16 Cool Things to Do in LA This Fall

Make the most of the fall season with pumpkin patches, horror movie nights, theme parks, museum visits, a champagne pop-up gallery, and more.

Cooler temps, changing colors (yes, even in LA!), spooky season, and pumpkin spice everything—what’s not to love about fall? The problem with fall in most of the country is what comes after autumn is over: namely, ridiculously frigid weather, short days and long nights, snow, and being forced indoors for the next five months. But here in Southern California, it’s nothing but blue skies ahead. That means we get to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities throughout the fall season and well into winter without the weather-induced hard stop.

In addition to Halloween events, hikes, pumpkin picking, football games, and rooftop bar hopping under the open sky, fun indoor activities abound as well—from world-class museums to state-of-the-art movie theaters to killer comedy clubs. Whether you’re looking to impress a date or just want to remind yourself why we pay so damn much to live here, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of all that fall fun. Here’s everything you’ll want to fill this season’s schedule with. And don’t forget to check out our LA guide for cool things happening every weekend.

Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkins
Mr. Jack O' Lanterns Pumpkins

Do some pumpkin patch perusing

Ongoing throughout October
Various locations
Yes, we know it’s easier to grab one from a bin outside Trader Joe’s for 5 bucks, but to get into the spirit while picking out the ultimate orange orb, you’ll want to hit a pumpkin patch. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from. You’re likely semi-close to one of the Mr. Jack O’Lanterns Pumpkin Patches (with locations at the Original Farmers Market, in West LA, and Torrance). In addition to grabbing yourself a perfect pumpkin you can also play games—Tumbling Tombstones sounds pretty fun!—hit the photo station, get lost in a maze, and do some pumpkin decorating, too. For pumpkins with a side of celeb sighting, nothing beats the paparazzi-laden Mr. Bones, now taking place in Culver City. In addition to various activities, food vendors, and a shop selling everything you need to deck out your pumpkins, there’s also live music on weekends, though tickets are required. If you actually want to see where your pumpkin is born, head to Forneris Farms in Mission Hills, which has a bounty of its home-grown pumpkins on display, along with a farmers market and a four-acre corn maze.
Cost: Free to enter; pumpkins and other activities vary.

SoFi Stadium
SoFi Stadium

Become a football fan … LA style

Ongoing throughout fall and hopefully winter
SoFi Stadium (Inglewood)
LA is a lot of things, but a football-obsessed town is not one of them. Despite that, the LA Rams (one of our great city’s two NFL teams, mind you) won the Superbowl last year, which means we may be on our way to getting as excited about touchdowns, field goals, and interceptions, as we do about tacos, hiking, and movies. Even if you’re not a football fan, hitting a game at SoFi Stadium is something you totally need to put on your fall bucket list. The indoor-outdoor stadium —rumored to have cost around $5 billion to build—is seriously stunning, with a futuristic architectural vibe and a clear roof made of a special plastic that’s just 1% the weight of real glass. Oh, and the 70,000-square-foot circular scoreboard is the only two-sided one in the world. You can also pop over to the Kinsey Collection’s Continuum art exhibit that features contemporary work by different LA-based artists of color.

Then there’s the food. In addition to tons of options in and around SoFi for pre- or post-game indulging, the dining options within the stadium come courtesy of local culinary heavyweights Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, offering everything from vegan chili to chicken tinga burritos to smoked brisket tacos to their fabled kale and little gem salad.
Cost: Game tickets are $185 and up.

Sunday, November 13
LA Historic State Park (Chinatown)
Alzheimer’s Los Angeles is hosting the second annual Making Memories Festival, which was first held in 2021 to honor and celebrate the organization’s 40 years of service in LA. The event was such a success, they’ve decided to make it annual, with this year’s celebration including Grammy Award winners Los Lobos as the headliner, plus performances by Cut Chemist, Circle the Earth, Valley Queen, and DJ Mona Lisa, plus iconic food trucks like Baby’s Burger, Yalla, Recess Truck, and more. They’ll also have informational booths on brain health and other healthy resources as part of the festivities.
Cost: $30 for online orders; $35 at the door.

