Spooky Sparkling Goes Sky-High at Santa Monica Pier

Super-big bats and dazzling sugar skulls will add Halloween charm and Día de los Muertos beauty to the Pacific Wheel over several autumn nights.


What to Know

  • On view at the Pacific Wheel at Pacific Park through Nov. 2, 2021
  • Free to see in-person and on the webcam; tickets to ride are additional
  • The nightly show, which will feature Halloween and Día de los Muertos symbols, will glimmer from sunset to 12:30 a.m.

The holiday that wraps up the tenth month? It's an eerie occurrence that is known for its shadows, its murky nooks, and its creepy corners, the sorts of places where you can't quite make out what is just ahead of you.

And yet?

We humans love happy hues. We're beings with a true penchant for extreme bright-a-tude. And when it comes to decorating our homes, yards, balconies, and costumes for Halloween? Super-shiny is often best, or ultra-glittery, or anything that shows some glow.

And fulfilling our quest for what has to be one of our region's biggest and brightest Halloween lighting displays? It's the Pacific Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier.

The enormous Pacific Park attraction regularly gussies up for various holidays, festively featuring the various symbols, patterns, and colors that evoke the feelings of some of our important occasions.

And it is prepared to dazzle in honor of a holiday that does famously love the dark.

But the nighttime darkness will be extremely well-lit at the solar-powered Ferris wheel from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2, when the Pacific Wheel spins through a host of Halloween-themed pictures over several hours each evening.

Día de los Muertos will also be a major part of the show, which will display sugar skulls in addition to bats and jack o'lanterns.

For sure, your neighbor around the corner might have gone all out on the seasonal splendor, but this massive Ferris wheel is going to add a lot more illuminated oomph to the festivities, courtesy of 174,000 LED lights.

Those lights "... are mounted on the Ferris wheel’s 40 spokes and two hubs. The Ferris wheel's lighting system features 16.7 million color value combinations while the programming and display software presents imaging up to 24 frames per second to display dynamic, custom, computer-generated lighting entertainment," shared Pacific Park.

"The eco-friendly, enhanced LED lighting provides 81 percent greater energy savings than most Ferris wheels' traditional incandescent bulbs."

Call it inspiration for your Halloween decorations next year, when you'll go bigger, brighter, and even battier.

Haunting Santa Monica over Halloween Weekend? Or planning a visit on Nov. 1 and 2?

Just head for the celebrated pier to see the after-sunset show (which concludes each night at 12:30 a.m.).

But wait: You can check it out on its webcam, if you're busy making your own sugar skulls, watching a spooky movie, or handing out candy at home.

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