grove. This event, by local elementary school children, starts at 10:30am. There is no better parade for kids of all ages to enjoy the incredible scenery as they wander through the streets.

If you love costumes, and cute kids, you have to visit this wonderful parade. They kids all dress up and each school grade level has different outfits which include kindergarten as butterflies, second graders as otters, third graders as farmers, fourth graders as pioneers from the old days, and last but not least, fifth graders dress up as clowns. Don't worry, however, as the clowns are funny and won't scare anyone!

The parade will end up where it started at the Robert H. Down School and the fun Butterfly Bazaar will end up the day.

Monterey History Fest

Date: TBD

Location: Throughout Monterey (including Custom House Plaza, Fisherman's Wharf, Colton Hall, Lower Presidio Historic Park, and Cannery Row)

Times: 10 am to 4 pm

Cost: Free to all who attend

Discover Monterey's local history and celebrate its heritage with special exhibitions, games, cultural groups, and guided tours of the area's most famous sites. You will love walking through this historic area during this wonderful Monterey event in October.

Some of the highlights of this festival includes the self-guided Monterey Peninsula Archives Crawl. The crawl is a very popular event, so make sure to register in advance on their website.

There is also a family treasure hunt at the beautiful Stevenson House on Houston Street.

One of my other favorite events is the free walking tour starting at the Pacific House which is led by the State Parks Guides. Since the guides have a lot of knowledge about this area, you are sure to be enthralled in both the beauty and the history as they lead you around the area.

There are so many different events, and tours, that it will be very hard to decide which ones you will want to go on during this historic and magical weekend. Some of these Monterey events in November are for all ages, while some are specifically for adults.

California International Airshow

Date: TBD

Location: Salinas Municipal Airport at 37 Mortensen Avenue, Salinas

If you like to fly, or just watch masters of the sky zoom around and amaze you, then this is an event that you do not want to miss!

Many of the best military pilots come from all over the globe to show you their best and compete with others to display their skills and earn bragging rights each year. Some of these include The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the Royal Air Force British, and the world-famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels. This is a one-of-a-kind of all the Monterey events.

Not only are there planes speeding all over the place, there are also over 100 planes on the ground, exhibits, and displays so you can learn more about the history of flight all day long. You will also love other special performances such as sky diving, jet trucks, and other exhibits that are sure to delight all who attend this amazing event.

>> Ticketing details and more information on their site

City Birthday Party & Parade

Date: Saturday, 10/30

Location: Ocean Avenue in downtown Carmel

Times: Starts at 11 am

Cost: Free to all who attend


If you didn't know, Carmel is over 100 years old and just keeps getting better each year. Because of that, this is one of the most celebratory of the Monterey events in October each year. While you enjoy this birthday of this beautiful city, you can also enjoy their annual Carmel parade through the town.

Some of the participants in the parade will include civic groups, performers, kids in costumes, Carmel's city leaders, dressed up doggies and more!

If you get hungry during the parade, you will be happy to know that there is a free lunch at the Sunset Center parking lot that is between 9th and 10th on San Carlos Street. There is usually a special performance by a local artist or group during the lunch for you to enjoy.

Where to Stay Around Monterey Bay

Monterey: You will find the largest selection of hotels in and around Monterey. Higher end picks include the Spindrift Inn and Portola Hotel and Spa. You will also find some more budget friendly options if you move a few additional blocks away from the waterfront. Find my top picks for all budgets here.

Carmel-By-The-Sea: This seaside town is a bit smaller, but still offers plenty of accommodations. You will find some great luxury hotels as well as several quaint bed and breakfasts. Here are my top picks for Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Pacific Grove: This small community sits just to the north west of Monterey. They offer several great places to stay including a couple of great bed and breakfast and some budget-friendly options. Find my top 5 picks here.

Are you ready to book? Make sure to check out the great options below.

TripAdvisor: Compare prices, read recent guest reviews and find a wide selection of options.

VRBO: Another option is to rent an apartment, house, or a room around Monterey through VRBO.

Halloween on the Wharf

Date: 10/31

Location: Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey

Times: 3 pm to 7 pm

Cost: Free to all who attend

This wonderful Halloween on the Wharf event is fun and safe, while still being somewhat scary, for kids of all ages. Many of the stores along the wharf contribute to this once a year event and many of them give away everything from candy and cookies.

Some of these include special Halloween candy from Candy World, chocolate goodies from Carousel Candies, cookies from Scales Seafood & Steaks among others.

After you get your fill of candies, and other delicious delicacies, make sure to enjoy a movie that is specifically suited for kids at the Wharf Theatre starting at 5:30 pm and ending around 7:30 pm.

And, if you haven't been to Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf before, you are in for a treat since there is so much more to do that you could easily spend the whole day there before the Halloween festival starts or after it. This includes possibly seeing seals, whales and other marine life.

You and everyone you come with are invited to come in costume, so you can really enjoy the scene and be part of the event. So why not get dressed up, eat some treats, and make sure you have a spooky good time at one of the top Monterey events in October for Halloween!

More Fun Events Nearby

International Documentary Film Festival

Dates: TBD

Location: Golden State Theater at 417 Alvarado Street, Monterey

Times: Friday and Saturday both start at 7 pm and ends at 10 pm

Cost: $15 for each evening. $25 for a two-day pass. $10 for UN Association members and teachers with school ID per evening. Full time students with a school ID are free of charge to both nights.

