Esters Wine Shop & Bar will host its first Halloween celebration Thursday. (Kelly Bylsma)

With Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, many parents may opt to enjoy some spooktacular fun on the weekend instead of a busy workday.

To help make sense of the dozens of local parties, parades and bashes occurring in the coming week, the Santa Monica Daily Press has compiled a roundup of events to help you decide on the right activity for your loved ones.

Main Street’s Howl-o-ween

Monsters and their furry friends are welcomed to participate in a free costume contest for pets at Main Street’s 4th Annual Howl-O-Ween event. This year’s celebration will also feature local vendors, a scavenger hunt, pumpkin decorating, food trucks and pet-friendly exhibitors. Guests can pick up clues for the event’s first-ever scavenger hunt or register their pet for the parade beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday. Mutts will then have the opportunity to win a cash prize while they strut their stuff in front of hundreds of spectators during the pet parade and costume contest occurring from 5-6 p.m. The event will be held at Pacific Street Dog Park, which is located three blocks south of Pico Boulevard at 2100 Main St. in Santa Monica.

More information can be found online at

Trunk or Treat

Dwell Church Los Angeles invites local residents to enjoy an evening of fun at McKinley Elementary School from 4-6 p.m. Sunday. The church’s Trunk or Treat event will feature games, free tacos and allow children to go from themed trunk to themed trunk trick or treating, according to the event’s Facebook page. “We’ll also be hosting a free raffle to win a movie gift basket, complete with a Fandango gift card and snacks!”

No registration is required, and more information can be found at

Halloween Bash

Little monsters and their mummies can head to the corner of Canal Street for a night of music, face painting and plenty of treats on Halloween night. The event is free and will occur from 5-8 p.m. at Venice Community Housing, which is located at 200 N. Venice Blvd.

More information can be found at and residents with questions should contact

HalloWeekend Fright Night Pub Crawl

Residents who miss Saturday’s HalloWeekend Fright Night Pub Crawl can catch the second go-round happening on Halloween Day. Featuring $4 draft beers, 50% off wells and $5 shots, this year’s pub crawl offers a number of specialty drink options at the various bars that are participating in the crawl.

Every establishment is within walking distance of one another and participants will receive a map when they register. Registration lasts from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and tickets are $30 for a single ticket and $25 for groups of 5 people.

Visit for more information on the upcoming event.

Spooktacular 2019

The Santa Monica Police Activities League will hold its Spooktacular 2019 event on Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at the PAL Youth Center, which is located at 1401 Olympic Blvd. in Santa Monica. The Halloween Day celebration will feature a number of free treats, including a maze, candy and more.

Interested families can contact 310-458-8988 for more information or head down to the center on the day of the event to enjoy a night of fun.

Halloween Happy Hour

Esters Wine Shop & Bar will host its first Halloween celebration on Thursday with an all-night Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to midnight. The event was described as a classy joint, where costumes aren’t required and one can sip on Happy Hour-priced drinks and bites throughout the evening. However, if someone’s inclined to dress up and wear a costume, then they’ll be rewarded with a free Mystery Cocktail with the purchase of any food or drinks.

Esters Wine Shop & Bar is located in Downtown Santa Monica at 1314 7th St., and more information on the upcoming event can be found online at

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Customers who turn up in costume to Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken in Santa Monica on Thursday, Oct. 31 are eligible for a complimentary pumpkin spice doughnut. The local trick or treaters who visit on Halloween to claim their doughnut can also take a photo on the patio, which has been transformed into a cozy pumpkin patch where patrons can enjoy eating their exclusive pumpkin spice fried chicken and doughnut specials.

Those who post their photo on Instagram with the tag @astrodoughtnutssocal have a chance to win a box of four of each month’s special doughnuts for an entire year, according to staff. More information on Astro’s Halloween festivities can be found at

Día De Los Muertos Fiesta

Tallula’s, a local Mexican cantina from Zoe Nathan, Josh Loeb and Jeremy Fox, is preparing to host its inaugural Día De Los Muertos Fiesta on Saturday, Nov. 2 and residents of all ages are invited to participate in the fun.

A beautiful altar created by Gardenia Ramirez at Lola y Tula will be on-site to commemorate loved ones who have passed. A face painter for kids and those who are kids at heart will also be available from 4-7 p.m. Those in the mood for food can enjoy traditional holiday dishes like a Chile Relleno with crab and black mole, Flan with candied walnuts and Tlayudas with potatoes, refried black beans, escabeche and crispy bacon.

The restaurant will also have buckets of beer served with assorted housemade salts and cocktail specials like Mexican Chocolate Martinis with mezcal and a spicy, tropical tequila-number called the “Charred Island.”

Walk-ins are welcome but booking a table is suggested so your spot is guaranteed. More information on the celebration can be found at

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