(Credit: Cynthia Bullard)
Ghouls and goblins of all ages love Halloween, but not every activity is appropriate for the younger crowd. Luckily, we’ve got a virtual cornucopia of activities to celebrate the season here in Los Angeles.
Mickey’s Halloween Party
313 Disneyland Dr.
Anaheim, Ca 92802
Dates: September 20, 22, 25, 27, 29, 2017; October 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 31, 2017
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland ranks among the top ways SoCal kids like to celebrate Halloween. This year both Disneyland and California Adventure are getting in on the spooktacular fun, with Halloween twists on rides like Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, a “Frightfully Fun Parade” at Disneyland, and a transformed Haul-O-Ween Cars Land at California Adventure, where the citizens of Radiator Springs welcome you to “trunk-or-treat” in their festively decorated homes. Seasonal merchandise, Halloween-themed food, and the iconic Mickey Mouse jack-o’-lantern round out a perfect Disney day.
Knott’s Spooky Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
Dates: September 30, 2017 – October 29, 2017 (weekends & Halloween Day)
While Knott’s Scary Farm might be the biggest Halloween experience in Southern California, it’s also one of the scariest, and far too intense for younger kids. Luckily for the tikes, there’s a Knott’s Spooky Farm every weekend and on Halloween day. The family-friendly Halloween celebration is aimed toward kids 3-11, with trick-or-treating in Ghost Town, live stage shows, and even a chance to come face to face with the Creepy Critters of Calico. Join Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the whole Peanuts gang for “A Trip to Campy Spooky,” where a Peanuts Costume Contest, Dance Party, and more is in store. Guests will also find fun Halloween twists on some of their favorite rides around the park.
Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival
Underwood Family Farms
3370 Sunset Valley Rd.
Moorpark, CA 93021
Dates: September 30, 2017 – October 31, 2017
Fall isn’t complete without a trip up to Moorpark to visit Underwood Family Farms during their Fall Harvest Festival. Through the month of October the farm is packed with acres and acres of pumpkins, and also carries several varieties of gourds, winter squash, and endless fall decorating accessories. Weekends on the farm offer even more fun, with an array of food vendors, tractor rides, and themed activities including a bluegrass-filled Farm Country Weekend (Oct. 7 & 8), Antique Tractor Weekend (Oct. 14 & 15), Western Weekend (Oct. 21 & 22), and an all-day All About Pumpkins celebration (Oct. 28 & 29).
Boo At The L.A. Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Dates: October 1 – 31, 2017
Kids always go wild for the annual Boo at the L.A. Zoo. Daily activities include a new “Nocturnal Adventure” maze where guests will try to avoid dead ends while learning more about the resident nocturnal creatures, up close and personal encounters with some of the zoo’s tarantulas, scorpions, snakes, and other creepy crawlers at “Animals and Boo,” and tons of fun photo ops. Weekends are especially spooktacular with additional activities like “Swazzle’s Monster Menagerie” puppet show, pumpkin carving demonstrations, “Creature Treats” and “Fearsome Feedings” animal feedings, and more. A special Halloween bash will take place October 28 and 29 with crafts, roaming characters, and trick-or-treat stations throughout the grounds.
Great Wolf Lodge
12681 Harbor Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92840
Dates: October 1 – 31, 2017
Not only do guests staying at Great Wolf Lodge during the month of October get endless trips to the 100,000 square-foot indoor waterpark, they also get to experience a whole host of Halloween haunts and activities. A Trick-or-Treat Trail offers sweets for your sweeties, including a Teal Pumpkin stop with non-food treats for those with food allergies. Kids with a competitive spirit will love trying to score at Witch Hat Ring Toss, Pin the Wolf Ears on Mr. Bones, and Mummy Bowling along the way. A Monster Bash Dance Party, Costume Parade, Spooktacular Story Time, and Haunted Hustle Scavenger Hunt are also part of a freakishly good time at the Lodge this month.
Haunted Arroyo, Pumpkin Festival, and Halloween Hunt
Kidspace Children’s Museum
480 N Arroyo Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Dates: October 7, 14, 15, 29, 2017
As evening falls on October 7 Arroyo Adventure becomes Haunted Arroyo, where guests will glisten in glow-in-the-dark body paint and glow alongside ghouls, spooks, and other haunts. Learn to make ghoul slime, create black light art, enjoy a special performance, and check out how nocturnal animals live in the dark. The following weekend (October 14 & 15) a family-friendly Pumpkin Festival brings in a petting zoo, pony rides, carnival games, live music, and seasonal crafts. A Halloween Hunt finishes the month on October 29 with a trick-or-treat lead scavenger hunt with prize finish, costume parade, crafts, and more.
Scarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
Dates: October 14 & 15, 2017
If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like for a pumpkin to be carved underwater, now’s your chance to find out. At the aquarium’s annual Scarium of the Pacific, underwater pumpkin carving is just one of the family-fun things you’ll be treated to. Now in its 18th year, the event will once again include a children’s costume contest, creepy coloring contest, and magic shows. Kids can also enjoy some spooky storytelling, kooky crafts, and the chance to meet some truly eerie animals in the Great Hall. Activities are included in the cost of admission, and children dressed in costume get in for free.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” in 4D
El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Dates: October 20 – 31, 2017
Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is a Halloween favorite for kids young and old, and the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood has been putting on a special showing of it for over two decades. Now in its 24th year, the theatre once again presents the film in 3D, with interactive, spine-tingling 4D sensory effects. Become immersed in the film as you feel the wind, snow, and fog as the film plays. Exclusive to the El Capitan is the chance to see special props before and after the screening, and the option for a “Spooktacular Backstage Tour” that will guide you through areas of the theatre rarely open to the public. All ages are encouraged to attend in costume, and advanced reservations are required for the tour.
Descanso Gardens Monster Tour
1418 Descanso Drive
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
Dates: October 21, 22, 28, 29, 2017
Los Angeles may not be teeming with trees changing their leaves for the fall, but Descanso Gardens is. It’s the perfect place to take the kiddos to get into that fall spirit, and snap a few family pics. Head there during the last two weekends in October and check out their annual Monster Tour. Ensemble Shakespeare Theatre returns to put on a fun monster-filled production for the whole family. Guests young and old are encouraged to come in costume and enjoy the show.
Dia de los Muertos Festival
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Dates: October 28, 2017
Don your best Calaca (skeleton) apparel and join the 18th annual Dia de los Muertos festival at the famous Hollywood Forever Cemetary. From noon to midnight the cemetery celebrates with fine Mexican cuisine, Day of the Dead arts and crafts, and of course beautifully adorned altars to honor loved ones. Hundreds of Aztec Ritual Dancers in full costume will provide traditional dances and blessings, four stages will be filled with music and theatrical performances, and Grammy Award winnings recording artists will provide the soundtrack to the day. With a children’s arts project area and costume contest, the event is fully family friendly.
7th Annual Theatricum BOO-tanicum
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Topanga, CA 90290
Date: October 28, 2017
The gorgeous grounds of Theatricum Botanicum are getting a ghoulish makeover with their 7th annual Halloween extravaganza. Ghost stories, game booths, festive food and libations, and a plethora of performances are all part of the seasonal fun. Literature-based theater troupe Creative PlayGround will be there, as will musician Peter Alsop, comedy improv group Off the Grid, and maybe even a few roaming zombie thespians. The infamous haunted house will also return for some spooky (but not too scary) twists and turns.