If your kids put on their tiger costumes before you even rolled out of bed this morning, you know that today is going to be a long Halloween. To fill the hours between breakfast and trick-or-treating down the street, we've rounded up suggestions for outings where pint-size pirates and prancing princesses will not be out of place (au contraire!).
One of the newest Halloween traditions is to wear a costume to the local mall for trick-or-treating up and down the stores. In the Galleria at South Bay, little monsters can roam from store to store from 5 to 7 p.m. At Sherman Oaks Galleria the festivities begin at noon with a costume contest in the center court; from 1 to 3 p.m. there'll be puppet shows and trick-or-treating.
Eagle Rock Plaza is planning face-painting and clowns in addition to the trick-or-treating. It all begins at 1 p.m. with a costume contest at 3.
At Topanga Plaza, kids will compete for best costumes starting at 4 p.m. in the center court. Candy will be given out in the north and south courts, and a magic show is scheduled for the south court at 4:45 and 5:45 p.m. Westside Pavilion plans roaming mimes and clowns to mingle with the kids as they make their way to the 30 candy stations spread throughout the mall. There'll also be game booths and a costume contest on the lower level. It all begins at 5:30 p.m.
Photos With Mr. Pumpkin
Fox Hills Mall starts the fun at 4 p.m. with instant photos with Mr. Pumpkin. Kids can collect candy in the center court area (no store-to-store here) from 5 to 6. "A Howling We Will Go" stage show runs from 6 to 6:30, followed by a costume contest.
Kids who wear their costumes to Kidspace Museum in Pasadena today will receive a free balloon. The museum is at 390 S. El Molino Ave.; (818) 449-9144.
At the Los Angeles Children's Museum, youngsters will make costumes and creepy things from recycled materials. There will be ghost stories with spooky sound effects and videotape "interviews" with some favorite monsters. On Sunday children will learn about the traditional Mexican holiday, El Dia de los Muertos, through mask-making workshops and other art projects. Daily admission to the museum is $3 per person. Information: (213) 687-8801.
Westside Children's Museum will be a part of Santa Monica's Halloween celebration, "Magic Masquerade" at Santa Monica's Third Street open-air mall today from noon to 4 p.m. There will be an exhibit of masks and children ages 2 to teens may make and decorate paper masks to take with them. All materials are provided free by the museum.
The Factory of Nightmares is the North Hills Jaycees state-of-the-art haunted house, moved to Pierce College in Woodland Hills this year. Inside the house, intrepid visitors walk from scary room to scary room (the very real effects may be a bit too much for preschoolers). Outside there are carnival rides, game booths and food for sale. Tickets are $5 and the house opens at 6 tonight and Sunday. Information: (818) 464-9329.
Games and Food
At La Cienega Park in Beverly Hills, the annual Halloween Carnival features 19 game booths (25 cents a round), food booths selling pizza and hot dogs and instant photos for $1.50. At 5 p.m., 3- to 6-year-olds will parade around the park and receive a ribbon for their efforts. Kids 7 and older will parade at 6. Admission is $1. The park is at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Gregory Way, one block north of Olympic Boulevard. Information: (213) 550-4864.
Believed to be the largest pumpkin in the world--an 86,000-gallon Unocal tank that takes 100 gallons of orange paint to cover--will be lit up tonight from 6 to 9, the last time for this Halloween season. Take the Harbor Freeway south to Anaheim Street exit in Wilmington and drive left--you can't miss it. There'll be free caramel corn for visitors.
Tonight is Halloween Safe Night at four retirement homes. Preschool and grade-school children accompanied by an adult will be entertained by a haunted house, games, drawings for prizes, videos, door-to-door trick-or-treating and other events. The homes are Mountview Retirement Residence, 2640 Honolulu Ave., Montrose, (818) 248-6737; La Veranda Retirement Community, 312 N. Roosevelt Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-8323; Centralia Convalescent Hospital, 5401 E. Centralia St., Long Beach, (213) 421-4717; and Grand Care Convalescent Hospital, 2040 S. Euclid Ave., Anaheim, (714) 636-2800. Hours are 6 to 8 p.m., except for Mountview, which is scheduled 7 to 9 p.m.
For parents who want to play it safe with trick-or-treating goodies, many local hospitals will offer free candy screening in their radiology departments. Verdugo Hills Hospital (1812 Verdugo Blvd., Glendale, (818) 952-2266) will screen candy from 6 to 9 p.m. Valley Presbyterian Hospital (15107 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, (818) 902-2986) will be open tonight, 4 to 8, and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.