45+ Top Los Angeles Things to do in October

Grand Ave Arts: All Access

Grand Ave Arts: All Access. Photo by Jamie Pham.

From Halloween Frights and festivals galore—find the best Los Angeles things to do in October.

OFF THE HOOK Seafood Festival
Oct. 1. The second annual festival showcases the city’s best restaurants and chefs and their favorite underwater ingredients, all while raising money for those in need. Attendees will enjoy seafood tastings from restaurants such as Maré, The Lobster, FIG, Herringbone, BOA, Sushi Roku, Spinfish Poke, Yamashiro, Del Frisco’s Grille, as well as drinks, live music, games, Shock Top beer gardens and a sustainable seafood VIP Lounge presented by Santa Monica Seafood. 3-7 p.m. Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica. offthehookseafoodfest.com

DTLA Oyster Festival
Oct. 1-2. The Oyster Gourmet will again convene oyster farmers from around the country for the second annual DTLA Oyster Festival at Grand Central Market. Meet the farmers, taste their half-shells and learn about the distinctive “merroir,” or taste of place, that distinguishes oysters grown in different waters. Sucking goes from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. both days. 317 S Broadway, downtown. More Info.

Street Food Cinema
Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. Outdoor film series keeps the party going into the fall, screening classic horror flicks—think: Scream, Poltergeist and The Shining—every Saturday this month, complemented by live music and food from the city’s top trucks. See website for a full schedule and times. $6-$21, under 6 free. 323.254.5068. streetfoodcinema.com

Eastside Food Festival
Oct. 2. Sample bites from LA’s EastSide neighborhoods at Mack Sennett Studios. A short list of vendors includes restaurants like Home State, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Knuckle & Claw, Kettle Black, Little Beast, Momed, Same Same, Sawyer and many more. 1215 Bates Ave., L.A. eastsidefoodfest.com

Only in Hollywood Music + Arts Festival
Oct. 6-8. This second annual festival—a walkable neighborhood open house—features musical performances, comedy shows and pop-up art galleries showcasing established and up-and-coming Hollywood talent at dozens of local venues. The fest includes a mix of free and ticketed events. Along Hollywood, Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards, Vine Street and Selma Avenue, L.A. onlyinhollywood.org

Los Angeles Halloween events

Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns
Oct. 13-16; 27-30. At Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns, 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins line a walkway while a spooky soundtrack sets the mood, making it a perfect Halloween event for all ages. Ogle life-size works of art made out of multiple pumpkins, like the Chinese dragon. Los Angeles Convention Center (Oct. 13-16), 1201 S. Figueroa St., downtown; Fairplex (Oct. 27-30), 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, 818.639.8981. therise.org

Boo at the L.A. Zoo
Oct. 1-31. All month long, the Los Angeles Zoo offers Halloween fun the kids can get in on at Boo at the L.A. Zoo, with haunted caves, a cornstalk maze, pumpkin carving, creepy crafts and creature encounters, plus trick-or-treating Oct. 29-30. 5333 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park, L.A., 323.644.4200. lazoo.org

Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre With Poe and Gorey
Oct. 22. Halloween takes a dramatic turn at Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre With Poe and Gorey, taking place at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Walk the moonlit grounds (bring a flashlight!) and witness productions of chilling works by Edward Gorey and Edgar Allan Poe including The Gashlycrumb Tinies and The Tell-Tale Heart. Ages 10 and up. brownpapertickets.com

West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval
Oct. 31. Billed as the largest Halloween street party in the world, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval sees 500,000 wildly dressed revelers turn out for its costume party, which features live entertainment, photo stations and food vendors. 800.368.6020. visitwesthollywood.com

Evil Dead in Concert
Oct. 25. Actor Bruce Campbell hosts Evil Dead in Concert—a screening of Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult horror film with a newly reimagined live score by composer Joseph LoDuca—at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. 929 S. Broadway, downtown, 213.235.9614. theatre.acehotel.com

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror
Oct. 29, 31. LA Opera off Grand presents Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror. The movie palace is screening F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent horror classic accompanied by a live performance of a new score by L.A. Opera’s chamber orchestra. After the Oct. 29 show, stick around for the Bloodsuckers Bash, the theater’s annual Halloween party featuring drinks, DJs and dark arts (ages 21+, costumes encouraged). 929 S. Broadway, downtown, 213.235.9614. theatre.acehotel.com

