Halloween can be great fun, a social opportunity with parties, trick-or-treats, and costumes. For some kids, however, it is characterized as scary, dark, and filled with nightmarish images. As a parent, you know your tween, and you can guide them to appropriate activities.
Some of the more family friendly events in L.A. are listed in www.laparent.com/events. Boo at the Zoo at the L.A. Zoo, has special Halloween-related activities during October. Admission is $20 adults, $15 ages 2-12. Hours are 10am to 4 pm. Weekends include a Graveyard Safari, Boneyard Station, pumpkin carving demosk music, animal encounters, holiday storytelling and crafts (www.lazoo.org).
From 8 am to 4 pm daily, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood’s “Horror Made Here” experience. This is an expensive tour ($62 admission). 3400 W. Riverside Dr.,Burbank,CA Inside Stage 48, Script to Screen shows guests the process behind prosthetic special effects, shares behind-the-scenes film secrets, sinister props and costumes. Age 8 and up. (www.wbstudiotour.com).
The best 2015 Halloween events for kids in L.A. are recommended by www.losangeles.cbslocal.com. In addition to Boo at the Zoo, their suggestions are tween friendly. Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns at the Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011 (818) 949-4290 (www.therise.org). Oct. 1 through Nov. 1. 5:30 to 10:30 pm Thursdays through Sundays. Includes more than 5,000 hand-carved illuminated lanterns by professional artists. Tickets range from $18 to $28.
Marina Del Rey at Burton Chase Park has a pumpkin patch, live music, arts and crafts, marionettes and kayaking. 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey. Parking at lots #4 and 7. $8. (www.axs.com).
Halloween Spook-tacular at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Costume contest. Free. For kids up to 12. 5:30-6:45 pm Thursday through Halloween.
Something your tween will probably love is the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (www.timeout.com). This hayride goes through pumpkin patch with demons on Griffith Park. It has scare zones and a black maze and lots of “boogeymen.” Time Out also has listings for haunted houses in L.A. For those tweens that are not scared easily, www.creepyla.com lists a horror film fest, “Carrie,” the musical, and Knott’s Scary Farm, with role-playing guests fighting off zombies. Other venues are Six Flags Magic Mountain Fright Fest, Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, and Wicked Lit in Altadena.
Halloween should be a fun time, not a traumatic experience. Be certain of what your child can tolerate before subjecting them to any negative experiences. There are plenty of Halloween parties and trick-or-treating that can make Halloween a positive experience for your tween.