Halloween and Dia De Los Muertos celebrations for every age and budget
Compiled by Kelby Vera
With the scariest day of the year creeping up on us, we break down some of the best Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos happenings on this side of town.
Monday, Oct. 31
Electric Ghoul-Aid Acid Test IV
Venice’s own Insects vs. Robots return to the Townhouse to celebrate Halloween with boundless psychedelic grooves, live art and a captivating costume contest. Blending accessible melodies with hints of folk, jazz, punk and tripped-out weirdness, the band has just released a new full-length album with a title fitting the spirit of the holiday: “THEYLLKILLYAA.”
The Townhouse & Del Monte Speakeasy, 52 Windward Ave., Venice. $10 cover. (310) 392-4040; townhousevenice.com
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 28-30
Harvest Days & Haunted Nights for Young and Old
Marina del Rey’s brand new Harvest Days & Haunted Nights festival takes all of the things people love about Halloween and bundles it into one. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, younglings can enjoy carnival games, train rides, and the deck of a pirate ship. But when the sun goes down, grown-up screams begin with haunted ships, deejay dance parties and scary mazes that end at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Burton W. Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina del Rey. Free. (310) 306-9900; visitmarinadelrey.com
Thursday, Oct. 27
Fangs out for Meals on Wheels Monster Bash
Ghouls will be out in full force for Meals on Wheels’ annual West Coast fundraiser, featuring devilishly delicious eats, complimentary cocktails, silent auctions and casino games with jackpot prizes to match. Starting at 7 p.m., this spooktacular soiree proves you don’t have to sell your soul to have a good time.
Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. $100 charitable donation. (310) 394 5133; mealsonwheelswest.org
‘Mad About Boo’ Science Party
From 4 to 5 p.m., kids ages 8 to 11 can celebrate Halloween by exploring the science behind electricity, fireworks, and dry ice special effects. Find out why it’s a bad idea for witches and goblins to go swimming in a lightning storm, witness a flurry of spooky indoor fireworks, make a special witch’s soda of dry ice, and create your very own batch of take-home slime.
Culver City Julian Dixon Library, 4975 Overland Ave., Culver City. Free. (310) 559-1676; colapublib.org
Friday, Oct. 28
Pumpkin-Patch Poolooza at The Plunge
Pumpkins are making a splash at The Plunge in El Segundo, where you can dive into the spirit of the season with a beachy spin on a Halloween classic. From 7 to 10 p.m., decorate your jack-o-lanterns poolside and watch a movie before swimming inside a floating pumpkin patch in the pool.
Urho Saari Swim Stadium (The Plunge), 219 W. Mariposa Ave., El Segundo. $5 to $7. (310) 524-2738; elsegundo.org
Dance with the Wok-Ing Dead
Join the largest Halloween party on the Westside and start your weekend with a scream. From 8 p.m. on, the scary big, 21+ “Wok-ing Dead” celebration takes over Asian-fusion spot Wokcano for two stories of dancing, drinking and diabolical delight.
Wokcano, 1415 5th St., Santa Monica. $20 advance; $25 at the door. (310) 458-3080; wokcanohalloweensm2016.eventbrite.com
Saturday, Oct. 29
A Bar Crawl to Die For
The Santa Monica Zombie Crawl leads a hoard of partying cannibals from Santa Monica Pier to the Third Street Promenade for its fourth year of brain-eating antics. Check-in starts at 6 p.m. so you can rage like the undead. Keep the drinking in moderation though, partying like a zombie all night can keep you stuck in zombie-mode all week.
Starting and wristband pick-up location is Rusty’s Surf Ranch, 256 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. (323) 330-9559; search Santa Monica Zombie Crawl at eventbrite.com
Angel City Brewery Casts a Spell
This sinfully good party hosted by Angel City Brewery benefits Young at Heart Senior Services & Walk4Alzheimers. Float on by Larry’s in Venice at 9 p.m. for $5 pints, choice bites and a killer costume contest that could bank you gift certificates from hot-spots like The Lobster and M Street Kitchen. Look at it this way: the more you drink, the more cash will go to charity. It feels so good to be bad.
