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2011 Halloween Survival Guide

The best of all things hallowed in LA

Between faulty costume tantrums and sugar-rush meltdowns, Halloween can indeed be scary for parents. So we rounded up some helpful tips to get you through the ‘gateway’ holiday—the one that kicks off the most harried, er, wonderful, time of the year.

Best Costumes. Okay, this is LA, home of Hollywood, where we take costuming pretty seriously. Unfortunately most of the studio costume houses (like Western Costume Company) only rent adult-sized getups. But Hollywood Toys & Costumes sells great Disney character costumes like Simba and Piglet as well as TV favorites like Blue’s Clues. They’ve even got a baby Elvis. It’s worth the schlep to Hollywood, as the store carries a wider selection than the website. We also like the Acorn Store in Santa Monica for beautifully hand-sewn costumes like fairies and pirates. 

Safest make-up. The Acorn Store in Santa Monica also sells non-toxic face crayons by Lyra that can do the job.

Healthiest treats. The Co-Opportunity in Santa Monica carries a great selection of organic lollipops and gummies. Or, you can always pick up some EnviroKidz Organic Chocolate Koala Mini Crispy Rice Bars or Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks at Whole Foods. For more non-junk-food ideas, visit Green Halloween.

Most festive neighborhoods. In the Valley, try Ashley Oaks in Encino; in Santa Monica, hit the neighborhood North of Montana; in Larchmont/Windsor Square, stick to S. Van Ness Avenue and S. Norton Avenue south of Beverly Boulevard and north of 3rd Street; and in Manhattan Beach, it’s all about Marine Avenue just east of Blanche Road and of course all the walking streets on the beach (16th to 20th, west of Highland).

Worthwhile event.
This year, the Pump Station & Nurtury is hosting its first-ever Great Green Halloween Play Date for kids 6 months to 5-years-old. The event will be held at the Santa Monica location on Sunday, October 30th from 3:30 to 6:30pm and will include live music, a monster play area, and a Tumblastic Trick or Treat trail ($25 per family, proceeds benefit Healthy Child, Healthy World).