Abbot Kinney Festival: Free to-dos come, go, and sometimes come back around again, but when you're talking about this fall-festive happening, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29, you're talking about a lark with legs. It has been around for 35 years now, providing both Venetians and visitors a day full of food trucks, live music performances, hands-on activities for kids, oodles of art-oriented booths, and plenty of shops and restaurants to stop in along the way. This is, in short, one of the major "come-backers," a robust and pay-nothing party that is beloved in Venice and far beyond.
Dark Harbor: An elegant ocean-liner is supposed to be a sumptuous sight, and so the Queen Mary is, and has been, since the 1930s. And yet? It is said to be one of the ghostliest places around, which means that its annual falltime fright-tacular, Dark Harbor, is quite well-situated. There are monster-packed mazes adjacent to the big ship, and roaming characters, the kind you might associate with an ocean-liner (a captain, a starlet, a cook, other passengers). This long-runner of a Halloweentime scare-around keeps a theme, yes, but also is roomy enough to incorporate sliders and other scary figures. It scares, on select nights, from Sept. 26 through Nov. 2.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: Venturing into the woods after the sun bids us farewell? It's the setting for many a spooky tale. And while the forest is fabricated in many a haunted attraction around town, there is one seasonal fright festival that actually does have a plethora of trees, and moonlight, too. It's the one popping up at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, over several select nights, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 28. Ghouls aplenty will be out, but here's a fresh twist for 2019: The whole hayride experience will be centered around a fictional small town that's been overrun with undead-ish types. Ready to enter Midnight Falls? Eek.
Taste of Hollywood: Planning on visiting Hollywood on Saturday, Sept. 28? In the afternoon hours? Here's your chance to nibble your way through some of Tinseltown's tastiest restaurants. Nope, you won't have to visit each venue, for they'll all be calling upon the courtyard of Hollywood & Highland with a plethora of small bites in delicious tow. Yamashiro, 25 Degrees (the fancy burger spot at the Hollywood Roosevelt), and other places are part of the taste-this-taste-that, which runs from 3 to 7:30 in the evening. If the gratis samples tempt you, consider buying a full-sized meal. Each eatery will have one for sale.
What to do, where to go and what to see
Retrocade Experience: So you're a complete wizard when chomping dots? You can outrun any ghost, with your oerfect Pac-Man skillz? Get stoked, for a bunch of old-school arcade games are popping up at Union Station on both Saturday, Sept. 28 and Sunday, Sept. 29. Pay five bucks and enjoy two hours of free play, or stick around for the afternoon Pac-Man tourneys (those are ten bucks to join). There'll be food and drinks for sale, with a few cocktails that are rocking an arcade vibe in look and/or name. Has it been awhile since you entered your initials in the final line-up, following a great round of blasting asteroids? It's time.