It’s officially Fall, y’all! And the first month of Fall is full of unbe-leaf-able things to do! Here’s Kidsguide’s list of 30 free family events in October– we’re talkin’ fairs, festivals, trunk or treats, Día de los Muertos celebrations and more!
Psst! While admission is free, there may be minimal costs for food, parking, etc. If you have questions, be sure to contact the host directly!
* Events listed in order by date.
Kids’ Free Month at San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park
October 1-31: Throughout the month of October, children 11 years old and younger receive free admission (with an adult). They’ve got special fun planned for weekends, so go wild and visit over and over again! Fun includes Dr. Zoolittle, HalGLOWeen, Zoo Character meet and greets, and more! Kids Free admission in October 2018 includes the Skyfari Tram Ride no separate ticket needed! Standard child rider policies apply. Kids can rid ethe Guided Bus or Kangaroo Bus for $5. Kids Free is designed to give children an opportunity to visit the Zoo and Safari Park and learn about the Earths creatures and conservation efforts underway to save them. Daily. Free for kids (11 and younger).
October 12: Enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their doors. The night is yours to decide. Begin your journey at any one of 18 participating cultural institutions, where free shuttles will be waiting to transport you to your next destination. Visit www.artnightpasadena.org for participating institutions. Friday, 6-10 p.m. Free.
Movie Night Under the Stars in Lakewood
October 12: Bring the entire family and enjoy an evening of family fun and movie entertainment under the stars by celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Sandlot! Bring your own lawn chairs and blankets. Friday, 6:30 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. Free; pre-registration required.
Coyote Hills Nature Walk in Fullerton
October 13: Bring the entire family for an enjoyable nature walk along the trails of West Coyote Hills. Listen to birdsongs while the naturalist points out native birds you don’t see in your backyard. Kids may see skittering lizards or rabbits, or a hawk wheeling overhead as you climb to a breathtaking viewpoint. At dusk, Brush Rabbits come out to forage and the coyotes sing in celebration for the new season. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Saturday, 9 a.m. Free. Meet at the open-gate entrance to Equestrian Center of Laguna Lake Park, on Lakeview just east of Euclid.
Parks Make Life Better Movie Series in Huntington Beach
October 13: Stop by City Gym & Pool for a movie night screening of Paranorman. Bring your own chair and relax in the beautiful indoor gymnasium (please bring a blanket to protect gymnasium floor). Prizes awarded to all children dressed in costume! Light snacks will be served, but outside food is also allowed. Saturday, 7:15-10 p.m.; movie, 8 p.m. Free.
Art in the Park Fine Arts and Artisans Fair in Newport Beach
October 13: Join the Newport Beach Arts Foundation at for their 15th Annual fine arts and artisans fair. Featuring more than 100 artists, food, music, and kids’ art activities. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free admission and parking. Civic Center Green.
Touch a Truck at the Orange County Market Place
October 13: Touch-a-Truck is an interactive hands-on experience where children can learn about their favorite trucks and vehicles, honk their horns, and interact with the drivers. Visit the OC Market Place booth in the South Event Space for an opportunity to win prizes and special lunch discount vouchers. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Free. Orange County Market Place.
Prehistoric OC at Ralph B. Clark Park in Buena Park
October 13: Join OC Parks at Prehistoric OC. This free, family-friendly event celebrates local archaeology, paleontology and science. Enjoy demonstrations, exhibits, activities and fun for the whole family. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free; parking $5.
Bow Wows and Meows Pet Fair in Santa Clarita
October 14: Celebrate pets, encourage animal awareness, and promote pet adoption at the 18th annual Bow-Wows and Meows Pet Fair! This festive event includes dog shows, food trucks, shopping, low cost vaccine clinic for dogs, a raffle, pet psychic, free photo booth, and over 200 dogs and cats available for adoption. Visit website for more information. Presented by Bow-Wows and Meows, Inc., in partnership with Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation and Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. William S. Hart Park.
Orange Coast College Science Night
October 19: Your little scientist will love learning about science during this night of fun for the whole family. Featuring: Robots on Parade, Stargazing with High Powered Telescopes, Crawly Creatures from the Sea, Bones and Skeletons, Airplanes and Helicopters, Volcanic Rocks, and Dinosaur Skeletons. Friday, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Free admission and parking, plus free snack and refreshments. Park in lot A.
