Southern California always knows how to throw a party and go all out for big celebrations. So, it should come as no surprise that this is an ideal place to celebrate Halloween if you love getting into the spooky spirit each fall. From scary attractions to top-notch concerts and even Day of the Dead celebrations to keep the festivities going after October 31, here are eight fun ways to spend your Halloween season in Southern California.

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Minimal Effort: All Hallow's Eve, Los Angeles Concert vibes at Minimal Effort: All Hallow's Eve
Concert vibes at Minimal Effort: All Hallow's Eve

Minimal Effort: All Hallow's Eve, Los Angeles (Nearby Hotels)

There are lots of different ways to celebrate Halloween in Los Angeles, including attending some amazing concert performances by your favorite artists. One Halloween festival that’s not to be missed is the Minimal Effort: All Hallow’s Eve Festival on October 27, 2018. Taking place at the Belasco Theatre, this event features some of the best house and techno artists, including Boys Noize, Ardalan, Kill Frenzy, Christian Martin, Louisahhh, and more. This is one of the longest running Halloween festivals in downtown, and now that it’s changed locations to take place at the Belasco, the event will be massive and span four concert stages. The Belasco is known as a historic and cavernous venue that’s dramatic and awe-inspiring. Wear your best costume and dress to impress! Tickets range from $49 to $149 depending on when you buy, your tier, and whether you choose the VIP option.

Knott’s Scary Farm, Buena Park (Nearby Hotels)

Each fall, Knott’s Berry Farm transforms itself into Knott’s Scary Farm to give locals and visitors a fun way to celebrate Halloween. This is a Southern California destination for haunted mazes, specialty zones, and scare zones with themed characters wandering around. The Spooky Farm here is great for kids who love trick-or-treating, riding themed rides, and participating in costume contests. For more scares and frights, come to the farm on select nights for sinister mazes with themes like Special Ops: Infected and Shadow Lands. There are over 1,000 terrifying creatures lurking in this park ready to keep you on your toes!

The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, Long Beach (Nearby Hotels)

It’s also fun to head to Long Beach to check out Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor for Halloween. The theme of this event is a haunted ship, and Time Magazine named this ship one of the most haunted places on Earth. This is an authentic Halloween attraction with mazes, rides, 4-D experiences, and lots of different ways to get scared in a fun way. The event also features magic acts, live music, and DJs. Dark Harbor runs from September 27th to November 2nd, 2018, so you have 23 nights to experience its terror. For an even creepier experience, consider staying overnight on-board the ship and seeing if you experience any of the paranormal activity this place is famous for.

Sinister Pointe’s Scary Place, Laguna Hills Characters at  Official Sinister Pointe Haunted Attraction
Characters at Official Sinister Pointe Haunted Attraction

Sinister Pointe’s Scary Place, Laguna Hills (Nearby Hotels)

Laguna Hills is also a great place to be if you enjoy Halloween haunts. This event runs from September 28 to October 31 and is the largest multi-indoor-level Halloween haunt in the state. Spanning three floors and 150,000 square feet of space, you’ll encounter three terrifying attractions, scream zones, insane stage shows, frightening games, interactive exhibits, and food and drinks. The Phobias attraction tests your ability to deal with your worst nightmares, Evil on 2 takes on a hotel theme for you to explore the terror within, and Monte Revolta and his Band of the Living Dead will be putting on nightly performances. Nightly event passes range from $52 to $95 depending on when you buy, when you go, and whether you choose the VIP option.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, Los Angeles Pumpkins with chainsaws at Halloween Horror Nights - Hollywood
Pumpkins with chainsaws at Halloween Horror Nights - Hollywood

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, Los Angeles (Nearby Hotels)

Universals’ Halloween Horror Nights is one of the scariest places you can spend your Halloween. The theme park gets a spooky makeover each fall to make room for multiple haunted houses that are home to zombies and many more characters that will make you feel like you’re in an episode of The Walking Dead or American Horror Story. In fact, the maze themes celebrate your favorite scary shows and other Halloween themes. This is a truly scary experience that is recommended for visitors of 13 years and older.

The Haunted Trail Balboa Park, San Diego Chainsaw guy at The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park
Chainsaw guy at The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

The Haunted Trail Balboa Park, San Diego (Nearby Hotels)

If you plan to be in the San Diego area this fall, head to Balboa Park to experience the city’s Haunted Trail. This is the city’s premier Halloween attraction that’s open from September 28 to October 31. This event is recommended for people over the age of 10 and not for the faint of heart. Here you’ll encounter horror icons like Freddy and PennyWise the Dancing Clown. The trail is about a mile long, and you’ll need to find your way out of the horrors. Consider buying your tickets online in advance to skip the ticket booth line at the gates.

The 17th Door Haunted House, Fullerton (Nearby Hotels)

An excellent haunted experience in Orange County is the 17th Door in Fullerton. This year, the theme revolves around the madness at Perpetuum Penitentiary with tormented souls, psychotic rages, and places of pure evil. It takes about 36 minutes to go through this haunted house, making it one of the longest haunted experiences in all of California. Tickets range from $24 to $37 depending on when you want to stop by and get scared.

HARD's Day of The Dead, Los Angeles Crowd view at HARD's Day of The Dead
Crowd view at HARD's Day of The Dead

HARD's Day of The Dead, Los Angeles (Nearby Hotels)

Even after October 31 has come and gone, the seasonal parties are still going strong in Los Angeles. This year, make sure to check out HARD’s Day of The Dead, a concert event that will be taking place on November 3rd, 2018 in the heart of Los Angeles at the LA State Historic Park. This is exciting news because this Day of the Dead event is returning to L.A. after not being held since 2015. Now under Insomniac’s support, the festival is set to be bigger and better than ever this year, especially after one of the best years ever at the HARD Summer Music Festival. This venue has undergone an extensive refurbishment and now has brand-new park amenities. Come check it out while you listen to great music at this 21+ show that will give you another reason to dress up for Halloween season.

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