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Oct. 28-30. Danny Elfman is back for Halloween at the Hollywood Bowl, singing along as Jack Skellington while Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The festivities also include a costume contest and trick-or-treating. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000. ticketmaster.com

Horror in the Hall
Oct. 31. On Halloween night, the Walt Disney Concert Hall hosts Horror in the Hall, showing the groundbreaking 1920 silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, with Clark Wilson providing an improvised live soundtrack on the venue’s magnificent pipe organ. 151 S. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.972.4399. laphil.com

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Oct. 1-31. The popular Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, running all month, finds groups of scare-seekers piling into the back of a tractor to be paraded through Griffith Park’s Old Zoo. During this year’s Secret Society-themed event, riders are herded off the wagon to face part of the course on foot for the first time—with ghosts of hayrides past haunting their every step—to complete their initiation into an “elite” or “deranged” society. The Dark Maze and haunted village complete the experience. 4730 Crystal Springs Ave., Griffith Park, L.A., 310.993.8289. losangeleshauntedhayride.com

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor
Sept. 29-Oct. 31. During the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor—taking place all month—Long Beach’s ocean liner/hotel draws from its history, crafting modern-day scares out of the vessel’s haunted past. This year, the ship’s protector, the Iron Master, takes center stage with his new maze, Intrepid. Also on board are five more signature mazes, more than 200 monsters and a variety of spirited attractions. 1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach, 877.342.0738. queenmary.com

Halloween Horror Nights
Sept. 16-Nov. 5. Universal Studios Hollywood’s iconic—and crazy packed—Halloween attraction features a fully re-imagined “Terror Tram” experience, four scare zones, seven movie-and TV-themed mazes based on the likes of American Horror Story, The Exorcist, Freddy vs. Jason and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. $89+. 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 800.864.8377. halloweenhorrornights.com

Pink Thursdays at FIG & OLIVE Melrose Place
Oct. 6-27. Every Thursday throughout October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, FIG & OLIVE will serve an array of rose-tinted drinks and small bites—not to mention a dynamite selection of rosé. Kick off your night with pink Champagne; pink cocktails like the La Vie en Rose, berry-infused gin, grapefruit liqueur, lemon, and rose water; and pink bites like tomato-watermelon gazpacho with squash seed and basil oil. Their new menu also focuses on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and includes dishes like Provencal carrot and thyme soup; quinoa salad with  red cabbage, roasted squash,  pomegranate, orange segment and a pumpkin seed citrus dressing; and Riviera salmon with braised endive, baby kale, cauliflower purée and an olive and piquillo tapenade. 8490 Melrose Place, L.A., 310.360.9100. figandolive.com

Yusuf/Cat Stevens
Oct. 6-7. Singer-songwriter Yusuf/Cat Stevens plays an intimate acoustic set at the Pantages. 6233 Hollywood Blvd., L.A. hollywoodpantages.com

Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A.
Oct. 7-March 12. Renowned for his representations of everyday objects and his inventive interplay of line, dot and color, Roy Lichtenstein (1923–97) shaped the Pop Art movement. The Skirball Cultural Center’s new exhibition explores how the artist and the movement, buoyed by a renaissance in printmaking, made fine art accessible to the American public in ways that had not been achieved before. By exploring the historical and cultural context of Lichtenstein’s life and work, the exhibition sheds light on the social impact of Pop Art. The show coincides with the 50th anniversary of prominent Los Angeles printing house Gemini G.E.L. and features more than 20 of its Lichtenstein prints. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.440.4500. skirball.org

Into the Night: Pop for the People
Oct. 7. Celebrating the major new retrospective, Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A., the Skirball Cultural Center hosts the eighth installment of the Skirball’s after-dark series mixing outdoor live music, pop-up activities and rare nighttime access to the museum galleries. The event takes place on opening night and include performances by synth-pop performer Seth Bogart and alt-electro artist Chela. Come dressed in Pop Art–inspired makeup and costumes, enjoy signature cocktails and more. 8 p.m. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.440.4500. skirball.org

