The 13 Best Things to Do in L.A. in October

Your guide to the month’s can’t-miss events in and around L.A.

From stomping divots at a fancy polo match to tiptoeing over graves on a tour of Hollywood Forever, there’s a lot to do in L.A. this October.

L.A. Fest

October 4-14

The L.A. Phil’s centennial rolls onward, and we’re reaping the benefits of the birthday-palooza. See six performances at Disney Hall over a week and a half, including a world premiere gig by restaurateur-slash-DJ Moby and an evening of improvisational jazz with Herbie Hancock.

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

October 6

Throw on your fanciest frock to sip bubbly and stomp divots at Will Rogers State Historic Park. General admission gives you access to the champagne bars and open lawn seating; $450 gets you into the VIP Rosé Garden.

Modern Moves

October 6, 13, and 20

The Los Angeles Ballet kicks (and pirouettes and chassés) off its season with a trio of works from prolific choreographers George Balanchine, Aszure Barton, and Alejandro Cerrudo. Each of the pieces are performed in full in a show that will land first at Glendale’s Alex Theatre and then move to Royce Hall and Redondo Beach PAC.

Fuss & Feathers Supper Club

Thursdays, October 11-November 15

Over the summer, Hatchet Hall chef Brian Dunsmoor quietly launched a pop-up dinner series in the restaurant’s Family Room. The response (and the food) was so wildly phenomenal that he’s making it a regular thing. After a brief hiatus, the supper club returns mid-month with an all inclusive multicourse meal ($150; $225 if you want drink pairings) that utilizes seasonal ingredients like sunchokes, gourds, and Tehachapi grains.

Pumpkin Nights

October 12-November 4

Cut a gap-toothed grin into your own jack-o’-lantern, then cruise to the Pomona Fairplex to see some real knife skills. Master carvers have created eight immersive pumpkin lands filled with pumpkin pirate ships, pumpkin tunnels, and more. After you get the perfect ’gram, stay for pumpkin painting or a screening of Coco.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Tour 

October 13

You could meander the grounds of Hollywood Forever Cemetery on your own, but it’d be more informational (and less creepy) if you did it with the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. Cough up $20 and hop into a three-hour walking tour of the graveyard’s many famous headstones.

National Geographic Photo Ark 

October 13-January 13

Can’t make the trip to Spain’s famed parrot park? Nat Geo’s Joel Sartore has you covered. The photographer set out to shoot every species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, a quest that’s sent him to more than 40 countries in 25 years (so far). See more than 100 of his astounding prints on display at the Annenberg Space for Photography.

Haunted Arroyo

October 13 & 21

Kiddos who aren’t quite ready for Universal’s spine-tingling Halloween Horror Nights will do well at this whimsical Kidspace event, where they can slather up with glow-in-the-dark paint and channel Severus Snape during a potion workshop.

Dear Evan Hansen 

October 17-November 25

If any Broadway show has given Hamilton a run for its money, it’s Dear Evan Hansen, which finally makes it to the Ahmanson. The six-time Tony winner (Best Musical, Best Original Score) is revered for its portrayal of one high school boy’s anxiety, loneliness, and loss.

An Evening With Jill Soloway 

October 20

The creator of Transparent is back with a new memoir, She Wants It. As part of the Library Foundation’s always-stellar Aloud series, Soloway takes the stage at the Saban Media Center’s Wolf Theatre to discuss gender, sexuality, and the effects of the #MeToo movement.

The Other Art Fair 

Octobre 25-28

Saatchi Art premiered this art fair in L.A. last March, and the org is already back for more. Some 100 artists, from up-and-comers to superstars like Gary Baseman, showcase their work at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar.

Moonlight Forest 

October 26-January 6

There are the luminarias that line your driveway, and then there are the gargantuan lanterns on display at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Artists from China’s Sichuan province teamed with the Arcadia institution on a mile-long museum of massive silk creations, from twinkling dragons and pandas to radiant flowers. Book a timed ticket for the late afternoon, then grab dinner and drinks from the food trucks and bars on-site.

Robert Rauschenberg

October 28-June 9

When Angelenos hear the words “quarter mile,” it’s usually from the Google Maps lady. Visit LACMA, and you’ll hear it in the context of art, specifically Rauschenberg’s The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece. The 190-panel work—composed of everything from paint to traffic lights to cardboard—measures about 1,000 feet in length; it’s the first time the piece has been displayed in its entirety.

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