Published in


Fall in Love with Palo Alto this Season

The fall months in Palo Alto bring many community favorites like Code:ART and The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, and natural fall foliage.

Fall is a special time of the year in Palo Alto. The trees around town start to change color, favorite fall and Halloween events will spark joy, and neighborhoods will start to be decorated in autumnal spirit. There is truly something for everyone! This blog acts as your guide to fall activities and events in Palo Alto as the season changes.

Community Events that Say “Fall in Palo Alto”

These family-friendly events are the perfect way to enjoy the crisp air!

Largest Glass Pumpkin Patch in Northern California!

October 2–3, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m.

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Rd

The beloved Great Glass Pumpkin Patch returns to the Palo Alto Art Center on Saturday, Oct. 2 and Sunday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Don’t miss this outdoor installation of thousands of glass pumpkins in a wide range of colors, textures, and sizes, hand-crafted by more than 25 glass artists. And be sure to take some home! Proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation, the Palo Alto Art Center, the Bay Area Glass Institute and local artists. Get more details.

This event is free; no tickets required!

When Life Gives You Leaves, Compost!

Oct. 2, 10 a.m. — 12 p.m.

Location: Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive

With autumn comes fall leaves! Learn how to compost (leaves and more) at our Saturday, Oct. 2, compost workshop. Palo Alto resident attendees receive a free compost bin! Must show proof of residency. Workshop is open to everyone and requires pre-registration since space is limited. Register online or call (408) 918–4640 to sign up.

All About Bats by Environmental Volunteers

Oct. 2, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Location: EcoCenter, 2560 Embarcadero Rd

Join the EV in a fun, interactive learning experience about bats and what makes them special! Bats are fascinating animals with many special characteristics — they aren’t just a spooky Halloween decoration! All ages are welcome — activities will be accessible and enjoyable for kids and adults alike. Sign up for free!

Stanford Athletics Returns to In-Person Events

Various events throughout Fall 2021

Stanford’s fall sports venues will welcome full capacities for ticketed events. In football news, don’t miss the Cardinal host Oregon at Stanford Stadium on Oct. 2. See the full calendar for all upcoming Athletics events and catch up on the latest Covid-19 Fan Attendance Policies.

Buy tickets

Little Ones Storytime in the Secret Garden

Every Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Location: The Secret Garden between the Children’s Library and the Children’s Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd

Every Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. the Palo Alto City Library hosts Little Ones Storytime in the Secret Garden. This storytime is designed for children who have not turned 2 years old and their caregivers — but everyone is welcome! You’ll participate in a lot of songs and rhymes and hear at least one book.

Learn more on the Library’s website.

Wave Atlas by Marpi Studio, currently on display at The Tech Interactive


Oct. 7–9, 5–10 p.m.

Locations: View the interactive map

Fall is a time of change and transformation, and in that spirit, Code:ART animates downtown to a whole new level. Hosted by the City of Palo Alto Public Art Program, Code:ART is an interactive new media event, Oct. 7–9, 2021. Originally scheduled for 2020 and postponed due to the pandemic, Code:ART will offer an opportunity for our community to explore engaging artworks together, while offering adequate space for everyone to participate within their personal comfort zone. The seven installations each have unique interactive components utilizing light, sound, and projections to animate downtown. Come meet the artists, and enjoy free tours each evening departing from King Plaza at 250 Hamilton at 6 and 8 p.m. For more information or to volunteer, please visit

Noche de Loteria/Loteria Night with the Library

Oct. 7, 7–8 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Join the Palo Alto City Library virtually on Zoom to play the traditional Mexican game, Lotería, which is similar to Bingo, but uses images instead of numbers. Stop by the Palo Alto Library, Mitchell Park or Rinconada Branch to pick up your game card.

You must pre-register to pick up a game card (one card per registrant). Cards are available now at Mitchell Park and Rinconada libraries. Register now!

Community Day for “The Art of Disability Culture”

Oct. 10, 12–4 p.m.

Location: Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Rd & Virtual Online

Learn more about The Art of Disability Culture exhibition in this unique hybrid and free Community Day celebration on Sunday, Oct. 10, noon-4 p.m. Participate in exhibition walkthroughs with the curator, enjoy hands-on art activities with AbilityPath artist Matthaus Lam, and have fun with an introduction by Northern California’s only stuttering female comedian Nina G. You can also enjoy gallery activities, Canine Companions, Mozzeria, the Deaf-owned Neopolitan pizza truck, and a performance by Bay Area native, African, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, producer, choreographer, actor, and dancer Antoine Hunter. Register now.

Pumpkin lantern jars from

Family Craft: Pumpkin Lantern

Oct. 13, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Pumpkins, pumpkins shining bright! Pumpkins, pumpkins light up the night! Join the Library for a fun family craft program on Wednesday, Oct. 13 via Zoom, where we will be creating Pumpkin Lanterns. Please register so that you receive the link to the event! Sign up to create a lantern!

Halloween Scare Faire & Costume Swap

Oct. 17, 1–3 p.m.

Location: Musuem of American Heritage, 351 Homer Avenue

Old costumes haunting your storage? Send them off to possess a new home at the Halloween Scare Faire & Costume Swap on Sunday Oct. 17. Both adult and child costumes in good condition are welcome.

To learn more, visit

Tour of Elizabeth Gamble House and Garden: Finding Fall Color

Oct. 19, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Location: Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St.

Step back in time to explore the life of Elizabeth Gamble and her historic home and gardens. This 60-minute guided tour starts on the front steps of the house at 1431 Waverley Street in Palo Alto. This month the focus will be “Finding Fall Color.” Other areas on the tour include the Main House, Heritage Garden, Demonstration Garden, and Watershed Garden. This tour is appropriate for adults and children age 10 and up. Free for members, $5 for adults, and free for kids and youth under 25. Sign up for the tour now!

