Weekend: Halloween Horror Nights Busts Open

"Ghostbusters," "Stranger Things," and "Creepshow" are three of the teeth-shattering, hold-a-friend-close confections at the famous theme park.

Halloween Horror Nights: You may not be afraid of no ghosts, but you should be on tenterhooks about foraying into one of the most frightful, maze-packed happenings in all the land. For the annual falltime fear-stravaganza is debuting at Universal Studios Hollywood on Friday, Sept. 13 (yep, eek), with a fan preview night on Sept. 12. "Ghostbusters," "Us," "Stranger Things," "Killer Klowns from Outer Space," "Creepshow," and other amazing additions will lend chills/jumps/screams to the proceedings. The haunt energy'll stay high, over select nights, through Nov. 3.

Six Flags Fright Fest Presented by Snickers: Do coasters give you the knee-wobbles? And spooky figures approaching you out of the darkness? Combine those together, and then make for Valencia, if you're feeling valiant, for this autumn-classic experience. But best watch out for "Sliders of the Night" (you can guess that screechy sound that immediately precedes their sudden appearance) and a whole stomach-flipping assortment of haunted attractions and scare zones (including "Condemned - Forever Damned" and "Witches Lair"). The shrieks begin at Magic Mountain on Sept. 14, and continue on select nights through Nov. 3.

COAST Open Streets: Hey there, don't know if you're aware or not, but summer is straightening its papers, wiping the counter, and making final arrangements. Here's one way to embrace the season before it slips away, and to do so in the breeziest, bike-iest, and blissfully freest way: Join this bike-around in Santa Monica. Some two miles of major streetage will be closed to motorized traffic and kids'll be out on colorful trikes, adults will be cruising on decorated cycles, and everyone'll be living in the moment (fingers crossed). And why should they be? It's six hours of pay-nothing exercise, fresh air, and people-watching. Pedal by on Sept. 15.

TARFEST: Speaking of free and breezy, two of the very best things to speak of, there is this long-runner of a park lark, one that is all about live performances from a line-up of nifty bands, and live art-making, and bubbling tar, and stand-and-nosh eats from food trucks, and cooling beer to quaff, too. It's been around for 17 years now, and it really is about community cool, and sunbeams, and sending summer off, and celebrating creativity, and spending six or seven hours on a patch of grass near one of the most famous active Ice Age fossil digs in the world. Into it? Yep. It's rocking/burbling on Sept. 14.

Son of Monsterpalooza: So you're already pondering what baddie you'd like to be for your big Halloween party, but you need inspiration, a few weird ideas, and perhaps some professional help from people who work in the film industry. Where to go? Burbank is the answer, from Sept. 13-15, where a whole caboodle of creature-creating professionals will offer tips, suggestions, and how-tos on the creepy-cosmetic front. There are so many other ghoulish goings-on at this annual treat, including appearances by true horror icons (Linda Blair of "The Exorcist" will say hello). Eager? Scared? Both? Yes.

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