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Forget the gory and the scary and the other stuff that may turn people off from Halloween, when it comes down to it, Halloween is a holiday for the kids and for the kids in all of us.  So instead of trying to paint realistic looking blood on your child’s face, why not take them to some fun event in or around the Los Angeles area this Halloween.  Here are some great things going on!

OCT. 17-18: PUMPKIN FESTIVAL – KIDSPACE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

When you ask your kids about Halloween, what’s the second thing they ask about (the first being their costume of course)? That’s right, carving pumpkins.  You can’t have a October go by without carving something fun or funny or scary into nature’s most cumbersome fruit, the pumpkin.  The Pumpkin Festival that they hold annually at the Kidspace Children’s Museum in idyllic Pasadena is a sure hit with the whole family.  Yes, they have pony rides, they have a petting zoo, bouncy castles and of course all sorts of games and crafts ready for this Fall season.  It’s only around for the one weekend so you won’t want to miss it and have to wait a whole year.  Start thinking up some fun pumpkin themes you and your kids can enjoy, and then plan for a trip to Pasadena.  Come to Brookside Park and enjoy a great afternoon of Autumnal activities and pumpkin-themed fun!

OCT. 24-25: FISHY FEST – SANTA MONICA PIER AQUARIUM

You may think something is fishy when we tell you that there’s a festival at the aquarium, but that’s because there sure is: the Fishy Fest.  What’s more fun than a day at the aquarium, learning about the marine life contained within, while also celebrating the festival family fun season we are currently in.  They’ll be celebrating both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, and children (and parents) are encouraged to come in fishy costumes, or typical ghosts and goblins, for the parade that happens at 3 on the Sunday.  If that’s not enough to entice you, there is going to be a glow in the dark denizens of the deep sea laboratory that will surely delight, along with face painting and Dia de los Muertos themed mask making.

OCT. 25-NOV. 3: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS – OLVERA STREET

Los Angeles is known for many things, movies and industry and all that, but don’t forget about its Mexican heritage, which can be best exemplified by Olvera Street, the singular oldest street in all of LA, which hosts many events throughout the year.  During the Halloween times, you’ll have the opportunity of honoring this old, traditional holiday from Mexico, which melds ancestors of friends and family with current traditions.  The Olvera Street merchants will be peddling their typical wares, with an emphasis of course on Dia de los Muertos-themed masks and face paintings, with piñatas and of course lots of Mariachi music.  There’s dancing in the gazebo in the plaza at the top of Olvera, plus beautifully ornate altars and elaborate processions.  If it’s Mexican culture you want, this is where to go and enjoy the holiday.

NOV. 1: DIA DE LOS MUERTOS – SAN PEDRO

This one-day only event in historic San Pedro will be held at the Waterfront Business District and is a presentation not to be missed for kids of all ages.  This unique Dia de los Muertos celebration will stay true to the pulse of the event, where members of the public are encouraged to bring remembrances of loved ones lost, with personal notes or a small item that honors the dead.  This will be held at the Altar of Remembrance, a Dia de los Muertos traditional altar.  Of course there will also be entertainment, with live music and other Latin American cultural celebrations.  There will be crafts for sale of traditional nature, handmade pieces and one of a kind things like that.  And it wouldn’t be a celebration without traditional foods a plenty.  Many dozens of San Pedro restaurants will be offering their unique cuisine for the public to sample and enjoy.  It’s a must see and attend for anyone in the area, and certainly worth coming down from LA proper for.  It’s free and happens all Sunday afternoon.

HAUNTED HOLLYWOOD STARLINE TOURS

All month long on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 6:30PM, you will have a unique chance to enjoy a 2-hour long Haunted Hollywood tour that will delve into the creepy and the unknown, the paranormal and the spiritual.  Hollywood is known for many mysteries and haunted attractions, and this is your chance to see them all.  You won’t believe your eyes and your memories will haunt you and your children, but only in a fun, family-friendly way of course!  It’s an exciting way to enjoy the season and the whole family will have fun as you discuss what is and what is not true, and what you think you may have just seen.  The tours start and end at the Chinese Theater.