16 ways to celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead

Compiled by Michael Reyes

Thursday, Oct. 29
El Día de los Muertos Student Art Exhibition See retablos, altars and individual paintings and sculptures created by students attending Santa Monica High School, John Adams Middle School, Grant Elementary School and the Pico Youth and Family Center. The party is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Samohi’s Roberts Art Gallery, 601 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Free. (310) 395-3204 x71441; samohi.smmusd.org/roberts/

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch Bring the kids and explore the petting zoo, Jumpin’ Pumpkin moon bounce, pony rides, face painting, Mr. Bone’s Super Slide, a straw maze and, of course, the pumpkins. $1 per activity ticket. Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 10100 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City. (310) 276-9827; mrbonespumpkinpatch.com

Friday, Oct. 30
Festival de Manualidades The Santa Monica Library’s Pico Branch hosts a family-friendly afternoon of making Day of the Dead crafts. From 3:30 to 5 p.m., see how to make skull masks, stickers and paper ornaments. Free. 2201 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8684; smpl.org

“Escape Reality: Halloween Edition” Dare to enter Magicopolis for a mystifying and entertaining evening of all-ages magic acts and sketch comedy, including levitation, mind-reading, optical illusion and one Houdini-inspired escape:
The Table of Terror. Tickets are $34. 1418 Fourth St., Santa Monica. (310) 451-2241; magicopolis.com

ZWeekend at the Venice Whaler Three days of zombie fun at the Whaler. Friday is ‘80s surfin’ zombies night, so wear your most neon get-up with a zombie twist. Saturday is rock star zombies, featuring a haunted house, costume contest prizes, photo booth and fortuneteller. Sunday wraps up with Día de los Zombies brunch and drinks. No cover. 10 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey. (310) 821-8737; venicewhaler.com

Saturday, Oct. 31
Halloween Tailgate at SMC A family-friendly Halloween-themed community tailgate starts at 10:30 a.m. ahead of the 1 p.m. kickoff for Santa Monica College’s homecoming game. Activities include a deejay dance party, carnival games, balloon artists, face painting and free glitter or henna tattoos. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes and go trick-or-treating at booths hosted by various student clubs. Free entry.  1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 434-4100; alumni.smc.edu

“Absolutely Halloween” At the Santa Monica Playhouse, a colorful set of characters take a young girl named Candy on an adventure through All Hallows’ Eve and pick one special audience member to join in and help save Halloween for one more year. Performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12.50 to $15. 1211 4th St., Santa Monica. (310) 394-9779 x2; santamonicaplayhouse.com

3rd Annual Zombie Crawl Starting at 6:30 p.m., pick up a wristband at Rusty’s Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier and enter the spooky, zombie scene of Main Street. If you’re lucky, you’ll make it through the eight participating bars and restaurants and enjoy the finish line at Wokcano for a “WOK-ing Dead” after party. 21+; $12 to $15. Wristband gives you access to food and drink specials, complimentary zombie makeup, and the zombie after party. (310) 393-7437; rustyssurfranch.com

Screamin’ Halloween Party Wear a costume to celebrate Vegan Scene’s first Halloween costume party with spooky-themed vegan cuisine from Frankenstand, sweet treats from Cup My Cakez, an open bar, music, costume contest prizes, and more from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. 21+; $45 ticket includes all you can eat and drink. 610 Main St., Venice. (310) 448-2650; veganscene.com

Flashback Halloween Bash The Craftsman Bar and Kitchen hosts an evening of ‘80s and rock music, drink specials and screenings of scary movies from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Come dressed as your favorite ‘80s rocker or movie icon and enter a costume contest. No cover. 119 Broadway, Santa Monica. (310) 573-8426; thecraftsmanbar.com

Sunday, Nov. 1
Día de los Angelitos From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Virginia Avenue Park hosts a traditional ceremony for Día de los Angelitos (Day of the Little Angels), which honors children who have passed away. Free. 2200 Virginia Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8688; smgov.net/vapark

Day of the Dead Celebration From 1 to 4 p.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery, the city of Santa Monica hosts its fourth annual celebration of traditional Mexican and Latin American ceremonies of life and death. The event includes an opening procession and ceremonial blessing with music and dance by Ketzaliztli, crafts workshops, food, a performance by Conjunto Jardín, and a documentary screening of how families in Mexico prepare for this celebration. 1847 14th St., Santa Monica. Free. (310) 452-8688; smgov.net/dia


UCLA-SPARC’s Día de los Muertos SPARC hosts its annual Day of the Dead ceremony from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., this year including a ritual Calling of the Spirits led by UCLA instructor and SPARC artist-in-Residence Martha Ramirez-Oropeza and students with UCLA’s César E. Chávez Chicana/o Studies Department. The event includes music by Jacqueline Fuentes and a participatory community altar for you to honor loved ones with photos and mementos. 685 Venice Blvd., Venice. (310) 822-9560 x15; sparcinla.org

Monday, Nov. 2
Day of the Dead Dioramas Make a diorama with your little ones (ages 5+) to remember a loved one during this crafts session from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Public Library’s Montana Branch. Free. 1704 Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8682; smpl.org

“The Book of Life” The Santa Monica Library’s Pico Branch hosts a 5 p.m. screening of this musical adventure and animated film set in Mexico during Day of the Dead. When young bullfighter Manolo is torn between family expectations and following his heart, he jumps into an adventure that takes him through various fantastical worlds where he confronts his fears. Free. Pico Branch Library, 2201 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8684; smpl.org

“La Festividad de los Muertos”At the Santa Monica Library’s Pico Branch, the city of Santa Monica and the Mexican Consulate present a 7 p.m. screening of a bilingual film that explores the preparations for Day of the Dead, including altars and the ritual of communion with the deceased. Free. 2201 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 458-8684; smpl.org