Top Los Angeles Things to Do in October

Mary Mara and Portia in the Center Theatre Group production of “Sweat” at the Mark Taper Forum.

This month, there’s plenty of music, art, food and more to discover in Los Angeles. See our list of the top 30+ Los Angeles things to do in October. Be sure to also check out our complete list of Halloween goings-on around L.A. for lots more fun (and scary) things to do.

Edited by William Yelles.

Boo at the L.A. Zoo
Oct. 1-31. This Halloween season, the Los Angeles Zoo invites guests to feed their imaginations with skin-crawling fun and spooktacular learning throughout the entire month of October. See website for schedule. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Activities are free with zoo admission. 5333 Zoo Dr., L.A., 323.644.4200.

Rooftop Cinema Club
Oct. 2-31. The U.K.’s “Number One Outdoor Cinema Series” continues its season with a lineup of fall/Halloween-themed screenings—including The Silence of the Lambs and Poltergeist—on the rooftops of LEVEL in downtown L.A. and NeueHouse in Hollywood. Enjoy food, drinks and views while you watch flicks. See website for schedule. Ages 18+; select screenings 21+. $17-$25. 888 S. Olive St., downtown; 6121 Sunset Blvd., L.A.

Los Angeles Korean Festival
Oct. 4-7. For its 45th annual event, the Los Angeles Korean Festival promises more food vendors, more festival seating and, for the first time ever, paid-ticket concerts on Oct. 5 and 6, headlined by producer and DJ KSHMR and Korean songwriter and R&B artist Dean. Th 3-10 p.m., F-Su 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Free. Seoul International Park, 3250 San Marino St., L.A., 213.487.9696.

Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch
Oct. 5-30. The family favorite is back for its 31st Halloween season with its famous Pumpkin Village, a “boo-tique” filled with Halloween favorites, a VIP area and incredible activities for all ages including multiple bounce houses, a petting zoo, food trucks and a robust roster of live entertainment. Su-Th 9 a.m.-8 p.m., F-Sa 9 a.m.-9 p.m. See website for ticket prices. 10100 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, 310.276.9827.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride
Oct. 5-31. Pile into the back of a tractor to be paraded through Griffith Park’s Old Zoo. For the scary spectacle’s 10th anniversary, expect the most immersive ride yet, as guests will be transported back to the most terrifying scenes of hayrides past. Ages 8+. F-Sa 7 p.m.-midnight; Su 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. See website for ticket prices. 4730 Crystal Springs Dr., L.A., 310.993.8289.

“Pompeii” Exhibition
Opens Oct. 6. Pompeii features over 150 authentic artifacts on loan from the renowned Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy including 2,000-year-old objects that were preserved in the ash—wall-sized frescos, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, ancient Roman coins and full body casts of the volcano’s victims. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley, 800.410.8354.

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, Los Angeles
Oct. 6. Picnic, sip Champagne and see professional polo led by world-renowned Argentine polo player Nacho Figueras at the ninth L.A. edition of this sporting event, which regularly attracts A-listers. 21+. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; match starts at 2 p.m.. $80-$450. Ticket purchase includes shuttle transportation between check-in lot and event grounds. Will Rogers State Historic Park, 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades.

Street Food Cinema
Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27. Outdoor film series hosts screenings every Saturday night at various locations throughout L.A. at venues including Exposition Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park. Features live music and food from the city’s top trucks. Spooky highlights this month include It and Edward Scissorhands. See website for full schedule. Doors 5:30 p.m.; band 6:30 p.m.; movie 8 p.m. $6-$22, under 6 free. 323.254.5068.

Horror Made Here: A Festival of Frights
Oct. 6-28. The minds behind It, The Conjuring, Freddy vs. Jason, The Exorcist and Batman: Arkham Asylum fill the Warner Bros. studio backlot with mazes and terrifying encounters with evil clowns, demon nuns, supervillains, possessed dolls and the devil himself. Ages 13+. See website for show times and ticket prices. 6510 Forest Lawn Dr., L.A., 818.977.8687.

