Your guide to Westside Halloween haunts, festivals and celebrations

Compiled by Christina Campodonico

Halloween is a time to play tricks, enjoy treats and maybe even connect with some spirits (living or dead, you decide).

Whether you’re looking for something scary or more low-key, we’ve rounded up some spirited and out-of-the-ordinary ways to celebrate this fun and festive time of year.

Wabi Venice’s Moon Ball is a place to be seen and do some good for the Venice Family Clinic

Oct. 26

Free Your Spirit in Venice

Home décor shop Amiga Wild transforms into a BOOtique for its end-of-the-month art show and party. See some scary good art, slurp up some spooky sips and join a union of artistic souls as they dance the night away from 6 to 11 p.m. Costumes are encouraged.

2124 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. facebook.com/amigawild

Spooky Sounds in Mar Vista

Timewarp Records presents a lineup starting at 8 p.m. that sounds downright ghoulish and perfect for Halloween: Faint Endless, UFO Whisperer, Waxy and The Stolen Moans. All of these band names conjure up creepy associations, but the female-fronted Moans in particular promise an on-theme performance. Their debut single “The King of Claws” howls with haunting vocals, punk rock influences, and tells the tale of a willful black cat with despotic tendencies. We’ll leave the meaning of that up to you, but hearing this kind of music could be cathartic — a way to head bang out any screams you’ve been holding back lately. (While you’re in the neighborhood, we also recommend stopping by the Mar Vista Art Walk Community Gallery’s “CREEPSHOW,”
a mash-up of monster images and more. See page 14).

12204 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista. $8. stolenmoans.com

Haunting Cinema in El Segundo

The Old Town Music Hall screens the original 1925 cut of “The Phantom of the Opera” starting Friday. Lon Chaney stars as the legendary phantom, Mary Philbin plays opera starlet Christine Daaé and the movie theater’s Mighty Wurlizter organ provides the musical accompaniment.

Showtimes at 8:15 p.m. Friday, 2:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 26 to 28).
140 Richmond St., El Segundo. $8 to $10. oldtownmusichall.org.

Pumpkin Patch Playtime in Culver City

The PLATFORM’s Pumpkin Patch is something that the young and young at heart can get behind. Through Oct. 31, the playful pop-up hosts a hale bale maze, a bouncy slide and Halloween arts & crafts, plus face painting, a petting zoo and a balloon artist on the weekends. Saturday offers a spooky screening of the 1993 Halloween flick “Hocus Pocus” at 6:30 p.m. and L.A.-based apparel brand OMAMImini stops by with a trunk show, featuring soft, edgy and effortless styles for kids during the day.

8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City. $10 for ages 2 and up. Noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends through Oct. 31. platformpatch.com

Oct. 27

Have a Spooky Saturday at Coeur d’Alene

Go pumpkin bowling, enjoy vegan gelato and get lost in a Halloween maze during Coeur D’Alene Elementary School’s annual fall fundraiser from noon to 5 p.m.

810 Coeur D’Alene Ave., Venice. cdavenice.org

Float in a Pumpkin Patch

Every year, Urho Saari Swim Stadium (aka The Plunge) turns its pool into a “floating pumpkin patch.” Dive in, pick your pumpkin and stay to decorate it from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

219 W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo. $5 to $7. (310) 524-2738; elsegundo.org.

Find Your Soulmate in Santa Monica

This blowout “Haunted Hotel” bash hosted by matchmaking service Three Day Rule at Viceroy Santa Monica features five bars, two dance floors, two psychics and a serious costume contest. Dress in your Halloween best to compete in the Sexiest, Most Creative or Best Cultural Reference categories. (One of the grand prizes is a round trip for two to Palm Springs or San Diego.) Coupled spirits are welcome to attend (there’s even a prize for Best Couple’s costume), but single souls are highly encouraged to transverse L.A.’s hellish traffic to mix with eligible ghouls and goblins. The festivities start at 8 p.m. and go well into the night.

1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. $30 to $85. Search “Haunted Hotel” at eventbrite.com.

Party on the Pier like the Undead

The 6th annual Zombie Crawl (sponsored by marijuana retailer MedMen) kicks off at 6 p.m. for the 21+ crowd. Dress up like a zombie (or be chased by one) starting from Rusty’s Surf Ranch at the Santa Monica Pier. The mayhem concludes (or should we say ramps up?) with a killer after party at 1212 Santa Monica on the Third Street Promenade. Stops for imbibing include Big Dean’s, Red O, 41 Ocean, Makai, Ye Olde King’s Head, Britannia and Barney’s Beanery. But be sure to walk with arms extended and one leg dragging to live out the full walking dead-ish experience. Makeup artists will be on standby at Rusty’s to help the first 100 attendees get zombie-fied.

