Celebrate the season and scare up a little fun with these action-packed fall family festivals that will take you all the way to Halloween.
1. The Great Pumpkin Hunt South Coast Botanic Gardens
October 1 – November 6: Take a walk through the garden and be on the lookout for 10 festive fall stations, each decorated with a pumpkin sign with questions about the garden. Make sure you stop by the real pumpkin patch to estimate the weights of this year’s pumpkins. Complete an entry form with your answers and estimates. Pumpkins will be weighed once they are full-grown, and a winner will be selected from entries with correct answers and closest estimates. Visit The Gift Shop for entry forms and more information. Happy hunting! Daily, 9 a.m. -5 p.m., last admission at 4:30 p.m. Adults, $9; kids (5-12), $4.
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula
2. Spooky Science at Discovery Cube Orange County
Weekends, October 1-30: Spend your Halloween at Discovery Cube Orange County, with pumpkins, slime and costume parades! Visit the Cube each weekend through October to enjoy family-friendly stage shows, spooky-themed activities and take-home goody-bags. Daily. Included with admission.
2500 North Main St., Santa Ana
3. Autumn Harvest Festival in Lake Forest
October 8: Kids (12 and under) and their guardians enjoy an autumn festival with Indiana Jones trick-or-treat stations, the Under the Sea Adventure Maze, The “Wicked” School House and story telling. Kids are encouraged to dress in costume and bring their treat bags. Saturday, 4-9 p.m. $5 per person.
Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Road, Lake Forest
4. Creatures of the Night at Sherman Library and Gardens
October 8: Creatures of the Night is a fun, family evening designed for interacting, observing and learning about the many plants and animals that are most active after dark. Visitors will receive a passport to explore the gardens after dark and visit interactive animal stations that delve into the nocturnal world and its inhabitants. Get up close to Project Wildsong’s Ambassador Wolves. Weave your way through the Garden’s Forbidden Jungle and get a close look at dissected carnivorous plants. Visit Bug Country to dispel myths of the creepy crawlies, take a look at scorpions under black light and, if you dare, stick your hand in the worm pit! Each adventure will last approximately 1 1/2 hours. $10 Friends admission; $15 non-members admission; kids (6-17), $5 ; kids (5 and under), free. This popular event may sell out – so buy your tickets today! All pre-purchased tickets are will call. This is a rain or shine event. Saturday, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
2647 E. Coast Hwy, Corona Del Mar
5. Cal Poly Pomona Pumpkin Festival
October 8-9: Head down to the 24th Annual Pumpkin Festival, where you can choose from thousands of pumpkins right out of the patch. Eat and play games at the College of Agriculture student club booths. Don’t miss the corn maze, petting zoo, horse rides, entertainment and lots of activities for kids, plus a farm store and gift shop. Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Adults, $4; kids (2-12), $3; parking, free; pumpkins for purchase; prices vary for on-site activities.
4102 S. University Drive, Pomona
6. Fall Festival at LA Farmers Market
October 15-16: A favorite event since 1934, the Fall Festival features a bounty of the world-famous All-Alaskan racing pigs, a petting zoo, kid-sized pedal-powered tractor pull competitions, old-time artisans, pie-eating contests and live music. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Free to attend.
6333 W. Third St., Los Angeles
7. Scarecrow and Pumpkin Festival in Costa Mesa
October 15-16: Join a community fall event with pumpkin picking, fire truck rides, train rides, face painting, rocketeers, and food and treats. Plus, enter the build-your-own scarecrow contest (minimal fee to register). Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission.
Fairview Park at Goat Hill Junction.
8. Pumpkin Festival in Pasadena
October 15-16: This family-friendly event includes fun for all ages in Brookside Park, directly in front of Kidspace Children’s Museum. Enjoy free live musical performances from The Alana Banana Show, The Hollow Trees, Revolution Dance Center, Rumbling Rhythms, Samba Da Mudanca, Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra, and more (see schedule line up on their webiste). Admission, live performances, crafts and pumpkin photo ops are free, and tickets are available for purchase for the petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, exciting bouncers, carnival games and seasonal crafts. The event also includes a pumpkin patch, book and costume sale, and tasty picnic treats. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free admission and parking.
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
9. Calabasas Pumpkin Festival
October 15-16: The Calabasas Pumpkin Festival offers live bands, a DJ dance zone, marketplace vendors, delicious food, pumpkin treats, pumpkin beer, pumpkin painting, professional pumpkin carving and so much more! The admission price includes all inflatables, a giant slide, Halloween carnival games, reptiles and bug shows, contests, a Saturday morning costume parade, plus car displays, bands and a Business Expo. Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. $5 admission with free parking and shuttles. Juan Bautista de Anza Park.
