Well, the big day has finally arrived! Ironically, Halloween is the one seasonal holiday in which the actual holiday is a trifle anti-climactic compared to the rest of the season. After several frantic weeks of visiting Halloween Theme Park Attractions and Halloween Haunted Houses and Hayrides, October 31 can be a relatively serene evening of strolling door-to-door for an hour or so and then turning in early; theoretically, the whole thing could be finished by 9:00pm, especially when Halloween falls in the middle of the week, after the weekend parties are over.
Of course, just because it could be doesn't mean it should be. With the exception of The Heritage Haunt and Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest, all of the major professional Halloween events are open for business, and as I point out here, there are numerous yard haunts open only on Halloween Night (some of which stay open later than the pro-haunts, perhaps because they want to milk their one night of glory for all it's worth).
There are other kinds of last-minute Halloween fun, especially for children. To name a few:
- *Halloween Kid Zone at the Westchester Recreation Center; the 5th Annual Halloween Hop on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.
- *The Booo-tiful Downtown Burbank dog parade and trick-or-treating.
- *Safe Haven Trick-or-Treating at Heritage Square Museum.
- *The Fifth Annual Halloween Party for Downtown L.A. Kids in Grand Hope Park.
Those looking for more community Halloween events can check out the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks' website.
And if you haven't taken your kids to the Los Angeles Live Steamers Ghost Train, don't miss this last chance.
There are a handful of Halloween screenings in theatres around Los Angeles, two of which are worth noting:
- *Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in 4-D runs at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood through Thursday, November 1.
- *On Halloween night only, the 1954 monster movie The Creature from the Black Lagoon screens at 8:00pm in Santa Monica's Aero Theatre - in a new digital 3-D print; click here for details.
If you're still not quite sure how to have a happy haunt experience on this final day of October, check out our various 2012 Halloween Recommendations, which list the best of everything the season has to offer:
As always at this time of year, it's a case of too much to do in too little time. But don't let the pressure get to you. Take a sip of Vampire Vodka, relax, and remember to stop and smell the wolfsbane as you wander through the night, surrounded by ghosts and goblins of all ages.