Veuve Clicquot Solaire Culture
Photo courtesy of Veuve Clicquot

Wednesday, October 26 through Thursday, November 17
468 N Rodeo Dr, Beverly Hills
That ubiquitous champagne brand with the yellow label is celebrating both bubbly and female artists (two things we’ll happily throw our support behind!) with Veuve Clicquot’s first-ever traveling Solaire Culture exhibit to mark the label’s 250th anniversary. Expect an immersive look at “Clicquot Culture,” through archival objects dating back to the late 1700s, along with works by ten renowned artists including Yayoi Kusama, Sheila Hicks, and Cece Philips, all of whom were commissioned to create original artwork inspired by the brand’s namesake, Madame Clicquot. During the experience, you’ll get an immersive look inside Veuve Clicquot’s vineyard and Crayères chalk cellars and the get the scoop on some of house’s winemaking secrets while also getting to indulge in a variety of Veuve and specialty bites, which might just be the best part. The 21+ exhibition is free with a timed reservation that can be made online.
Cost: Free

Hello Critter Goat Yoga
Hello Critter Goat Yoga

Do every kind of yoga

Ongoing
Various locations
If you’re over Vinyasa and hot yoga—it’s time to get creative. An outfit called Hello Critter offers goat yoga at various locations around the city (including the LA Arboretum and The Gamble House) where those ridiculously cute, four-legged friends roam free while you’re busy downward dogging and are then available for after-class snuggling and photo opps. You can also get high and flexible at the same time with aerial yoga studios like D&A Flying Yoga in K-Town and Aeriform Arts in Hollywood that allow students to practice poses in aero-hammocks and silks, making for a lighter-than-air feeling. For getting high on the mat, hit a cannabis-infused yoga or sound bath session taking place weekly at WeHo’s The Artist Tree, a dispensary lounge where you can consume some cannabis (or just CBD if that’s more your thing), before hitting a class in the second floor studio.
Cost: Varies

Perch
Photo courtesy of Perch

Ongoing
Various locations
Thanks to the rise of al-fresco dining during the pandemic, LA is in the midst of a rooftop renaissance. While the views at tried-and-true spots like Perchin Downtown or Yamashiro in Hollywood Hills are always resplendent, it’s worth checking out some of the city’s new arrivals too, like the always rowdy Desert 5 Spot, with Pioneertown-meets-Palm Springs vibes and country western cover bands; Cara Cara’s sparkling view of DTLA, with Portuguese-inspired bites and fire pits for getting cozy; and Cabra, a Peruvian-inspired spot on the rooftop of The Hoxton hotel that’s helmed by Girl & the Goat owner Stephanie Izard.
Cost: Varies

Rooftop Cinema Club
Rooftop Cinema Club

Go to the movies

Ongoing
Various locations
You’re likely still not caught up on all those trips to the movies you missed out on during the shutdown, so it’s time to turn off Netflix and head to a real-deal movie theater. Go downtown to Alamo Drafthouse for a show and a beer or three, or out to Burbank’s Dolby Cinema at the AMC for an immersive experience. And if you just want to get into a flick for as cheap as can be, Pasadena’s Academy Six shows second-run movies for under $10 a pop.

If you prefer a more open-air feel, LA’s rooftop theaters have a full slate of spooky options, including Cinespia’s cemetery screenings, with highlights like The Craft (Friday, October 14), Carrie (Saturday, October 22), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Saturday, October 29). There’s also Melrose Rooftop Theatre, where you can pair a three-course dinner with classics like Scary Movie (Sunday, October 16), Get Out (Friday, October 21), and Nightmare on Elm Street (Tuesday, October 25). There’s also Rooftop Cinema Club, which has locations in the Arts District, Downtown LA, and El Segundo.
Cost: Varies

