Kids cannot live by Halloween alone—or can they? Just in case, we've included several events on our October GoList that are not about Halloween. Just to mix it up. Of course, if Halloween festivals and pumpkin patches are what you're craving, they're with us all month long in abundance. Ghost trains and mega-haunts, too. But with all the activities October has to offer, a little curating is definitely in order. Read on for our top choices of things not to miss in LA, Ventura, and OC this month. We'll keep adding to our calendar daily and sending our weekly newsletters, too; with so much going on, we'll have to!
Los Angeles Greek Festival - Downtown
October 5-7, 2018
LA's largest Greek festival is a star-studded, three-day event with music, dancing, and a whole lot of baklava.
Feria de Moles - Downtown
October 7, 2018
Fans of exceptional Mexican food won't want to miss this: the annual festival in Grand Park is a mass celebration of all Mexican cuisine, but especially the savory, chocolatey, spicy dish that lends the event its name. No one leaves hungry.
Coast Open Streets Event - Santa Monica - FREE!
October 7, 2018
For the third year, the beach city sets aside a Sunday as a no car day. Two miles of main roads are set aside for pedestrians and cyclists only, lined with all-day entertainment, food, and games along the route.
COAST closes streets to cars for a great afternoon of biking, walking, and entertainment. Photo by William Short courtesy of the City of Santa Monica
Hocus Pocus - Hollywood
October 11-21, 2018
Disney's El Capitan Theatre brings back its annual Halloween-time run of the wacky, spooky, triple-witch classic that celebrates 25 years of entertaining movie-goers with the antics of Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as Salem witches come back from the dead on Halloween night. The El Capitan celebrates each screening as if it were Rocky Horror. Then go back to the El Cap the following week for an annual dose of Jack Skellington in the Halloween week reprisal of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Reyes Adobe Days - Agoura Hills - FREE!
October 12-14, 2018
Agoura's annual festival explores California's heritage through festivities that include a parade, music, art exhibits, historical demonstrations, games, tours, and pony rides.
ArtNight - Pasadena - FREE!
October 12, 2018
Pasadena's semi-annual art event is always worth putting on the calendar; all the museums are free (and there are more than you might think), as is transportation between them all evening. Food trucks mean no need to factor in dinner—just a safe, fun, educational night on the town.
Kids love ArtNight at the Norton Simon Museum. Photo courtesy of Norton Simon Art Foundation
Halloween Ghost Train - Griffith Park
October 13-31, 2018
We are so thrilled that the Ghost Train is back and haunted by an exciting new neighbor! This Halloween season tradition is an all-ages treat, aboard a ride-on model train through spooky scenes arranged by the Los Angeles Live Steamers.
Calabasas Pumpkin Festival - Calabasas
October 20-21, 2018
True, there are a lot of pumpkin festivals this month, but how could you miss the one in the town whose name actually means "pumpkins"? Parking can be a little harsh, but that's probably because all the fun (rides, games, entertainment) is included in one $5 advance-purchase admission (otherwise, $10 at the door).
LA Cancer Challenge 5k - Westwood
October 21, 2018
Families can spend a day running a 5k and doing a fitness challenge on the UCLA campus, enjoying Halloween themed activities and raising money for a good cause.
Novenario Processions - Downtown - FREE!
October 25 - November 2, 2018
If your family is game for a unique cultural experience, the nine evenings leading up to el Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) are a great time to visit Downtown and dance among the skeletons.
Families go all out for Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever. Photo Mauricio Hoyos, courtesy of Hollywood Forever
Hollywood Forever Día de los Muertos - Hollywood
October 27, 2018
One of the biggest, most famous Day of the Dead celebrations in LA comes a week ahead of Día de los Muertos, in the massive annual day-long celebration at Hollywood Forever cemetery. The costumes are out of this world, and the entertainment all worth the price of admission.
Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade - Anaheim - FREE!
October 27, 2018
Anaheim has been throwing this party for nearly a century (Babe Ruth was the first Grand Marshall, to put things in perspective). Between the evening parade on Saturday and the roller coasters, there are some great photo ops for this year's Halloween costume.
There are pumpkins and a whole lot more at the annual Kidspace festival. Photo courtesy of Kidspace Children’s Museum
Kidspace Pumpkin Festival - Pasadena
October 27-28, 2018
The annual Kidspace Pumpkin Festival features crafts, rides, games, bouncers, live performances, and free photos at the pumpkin patch. Oh - and lots of pumpkins.
Kinderfest at Old World's Oktoberfest - Huntington Beach
Sundays through October 28, 2018
Thoughts of an Old World Oktoberfest might conjure up images of beer mugs and lederhosen (not that there's anything wrong with that), but the annual Huntington Beach Oktoberfest goes well beyond that to create a weekly kid-focused event with carnival games, costume contests, and wiener dog races.
Trick-or-treating in Disneyland—who wouldn't want to do that? Photo courtesy of Disneyland
Mickey's Halloween Party - Anaheim
through October 31, 2018
We're not claiming it's cheap or anything, but trick-or-treating is a heck of a way to see Disneyland. Prices for the nighttime event are slightly lower than by day, and (even better) crowds are smaller because the number of tickets sold is limited.
Underwood Farms Fall Harvest Festival - Moorpark
through October 31, 2018
Take your pick, because Underwood Farms' wonderful fall festival runs every day all month. Weekends pack in more activities; weekdays offer lower admission. Either way, you can come home with a basket of freshly picked vegetables as a bonus.