Halloween’s ancient origins date all the way back 2000 years to when the Celts believed the worlds of the dead and the living became enmeshed. To honor the ghosts of the dead returning to earth, they partied. Today, we have lots of Halloween partying options, but instead of building huge bonfires and sacrificing animals, check out these local Halloween haunts.
HALLOWEEN HOP ON MONTANA — The boundaries between shopping and trick-or-treating become blurred on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Costume contests, face painting, fortune telling, cookie decorating, and spooky tales are just some of the fun to be found in the 150 boutiques and restaurants participating between Sixth and 17th Streets in Santa Monica from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 31st. Admission is free.
THE JOKER at WOKCANO— Local revelers will wok n’ roll when KCRW’s Garth Trinidad, host of Chocolate City, deejays the self-proclaimed largest Halloween party to hit the Westside. A hosted vodka bar from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. and $1,000 worth of prize giveaways should get the costume contest going. Featured categories include Best Joker and Sexiest Bat Girl. 9 p.m. Friday, October 31st, to 2 a.m. 1413 Fifth St. (at Santa Monica Boulevard) in Santa Monica. Admission is $10 for those with a costume, $20 without. Must be over 21.
Information, (310) 458-3080, www.wokcano restaurant.com/.
THE HAUNTED PARK — The Westchester Recreation Center sponsors its 18th annual haunted house this Halloween. There’s sure to be lots of haunting, and the house is not recommended for children under eight years old. Westchester High School and Orville Wright Middle School students will be in costume, helping put on the event. Showtimes are 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. 7000 Manchester Ave. in Westchester. Admission is $5.
Information, (310) 670-7473.
WESTCHESTER KIDS ZONE — On the kid-friendlier side, the Westchester Recreation Center is also putting on its annual Kids’ Zone featuring face painting, costume contests, arts and crafts, trick-or-treats, and big, bouncy inflatables. 5 to 10 p.m. 7000 Manchester Ave. in Westchester. Admission is $3.
Information, (310) 670-7473.
THE ZOMBIE ZONE HAUNTED HOUSE — This campy and theatrical scare fest will be haunting the Mar Vista locals with a graveyard, ghouls, ghosts and zombies. It promises to be much more than just a scary time, offering fun for all ages. 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, October 31st, at 3540 Grand View Blvd., Mar Vista. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Information, (310) 737-1066.
FANCY DRESS HALLOWEEN FALL BALL — The Church in Ocean Park sponsors a fun, safe, kid- and family-friendly party featuring the live band EEC (Elevate Escalate Celebrate). The band won’t be going all night, so partiers should bring their best dance party CDs so they can move it, and groove it, and shake it to the music. 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 31st, at 235 Hill St., Santa Monica. $7 for families, $5 for individuals.
Information, (310) 399-1631.
DIA DE LOS MUERTOS RITUAL AND PERFORMANCE — Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica will host Day of the Dead festivities all weekend starting with a community altar construction on Halloween from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The rest of the weekend’s activities will include Calaverando, a ritual and performance inspired by the prints of Mexican artist, Jose Guadalupe Posada. Immediately following the performances, come celebrate the living and the dead with pan de muerto, tamales, and music. 1651 18th St. Tickets are $15.00 for members/students/seniors, $20.00 for general admission.
Information, (310) 453-1755, www.highwaysper formance.org/.