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Escape's Halloween happenings

Scares and fun for everyone — in the SCV and beyond

Posted: October 22, 2009 2:50 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2009 1:17 p.m.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood will surely put the scare into anyone.

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There is a lot of Halloween happening before Halloween - in the SCV and around Southern California. From underwater pumpkin carving to theme park scares, these last two October weekends offer something for every age group. So let the boos begin.

Trick or Trunk at Richard Rioux Park
26233 W. Faulkner Drive
Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381
(661) 222-9536
Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to noon
Residents will decorate their vehicles and pass out goodies to children. The event is free and there will be candy and prizes for costume contest winners in four categories -- 1 - 3 years, 4 - 6 years, 7 - 10 years, 11 - 14 years. Vehicles must be registered with park staff by Oct. 28.

Sheriff's Haunted Jailhouse
23740 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 255-1121
Oct. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsored by the SCV Sheriff's station, SCV Boys & Girls club, SCV Newhall Optimist club and with assistance from the city of Santa Clarita, there will be a Haunted Jailhouse Tour, game booths, food, clowns, a Moonbounce and displays. Costume contests will be held separately for ages under-2 at 12:30 p.m., 2 - 4 at 1 p.m., 5 - 7 at 1:30 a.m., 8 - 10 at 2 p.m., 11 - 12 at 2:30 p.m. and ages 13 to adult at 3 p.m. A $1 donation is requested.

Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest
Aquatic Center
20850 Centre Pointe Parkway
Saugus, CA 91350
(661) 250-3766
Oct. 24, 6:45 p.m.
The City of Santa Clarita's second annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving contest will feature teams of scuba divers carving pumpkins underwater in the City's Aquatic Center dive pool. On-deck festive games and activities will also be included for spectators. An underwater camera will capture all the action so spectators can watch the dive teams' progress live on a big screen. Once the carving is complete, the pumpkins will be judged for a grand prize.

Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain
26101 Magic Mountain Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
(661) 255-4100  
Through Oct. 31
The facility transforms from a "theme park" to a haunted "scream park" for the 17th season of Fright Fest. There will be haunted mazes, roaming zombies, scary clowns and spooky shows. A "twisted" element will be added to some of the monster coasters by turning off the lights - and Colossus will run backwards.
Extended Fright Fest hours this year are from 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday's and Saturday's, and 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday's. For additional information, current operating days and hours, and to purchase a ticket, visit the Web site or call (661) 255-4111.

Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(800) 864-8377
Weekends through Oct. 31, 7 p.m. to closing
The event is all-new for 2009 with four new terrifying mazes, six new "Scare Zones," such outrageous productions as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute," and an all-new "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure," as well as a fully re-imagined "Terror Tram" backlot studio experience.
Ticket prices vary by date. More information and tickets are available at the Web site.

Halloween Time at Disneyland Resort
(Parking) 1313 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-4565
Through Nov. 1
Disneyland Resort celebrates Halloween with lots of special decorations and activities.

Disneyland at Halloween
Halloween decorations appear everywhere and many of the Disney characters will be wearing their own Halloween costumes as they greet guests. A bunch of ghosts have moved into Space Mountain, with a new sound track and special effects just for the holiday. Big Thunder Ranch features seasonal-themed activities, including live animals, cookie decorating, sing-alongs and appearances by Woody and Jessie from the Toy Story movies. Halloween Screams Fireworks is a special show just for the season.

California Adventure at Halloween
The 11-foot-tall "California" entrance-way letters are transformed to look like giant pieces of candy corn. Hollywood Tower Hotel staff members greet guests and relate their own creepy tales. Mickey's Trick or Treat Party happens through Oct. 31 and requires a special ticket purchase.
Visit the Web site for hours of operation, admission and event details for the two parks.

Boo at the Zoo
Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 644-4200
Oct. 24, 25, 31 and Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fun festivities will take place at this year's Boo at the L.A. Zoo. Get up close to spiders, bugs and snakes at the Creepy Creature Encounter. Dance and sing along with children's Halloween entertainers in the Adventure Theater. Parade through the pumpkin patch photo area and see pumpkins of all sizes. Watch amazing pumpkin-carving demonstrations. See an amazing stilt-walking scarecrow. Trick-or-treat through a ghostly graveyard to learn about extinct animals that now live "Down Under." Stop by the graveyard for spooky face painting. Learn about owls from their keepers at the owl talks. Watch as animals Stomp ‘n Chomp pumpkins.
All activities are free to GLAZA members and with paid Zoo admission. Adults $13, seniors $10, children 2 - 12 $8, under 2 free.

Terror Fest at the Queen Mary
1126 Queen's Highway
Long Beach, CA 90802
(800) 437-2934  
Oct. 23 and 24, 7 p.m. to midnight.
Slither down to the Queen Mary for the 15th Annual Halloween Terrorfest, Shipwreck. Dare to venture into terrifying mazes located both on and off the haunted vessel, including Vampire Village, The Graveyard, Isolation Ward, Blackbeard's Revenge (Pirate Maze) and Paranoia's House of Horror. General admission $29.

Scarium of the Pacific
Trick or Treat at the Aquarium
Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 590-3100
Oct. 24 and 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Discover the creatures lurking in the depths of Pacific at the Scarium of the Pacific - a spooktacular educational Halloween event for the whole family. Enjoy special Halloween programs, including the annual children's costume contest, the creepy coloring contest, magic shows, spooky storytelling, kooky crafts, eerie animals in the Great Hall and much more.
A new special prize category for costumes made with recycled materials has been added this year. Special programs are free with general admission or aquarium membership. Adult $23.95, child (3-11) $11.95, senior (62+) $20.95. Free for children under 3.

Haunted Museum of Natural History
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 763-3466
Oct. 25, 5 p.m.
The circus is coming to the museum for the spookiest show on Earth at this year's sixth annual Haunted Museum. This haunted circus will feature fire eaters, jugglers and stilt walkers on a ghostly mission to find their mysteriously absent cast member, Human Cannonball Billy "Ballistic" Jones. Billy has recently been spotted throughout the museum's research and collections desperately seeking for a way to fly back home.
Free for museum members at the Naturalist level and higher.

Pumpkin Roundup at Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Drive
La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4200
Oct. 24 and 25, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pumpkins peek around nearly every corner at Descanso's annual Pumpkin Roundup. The highlights of the days are the costume parades, taking place at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., when children can join in a cast of costumed characters and creatures who will make a grand procession through the Gardens with Mr. Dave singing the way. Afterward, everyone meets at the Under the Oaks Theater for a sing-along.
Other activities include: free face painting and pony rides, a pumpkin decorating station and rides on the Enchanted Railroad.
Admission to Descanso's Pumpkin Roundup is free with Gardens' admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors/students and $3 children.



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