OC Halloween Events

Orange County
Halloween Celebrations

Halloween parties, Fall Festivals and seasonal parades!

** Due to possible last minute changes to times & locations to the events below, we encourage you to click on the link of the event holder to get the most updated information.

Aliso Viejo Anaheim
Brea Buena Park
Costa Mesa
Cypress Dana Point
Fullerton Garden Grove
Huntington Beach Irvine
Laguna Hills Laguna Niguel
La Habra Lake Forest
La Palma Los Alamitos
Newport Beach Orange
San Juan Capistrano
Santa Ana Stanton
Silverado / Trabuco Canyon
Villa Park Westminster
– Related Sections –
Costume Rentals Halloween Party Planning
ALISO VIEJOHalloween Fair and Haunted HouseSoka University will have booths for children, haunted house for young teens, games, activities and performances for all to enjoy!

The Haunted House will be held on the first floor crypt of the SUA Recreation Center and the entrancing fee will be $5 at the doomsday door. The suggested age for this dark journey with moving monsters is 10 years old and up. Proceeds benefit the student clubs at Soka University.

Soka University, Recreation Center
1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo


ANAHEIMAnaheim Fall Festival & Halloween Parade
2014 details coming!
The Halloween Parade has been an Anaheim tradition since 1924, when baseball legend Babe Ruth was honored as the Grand Marshal of the celebration.

The Fall Festival features game and food booths, live entertainment, craft fair, haunted house, pumpkin patch, a children’s costume contest and trick-or-treating. Food and craft booths are available for a nominal fee.

Most events are held in Downtown Anaheim, at the Center Street Promenade

(714) 999-3456

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Halloween Treat-or-Treating at Anaheim Town Square
2014 details coming!

FREE Event! Activities include: Trick-or Treating, Pumpkin Decorating, Face Painter, Train Ride, a Costume Contest and More! Plus, your favorite stores will be passing out treats and special offers. Look for the participating merchants with pumpkin window clings & balloons!

Anaheim Town Square
2180 East Lincoln Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92806


BREAKidz Block Party
October 31
North Orange County’s Largest Free Halloween Alternative Event at Downtown Brea.Presented by The Cause Community Church featuring face painting, pony rides, games, bounce house, petting zoo,rock climbing wall, raffles, prizes, entertainment and free candy.

Brea Downtown
E Birch St and S Brea Blvd
Brea, CA 92821

BUENA PARKPirate’s Dinner Adventure presents “VAMPIRATE’S”
2014 details coming!
Care to join the VamPirates…. As Dinner?Back by popular demand, Pirate’s Dinner Adventure’s Halloween-themed show, “VamPirate’s” will return this October! Come celebrate at Treasure Bay’s Annual Masquerade Ball with vampire hunters Randolph & Kate. They are there to forewarn the costume-clad guests of the dangers lurking in the haunted Secret Cove. Unfortunately, their cries of despair go unheard, as Captain Sebastian the Black and his horde of Vampire Pirates crash the Ball and take Randolph and Kate captive. The VamPirates take them aboard their ghostly ship, where they will prepare them as their midnight snack! Will Randolph and Kate escape the perils of the VamPirates appetite? Find out this October at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure. Ghouls and ghosts of all ages are encouraged to dress up in costume and participate in the costume contest, where prizes will be awarded.

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
7600 Beach Blvd
Buena Park CA, 90620

For reservations and showtimes, please call 714-690-147 or toll free 866-439-AHOY.

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Knotts Scary Farm Halloween Haunt
September – November
select nights

Knott’s professional “scare-masters” transform the old Berry Farm into Knott’s Scary Farm for another year of the world’s first, biggest and most famous theme park Halloween event! Every year all 160-acres of Knott’s Berry Farm are transformed into your worst nightmare with themed mazes, live shows, and scare zones featuring hundreds of free-roaming monsters.

2013 brings five new mazes to an already extensive variety of horrific attractions and Elvira makes her return in an all-new stage show.

Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park CA, 90620

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Knotts Berry Farm Camp Spooky
Weekends In October

Knott’s Berry Farm invites kids ages 3-11 to dress to impress in all their Halloween finery and come to ‘Snoopy’s Costume Party’ in Camp Snoopy. This daytime, non-scare celebration of cheer rather than fear is the social event of the season with shows, activities and of course, trick or treating.

Knott’s Berry Farm
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park CA, 90620

COSTA MESAPacific Symphony ‘Sherlock Holmes Halloween’
October 25, 2014
10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m

Magical, mysterious music gets you in the Halloween mood as you help Sherlock Holmes solve the Mystery of the Haunted Violin! Includes instantly recognizable selections from Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Macabre,” Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” and more! Don’t forget to wear your costume.

Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 755-5799

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Annual Trick or Treat Festival
2014 details coming!

The Orange County Market Place celebrates the Halloween season with its 16th Annual Trick or Treat Festival & Halloween Hearse Show featuring a Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration with Azteca and folklorico dancing, artisans and more. Families can also enjoy hearses on display, sugar skull painting for children, strolling entertainment and more.

Children in costume can enjoy trick-or-treating from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Trick or Treat Festival and most activities are free with Orange County Market Place admission.

