by TaradeLis - 339 Reviews - 18 List
Halloween is one of L.A.'s biggest holidays. For adults, there's the annual West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval and KCRW's hipster-friendly Masquerade. For teens, Knott's "Scary" Farm has been a Southern California tradition for decades, and it wouldn't be Halloween in Los Angeles without a nod to the Day of the Dead. Of course, for a city that's all about make-believe, there are no shortage of L.A. costume shops, either. (Photo: West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval by Joshua Barash)
Updated: October 20, 2010
This Hollywood landmark has been a favorite costume shop for both the studios and civilians since the 1950s, and it offers the choice of renting or purchasing your Halloween outfit. Plus, the inventory is huge. Visit its website for a 10-percent off coupon.
Every costume and accessory you could possibly want is available year-round at this Santa Monica shop, in business since 1976. The ante is definitely upped at Halloween, with an even larger selection of fairytale and super hero outfits for kids.
The name says it all. This massive emporium is dedicated to all things All Hallows Eve--and it's gotten bigger, with a second location down the street at 3021 W Magnolia Boulevard. Open year-round, Halloween Town has inventory including costumes, accessories, videos, makeup and more.
Universal Studios, home to many classic horror movies, is once again transforming its famed backlot into a series of mazes, including two themed after Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie. Make your way through scare zones terrorized by killer klownz, flesh-eating freakz and chainsaw-toting reapers. The event runs weekends through Oct. 31, with Thursday night events Oct. 20 and 27. Though it's open to all ages, parents should chaperone children under 13. Prices range from $37 to $169.
KCRW's third annual Masquerade costume ball and dance party invades the Hollywood ballrooms of the legendary Park Plaza. Performances include DJ sets by station favorites and live bands (TBA), plus the showmanship of Vaudeville-style circus troupe Lucent Dossier. Trippy "Melting Rainbows" will be provided by performance artist Aaron Axelrod, and sustenance will be courtesy of food trucks. The 21-and-over party kicks off at 9pm; tickets are $75.
Griffith Park will again host this year's Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, which debuted two years ago in Calabasas. Take your chances on a hay-filled wagon as it makes its way through the forest filled with scary surprises. This year, the adjunct side show event is included in the ticket price, but food and merchandise, as well entry into the maze, is extra. The suggested minimum age for attendance is 10; tickets start at $25.
The 12th Annual Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration is taking place at Hollywood's most famous cemetery. Happenings include everything from traditional, sacred ceremonies to performances by cabaret diva Astrid Hadad and Cafe Tacuba frontman Ruben Albarran. The event takes place Oct. 22 from noon to midnight; tickets are $10 per person (children under 7 are free).
This grand dame ocean liner is widely believed to be haunted, making it a natural fit for Halloween festivities. The Dark Harbor event promises "more than 45,000 scares per hour," with a total of five mazes on board the ship and on shore, plus 20-foot tall flames and a trio of terrifying "she-demons." The event runs select dates beginning Oct. 7 through Halloween; it's geared towards teens, and tickets start at $20.
A Southern California tradition for nearly 40 years, Knott's "Scary" Farm's Halloween Haunt is a must-see. It's been described as a "160-acre living horror movie," with spooky lighting and fog machines throughout the park. Attractions include mazes, shows, "scare zones" and tons of monsters lurking in the shadows. The event runs on select dates from Sept. 23 through Halloween; ticket prices start at $34. The Haunt is recommended for kids over 13. As an alternative, Camp Snoopy offers family-friendly daytime events from Oct. 1 through 30, and admission is included in the cost of a regular ticket.
One of the largest street festivals in the country, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval attracts upwards of 300,000 visitors, and is closed to traffic on Santa Monica Boulevard from La Cienega to Doheny. Live entertainment varies, but last year's event included a Guinness World Record-setting group "Time Warp" dance. The event officially takes place from 6pm to 11pm, though many of the area gay bars host after-parties. It's free to everyone and open to all ages, though some costumes can be risque.