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Best Of LA - Week of October 19

(Credit: Courtesy of The Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns)

Halloween festivities are popping up all over the city as the holiday approaches next week. Whether you're looking for a frightfully fun theater experience, or some quality pumpkin time, it's never too early to start in on the fun. A musical twist on a horror novel classic heads to the Los Angeles Theater, while thousands of hand-carved jack o'lanterns create impressive works of art at Descanso Gardens. EEK! At The Greek! is back for a spooky symphonic performance, and a burger and booze accompanied pumpkin carving contest rounds out a week of festive happenings around the city.

Monday, October 19
(Credit: CarlyDiaz )

Free Donut + Store Opening: Blue Star Donuts
1142 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA, 90291
(310) 450-5630

Donut shops are a dime a baker's dozen in LA, but when a new shop opens up that not only offers unique flavor combinations like Blueberry Bourbon Basil donuts, but also offers patrons a free donut on the first day, it's worth it to take notice. Portland-born Blue Donuts will start selling their signature brioche-style donuts this week at their new Abbot Kinney location, and while the grand opening is slated for Wednesday, today is the day to get out there and grab a free donut from 9am until they run out. Once fully opened, the shop will offer more fun flavors like Pina Colada, Grenache Ganache, Mimosa, and even a Hard Apple Cider Fritter. Because coffee is a donut's best friend, the shop will also be serving Portland-based Stumptown Coffee with the sweet treats.

Tuesday, October 20
(Credit: Jason Niedle)

Carrie the Killer Musical Experience
Los Angeles Theater
615 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 629-2939

It's the classic story of girl meets boy, girls falls in love with boy, boy dumps pig blood on girl's head at prom. Based on Stephen King's first published novel, the story follows 17-year-old Carrie White, who is pushed too far by her tormenting classmates and overbearing mother, forcing her to unleash the full fury of her telekinetic powers. Met with rave reviews at its La Mirada Theater opening, this musical production of Carrie includes an immersive staging that puts theater goers right in the middle of the action. Audience members sit inside the gym where all the drama goes down, and where moving bleachers pull the audience deeper into the heart of the story. The show starts at 8pm, and tickets start at $40.

Wednesday, October 21
(Credit: Courtesy of American Boychoir)

American Boychoir
Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 793-4231

The Los Angeles Children's Chorus continues its 30th Anniversary Season with a special performance by the American Boychoir. Recognized as the country's premier boys' choir, and noted for its blend of musical sophistication and spirited presentation, the group will present a broad range of music from around the world. Along with the American Boychoir, the concert will include performances by Los Angeles Children's Chorus Concert Choir and Young Men's Ensemble. Among its many achievements, LACC has performed alongside John Mayer on "The Tonight Show," has been featured on PBS's "Great Performances," and is the subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock.

Thursday, October 22
(Credit: Courtesy of The Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns)

RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns
Descanso Gardens
1418 Descanso Dr.
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
(818) 949-4200

Over 5,000 hand-carved jack o'lanterns light up the night as RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns returns. The ⅓ mile trail will take you on safari through larger-than-life animals, a dragon over 50 feet long, popular classic cars, dinosaurs, and stars of television and film, all composed of thousands of hand-carved pumpkins. You can also check out pumpkin art in-the-making at the live carving station. An original score produced exclusively for the RISE provides the perfect soundtrack to this one-of-a-kind event. Tickets are available online for both the Descanso Gardens location, as well as the new Santa Anita Park location, and all ages are welcome.

Friday, October 23
(Credit: Captain Kidd's Fish Market & Restaurant)

Celebrate National Seafood Month!
at Captain Kidd's Fish Market & Restaurant
209 N. Harbor Dr.
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 372-7703

End your week by celebrating National Seafood Month in Redondo Beach at Captain Kidd's. The family-run seafood shack is a favorite among locals, and boasts an impressive crab selection, with over 1000 pounds of crab sold per week. Patrons are offered four ways to dine: from the market, where you can select fresh raw seafood prepared in your chosen style; from the kitchen, including signature dishes like lobster rolls and fish tacos; from the tanks, full of live crabs and lobsters steamed for free; or the fresh catch of the day. The restaurant also takes pride in committing to sustainability practices, working with local seafood purveyors for over 40 years. For more great National Seafood Month eats, visit our list of the Best Places in LA for Seafood.

Saturday, October 24
(Credit: Courtesy of Grand Park )

GRAND AVE ARTS: ALL ACCESS + Día de los Muertos Celebration
Grand Avenue (Between Temple Street & 6th Street)
Downtown Los Angeles
(213) 972-8500

Spend a day downtown with an all access pass to all the world-class arts and cultural organizations on Grand Avenue. Colorful banners and signage will guide your way to several different events held by 11 cultural organizations along the arts-centric stretch of Bunker Hill. Hear performances from some of Los Angeles' best musical groups, see exhibitions and installations, join a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Centers' theaters and the new Broad museum, and so much more. The free day-long community event runs from 10am - 5pm, and will offer lots of great things to see and do, so be sure to visit the website for all the details. A Dia de los Muertos celebration will follow the all access event, kicking off with a traditional Noche de Ofrenda ceremony honoring the dead at 7pm at Grand Park.

(Credit: Randall Michelson)

EEK! At The Greek!
The Greek Theatre
2700 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 665-5857

EEK! At The Greek! is back and celebrating its 5th year of family fun. The event starts at 4:30pm with a Tick-Or-Treat Village in the plaza full of Halloween activities for the kiddos, including trick-or-treating, arts and crafts, face painting, a costume contest, and more. The 60-piece Symphony In The Glen Orchestra will begin their performance of spooky songs at 7pm, with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," "Ghost Riders in the Sky" with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, a live-to-film performance of the Disney cartoon "Hell's Bells," John Williams' "The Devil's Dance," and Armin Shimerman narrating Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Tickets start at just $8.

Sunday, October 25
(Credit: Plan Check Kitchen + Bar)

Pumpkin Carving Contest + Oktoberfest Special
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
1800 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-1411

End the week with a burger, some beer, and a little pumpkin carving. For the fourth year in a row, Plan Check will host a free pumpkin carving contest, providing carving tools and pumpkins to competitors. Guests vote for the most impressive pumpkin via social media, and the winners will be announced Halloween night, with prizes awarded for first ($100), second ($50), and third ($25) place. The contest begins Friday, and tonight is the last chance to get in on the fun. To help get those creative juices flowing, enjoy one of their $15 Oktoberfest Burger Brat Packs, which includes a pork and beef bratwurst burger with a pretzel bun, fries, and a tall glass of Paulaner's Oktoberfest Marzen.

Pumpkin Patch

Visit One of LA's Best Pumpkin Patches

With Halloween less than a week away, it's time to get serious about pumpkin buying. No matter where you're at in Los Angeles, there's a great pumpkin patch nearby. Top pumpkin patch picks include Shawn's Pumpkin Patch (with two locations in Santa Monica and Westchester) for face painting, ponies, color sand art, and rides, as well as the recently relocated Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch (now in Culver City), which includes a straw maze, super slide, bounce house, petting zoo, and lots of other family-fun activities. Underwood Family Farms is always an Angeleno favorite, with their Annual Fall Harvest Festival happening throughout the month. Visit this weekend and catch stunt ropers, covered wagons, music, magic, and more as part of Western Weekend.
For more on the best patches out there, check out our list of Best Pumpkin Patches in LA.

Article by Kellie Fell.
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