Boo! 18 ways to celebrate Halloween and Día de Los Muertos, IRL or virtually


With the COVID-19 pandemic still lurking like some horror-movie phantom that just ... won’t ... die, trick-or-treating this year is not much of an option. But there’s still spooky fun to be had — in person out in the world, or from the comfort of your home. Here are Halloween happenings and Día de los Muertos offerings for this week.

In-person events

“Los Angeles Haunted Hayride”
This year’s iteration of the Halloween attraction has relocated from Griffith Park to San Dimas and ditched hay wagons in favor of automobiles. But you’ll still see the same mix of creepy costumed characters and terrifying tableaux. (Best to leave the little ones at home for this one.) Frank G. Bonelli Park, 120 Via Verde Drive, San Dimas. 7 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Sunday. $50-$200 per car; timed entry; advanced purchase required.

Joe Bob’s Haunted Drive-in
B-movie maven Joe Bob Briggs is your on-screen master of ceremonies for this mix of cheesy horror flicks and immersive zombie-themed shenanigans. 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Roadium Drive-In, 2500 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Torrance. Also 9 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena. $99, $115.


Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos
Co-presented by the Music Center and Self Help Graphics, this outdoor Day of the Dead celebration includes 11 large ofrendas, or altars, with audio guides available on Mixcloud and YouTube. Also on display: traditional folk art, digital ofrendas and photography. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., and the Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. 5 a.m.-10 p.m. daily through Nov. 4. Free.

“Urban Legends of Southern California”
Modern folktales are reenacted and enhanced with special effects in this immersive and interactive drive-through experience. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. 7-11:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 7-10:30 p.m. Sunday. $70-$110 per car; timed entry; advanced purchase required.

L.A. Zoo Drive-In Movies’ “Hair-Raising Halloween”
The zoo’s four-night slate of mostly family-friendly films kicks off with the 1985 mystery comedy “Clue,” followed by the 2015 flick “Goosebumps,” the animated 2019 adaptation of “The Addams Family” and the 1982 terror tale “Poltergeist.” Los Angeles Zoo, 5333 Zoo Drive, L.A. 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. $100-$140; advance purchase required.

“Nights of the Jack”
This interactive, family friendly drive-thru experience features Halloween-themed installations made from carved pumpkins. King Gillette Ranch, 26800 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. 6:30-11 p.m. nightly through Sunday. $69 and up; timed entry; advanced purchase required.

“The Bite LA: Halloween Food Crawl and Creature Safari”
Haunted drive-through attraction meets food fair. Plus a virtual campfire featuring spooky stories and a costume contest for the best-dressed car. Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, 750 S. Santa Anita Ave., South El Monte. 6:30-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 6:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 6:30-10 p.m. Sunday. $98-$220; timed entry; advance purchase required.

Legion Drive-In’s “Universal Monster Night”
Halloween-themed offerings at the pop-up venue include this triple-bill of classic B-movies: “Son of Dracula” (1943) starring Lon Chaney Jr., “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) and the comedy “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” (1948). 7 p.m. Friday. Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. 7 p.m. Friday. $65 per car; $80 per truck or SUV; advance tickets required.


“La Catrina”
Several of L.A. artist Ricardo Soltero’s supersized sculptures of the popular Día de los Muertos’ figure will be on display at locations on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade and the Santa Monica Pier. Saturday-Monday. Free.

Virtual happenings

Día de los Muertos
L.A.’s 24th Street Theatre’s annual community celebration moves online and features appearances by Edward James Olmos, percussionist Louie Cruz Beltran, Aztec dance troupe Huitzilopochtli, ballet folklórico company Sol de Fuego and others. 6 p.m. Monday. Free.

“The Brett Loudermilk Halloween Special”
The sword swallower and “America’s Got Talent” semifinalist is joined by guests including comedian Gilbert Gottfried and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark in this live Zoom show. 5 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday. $25.

“Tricks & Treats — A Cyber Clown Girls Halloween Live From the Bourbon Room”
Local strippers including Coco Ono, Kitty, Reagan and Gabrielle — part of the group featured in a recent Times article — perform in this socially distanced burlesque show, for mature audiences only. 8 p.m. Thursday. $10 and up.

With their club closed, dancers from the East Hollywood hipster spot Jumbo’s Clown Room form a collective and launch a successful virtual show.

Oct. 5, 2020

“Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest”
The Long Beach landmark and the Dark Zone Network present an interactive four-night livestream event featuring virtual ghost hunting, celebrity guests and musical performances by Silversun Pickups, Filter and others. 5 p.m. Thursday to 4 a.m. Monday. $20.

“Edgar Allan Poe: Hero of Halloween” and “The War of the Worlds”
Long Beach Shakespeare Company streams recordings from its previous productions of these two spooky radio-style shows. Available through Nov. 16. $25 each per household.


“Cookin’ With Gas: Halloween Online Edition”
The Groundlings Theatre presents an improv comedy show via Zoom. 7 p.m. Thursday. $12.

“Night of the Living Dead Live!”
Broadway HD streams this comedic stage adaptation of George A. Romero’s low-budget 1968 zombie thriller. Available anytime beginning Thursday. $8.99 a month; seven-day free trial.

“Strange Science: Tales From the Vault”
In this family-friendly offering, curators and botanists explore the spooky side of the collections at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. Available on demand beginning Saturday. Free.

Día de los Muertos
Forest Lawn in Glendale celebrates with performances by Mariachi Juvenil Herencia Mexicana, Ballet Folklorico Internacional and Bob Baker Marionette Theater. Noon Sunday. Free.

Our recurring coronavirus-era viewing recommendations are indexed in the same place arts event listings (sigh) used to post.