Plenty of zombies, ghosts, jack-o'-lanterns and costumed creatures roam the weekend before Halloween, but you can also find nouveau cuisine, music and fun carnival rides.
It may be Halloween weekend, but here's a chance to get a jump on the December holidays and peruse high-end art gifts.
The Contemporary Crafts Market in Old Pasadena features unique pieces from 140 artists who have created wearable, ornamental and functional art. Jewelry, blown glass, pottery, wood carvings, metalwork, furniture, clothing, weavings and hand-loomed rugs will be on display.
When: Oct. 27-29
Cost, info: Adult $8, children 12 and younger free. Service animals only. (310) 285-3655, craftsource.org
Chefs, cooks, bakers, sommeliers, brew masters and cocktail mixologists mingle with food writers and critics to ponder the "Future of Taste" at the Taste Talks food symposium.
Visitors can experience panels, discussions, cookouts, dinners and parties. Chefs Andrea Drummer and JeffThe420Chef are scheduled to hold a panel discussion about Cannabis in Cuisine.
When: Oct. 28
Cost, info: $49 plus fees, children younger than 5 are free. No dogs. (718) 596-3462. losangeles.tastetalks.com
It's full-on Halloween at the BooLVD Halloween and Harvest Festival at the BLVD Farmers Market with trick-or-treating, pumpkin and cookie decorating, a corn maze and a ghostly train ride.
The costume contest categories: scariest, cutest and most creative. Children will find a kid-friendly haunted house. On the harvest side of the festival, guests can savor dishes from local vendors and restaurants.
When: Oct. 28
Cost, info: Free, but fees for some activities. Family-friendly. Well-behaved dogs on nonretractable leashes OK. (661) 723-6077, cityoflancasterca.org/boolvd
The zombies are back just in time for Halloween. At the fifth annual Zombie Crawl, undead creatures slowly moan and roam from Santa Monica Pier to the Official Zombie After Party apocalypse by the pedestrian-only Third Street Promenade. That's where costume contests and dancing to DJs transpires.
When: Oct. 28
Cost, info: $18.31. Adults 21 and older. Leashed dogs only permitted outdoors. lat.ms/smzombies
The sixth annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival at Exposition Park is intended to be as upbeat as a music festival, fun as a carnival and optimistic as a community gathering. Thirty entertainers include Tyler the Creator, Roy Ayers, Migos and Alison Wonderland, offering rap, jazz, soul, pop, electronic dance music and more.
As innovative as the tunes may be, the festival also has lots of traditional carnival rides.
When: Oct. 28 and 29
Cost, info: $208 for two-day pass, children 5 and younger free. Family-friendly. No dogs. campfloggnaw.com
Aimed at a younger, calmer crowd, the Trick or Trot 5K /1 Mile Fun Run in Balboa Park also has a much shorter Pumpkin Sprint Run: Grab a pumpkin, decorate it with a Sharpie, hold your pumpkin over your head, and run as if a ghost is chasing you.
The Pumpkin Sprint is about the length of 1,000 pumpkins side-by-side. It's all the more fun if you're in costume.
When: Oct. 29
Cost, info: Adult $20, children 15 and younger $15. Family-friendly. Leashed dogs OK but not encouraged. (619) 733-9024, trickortrotsd.com
Note: Always check before you go because weather or other factors can affect events. Children should always be accompanied by an adult. Assume dogs must be on a leash. To suggest an event that's cool and close to home, email firstname.lastname@example.org.