Oct. 7. Presented by Metro, Santa Monica’s open-streets event finds over two miles of streets closed to cars and open for people to stroll, bike and roll. Experience the community’s public spaces and enjoy live music, art installations and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Check website for route.

Through Oct. 7. Lynn Nottage’s new play, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, follows a group of co-workers in Reading, Pennsylvania, who find themselves pitted against each other in order to stay afloat. See website for show times and ticket prices. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

“The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona”
Through Oct. 7. Academy Award-nominated screenwriter José Rivera’s brand-new play—having its world premiere here—deals with death and love, combined with a touch of magical realism. See website for show times and ticket prices. Gil Cates Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454.

An immersive display at Pumpkin Nights.

Pumpkin Nights
Oct. 12-Nov. 4. This outdoor, family-friendly pumpkin festival immerses guests in a half-mile walking path of over 3,000 hand-carved synthetic and real pumpkins, larger-than-life displays and multi-sensory experiences including fire dancers and more. 5-10 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona. Tickets

Oct. 13. Over 30 curated craft breweries from across Southern California will participate in Craftoberfest Los Angeles, providing guests with a delicious gastronomic experience influenced by the world’s largest beer festival in Germany. The Greens at Brookside Golf Course, located just behind the historic Rose Bowl Stadium, will be transformed and designed to emulate Oktoberfest with first class restaurants serving traditional fan favorite foods such as bratwurst and brezen. 12:30-5:30 p.m. $30-$50. 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena, 626.577.3100. Tickets

Brewery Artwalk
Oct. 13-14. This biannual art walk takes place in the world’s largest art complex, located in a former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. More than 100 participating resident artists who live in the brewery’s lofts open up their studios to showcase their work. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 2100 N. Main St., L.A., 323.638.9382.

Festival of Disruption
Oct. 13-14. Curated by David Lynch, this fest at the Theatre at Ace Hotel features live music, meditation, screenings and talks with filmmakers. See website for complete schedule and lineup. $55+. 929 S. Broadway, L.A., 213.623.3233.

Oct. 13, 20. The Amazon Studios-sponsored series closes out its season at Hollywood Forever Cemetery with screenings of Young Frankenstein and Halloween. Cinespia also hosts a costume ball and screening of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory on Oct. 31 at Los Angeles Theatre (615 S. Broadway, downtown). See website for start times. $16-$35. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A., 877.435.9849.

“Dear Evan Hansen”
Opens Oct. 17. The acclaimed Broadway hit—which won six Tonys, including for best musical—arrives in L.A. on its national tour. The personal and contemporary work follows high school senior Evan Hansen’s misguided attempt to fit in after the death of one of his classmates. See website for show times and ticket prices. Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., downtown, 213.628.2772.

“Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg”
Opens Oct. 19. Based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name, this Skirball Cultural Center exhibition provides an entertaining yet deeply personal look at the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Tu-F noon-5 p.m.; Sa-Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $7-$12; under 2 free; free Thursdays. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A., 310.440.4500.

WestEdge Design Fair
Oct. 19-21. Find home-decor inspiration at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar during this modern-design showcase. The fair offers the opportunity to shop from premium home furnishings brands—many new to the West Coast—and meet the designers behind thousands of inspiring products. F-Sa 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Su 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $25 GA; free, children under 12. 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, 917.822.0350.

Burbank Beer Festival & Street Fair
Oct. 20. This fest takes over the streets of downtown Burbank to celebrate craft beer. Expect more than 85 craft beers on tap, live music, vendors and more. Street fair: noon-7 p.m., all ages, free. Craft-beer tasting sessions: noon and 4 p.m., 21+, $40-$45. San Fernando Blvd., between Magnolia Blvd. and Angeleno Ave., Burbank.

Pacifico Dance Company performs at The Broad Stage.

Pacifico Dance Company
Oct. 20. Pacifico Dance Company preserves traditional Mexican dance through its Mexico, de Tierra a Mar performance. Be transported to the coastal state of Yucatan in “Jaranas y Danzon,” whose suite of dances concludes with Danzon’s fusion of European country moves and traditional Cuban music. 11 a.m. $5. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, 310.434.3200.

