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10 Best Things To Do In LA In October

best things to do in LA in October

October, for most Angelenos, means two things: Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. As you would expect there are a ton of those events happening this month in Los Angeles that are based around those themes. However, not everyone wants to do a Halloween themed event, so I’ve included a range of activities and experiences in this list of the best things to do in LA in October. From street parties, to outdoor film screenings (which you can still do here in October), via the Los Angeles Zoo and a true crime and ghost tour (with cocktail opportunities), we’ve got it all for you right here.

Events & Activities in Los Angeles This Month


“This Halloween, let’s hear you howl with delight!” And with that let it begin! What better place to get in touch with our inner, animal side than at the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park? There are spooky strolls, mystery mazes and wild, weird and wonderful tours. It’s great for the little ones because they’ll learn some cool stuff too!

More information here.


This tour could very easily be titled “Crime and Cocktails”. We go on a noir exploration of the dark underbelly of the city of Angels and try and answer the big questions, such as: why do these horrible crimes happen? What do they tell us about the pointlessness of human existence? And exactly which spirits go into a Black Dahlia cocktail? Join us every Saturday night at Pershing Square and learn the answers.

More information here.

DTLA Murder Mystery Ghost Tour

On October 28 we also have a Sunset Strip Tour in West Hollywood. We go on a trip down the strip which is the best way to see the famous neighborhood and learn about it’s scandalous, and often criminal, past. We normally pop into mobster Bugsy Siegel’s old penthouse apartment for a drink too, so there is that.

More information here.

Sunset Strip Tour


You’ve probably heard of Beverly Hills, there have been quite a few TV shows that have taken its name. Here’s an idea: instead of joining the throngs of tourists on Rodeo Drive visit this free art show (which has been going for nearly fifty years) and snap up some art as a memento of your trip – it’s more original than buying a plastic Oscar at one of the tourist traps on Hollywood Boulevard!

More information here.

4. Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever (OCTOBER 28)

Hollywood Forever Cemetery claims to host the largest Day of the Dead celebration in California, and it can certainly get quite busy. The cemetery is filled with art exhibitions, dance rituals, musical performances, arts and crafts projects, not to mention a lot of food vendors. And visitors. You’ll see ofrendas created by community artists and you can participate in a calaca (skeleton) costume contest. This year’s theme honors the tradition and symbolism of masks in Mexico and Latin America, and it’s sure to be a spectacular display, as it always is.

More information here.


Rooftop movies are like rooftop pools in Los Angeles, you see them in some unlikely places – as well as some likely ones too, like on the roof of the Montalbán Theatre in Hollywood. It is a great location for movie screenings and even in October, as long as you put on a warm jacket and bring a blanket, the weather’s more than forgiving enough. This month the films being screened include The ShiningLet the Right One In and The Lost Boys and Rosemary’s Baby.

More information here.


Americans have always loved Halloween and now Dia de los Muertos is popular too. A lot of people dress up their front windows and yards with lights, skeletons, graves and all the other elements of the season. Some of the residents of the houses on the Venice Canals seem to move out, so that the whole house essentially becomes a Halloween set. Heh! It’s cool! Altadena is another good area for touring the Halloween houses, as well as for trick-or-treating. Grand Park in downtown normally has a corner devoted to ofrendas too.


This is a fantastic free annual street-party (founded in 2005) that’s based on Crenshaw Boulevard, in West Los Angeles. Up to half a million people usually attend, so it’s pretty big, and the one-day event celebrates all things “soulful”, including food, music and live entertainment. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in LA in October.

More information here.


CicLAvia is without doubt one of the best things to happen to Los Angeles in the last decade. When whole neighborhoods, which had been lost to pedestrians and cyclists and taken over by cars, are periodically reclaimed by banning said cars, it’s amazing what can happen. People walking, cycling and having fun – suddenly Los Angeles feels like a very different place and we can realize that actually it wasn’t actually designed around the car.

More information here.


LA Opera are screening the 1935 camp classic in The theatre at Ace Hotel, in downtown. It’s the perfect time to see the movie on the big screen, in the gorgeous United Artists theatre. Live music is so beautiful to listen to as well.

More information here.


That other thing October is famous for – the annual Bavarian beer festival. Oktoberfest has spread all over the world and of course we have our own editions here in Los Angeles. Quite a few venues are organising Oktoberfest events this year, including Ovation Hollywood, Grand Central Market and Angel City Brewery.

More information, and a list of event, here.

best things to do in LA in October
CicLAvia in downtown LA

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– By Damien Blackshaw (Twitter)

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