Halloween can be a lot more than just trick-or-treating or getting smashed off some questionably preserved and flavored punch mix. No other holiday seems to inspire as much creativity. It’s that creativity, whether channeled into decorations, costumes, or scare tactics, that makes Halloween so fun. LA gets special recognition as the entertainment epicenter. When half your neighbors work in the entertainment industry, you can bet they have the professional expertise to take Halloween to the next level. From haunted hayrides to movie screenings, nobody does Halloween quite like LA.
Nights of the Jack: A Halloween Jack O’ Lantern Experience
This interactive and family-friendly Halloween event is run with help from Nickelodeon, making for some truly unique installations. Guests can wander through a half-mile of jack o’ lantern laden trails around the historic King Gillette Ranch. The event is perfect for families with small children, as the scare factor is pretty low. Features include two special Nickelodeon installations, as well as pumpkin carving, gift shopping, food trucks and “The Spookeasy Bar.
Where: King Gillette Ranch – 26800 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas, CA 91302
When: Runs every night until Nov. 3rd, starting at 6pm.
Tickets: Adults (13+) – $27, Kids (3-12) – $22, Infants (0-2) – Free.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is the ultimate in scare experiences. With over six different scare attractions, guests will be on their toes from beginning to end. From anxiety inducing mazes to decrepit ranch houses, the Haunted Hayride promises to be LA’s premier attraction for
masochists people looking to test their undergarments courage. This event is not recommended for children under 12, or for those who scare easily.
Where: Griffith Park (Old Zoo) – 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90027
When: Every night from now until Nov 2nd, starting at 7:30 pm.
Tickets: GA –$45, VIP – $60, other ticket options are available.
West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval
With both family and scary events now ticked off, let’s switch focus to an event for those who see Halloween as the best costume party of the year. The West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is the biggest costume party in the city of Angels. The sheer amount of costume creativity on display is simply astounding. Dj’s will keep the energy high, and Carnaval goers can pop in and out of the many bars, clubs, and restaurants that line Santa Monica Blvd. The event officially ends at 11, but the surrounding bars don’t close until much later, keeping the party rolling all the way into November.
Where: West Hollywood, on Santa Monica Blvd., between N. Doheny Dr. and La Cienega.
When: Oct. 31st, from 6 – 11pm.
Tickets: Free to attend.
Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights
No Halloween list for LA would be complete without Universal Studios Horror Nights. The event has been running at the Universal Studios Hollywood location since 1997. The top notch costumes and studio effects create an immersive experience like no other. This year, Horror Nights will feature 10 different mazes, including mazes based off of the hit TV show Stranger Things, and the movies Ghostbusters and Us. To top it off, guests can still go on many of the rides open during the day and watch an exclusive live show from the infamous dance-group Jabbawockeez. No other Halloween event offers more to do or see than Universal Horror Nights.
Where: Universal Studios Hollywood, 100 Universal Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608.
When: Every night until Nov. 3rd, from 7pm – 2am.
Tickets: GA – $72-99, other ticket options are available.
‘Psycho’ with the LA Opera Live at the Ace Hotel
If you’re like me, you don’t want to be scared silly on Halloween, or have to attend some bombastic party, or be forced into chaperoning some candy-crazed toddlers. Give me a (reasonably) scary movie and some popcorn, and I’m set. Well the Theater at Ace Hotel and LA Opera have teamed up to give the good people of LA that Halloween experience, kicked up a notch. From Oct. 25 – 31st, the Theater at Ace Hotel will be screening the Hitchcock classic Psycho, with a live performance of the original score (bone-chilling screeches and all) by the LA Opera. This is a once in a season kind of event, so book quick.
Where: The Theater at Ace Hotel, 929 S Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90015.
When: Oct. 25 – Oct. 31st, 8pm, with matinee performances at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.
By Aldo Moreno