by Chris Williams | Sep 30, 2015

Halloween Events and Harvest Festivals for October


October is here!  The month of falling leaves, harvest, and Halloween. 

October is also one of the biggest months of the year for social events—many of which are well-suited for children with special needs.  We encourage you to look at the events coming up, and enjoy what they have to offer you & your child.

To help out, we’ve put together a list of Bay Area Harvest Festivals and other Halloween Events this month.  Trick-or-treating, hay rides, corn mazes… there are a lot of things to experience in October.  Let’s see what we can find.

Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park

uesugifarms14485 Monterey Road, San Martin
(408) 778-7225
Uesugi Farms Website

Uesugi Farms’ Pumpkin Park is open 7 days a week.  General Admission is free, but some events do need a ticket.  Parking fee on weekends.  It’s located in San Martin, which is about 30 minutes’ drive south of San Jose.

The Pumpkin Park is a BIG harvest event running throughout October.  You’ll find giant sunflowers, a petting corral, corn mazes, and several rides (including a “cow train” children love!).  There’s a 10% ticket discount for disabled persons & veterans.

Uesugi Farms is great for sensory experiences, with lots of straw, pumpkins, animals, etc.  Your child can touch the pumpkins, pet the animals, run around and have fun.

Campbell Trick-or-Treating Event

creepycrawly2015_2E. Campbell Avenue and North 1st Street, Downtown Campbell
Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Campbell 2015 Website

Every year, the City of Campbell closes the Campbell Avenue streets so children can trick-or-treat among the shops.  It’s a safe and fun way for kids to go trick-or-treating.  The event is also dog-friendly.

This year, the “Downtown Campbell Trick-or-Treat” is held on Friday, October 30, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  There’s a costume contest afterward if your child wants to participate.

Willow Glen Trick-or-Treating Event

willowglenLincoln Avenue between Minnesota and Willow, Downtown Willow Glen
Trick or Treat in Downtown Willow Glen Website

Downtown Willow Glen also holds a Trick or Treat event on October 30.  This is great for parents with young children, or those who live in San Jose and who would prefer staying local.

Downtown Willow Glen is closed for the Trick or Treat.  Session #1 is held from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., intended for toddlers, preschoolers and children in strollers.  Session #2 is held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., intended for school-aged kids in costume.

There’s no shortage of October events coming up!  Here are 3 more in the South Bay.

Halloween Monster Bash in Mountain View

2015_Monster_Bash_Poster_webMountain View Community Center/Rengstorff Park
201 South Rengstorff Avenue, Mountain View
(650) 903-6331
Monster Bash – City of Mountain View

The “Monster Bash” is an event put on by the City of Mountain View.  It’s held on Friday, October 30, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The Monster Bash has games, music, and an outdoor movie.  Attendance is free, and everyone’s invited (but remember to bring a blanket and chairs!).

This year, the featured movie is “The BoxTrolls.”  Costumes are encouraged.  Since this is held outdoors, your child might become nervous if they’re scared of open spaces.

Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch

spinafarmsSanta Teresa Boulevard at Bailey Avenue, San Jose
(408) 463-0125
Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch Website

Spina Farms is located between San Jose and Morgan Hill.  The Pumpkin Patch is open during October.  Hours are Sunday to Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Spina Farms has a wagon ride, train rides, a petting zoo, and of course a big pumpkin patch!  Parking and admission are free.  The Petting Zoo and Pony Rides are only available on the weekends.

Trick-or-Treat at the Hollow

happyhallowHappy Hollow Park and Zoo
1300 Senter Road, San Jose
(408) 794-6400
Happy Hollow Park and Zoo Website

On Halloween Night, Happy Hollow in San Jose holds its annual “Trick-or-Treat at the Hollow.”  The event is for children ages 2-10.  “Treat Stations” are set up throughout the park, so children can safely trick-or-treat and explore the Happy Hollow’s animal exhibits. 

Like Uesugi Farms, the Happy Hollow is great for a safe sensory experience.  Animals big and small, birds, even reptiles in many beautiful colors.  Admission is half-price for everyone in costume (children and adults).

Enjoy Your October!

While 6 events are plenty to have a fun-filled October, your local area may have even more events.  Check your city’s website for announcements.  You may be surprised how much October fun awaits.

We at A is for Apple hope you & your family have a safe and Happy Halloween!

See you next month.

What’s an IEP? Free IEP Workshop in Redwood City


The San Francisco Autism Society is hosting an IEP Workshop on Wednesday, October 14.  At the workshop, Education Specialist Dianah Marr will give practical information about the IEP process.

If you want to know what an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is, or have questions about them, this workshop will give you answers.  It’s free to attend, but space is limited!

If you want to attend, please email

The workshop will be held at:
Sobrato Center
330 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ask AIFA: Practicing for Halloween


“Dear A is for Apple,
My child doesn’t like wearing things on her head.  What should we do for a Halloween costume?”

If your child has sensory issues (sensitive to touch, doesn’t like things on her face or head), start practicing sooner rather than later.

First, find a costume the child is comfortable with. Try holding costumes up in the store for them to see and touch, and watch their reaction. Many costumes don’t have masks at all; you can start with those.

Next, practice putting on their costume. During the weeks leading up to Halloween, have your child practice putting on their costume several times.

Some of our children don’t like things on their faces. Costumes with masks sometimes irritate them. It’s a sensory difficulty, and we must keep this in mind. Practicing helps the child get comfortable with the costume.

After that, prepare them for trick-or-treating. For some children, Halloween is a high-anxiety night. To keep them calm and having a good time, do a little preparation beforehand.

Practice going up to houses (with neighbors you know) and have them knock on the door. Guide your child on what to do—hold out the bag, say “trick or treat!”, and say “thank you.”

On Halloween Night, have a trick-or-treating plan. Bring a friend along. Bring flashlights so everyone can see. Set a walking pace your child will comfortably follow. Stop whenever your child feels nervous. Keep an eye out for things you know scare him/her (certain masks, strangers, a big crowd coming up the sidewalk).

Need help practicing? Ask your A is for Apple supervisor for assistance.

Do you have a question you’d like answered? Please email it to us at for inclusion in a future newsletter.

Inside A is for Apple
The A is for Apple Website wins a WebAward!

Every year, the Web Marketing Association reviews hundreds of new websites. They select the best-quality websites in 96 categories, from Advertising to University, and award them a WebAward.

For 2015, has won the Health Care “Standard of Excellence” WebAward!WEBAWARD15_Standard

The whole A is for Apple team put a lot of effort into our website. Working with PlanetMagpie, we intended the new site to function as a complete resource for you, our families. An award is just icing on the cake!

Thank you to the Web Marketing Association for this WebAward, and thank you to the A is for Apple therapists & supervisors who helped make it possible.

WebAward Winners Page for

By |2018-11-29T00:39:53+00:00October 21st, 2015|Thrive|0 Comments

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