SoCal theme parks get spooky makeovers, pumpkin patches pop up around L.A. and haunting, immersive experiences scare and delight families throughout the month. This all means one thing: it’s Halloween season! Are you ready? If you need some costume inspiration or ideas on what to do and where to go, we’ve got you covered in our Halloween roundup.
First thing’s first: You need some pumpkins! Whether to carve, paint or simply decorate your home, here are the best places to pick out a pumpkin and have some fall fun.
Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch returns to West L.A. College with pumpkin carving, straw mazes, face painting, pony rides, food, entertainment and more.
Carved at Descanso Gardens features thousands of carved pumpkins, oversized sculptures made of sticks and other natural materials, a pumpkin house, hay maze and themed food and beverages.
Beverly Center Pumpkin Patch will feature live music, photo ops and pumpkin carving, as well as pumpkins for sale.
Tanaka Farms Pumpkin Patch in Irvine features wagon rides, arts and crafts, animal exhibit and acres of pumpkins to choose from.
Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark features their huge pumpkin patch filled with fall activities like a corn maze and pumpkin playhouse with special weekend programming throughout the month.
Fall Festival at Original Farmers Market will feature a pumpkin patch, fall themed games, live music, crafts and photo ops for the whole family Oct. 22 – 24.
Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch features train rides, hayrides, face painting, cookie decorating, a moon bounce and much more.
Tina’s Pumpkin Patch in Sherman Oaks offers a petting zoo, pony rides, straw maze and obstacle course.
Cougar Mountain Pumpkin Patch in Eagle Rock features giant pedal race cars, bounce houses and more kid-friendly activities in addition to their family-run pumpkin patch.
Every year I say I’m going to plan ahead, and then Halloween week rolls around and I have no idea what our family is going to dress up as. Sound like you? Enter sustainable clothing brand Primary and creative mom of three Lauren Mancke with easy no-sew DIY costume ideas for the whole family. The best part is you can wear Primary’s pieces long after Halloween. We loved their DIY Olympians and “Raya and the Last Dragon” costumes, which you can make yourself with a few simple materials and key clothing items.
If you want to get into the Halloween spirit without the whole outfit change, how about some fun, thematic nail polish for you and the little one? Non-toxic nail polish brand SOPHi’s “Into the Night” pack comes in classic fall neutral colors like “Snow More Cold Feet” and “Date Knight” perfect for Halloween and beyond. Kids can get in on the fun with Piggy Paint’s non-toxic, hypoallergenic polish, which comes in a Halloween-inspired “Ghouls Wanna Have Fun” set.
My favorite part of Halloween as a kid was the excuse to dye my hair. Although, I have no idea if the products I used were actually kid-friendly. Rock the Locks, a mom-approved vegan and phthalates, sulfates, and parabens free hair care line now offers conditioning hair color, which will temporarily dye your hair in fun colors like purple and pink.
We can’t forget about our pets! For a fun and easy dog-friendly costume idea, check out DIY expert Sandy Sandler’s Bumble Bee Costume tutorial. All you need is some felt, ribbon and a few other tools for the adorable look.
Now that you’re all dressed up, you need somewhere to go!
Immerse yourself in 6 interactive environments at Haunt O’ Ween. The family-friendly event at Westfield Topanga mall will also include face painting, games, performances and food trucks. Open daily through Oct. 31. Or head over to the Kaleidoscope Mall in Mission Viejo for trick-or-treating, live entertainment and more at Haunt of Halloween. Open Thurs. – Sun. through Oct. 31.
Though the title may lead you to believe otherwise, Urban Death Tour of Terror is a family-friendly theatrical event for all ages. Saturdays through Oct. 30 and Sun. Oct. 31. Older kids or kid-free parents might delight in Delusion, a site-specific interactive play at the Phillips Mansion in Pomona for ages 12 and over. Select dates through Nov. 21.
