October 7, 2021

L.A. October Happenings: DineLA, Day of the Dead, and Pumpkins Everywhere

We don’t get the changing leaves of fall as much as other parts of the country, but what we lose in autumnal color, we make up for with fun things to do. October has it all: outdoor events, quirky art exhibits, and lots of extended Halloween happenings. Not to mention 1133 Hope resident-only events, like the 5th floor courtyard brunch on October 16 (11am-1pm), and yoga on the rooftop.

Here are some amazing events not to miss this month!

Photo courtesy CicLAvia

CicLAvia: The Heart of L.A.

October 10

The festival-like car-free event is back in Downtown L.A., clearing six-miles of streets for bikes, trikes, skateboards, strollers, and anything else you can use to move around. Yes, even your feet — walkers and spectators are especially welcome! From MacArthur Park (7th Street) to Chinatown (Broadway) to Civic Center (1st Street) and Mariachi Plaza (4th and Boyle), expect music, street performances, food trucks, and lots of general frivolity and shenanigans along the way. Look for specials with shop owners, restaurants, and bars, as well. And use the Metro when you can. Check out the route map here. The event goes from 9am-4pm. 

Photo by @ro_tummy/courtesy DineLA


Through October 15

The semi-annual two-week dining extravaganza has returned for its fall session, bringing hundreds of restaurant deals all around the greater Los Angeles area. The prix-fixe menus run from $15 for lunch to $65 for dinner, depending on the restaurant, which is a steal no matter how you look at it. It’s a great way to explore the scene both within blocks of 1133 Hope and all the way from Boyle Heights to the South Bay. Use the website to search by cuisine, price point, and neighborhood — look for Downtown, Arts District, Historic Core or Little Tokyo for DTLA finds.

Photo courtesy Vibiana

Halloween at Vibiana

October 17, 24, 31

The Vibiana and Redbird have a full, immersive, multi-sensory experience happening every Sunday throughout October. Not only can you dine on special snacks and drinks from the Redbird team, but there will be some cool Halloween-y light installation, LED balloon ghosts, pumpkin decorating, psychic readings, and black light neon face painting. And of course cool backlit selfie stations to capture it all. Costumes are encouraged! Tickets and reservation info can be found here.

Photo courtesy Descanso Gardens

Carved at Descanso Gardens

October 11-31

Stroll through a mile-long trail filled with carved, glowing pumpkins during this annual October fest. These are done by professionals, so no simple jack-o’-lanterns in the Camellia Forest and Oak Grove, here. There will also be oversized sculptures made of sticks and other natural materials, plus the hay maze, and themed food and drinks for a fun harvest experience. Timed tickets (between 6:30-10pm) are $25-$28 for members, and $32-$35 for non-members. Get them here


Cat Art Show

October 14-24

The name is as direct as it can be. This all-cat art show is back in Chinatown after a three year hiatus. The impressive collection of feline-focused paintings, drawings, sculpture and more from 70 artists fill The Golden Pagoda (formerly Hop Louie). It’s all just purrr-fect. Noon-7pm daily. It’s free, but proof of vaccination, masks, and tickets are all required.

Photo courtesy Grand Park

Día de los Muertos at Grand Park 

October 22-November 2

This 12-day Day of the Dead celebration features a nearly two-week display of altars created by local artists and community organizations. Walk around — safely distanced — to honor people, places, and ideas that merit reverence and commemoration. A highlight is a traditional Noche de Ofrenda ceremony on October 23 to honor and pray for the dead. The event is free.

The Muppet Movie at The Ford

October 23

The Ford is an absolute gem for Los Angeles, and the Hollywood Hills theater couldn’t be a more perfect setting for an outdoor screening of the 1979 original, The Muppet Movie. Yes, it’s the movie with the “Rainbow Connection”. If you’ve seen it never or a hundred times, it’s not to be missed in this venue. Only for the lovers, the dreamers, and you. Tickets are $30.


Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Live

October 29 and 31

See Danny Elfman, the voice of the Pumpkin King, step back into the role of Jack Skellington for a live performance and screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Banc of California Stadium. Special guests include “Weird Al” Yankovic, Ken Page, and…Billie Eilish! There’s also a costume contest for prizes — dress your best.

Nights of the Jack

Through October 31

Walk across the grounds of the scenic King Gillette Ranch as the Santa Monica Mountains hideaway is illuminated with thousands of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns. There’s a two-thirds-of-a-mile trail, plus pumpkin carving for the kiddies and a “Spookeasy” for adults. Timed tickets start at $35 per person; expect to spend an hour to an hour and a half there.

Photo courtesy Hollywood Forever

Día de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever

October 30

We’re not sure if this is the largest Day of the Dead celebration in California, but it is a massive one to honor loved ones, friends, and ancestors. The grounds are covered with at least 100 altars, plus dance rituals, musical performances, arts and crafts projects, and food vendors. There’s a daytime and nighttime viewing, with separate tickets for each.

Halloween Organ, Film & Music: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

October 31

For a classy, yet still spooky, Halloween night, check out the 1920s silent film, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The showing will be accompanied by organist Clark Wilson for an extra eerie feel. Masks — and not just the Halloween kind — are required. Show starts at 7:30pm.

Featured photo by Filiberto Santillan/Unpsplash