3701 Lost Hills Road, Calabasas
10. Fall Faire and Pumpkin Patch in Newport Beach
October 16: Join ENC for an annual tradition! Enjoy food, crafts, face painting, henna artists, games, pony rides, a petting zoo and a birds of prey presentation. Pick out your favorite pumpkin, buy native plants and explore the center. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free.
Environmental Nature Center, 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach
11. Autumn Sea Fair at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
October 16: Enjoy ocean-related activities throughout the day, including face-painting, origami lessons and gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish printing. Plus, join in the search for a buried treasure, learn how to cast a fishing rod, and use recycled materials to compete in the Ocean Monster costume contest. Dozens of local marine-related organizations share their information and activities. Enjoy live music, including the unique jazz stylings of Harold Greene on the Chapman Stick, the Japanese Drum troop Kokoro Taiko and the smooth sounds of Stucco Rainbow. Watch for “Eagle-eye” Greg, birder extraordinaire, the spectacular display by the Los Angeles City Fireboat and “Scuba Mike” demonstrating equipment used by scuba divers. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free.
3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro
12. Fallbrook Fall Faire
October 16: The faire features pony rides, petting zoo, food, games, crafts, artisan booths, hay rides, a best pumpkin contest and more. Plus, check out the scarecrows on display. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free to attend.
Main Ave. and Alvarado
13. Seal Beach Pumpkin Fest
October 22: Enjoy spook-tacular crafts and activities. Bring your own pumpkin to paint and wear your best costume! Saturday, 5-8 p.m. $5 per child, pre-registration is required, sign up on their website.
Marina Community Center, 151 Marina Drive, Seal Beach
14. Trunk or Treat in Los Alamitos
October 22: The Los Alamitos Recreation and Community Services Department presents the annual Trunk-or-Treat featuring trunk-or-treating, treasure hunts, games, costume contests and more! Saturday, 5-8 p.m. Free to attend.
Little Cottonwood Park, 4000 Farquhar Ave., Los Alamitos
15. Hurst Ranch Harvest Festival in West Covina
October 22: Join The Hurst Ranch for a magical garden tour, butter making, hay pitching, water pumping, farm chores, juice squeezing, pumpkin picking, walnut sacking, coffee grinding, crafts, tours, antique cars exhibit, and a 1923 West Covina fire truck. Plus, wood projects from Lowe’s, OC Bee Keepers, gold panning, leather crafts, 4-H Farm petting zoo, and quilting, spinning and weaving. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. $5 per person; all activities are on a first-come, first served basis; reservations are made upon arrival and time slots are limited to the hour and half hour.
1227 South Orange Ave., West Covina
16. Okto BOO fest in Fullerton
October 27: Don’t miss the last day of the market! Dress in your Halloween costume for trick-or-treating at vendor booths, kids’ costume parade at 5 and 6:45 p.m., pre-decorated pumpkin contest and more. Thursday, 4-8:30 p.m. Free admission.
17. Treats in the Streets in Orange
October 27: 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.
Old Towne Orange Plaza
18. Halloween Spooktacular and Moonlight Movie in Dana Point
October 28: Kids (12 and under) can enjoy carnival games and crafts, cookie decorating, marionette and magic shows, a costume parade and free popcorn, treats and hot chocolate. The night ends with a screening of “Hotel Transylvania 2″ (PG). Friday, 3-9 p.m. Free. Dana Point Community Center.
34052 Del Obispo St., Dana Point
19. Jack O’Lantern Jamboree at Atlantis Park
October 28: Costume parade, spooky train, carnival games, crafts, bounce house and goodies! Friday, 5:30-8:30 p.m. $8 per person, pre-sale tickets available October 10-27 (no ticket sales at the door; space limited to first 300 kids).
13630 Atlantis Way, Garden Grove
20. Pumpkin Pickin’ and Carvin’ in Bommer Canyon
October 28: Enjoy tasty snacks and delicious hot chocolate and create a masterpiece with helpful patterns and suggestions from staff. Friday, 6-8 p.m. Registration required; enroll online in course #171816. $18 per family includes on pumpkin; additional pumpkins $5 each. If registering online, click on the Details’ button under costs prior to checkout to add pumpkins.
21. Theatricum BOO-Tanicum in Topanga
October 28: The unique outdoor theater garden Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon transforms into the haunted BOO-tanicum, with a frightening maze and haunted house. Enjoy delicious food and spooky drinks, actors telling ghost stories, pumpkin and face painting, game booths and performances. Come on down if you dare. Perfect for ghosts and goblins of all ages. Friday, 4-10 p.m. $15; kids (5 and under), free.
1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga
22. Signal Hill Halloween Carnival and Harvest Festival
October 29: This annual event makes for a perfect family activity and includes plenty of games, contests and carnival areas for children, plus a stage show, music, and great food. This awesome event can be enjoyed by ghosts, goblins and ghouls of all ages. Saturday, 3-6 p.m. $3 per wristband.
Signal Hill Park.
