Los Angeles

Ultimate Halloween Guide: 24 Best Celebrations in LA for Spooky or Free Fun

If you've already spent on the Halloween costume (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the pumpkin (and perhaps a second one if you bought too early), and the Halloween candy (and perhaps an extra aerobics class, if you bought too early), then you might have reached your limit with spending money on this mother-of-all kids' holidays. That's when it's time to start sniffing out which are the key Halloween activities, and which are the free ones, that keep the mood going at this haunting time of year. The following 24 events are the Halloween parties not to miss—the scream of the crop!

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Mountain Lion, Enchanted Crawly, and Getty Fest

This pre-Halloween weekend is wild. It’s wild with things creepy, crawly, 8-legged, and possibly in need of extermination.

It’s wild with creatures swooping and roaming and feasting on pumpkins.

This weekend rages with monsters (silent and 3-dimensional) and with monster squads. It’s a full on Nightmare.

And don't forget the pumpkins. The pumpkins, the pumpkins, the pumpkins. There are so many pumpkins, it's wild.

Keep reading for our wildest picks for the weekend.

35 Fun Things To Do with Kids around Pasadena

If you're working your way down our bucket list of 100 things to do before your LA kids grow up, you might start to notice how many of those things are in Pasadena—and we're not just talking Rose Parade. The inland community rivals Santa Monica for family friendly, walkable streets and variety of arts and entertainment. It's also one of the oldest communities in the LA area, which gave it a head start on collecting cool stuff. Let the tourists spend their days in Hollywood; we know there's more going on most weekends in Pasadena, a city so bursting with kid and family-friendly activities that we couldn't stop at just 25. Read on for 35 things to do around Pasadena.

Universal Horror Nights: for Families Who Love Halloween So Much It's Scary

Sooner or later, the Halloween is coming when your kids will hang up the Disney costumes and ask about tickets to Universal Studios' Horror Nights. Braving Universal's big Halloween event is part of growing up Angeleno. The question is will you experience it as a family, or send your kids on a mass teen rite of passage? The passage is happening younger every year; these days the teen packs screaming the night away at Universal start at 13 or so. So... will you drop your middle schooler at Halloween Horror Nights? Or, if yours is a family that likes to scream through scary movies together, will you go together? Knowing what the scene is like can help you decide, and we've got the info to make either plan a screaming success.

What's Open on Christmas Day in LA: 12 Fun Things To Do

Not everyone spends Christmas Day opening presents and singing Christmas carols. If Christmas at your house feels much like any other day but without as much to do—or if your family are just really fast unwrappers—Mommy Poppins has you covered with everything from whales to festivals, and someplace to eat at the end of the day. Ready for 14 suggestions of things to do and places to go on Christmas Day that have (mostly) nothing to do with chestnuts or open fire?

10 Prime Spots To Hang with a Baby on the Eastside of LA

Having a new baby is a blessing. An exhausting, isolating blessing. To remember what a gift it can be, new moms and dads need to get out of the darn house every once and awhile. If you live on the Eastside of Los Angeles, whether it’s Boyle Heights or Echo Park, you’ve got some cool options to catch your breath with baby in tow. Here are a few of the best spots to get some hang time in with your mini-me.

Say Boo at the Zoo: 5 LA and OC Zoos with Cool Halloween Events

Let the record show that there is more than one way to smash a pumpkin, and handing it to a hippo is definitely one of them. A gorilla does the job pretty well, too, as does a tiger, or—well, just about any other animal at the zoo. This discovery by our nation's zookeepers has led to a peculiar Halloween tradition—that we highly recommend!

Each year Southern California's zoos (and Griffith Park is only one of the options, as you'll see below) plan Halloween events, usually treating resident critters to their favorite delicacies stuffed inside pumpkins. For some, the delicacy may actually be the pumpkin itself (chomp chomp), while the more carnivorously inclined seem to view the pumpkins more as wrapping paper (smash smash). Either way, zoo animals smashing pumpkins ups the ante on traditional pumpkin patches. Check out all the beastly fun at Southland zoos this season.

Best Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat for Los Angeles Kids

Trick or treat! Los Angeles moved down to fifth place in Zillow's Halloween list of the country's 20 best cities for trick-or-treating—but that's not slowing down anyone around here. 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. I defy anyone in Philadelphia to beat these!

Free Admission for Kids at Southern California's Biggest Family Attractions

We can all agree that childhood goes too fast, and there are so many things that if we blink we miss: the first walk around the block, a goodbye kiss at school, getting in free at Disneyland. Those first two you can't put a price on, but that last one? That's worth about $80-$100. In other words, it's really worth keeping track of when the freebies go away. If you're working your way down our LA Kids' Bucket List, you should probably coordinate with the cut-off ages below; some of the museums you can catch on their free admission days, but several other attractions below really drive home the bittersweet point that you're only young once.

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