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Seven Things to Do This Halloween

Check out our latest Halloween events listing at

Thursday Night Thing

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start early at MCASD Downtown’s Thursday Night Thing (Oct. 28). Sure, it’s not pumpkin-centric, but we still think you’ll get a thrill experiencing the day in the life of street artist as part of the museum’s extension of “Viva La Revolucion.” Tunes from The Dabbers and Mrs. Magician as well as a caught-in-the-act screen-printing activity preserve TNT’s deservingly hip reputation.

The Pearl Hotel

We're big fans of the Pearl’s laid-back vibe, so it makes sense they’d extend their unpretentious brand of cool into plenty of Halloween activities. Start this Thursday (10/21) with a pumpkin carving contest, and work your way towards next weekend with a full moon party (10/22) a screening of "Ghostbusters" at their dive-in theater (10/27), and, finally, a costume party on October 30. Tip: their midcentury motif mixes perfectly with anything mod (paging Mr. Draper…)


Totally over the peeled-grapes-as-eyeballs thing? Sample one of the ghoulishly gross-sounding (but totally delicious) dishes on Starlite’s Halloween Menu. It’s hush-hush for now, but last year, sweetbread (er, thymus glands), cow heart and tongue comprised the blue-plate specials. Expect plenty of veg-friendly fare, too (think “grave dirt” covered Mac n’ Cheese), as well as a DJ and zombified wait staff.

El Dorado & Voyeur

For those of you who can’t wait ‘till October 31 to get down with your one-night-only alter ego (who is surprisingly okay with less clothes), we recommend El Dorado for its Black Light Halloween. Think an infinitely cool county fair haunted house, teeming with pretty people. Continue the dance party a few blocks south with live tracks from Miike Snow at Voyeur. Really want to call in sick Monday? Check out their enviable DJ lineup with the club’s 4-day Halloween pass.

The Birch North Park Theater

Forget last year’s reboot. The original “Children of the Corn” is screening twice at the Birch North Park Theater next Monday, essential material to set the tone for the week. Catch Sissy Spacek as the doomed, crazy-eyed “Carrie” this Wednesday (10/20) if you can, as well.

30th on 30th

This much-beloved monthly block party falls on the Saturday of Halloween weekend this year, and Jay Porter and friends are rising to the opportunity. Trawl the main drag for deals on in-season offerings like Pumpkin Ravioli Negra (at SOHO), decked-out cupcakes from Happy Tiers Bakery, and, of course, plenty of drink specials – for those in costume, of course.

Halloween Family Day at Balboa Park

Can’t stomach the park’s infamous Haunted Trail past dark? Venture out into daylight with the kids and haunt its multiple museums, a dozen of which are free for those under 17 during Balboa Park’s Halloween Family Day. Our picks: experimenting with mutated fruit flies with the Salk Institute at the Science Center and glow-in-the-dark model train crafting at the Model Railroad Museum. And yes, free candy, too.

Culture Lusters, what are your plans for this Halloween? More importantly, what are you wearing? Scare/inspire us in the comments below.

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