Los Angeles

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat on Halloween Night with Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles consistently makes the top 5 cities on Zillow's Halloween list of the country's best spots for trick-or-treating. The real estate website bases its trick-or-treat ranking on criteria like home value and crime rates. That's good, but what about special effects and Halloween decorations? If one figures in the number of film industry creatives living in a given metropolitan area, LA wins first place by a country mile. Speaking of country miles, if you've walked the distance between houses in the most expensive LA neighborhoods, you know that higher home value does not always translate to better trick-or-treating. What does? Well, keep your Halloween hats on, because we've got a list of some of LA and Orange County's most legendary trick-or-treat neighborhoods.

Safe, Organized, and Indoor Trick-or-Treat Options for LA Kids on Halloween Night

We may have grown up cruising the streets unchaperoned eating loosely wrapped candy on Halloween night, but we’d no sooner let our own children do that than bounce around the back of a station wagon without a car seat. And while some of us are fortunate enough to have friendly, festive neighborhoods to walk our Avengers and Elsas through, many parents prefer the safety and self-contained nature of a mall, museum, or other organized trick-or-treat event.

Keep an eye on our events calendar and Halloween Fun Guide for complete listings; some venues hold their Halloween celebrations on the weekend, to maximize the holiday. October 31, of course, is the night for ringing doorbells, but for those who prefer to collect their candy in a confined space, we have more than 25 local options below.

Things To Do in LA this Weekend: Enchanted Crawly Halloween, Boos at Zoos, and P-22

Throw on your masks and open up your treat sacks, because this is the weekend we start taking Halloween seriously. True, in some corners Halloween has always been deadly serious (as in full-on Zombie attack), but for the most part we have been attending our trick or treateries sans costumes, and more in onlooker mode. Well, no more. This weekend you start trick-or-treating at the LA Zoo. You can trick-or-treat at the Santa Ana Zoo. You can trick-or-treat with the Peanuts gang, and you can trick-or-treat with bugs (though hopefully not for bugs).

You can get pumpkinspumpkins, pumpkins, from a town called pumpkin (ish), and then you can watch as they light up the night

You can party with guinea pigs (no, that's not a costume; they're always that adorbs). You can party with the Jonas Brothers (no that's not a costume, they're always that adorbs). You can party with P-22 (don't bother calling an Uber, he'll get there on his own).

Or you can spend the weekend with a bunch of superheroes. Not the types who wear capes: I'm talking the kind who save lives. The 22nd Annual LA Cancer Challenge 5K Walk/Run brings folks together on the UCLA campus for fun times, fitness, and raising awareness about pancreatic cancer research. It's a cause we believe in so much we became a media sponsor. (Do we still have to do 5 kilometers if we're sponsors? Asking for my knees.)

Keep reading for our most heroic picks for the weekend, because next week things are going to get real:

Easy Halloween Treats for Kids and Classroom Parties

Candy bars aren't the only Halloween treats to hand out this October 31. School kids across the country are getting ready to celebrate with Halloween parades and classroom parties, meaning you might be on the hook for homemade Halloween treats.

But there's no need to fear the sign-up email headed your way. I've planned more than a few Halloween parties and have put together a list of easy Halloween treats to help parents skip the last-minute scramble. These tried-and-true spooky snacks transform pretzel sticks into ghouls, mandarins into pumpkins, and make enough Monster Mash Brownies that will turn the entire class into sugar monsters.

100 Things To Do in California with Kids Before They Leave The Nest

Whether your kids are leaving the nest in one year or in ten years, there are at least 100 things to do in California worthy of any family's bucket list. From San Diego to Crescent City and every town in between, there are amusement parks, great hikes, drives to the mountains, adventure activities, and so much more!

Did you know that California has 58 counties? Okay, maybe your bucket list doesn't need to cover all 58, but we have awesome family excursions covering over 30 counties across California's 163,696 square miles. How many have your kids experienced?

Halloween's Best Home Haunts, Haunted Houses, Yard Displays, Decorations, and Spooky Mazes in LA

If you want to get your Halloween on without being scared by those haunting Halloween theme park prices, there are lots of free Halloween yard haunts across Los Angeles. Our house loves Halloween so much it's super scary. We reconnect with neighbors hanging ghosts in trees, weaving skeletons into the jasmine, and smearing cobwebs in the shrubbery. Our normally zen rock garden becomes a graveyard, with last year's Halloween costumes for inhabitants. And we feed our macabre creativity by avidly checking out other Halloween addicts' handiwork; we love ghost trains, festivalspumpkin patches, and a good scream at the Queen Mary—but the real beauty of living in the film capital of the world is that private haunted houses frequently rival the spectacles at the big theme parks. For real. We've collected the scream of the crop below.

Things To Do in LA this Weekend: Farmers Market Fall Fest, Depot Day, and Lots of Halloween Scares

The weekends around here have been Halloweeny for a while now, but they're starting to get a little...scary. And I don't just mean because you realized that your kid's desired costume is on backorder til Christmas so you may have to make one yourself. I mean honest to goodness, Momma's too old for this, scare the bejeebus out of you, old school nightmare-inducing terror.

Thank heavens for the light side. The pumpkin paths with a little extra, the fall festival in the middle of our big city, the old fashioned mechanisms, and the prehistoric history. Nothing beats the look of joy on an elephant's face as he chows down on a whole pumpkin. (At least I think that's joy?) Nothing beats the look of joy on a mom's face when she meets her childhood hearthrob. (Now I know that's joy!)

This weekend you can go to your happy place, whether it's a train depot, a Japanese garden, the land of the dead, or outer space. Tons of fun, and none of it scary. Except for that thing about the costume. Anyone know a good seamstress?

Keep reading for our favorite picks for the weekend, which totally aren't scary...

Ultimate Halloween Event List: 35+ Best Celebrations in LA for Free or Spooky Fun

Why are most of the Halloween events below free? We spend on the Halloween costume (and a second one if we buy too early), and the pumpkin (and a second one if we buy too early), and the Halloween candy (and oh do we pay if we buy too early)—has anyone else reached their limit with spending money on this mother-of-all kids' holidays? We've sniffed out a whole bunch of free spooky fun, plus a few of the key Halloween activities that might be worth paying a little extra for. The following 35+ events are the Halloween parties not to miss—the scream of the crop!

Easy Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Ideas for Halloween

If your family pulled out the Halloween decorations well before the first pumpkin spice latte sip of 2019, then we're sure you're looking for great pumpkin carving ideas now, too.

The cornerstone of any great Halloween display—the jack-o-lantern—is always one of our favorite things to do with kids in the fall, right after the apple picking and pumpkin patch outing, of course. Pumpkin carving is one of those rare activities that every member of the family can enjoy equally. Little kids love the mess, big kids love the chance to wield a knife, and parents love to show off our creative skills.

We’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite pumpkin carving stencils, all of which include a link to the FREE pumpkin carving design. With a little practice and plenty of options, we're sure you'll find the pumpkin design that captures your family's Halloween vibe, from Baby's First Halloween sweetness to Cyclops to superhero character themes. So read on to step up your Halloween fun (and game).

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