Festival of Disruption
Oct. 8-9. Curated by David Lynch, this fest at the Theatre at Ace Hotel features the likes of Robert Plant and Frank Gehry. 929 S. Broadway, downtown, 213.235.9614. festivalofdisruption.com

Overtime Power Hour
From Oct. 14. Head to Nest at WP24 at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles for specially-priced drinks and dishes available after every Kings, Clippers and Lakers home game at the Staples Center until close. Overtime Power Hour kicks off on Oct. 14—the LA Kings’ first home game of the season. Small bites start at $6 and include signature items such as the Maine lobster spring rolls with prawns, ginger and 10 spice honey; baby pork belly “bao buns” with Chinese honey-garlic glaze; and sushi; along with a special selection of off-menu items available only during the power hour. Classic and Far East-inspired cocktails start at $9 and include selections like the lychee martini made with Ultimat Vodka, lychee, and lime; also find house-made Sangria with red wine, prosecco and fresh fruit. 900 W Olympic Blvd., downtown, 213.743.8824. ritzcarlton.com

Pasadena Octoberfest
Oct. 15. Raise a stein for the inaugural Pasadena Octoberfest at the Rose Bowl. The craft beer, culinary and music festival features restaurants and food trucks creating craft beer-inspired and infused culinary creations; over 50 top craft breweries including 30 rare styles of beer from Sam Adams alone; live entertainment and silent disco and more. 2-6:30 p.m. $35-$75. 1001 Rose Bowl Dr, Pasadena. pasadenaoctoberfest.com

Vegan Oktoberfest
Oct. 15. Those who steer clear of animal products but don’t want to miss out on the month’s Bavarian boozy fun, raise a stein to this vegan event. Find entertainment; German-themed food from such vendors as Grilled Cheese Truck, Dogtown Dogs and Donut Friend; and unlimited sampling of beer and cider from the likes of Angel City Brewery, the Dudes’ Brewing Co. and Honest Abe Cider. 1-5:30 p.m. (VIP admission at noon). Alcohol served until 4:30 p.m. $45-$50; nondrinking $20-$25; VIP $65-$75. Tickets only available online. L.A. Center Studios, 450 S. Bixel St., downtown. veganoktoberfest.com

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, Los Angeles
Oct. 15. This year marks the seventh annual Los Angeles edition of this classy, celebrity-frequented sporting event in Pacific Palisades. Picnic, sip Champagne and see professional polo at its best. Event is 21+. 11 am-5 pm; match starts at 2 pm. $75-$400. Ticket purchase includes shuttle transportation between dedicated lot and event grounds. All tickets must be purchased through Eventbrite. Will Rogers State Historic Park, 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades. veuveclicquot.tumblr.com

The Science Behind Pixar
Oct. 15. The California Science Center has always had a knack for making learning fun. Now the museum is merging science with popular animated films in what’s sure to be a winning combination. The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition has its West Coast premiere, providing an interactive look at the computer-animation giant’s movie-making magic. Visitors can explore the science, technology, engineering and math concepts behind the Pixar process through hands-on activities and learn how artists and computer scientists bring the company’s award-winning films to life. Full-size re-creations of beloved characters like Buzz Lightyear, Dory, WALL-E and Monster Inc.’s Mike and Sulley let little ones feel like a part of Pixar’s animated world. $9.95-$14.95, under 4 free. 700 Exposition Park Dr., downtown. californiasciencecenter.org

Beverly Hills Artshow
Oct. 15-16. This long-running outdoor art showcase displays artwork from some 240 exhibitors twice a year. Wine and beer gardens and food trucks are also on-site. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Beverly Gardens Park, along Santa Monica Boulevard from Rodeo to Rexford drives, Beverly Hills, 310.285.6830. beverlyhills.org

Ciclavia—Heart of L.A.
Oct. 16. Nearly 6 miles of L.A.’s normally congested streets turn into a car-free park for a walk and bike tour through Boyle Heights, Chinatown, downtown and Westlake during this beloved open-streets event. See website for route details. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 213.355.8500. ciclavia.org