Larry’s, 24 Windward Ave., Venice. No cover. (310) 488-6604; search Halloween Party Benefitting Walk4Alz at eventbrite.com
Can You Beat the King of Costumes?
Hometown Haunt Mo’s Place in Playa del Rey is hosting a costume contest for those of you with nerves of steel (or an appetite for $3 beers and well drinks). The “most outrageous” costume will earn a crisp Benjamin, a bottle of champagne and dinner for two. Be warned, Mo himself is the reigning costume champion and if you want to win, you’ve gotta go big or go home.
Mo’s Place, 203 Culver Blvd, Playa del Rey. No cover. (310) 822-6422; mosplacepdr.com
A Glamorous Twist on the Haunted Hotel
Viceroy Santa Monica turns into a noir nightmare this Saturday for their Halloween haunting. Starting at 8 p.m., hundreds of spirited partiers will dance the night away in the ballroom and enjoy palm readings from a bona fide psychic. Do you dare join the fun?
Viceroy Santa Monica, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. $20 to $80. (310) 260-7500; Search Haunted Hotel at eventbrite.com.
A Frightfully ‘Fintastic’ Fishy Fest
The creatures at Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium invite you to their deep-sea haunts for a day of spooky stories, face-painting and a costume parade from 12:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Who knows what frights await you at the bottom of the sea?
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, 1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica. Free. (310) 393-6149; healthebay.org
Fall Family Festival and Haunted House
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Open Charter Magnet School hosts its fall festival with a haunted house, fairyland, bounce house, art, games and food.
Open Charter Magnet School, 5540 W. 77th St., Westchester. (310) 568-0735; opencharter.org
Día De Los Muertos at Edison
From 1 to 5 p.m., Edison’s Fall Festival celebrates the Day of the Dead in a multicultural, family-friendly festival with live music, dance, carnival rides, games, prizes, arts and crafts, face painting, inflatables and food.
Edison Language Academy, 2402 Virginia Ave., Santa Monica. Free. (310) 828-0335; edison.smmusd.org
Sunday, Oct. 30
Dia De Los Muertos at Woodlawn Cemetery
Santa Monica celebrates Dia De Los Muertos at Woodlawn Cemetery with a day of culture and remembrance from noon to 4 p.m. This rich day of heritage begins with a ceremonial blessing by an Aztec dance group, continues with performances and storytelling in honor of the dead, photo booths and calavera face-paintings — all topped off with big servings of fresh tamales, churros and cold aquas frescas for purchase.
Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St., Santa Monica. Free admission. (310) 458-8688; smgov.net.
Halloween Haunted Village Street Fair
Get into the spirit of Halloween with this family-friendly celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that includes a costume parade, kids’ open mic karaoke, scary voice contest, joke telling, piñatas, runner maze, inflatable structures, rock climbing, obstacle course, arts and crafts, face painting, and a mad scientist booth.
Hub on Venice Community Center, 11827 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista. (310) 915-5200; thehubonvenice.com
Uncle Chuck’s Annual Dog-O-Ween
From 4 p.m. to sunset, the Venice Beach bike path goes to the dogs for the Venice’s annual Dog-O-Ween Costume Contest, featuring organic dog treats, acoustic tunes by Meet Me at the Pub’s Jeremy Parker, costume contest prizes and red carpet photos of the cutest little monsters on four legs.
Bike path at 23rd Avenue, Venice. Free (volunteers needed). facebook.com/VenicePups
Fall Fun at Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch in Culver City
Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch (open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Oct. 31) packs a powerful punch of Halloween fun with a whole host of autumn activities. While you grab the perfect pumpkin for carving, the patch offers a straw maze, giant slides, arcade games and a petting zoo to enchant the kid in all of us.
Shawn’s Pumpkin Patch, 3443 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City. Activity tickets are $3 each. (310) 313-1050; shawnspumpkinpatch.com
Brighter Nights at the Marina Towers
Something is adding a new spark to the Marina del Rey skyline. New LED lights on the Marina Towers off the 90 freeway now come alive nightly to lend an otherworldly glow to the city’s tallest buildings. Keep watch for festive colors and holiday patterns upon these new landmarks.
Marina Towers, 4640 and 4676 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. visitmarinadelrey.com
Nicole Elizabeth Payne contributed to this story.