Next weekend’s fun includes scary critters, Scottish fiddling competitions, fall-themed carnival games and fresh-caught seafood paella.
Costumes are encouraged at Boo at the L.A. Zoo, a month-long celebration of the spooky and zoological. Unique to next weekend are feedings of jaguars, gorillas, a Komodo dragon and a black bear. When you’re not observing the animals, you can touch them (or at least get pretty close) at the LAIR and Animals & Boo exhibits, which feature rare snakes, venomous lizards and other creepy critters.
When: 10 a.m. Oct. 12-14
Cost, info: Free with zoo admission. Family friendly. No dogs. (323) 644-4200, lazoo.org/boo
See the Santa Barbara Harbor, where commercial fishermen score up to 10 million pounds of seafood each year, in action at the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival. Explore Harbor Patrol boats and Coast Guard vessels, and take free boat rides around the harbor. Between bites of lobster, sea urchin and seafood paella, you can shop for beachy crafts and jewelry, listen to live music and even pet a live shark at the touch tank.
When: 10 a.m. Oct. 13
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs permitted but not recommended. (805) 897-1962, harborfestival.org
The Seaside Highland Games at the Ventura County Fairgrounds host a variety of traditional Scottish competitions, including fiddling contests, sword-dancing matches and “large men throwing stuff” (or a caber toss). Hear Celtic music on four stages, try your hand at weaving or playing the harp and find out whether you have a connection to a Scottish clan.
When: 9 a.m. Oct. 13 and 14
Cost, info: $5-$20 for one day. Family friendly. No dogs. (818) 645-6094, seaside-games.com
Historic rancho life and current Conejo Valley culture collide at Reyes Adobe Days, a festival on the grounds of an 1850s rancho adobe home. The weekend kicks off with a float-filled parade (with representatives from the Los Angeles Rams as the grand marshals) and continues with pony rides, petting zoos, history scavenger hunts and rancho-life demonstrations.
When: 10 a.m. Oct. 13, 11 a.m. Oct. 14
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs discouraged. (818) 597-7361, reyesadobedays.org
Chat with more than 100 local artists on their home turf at the Brewery Artwalk at the Brewery Arts Complex (formerly a Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery) in Lincoln Heights. When you’re done checking out the artwork, which includes painting, printmaking, LED light sculpture and immersive 3-D environments, kick back with a beer at the onsite Barbara’s at the Brewery.
When: 11 a.m. Oct. 13 and 14
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. No dogs. art.breweryartwalk.com
The Original Farmers Market has put on an annual Fall Festival since it opened in 1934. See your favorite stalls decked out in autumnal decorations, greet bunnies and goats at the petting zoo, watch a pig race and enter a Du-par’s pie-eating contest. Halloween activities include pumpkin bowling and decorating, candy corn hole and R.I.P. ring toss, set to live country and rockabilly music.
When: 11 a.m. Oct. 13 and 14
Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Dogs permitted. (323) 954-4230, Fall Festival