By Tony McGinn

SMDP Intern

Marina del Rey’s two-day Spooktacular is back on the weekend prior to Halloween, showcasing activities, music, food, games, and tours of haunted pirate ships for a hauntingly good time. On Oct. 26 to 27 visitors can enjoy Halloween-themed events at the harbor from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Admission is free with registration and a signed liability waiver. Events are centered in Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, with family-oriented activities during the day and scarier events for a more mature audience in the evening.

The highlight of Marina del Rey’s Spooktacular is L.A.’s haunted pirate ships. Tours of the pirate ships will run all day; guests can expect close-up encounters with zombie pirates on board. Recommended for ages 13 and up after the sun sets, guests can board the ship if they have a wristband and liability waiver.

New this year, two escape rooms will be set up to challenge visitors to get out within ten minutes. Teams of six can try Lavinia’s Den: The Trespasser’s Curse or Mr. MacGuffin’s Halloween Party. The escape rooms are recommended for guests over 10 years of age. Also new is a “scare zone” filled with scary special effects. For guests looking for an even more intense escape experience, the Haunted Blackout Maze of Terror is an immersive haunt filled with jump scares and terrifying twists and turns.

Visitors who prefer family-friendly events can enjoy a graveyard scavenger hunt, walking through a graveyard filled with spooky props, scheduled daily from noon until 5 p.m. on the hour.

On the main stage, free shows will be playing throughout the day, culminating with the Spooooktacular Halloween Stage Show at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Highlights include magical escapes, psychic ghosts, and “The Head Chopper of Doom.” Prior to the main show, visitors may stop by at 2 p.m. for a children’s magic show hosted by the Master of Magic & Illusion.

Other sites to see at the park include master juggler Jack Skellington, roaming the park between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and JAM sessions provided by the Ford Theatre at 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, visitors can view and participate in Kalpulli Teotlalli Tepeyolotl (Aztec dance), while on Sunday, the Ballet Folklorico Ollin (a Mexican Folk dance) will be featured.

Other activities throughout the park include pumpkin decorating, carnival games, an obstacle course, a giant slide, face painting, a DIY costume station, a live DJ, food trucks and free giveaways.

Attendees can enter into the Marina del Rey Halloween photo contest by taking a photo on the festival grounds and uploading to social media with the hashtag #mdrhalloween. Categories include Best Ensemble, Best Kid Costumes, and Best Pet Costumes; winners will receive a Marina del Rey swag bag with a dining gift card to Tony P’s Dockside Grill.

This is the second annual Spooktacular festival, hosted by the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors. Prior to this, Marina del Dey featured “Harvest Days and Haunted Nights” in 2016 and 2017.

To register for free admission and download a copy of the liability waiver, interested parties can visit https://www.visitmarinadelrey.com/events/halloween-marina-spooktacular or call Marina del Rey’s Convention and Visitors’ Bureau at (424)-526-7900.

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