October has officially started, and for some, it marks the start of fall. For others, it marks the beginning of Halloween festivities and Day of the Dead (or Dia De Los Muertos) planning. While many are lighting their pumpkin-scented candles and hanging leaf wreaths, these people are busy carving pumpkins or planning how they should decorate their loved one’s grave on Nov. 1. Amongst all the decorating and costume shopping, there are plenty of inexpensive events in or around Los Angeles that students can take advantage of to get their fill of scares or satisfy their festive desires.
Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
On a typical day, the Queen Mary in Long Beach serves as a hotel and dining area for locals and tourists. However, during the month of October, the ship is re- decorated and a total of seven mazes installed, just for people to get their scare on! A new maze available this year is called “Lullaby,” and it’s based on an urban legend about a girl named Mary who is said to haunt the ship. There are a variety of shows to watch, including a new one about freak shows and circus oddities. “Dark Harbor” runs now until Nov. 1. Tickets are usually $24 but can drop as low as $20 on select dates.
Long Beach Zombie Walk
This event is sure to please the zombie lover in everyone’s life! At this three-day event, attendees are encouraged to dress and act like zombies as they roam the streets of Long Beach. One of the festival’s highlights is a “Thriller Workshop,” where guests can learn the choreography of Michael Jackson’s iconic song. This event will take place the weekend of Oct. 23-25 Three-day passes are $20 when bought online, and $22 at the gate.
The Hallows Market
This event is best described as a Halloween market. Taking place at the Santa Anita Racetrack on Oct. 24, this one-day event will feature over 60 vendors selling exclusive Halloween merchandise and products. There will be food vendors and live entertainment. Attendees are encouraged to wear costumes and do some early trick-or-treating! This event is free, but you can reserve a ticket online and ensure your entry for $5.
Olvera Street Dia De Los Muertos Festival
This festival is dedicated to celebrating a traditional Mexican holiday in which people take the time to honor lost loved ones. This free festival, located on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, lasts from Oct. 25-Nov. 3. There will be a nightly candlelight vigil to honor the deceased, with blessings and free bread and Mexican hot chocolate given out. During the weekends a variety of entertainment will be offered, such as face painting and roaming mariachi bands. Attendees will have the chance to see decorated altars made by families for their late members, a tradition common during this holiday.
Hollywood Forever Presents: Dia De Los Muertos
Located in the famous Hollywood Forever Cemetery, this 12-hour event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Similar to the festival on Olvera Street, attendees have the chance to admire decorated altars. There will be a traditional Aztec blessing and procession at the beginning of the event, with various musical performances and art exhibitions to follow. Guests are encouraged to wear their best Day of the Dead attire, as there will be a costume contest. Tickets are $20.
Whether you’re looking for some scares or want to immerse yourself in a cultural experience, these events are perfect for getting into the October spirit.