21 free things to do in Los Angeles this October 2019

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano
Editor, Los Angeles & Western USA
Pasadena City Hall
Photograph: JimDonnellyPhoto/WikimediaPasadena City Hall.

You’ve made plans to go apple picking and picked up haunted house tickets, but there are far more free things to do in October before Halloween arrives. From a corgi meet-up to a free museum night, these are the best ways to make the most of your month without breaking into your wallet.

Oct 4
Metro Art presents Song of the Sea; Union Station

Kick off Union Station’s animated film screening series with the stunningly beautiful Irish adventure flick.

Oct 5–Nov 3
CURRENT: LA FOOD; Various locations

Scope out art installations and around 75 events in public parks and neighborhoods during this food-inspired public art triennial.

Oct 5, 12, 19, 25
Día de Los Muertos Free Community Arts Workshops; Self Help Graphics & Art

In the lead up to its Boyle Heights celebration in November, Self Help hosts workshops every Saturday to create traditional crafts for the dead.

Oct 5–Dec 29
“W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine”; Annenberg Space for Photography

The latest challenging exhibition from the Annenberg Space examines the real and imagined barriers that have separated societies and ideas for centuries, from the Roman Empire to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Oct 6
CicLAvia: Heart of L.A.; Various locations

Pedal your way through Westlake, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights and DTLA.

Oct 8–Jan 12
“Manet and Modern Beauty”; Getty Center

This exhibition examines Édouard Manet’s lesser-known late-career work, with more than 90 paintings and drawings of posed portraits, suburban gardens and Parisian cafes.

Oct 11
ArtNight Pasadena; Pasadena

Explore Pasadena’s underrated bounty of museums and cultural spaces with pop-up performances across the city as well as free shuttle buses and admission to local institutions.

Oct 12, 13
Community Marathon Weekend; La Brea Tar Pits

See performances from six standout community organizations, staged at the Second Home Serpentine Pavilion.

Oct 12, 13
Fall Festival; The Original Farmers Market

Celebrate the harvest season with carnival games, tractor pulls and a petting zoo.

Oct 13
Octubrefest at Smorgasburg; ROW DTLA

Trade bratwurst for chorizo and steins of beer for Tajin-rimmed micheladas at Smorgasburg’s Mexican take on Oktoberfest.

Oct 19
P-22 Day Festival; Shane’s Inspiration in Griffith Park

Trace the steps of Griffith Park’s resident mountain lion during ranger walks, wildlife camera workshops and a VR river crossing.

Oct 19, 20
Pumpkin Festival; Brookside Park

Explore a petting zoo, pony rides, bounce castles, carnival games and seasonal crafts at this Pasadena pumpkin patch and costume parade.

Oct 20
Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue Fall Festival; Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue

There’s a guinea pig rescue in Chatsworth—who knew?—and they’re hosting a fall festival with guinea pig adoptions, contests and races, plus tours of the ranch and vegan food and drinks for sale.

Oct 26
Fall Corgi Beach Day; Huntington Dog Beach

Hit the beach with fellow devoted dog owners at this adorable corgi meet-up.

Oct 26–Nov 3
Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos; Grand Park

Grand Park kicks of its Day of the Dead celebrations with a traditional Noche de Ofrenda, followed by nine days of altars on display (and a free concert on November 1 with Empress Of, San Cha and Ceci Bastida).

Oct 27
Halloween at “Maliboo” Country Mart; Malibu Country Mart

Embrace the candy-loving holiday and bring out the kiddos to stroll through the beach town’s outdoor shopping center and trick-or-treat store-to-store in your best costume.

Oct 31
West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval; West Hollywood

Dance and drink your way through West Hollywood with thousands of other (sometimes scantily) costumed revelers.

Oct 31, Nov 1
The Haunted Shack; Torrance

This homegrown haunt is low on gore but filled with hand-built props and effects.

Through Nov 24
Second Home Serpentine Pavilion; La Brea Tar Pits

A criss-cross of airy rainbow tunnels have made their home at the La Brea Tar Pits through November.

Free concerts; Various locations

Listen to some tunes without breaking the bank with free shows at the Echo, the Satellite, Grand Park and more.

Free museum days; Various locations

Make the most of free days at LACMA, the Natural History Museum and more, plus always-free museums like the Hammer, Getty and Broad.

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