Go to a theme park

Ongoing
Various locations
Southern California is awash in theme parks, and fall is a perfect time to go. Summer’s kid-crazy crowds have thinned out and there are often lots of spooky, Halloween-themed activations. Knotts Berry Farm’s annual fright fest Knotts Scary Farm is up and running with mazes, haunted houses, and multiple “Scare Zones,” including the fabled Ghost Town Streets filled with half-human, half-monster creatures and the new (and punny!) “Gore-ing 20s,” where you can expect a lot of creepy characters in flapper costumes. At Disneyland, fireworks, parades, and live shows are going strong and the Main Street Electrical Parade marks its 50th anniversary this year. At Universal Studios, there’s Halloween Horror Nights with a ton of mazes, including one that’s themed after the comedy-horror hit Killer Klowns From Outer Space and The Weeknd’s “After Hours Nightmare,” about the horrors of arena superstardom and plastic surgery. You can also visit the Gold Rush theme park, complete with carnival games that you’ll recognize as the actual set from Nope, complete with alien-induced electrical outages. For even bigger thrills, head to Magic Mountain, which has transformed into Fright Fest, with scare zones and mazes, plus you can ride the rollercoasters with the lights off at night.
Cost: Varies

axe throwing
LAAX

Ongoing
North Hollywood
Indoor axe throwing has risen in popularity since the trend first popped up in Ontario, Canada, in the early aughts, with multiple axe-throwing facilities opening across the city in the last few years. Try it out at LA AX, an indoor/outdoor axe-throwing facility in North Hollywood with 38 lanes for perfecting your pitch. Don’t worry if it’s your first time, as your booking includes an axe coach who will supervise you throughout your visit, teaching you the proper form and running down everything you need to know about axe-throwing safety. Walk-ins are accepted, guests can bring their own food, and beer and wine are available for purchase. The facility is 21+ and closed-toed shoes are required.
Cost: $40 per person

Two Bit Circus
Two Bit Circus

Ongoing
Downtown LA
Two Bit Circus is fully open, with walk-ins and a reservation-based ticketing system. You can book with a date or for a group of up to eight people, and your reservation grants you access to themed and immersive story rooms like Dr. Botcher’s Minute Medical School; a VR playground with games like Hologate, a four-player game that involves robots, zombies, dragons, and music; an arcade with classic pinball machines, retro and modern games, and air hockey; and reimagined carnival games at the Midway. There’s also carnival-inspired food and beverage, including a full bar.
Cost: Varies

Expand your mind with a museum or gallery visit

Various dates
Various locations
Sometimes you just want a chill day of wandering through museum halls and learning a thing or two at our city’s amazing cultural institutions. The immersive, nature-inspired show by artist Glenn Kaino, A Forest For The Trees, takes visitors on an interactive journey through a surreal forest full of illusions, animatronics, and sound sculptures and runs through the end of October. At the California African American Museum (CAAM), check out conceptual artist Chloë Bass’ #sky #nofilter: Hindsight For a Future America, a public sculpture project that combines photography, text, and performance art, and will be on display through January. LACMA just launched The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art, which includes oils, ink, photography, and sculpture spanning from the late 1800s to the 1960s. For the rest of the year at the Hammer Museum, you can explore Pablo Picasso’s lesser-known works on paper, alongside some of his sheet metal sculptures as part of the Picasso Cut Papers exhibit.
Cost: Varies; CAAM and the Hammer Museum are always free.

Solstice Canyon Falls
Flickr/Steve Hardy

Hike it out

Ongoing
Various locations
The close proximity to mountains is one of the most underrated joys of the LA basin. If you’re entertaining out-of-towners, you can take them on an unforgettable hike that drops you right in front of the iconic Hollywood sign. If you’ve got your pup in tow, you’ll want to hit Runyon Canyon, of course, one of LA’s most dog-friendly hiking areas. For a more lowkey trek, try one of these less-trafficked, secret hikes around the city. For a serious sweat, trek the Westside’s Los Liones trail, a seven-mile-plus, in-and-out trail that pays off with awesome ocean views up top. If you’ve got time for a ride up the coast, make your way to Sandstone Peak—the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains is 3,114-feet-tall and offers a six-mile loop trail with equally excellent views and quad-burning potential. Or go take a bracing dip in one of our many spectacular waterfalls.

