Plus, a list of our favorite fall events in L.A.
I’ve written before about how embracing lesser-celebrated holidays is key to building traditions as a blended family. I discourage parents from getting hung up on the actual dates, though I will admit it’s hard to recreate Christmas morning the day before or after. Halloween is my favorite holiday, both as a stepmom and primary parent, because it offers an entire season of celebration. You can find local events, often starting in September, that allow you to celebrate even if you don’t have your kids on Halloween night. And many events encourage wearing costumes, which allows both sets of parents to participate in the dress-up aspect. You can also plan a Halloween party the weekend before without it being awkward. Yay for flexible holidays! Below is a list of fall events we hit up every year here in L.A.
Share your favorites in your city below!
Underwood Family Farms – Fall Harvest On The Farm
The 50 acre farm will transform into a giant Pumpkin Patch, Pick Your Own & Fall Harvest experience filled with games, rides, photos ops, live entertainment, themed weekends, bands and more! Weekends will include all live entertainment.
Nights of the Jack
Vast grounds of intricately hand-carved and illuminated jack o’lanterns will welcome visitors as they make their way through the walking trail around King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, CA. Angelenos will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a Halloween wonderland featuring a live pumpkin carver, gift shop, top LA food trucks, our “The Spookeasy Bar” and tons of other “Instagrammable” moments for all to enjoy!
Spooky Zoo at Santa Barbara Zoo
Grab your costumes and head to the Zoo for an outdoor Halloween spell-ebration! Discover frightfully fun decor and photo opps, all while visiting your favorite animals. Tasty treats and booo-zy adult beverages are available for purchase.
Haunt O’ Ween is an immersive family-friendly playground full of Halloween adventures and fun! For 31 days, this haven welcomes families into a massive celebration with everything that Halloween has to offer! Explore 150,000 sqft. full of:Trick-or-treating in the Town of Haunt O’ Ween!Pumpkin picking and carving! Face painting! Performances and games!Immersive Halloween-themed tunnels!A 40ft carousel! ...and a whopping 35,000 pumpkins on display!
Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party
On select nights this September and October, Disney California Adventure Park will host a separately ticketed, Halloween spooktacular that includes after-hours park access to treat trails, photo opportunities, entertainment, attractions, décor and more.
Pumpkin Carving Party
Every year, we host a carving party with our neighbors and serve this lasagna.
Jessica Butler is the co-founder of Raise, stepmother of two, and adoptive mother of one. Prior to Raise, she was a writer on USA’s "In Plain Sight" and TNT’s "The Last Ship." She and her husband, writer/producer Warren Bell, co-created the Nick at Nite series "Instant Mom," based on her life as a stepmother. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and six-year-old son, Levon.