Los Angeles Lakers
Oct. 20, 22, 25, 31. With the addition of LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, the franchise has been restored to its rightful place among the NBA’s elite, meaning Lakers games will again become quite the spectacle, attracting an abundance of celebrities. LeBron makes his L.A. debut Oct. 20 against former L.A. Clipper Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets. Next, the Lakers host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 22. The Denver Nuggets come to town on Oct. 25, and to cap off the month, the Lakers play the Dallas Mavericks on Halloween. See website for game times and ticket prices. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., L.A., 213.742.7100.

Beverly Hills artSHOW
Oct. 20-21. This long-running outdoor art showcase displays artwork from over 245 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 Blvd. from Rodeo to Rexford drives, Beverly Hills, 310.285.6830.

Eastside Food Festival
Oct. 21. Now in its fifth year, this annual celebration of the vibrant food and dining cultures within L.A.’s Eastside communities will feature unlimited tastings from exciting local restaurants—including Los Feliz’s Kismet, Highland Park’s new Otoño and mainstays like Jeni’s Ice Creams and HomeState—as well as cooking demos, discussion panels, live music, podcast recordings and a VIP area with perks and prizes. 21+. 4-7 p.m.; VIP Happy Hour 3-4 p.m. $54-$105. Mack Sennett Studios, 1215 Bates Ave., L.A.

Outlaw Music Festival Tour
Oct. 21. Country music artists Willie Nelson, Sturgill Simpson, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Margo Price are among the lineup of the Outlaw Music Festival Tour. Deadheads can join in the fun as Phil Lesh & Friends is also on the bill. 5 p.m. See website for ticket prices. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000.

“The Cake”
Through Oct. 21. Debra Jo Rupp (That ‘70s Show) stars in L.A.-based Echo Theater Company’s play about a devout Christian baker who’s conflicted when asked to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. See website for show times and ticket prices. Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., L.A., 310.208.5454.

Opens Oct. 21. World premiering here, this new comedy is about a daytime talk show host whose reputation is ruined by a take-down piece of journalism, exploring the fleeting nature of 21st-century fame. See website for show times and ticket prices. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 213.628.2772.

Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Oct. 26-28. Danny Elfman returns to the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. He’ll be singing as Jack Skellington with fellow castmembers live-to-film while the cult-favorite movie plays, accompanied by an orchestra and a choir. 8 p.m. See website for ticket prices. 2301 N. Highland Ave., L.A., 323.850.2000.

Dia de los Muertos Festival
Oct. 27. Celebrate Day of the Dead, Mexico’s colorful and life-affirming holiday, at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which presents its 19th annual Día de los Muertos festival. This year’s event celebrates Coatlicue, “mother of the gods,” and features Mexican cuisine, arts and crafts vendors, music by Grammy-winning artists, hundreds of Aztec ritual dancers, a traditional procession and over 100 altars honoring ancestors. Calaca, or skeleton, attire is encouraged. Noon-midnight. $25 GA; children 8 years and under and seniors 65+ free until 4 p.m. 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.

Oct. 27, 31. LA Opera Off Grand screens Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 vampire movie accompanied by a new live score by composer Joby Talbot at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. After the Oct. 27 show, stick around for the Fanged Fete, the theater’s annual Halloween party (21+; costumes encouraged). There’s also an after-party following the Oct. 31 screening. 8 p.m. See website for ticket prices. 929 S. Broadway, L.A., 213.623.3233.

Through Oct. 27. L.A.’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The German marketplace provides traditional Bavarian fun including oompah bands, dancing, traditional food and beer. F-Sa 21+, Su all ages. F 6 p.m.-midnight; Sa 5 p.m.-midnight; Su 1-6 p.m. $10-$75; designated-driver tickets $5-$20; under 12 and over 65 free. Alpine Village, 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance, 310.327.4384.

“Sweat” photo ©2018 Craig Schwartz Photography.


Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego