It’s Columbus Day weekend. No long weekend? (At least not in California, where it’s no longer a state holiday…) No problem! We’ve packed 3-days worth of amazing activities into a regular old two-day weekend, so you’ve plenty to choose from. There are harvest and Native American events all over town, not to mention all the Halloween happenings (and plenty of non-scary options for little fry). Oktoberfests are still on, too, not to mention a plethora of pumpkin activities. Comics and the circus, movies and marionettes – there’s something for everyone this festive fall weekend.

fossil girl


Bob Baker’s Halloween Hoop-De-Doo
Bob Baker is an L.A. tradition – and fall brings back the cool themed puppets (from the Purple People Eater and the Invisible Man to a gaggle of Roaring 20′s skeletons) for a fabulous Halloween show. Sat. & Sun., 2:30 pm. Downtown. $15. Ages 2+. Event details.

Zap! Pow! Bam! at JANM’s Family Weekend
Mini heroes can put themselves into the picture with comics-themed crafts & activities. With Japanese anime screenings, super hero cape and mask making, origami folding, a photo booth, book signings and video games, the only villain around will be you, when you take them home. Sat., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Little Tokyo. Free. All ages. Event details.


Heidi Swedberg & The Sukey Jump Band
A Sukey Jump is all about making your own singing and dancing fun, and that’s what Heidi and her band will be at Dragonfly Du Lou to help your whole family do. Sat., 11:30 am. Los Feliz. Free. All ages. Event details.


National Fossil Day
It’s National Fossil Day, and the Page Museum is the perfect place to celebrate: see all the fossils found right at the La Brea Tar Pits, get up close to more fossils from around the world, talk with the scientists, and be a scientist yourself. Sat., 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Miracle Mile. Free. All ages. Event details.

Pasadena Area

Free For All: A Dance Party and Concert
You can’t help but get up and move when hip-hop and orchestral music collide to create a rocking dance party. Adding to the lively musical mix of hip-hop, Beatles tunes, jazz and more are a crew of dancers, face painting and other special activities for kids. Fri., 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Pasadena. Free. All ages. Event details.


Snoopy, Come Home
It’s a doggie drive-in! Kids and pets are welcome at the pier tonight to screen the Snoopy classic. Bring a sweatshirt, it gets chilly. Fri., 6:30 pm. Santa Monica. Free. Ages 2+. Event details.

Life Before Columbus Festival
Long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, there was a thriving community in (what is now) Los Angeles. This festival highlights what life was like with opportunities to paint pottery, weave baskets, make dolls, grind corn hear music, see dances and learn more about the history of the people native to our city. Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. West LA. Free. All ages. Event details.

South Bay

Cirque du Soleil’s Totem
The circus is back in town, and what a circus it is! Cirque du Soleil’s Totem traces humans from our original amphibian state to the desire to fly. Fri. – Sun., Various times. San Pedro. $50-$150. Ages 5+. Event details.

Oktoberfest at Alpine Village
Sunday is Family Day at this Oktoberfest that’s filled with yummy food, people in Lederhosen (it’s just fun to say), oom-pah-pah bands flown in direct from Deutschland and crazy chicken dancing! (And yes, beer.) Sun., 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Torrance. $5 Adults, Kids are Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Train
Pumpkin picking and picture taking take center stage at this pretty spot, but if your little pumpkin would also like a ride, you can pick from hay rides, train rides or tractor rides. Then play at the Halloween bounce house, decorate Halloween cookies, get faces painted, pan for gold, wander through the hay maze and more. Sat. & Sun., 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Irvine. Free admission. All ages. Event details.

And the Halloween countdown is on! Do you have your costumes? (We can help, if you’re still shopping!) Do you have your pumpkin? (We can help, if you’re still picking!)

-Meghan Rose

Photo credits: woodleywonderworks via Creative Commons and Irvine Park Railroad