10 Spooky Halloween Events in LA This Month
Costume soirees, drive-in horror flicks, hayrides, and more.
It’s fair to say that 2020 has been terrifying enough to warrant skipping Halloween this year, but at this point, what’s the difference? Though most of LA’s more notable festivities have been canceled, many have shifted to drive-thru, virtual, and socially distanced offerings. If you’re looking for a little fun with your fright, here’s everything to consider this Halloween. We’ll be over here screaming either way.
The Parking Lot Cinema collaboration between Secret Movie Club and Electric Dusk Drive-In has been screening double features on an inflatable screen at the Glendale Sears parking lot every weekend for months now. To mark the horror-themed holiday, they’re showing flicks including A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Silence of the Lambs this month, culminating with the perfect mother-daughter movie duo for Halloween night – the original Halloween and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. (The first stars Jamie Lee Curtis, the second stars her mom, Janet Leigh, but you knew that.)
Once again, King Gillette Ranch has become the backdrop for thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns hanging from trees and dotting the land around the ranch. The pumpkin carvings are pretty impressive with many meant to look like animated characters, athletes and celebs (including Mario Lopez, which is just ridiculous) along with plenty of Instagrammable installations—from sharks to castles to dinosaurs—along the way. It’s a drive-thru this year sans the usual food trucks, so make sure to pack some snacks.
Price: $69 per car for up to seven people
If you’re up for a socially distant soiree, head up to this swanky rooftop venue that will be decking out 5,500 square feet of open-air space with a Halloween theme. Look for small plates (all priced under $15), killer cocktails like the blood orange-and-prosecco Bloody Spritz, and tables that can seat parties of up to six from noon until 2 am. If a boozy brunch is more your thing, adjacent rooftop pop-up Las Palmas will be doing a Day of the Dead brunch with a Yucatan-style menu, Micheladas, and a photo booth on both Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos on November 1.
Price: Cost of food and drink
DTLA is hosting an array of virtual and outdoor Halloween activities during the last two weekends of the month including a virtual ghost tour and campfire ghost stories on October 24, a virtual cocktail demo put on by drink den The Mermaid and Far Bar on October 30 (purchase and collect your kit ahead of time) and Brew Ha Ha, a progressive takeout event on Halloween afternoon where participants get to pick up bites and drinks from Little Tokyo eateries including Azay, Café Dulce, Fugetsu-Do, Kouraku, Sake Dojo, and TaNoTa Takoyaki for $100 per couple. A scavenger hunt for the kids starting at Japanese Village Plaza will follow.
Price: Free to $100
Beetlejuice will serve as the final family-friendly flick of the spooky series to usher in Halloween. And you won’t go home hungry. Each car will get stocked with popcorn, movie candy, and bottled water along with a three-course meal from Curtis Stone’s new Picnic Society by Gwen that’ll include crudité, mac and cheese, fried chicken, and eyeball crinkle cookies.
After a complete relaunch last year, one of LA’s favorite haunts has not only shifted to a drive-in event but also moved from its Griffith Park home to the more car-friendly Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas. You won’t be able to cower from monsters while cruising on the open-air hay-covered flatbeds of yesteryear, but you will take in scenes from spooky Midnight Falls, where Monte Revolta has taken over the Midnight Theatre, including creeps peering at you through the windshield and a show displayed on a 40-foot screen during the hour-long experience. Note that you’ll need to buy tickets for a specific time slot beforehand.
You’ve got your pick of two interactive Halloween-themed drive-thru experiences put on by some of the creators of the currently-on-pause Coachella and Outside Lands. Fright Farms takes you through the bad-stuff’s-definitely-about-to-happen-here town of Hilldale where a girl has mysteriously gone missing (you’ll even get alerts on your phone) and terrifying townsfolk are on a mission to scare the bejesus out of you during your 35-minute ride. The family friendlier version (which runs the same length) involves grinning Jack-o-Lanterns, candy clues, and a guy named Stingy Jack. Both experiences take place at the same five-acre location about an hour east of Downtown LA. Bonus: A portion of tickets to both will go towards the children’s cancer non-profit, the Jessie Rees Foundation.
Price: $65-$75 per vehicle
Fill up on sweets with free Randy’s DonutsOctober 31
Trick-or-treating (along with so. much. else.) is canceled this year, but if you have any sugar-deprived kids in your life, take ‘em down to a Randy’s Donuts location, which will be handing out free candy-topped Randy’s Rounds to any kids under 15 (because you shouldn’t be trick-or-treating at 16 anyway). Costumes aren’t required, but masks are.
Shop for pumpkins in a patch—or in your carDaily through October 31
Yes, it’s probably easier to grab one from a bin outside Trader Joe’s, but to get into the spirit while picking out the ultimate orange orb, you’ll want to hit a pumpkin patch. Mr. Jack O’Lanterns Pumpkin Patch in Hollywood is offering socially distanced pumpkin decorating and a photo station, along with online ordering so that you can carve up your Jack in the comfort of your own home, with decorating and carving kits available for delivery or curbside pick-up.
The Beverly Center unveiled its first-ever pumpkin patch this year at the Third Street entrance with pumpkins available in three sizes and fall festivities continuing into November. And Culver City’s dining and shopping complex The Platform launched its pop-up drive-thru Halloween shop offering various types of pumpkins, luxe candy, and pumpkin spice cakes for pre-order.
Price: Cost of purchases
Don creepy costumes for Halloween feasts, contests, movie screenings, and moreOctober 30–31
Downtown restaurant Redbird is taking advantage of its possibly-haunted location within a historic rectory and gothic chapel and rolling out a Halloween celebration in the form of its Fine Feather Bourbon Brunch complete with Knob Creek cocktails and a Southern-inspired prix fixe menu by Owner-Chef Neal Fraser served in the expansive courtyard—costumes are encouraged. Beverly Grove’s newly opened Greek eatery Theía is getting into the spirit with a Footsteps in the Attic theme featuring spooky decor, Halloween treats, a nightly DJ, and macabre black and red cocktails for sipping on the sidewalk patio all Halloween weekend long. Dinner on the patio at North Hollywood’s Idle Hour will be featuring back-to-back scary movie screenings including Psycho and Halloween along with spooky drink specials and plenty of popcorn. Free reservations for the two-hour movie slots can be made on Resy. At Venice mainstay The Rose, expect regular dinner service on the outdoor dining areas with specialty cocktails Jell-O shots (!), staffers snapping Polaroids of dressed-up diners, and even a costume contest (C’mon, it’s 2020. No one cares if it’s good or not.)
Price: Cost of food and drink
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