Los Angeles Times
From mild to wild
HALLOWEEN AND DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS EVENTS SPAN THE SPECTRUM FROM HAYRIDES TO THE OCCULT
MASKS? CHECK. Gallows humor? Check. Reminders of mortality? Check, check, check.
This year Halloween and Día de los Muertos carry a different resonance after 19 months of the pandemic, with Southern California full of holiday events, many of which were canceled or virtual last year.
Here’s a sampling of seasonal shows and displays. (Note that L.A. County mandates masks in indoor public settings for visitors 2 or older, and businesses may as well.)
Beware the Dark Realm in Santa Clarita is a “home haunt” designed to raise money for the nonprofit Family Promise of Santa Clarita. It runs Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 30. The Sivley family, which stages the all-ages event, calls it a high-intensity, walk-through attraction “filled with terrifying live monsters, amazing special effects and incredible sets.” A $10 donation is recommended. 28621 Sugar Pine Way, Santa Clarita. bewarethedarkrealm. com
Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Fest: This tradition returns through Oct. 31. This year’s pumpkin patch will feature 30,000 Cal Poly-grown pumpkins for $5 to $7 each, plus farm demonstrations, live entertainment, food and activities. Activities include hayrides, a corn maze, a sunflower patch, a petting farm (featuring Oreo, the celebrity lamb named last year in a popular contest), the new Moo Moo Cow Train, pulled by an antique tractor, and a farmers market with campusgrown agricultural items, crafts and snacks. Admission is free on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but visitors must register online. On Fridays, admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors, children 3-12 and anyone with a Cal Poly Pomona ID. Weekend tickets are $8 and $6. Wristbands offering unlimited access to activities are $14 on weekends and $8 on Fridays. 4102 S. University Drive, Pomona. cpp.edu/ ~pumpkinfestival/index.html
Cemetery Lane at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles promises “spooky but safe” trick-or-treating among the museum’s eight restored Victorian homes and several other stops. The attraction runs Oct. 27-31. Tickets are $25-$30. Organizers say that “while intended for all ages, the event is less scary during our daytime hours, and gets spookier as the night goes on.” 3800 Homer St., Los Angeles. cemeterylane.com
“Delusion: Reaper’s Remorse”: This interactive play happens in a 19th-century Pomona mansion. Shows are staged Thursdays-Sundays through Nov. 21. It’s typically a 90-minute experience, heavy on the occult overtones. Open to ages 12 and older. General admission from $89.99. 2640 Pomona Blvd., Pomona. enterdelusion.com
Descanso Gardens: In the evenings through Oct. 31, the gardens will offer “Carved,” which features hundreds of sculpted pumpkins as well as other items made of natural materials along a mile-long path through the Camellia Forest and Oak Grove. Other features include a house made of pumpkins and a hay maze. The event is nightly, with timed admission. General admission is $32-35 for non-members. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. descansogardens .org
Grand Park: This green space in downtown L.A. pays tribute to Día de los Muertos with a public art installation from Oct. 22 to Nov. 2. The display, presented in partnership with Self Help Graphics & Art, will include more than 20 altars created by local artists and organizations. On Oct. 23, the park will host a Noche de Ofrenda (Night of the Offerings) with dance performances and calavera (skull) art workshops led by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for all ages. 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. grandparkla .org
Griffith Park: Haunted Hayride returns in an area transformed into the town square of Midnight Falls. For the hayride alone, admission begins at $29.99. For the hayride, trick-ortreating, Midnight Mortuary and Dead End Diner areas, the cost is $39.99. Organizers warn the event “may be too intense for children 12 and under.” Through Oct. 31. 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., Los Angeles. losangeleshauntedhayride.com
Los Angeles Zoo: Boo at the L.A. Zoo runs every day in October, with trick-or-treat stations, science demonstrations, an extinct-animal graveyard and weekend pumpkin feedings. All activities are included in the zoo’s price of admission ($22 for adults and $17 for children ages 2-12). Trick-or-treating will happen Oct. 23, 24, 30 and 31. 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles. lazoo.org
Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch in Culver City aims for a family audience. An Ultimate Kids Pass ($30) gives a child access to slides, a bounce house, straw maze, giant rocking horses and a petting zoo. Access to the pony rides, face-painting and pumpkin-decoration stations costs extra. Through Oct. 31. 10100 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City. mrbonespumpkinpatch .com
Underwood Family Farms: This Moorpark farm has filled October with Fall Harvest on the Farm events, beginning with a big pumpkin patch. Among the weekend features: a tractor-drawn wagon ride, corn maze and labyrinth, pig races, live entertainment, access to pick-your-own field, hay pyramids, a chicken show and slides. General admission is $10 on weekdays, $16-$22 on weekends. Themes include Antique Tractors (Oct. 16-17), the Wild West (Oct. 23-24) and all About Pumpkins (Oct. 30-31). 3370 Sunset Valley Road, Moorpark. underwoodfamilyfarms.com
Witchy Architecture Tours: A team of architectural preservationists has come up with a free, family-friendly driving tour of L.A. “witches houses,” including castles, cottages and other structures fit for a fairy tale or ghost story. This year’s itinerary covers five structures chosen by actor Amber Benson including buildings in Hollywood, Los Feliz and West Hollywood. Friends of Residential Treasures: LA has recorded actors reading “Grimms’ Fairy Tale” passages, so you can listen while you drive.