Weekday Picks: Countdown to Halloween and Day of the Dead, October 26-30

10/26/15 - By Jacqueline Stansbury

This is it folks, just five more business days before All Hallows Eve. Here in Los Angeles, there is absolutely no reason why Halloween should be a one day event revolving around the acquisition and consumption of candy. While I confess my own house is on its second bag of candy corn, we have also managed to squeeze in several thematic excursions: Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary is a must do for older kids who like to be terrified; it starts haunted and gets scarier from there. Spooky, atmospheric, and worth the monumental wait is the Ghost Train in Griffith Park; arrive before dark or just as it's closing to avoid the most epic lines. Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns is dark enough to be mildly spooky but still appeals to young ones (hold out for discounted tickets on Goldstar or elsewhere). And Bob Baker’s Marionettes always offer an enjoyable way to celebrate the holiday; Mr. Baker is no longer with us, but his Halloween Spooktacular continues.

Free Halloween activities this week include The Hollow Trees at Kids Club on the Green in Glendale, cartoonist Dave Boatman showing Studio City kids some spooky Halloween cartooning, and a Hotel Transylvania family picnic on the Promenade at Santa Monica's Cinema on the Street. Don't forget to pass by Boney Island in Sherman Oaks, too.


Beyond costumes and candy, it's worth remembering the more solemn side of the season. Many of LA's Latin American population are celebrating Day of the Dead, the holiday set aside for remembering loved ones who have passed. Olvera Street marks this event with a nine day Día De Los Muertos Novenario. This beautiful ceremony celebrates the cycle of life with ritual and blessings and is a lovely counterpoint to the rest of our city’s Halloween hoopla.

For more ways to celebrate Halloween before it's too late, be sure to check out our Daily Event calendar.

1. Día de los Muertos Novenario – Monday
This nine day festival on Olvera Street leads up to All Saint’s Day and concludes on the Day of the Dead on November 2nd. Each evening there is a parade, a cleansing ritual, and a theatrical ritual dance combining elements of Native American tradition and mysticism in honor of the dead.
See all Monday events

2. Kids Club on the Green – Tuesday
For kids who really love costumes, a parade at school and Saturday night trick-or-treating will not be enough. This week's Hollow Trees event at the Americana encourages costumes and adds to the festivities with face painting and balloon art.
See all Tuesday events

3. Tongva after Dark: Wonder Room – Wednesday
One thing about Santa Monica: it's always coming up with new ways to celebrate public art. Wednesday, for one night only, the terrain of Tongva is divided into “rooms” populated by performance artists. Expect music, dance, puppetry, and a toy theater called “Automata” are expected.
See all Wednesday events

4. Spooky Cartooning for Kids – Thursday
Whatever the holiday, there is nothing quite like, heading to the local library with the little ones for a seasonal activity. This week the Studio City Branch library invites cartoonist Dave Boatman to show kids how to create spooky cartoons.
See all Thursday events

5. Theatricum BOO-Tanicum – Friday
Picking one thing for Friday is tough, with all the early trick-or-treating and once-a-year nighttime fun that's planned. Since the woods of Topanga are a great setting for pretty much anything, we'll go for this annual Halloween festival at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, which includes games, a hillside haunted house, and a comedy improv show.
See all Friday events

There are always plenty more activities on our Daily Event calendar and in our monthly GoList. And if you don’t receive our newsletters full of suggestions for family fun, you really should subscribe…it’s free!