This incredible documentary series, presented by the Monterey Bay Chapter of the United Nations Association, is on Friday and Saturday the first weekend of November. Friday will show three documentaries, starting with a 15-minute short and ending with an 86-minute feature. Saturday will begin with a 14-minute short and conclude with a 90-minute feature. The movies are varied and come from Hong Kong, Israel and Palestine, Ghana, and the USA.

All the films deal with raising consciousness by helping viewers learn about what is happening in their communities and communities around the world. People rave about the educational they get while also being able to laugh, cry, and feel every other emotion possible while watching these films. This is a one of a kind event and one of my favorite Monterey events in October.

Trick or Treat on Lighthouse Avenue

Date: TBD

Location: Lighthouse Avenue, New Monterey, Between David Avenue and Reeside Avenue, 99 Del Monte Avenue

Times: 2 pm to 5 pm

Cost: Free to all who attend

This annual Halloween trick-or-treat event is held at the Lighthouse District. It's the chance for kids to stroll down the avenue and see what kinds of delicious Halloween treats are available for them.

This event will happen rain or shine, so make sure to dress up in your Halloween best and bring your little goblins and ghouls down for a scary good time.

Point Sur Lighthouse Halloween Tours

Dates: TBD

Location: Lighthouse Avenue, New Monterey, Between David Avenue and Reeside Avenue, 99 Del Monte Avenue

Times: Starts at 5:15 pm

Cost: $100 donation for each person

This is definitely going to be one of the spookiest of all the Monterey events in October. It starts out with a walking tour of the Point Sur Lighthouse just in time to watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean and for the darkness to creep in.

You will then be treated to a light buffet dinner at the barn while Kevin Hanstick, a local actor and storyteller will tell you all about the scary history of this haunted lighthouse.

As if that isn't enough to get you all spooked out, a paranormal investigator will then tell you all about what she has found in the area while on one of her many ghost and spirit hunts through Monterey and the surrounding areas.

You will then check out the unrestored, and most definitely haunted, Triplex in Point Sur. Since you might be chilled to the bone by all this scariness, you will be treated to hot drinks and dessert at the Visitor Center to end your adventure.

Make sure to check the date of your tour as there is one on Saturday, the 20th and another on Saturday, the 27th. Also, people with disabilities will need to make special arrangements after reserving their spot. This event sells out quickly and it is best to buy your tickets as soon as you can to this most ghostly of the Monterey events in October.

Additional Ideas for Your Monterey Stay

While there are plenty of fun Monterey events in October to keep you busy, you will also find several other fun things to do while you are here. These are just a few of my top suggestions.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: I'm often asked if a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is worth it and I always say yes. This place is absolutely amazing and wish everyone had a chance to visit. The price tag might look steep, but it's one of the best aquariums in the world. Make sure to not miss this Monterey attraction during your stay. 

Half-Day Whale Watching Tour: Head out on the water for a great chance to catch whale migrating south through the Monterey Bay Area. This is one of the best places to catch these incredible creatures. The local guides know exactly where to find them. You will also get the chance to see dolphins, sea turtle, a variety of birds, and so much more. These tours leave daily. Find out more about this tour.

Electric Bike Tour: Cruise along the famous 17-Mile Drive on an electric bike. This 3-hour tour offers you the chance to see everything along the way including the famous Lone Cypress Tree, Point Pinos Lighthouse, and a few stops around Pebble Beach. This tour runs most days at 10:30am and 1:30pm. Find ticket availability here.

Downtown Pacific Grove Trick or Treating

Date: TBD

Location: Downtown Pacific Grove

Times: 10 am to 3 pm

Cost: Free to all who attend

All your little goblins, vampires, ghosts and costumed kiddies of all ages are welcome to this family event. Being that Downtown Pacific Grove is a gorgeous location, this is a perfect way to spend a not too scary Halloween morning and afternoon.

Some of the fun events include giveaways to kids, live music, the Pacific Grove Police Department's Halloween Safety Zone where kids can play, and you can be sure they are safe and secure. Even thought it is a safety zone, you will still have to stay with your kids to make sure everyone is able to enjoy this Halloween celebration.

As would be expected, there will be lots of candy and goodies given away to your little ones. This event is held in conjunction with the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, so not only will you and your little ones have a spooky time, they will also get some educational information as well as slightly scary and fun time.

Halloween Bonanza

Date: TBD

Location: Oldemeyer Center - 986 Hilby Avenue, Seaside

Times: 6 pm to 9 pm

Cost: Free to all who attend

This is the perfect Halloween night party as it will be as spooky and scary as possible, while also being safe and family friendly at the same time. The quaint city of Seaside is just a 10-minute drive from Monterey and well worth the trip for ghouls and goblins.

This event is for kids of all ages, but it is specifically for kids under 10, so you know that it won't be too scary for anyone. There will be lots of good candy and snacks for all to enjoy as well as a haunted house, costume contest, face painting (which is great if you don't have time to make a costume for your little one or for yourself), carnival games with prizes that your little one can win, and even free glow necklaces for the first 500 children under the age of 10 who attend with their parents.

So, make a little detour on this Halloween and check out the Halloween Bonanza at Seaside and let your little ones enjoy this spooky and silly celebration.

Shows at the Golden State Theatre

If you are looking for some great concerts or comedians, then head over to the Golden State Theatre in Monterey. It's the premier location to catch top talent from around the world. Here is a list of upcoming shows this October.

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