Halloween Horror Nights Open: You know that moment in the scary movie when the crouching monster stands and you can see it is actually ten times the size you thought it was? That's an apt and eerie analogy for this Universal Studios Hollywood treat. It gets bigger -- bigger bigger -- each year, with fresh mazes, the classic Terror Tram, and streets packed with undead 17th-century French aristocracy. "The Walking Dead" is back, with some gnarly new nods to plot twists, "From Dusk Til Dawn" vampires-up the proceedings, and "Clowns 3D with Music by Slash" is just a freak-out frightfest. There's more macabre madness, children of the night. Dare it? Yeah, you do. Opens Sept. 19
California Coastal Cleanup: It's one of the biggest volunteer efforts around, with thousands joining, but that makes sense: The Golden State has a few miles of shoreline, you might have heard. Beach buffs and nature supporters will head out to where water meets land -- that includes some inland lake-y locations -- to pick up bottles and tires and plastic and such. Find your location and time and clear your morning on Saturday, Sept. 20. The Pacific and your fellow Californians both thank you.
LA Beer Week: We know, we know -- San Francisco and San Diego regularly top "Best Beer Town" lists while our own city hangs back somewhere at #8 or #9. Two things here: We should be excited for our sibling cities, and two? SoCal's sudsy scene is on the up and up. Exhibit A: LA Beer Week, which pulls at the taps from Sept. 20 through 28. Special tastings and pairings'll flourish with foamy fabulousness at brewhouses and bars across the region. San Francisco and San Diego? Save a spot for us at the top of that list.
Gamble House Naps: If you've called up Pasadena's grandest house landmark, you know it is a serious space, full of beauty and inlaid wood and definitely all about the looking, not the touching. Echo Park innovators Machine Project want to get a little lively inside the Gamble, over two weeks, for art's sake, and science, too. Two-story-tall puppets and ghost visits and poetry read in closets and naps on the sleeping porch fill up a two-week calendar. It's part of the larger AxS Festival, and it runs through Oct. 5. Naps! At the Gamble House! We want in. We all do.
TARFEST: Art and science have a date at the Gamble, it is true, but they'll also be co-mingling with music at a certain Ice Age fossil site on the Miracle Mile. It's TARFEST, a free day of tunes and general culture-nice vibes. The science bit? The La Brea Tar Pits burbling away. The art bit? There'll be live painting and sculpting around Hancock Park. And the tunes? A bevy of bands'll rock out all afternoon and into the early evening.