200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica. $12+. zombiecrawl2018.eventbrite.com

Seaside Scares in the Marina

This year’s Marina Spooktacular is a little less harvest-y and a little more spooky. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 27 & 28) explore a blackout maze of terror, go scavenger hunting in an eerie graveyard or board one of two haunted tall ships, if you dare. Thirteen-plus is the magic (and recommended) age number up for the tall ships at night, but during the day expect friendlier pirates to say, “Ahoy!” The two-day festival in Burton Chace Park will also host food trucks, face painting, pumpkin carving and Dia de Los Muertos celebrations of music and dance that are appropriate for souls of all ages.

13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. (424) 526-7900; visitmarinadelrey.com/Halloween.

Oct. 28

Parade your Pooch on the Boardwalk

Primp up your favorite four-legged friend for Uncle Chuck’s Annual Dog-O-Ween from 4 p.m. to sunset. The canine costume contest features a red carpet and step and repeat by Venice Paparazzi. Prizes will be given away for the most original and hilarious costumes, as well as the “Best in Show.”

23rd Ave. and Ocean Front Walk, Venice. venicepaparazzi.com

Oct. 31

Halloween Town in downtown El Segundo

Flit around El Segundo’s Main Street during its “Halloween Frolic” from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Trick-or-treat at local businesses, enter a costume contest at City Hall Plaza at 4:30 p.m., or bring your already carved or painted pumpkin creation to the El Segundo Women’s Club’s pumpkin carving contest at 5:50 p.m. A bounce house and haunted house round out the All Hallows’ Eve fun.

Between the 300 and 400 blocks of Main Street, El Segundo. $8 presale; $10 day of. facebook.com/esrecandpark

Fright-free Fun in Playa Vista

Who says Halloween has to be startling? The Silicon Beach Parents Group and Playa Vista Community Services host a family-friendly “Halloween Hangout” from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on The Lawn at Playa Vista. Little trick-or-treaters are invited to show off their costumes and get crafty while adults can sip on complimentary caffeine concoctions by Long Shots Coffee Company. The only shrieks you should expect are ones of laughter.

12659 Millenium Dr., Playa Vista. Search “Playa Vista Halloween Hangout” to RSVP.

Old School Trick-or-Treating in Westchester

While normally a sleepy community, Westchester becomes a hotbed of nighttime activity on Halloween. Thanks to enthusiastic neighbors who decorate their front lawns with skeletons, spider webs and twinkly orange lights (basically bat signals for good candy), the word has gotten out that Westchester knows how to do Halloween right (and give out king-size candy bars). If you live in the ’hood, congrats! You don’t have to go very far for Halloween fun. If you’re coming in from out of the area — even nearby Playa del Rey — get there early. Parking spots are tough to find past sundown.

Anywhere between Sepulveda and Lincoln Boulevards and Manchester Blvd. and the bluffs in the 90045.

Treat Yourself (and Others) on Abbot Kinney

Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, but Wabi Venice is channeling that vice for a good cause this Hallows’ Eve. On Wednesday, they throw their 2nd annual Moon Ball, serving up bloody (good) cocktails and frightfully fabulous food from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. to benefit Venice Family Clinic. Now here’s a devilishly decadent evening you can feel good about!

1635 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. Search “Halloween Moon Ball” at eventbrite.com to register.

Experience a Time Warp in Venice

Particle Kid (aka Micah Nelson, son of the legendary Willie Nelson) returns to the Del Monte for Electric Ghoul-Aid Acid Test, the psychedelic, annual Halloween-themed music night he founded with Insects vs. Robots in 2013. This year, Nelson teams up with co-headliner Daedelus to deconstruct and perform music from and inspired by the ’90s cult classic “Space Jam.” Come dressed as your favorite Looney Tunes cartoon, mon-“star” or ’90s-themed character. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Townhouse & Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Ave., Venice. $10. townhousevenice.com

Dream a ‘Nightmare on Main Street’

Organic burger joint Bareburger hosts a gruesomely scrumptious All Hallows’ Eve bash with a haunted photo booth, otherworldly tarot car readings, a wicked dance party, a spooky outdoor cinema and devilishly good cocktail and organic food offerings. Magical drink specials (i.e. Happy Hour) appear from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., followed by a creepy costume contest at 10 p.m., but you can get your ghoul on till 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

2732 Main Street, Santa Monica. $15 presale; $25 at the door. Search “Nightmare on Main Street Halloween Bash” at eventbrite.com.

Hoist a Hot Dog for Halloween

Since 1966, the Artunian family of Playa del Rey has given out hot dogs and french fries from their “Halloween Mini-Mansion” to hungry trick-or-treaters. The exact location of this smorgasbord is hush-hush, but if you’re in the neighborhood, try picking up the address from a friendly soul.

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