Dark Harbor opens: Turn on just about any cable show featuring the most haunted places in American and you'll see it: The three prominent funnels, the handsome promenade, the name emblazoned on the side of the ship, the one that reads Queen Mary. The forever-in-Long-Beach ocean-liner is already believed to be pretty ghosty all year long, so imagine what goes down in dastardly fashion when a host of phantom-filled mazes and monsterous doings take over for a few weeks. Feeling brave, lovers of Halloween and famous ships? Paddle your way there before Nov. 1, 2017. It's eeking on select nights.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride opens: A hayride in the daytime is typically full of sing-alongs and giggles and a picnic lunch, but at night, in the Old Zoo part of Griffith Park, when ghouls and spirits and, yes, clowns may lurk? Hayriding takes a more terrifying turn. The hayride aspect is just one part of the experience, which also includes scare zone classics like House of Shadows. And in case you wanted to ask, but did not, the 2017 theme is clowns, so you'll be encountering plenty along the way. Be there on select nights from Sept. 30 through Halloween night.
Open Streets Festival: A closed-to-cars street happening that's not too far from the beach? It sounds like an ideal, round-up-your-pals way to spend a pretty fall Sunday. That Sunday is Oct. 1, 2017, and Santa Monica is the place, specifically good-sized chunks of both Ocean and Main. You can stroll the route, or cycle it, but you can't bring your car, or at least you'll need to park outside of the car-closed zone. Need to find public transport there? Start here, and keep in mind the restaurants and sights you'll enjoy along the way.
Fall Harvest Festival opens: A solid harvest festival often has treats, pettable goats, some sort of pumpkin bowling and/or crafts, and a large patch to wander through. But, alas: It also often closes in a day or two. Not this Moorpark biggie, one of the largest in Southern California, and Underwood Family Farms is the agri-outfit behind it all. There's food, there are themed weekends, there are tractor-drawn wagon rides, and a corn maze, too. Day one is Sept. 30, the final 2017 date is Oct. 31, and while the themed happenings fall on Saturdays and Sundays, those do tend to be busier than the weekdays. Best plan your goat admiring and pumpkin bowling now.
Boo at the LA Zoo opens: Enthralled with the notion of watching a critter dig into a carved out pumpkin as he snacks on all of the messy pulp? This is the event where you'll see such feedings, on the weekends, but there are a plethora of other not-too-scary goings-on, too. Getting up close with snakes and spiders, making a craft themed to the hauntingest holiday, and enjoying more merriment will last throughout the month. Plus? The weekend before Halloween has some extra fun, like trick-or-treating. Boo at the LA Zoo is on all month long, beginning on Sunday, Oct. 1.