Things To Do & Places To Eat – NELA, Greater Los Angeles, Pasadena and Beyond


I love art activities and the greater Los Angeles area is full of them. A surprising number are free if you know where to look! In case of schedule changes, be sure to check the following websites for the museum before you make the trip. I have also included a list of some of my favorite eateries and a calendar for family fun Fall Season and Halloween activities.


Fall and Halloween Attractions, Activities and Events

Carved at Descanso Gardens – La Canada – October 23-27
For five nights, 1,000 professionally carved pumpkins – some as large as 100 pounds and all of them are real – will line a one-mile walk-through the Camettia Forest and Oak Grove. Carved is a family-friendly event for all ages. Descanso Gardens will be aglow with festive pumpkins October 23 -27, 6:30 pm -10:30 pmAdvance tickets required. $25 for Descanso Gardens members and $30 for non-members.

For tickets and more information, please  visit

Disneyland – Anaheim
Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion ride and experience the Halloween decorations and the themed snacks through October 31st.

For tickets, please visit

Knott’s Scary Farm – Buena Park
Through November 2nd, visit the largest and most haunting Halloween experience in Southern California, with unimaginable scares and innovative thrills that can’t be found anywhere else. The fully transformed theme park features uniquely haunted mazes and attractions, sinister shows and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures lurking in the fog and hiding in every corner of the park.

For tickets, please visit

Nights Of The Jack – King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas
Immerse yourself in an interactive, family-friendly Halloween experience. Vast grounds of intricately hand-carved and illuminated jack o’ lanterns will welcome visitors as they make their way through the half-mile trail. There will be a live pumpkin carver, gift shop, food trucks our “Spookeasy Bar” serving specially crafted Halloween cocktails. 

For tickets and more information please visit

Film festival featuring not only films but downloadable files, recipes, and other cool stuff. The month-long digital advent calendar is FREE to the public but we ask for $25 donations Gothtober is powered by Sparkleblob, a non-profit arts organization committed to helping shape culture with society through artistic pursuits. I have been a volunteer for this wonderful cause for many years.
For more information and tickets, please visit

Top 10 Pumpkin Patches – In and Around Los Angeles

Haunted Houses, Horror Movie & TV Filming Locations In California
Living here in California, we have some of the most iconic horror film and television filming locations in the World.

The Winchester Mystery House & Museum – 525 S. Winchester in San Jose








Michael Myers’ Halloween House – 1000 Mission St in South Pasadena







**Please remember to be respectful as people do live in the next two filming locations. You can still drive up for a quick Instagram pic.

Poltergeist (1985)  House – 4267 Roxbury St in Simi Valley





merican Horror Story Season 1 House –  1120 Westchester Pl in Los Angeles







Non-Halloween Attractions, Events, Activities in October

Pasadena ArtNight – Various locations of Pasadena – October 11, 6-10 pm
Enjoy a free evening of art, music, and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts & cultural institutions swing open their doors. ArtNight is an ongoing partnership among many cultural institutions and the Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Pasadena. The event is sponsored by Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission with support from the following: Pasadena Dept of Transportation Transit Division, LA Metro Transit Authority & Pasadena Center Operating Company.

For more information, please visit

Brewery Art Walk – Los Angeles – October 26-27
A twice-annual open studio weekend at the world’s largest art complex. With over 100 participating resident artists, you will have the opportunity to walk around and see new works of art, speak with the artists themselves, purchase artwork directly from the artists’ studios and enjoy some specially crafted brews. Admission and parking are free. Dining available at the on-site restaurant.

For more information, please visit

Year-Round Attractions, Events, Activities

Weekend Walks at Descanso Gardens – La Canada
Take a docent-guided walk through the gardens highlighting the points of seasonal interest every Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 12 pm *Included in the price of regular admission. No reservations required. Subject to weather and availability

For a full calendar of events, visit

Bet Yer Bottom Bingo Akbar – Los Angeles
B-I-N-G-O! Come out and play Bingo while being a part of a good cause for just $1 a game hosted by Sparkleblob on various Sunday nights at Akbar in Los Angeles.

Sparkleblob, a non-profit organization who helps create new art makers and arts leaders by shaping culture, teaching people to connect, opening eyes to different experiences and creating conversations with people of all walks of life.