Spa Week
Oct. 17-23. Biannual event sees some of L.A.’s top spas offering signature treatments for just $50. See website for a full roster of participating spas and treatments. 212.352.8098. spaweek.com

The Ease of Fiction
Oct. 19. The Ease of Fiction subverts the status quo, and Genevieve Gaignard explores femininity and race at the California African American Museum. 600 State Dr., downtown, 213.744.7432. caamuseum.org

Celebrate Forsythe
Oct. 21-23. The Music Center kicks off its dance season with Celebrate Forsythe at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The monthlong series of performances and events in celebration of multimedia dance artist and choreographer William Forsythe. 135 N. Grand Ave. musiccenter.org

Brewery Artwalk
Oct. 22-23. This biannual art walk takes place in the world’s largest art complex, located inside a former Pabst Blue Ribbon factory. More than 100 resident artists who live in the brewery’s lofts open up their studios to showcase their work. A beer garden and restaurant are also on-site. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 2100 N. Main St., L.A., 323.638.9382. breweryartwalk.com

Lit Crawl
Oct. 26. Fourth annual walkable event for book lovers finds 36-plus restaurants, bars, galleries and theaters in North Hollywood’s arts district playing host to over 40 literary happenings. Dine, explore the area and stroll while enjoying readings and performances. The night comprises three 45-minute rounds. Check website for schedule. Free. NoHo Arts District, anchored by intersection of Lankershim and Magnolia boulevards, North Hollywood. litcrawlla.org

Chrysalis Poker Night
Oct. 27. Try your luck at a game of Texas Hold’em and help support the Chrysalis community. The event poker tournament feature cocktails, a buffet dinner, a silent auction and prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd chip leaders. Ten Thousand, A Crescent Heights Inspired Residence, 10000 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A. changelives.org

Day of the Dead in Grand Park
Oct. 29-Nov. 5. Downtown’s Grand Park is a popular spot for civic gatherings and casual strolls. But in late October, the park (with partner Self Help Graphics & Art) will celebrate Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, by filling its open space with more than 50 altars and art installations that honor lost loved ones and express community struggles with education, gang violence and immigration reform. The altars’ unveiling happens at the Noche de Ofrenda ceremony on Oct. 29 from 7-9 p.m., and they are on view through Nov. 5. Visitors can also learn about the holiday’s traditions and artwork during free lunchtime tours. 200 N. Grand Ave., downtown. grandparkla.org/downtowndia

Grand Ave Arts: All Access
Oct. 29. Now in its second year, the event finds downtown LA’s top cultural institutions filling Grand Avenue between Temple and 6th streets with free performances, behind-the-scenes tours, exhibitions and family-friendly activities. The Broad, Center Theatre Group, Colburn School, Grand Park, LA Opera, LA Central Library, LA Master Chorale, LA Philharmonic, MOCA, the Music Center and REDCAT all get in on the fun. Grand Avenue between Temple and 6th streets, downtown. grandavearts.tumblr.com

Festival Supreme
Oct. 29. Flight of the Conchords, “Weird Al” Yankovic and Sarah Silverman headline this comedy-music festival created by Tenacious D, held at the Shrine Expo Hall & Grounds. 665 W Jefferson Blvd., downtown. festivalsupreme.com

Oktoberfest
Through Oct. 29. You’ll find L.A.’s oldest (since 1968) and largest Oktoberfest at Torrance’s Alpine Village. The German marketplace plays host to traditional Bavarian fun including oompah bands, chicken-dancing, traditional food and beers brewed by Warsteiner. F-Sa 21+, Su all ages. F 6 p.m-.midnight; Sa 5 p.m.-midnight (followed by after-party F-Sa); Su 1-6 p.m. $8-$20; Dine, Stein, No Line $75; under 13 free. 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance, 310.327.4384. alpinevillagecenter.com

Continuing
Plan Check “Comfort Masters” Guest Chef Series
Oct. 9, 25-26. The popular Los Angeles eatery welcomes 10 chefs from across the country for an exclusive six-month pop-up dining series in collaboration with food writer, Andy Wang and Table8. The series continues this month with a lineup that includes Sheridan Su (Flock & Fowl) and Jason Dady (San Antonio’s no. 1 chef). Visit website for complete details and Plan Check locations. comfortmasters.table8.com