stand up comedy show
Photo by Holly Beaupre, courtesy of Don't Tell Comedy

Laugh your ass off

Ongoing
Various locations
We’re not exaggerating when we say you can catch a comedy show any night of the week here in LA, whether it’s a household name with a Netflix special or lesser-known funny folks hitting an open mic. There’s always something laughable going on at big clubs like The Comedy Store and Hollywood Improv (their Tuesday night lineup is always killer, often with famous guests like Whitney Cummings, David Spade, and Craig Robinson). If you prefer a surprise line-up and location, Don’t Tell Comedy is an underground series of “secret” standup shows that pops up in different venues, including parking lots and rooftops, with the location revealed the day of and the lineup revealed when the show starts. And there are always new shows at interesting venues popping up all the time.
Cost: Varies

Malibu Wines & Beer Garden
Malibu Wines & Beer Garden

Go wine tasting

Ongoing
Various locations
The LA area may not be an international destination for oenophiles, but there are plenty of good options for Angelenos who want to spend the day sipping local juice. The Sunday Funday hotspot Malibu Wines & Beer Garden in West Hills serves its wines by the tasting flight, glass, or bottle and they also have local craft beer, plus pizza on weekends. They’re also offering tours if you want to break a sweat while you sip. In Pasadena, Vin de California just opened their tasting room to reservations for glasses of their zippy natty wines. And Angeleno Wine Company continues to push boundaries with natural wines sourced from local grapes in interesting varietals like Godello, Loureiro, and Treixadura. There are also plenty of wine tastings and pairing dinners around town from enthusiasts like Clink and Westside Winos, and if you’re up for a longer trip, Temecula ValleySanta Barbara, and San Luis Obispo are awash in wineries and well-worth the drive. Just a four-hour drive away, there's also Valle de Guadalupe in Baja Mexico, which happens to be bringing it's beloved Valle Food & Wine Fest back to Bruma's gorgeous property this fall, with local culinary sensations like Nancy Silverton, plus Gabriela Cámara of Mexico City's Contramar and Food Network judge Aarón Sánchez, and many others, with chef stands, cooking demos, wine pairings, mixology and craft beer, live music, dancing, and more from Saturday, October 23–Sunday, October 24.
Cost: Varies

Downtown Santa Monica
Downtown Santa Monica

Get a taste of LA’s finest farmers markets

Ongoing
Various locations
If you can dream it (and it’s in season) you’ll find it at the farmers market—from the sweetest berries to obscure heirloom beans, to every fresh herb known to man. Even though we’ve shifted to fall, LA’s farmers markets are more abundant than ever, providing Angelenos with daily opportunities to stock their fridges with fresh produce, pantry items, desserts, and more. If Downtown Santa Monica’s massive market is too much to take on right away, work your way up with a visit to Culver City’s farmers market on Tuesdays from 2–7 pm, or head to The Original Farmer’s Market at 3rd and Fairfax (open daily) early to beat the rush. If you’re up early on a Saturday, the CrenshawEast LA, and Torrance farmers markets are great, less crowded options. Downtown, the L.A. City Hall Farmers' Market recently had its grand reopening and is back to its usual weekly hours of 10am to 2pm every Thursday.
Cost: Varies

Do some good

Ongoing
Various locations
Volunteering gets a lot of buzz around the holidays, but nonprofits focused on making the lives of our fellow citizens better need help all year round. Established and successful nonprofits are always looking for volunteers—Homeboy Industries or 826LA, for example. Also consider the LA Mutual Aid Network, a collection of people doing direct, street-level service for others on a weekly basis. The City of LA also has its own portal, VolunteerLA, to help connect people with opportunities to get involved.
Cost: Free, or whatever you’re able to donate.

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Lizbeth Scordo is a food and lifestyle writer. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.