Southern California Fun for Kids on Halloween: Five Spooky Night Events at Local Theme Parks

There was a time, many moons ago, when Halloween meant dressing up and hanging out with friends on the neighborhood streets, going door-to-door for trick or treat. Families seemed to like to try to outdo each other for the scariest decorations with spook houses in the garage, weird sounds and music blasting from tape decks and stereos, and fathers dressing up as unnameable creatures.

Over the years Halloween and trick-or-treat in the neighborhood has become less popular, not because children don’t enjoy the holiday, but because too many dangers are now associated with Halloween. So for parents who are looking for a place to celebrate the season and the holiday with their kids, here are five Southern California locations where families can celebrate Halloween.

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights

LEGOLAND® California in Carlsbad is celebrating Halloween with a family-friendly party every weekend in October from 5p to 9p. This is the 10th year the theme park has put on this event.

During daylight hours each Saturday and Sunday, ghouls and goblins 12 and under can trick or treat with a LEGOLAND souvenir bag. Then after sunset on Saturdays only, the Brick-or-Treat Party begins with costume contests, live music and entertainment and even more trick-or-treating. Visit the LEGOLAND website for more information.

Halloween Spooktacular

SeaWorld in San Diego (as well as the park in Orlando, Florida) is celebrating Halloween with the annual Spooktacular which offers children and their families the chance to trick-of-treat, see spooky shows, meet festive sea creatures, and get a photo opportunity with Sesame Street characters. It runs weekends October 3 to November 1, from 1p to 6p. For more information visit Sea World Spooktacular.

Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios, famous for always putting on a good show, offers those in the Hollywood, Calif. and Orlando, Florida, areas the opportunity to get their scare on. Not for the faint of heart or kids under 13, this year they offer mazes based on some of the scariest movies around: Saw, Halloween, My Bloody Valentine and Chucky. Plus there’s the terror tram with Billy, Jigsaw’s messenger of doom from Saw, shows and rides, and six scare zones including “Shaun of the Dead,” Freakz and The Meat Market.

Older teens and adults who long to celebrate Halloween in a frightening way will likely enjoy everything Universal has to offer. Warning: this event tends to be popular so get tickets early. Horror Nights runs primarily Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (with a Wednesday or Thursday thrown in here and there) throughout October. Check out Halloween Horror Nights for more information.

Pumpkins at the Park

The San Diego Zoo is getting into the Halloween mood by transforming their Wild Animal Park into a safe and family-friendly adventure that provides kids with scavenger hunts, entertainment and contests every weekend starting October 17 and running through November 1, from 9a to 4p. Price is included in regular admission. Just go to the San Diego Zoo website and click on Park Events.

Scarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach offers so much in the way exhibits about sea life of the Pacific Ocean and Scarium is no different. It is an educational event that offers a costume contest , spooky storytelling, magic shows and more. It runs two days: Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25, from 9a to 5p both days. It’s free with paid admission to AOP. Check out the Aquarium of the Pacific website or call at (562) 590-3100, ext. 0, for more information.

So no matter where in Southern California trick-or-treaters choose to celebrate Halloween, there is a scary, educational and/or fun party just around the corner.

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