The 13 Best Things to Do for Halloween in L.A.
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*10 Oddball L.A. Museums Worth Seeing
*The Music Costumes You're Guaranteed to See on Halloween
By Tanja M. Laden
One of the best things about living in Southern California is the idea that Halloween is a monthlong celebration that actually continues past Halloween itself.
One reason we do this is we have the added bonus of the Nov. 1 Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, aka Day of the Dead. Also it's because it still feels like summer and we're just trying to convince ourselves that it's fall. Or maybe it's because Halloween is the last major respite before the holiday season, given that Thanksgiving has practically become absorbed into the buying frenzy that officially kicks off on "Black Friday." Or, more likely, it's because Angelenos in particular love any excuse to dress up and pretend to be someone we're not.
Whatever the reason, there's no shortage of ways to celebrate All Hallows' Eve across the City of Angels. Here are just 13 of the many ways to get into the spirit of Halloween.
13. Bob Baker's Halloween Hoop-Dee-Do
Let's face it: Marionettes can be creepy, and no one understands them better than L.A.'s legendary puppet impresario, Bob Baker. His "Halloween Hoop-Dee-Do" debuted way back in 1963, and it's back for another season filled with flapper-era skeletons and creatures such as the Purple People Eater and the Invisible Man. By now, Baker's performances have evolved into a local institution, and if you haven't seen him yet, it's practically your duty as an Angeleno, a rite of passage, to see one of his shows. We recommend you begin with this one. 1345 W. First St., dwntwn.; through Nov. 10; $15, children under 2 free. (213) 250-9995, BobBakerMarionettes.com.
Gary Baseman 'The Three Lil Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf (2012)
12. Gary Baseman's Nightmares of Halloweens Past
If his now-iconic artwork is not enough to convince you that Gary Baseman loves all things creepy, his huge collection of vintage Halloween-themed photographs should help you see the light -- or darkness, as the case may be. Baseman busts out his alternately entertaining, disturbing and amusing collection of costumed characters in antique photos, officially opening the doors of Chinatown's newest KK Gallery. Witness how the photos wind up inspiring Baseman as an artist, too. 963 Chung King Road, Chinatown; through Nov. 24; free. KKLosAngeles.com.
11. Dead Men Do Tell Tales: A Post-Mortem Affair
We may as well accept the fact that we're all gonna die and just embrace the creepy. At least, that's what this event at the Last Bookstore seems to recommend we do. Emceed by ex-Germs drummer and L.A. cult figure Don Bolles, the free evening program is full of clowns, fetuses and Sicilian sex ghosts, in the form of stories, short films, live horror-rock and theremin music -- all of which should help channel the spirit(s) of Halloween. 453 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m.; free. (213) 488-0599, LastBookstoreLA.com.
10. Blackout Haunted House
At last, a haunted house where you don't have the luxury of clutching your boyfriend, girlfriend, sibling, parent, grandparent or best friend -- instead, you're forced to go through it alone. No one under 18 is admitted inside this terrifying tribute to a Halloween tradition. Blackout Haunted House first cropped up in New York City four years ago and has finally made its way out west. 207 S. Broadway, 2nd floor, dwntwn.; Oct. 26-31; $45. www.BlackoutHH.com.
Up next: Horror movie marathon