Family Craft: Día de Los Muertos Flower Crown

Oct. 22, 4:30–5 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Join the Palo Alto City Library on Friday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. on their Facebook page for a livestream family craft event. Follow along with your materials at home as we make a Día de los Muertos Flower Crown. Originating from Mexico, Día de los Muertos (also known as Day of the Dead), is a celebration honoring loved ones who have passed away. Learn more about this event.

Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Outdoor Playhouse Series

Oct. 23–24 & Dec. 18–19, showtimes at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Location: Children’s Theatre, Magic Castle Stage, 1305 Middlefield Rd

Join us this season for Outdoor Playhouse Productions! With very simple sets and costumes, and lots of opportunities to get up and wiggle, this storyteller-style theatre is perfect for young audience members, ages 2–6 years old. Performances are approximately 55 minutes in length, at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, outdoors on the Magic Castle Stage. Up Next: THE THREE LITTLE PIGS (Oct. 23–24) and THE GINGERBREAD MAN (Dec. 18–19). Purchase tickets!

The Great Pumpkin Hunt at Gamble Gardens

Oct. 23, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Location: Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St.

It’s the ultimate GREAT PUMPKIN HUNT at Gamble Garden this Halloween! Hidden in our gardens are plastic “pumpkins” to be discovered by curious children. Also enjoy arts and crafts, scavenger hunt, prizes, treats, and free ice cream! Come in costume (or not), enjoy a beautiful morning in our gardens, and celebrate Halloween in a fun, safe way. Learn more.

2nd Annual Jack-o’-Jaunt

Oct. 29, 6–8:30 p.m. (pre-event is 3:30–5:30 p.m.)

Location: Lytton Plaza, Downtown Palo Alto

Calling all creative ghosts, ghouls, and goblins! Join us this Halloween season for our second moonlit, jack-o-jaunt. Bring us your best carved jack-o-lantern to be put on display in Lytton Plaza on Friday, Oct. 29, from 6–8:30 p.m. Don’t have space to carve your jack-o-lantern at home? Sign up for our jack-o-jaunt workshop and carve it on site! Space is limited and pre-registration is required. The community will get an opportunity to vote for the scariest, cutest, most creative, and best overall jack-o-lantern as they stroll through our display. Winners of each category will receive a $75 gift card to a Palo Alto business of their choosing. Sign-up now!

Getting Ready for Halloween

If you are looking forward to visiting a pumpkin patch, check out this list of local farms compiled by the Peninsula Open Space Trust. Once you have picked your patch, check out these tips for choosing and carving a pumpkin. Want to make an edible pumpkin alternative? Practice your carving skills on bell peppers to make fun, edible containers for veggie and dip.

Palo Alto Children’s Theatre Fall Main Stage Production “Rahi — Ray of Light”

Nov. 12–21, various showtimes

By Gamal Abdel Chasten; With Music by Daibashish Ganguly

Location: Children’s Theatre, Magic Castle Stage, 1305 Middlefield Rd

Commissioned in collaboration with The Breath Project — a national archive of 8-minute, 46-second works of theatre created by artists of color — this production is all about Rahi, who wants to be the world’s first Indian-American superhero and finds himself home alone during the quarantine. When he accidentally drops his beloved sock puppet/imaginary best friend Raymond off of his fire escape, it leads to the adventure of a lifetime — one that teaches him about true bravery, patience and friendship. (This production will be presented indoors, with significantly reduced seating and masking requirements.) Purchase tickets!

Webinars, Workshops, & Classes — Oh my!

These sessions are too informative for their own “gourd.”

Fall in Love with Solar and Battery Storage Savings

Now through Nov. 30, 2021, residents can sign up for the SunShares group-buy program and receive discounts on solar and battery storage installations. Sign up for the CPAU-hosted webinar on Oct. 26 from 6:30–7:30 p.m. to learn how to register for the discount and more.

New Americans/ESL Programs at the Library

The Palo Alto City Library is offering English as a Second Language (ESL) learning programs as part of its New Americans series. Programs include conversation groups and book clubs, offering a friendly and informal environment for adults over 18 years of age to practice speaking and listening in English. It is designed for ESL learners who enjoy meeting friends from various ethnic backgrounds and learning conversational English. Programs are offered virtually every Wednesday.

Go here for a listing of New Americans/ESL programs offered by the Library.

Medicare Mysteries Solved!

Are you getting ready to apply for Medicare and are confused by the different plans to choose from? Join Sandra Karol, MS, RDMS, RVT, on Saturday, Oct. 2 for a virtual workshop and learn more about the different plans that will work best for you and your family. Sandy will discuss Medicare’s 2020 Annual Enrollment Period and updates for 2021.

This event will be held on Zoom and registration is required. Registration is open for 10 seats and will close at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1. Email your name and contact info to Sandy at to register.

Get more information and find additional dates.

High School Juniors: Creating a Compelling College Application

On Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 4 p.m., Ron Feuchs and Jackie Tepper, partners at Stand Out For College, LLC., are offering this Zoom presentation to help families understand how COVID-19 has changed the college admissions landscape and how it will affect juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

This program covers how admissions officers are handling the current situation and how students can position themselves to develop a compelling narrative to increase their chances for admission.

Get more information and to sign up for this virtual event.

Find more events, workshops, meetings, and more



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
City of Palo Alto

City of Palo Alto


Official communications from the City of Palo Alto. Connect about issues of interest to our community. Follow us on social