Halloween in Santa Monica: A Guide to Events

We've amassed a list of the top 15 Halloween events for kids and/or adults.

It's shaping up to be a monster of a Halloween in Santa Monica this year. And while there will be lots of trick-and-treating, games and face-paintings for kids, adults can enjoy a smattering (or, rather, splattering) of events as well. We stitched together, Frankenstein-style, the top 15:

1. 20th Annual PAL-loween Carnival

Where/When: ’s Barker Hangar; Oct. 31, 5 to 9 p.m.

Why Go: More than 5,000 kids and their families are expected to descend upon the hangar for Santa Monica's biggest Halloween bash, produced by the Santa Monica Police Activities League. Kids can enjoy the haunted fun house, Trick-or-Treat Lane, game booths, a costume contest (starts at 6 p.m.) and Tot Lane.

Pricing: Free admission; games and Trick-or-Treat Lane cost 25 cents each; haunted house and photo booth cost $1 each

2. 18th Annual Dream Halloween

Where/When: Santa Monica Airport's Barker Hangar; Saturday, 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Why Go: Two days prior to the PAL-loween Carnival, a similar Halloween festivity will take place at the same location. Jamie Lee Curtis will handle the hosting duties, while Josh Duhamel, Doris Roberts and other celebrities are also scheduled to attend. Additionally, Dream Halloween will feature auctions, gourmet food, costumed characters, the aforementioned Trick-or-Treat Lane, music, arts and crafts, face-paintings and other entertainment. Proceeds go toward the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and Keep a Child Alive. Go here for tickets, or email Lauran@LPAevents.com.

Pricing: $250 to $300


Where/When: ; Friday, 3 to 9 p.m.

Why Go: The YWCA is doing its Halloween hullabaloo up right with a haunted house, a maze, a costume parade, balloons, crafts, face-painting, Halloween-themed snacks and meals. The event and haunted house are being designed by the organization's Girl Central middle and high school girls, and all proceeds will go to support the YWCA Cycle of Life programs.

Pricing: $5 for kids; $10 for adults

4. Haunted Heats Halloween Surf Contest

Where/When: , Tower 26 (at the end of Ocean Park Boulevard); Saturday, 8 a.m.

Why Go: Surfers of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in this competition, hosted by ZJ Boarding House. Spectators are also welcome, but in order to participate in the competition, you'll need to be in costume.

Pricing: Free

5. Halloween Hop

Where/When: Montana Avenue; Oct. 31, 3 to 6 p.m.

Why Go: Chic stores along Montana will hand out candy, temporary tattoos, coupons and prizes for costumes at the third-annual Halloween Hop. There will also be face-painting, fortune-telling and a doggie costume contest. Go here for a list of participating stores.

Pricing: Free

6. Halloween Hullabaloo

Where/When: ; Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 and 3 p.m., through Oct. 30

Why Go: The interactive musical comedy, part of the Family Theatre Musical Matinee Series, will delve into the history of Halloween. Kids can win prizes, hop onstage to join the actors, participate in sing-a-longs and get their faces painted before the show. If they arrive in costume, they'll get two-for-one passes to a future Family Theatre production. Reservations are required.

Pricing: $10.50, 12 and under; $12.50, 13 and up. (If you show up in costume, you'll get two-for-one passes to a future Family Theatre production.)

7. Dolls! - Not Your Usual Love Story on Halloween Weekend

Where/When: Santa Monica Playhouse; Saturday, 7:30; Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m.

Why Go: Also at the playhouse, if you show up to Dolls! wearing a Halloween costume, you'll get $10 off admission to the theatrical musical fantasy, as well as an invitation to a post-show sweets-and-treats reception. There will also be face-painters on hand a half-hour before the performances.

Pricing: Admission to Dolls! is $26; $22.50 for seniors, students, teachers and members of the military

8. 6th Annual Dusk-To-Dawn Horrorthon

Where/When: ; Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Why Go: Leave it to the film connoisseurs at the Aero to hand-pick a prime batch of horror movies, ranging from mainstream choices to obscure finds. This year's slate includes Pet Sematary, Tourist Trap, The Pit, Videodrome, Alice Sweet Alice and a U.K. print of Just Before Dawn. There will also be giveaways, short films and trailers, and other surprises.

Pricing: $20 general admission; $18 for seniors and students; $15 for Aero members (includes food served between films)

9. Flesh and Blood: Book One Launch

Where/When: Aero Theatre; Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Why Go: A few days before the Horrorthon, the Aero warms up for Halloween with a double-feature and discussion surrounding the launch of the new Monsterverse graphic novel Flesh and Blood: Book One, copies of which will be signed at the event. Between screenings of Horror of Dracula (1958) and The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Bela Lugosi Jr., publisher/artist Kerry Gammill, editor/screenwriter Sam F. Park, writer Robert Tinnell and special-effects artist/filmmaker Mike Hill will talk. Capping it off, sculptures inspired by Hammer horror films will be on display at the theater.

Pricing: $11 (discounts available)

10. Phreeques! aka De-Art(h) aka The Untitled

Where/When: ; Saturday, 9 p.m.

Why Go: Billed as "an antidote to the cool kids' halloween party," this interactive anti-art-house-of-horrors will feature a whopping 30 live performers and eight bands. Partiers will try to re-create "the mood of the sketchy period in media culture, 1975-1985, when grindhouse became video nasty," according to a Phreeques! press release.

Pricing: $10

11. The Central's Halloween Party

Where/When: ; Saturday, 9 p.m.

Why Go: Kids beware: This event, presented by Audio Absinthe, is only for adults age 21 and older. There will be DJ sets by Dr. Hollywood, Princeton, Cereal Killer, Comfy and Jilly Hendrix, as well as a $100 prize for the person wearing the best Halloween costume.

Pricing: $10 in advance, $15 on the day of the show


Where/When: The Central; Friday, 9 p.m.

Why Go: The night before, The Central hosts the latest installment of Tubthump, featuring a '90s tribute band performing from 9 to 10 p.m., and tunes spun by DJ Corey Moss from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Nineties-themed Halloween costume attire is encouraged.

Pricing: Free

13. Halloween at Finn McCool's

Where/When: ; Saturday, Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, all day and night

Why Go: While the Irish pub usually only welcomes adults looking for a drink, from Saturday through Halloween, its doors will be open for kids seeking candy. But there are attractions for the 21-and-up set: On Saturday at 10 p.m., Finn McCool's annual Halloween party—featuring creepy cocktails, a prize for the person wearing the best costume, and free Jägermeister tastes and treats—gets under way. On Sunday, candy will be passed out at 5 p.m., while traditional Irish music will be performed by Marian Tomas Griffin starting a half-hour later. And on Monday, Halloween cocktails will again be served.

Pricing: Free

14. Nightmares on Main Street

Where/When: ; Oct. 31, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Why Go: The bar's Halloween Costume Party will include Halloween-themed cocktails, a costume contest with cash prizes and more. Go here to RSVP (required); for table reservations, email FarahCasis@gmail.com.

Pricing: Free

15. Halloween at Ye Olde King's Head

Where/When: ; Oct. 30, 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Why Go: A DJ will spin records from 2 to 8 p.m., a children's costume party will start at 3 p.m., and "Scaryoke" will take place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. There will also be a costume competition for adults, drink specials and cash prizes.

Pricing: Free

Did we miss a Halloween event happening in Santa Monica? Drop us details about it in the comments box below.


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