Annual Youth Leadership Conference
October 20: The Casa Youth Shelter hosts the annual conference for youth and adults. Come and experience a day of self-discovery, friendship, cultural exchange, leadership building, inspiration, and service. Attend a series of intensive workshops designed to educate and empower future leaders. Includes a dynamic keynote speaker, workshops, community service hours, lunch and opportunity drawings. Giveaways and light refreshments included. Saturday, 8 a.m. check-in, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free. RSVP requested. Los Alamitos High School.
Buena Park Goes to College
October 20: Students and parents are invited to attend this free seminar and workshop on going to college. Topics include a description of the California university systems, the application process and essays, financial aid, finding and applying for scholarships, the importance of grade point averages and community service. No reservations required. Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Free. Ehlers Event Center, Liberty Hall.
Annual Walk Against Drugs in Mission Viejo
October 20: The 30th annual walk travels down La Paz Road through the Oso Creek Trail to the Fair and Disaster Preparedness Expo. Enjoy interactive community booths, resources, educational displays, food, entertainment and games for all ages! Saturday, walk at 8 a.m. (meets at Mission Viejo High School and walk Oso Creek Trail); expo at 9 a.m. at the Village Green. Free.
35th Arturo Sanchez Sr. Halloween Parade and Costume Contest in Norwalk
October 20: Marching bands from throughout the southland are expected to perform alongside ghosts and goblins of all kinds in this year’s Halloween Parade. The parade begins at the intersection of Norwalk Boulevard and Mapledale Street and will conclude at
Hermosillo Park. Residents are encouraged to participate by dressing up in their favorite Halloween costume and marching in the parade. A costume contest will be conducted at the
corner of Norwalk Boulevard and Mapledale Street beginning at 9:15 a.m. at Waite Middle School field. Saturday, 9:15 a.m.; parade, 11 a.m. Free.
Treats in the Streets in Orange
October 25: The city’s annual Treats in the Streets Autumn Festival features games, trick or treating, a costume parade, food booths and entertainment for all ages. Thursday, 4-7 p.m. Free.
HalGLOWeen at San Diego Zoo
October 26-28: The San Diego Zoo will light up with special activities and seasonal fun for the whole family during HalGLOWeen, the Zoo’s annual Halloween celebration. This colorful, glowing extravaganza will provide guests with a multitude of activities and entertainment, including “Boolahoops,” acrobats, Dr. Zoolittle, the Boo Crew, and the DJ Bubble Dance Party featuring bursts of bubbles and black light. Also, stop by participating restaurants and shops to pick up HalGLOWeen supplies and treats. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes. Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Adults, $54; child (11 and under), free during the Kids Free program presented by Mission Fed.
Movie Under the Guns Presents Hocus Pocus in San Pedro
October 26: Battleship IOWA’s special free Halloween event will feature trick or treating and a Movie Under the Guns screening of the comedy Hocus Pocus. All guests in costume and those accompanying small children will be invited on board for free to trick or treat through a portion of the historic battleship. Costumes should not be violent or offensive and should not contain weapons (actual or replicas). Trick-or-treaters should be 13 years old and younger and should bring their own trick or treat bags. Then, the 1993 Halloween family fantasy comedy Hocus Pocus will be screened outdoors on the ship’s fantail. Limited seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. Guests are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring light jackets, blankets and outdoor chairs. Concessions will be available, no coolers or outside food and beverages allowed. Friday, trick or treat begins at 5 p.m.; movie begins at 6:30 p.m. Free.
Halloween Spooktacular in Newport Beach
October 27: Join the city of Newport Beach for its annual Halloween Spooktacular featuring a trunk or treat, a haunted maze, games, bounce houses, food trucks, costume prizes, and more. Saturday, 4-7 p.m. Free. Grant Howald Park.
Nighttime Horror Haunted Maze at Placentia Teen Center
October 27: Behind its forbidden doors an evil secret hides! Enter at your own risk, as the dead will be restless at night. An award awaits for those that survive. Costumes are encouraged. This chilling haunted maze created by the Placentia Teen Advisory Council is for brave souls only. Food, drinks, and snacks for sale support PTAC programs. Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Free.
