Shaena Engle Highlights Safe Ways to Get Your Scare On this COVID-19 Halloween

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This year, more than most, the world is a scary place. Most traditional terrifying mazes, cemetery tours, haunted houses and outdoor fall festivals are cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. From socially distanced pumpkin patches, free donuts, to drive-through events, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween safely. Here is a round up of ways to get your scare on this COVID-19 Halloween.

Stranger Things Drive Into Experience

Netflix, Fever, and Secret Cinema present Stranger Things: The Drive-Into Experience in downtown Los Angeles. Fans of the series can drive into Hawkins and time travel back to 1985 for a car enclosed experience. Included are real-life locations from the show and audio and visual effects. Recommended for ages 13+, October 28 – February 28, downtown LA location revealed to ticket holders, $59 and up, info at https://strangerthingsdriveinto.com.

The Bite L.A.: Halloween Food Crawl and Creature Safari

This one-hour drive-through food crawl in South El Monte includes a Flashlight Creature Safari where guests can look for lurking creatures, attend a virtual campfire with scary ghost stories and participate in a costume car contest from the safety of their vehicles. Attendees also receive tickets for eight small bites, a beverage and a dessert at stationed Bite Booths. October 8 – November 1, $105 – $220 per car depending on number of passengers, Legg Lake, 750 Santa Anita Avenue, South El Monte, info at https://www.thebitela.com.

Urban Legends Haunt

The Urban Legends Haunt arrives at the Orange County Events Center October 1st providing three immersive zones, live performances and scary storytelling.

Recommended for ages ten and over, $59.99 and up with $79.99 VIP tickets granting guests exclusive VIP lanes, an extra immersive experience and a photo op, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, info at https://urbanlegenshaunt.com.

Haunt’oween LA

This kid-friendly, non-scary adventure includes social-shareable environments, video ops and interactivity options for kids of all ages. Located in Woodland Hills, Haunt’oween includes two streets of safe trick or treating, a Jack-O-Lantern tunnel with more than 1,000 pumpkins, mini maze routes with spider webs and headless horsemen and an interactive pumpkin patch. $70 per car and up, October 9 – 31, 6100 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Woodland Hills, https://www.hauntoweenla.com.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

This annual Halloween themed hayride has been moved from Griffith Park to San Dimas and reimagined into a drive up experience. Guests can cruise down “All Hallows Lane” to experience a scary show on a 40-foot screen, live characters and elements of both a drive-thru and drive-in experience, $49.99 – $199.99, September 25 – November 1, Bonelli Regional Park, 120 Via Verde Drive, San Dimas, https://www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com.

Mr. Jack O’Lanterns Pumpkin Patch

With two California locations to choose from, families can pick out a pumpkin in person, order online for delivery or curbside pickup and find decorating kits and tools for creating Halloween jack-o-lantern’s. Open October 3 – 31, free, 1841 N. Highland Avenue in Hollywood and 6710 La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla, https://www.mrjackolanternspumpkins.com.

Free Donuts at Randy’s Donuts on October 31

Randy’s Donuts is celebrating Halloween by offering families free candy topped Randy’s Rounds for every child age 15 and under, while supplies last. Costumes optional, Randy’s Donuts locations in El Segundo, Century City, Pasadena, Inglewood and Downey, https://randysdonuts.com.

Trick or Treat Goodies

Although Halloween trick-or-treating is looking different this year, Kinder Joy, CRUNCH, Butterfinger and Baby Ruth have created new packaging and Halloween themed glow in the dark characters that double as toys, Kinder Joy Spooky Eggs are $1.89 each and $6.49 for a 4-pack; CRUNCH, Butterfinger and Baby Ruth Treats range from $3.99 per bag to $19.99, at local grocery stores.

Shaena Engle can be contacted for restaurant, entertainment and lifestyle reviews at shaena2@aol.com.

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Shaena Engle
Shaena Engle is a food, lifestyle and travel writer for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Pasadena magazine, AOL, The Daily Meal, The San Diego Union Tribune and PokerPro magazine. She has interviewed top chefs including Lidia Bastianich, Michael Chiarello, Hubert Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jose Andres, and many others. She has authored three books, The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Las Vegas (Globe Pequot Press), The Best Places to Kiss in Southern California (Beginning Press, a romantic travel guide) and Silver Linings: Triumphs of The Chronically Ill and Physically Challenged (Prometheus Books).  She is also an amateur magician and often writes on gambling, poker and magical happenings.  She also is a freelance consultant on restaurant, food, travel and hospitality public relations and marketing efforts.
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