Arts & Entertainment

Free weekend? Halloween hikes, a zombie crawl and Día de los Muertos

Gerry Regan, left, and Denny Gerber dance during the start of the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Gerry Regan, left, and Denny Gerber dance during the start of the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

It's going to be a wild one. We hope you like animated corpses and freaky face paint. If you're dressing as a zombie, be sure to read this. And if you still need a costume (don't worry; you're not alone), then how about one of these classics? (I vote vampire vixen mash-up.) 

Here's everything you need to know: 


Kid- (and adult-) friendly activities

1. Pumpkin Launch

Is there anything more fun than blasting pumpkins into the air? Definitely not. You've probably seen Delaware's Punkin Chunkin on the Science Channel (if not, check it out above). Now you can see California's own rendition live at Cal State Fullerton. Science and engineering students will put their skills to good use with giant trebuchets, slingshots and other homemade devices at the seventh annual Pumpkin Launch on Saturday.   

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Cal State Fullerton, athletics fields north of Titan Gym | MAP

Price: Free 


2. Take a Halloween hike 

Video: How to hike Solstice Canyon

Want to avoid the crowds? How about a trip to Joshua Tree for an eerie hike to Skull Rock or Wall Street Mill? But if you're looking to stay closer to L.A., check Solstice Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains (hiking details here). You'll see a series of burnt down and abandoned homes along the trail, including the oldest structure in Malibu, as well as the Tropical Terrace estate, which was designed by architect Paul Williams and once filled with exotic animals. More Halloween hikes here.

When: Santa Monica Mountains operating hours | Joshua Tree operating hours

Where: Joshua Tree MAP | Solstice Canyon MAP

Price: Joshua Tree fees | Solstice Canyon fees


Day of the Dead events

3. Day of the Dead at Grand Park 

Video: Very Be Careful

Grab a group and head over to the heart of downtown Los Angeles for a Day of the Dead concert at Grand Park on Saturday. Expect food trucks, art, dance and music. And don't miss performances from local Cumbia bands Very Be Careful and La Chamba. Can't make it Saturday? The 50 altars created by local artists will be on display through the weekend. 

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday

Where: Grand Park | MAP

Price: Free 


4. Calavera Fashion Show & Walking Altars

Video: This is going to be a crazy party

Animated altars, DJs, live body painting, food and beer. It's all happening at the Calavera Fashion Show & Walking Altars in Mariachi Plaza on Saturday. This is going to be a serious party — sorry kids, this fashion show is a 21-and-over event. But you can take the little ones to the all ages section with music and live mural painting. Pro tip: Bring your dancing shoes. 

When: 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Mariachi Plaza | MAP

Price: $20 and up | Purchase tix here


5. Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever

Video: See these awesome ladies perform

Hang with the hipsters at Hollywood Forever Cemetery's 15th annual Dia de los Muertos festival. This year's theme: Quinceañera. Grab a last-minute costume in the Fashion District of downtown Los Angeles and get excited, because the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas will be performing. You can also expect themed food and activities. 

When: Noon to midnight 

Where: Hollywood Forever | MAPParking MAP

Price: $20 | Purchase tix here 


Halloween Parties 

6. Santa Monica Zombie Crawl

(Photo: Maya Sugarman/KPCC)

Don't be alarmed when you see droves of zombies walking the streets of Santa Monica on Friday — it's just a pub crawl. A wristband will get you cheap drinks, including $4 drafts, $5 wells and $5 shots throughout the night at various locations, with an after-party slated for Wokcano. Pro tip: Make-up artists from Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy will be on hand at Rusty's to apply your zombie makeup for free. Use the app Curb and code "Zombie2014" for $15 off your first ride. 

When: 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday

Where: Participating bars 

Price: $12 in advance; $15 day-of | Purchase tix here 


7. HalloWINE

Head out to Malibu Wines before the winery's summer hours are over. This weekend, it'll be celebrating Halloween with wine specials, live music, party games and costume contests. On Friday, pair your wine with grub from the Lobos Truck, and on Sunday, Schmuck Truck will be in tow. Not into it? Pack a picnic. 

When: Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Malibu Wines | MAP

Price: Prices vary | Menu here


8. West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval

(Photo: Jonathan Moore/City of West Hollywood)

Looking for a wild time? This is your spot. The streets of West Hollywood will be filled with more than 50,000 people in crazy costumes. Meanwhile, hotels, bars and lounges along Santa Monica Boulevard will host special events throughout the night. Check out these photos for what to expect. Find a list of events here

When: 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday

Where: West Hollywood | MAP

Price: Free


What'd we miss? Let us know on Twitter @kristenlepore