Trunk or Treat in Los Alamitos
October 27: The Los Alamitos Recreation and Community Services Department presents the annual Halloween Event Trunk-or-Treat featuring trunk-or-treating games, costume contests, spooky hayrides and more! Saturday, 5-8 p.m. Free. Little Cottonwood Park.
Día de los Muertos Art Festival in Downey
October 28: The Downey Theatre hosts the annual Día de los Muertos Art Festival, indoor/outdoor vendors, decorate Calaveras, Papel Picado demos, alter contest, art exhibition, live music, ballet folklorico, Aztec dancers, food trucks and more. Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Free.
Día de los Muertos in San Pedro
October 28: Celebrate the Day of the Dead with art, culture, delicious cuisine and live entertainment. Presented by the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District. Sunday, 3-9 p.m. Free admission. Historic Downtown San Pedro.
Sorrowful Soirée at the Homestead Museum
October 28: Celebrate life as you learn about death at the Homestead’s very first Sorrowful Soirée. People’s relationship with death changed dramatically between the time that the Workman and Temple families lived at the Homestead. Come and learn more as you enjoy special tours and activities. Also, celebrate some favorite seasonal traditions of the modern day that have rich histories of their own like trick-or-treating and making costumes. Picnics are welcome. Sunday, noon – 4 p.m. Free. Homestead Museum.
Día de los Muertos at Grand Park LA
October 28 – November 4: Grand Park celebrates the traditions of Día de los Muertos with multiple ways to experience and learn about the holiday. The park will present 50 altars and art installations created by local artists and community groups that reflect the theme Looking to the Past to Build the Future. Also, enjoy free guided tours, which will highlight the artwork and discuss the traditions of the holiday. Visit website for times. Free.
Halloween Bash in Hawaiian Gardens
October 31: Attend the Halloween Bash in costume and you might win an award for scariest, funniest or most original! Enjoy lots of games, a pumpkin patch, live entertainment and more. Wednesday, 5-9 p.m. Free. C. Robert Lee Activity Center (Tennis Courts).
Halloween Carnivals in Lakewood
October 31: Special Halloween carnival activities are scheduled throughout Lakewood. Free. Wednesday, 6-8:30 p.m. Biscailuz, Bloomfield, Bolivar, Boyar, Del Valle, Mayfair, Palms and San Martin Parks.
Halloween Festival in Norwalk
October 31: Don’t miss the annual Halloween Festival that brings the community together for a night of music, dancing and celebration at this costume-themed event. Ghosts, goblins, witches, zombies, fairies and spirits of all kinds are invited. All ages are welcome to participate. There will be game booths, a costume contest, a community scarecrow contest, raffles, music, crafts, lots of candy and more. Plus, food will be available for purchase. Free. Wednesday, 6-9 p.m. Norwalk City Hall Lawn.
Halloweenfest at Neff Estate in La Mirada
October 31: Get ready for a terrific time at the annual Halloweenfest at historic Neff Estate! Go dressed in your favorite Halloween costumes and participate in the costume contest. The festivities include a haunted attraction, trick-or-treat area, games, crafts, and costume contests. This family event is perfect for all ages. Wednesday, 4:30-8 p.m. Free.
Harvestival Alternative Halloween Celebration at Calvary Chapel of the Harbour
October 31: Enjoy a free barbecue, candy, games, bounce house, puppet show, face painting, crafts, and costume and carved pumpkin contests with prizes! Wednesday, 6-9 p.m. Free.
Pumpkin Patch Halloween Program in Downey
October 31: Bring the family dressed in costume, even the family dog! Enjoy carnival games, prizes and costume contests, plus balloons and free cotton candy, popcorn, drinks and hot dogs! Bring a treat bag and your camera. Wednesday, 5-9 p.m. Free. Apollo Park.
Trick or Treat in Seal Beach
October 31: On Halloween, Main Street merchants will pass out candy to trick-or-treaters in costume. Children must be age appropriate to receive candy. Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. Main Street.
Trick or Treat on Second Street in Long Beach
October 31: Calling all ghosts, goblins, princesses and superheroes! Grab a bag and come show off your costumes in return for some serious candy loot! Walk the streets of Belmont Shore and trick or treat in participating businesses. Wednesday, 4-6 p.m.