Some of our favorite characters come to life this weekend in Los Angeles. Meet an electric ugly duckling, a singing Willy Wonka, a tea-taking dancing Cinderella and Elephant & Piggie. There’s also music, river-side art, a fun run, tasty treats, festive Legos and pumpkins like you’ve never imagined!

chumash teepee

Downtown

Artisinal LA
Sample beef jerky while learning about aquaponics and anything else you can make or craft. This community festival showcases the best of small-batch and local food, drink and wares for a weekend of tasting, shopping and experiencing the best of homemade LA. Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Downtown. $12 adults, kids free. All ages. Event details.

What’s Cookin’ at the JANM Family Day?
It’s a day of food and fun with a green/sustainability theme.  Kids can craft re-usable lunch bags for school, put unique designs on a re-useable water bottle, make paper onigiri, learn all about cooking and get dirty with gardening and composting. Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Little Tokyo. Free. All ages. Event details.

Cinderella Ballet and Tea
This is a perfect first ballet for tutu twirlers with a well-known story that anyone can follow, along with beautiful music and stylish costumes with a 30s twist. Kids can also take tea at the Biltmore with Cinderella. Fri.-Sun., 2 or 7:30 p.m. Downtown. $34 & up. All ages. Event details.

Eastside

Ten Feet: Art Meets the River
Check out a series of temporary art installations illustrating the creativity of riverfront and artist communities, to bring people into the discussion about arts and the cool and fun things taking place as we revitalize the LA River. Sat., noon-5 p.m. Glassell Park. Free. All ages. Event details.

San Gabriel Valley

Rise of the Jack O’ Lantern
This amazing all-ages night-time Halloween extravaganza is lighting up both Descanso Gardens and the Santa Anita Race Track this year. More than 5,000 hand-carved Jack O’ Lanterns created by professional artists and sculptors, making everything from spooky faces to giant dinosaurs, light up each location. Fri.-Sun., Timed tickets required. La Cañada and Arcadia. $14-$28. All ages. Event details.

Mid-City

The Electric Ugly Duckling
It’s another amazing experience for young theatergoers at the Wallis (we’re big fans). See The Ugly Duckling in a whole new light as electroluminescent puppetry reflects moving sculpture to tell the classic tale. Sat. & Sun, Various times. Beverly Hills. $15. Ages 3-10. Event details.

Westside

Alex & The Kaleidoscope Rocks McCabe’s
Alex & The Kaleidoscope has a splendid itinerary of colorful musical adventures in store for families when he makes his LA debut with an up-close-and-personal solo show at our favorite venue in town, McCabe’s Guitar Shop. Sun., 11 a.m. West LA. $10. Ages 2-8. Event details.

South Bay

Taste of the Pier
Salty sea breezes stir up an appetite while you enjoy art, music, face painting and plenty of food tastings. Sun., noon-4 p.m. Redondo Beach. Free admission. All ages. Event details.

San Fernando Valley

Take A Walk in the Chumash World
On Columbus Day weekend discover and honor how the native Chumash used the natural resources of the environment for thousands of years to create a sustainable way of life. Sat., 3 p.m. Calabasas. Free. All ages. Event details.

Willy Wonka the Musical
Halloween is the perfect time to catch the story of everyone’s favorite Candy Man. Based on Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, this musical brings the story to the stage complete with your favorite songs. Fri.-Sun., 2 or 7 p.m. North Hollywood. $20-$30. All ages. Event details.

Long Beach

Kids Fun Run at the Aquarium
Kids can lace up, warm up, and race for free during the one-mile Aquarium Kids Fun Run. Everyone gets a marine animal medal, a finisher certificate and free Aquarium admission. Sat., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Long Beach. Free. Ages 6-12. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND
It’s all LEGO-themed treat stations, rides at night, costume contests, Ghost Cruises, Hubble Bubble’s Dance Party, Wanda’s Jelly Fish Disco and plenty more Halloween adventures throughout Heartlake City and Fun Town. This is our pick of the week for a fabulous Halloween treat. Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Carlsbad. $35-$65. All ages. Event details.

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Still looking for something special to do? ‘Tis the season for Oktoberfests and Pumpkin Patches…why not visit one of the best in town?

—Meghan Rose

photo credits: Jennifer Wolfe and LEGOLAND California