Celebrating Halloween in Orange County in 2020

September 16, 2020

Fall is here...which means the spookiest holiday is right around the corner! The Halloween festivities might look a little different this year, but there is still plenty of opportunity for celebratory tricks and treats. Whether you want to attend socially-distanced events or create a spooky ambiance at home, here is our list of the best ways to celebrate Halloween in Orange County this year. 

Celebrating at Home

Host a Scary Movie Marathon

One of the best ways to celebrate Halloween is with a spooky movie, but be sure to cater to your audience’s fright level! Some kid-friendly Halloween movie choices include Casper, Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus. For an adult audience, some Halloween classics include The Shining or Nightmare on Elm Street. To take advantage of the Irvine locale, take your cinema experience outside and create your very own outdoor pop-up theater in the backyard. All you need is a portable screen or sheet, projector and some comfortable pillows or lounge chairs. 


Cook Up Some Spooky Treats

Halloween isn’t the same without festive treats! With the open-concept kitchens throughout the residences in the Villages of Irvine, there is plenty of room to get the whole family involved in delicious creations. Make a day out of it and create special stations throughout the kitchen for each family member to get involved or lead the recipe. Kids can enjoy making the signs or menus for each cooking or baking station.   

Spooky Halloween Treat

  • Jack Skellington Candy Apples (for kids of all ages)
    Candy apples are a staple of this holiday. Create a theme for your treats and bring your favorite characters, like Jack Skellington, to life for your movie marathon. 
  • Reese’s Bats (for younger children)
    Perfect for your little ones, this 4-ingredient, bakeless recipe is fun and easy to create. This snack is sure to fly (pun intended) off your counters amongst all peanut butter lovers.   
  • Rosemary Pumpkin Seed Brittle (for the adults)
    Here’s a fall spin on a winter classic. This brittle is perfect to bake and package in festive fall pouches to enjoy while watching a movie or to deliver to neighbors.  

 Rosemary Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Halloween-Themed Activities for the Family  


DIY Jack-O-Lanterns

Living in the Villages of Irvine means living within close proximity to the best neighborhood retail centers in Orange County, so you can easily head to your favorite market to stock up on pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. Host a pumpkin decorating contest at home and pre-select interesting categories that everyone can participate in, like the classic Scariest Pumpkin to the most Creative Pumpkin. Outside of just traditional carving, you can gather paint or other crafts to inspire the whole family to bring their imaginations to life.


DIY Jack-O-Lanterns  

Halloween Scavenger Hunt 

Test your family’s skills in a spooky search throughout the house or a walk around the neighborhood! You can have the searchers look for Halloween-themed characters or items like spiderwebs, skeletons or candy corn. If conducting the search at home, you can easily print out items to hide throughout the house or set up the props for the family to discover. If conducting the search in your neighborhood, include easy items to spot from afar like pumpkins on the porch or spiderweb decor. You can download a free template for inspiration here


Socially-Distanced or Virtual Events 

Urban Legends Haunt at the OC Fairgrounds

From October 1st to November 1st, the OC Fairgrounds will be decked out and ready to scare with the Urban Legends Haunt Experience! The producers behind the Winter Fest OC have teamed up with the producers of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor to create an unforgettable and frightening experience, all while safely social distancing. The drive-through adventure will guide you through five different Experiential Zones that share famous Halloween stories featuring recognizable yet terrifying monsters. The haunting experience will feature live performances and scary special effects that you can enjoy from your car. 


When: Oct 1st through Nov 1st 

Where: OC Fairgrounds
Price: Tickets start at $49.99 


Trick-or-Treat Halloween Virtual Race 

Ready to explore the miles of open space and trails in Irvine? Need the perfect excuse to indulge in some sweet treats on Halloween? This year, you and the entire family can partake in the Trick-or-Treat Halloween Virtual Race! Completely self-guided and at your own pace, you can register to run or walk a 5K/10K/Half-Marathon and receive medals and swag bags to mark your accomplishments. The beautiful, preserved open space in the City of Irvine will be the perfect background for you to enjoy the morning of Halloween. Feel free to wear your costume on your run to add in extra fun - it is Halloween after all!

When: Oct 31st 

Where: Virtual
Price: $5-39 


Host Your Own Virtual Costume Contest  

The best part of Halloween is the costumes! Connect with your friends, family and neighbors in a virtual costume contest. Send out invites in advance to announce the voting categories. You can have each household coordinate their costumes and backdrops or have individuals enter. Winners can receive gift cards or you can have pizza delivered to their house! 


Costumes and Dinner at Irvine Spectrum Center   

Enjoy the fall weather on the patio of your favorite restaurant at Irvine Spectrum Center, conveniently located minutes from the Villages of Irvine. From family favorites like Wood Ranch and Cheesecake Factory to unique concepts like Habana and Cucina Enoteca, you’ll find the perfect restaurant to take your appetite and your costumes. Want to take dinner home? Take a look at Irvine Spectrum Center’s curbside pick-up options here.  


Center your Halloween in Orange County around costumes, candy, and loved ones, and you’ll create lasting memories for the whole family. Learn more about the family-centric neighborhoods and homes in the Villages of Irvine. 


view homes