CALICO--What better place to celebrate Halloween than a real ghost town? "Calico Ghost Haunt," Oct. 25-27, features trips through Maggie's Haunted Mine, Grim Reaper Tours, ghost stories, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and other family fun; 5-8 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission per day: $6, general; $4, children 6-15; free for those under 6. Ghost Town Road and Interstate 15, near Barstow. Camping and information: (800) 862-2542.cq/je
AVALON--The spirit of the Crescent City comes to Crescent Avenue for the Mardi Gras Ball and Zydeco Festival, Friday and Saturday. The event features live music, New Orleans-style fare from local restaurants and a parade; 7-9 p.m. Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday along Crescent Avenue. Admission is free. Queen Ida performs at the Mardi Gras Ball at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Casino Ballroom. Tickets for the ball are $25; reservations recommended. Tickets: (800) 866-8729. Information: (619) 458-9586.
SANTA BARBARA--Creative costumes will be the highlight at the sixth annual Black and Orange Bash, 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the upstairs Arts Terrace in downtown's Paseo Nuevo. The Halloween celebration of imagination, a fund-raiser for the Contemporary Arts Forum, will feature a costume contest, live music, a light show, pizza and a no-host bar. $22 in advance; $27 at the door. (805) 966-5373.
LA JOLLA--Explore the treasures of the tide pools in trips sponsored by the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "Tide-Pooling for Tots," 2-3:30 p.m. Friday, takes preschoolers and kindergartners to La Jolla Shores. An excursion for all ages will be held 3-5 p.m. Saturday at False Point. Both programs are $11 adults, $7 children; advance registration is required. (619) 534-7336.
CARLSBAD--The Fall Village Faire will fill downtown Carlsbad 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 3. More than 800 exhibitors will be on hand at the street fair with arts and crafts, international food, live entertainment and more. On Grand Avenue between Carlsbad Boulevard and Jefferson, and on side streets. Free. (619) 434-8887.
Call listed phone numbers for directions.