The very end of July is typically characterized by a few different sights, staples, and traditions.
We're plunk in the middle of the dog days of summer right around then, which simply means we'll trot out the phrase "dog days of summer" a lot more than usual. And the earliest back-to-school ads are revving up as July winds down.
As for Halloween making its first frightful foray into our worlds? That's ghoulishly going down, thanks to the big theme parks launching their autumn scare auditions at the close of July and a couple of major Halloween conventions springing up.
What to do, where to go and what to see
One of those majors, Midsummer Scream, takes place just a short drive from one of the most haunted places in California, purportedly and so forth: the Queen Mary.
That's the same ship that stages the Dark Harbor event in September and October each year, and hosts a number of ghost tours.
So in that spirit — yes, we said "spirit" with a wink — the Queen Mary will stage its first-ever summertime Halloween ball, one that will creepily coincide with all of the Midsummer Scream action haunting the Long Beach Convention Center.
"Dark Harbor's Sinister Circus" is the name of the costume ball, a party that'll take place aboard the history-laden boat on Saturday, July 29. There shall be prizes for the best get-ups — think macabre, think elegant — and characters from the autumntime "Dark Harbor" event will make cameos during the evening.
This is a separate ticket from Midsummer Scream, do note, so you'll want to purchase your $29 entry in advance. (If you buy your ball admission on the night of, it is $34).
There's also a way to stay aboard the ship and nab discounted entries to both the July 29-30 Halloween-themed convention at the LBCC and the eek-filled Queen Mary ball.
If you can't possibly wait for fall's official start to indulge in your devotion to the spooky and supernatural, then the last part of July is your time of year, at least around Southern California.
There's plenty to do during the dog days of summer, in terms of early Halloween happenings, including this newest offering, a costume ball brimming with phantoms, frights, and fun.