Griffith Park’s classic Haunted Hayride is back select nights through Oct. 31 with traditional hayrides, mazes, and scare zones for ages 13 and over. Nights of the Jack also returns this year with an immersive walking trail, thousands of hand-carved jack o’lanterns, hot cider and treats for the little ones and a Spookeasy bar for the parents. Select nights through Oct. 31.
The 5th annual Haunted Little Tokyo returns to Japanese Village Plaza Oct. 16 – 17 and Oct. 30 with an all-ages scavenger hunt, pumpkin patch and more.
Collect treats and enjoy the magic of costumes and creativity at San Fernando Valley’s Trunk or Treat on Oct. 30. Trick-or-treat Victorian Era homes Oct. 27 – 31 at the Heritage Square Museum for Cemetery Lane: Trick-R-Treat Experience. Manhattan Village will host their own trick-or-treat event for children ages 3 – 10 at their Munchkin Masquerade Oct. 30. Little ones can delight in Halloween entertainment, arts and crafts and games.
And you can always make your way over to one of SoCal’s best amusement parks for tons of spooky fun all in one place, like Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disneyland Halloween Party, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and Knotts Scarry Farm. All theme parks will be hosting special Halloween programming select night through Oct. 31.
If cooking up Halloween treats is your thing, check out The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories’ Halloween cooking classes. The schedule is as follows:
On Oct. 24, partner up in a 3-hour in-person class to learn the sweet tricks to making some delicious Halloween Macaroons. The Gourmandise School will walk attendees through the process of curating pumpkin and mummy macaroons that will be sure to steal the show this season. Registration for this class is available for guests 16+ on The Gourmandise website.
Grab your costume and loved one on Halloween eve for the perfect Halloween feast. Learn how to curate your own witches brew cocktail, pumpkin ravioli and more. Renowned Gourmandise Chef May Hennemann will be your guide through this spookily sweet class on October 30. Registration for this class is available for guests 16+ on The Gourmandise website.
Grab your little one and spend this Halloween season with The Gourmandise School’s in-person Parent & Child themed classes. Participants will be guided through this sweet cooking adventure as parents help their little chefs create delicious spooky and fun treats. Registration for all Halloween classes are available for children ages 6 – 11 accompanied by adults. Visit The Gourmandise website to sign up.
Parent & Child Class Schedule
- Halloween Treats: Oct. 16 & 30
- Spooky Sweets: Oct. 30
- Halloween Breakfast: Oct. 23 & 31
Rooftop Cinema Club is hosting a few spooky favorites like The Craft on Oct. 7 at Rooftop Cinema Club Santa Monica and The Nightmare Before Christmas on Oct. 8 at Rooftop Cinema Club El Segundo. Saturdays at the Santa Monica location will feature a bounce house and free candy for anyone in costume all month long.
Heritage Museum of Orange County will host a Hocus Pocus Halloween Movie Night Oct. 23. The event will also have trick-or-treating, photo ops and a costume contest.
Just a little spooky
If you’ve got little ones in your family, we’ve rounded up events that are just the right amount of spooky fun.
Moms and dads are invited to celebrate Halloween with their little ones Oct. 21 at The Point’s Mummy & Me Kids Club, featuring trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, face painting, arts and crafts, a monster puppet show, live music and entertainment from The Beatbuds.
Head over to Discovery Cube LA or OC for some Halloween-themed STEM fun at Spooky Science Featuring the Monster Academy all month long, or Knotts Spooky Farm, which will host Halloween events for ages 3-11 during the day weekends through Oct. 31.
For some spirited theater, visit the Santa Monica Playhouse Fridays Oct. 8 – 29 and Oct. 31 to enjoy Absolutely Halloween, which features a colorful array of costume-come-to-life characters in the heartwarming musical tale. Or how about a family-friendly boo-sical revue at Bob Baker Marionette Theater’s Hallowe’en Spooktacular, which features over 100 spirited puppets like glow in the dark skeletons and whirling witches. Select dates through Oct. 28.