Culture, Fun Stuff, Lifestyle

What It’s Like to Trick-or-Treat By Car At Haunt’OWeen

October 12, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah
Haunt’OWeen. Photo by Christina Champlin

The County Department of Public Health declared trick-or-treating a “not recommended” activity, as you never know who will answer the door, if they’ll be wearing a face covering, or if they’re sick. Thus, many families are looking for alternatives this year, including collecting candy from the safety of their vehicles. We checked out Haunt’OWeen, a drive-thru in Woodland Hills, to see if it could be done. 

Haunt’OWeen is the best example of a drive-thru haunt we’ve seen yet. Upon arrival, you’ll drive through a cute tunnel full of plastic jack-o-lantern lights before weaving through a pumpkin patch where pumpkins are arranged into family-friendly, punny displays. At one point, you’ll come across a two-man band singing seasonally appropriate songs. At the end of this section, an employee will place a pumpkin in your trunk so you have something to carve at home. 

Haunt'O'Ween drive thru pumpkin tunnel
Haunt’OWeen drive thru pumpkin tunnel. Photo by Christina Champlin

From the pumpkins, guests wind through several tableaus of skeletons and spooky, yet not gory decor. Guests stop at an in-car photo booth before eventually coming to the best part: trick-or-treating. 

There are 10 house facades, each offering a different theme and character. There’s an elf in front of a Christmas home and a Little Red Riding Hood in a checkered dress. There’s an alien who warns you to save your planet before it’s too late and a bunny that hops her way to your car. One house is decked out for Dia de Los Muertos, while another nods to HBO Max’s upcoming fantasy film The Witches. (These witches, of course, hate children, which is why it’s important to stay in your car.)

Haunt’OWeen. Photo by Christina Champlin

To adhere to social distancing, each character will approach your car with a basket attached to a very long stick. They’ll wear their mask and you’ll wear yours. They’ll put the basket through your car window and dump several pieces of individually-wrapped candy into your lap, or, if you’ve prepared, a waiting bucket. 

Now, this is the good stuff kind of candy. Expect Reese’s Cups, Take5, Butterfingers, Kit-Kats, ring pops, and Hershey’s chocolates. You may also get a packet of raisins or two. Each basket contains about a half-dozen items, meaning you’re in for a lot of candy by the time you’ve hit the last house of the night. 

At a price point of $70 per car (with a maximum of eight passengers), Haunt’OWeen becomes a better deal the more children (or adult candy lovers) you have in your household. That price includes the experience, one pumpkin per car, plus all the candy. 

Haunt’O’Ween. Photo by Christina Champlin

There are a few other drive-thru experiences in the L.A. area, including Haunted Hayride, The Bite LA, and the Stranger Things Drive-Into Experience. Find more info about Haunt’OWeen here.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendlier alternative:

You can log into the NHMLA’s Slime Lab on October 24 at 3 p.m. The program features a spider Q&A, slimy experiments, creepy lectures, and a chance to win prizes. For nonmembers, tickets are a $25 donation. 

The City of San Marino is offering a free scavenger hunt. Download a map here, then walk around town to find six inflatable monsters. Bring your completed scavenger hunt to the Recreation Department on October 30 between 2-7 p.m. for a free treat bag.

All Randy’s Donuts locations will offer a free donut to children 15 and under on Halloween while supplies last.