2175 Cherry Ave., Signal Hill
23. Halloween Zoo-tacular! at OC Zoo
October 29: Join the OC Zoo for Halloween fun. Activities include trick-or-treating, kids’ crafts, a scavenger hunt and fun games. See the zoo animals receive treat-filled pumpkins throughout the day. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. $2 per person; $5 parking. First 100 children in costume receive a free gift!
Irvine Regional Park, 1 Irvine Road, Orange
24. Sea Scare 2016 in San Pedro
October 29: San Pedro’s best family Halloween party is back and washing ashore with even more thrills and chills than before. With all-new apparitional activities, creepy crafts, dreadful demonstrations and eerie entertainment. A frightfully good time for the whole family! Costumes encouraged. Sunday, 7-10 p.m. Admission: adults, $5; kids, $1.
3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro
25. Anaheim Fall Festival and Halloween Parade
October 29: The Anaheim Fall Festival has been entertaining families for generations! Visit craft booths, play games, savor a variety of foods, shop for trinkets and treasures. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Parade at 6 p.m. Find parade route on their website.
26. Hometown Halloween in Mission Viejo
October 29: Celebrate this fall holiday in style with themed carnival game booths, costume parade, crafts, face painting and pony rides. Saturday, 3-7 p.m. Free; minimal charge for some activities.
Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo
27. Children’s Halloween Festival at Roger’s Gardens
October 30: Calling all ghosts and goblins! Share your Halloween spirit and your creativity at the annual Halloween Festival. Bring in your kids for some fun, interactive crafts and activities and everyone’s favorite trick-or-treating costume parade throughout the gardens. Don’t forget your camera! Sunday, 3-4:30 p.m. Free.
2301 San Joaquin Hills Road, Corona Del Mar
28. 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. All dogs must be on leash. Saturday, 5-9 p.m. Free. Apollo Park.
12544 Rives Ave., Downey
29. Trick-Or-Treat Through Pretend City
October 31: On Halloween, join a special trick-or-treat extravaganza. Stop by the museum and take part in the Halloween Bug Bash as well as trick-or-treat at different stations through the city. Monday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble, Irvine
30. Halloween Carnival in Cypress
October 31: Food, game booths, candy, family games, entertainment and more. Monday, 6-9 p.m. General admission, $3, (kids 1 and under free). Volunteers needed.
Cypress Community Center, 5700 Community Center , Cypress
31. Halloween Howl in Tustin
October 31: Kids go dressed up for a free afternoon of fun! Join a costume parade, win prizes, play carnival-style games, enjoy entertainment, and get plenty of Halloween treats and candy. Monday, 3-5 p.m.
17522 Beneta Way, Tustin
32. Halloweenfest at Neff Estate in La Mirada
October 31: Get ready for a terrific time at the annual Halloweenfest at Neff Estate! Go dressed in your favorite Halloween costumes and participate in the costume contest. The festivities include a haunted maze, cartoon themed trick-or-treat area, games, crafts, and costume contests. Participants collect candy at the various game and craft booths throughout the night.This family event is perfect for all ages. Monday, 4:30-8 p.m.
14300 San Cristobal Drive, La Mirada
33. Kids Halloween Festival in Downtown LA
October 31: Now in its ninth year, this annual Halloween party draws over 1,900 Downtown LA children and their parents to celebrate Halloween at Grand Hope Park. Children will enjoy face painters, bouncy houses, arts and crafts tables, puppet shows, trick-or-treat doors and more. Tickets include hot dogs, snacks, candy and other treats. Monday, 5-8 p.m. $7-10.
919 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
34. Harvest Faire in Long Beach
November 12: At this Harvest Faire resembling a Renaissance faire, the interactive Village starts with the Farmer, Miller and the Baker. Kids will go through the “process” of making a muffin they get to eat. Other Artisans give tokens of their trade as well, including the Candle Maker who helps the children make a candle to light the world, the Cobbler who needs help making a shoe for a “giant;” the Weaver teaches how to weave on an Earth Loom and the Wizard gives each child a crystal representing the light that shines in their heart. There are games to win prizes, (and even a chance to be knighted!), storytime, tea with the Queen, crafts, food and handcrafted goods to buy, face painters, hair-braiders, musicians and entertainers and a few surprises. It’s a wonderful, hands-on event for both children and parents. Benefitting Maple Village School. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Held at the Girl Scout’s amazing El Ranchito campsite, Long Beach. Parking available on Carson St. at Heartwell Park or street parking on Bellflower.
4040 N. Bellflower, Long Beach
October 22: Enjoy this free, family harvest festival, while learning what the North Orange County Community College District School of Continuing Education (SCE) has to offer you and your kids. The fun, family event will offer information on education, health and wellness, employment and more, plus prize drawings, food, entertainment, a student showcase and book swap. A special Kids’ Zone will offer face painting, pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating, games and a costume contest for ghosts and goblins ages 12 and under. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.