Keep your October full of Halloween festivities with this guide to pumpkin patches and spooky fun.
Scarium of the Pacific
For some people, having close encounters with sharks and stingrays is scary enough. On the weekend before Halloween, however, the Aquarium increases the scares — in their own way. The 24th annual Scarium features a vampire magician, creepy critters and underwater pumpkin carving. Plus, there will be coloring and costume contests, so kids should remember to wear their costumes. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Family-friendly Halloween fun can be experienced at SeaWorld on Fridays-Sundays throughout October. Activities include a pumpkin scavenger hunt, a Halloween dance party and other holiday-related activities. Most exciting for kids is trick-or-treating along a decorated trail where they’ll encounter some memorable characters. The Sesame Place theme park located south of San Diego, offers The Count’s amusing and not-too spooky Halloween Spooktacular on select dates through October 29. More details at https://sesameplace.com/san-diego/events/halloween-spooktacular/.
Brick-or-Treat at Legoland
A treat-packed Candy Trail, a colorful costume contest and party, The Great Monster Chase 4D movie and a monstrous rock concert are all part of Legoland’s Halloween festivities. New this year are the Pirate Captain’s Shipwreck Shanty, Wacky Witch Trail and the comical Once Upon a Brick — The Tale of the Wolf Guy. Brick-or-Treat happens on Saturdays and Sundays October 7-29. Get more details and tickets online. Recommended for ages 2-12.
Los Alamitos Trunk or Treat
While this 12th annual event serves up trunk-loads of treats, this Halloween celebration offers moon bounces, train rides and carnival games. There’s a pumpkin patch while supplies last and a pie-eating contest for adults. And the costume contest is divided up for ages 0-3, 4-7, 8-12 and families. More details on its website. It all takes place in Little Cottonwood Park 5 pm-7:30 pm on October 21.
Halloween at Pretend City
The calendar may say October 29, but it will be Halloween day at Pretend City. And it won’t be hard to pretend that because the museum will be filled with Halloween-inspired activities (like a witch’s brew science experiment). The witchy theme continues with the storytime reading (11 am and 2:30 pm) of Room On The Broom. Also, the museum is having a Costume Week October 25-29 with more themed activities.
Tunnel of Terror OC
You’ve heard of haunted houses and haunted amusement parks. But what about a haunted car wash? That is the concept behind the Tunnel of Terror. Located at Anaheim’s Big Wave Car Wash, the Halloween installation is an inside-the-car experience that is said to be suitable for all ages, but parents nonetheless should proceed with caution. The Tunnel is open Thursdays-Saturday October 5-30 from 6 pm-10 pm. Get your tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tunnel-of-terror-oc-haunted-car-wash-in-anaheim-tickets-667334624827?aff=oddtdtcreator
Newport Beach 6th Annual Halloween Spooktacular
For the sixth year, Mariners Park is the site of Halloween merriment. On the afternoon of October 28 (3 pm-6 pm), the park will be stocked with a haunted house, bounce houses, carnival games and a trunk-or-treat event. A costume contest features categories like Most Original, Best Duo, Best Family and Best Dog Costume. The Spooktacular contains musical performances and food vendors as well. Food proceeds benefit the Mariners Elementary PTA’s programs.
La Palma’s Halloween Carnival
Parents looking for a safe, family-oriented alternative to traditional trick-or-treating can visit La Palma’s Central Park on October 29. Between 3:30 pm-6 pm, parents and children can play carnival games, test their luck at giveaways and do some trick-or-treating. The costume contest has separate times for different age categories. The carnival is free to attend, and food and drink will be available for purchase.
Huntington Beach’s Falloween
If you like Halloween fun, Worthy Park is a worthwhile place to visit on October 21 from 4 pm-8 pm. This Huntington Beach park presents a whole range of attractions, such as games, inflatables and a movie. There will also be a pumpkin patch with carving and painting stations; pumpkins can be pre-purchased or bought onsite (if supplies last). Sign up can be done at https://register.hbsands.org/CA/huntington-beach-community-library-services-ca/catalog?filter=c2VhcmNoPTIyNDY5NTQ=/. Call 714-960-8895 for additional details.
Halloween and Fabulous Fall Festivals Celebration
The Pacific Symphony and Segerstrom Center for the Arts team up for an exciting family-oriented musical production on October 21 that not only salutes Halloween but also other international autumn celebrations, like the Mid-Autumn Festival, Diwali and Día de los Muertos. Performances start at 10 am and 11:30 am. Guests are welcome to wear costumes. Themed activities are held in the lobby before the early show and after the later one. Visit https://tickets.pacificsymphony.org/main/seats/26963 to purchase tickets.
ENC Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch
For the 48th year, the Environmental Nature Center throws this seasonal festival that features all types of cool attractions. On October 15 (10 am-3 pm), families can play nature games and experience performances around the “Fire Circle Stage.” They can go on a “craft crawl” as well as select a pumpkin — or more — from the pumpkin patch. Proceeds benefit local environmental education programs.
Anaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade
This year is an especially big year for this long-running Orange County fall tradition. But it is the parade’s 100th anniversary. Everyone is invited to join in this centennial celebration. The Fall Festival, featuring entertainment, a haunted house and more seasonal fun, will be held on October 28 from 11 am-6 pm on Center Street and then the legendary parade begins at 7 pm at Anaheim Blvd. and Broadway in downtown Anaheim.
The Ocean Institute celebrates Halloween in its own distinctive way. On October 21, from 12 pm to 10 pm, families are invited to visit and enjoy a flotilla of unique fall activities, from a mad scientist laboratory to bioluminescence laser tag and an artifact graveyard. The evening’s attractions also include a costume contest, trick-or-treating and a photo booth. Food and other refreshments will be available for purchase.
Adventure City’s Boo-tastic Halloween Party
At Adventure City this month, guests can receive free candy and trinkets while strolling through a “Trick-or-Treat Street” — and collect more by doing the Halloween-inspired scavenger hunt. Boogie down at the Halloween Dance Party and enjoy the many rides, and Halloween-themed Express Train. You are welcome to wear your costume too. Choose your Adventure City party night, which occurs October 6, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 and 31 from 5:30 pm-9:30 pm. Get tickets online.
Cops N’ Goblins Fall Spooktacular
One of the best-named Halloween festivals also has a very strong lineup of activities. Cops N’ Goblins comes with a pumpkin patch, trunk-or-treat opportunities, kids costume contest and carnival games. Co-hosted by the Buena Park Police Department (which accounts for the “Cops” in the event’s name), this free Spooktacular occurs in front of the Buena Park City Hall on Halloween from 2 pm-6 pm.
Costa Mesa’s Scarecrow Festival
Scarecrows and Lions Park, oh my! On October 14, the Event Lawn of Costa Mesa’s Lions Park will be populated with scarecrows. Stop by between 2 pm-6 pm and check out the scarecrow contest candidates. The afternoon also includes such family-oriented fun as pumpkin decorating, a kids costume parade and trick-or-treat stations — as well as food trucks, music, games and other amusements.
Lake Forest Spooktacular
Lake Forest’s Sports Park Recreation Center is celebrating Halloween on the Saturday before the big day! If you stop by on October 28 between 3 pm-7 pm, you can play around in indoor inflatables, create some creepy crafts and participate in a trunk-or-treat experience. Wristbands will be sold in advance; however, they can only be purchased in person at the Sports Park.
Heritage Hill Fall-O-Ween
Heritage Hill Historical Park is getting dressed up for Halloween, and visitors are invited to wear their Halloween outfits too — at least on October 13-15 and 20-22. On those evenings, between 4:30 pm-8:30 pm, you can stroll the grounds and take advantage of the many photo opportunities. Folks can also navigate their way through a straw maze along with doing a scavenger hunt for some treats.
Stanton Halloween Festival
Goblins and gremlins of all ages will have plenty to be gleeful about if they find their way to Stanton’s Central Park on October 28. The park grounds will have games, entertainment, food trucks, and — boo, surprise! — costume contests. The Halloween merriment will happen between 4 pm-8 pm. Pre-registration is not needed; however, it is highly recommended to bring a trick-or-treat bag.
Discovery Cube Pumpkin Palooza
Pumpkin Palooza returns to the Cube for year #2. Museum-goers can have a ghoulishly good time attempting fascinating science activities, playing bumper cars and doing some trick-or-treating, not surprisingly. Plus, there will be a timed, interactive all-ages dance party — check its website for more details. Palooza days at the Cube are held on October 7-8, 12-15, 19-22, 25-31.
Dana Point Halloween Spooktacular & Trunk or Treat
The City’s Recreation Division and its Police Services Department are hosting these two family-geared events all on one day — October 28 from 2 pm-6 pm. The indoor Spooktacular includes a big Halloween maze, crafts, games, entertainment and treats for youngsters. A Trunk-or-Treat is an outdoor highlight along with a kids’ costume parade (at 5 pm). Representatives from the Bomb Squad, K9 Unit and the Mounted Patrol will be making appearances too.
Halloween Fest in Villa Park
This popular community event mixes up some favorite activities with new surprises. We won’t give away the surprises, but this is what we’ll reveal. You can dance to Halloween-inspired songs like “The Monster Mash,” get crafty with themed projects and examine a sheriff’s car or a fire truck. Youngsters also can receive treats from participating Town Center stores. And Town Center is where Villa Park’s Halloween party happens on October 28 (4 pm-7 pm).
Tustin Halloween Howl
Parents and children will be howling with joy over the fun stuff packed into this Halloween party. Games, inflatables, a petting zoo and lots of candy are all on the afternoon’s agenda. Additionally, there will be costume contests for infants to 12-year-olds along with a costume contest for families too. The Halloween action will take place on October 21, from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm at the Columbus Tustin Recreation Center.
Westminster Halloween Spooktacular
In Westminster this year, Friday October 27 will feel a bit like Friday the 13th! Halloween spookiness will descend upon Westminster’s Civic Center, which will have a number of eerie activities and games. Children can have a sweet time doing a Trunk-or-Treat event that will be held from 4:30 pm-6:30 pm. It will be followed by a movie, which will start at approximately 6:30 pm.
