Halloween weekend has finally arrived! We’ve chosen a number of notable holiday events that involve all the spooky trimmings and sugar-fueled fun a kid could ask for: museum gallery revelry at the Natural History Museum, forested, frightful fun at Theatricum Boo-tanicum, and a pirate and mermaid-themed party at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Other perfect family events: The Autry’s focus on Day of the Dead, singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb’s kiddie concert at the Skirball, and an art-themed “Big Draw” in Pasadena. Take a look!

Los Angeles

Vivan Los Muertos at the Autry
The Autry’s Day of the Dead celebration features hands-on activities, artists selling their calaca (skeleton) works, traditional foods, elaborate altar displays, and an interactive community altar. Music and dancing complete this lively event in honor of our dearly departed. Sat., 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.

Natural History Museum Halloween
The dark halls and interesting creatures and critters form the perfect backdrop for kiddie trick-or-treating, which is just what they can do with the museum opens its galleries for Halloween revelry. Join in the family festival complete with holiday activities and a costume parade. Sun., 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Free with museum admission. All ages. Event details.

West Side

Theatricum BOO-tanicum
Theatricum Botanicum hosts it first annual Halloween extravaganza for families, who are invited to wander the wooded grounds and discover a haunted house, ghost story stations, pumpkin carving, game booths, and some things that go bump in the night. Sat., 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Adults $20; Teens $15; Children $10: Children under 4 free. 5 & up. Event details.

Tiny Tot Halloween Carnival
Families can enjoy an afternoon in Malibu enjoying Halloween activities, costume parade, carnival games, the tattoo parlor, bounce houses, crafts, a magic show, and a Trick or Treat Street. Fri., 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Free. 1-10. Event details.

Lisa Loeb at the Skirball
Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb visits the Skirball Cultural Center to perform songs from her soon-to-be-released book and accompanying CD, Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other ZanySongs – listeners of all ages are welcome! Sun., 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Free with museum admission. 3 & up. Event details.

Great Green Play Dates
The Great Green Play Date teaches families about toxic products in the home and helps families have a green Halloween with games, a Trick-or-Treat Trail, demonstrations, giveaways, and a live concert with Papa Is a Rolling Stone. Two more Green Play Dates take place in Aliso Viejo and Beverly Hills – visit our calendar for more details! Sun., 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. $25. All ages. Event details.


The Big Draw Pasadena
Kids are invited to “Leave a Mark on Pasadena” when local art and cultural institutions join forces to host the second annual, hands-on “Big Draw” event. Guests can take in artsy workshops, sidewalk chalk galleries, face painting, tattoos, music, a Halloween costume parade, and much more. Sat., 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Free. 3 & up. Event details.

Worth the Drive

Sea Scare!
Sea Scare returns with all kinds of scary fun, including the trick-or-treating at six themed goodie stations, a treasure hunt, sea creature feedings, fortune-telling, games, bioluminescent crafts, cookie decorating, and dancing. Sat., 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Adults $5; Children $1. 3 & up. Event details.

— Sarah Hilbert