Pre-Halloween Family Events: 12 Cool Picks

Go trick-or-treating at Smorgasburg LA or decorate pumpkins in Old Pasadena.

Is your kid already wearing his costume? As in the full costume, complete with dinosaur tail, robot blinky glasses, neon mohawk, and an empty bucket that will soon hold dozens of pieces of candy?

A lot of tots are already trying their holiday get-ups on, with anticipation, that's for sure. For when Halloween is on a Tuesday, you can bet that the weekend before will see the general air of "wanna go now-ness" and "is Halloween here yet-ness" rise like so much glow from a pumpkin.

And, yeah, that "wanna go now-ness" absolutely extends to the adult fans of the holiday, too.

For. Sure.

So where can you and the young'uns go over the final weekend of October to find either some costume-dressy high jinks, some pumpkin-perfect snapshots, or other eerie (but not overly eerie) happenings related to the ghosty occasion? 

Which is on a Tuesday? Which was already mentioned? 

Here are a dozen fun picks popping up around Southern California ahead in the days ahead of Halloween, which is on a Tuesday, which we said.

The Scene

Want to find new things to do in Los Angeles? The Scene's lifestyle stories have you covered. Here's your go-to source on where the fun is across SoCal and for the weekend.

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Big note, lights flashing, please read: While some of the happenings below are free, some are ticketed with admission. Check prices before you go.

Also? Not every event is a costumes-are-okay happening, so eye the event web site first before heading out for...

Old Pasadena: Be at One Colorado from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 28 for the yearly Pumpkin Decorating Extravaganza. (Yep, there's trick-or-treating, too, in Old Pasadena, but that's on Halloween, which is a Tuesday.)

Smorgasburg LA: Planning on visiting the Sunday sup-around food scene at ROW DTLA? There's trick-or-treating for the younguns from 10 to noon on Oct. 29.

Long Beach: Do your children adore animals? Especially animals in crazy costumes? The Sunday, Oct. 29 Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade is free to watch, or $10 if your family walks with your own pup.

Pasadena: The Halloween Hunt unfurls on Sunday, Oct. 29 at Kidspace Children's Museum, near the Rose Bowl. Prepare to encounter some "... kooky (not spooky) critters that call the Arroyo home..." during the sweet scavenger hunt.

San Pedro: It's a family Halloween party with an ocean-y theme. Dress as a grunion, shark, or seahorse if you like, and be at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on Saturday, Oct. 28. Glub glub.

Heritage Square Museum: Call upon the ye olde homes on Sunday, Oct. 29 for a look at mourning rituals of decades ago. But there shall be kid-cute activities, making it a great day for the history-loving family.

Los Angeles: Boo at the Zoo has been boo-ing beautifully all October long, but the last weekend of the month is extra special. It's the weekend of trick-or-treating, so look for treat stations around the animal park on Oct. 28 and 29.

Santa Clarita: The Gibbon Conservation Center is throwing its first-ever party, complete with crafts, a costume contest, and treat stations. Find your way to the animal-sweet preserve on Saturday, Oct. 28.

Moorpark: Underwood Family Farms is famous for its month-long Fall Harvest Festival. The theme weekends that pop up during the fest are pretty darn charming, too, and the last one, on Oct. 28 and 29, is pulpy perfect: All About Pumpkins.

Orange: It's time for the Halloween Zoo-tacular at the OC Zoo, which means beautiful beasties chowing down on yummy gourds. Be there on Oct. 28, and note that the Irvine Park Railroad's Pumpkin Patch is nearby.

Marina del Rey: Ride your own pumpkin (assuming you have a pumpkin with wheels) over to Burton Chace Park on Saturday, Oct. 28 and Sunday, Oct. 29. The to-dos are made for the younger set during the day, but things get a bit more scary by night.

Griffith Park: The much-loved Ghost Train returned in 2017, and while advance tickets are sold out, stand-by tickets will be for sale each evening, including in the days leading up to Halloween, which is on a Tuesday.

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