With California seeing a sharp decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, in-person Halloween events are coming back this year with some loosening restrictions.
For this year's spooky events, say so long to drive-thrus and welcome back events such as Knott's Scary Farm, which aims to give visitors a good fright. The theme park was closed most of last year due to the pandemic. Earlier this month, Disneyland also kicked off the Halloween season with a re-themed Haunted Mansion Holiday attraction and Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood and Fright Fest Halloween at Six Flags are also underway.
Here are some other local haunts to check out this Halloween season.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Say so long to the drive-thru. This ghoulish event that transports visitors to the Midnight Falls community, featuring hayrides, mazes and trick or treating, will return to LA's Griffith Park starting Oct. 24. Last year, it moved to San Dimas to accommodate vehicles. Even though it's back to in-person scare walk-throughs this year, attendees who are not platinum ticket holders will have to reserve a time to enter the hayride. Others can enter the community's town square, where townsfolk will roam and interacting with them. Tickets for the event running through Oct. 31 are on sale now. They start at $29.99.
Nights of Jack
Attendees to this year's Nights of Jack at King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas will get to see the illuminated light show, hand-carved Jack O'Lanterns and more on foot. No more drive-thru. Walk the 2/3-mile trail and stop at the Spookeasy bar for a drink. Some of LA's top food trucks will also be on site. The event runs from Oct. 1-31, and tickets start at $39.99 per person. Parking costs $9.99. Tickets can be purchased online.
Carved at Descanso Gardens
This event is perfect for the whole family. The popular Pumpkin House will be back on display at Descanso Garden. The event happening for three weeks in October also will feature a one-mile walk lined with hundreds of carved pumpkins. Visitors can also enjoy a hay maze, themed food and beverage. Along with pumpkins, there will be exciting new oversized sculptures made of sticks and other natural materials. Tickets start at $25 for members and $32 for nonmembers. Tickets for members are now on sale. All others have to wait until Oct. 1 to purchase tickets.
Boo Ha Ha – A Haunted Oktoberfest
The Boo Ha Ha will return Oct. 29 and 30 to the Orange County Fairgrounds. Enjoy live performances, including Lit and A Flock of Seagulls and three hours of unlimited craft beer tastings. Plus costume contests, food trucks and more. This is a 21 and over event. Tickets include VIP packages, general admission and a no-alcohol option. For more information, visit www.theboohaha.com.
The pumpkin patch at this 30-acre Irvine farm is now open daily from 9 a.m through 6 p.m. and will run through Oct. 31. No reservations are needed this year, but parking passes for the weekend are required and cost $10. Besides the patch, visitors will be able to enjoy a wagon ride, barnyard educational exhibit and u-pick vegetable patch Monday through Thursday. During the weekends in October, including Fridays, there also will be ATV rides available, a pumpkin cannon and interactive activities for kids. Admission is $6 per person, and children 2 years and under as well as military members go in free. For a breakdown of the activities' cost, visit the farm's website.
Pumpkins at the Pines
Starting Oct. 9 through 31, pumpkins are coming to Skypark at Santa's Village, the perennially Christmas theme park at Lake Arrowhead. During the Halloween season, visitors will be able to go pumpkin picking and enjoy activities such as costume contests, trick-or-treating and a walk-through of a haunted forest.
Described as a playground filled with various activities, Haunt'oween will let visitors celebrate the spooky season with four immersive Halloween tunnels in Woodland Hills. It will include face painting, performances, food trucks and a pumpkin patch for both picking and carving. General admission costs $30.
Signal Hills' annual carnival is back after being turned into a community scavenger hunt for Ghostly Gus last year. Child-friendly costumes are encouraged at the event that promises crafts, carnival games, train rides and candy. The carnival will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at Signal Hill Park, 2175 Cherry Ave. Wristbands will be required for those 1 year and older to participate. The bands will cost $5 at the event, or they can be purchased in advance starting Oct. 1-29 for $4 at Signal Hill Library, Community Services Office or the Youth Center.
Street Food Cinema
How about dinner and a movie? Watch a classic Halloween movie such as "The Addams Family," "Hocus Pocus," or "The Craft." General admission costs $18 and $6 for children ages 5-12. Dates, venues and food truck information can be found on their site.
Boo at the LA Zoo
From animal pumpkin feedings to creepy crafts and trick-or-treating days on Oct. 23-24 and 30-31. There's so much going on in October at the zoo; it'll make you howl. The activities are included in the cost of admission. Head over to the LA Zoo's website to plan your visit. Note that indoor activities such as visiting The Lair to see rare snakes, poisonous frogs and venomous lizards require a mask.
Boo at the Zoo at the Santa Ana Zoo
Follow a Halloween trail through the zoo during extended admission hours from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 23-24 and 29-30. This family-friendly event is not intended to be scary so kid-friendly costumes are encouraged. On your way out, kids can collect their goody bags. There are limited admissions for each night, and tickets must be purchased online. Tickets are $14.95 for members and $29.95 for nonmembers. Visitors are being encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines.
Fall Harvest on the Farm
From pig races and live performances during the weekend to a corn stalk labyrinth on Oct. 9, Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark has lots to offer this fall season. The festival will run from Sept. 25 to Oct. 31. Weekday admission tickets are $10 and sold only at the gate. Weekend admission tickets are sold online and cost $11 to $22. The farm is following safety guidelines set by Ventura County and will be requiring masks at indoor events.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Danny Elfman will step back into his role as Jack Skellington in a live performance of Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" on Oct. 29 and 31 at the Banc of California Stadium. Tickets start at $39.50. The venue requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend.