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Halloween Decorations, Parties, and Traditions

Update #2: Here is a glimpse of the best Halloween decorations in Los Angeles this year! Did I mention that they are free?

Update: Those amazing Halloween decorations in Brentwood seem to be returning this year! We drove by the block yesterday, and some of the pieces were outside being installed! We will definitely return next week to see the final display. Very excited!

Are there Halloween decorations, parties, or traditions you remember fondly from childhood? I definitely liked the candy. But growing up in Northeast Ohio meant that, more often than not, I wore a winter coat over my costume to go trick-or-treating. And I seem to recall feeling a lot of pressure over picking a clever character/idea.

By far, my favorite thing to do was to go Halloween decoration spotting with my parents. We’d pile into the car and drive through our local neighborhoods and out to the farms that would hold hayrides, treats, and loads of large-scale decorations. Seeing everyone’s creativity while not feeling pressured to get dressed up was so much fun. I stopped trick-or-treating in my early teens (I think), but we still went for those drives and farm trips.

Fast forward to my time here in Los Angeles. Halloween is a big deal here. The West Hollywood festival drew approximately 500,000 people to its streets pre-Covid. Think of it as a massive block party, complete with Halloween decorations, costumes, and parties. There are rumors that it won’t be happening in 2022 on the same scale, but there is plenty of fun planned. And while it exists on a smaller scale, other neighborhoods around the city would get into the action.

There really isn’t trick-or-treating in our area. Too many cars and too few local children for it to make sense, so the city encourages each zip code to host rec center parties for the kids.

But the lack of giving out candy does not mean we don’t have two traditions we love here in the city. The first tradition was visiting the massive Halloween decorations that homeowners in Brentwood would put up every year. The house didn’t do it last year, but I’m hoping they just needed a break and are making plans for this year. If so, I’ll give you a preview.

The second tradition we love is our annual Spooky Wine Club. Hosted by a close friend, who also runs our wine club, Spooky Wine Club has become a dearly loved tradition. Basically, it started as a challenge: Bring a bottle of wine with a truly spooky label. It didn’t have to be good wine – and often, it wasn’t. But we have come up with some fan favorites over the years (I brought Sinister Hand last year, and it was a hit). And this year, we are expanding to beer for hops lovers.  

Do you have favorite Halloween decorations, parties, or traditions? For more Halloween blogs, visit us here.