Even though I don’t have a family, I remember what it was like for me as a child in Los Angeles. Coming from the Philippines, it was a lot more seasons that I ever had experienced, and I think this is where my love for autumn began. With that in mind, I wanted to throw in some suggestions for Los Angeles Fall Events for Families.
Not Just Los Angeles
3 counties will be covered just to give a variety of locations to see. Los Angeles is a big place and some live right on the fringe of the county. Sometimes, it can be easier to spend a little more time on the travel to a less busy area and have an easier time.
Los Angeles Events
The Great Pumpkin Hunt @ South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes
2018 Dates: 15Sept – 30Nov
cost: free / general admission
The Great Pumpkin Hunt is a scavenger hunt providing you with hints that lead to clues to find the secret pumpkin garden.
It’s an event free to members, it will cost the general admission fee to others. To top it off, it’s also an educational experience for the kids. The hunt sneaks in some facts about wildlife which need to be read to gather hints for the next clue.
LA Arboretum & Botanic Garden Magical Lantern Art Festival
2018 Dates: 26Oct – 06Jan
cost: $20-$28, member discount
A gorgeous themed light show at the botanic garden, these art installations are displayed in a 1-mile stretch estimated to take about 1 hour to walk through.
This is a timed ticket event, so make sure to arrive with plenty of time to spare before you ticket’s time slot. You’ll need time to enter the venue and find parking before you can get in line for your entrance.
Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade @ Belmont Shore District, Long Beach
2018 Dates: 28Oct
cost: $10/parade contestants, $5-$10/spectators
This is for the dog lovers. The parade is for costumed dogs with their costumed owners. Judges will be choosing a select group as winners based on costumes.
Also a charity event, proceeds will go toward spay/neuter programs, as local service projects.
Halloween Ghost Train @ Griffith Park
2018 Dates: 13Oct – 31Oct
cost: $20 – $30
The Halloween Ghost Train is a ride on a small open train, much like riding on your kids’ toys at home. It is a functional train that runs on a track with some enclosed seating, but most are miniature-sized train cars that you straddle as a seat during the ride.
There are a variety of themes that you’ll encounter on a single ride. A previous year, I recall seeing clowns, zombies, the Little Shop of Horrors, and dolls. There are no live actors and no jump scares.
Boo at The Zoo @ Santa Barbara Zoo
2018 Dates: 19Oct – 21Oct
Cost: Adults $20/$17 (SB Zoo Members); Children (2–12) $14/$12 (SB Zoo Members)
Have some family fun trick-or-treating at the zoo, along with a handful of other activities like a train ride, scare zone, and carnival games.
While there isn’t a lot of information online, based on a 2011 post, there are also happy hour deals for grown-ups and contests for costumed adults, with a previous prize being a free stay at a local hotel.
Orange County Events
Halloween Time @ Disneyland
2018 Dates: 7Sept – 31Oct
The holiday season was my favourite time of the year as an annual pass holder. Halloween Time is the one theme park Halloween theme I was able to not only live through but enjoy. Of course, made for kids, there are no actual scares in the park, but the autumn season is highly played up.
One of my MUST-DO visits during this season is the Haunted Mansion where it is annually revamped to A Nightmare Before Christmas. During this season, Jack Skellington reigns over New Orleans Square and the vibe is just electric for me.
Check out Mommy Mouse Clubhouse Disneyland Halloween Bucket List for some extra tips and details.
For an extra ticket, you can attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party where your children can trick-or-treat all over the park in full costume. The event features a Halloween parade, Hocus Pocus show, and special edition treats for the special nights.
Railroad Pumpkin Patch @ Irvine Park
2018 Dates: 15Sept – 31Oct
cost: free, optional $5 activity ticket
A family event held behind a train station offers free entrance to the pumpkin patch looks like an amazing deal at a time when a family outing can really add up in costs.
The event offers a $5 Activity ticket that includes train rides, hay rides, panning for gold, and carnival games. Not only that, but if you choose the free route, they still offer photo booths, a haunted house, and a hay maze for your family entertainment.
Read more at OC Mom Blog about Irvine’s Annual Pumpkin Patch.
Take your pick (or picks) and have fun! Keep in mind that some of these may already be sold out of tickets, depending on when you see this post. All these events happen annually, so if you’re out of luck this year, keep it in mind for next year.
These places are also great if you’re an adult who just can’t participate in all the scary events. For more ideas, check out Halloween for Chickens for some not-so-scary fun.