Family Halloween Night
What is the Aquarium of the Pacific after dark? Well, if you visit on October 20, it’s a jolly place populated with people in costumes and colorful species of marine life. That night, the aquarium stays open from 6:30 pm-9 pm for some early Halloween amusements. Guests will receive a goody bag upon arrival and can do a self-guided scavenger hunt too. Advance reservations are required.
Halloween Snap & Treat
Laguna Niguel welcomes children to enjoy some early Halloween action in Crown Valley Park October 7 & 8 (11 am-2 pm). Youngsters can explore the park to find various trick-or-treat stations, where there will be various themed photo opportunities, fairytale characters and Halloween-related take-home craft projects. Wristbands are required to walk the trail and they can be purchased on weekdays at the Crown Valley Community Center.
Zoomars Pumpkin Patch
During the Halloween season (or September 20-October 31) to be precise), Zoomars adds a pumpkin patch to its year-long attractions. So, families can pick up a pumpkin while also enjoying the petting zoo, the playground, a train ride or one of the park’s other hands-on activities. Zoomars is part of the River Street Ranch in San Juan Capistrano. It is open 10 am-4 pm daily.
Pumpkin City Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin City stands as a major metropolis of Halloween activities. There is an array of rides, slides, game booths, puppet shows, a petting zoo and more (some things may require tickets). There’s even a Pumpkin City Diner. Pumpkin City resides in Anaheim (2180 E. Lincoln) October 6-31 and Laguna Hills (24203 Avenida de la Carlota) September 29-October 31. Both spots are open 11 am- 8:30 pm Mondays-Thursdays and 10 am-10 pm Fridays-Sundays.
ABC Tree Farms’ Pumpkin Patch
The patch not only has a bumper crop of pumpkins, but it has duck bumper cars — as well as inflatable amusements like bounce houses, obstacle courses and giant slides (activities may require tickets). Popular throughout California, ABC Tree Farm’s home in Orange County is at the Outlets of San Clemente (101 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa). Its hours are 2 pm-9 pm Mondays-Fridays and 10 am-9 pm Saturdays-Sundays through October 31.
The Pumpkin Factory
The Pumpkin Factory is well-stocked with pumpkins along with other family-friendly merriments, from rides and slides to games and a petting zoo. It is open for business from October 1-31, at the Westminster Mall (1025 Westminster Mall). Operating hours are 5 pm-9 pm Mondays-Thursdays; 4 pm-10 pm Fridays; 10 am-10 pm Saturdays and 10 am-9 pm Sundays. The Factory has a Corona location (1545 Circle City Dr.) too.
Torelli’s Pumpkin Patch
The folks at Torelli Realty, as they have for some three decades, will be hosting a Halloween pumpkin patch. On October 19, families pick up a free pumpkin (while they last) between 5 pm-7 pm. The patch is set up on the company’s parking lot at 1700 Adams Ave. in Costa Mesa. While there, you can also do some pumpkin decorating, visit a petting zoo, go on a pony ride and even get a little face-painting done.
The Pumpkin Patch
Hailed as Southern California’s oldest pumpkin patch, this Placentia institution offers a plethora of pumpkins and gourds. Visitors also can meet baby animals and roll around in a human hamster ball. Plus, the patch has various carnival games and inflatables as well as tractor rides, gold mining and more. Open October 11-29, the Pumpkin Patch’s hours are 4 pm-9 pm Tuesdays-Thursdays; 4 pm-10 pm Fridays; 11 am-8 pm Sundays; and it is closed on Mondays.
OC Fair Pumpkin Patch
Seasonal Adventures returns to OC Fair & Event Center’s Lot C with its sensational pumpkin patch, which holds all sizes of pumpkins plus specialty pumpkins and gourds. Guests can also enjoy other “seasonal adventures” like a petting zoo, inflatables, a train, kiddie rides and inflatables. The Patch is open September 29-October 31 on 3 pm-9 pm Mondays-Thursdays, 3 pm-10 pm Fridays, 11 am-10 pm Saturdays and 11 am-9 pm Sundays — although it’ll close at 7 pm on Halloween.
Irvine Park Railroad’s Pumpkin Patch
Throughout October, families can enjoy more than just train rides — there’s a good ol’ pumpkin patch filled with future jack-o-lanterns and other Halloween-related attractions, including a pumpkin rescue, pumpkin ring toss and pumpkin decorating. Folks also can explore a haunted house and a hay maze along with going on hayrides and playing carnival games. Most activities require buying tickets. Find full details online. Hours are 10 am-5 pm (weekdays) and 8 pm-6 pm (weekends).
Mr. Jack O’ Lantern’s Pumpkin Patch
Mr. Jack O’Lantern pops up all around Southern California all October long — including locations in Torrance (17520 Prairie Ave.) and La Jolla (6710 La Jolla Blvd.). Every location offers all types of fun stuff to do besides having a big selection of pumpkins. Check the website for location details. La Jolla and Torrance, however, have the same hours: 11 am-8 pm Sundays-Thursdays; 10 am-9 pm Fridays-Saturdays.
By Michael Berick