As Halloween inches closer, this week brings a variety of seasonal events, both creepy and fun. Pick up a pumpkin at the Irvine Railroad pumpkin patch, or select one and carve it at the Copper Door’s Big Carve event. The 17th Door, an innovative haunted maze, is still open this week, and the weekend brings the Monster Mash. If you’d rather do something more artsy this week, check out Bowers Museum’s new exhibit on Sir Ernest Shackleton, enjoy a whodunit at the Camino Real Playhouse or take part in a creative fundraiser.

Monday, October 16

(Credit: Irvine Park Railroad)

Visit The Pumpkin Patch
Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869
(714) 997-3968

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Pick out a pumpkin to carve for Halloween, or take part in a slew of activities like hay rides, train rides, John Deere tractor races, panning for gold and a pumpkin ring toss. There will be a haunted house, a giant hay maze and seasonal cookie decorating on site as well. Looking for other pumpkin patches in the area? Visit our complete list of the Best Pumpkin Patches in Southern California

Tuesday, October 17

(Credit: Bowers Museum)

“Endurance: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley”

Bowers Museum
2002 North Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92706
(714) 567-3600

A little over two weeks ago, the Bowers Museum launched this new exhibit based on explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica a century ago. The showcase will feature large format images by Frank Hurley, who was hired to document the experience. There will also be a variety of diaries and work logs from Shackleton and his crew.

Wednesday, October 18

(Credit: Copper Door)

Carve Pumpkins at The Big Carve
Copper Door
225 North Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 696-1479

This free 21+ event is an exciting way to carve pumpkins this October. Now in its fifth year, the Big Carve provides guests with carving tools as well as $8 pumpkins. In addition, there will be live music, Halloween-themed cocktails, a pool table and late-night happy hour. Costumes are encouraged to feel free to dress up for the event.

Thursday, October 19

(Credit: Jason Siu)

The 17th Door
1851 West Orangethorpe Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92833
(714) 441-9080

One of the scariest haunts in Orange County, The 17th Door requires a waiver because it is an immersive experience where guests may be touched by the actors—a unique aspect of this spot. It is also rather long, clocking in at nearly 40 minutes as guests make their way through the fictional Perpetuum Penitentiary.

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Friday, October 20

(credit: Duke D./yelp)

See “The Games Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays”
Camino Real Playhouse
31776 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 489-8082

Set in 1936, this mysterious whodunit stage show is perfect for the Halloween season. The play is set at the home of Broadway star William Gillette, who has been playing Sherlock Holmes in New York City. After inviting his fellow actors from the show over for the weekend, one of them winds up dead and the festivities take a different turn.

Saturday, October 21

(credit: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

Monster Mash
Garden Amphitheater
12762 Main Street
Garden Grove, CA 92840

This arts and music festival is perfect for the season. Organized by the Orange County Music League, it will feature both The Mausoleum main stage and the Spider Forest side stage with performances by Bullets and Octane, Dreams of Vertigo, Nikki’s Nervous Breakdown, The Alienated and many more. There will also be a costume contest, art stations and food trucks.

Sunday, October 22

(Credit: Chuck Jones Center for Creativity)

Play it Forward: A Halloween-Themed FUNdraiser
Chuck Jones Center for Creativity
3321 Hyland Avenue
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 660-7793

This Halloween-themed fundraiser will have a carnival-esque atmosphere where children and their families can move through various creativity stations. Whether making masks, decorating pumpkins or creating your own trick-or-treat bag, there will be plenty to keep you busy. There will also be a stop-motion animation station where you can create your own cartoon character. Proceeds will benefit the center’s artistic and educational programs.

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Ashley Ryan is an Orange County native that loves traveling, live music and photography. She blogs at Pure Wander and freelances for a variety of publications including Newport Beach Magazine and Laguna Beach Magazine.