Butterfly Pavilion
Through Oct. 16. See more than 25 North American butterfly species and an array of plants in this outdoor exhibit at the Natural History Museum. The Butterfly Pavilion showcases monarchs, queens, malachites and various longwings and swallowtails, which will flutter among flowering plants inside the enclosed habitat. The pavilion is just part of the museum’s nature-oriented attractions, which also include the outdoor nature gardens and indoor nature lab where you have on-site opportunities to learn about insects and other species in the urban environment. 900 Exposition Blvd., downtown, 213.763.3466. nhm.org

Macbeth
Oct. 5, 8, 13, 16. LA Opera kicks off its 2016-2017 season with a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth. Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak directs this adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic tale, with LA. Opera general director Plácido Domingo playing the title role. It’s the company’s first staging of the opera since 1987—a reprise that music director/conductor James Conlon calls his and Domingo’s “offering to the international recognition of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.” Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave. laopera.org

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters
Through Nov. 27. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s first museum retrospective. The exhibition explores del Toro’s creative process by bringing together elements from his films, objects from his vast personal collections, drawings from his notebooks, and approximately 60 objects from LACMA’s permanent collection. The diverse range of media—including sculpture, paintings, prints, photography, costumes, ancient artifacts, books, maquettes, and film—totals approximately 500 objects and reflects the broad scope of del Toro’s inspirations. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323.857.6000. lacma.org

London Calling: Bacon, Freud, Kosoff, Andrews, Auerbach, and Kitaj
Through Nov. 13. While most of the art at the Getty Museum is concerned with the rendition of the human figure and landscape up to 1900, their latest exhibition focuses on innovative figure works from a prominent group of London-based artists who worked from the ‘40s through the ’80s, rejecting abstraction and conceptualism. This is the first extensive U.S. exhibition—80 major works—to explore the paintings and drawings of the leaders of the “School of London” movement: Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach and R.B. Kitaj. 1200 Getty Center Drive, L.A., 310.440.7300. getty.edu

Toba Khedoori  
Sept. 25-March 19. The first major retrospective of UCLA alumna, Toba Khedoori features 25 works spanning the arc of her autistic oeurve over the last 20 years, from her more recent oil-on-canvas paintings alongside her earlier large-scale works on paper. Her contemporary pieces frequently explore architectural form from distanced perspectives. The exhibition is the first major museum presentation of Khedoori’s new paintings and her first survey in 15 years. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., 323.857.6000. lacma.org

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up
Through Oct. 2. Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind Beasts of the Southern Wild, spins yarns about a unique childhood that included a run-in with a lecherous goat and Pentecostals on the radio in this play, having its official world premiere here. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

Barbecue
Through Oct. 16. Award-winning playwright Robert O’Hara’s comedy about a dysfunctional family barbecue that turns into an intervention for a drug-addicted sister gets its West Coast premiere, with a cast including Yvette Cason, Dale Dickey and Frances Fisher. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Westwood, 310.208.5454. geffenplayhouse.com

For The Record: Scorsese–American Crime Requiem
Through Oct. 16. Subtitled American Crime Requiem, this production explores over 40 years of the legendary Martin Scorsese’s storytelling by bringing his films’ soundtracks (including Goodfellas, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street) to life. Stop by before the show for Scorsese-inspired cocktails from the newly opened The Bar @ The Wallis, dine on handmade pasta and desserts from the Prince of Venice food truck and enjoy pre- and post-show entertainment and performers. Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.746.4000. thewallis.org

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Through Oct. 16. Phylicia Rashad directs August Wilson’s groundbreaking play—inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey—which depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry present during a 1927 recording session in Chicago. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

A View from the Bridge
Through Oct. 16. Fresh off recent Tony wins and sold-out runs on Broadway and the West End, this production of Arthur Miller’s play follows a Brooklyn longshoreman obsessed with his 17-year-old niece and his raging jealousy over her love of an immigrant. For a more intimate experience, opt for onstage seating. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772. centertheatregroup.org

—with contributions from Gillian Glover and Suzanne Ennis.

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