Halloween Help


 With Halloween falling on a school night this year, it’s incumbent upon parents to bring the holiday activities into the weekends prior to the big night. Luckily, LA is replete with celebratory opportunities between now and October 31st.

Elementary Age

Planning on going traditional? This Huffington Post Article has got the 411 on the most lucrative trick-or-treat locations. If you’re searching for a king-sized candy bar in your kid’s loot, these are the places to go!

If you’re looking for more activities than the simple knock-on-doors-induce-sugar-high, the Halloween Ghost Train at the L.A. Railroad Museum fits the bill. The 20 minute ride features spooky decorations and scenery, but not too spooky as to scare your young ones. Perfect for any kid over 34″, the Halloween Ghost Train is happening before Halloween night, as well – so make sure to take a ride before the month is up!

A scene from the little-kid-approved Halloween Ghost Train

 Bob Baker’s Halloween Hoop-Dee-Doo is a marionnette show that celebrates all things Halloween. With appealing pumpkins, skeletons, and bats galore, the show will delight without causing a fright.

If you’re willing to make the trek out to the valley, they have a number of kid-friendly haunts that are sure to thrill your costumed kid. The Haunt with No Name promises fun effects with fog and pumpkins, but no blood and gore to terrify. The House at Haunted Hill puts on an exhilarating show, with homemade tombstones and models of scary characters. Again, this show is great for the more timid trick-or-treater, as it doesn’t have truly hair-raising terrors.

Middle School/Tweens

We’ve got a couple of haunts suitable for the more daring set.

Check out the spirits by the sea at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. The ship, already rumored to host a number of ghosts, has been decorated to the nines with Halloween spooks. Mazes, live music, over 160 monsters and leaping flames will make a trip through the ship as fun as it is frightening, and the cool ocean location promise to impress even the most seasoned trick-or-treaters.

One of the ghostly crew members at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor.

Another creatively terrifying haunt is the Blumhouse of Horrors, an old theater that plays host to a number of spirits. The site of a famous magicians mysterious disappearance, the story that will unfold before your eyes is sure to entertain while scaring the bejesus out of you and your young teens.


Saturday Oct. 27th is Dia De Los Muertos, the Latin American equivalent of Halloween with festive costumes and communications with the dead. Your teen and his or her friends might want to check out the Dia De Los Muertos celebration at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where breathtaking altars to past loved ones, dancers, food and craft vendors will make anyone wonder why we don’t add some traditions to our Halloween celebrating.

One of the altars at the Dia De Los Muertos fiesta in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

On Halloween night, Paranoia at Santa Monica Place offers a frightening haunted house near many other fun attractions, so your teen and his or her friends will be entertained while you go off and have a little fun of your own (see below). Mazes and monsters fill over 50,000 square feet of space, with the rides and games of Santa Monica Pier just footsteps away.


“The Cat and the Canary” at the Disney Concert Hall is certainly one of our favorite destinations for Halloween Night.  Directed by German expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, the eerie silent film “The Cat and the Canary” tells the story of an asylum escapee, who claws his victims like canaries and stalks the overnight guests of wealthy Cyrus West.

The site of the terrifying Delusion: Blood Rite interactive play. Yikes!

Delusion: Blood Rite is an interactive haunted house and play, where guests are invited to make decisions on where to go within the house – at their own risk. Produced by Neil Patrick Harris, the scare-fest has got impressive stunts and bone-chilling encounters with ghostly actors. Only for guests over 18, this is certainly something to visit with older teens or your friends.

 Campanile has been a delicious destination since the late eighties, serving upscale American fare in an inviting and lovely atmosphere. Unfortunately the restaurant will be closing its doors, but not before one last Halloween bash. The Black & White Masquerade at Campanile will be filled with food, drinks, and wonderful costumes, all in a building with a fascinating history. The place was originally built for Charlie Chaplin, to be used as his office space. He lost his right to the place during his divorce from his scandalously young bride Lita Grey. Old Hollywood scandal? Delicious food? The excuse to wear a costume in slimming black? We’re there.