Happy Halloween, Los Angeles!
Halloween is a happy holiday nation wide, but nowhere in the USA is Halloween a better time than in Los Angeles. Is it because the weather is always nice, or that our access to the Hollywood make up and costume world is unparalleled? With a hat tip to New Orleans who knows how to boogie, it’s safe to say our Halloweens here in the USA’s entertainment capital is worth exploring. But with so much going on, how are you going to know what to do? There are plenty of events out there this year, so let’s look at some of the ones you must not miss!
Halloween Horror Nights – September 18 through November 1
Hosted by Universal Studios in Hollywood, these nights, the Horror Nights if you will, are Halloween at its finest. There are scare zones, four of them to be exact, and enough themed mazes to scare a score of children. The mazes are based on hit movies and shows like the Walking Dead and of course “Halloween.” You won’t want to miss Halloween Horror Nights! More info online: halloweenhorrornights.com
Dia de los Muertos – October 24
It isn’t Los Angeles without a bit of Mexican flare, so don’t snooze on Dia de los Muertos, the south of the border version of Halloween. And what locale would be better than our very own Hollywood Forever Cemetery? The event is from noon to midnight on the 24th, so get there early, and enjoy the dancing, food, crafts, and of course lively parade! More info: ladayofthedead.com
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval – Halloween Itself
While October is nice and Halloweeny, you won’t want to miss out on the biggest party of the year which is Halloween itself, conveniently this year on a Saturday night. This is the biggest street party this side of Mardi Gras, and biggest costume balls in the world. THere’s music and food and even a Queen of the Night. It’s also free, so don’t make other plans, be at the biggest and best party on the planet. visitwesthollywood.com
The Nightmare Before Christmas Live with Danny Elfman – October 31 & November 1
If you’re still in the spirit on November 1, or don’t want to enjoy the crazy party on Halloween itself, get yourself to the Hollywood Bowl for a wonderful evening of Halloween music by none other than Danny Elfman, the composer of more creepy music than anyone else. He composed the Simpson’s Theme, but tonight will be about his music for The Nightmare Before Christmas. All the music from the film will be performed live. Don’t miss out on the costume contest, too!
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride – October 2 – 31
Fall season is great for pumpkins and apples and hayrides. So naturally, when Fall turns to Halloween season, we must haunt them all. The Haunted Hayride is truly an LA institution, and it transforms the pastoral Griffith Park into a scary den of terror. The scare zones will keep you and yours awake for the rest of the month, and be on the lookout for a Boogeyman. It’s going to be quite the year for terror, so bring the whole family for this fun. losangeleshauntedhayride.com
Noche de Ofrenda at Grand Park – October 24
To honor Dia de los Muertos, Grand Park will hold a less spooky and more traditional ceremony to pay homage to the dead, following the traditions of the Aztecs and Oazacans. Poetry and music at Grand Park will bring the community together, for those who are less into gimmicky events. The theme will be local carts and community. grandparkla.org
EEK! At The Greek! – October 24
If it’s gimmicky you WANT, then get to the Greek Theatre. That’s where the gimmicks will be all around you. You’ll get to hear all your favorite holiday themes, plus some fun spoof tunes like “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” The Gay Men’s Chorus of LA will be there, and don’t miss the trick or treating going on beforehand! This is geared for the family so make sure they’re all with you! greektheatrela.com
Boo at the L.A. Zoo – All of October
If Eek at the Greek appeals to your rhyme senses, so too will Boo at the Zoo! The LA Zoo, always struggling for attendance, ups its game this month and provides haunted pumpkin patches and spider and bat themed crafts, and of course haunted caves. The bears and zebras will be in on the fun as well. Buy a normal ticket to the Zoo and enjoy this added on fun. You won’t want to miss it, it’s an animal of a time! lazoo.org
Queen Mary Dark Harbor – October 1 – November 1
For those of you willing to get in the car and head south, you won’t want to miss the special hauntings of Long Beach’s Queen Mary. Normally a scary ghost tour locale, for the spooky month of October they up their game. There are 6 mazes full of terror and fright. There’s nothing quite as scary as a haunted hotel ship, so see for yourself what terrors await on the Queen Mary! queenmary.com