For more information, please visit

Explore L.A. With Discover & Go Using Your Los Angeles Public Library Card 
The Los Angeles Public Library has partnered with local museums, science centers, zoos, theatres and other cultural destinations for free and low-cost passes through their Discover & Go program and all you need is your library card.

Log on to with your library card credentials and browse for passes by date or attractions.

Participating destinations include:
• Recording Academy’s Grammy Museum: L.A. Live
• Discovery Cube in Los Angeles
• Los Angeles Zoo
• Autry Museum of the American West
• Catalina Island Museum
• Japanese American National Museum
• Chinese American Museum
• Kidspace Children’s Museum
• The Museum of Jurassic Technology
• Natural History Museum
• Museum of Tolerance
• Craft & Folk Art Museum
• Battleship Iowa: Los Angeles
• Hammer
• La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
• L.A. Plaza De Cultura y Artes
• Los Angeles Conservancy
• Skirball
• Wende Museum of the Cold War

For additional or general information about the Los Angeles Public Library, please visit

Rancho de Philo Winery – Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Specializes in their own award-winning brand called Triple Cream Sherry located in Rancho Cucamonga. It was such a relaxing and wonderfully delicious experience. The owners and staff were admirably hospitable and I can’t say enough about the quality of flavor.

For more information, visit their Facebook page at

Aquarium Of The Pacific – Long Beach
This season at the Aquarium, see a new show in the Ocean Theater, visit your favorite animals (I love the cephalopods), and take part in cultural festivals and events celebrating the ocean planet.

Enjoy the Aquarium of the Pacific with special extended hours
The entire Aquarium will be open, except Lorikeet Forest. Admission after 5:00 p.m. is just $19.95 for adults and seniors, and children (3-11). Watch the nighttime activities of our animals, touch a shark, and enjoy the beautiful evening lighting of the Aquarium’s architecture.

Special Discounted Late Nights
The following late nights are in celebration of different themes, cultures, and seasons that may offer additional programming. Click each one for specific event descriptions and pricing. Please click-through for details and availability. These events are separate from Discounted Late Nights and do not occur on the same evenings.

Visit the Aquarium’s events section for a full calendar of educational, entertainment, and cultural events here:

National Park Free Entrance Days
Come experience the national parks! On four days in 2019, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free dates in 2019:

  • January 21 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • April 20 – First day of National Park Week
  • August 25 – National Park Service Day
  • September 28 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

For more information, please visit:

Free second Tuesday of the month and select holidays; free after 3pm Monday—Friday for LA County residents

MOCAGrand Avenue location
Free every Thursday 5-8pm
For more information, please visit

Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
Free first Thursday of the month with advance ticket.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Free every Thursday

Natural History Museum
Free the first Tuesday of every month (except July and August)

Autry National Center: Museum of the American West
Free every second Tuesday of the month

Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits
Museum free first Tuesday of every month (except July and August) and free every Tuesday during September; tar pits area always free.

Japanese American National Museum
Free every Thursday 5-8pm and all day every third Thursday of the month

Skirball Cultural Center
Free every Thursday

Norton Simon Museum
Free first Friday of the month 5-8pm

Museum of Latin American Art
Free every Sunday and the fourth Friday of every month between 5-9pm

Pacific Asia Museum
Free second Sunday of every month

Kidspace Children’s Museum
Free first Tuesday of every month from 4-8pm

Long Beach Museum of Art
Free from 3-8pm Thursdays and all day Fridays

California Art Museum in Pasadena
PMCA 1234 is free the first Friday of the month from 12-5pm

Norton Simon in Pasadena
Free the first Friday of the month from 5pm-8pm

I love that we have so many food options here in LA. Here are some of my favorite spots:

Cha Cha Chili – Valley Blvd, Los Angeles
Not only are the burritos delightful, but the Korean BBQ Philly Cheese Steak sandwich takes this little gem to a whole new level.
For directions, menu and hours, please visit:

Interested in living walking distance to a museum, arts center, amusement park, restaurant, movie theatre or concert venue? I would love to help you find a home close to your favorite and/or most frequented places. Contact me at or simply click here to fill out a form on my Contact page.