Choosing how to spend the best holiday of the year— Halloween, of course— can be kind of frightening, especially in Los Angeles. There are just so many places to go and people to be! Halloween 2017 falls on a Tuesday this year, so be prepared for a weekend packed with festivities from spooky to swanky and then loads more fun during the week. Don’t let the ghost of Halloween past get you down, and make sure you’ve got your costume picked out. Many of these events won’t let you in without one. No matter how you see your wicked celebrations going, know that Pavemint has your parking covered!
New Kids on the Broom
If you’re looking for something family-friendly to do, look no further than these awesome events. Kids young and old will be glad to eat, drink and be scary.
Burton Chase Park in Marina Del Rey – October 28 and 29
This two-day festival right on the water promises to be fun for the whole family. With free admission, you’ll find carnival games, pumpkin carving, tours of a haunted pirate ship and costume contests. You can even learn the dance to “Thriller.” Little ones are welcome all day, but the after-dark activities are recommended for kids 13 and older.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery – October 28
Celebrate Day of the Dead early by painting your face like a Calaca and hanging out in LA’s most famous cemetery. Live music performances, Aztec dancers, hundreds of altars to pay tribute to loved ones passed, tons of food and crafts are sure to make this day fun for the living and the dead of all ages. General admission is $20, but kids under 8 and seniors over 65 get in free until 4 PM.
The Old Zoo at Griffith Park – Until October 31
Not for the faint of heart, this year’s Haunted Hayride theme is clowns. Take the long hayride, explore the spooky House of Shadows maze, and let the little ones ride the Scary-Go-Round. Halloween weekend is sure to be packed, so go early to avoid the long lines. The hayride isn’t recommended for children under 10 and tickets start at $30. We also heard that all the food served there is vegan!
You Gotta Fright for your Right to Party
If Halloween is really just your excuse to get totally wild and crazy, then one of these parties is where you’ll want to be. Just admit it, you’re here for the boos.
Viceroy in Santa Monica – October 28
Described as “The biggest and sexiest Halloween costume bash on the Westside,” this party is hosted by matchmaking service Three Day Rule. Come prepared to win the costume contest, get your fortune told by a psychic, and dance your wig off to two DJs. Tickets are almost sold out, so don’t wait. You just might find the girl or guy of your nightmares!
The Edison in DTLA – October 31
Is it important to you to spend Halloween as close to the underworld as possible? Then head to the underground Cabaret de l’Enfer party at the Edison. Inside, you’ll bear witness to an extraordinary selection of Attractions Diaboliques, including stilt walkers, tarot cards readers, DJs, and much more. Tickets are $25, which is on the less expensive side for Halloween parties, but it will definitely be a night to remember.
Pour Vous on Melrose – Oct 27
William Reed and Culture Magazine invite you to travel beyond the velvet curtain where you’ll find “Nouveau Franco frights and hellish delights.” Food will be served all night and table reservations are available. This party is free, but RSVP is required for entry. The goblin at the door will also ask you for a password, which is “redrum.”
EP & LP Restaurant in West Hollywood – October 28
The award-winning EP & LP restaurant will be converting their dining room into a nightclub and trying to raise the bar on upscale Halloween parties in LA. With tickets ranging from $75 to $5,000 (yes, really), an open bar, appetizers and bottle service, this is the place to be if you want to spend a downright devilish amount of money this year. Plus, there will be costume contests with cash prizes if you want to try and win some of it back.
Great Balls of Fear
If you’re looking for something a little classier, check out these downtown parties. Think of them as the perfect opportunity to trick or treat yo’ self.
MacArthur in DTLA – October 28
Feast your eyes on what LA Weekly describes as “one of the biggest and best bashes in town.” Stroll through the elaborately decorated ballrooms and take in the DJs, live bands, performance artists, belly-dancing flappers, flying luchadores, food trucks, and much more. This party sells out every year, so buy your tickets now! Tickets are $125.
Ace Theatre in DTLA – October 28
Cinema lovers can watch John Cocteau’s 1946 retelling of the classic fairytale with a live soundtrack composed by Phillip Glass, and then dreamily wander into The Ace’s Beastly Ball right after. There are only three special performances, featuring four vocalists and the Phillip Glass Ensemble. Saturday night’s ticket includes admission to the Beastly Ball. Halloween tickets include admission to the Halloween After Party and LA Opera Costume Contest. Tickets start at $25.
Clifton’s Republic in DTLA – October 27
If the one thing missing from your Halloween experience is the feeling that you’re doing something good for the world, then the UNICEF Masquerade Ball is probably where you should be. Find a celestial-themed costume for this sophisticated party, hobnob with other philanthropists and celebrities, dance and enjoy the open bar. Tickets start at $175 and the proceeds benefit UNICEF’s emergency fund and the empowerment of Syrian refugee women in Jordan.
Necromancing in the Street
If your costume is just too big for the indoor scene, head out to these adults-only outdoor parties. You know what they say… If you’ve got it, haunt it!
Photo of 2004 West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval taken by Clinton Steeds.
West Hollywood – October 31
A veritable rite of passage for all Angelenos, this LA staple is unlike any other Halloween event you’ve been to. It’s the biggest party of the year—like 500,000 people big— and admission is free. Watch people in totally crazy costumes party their way down Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood from 6 PM to 11 PM, then head into countless after-parties along the route. Keep in mind that this may sound like a parade, but it’s not recommended for children.
Santa Monica – October 28
Any Halloween costume you’ve got can be zombified for this yearly tradition. Starting at the Santa Monica Pier at 6 PM, zombies will roam the streets in search of food, drinks specials, and braiiiins. Tickets, which are $12 in advance or $15 day of, include a wristband that gets you specials at participating bars, complimentary zombie makeup for the first 100 people, and admission into The Official Zombie After Party.
We know that ghouls just want to have fun, but if you’re drinking, please book a 24-hour parking space or take a rideshare. The alternative is too terrifying for words!