Halloween parties are your best excuse to dress provocatively, drink excessively and be (or go home with) someone else for a night. After you've got in a few scares at a haunted house, it's time for more of a dance party vibe. So hit up a costume stop, get your posse together, and take your pick from these top Halloween parties in Los Angeles.
RECOMMENDED: See more in our guide to Halloween in LA
The best Halloween parties in 2016
Find a most mysterious mask to wear to this sophisticated soiree at Clifton's Cafeteria. Come to the black tie and masked fete ready for champagne and an open bar, with a DJ set from Devendra Banhart and an acoustic set from the Cold War Kids. Though ticket prices look scary, proceeds benefit UNICEF’s global child protection programs and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's End Trafficking project.
One of the city's hottest yearly dance parties, and definitely one of the best gay Halloween events (second only to the WeHo parade), Halloweenie will feature a whole slew of DJs. The event's annual beneficiary is the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, so expect to see the sweet-voiced members in attendance. (Also, we have to point out that the hosts of Halloweenie, Fred Arens and Jason Duguay, are named Fred and Jason... it's almost too perfect.)
Billed as "the only Halloween party in the Valley" (we guess they mean the only one that matters?), this Federal Bar bash promises a performance on its main stage every half hour. Prizes will be given out throughout the night for best/sexiest/funniest/etc. costume (and as the party hosts get more drunk, the prizes will flow more freely). Even if you're not gunning for free stuff, come dressed up according to this year's theme: Heroes vs. Villians.
The Echoplex presents a boozy, costumed dance party with two DJs, a Midnight Mashup Show, go-go dancing from R.A.I.D. (Random Acts of Irreverent Dance) and a Halloween photo booth. There's a costume contest at midnight, with $200 first prizes for the best group, mashup and overall costumes. Be one of the first 200 to arrive and receive a free mashup CD—it's the perfect music for the ADD generation, with a spooky Halloween twist.
Don your best weller-of-the-night attire as Ace Hotel presents its annual Halloween bash, with DJs, drinks and dark arts inside the hotel's swanky gothic theater and lobby. Show up early for Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, a screening of the 1922 F.W. Murnau film with a live score from the LA Opera's chamber orchestra.
See photos from Ace Hotel's 2015 Halloween bash.
This is the largest Halloween street party in the world, and there's really no better place to be on October 31. Sure, the crowd is huge (like, a half-million people huge) and a bit belligerent, but the amazing display of costumes and general merry-making spirit deem it at least a worthy stop, if not your main destination for the evening. There will be dancing, drinking and many mid-parade costume contests. Even if you don't plan on entering one, it's best to still come dressed to the nines—no one likes a party pooper in jeans and a T-shirt. Tip: Try to be around for the crowning of the honorary "Queen of the Carnival," and expect lots of surprises; MTV wowed the crowd a couple of years back with a pop-up Robyn concert.
See photos from the 2015 West Hollywood Costume Carnaval.
Spend the start of Halloween weekend underground, just a little closer to the horrors below the earth, at the Edison. The club's La Nuit de Diable will feature brassy ensemble the Urban Renewal Project, stilt walkers, tarot readers plus more artists and an "extraordinary selection of Attractions Diaboliques." Like most other parties at the Edison, we're expecting an old-timey but sexy subterranean shindig. It's a good bet for the price as well—most other parties will run you closer to $100 for the night, while the Edison is charging considerably less than that at the door. Come back on Halloween night to do the whole thing over again at Cabaret de L'Enfer.
For the hotel's annual Halloween bash—spanning the entire property, from ballroom to pool—music will be provided by resident DJs and Big Sean. The Roosevelt DJs know how to get even the most lackadaisical of starlets up and dancing. The hotel will be decked out in Halloween get-up (think dungeons and ancient crypts), of course, and its reputation for ghostly sightings is likely to give it a few extra creepy plus points.
Enter another world this Halloween with a Labyrinth-inspired ball at the Mondrian Hotel's Skybar. On October 29 and 30, the rooftop bar will transform into scenes from the cult classic, decorated in lace, pearls and dripping candelabras. On Saturday, costumed guests will be able to enjoy music from Skybar residents Diallo and Audiomoe, while Sunday will feature a performance from The Band Who Fell To Earth, a David Bowie cover band.
Spend Halloween night at a swanky Westside soirée as 1,000 guests swoop in on the Viceroy Santa Monica. The boutique hotel has tapped Three Day Rule to deck out the entire property with haunted decor—i.e. dripping blood in the lobby, ew—drinks and DJs. Circulate between two dance floors and stick around for a prize-filled costume contest. Costumes are mandatory and though the party is open to everyone, it's particularly geared toward singles.