Orange County Market Place/OC Fair & Event Center Lot A
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA

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Halloween Foodtacular
2014 details coming!

Food Truck Fare will get spooky at the Halloween Foodtacular with a variety of gourmet food trucks, ghoulish tunes, cash bar with adult “spirits,” truck-to-truck trick-or-treating for the kids, and more. Family-friendly costumed encouraged.

Admission & Parking is Free

OC Fair & Event Center
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA

CYPRESSCity of Cypress Halloween Carnival
October 31, 2014
6:00 – 9:00pm
Family Games, Entertainment and Trick or Treat! Food will be sold for an additional cost at the event 

Cypress Community Center
5700 Orange Ave


DANA POINTDoheny State Beach Halloween Haunt
October 25, 2014
Don’t miss out on Doheny’s most festive event of the year! Bring your family and friends to celebrate Halloween in a fun and safe environment with good ole fashioned spookiness, arts and crafts, a fun zone, and an array of educational booths.There is no charge for admission; however, a donation of one non-perishable per person is greatly appreciated. Don’t’ forget to dress up those little ones!

Doheny State Beach, picnic sites A and B.



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Halloween Kids Boo Cruise
2014 details coming!

The haunted vessel, Sum Fun, will be cruising the harbor ever 20 minutes. This event is fun for the whole family and there will be a costume contest on every cruise! Be sure to dressed in your best Halloween attire! Be sure to get here early as this is a really popular event!

There is a $5 donation for each person (no donation for children 1 and under) with all proceeds to benefit Us Too Gymnastics and Community Autism NOW

Dana Wharf Sportfishing / Dana Point Harbor
34675 Golden Lantern
Dana Point


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Halloween Spooktacular & Moonlight Movie
October 24, 2014
4:30 – 9 pm

At 4:30 pm the City of Dana Point will be hosting spooky fun at Lantern Bay Park. Halloween Carnival Games, Halloween Cupcake Decorating & Crafts, costume parade and more!

The night ends with the Moonlight Movie, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone (PG) beginning at 6:30pm – Free popcorn and treats

Lantern Bay Park
25111 Park Lantern Road
Dana Point, California 92629


FULLERTONHaunted Fullerton Walking Tours
September 17 through November 6, 2014
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.
Did you know Fullerton is one of the most haunted cities around? Ghosts are lurking at every corner. Take this tour and find out what businesses have pots and pans flying around after hours, what famous deceased Fullertonian makes an “appearance” now and then, enjoy some of Fullerton’s history. These tours are a celebration of local legend while sharing stories of another facet of Fullerton’s history, particularly that of the downtown.“Ghost hunters” should be prepared to walk approximately 1.5 miles (lasting about 2 ½ hours), and the tours will include climbing stairs. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a sense of humor with them. The tour is not recommended for children under 13. Cost is $15 for museum members and $18 for the general public (Halloween night slightly higher).

Meet at Fullerton Museum

(714) 738-6545
It’s strongly advised to get your registrations in early


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Night of the Living Dead
October 3 – November 1, 2014

The zombie classic that started it all! A true cult classic – and one of the scariest movies of all time. The dead are walking, and hunger for human flesh. A group of panicked survivors are barricaded in a deserted farmhouse while the army of flesh-eating zombies hovers outside their door. This Halloween experience the bone-chilling terror on STAGE!

Warning – Graphic Violence

Maverick Theatre
110 E. Walnut



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Haunted Garden at the Arboretum
2014 details coming!

Every year the Fullerton Arboretum transforms their garden into a haven for all that goes bump in the night. But don’t worry, their guides will take you safely through the treacherous paths that wind through the dark forest the evil spirits call home.

Tours through the garden begin at 6:30 pm both nights and run until the last tour leaves at 8:00. The end of the tour features a Haunter’s Ball, where there are games and activities for those lucky enough to make it through the garden. Pre-paid Ticket Pricing: Adults and Teens $12, Children under 12, $6. Prices at the gate will be higher.

Fullerton Arboretum
1900 Associated Road
Fullerton, CA


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Temple Baptist Church’s Fall Festival
2014 details coming!

Wear your costumes for our parade and contest. Play Games for candy and Prizes. Adults make you best homemade chili for our annual Chili Cook Off!!

1601 W. Malvern Avenue
Fullerton, CA.


GARDEN GROVEJack O’Lantern Jamboree
Friday, October 24, 2014
Sponsored by the city’s Community Services Department , the event will feature games, crafts, a costume parade, a haunted house, a bounce house and more. Snacks will be a available for purchase.Must buy tickets before this event! – Admission is $8 per person; children 2 and under are free. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Atlantis Play Center
13630 Atlantis Way
Garden Grove, CA 92844


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2014 details coming!

King of Kings Lutheran Church is hosted a Halloween event with games and meal. Kids come in costume and there will be photo opportunities.

King of Kings Lutheran Church and School
13431 Newhope St
Garden Grove, CA 92843


HUNTINGTON BEACHMain Street Halloween Fest
October 31, 2014
For children of all ages, this annual Halloween celebration comes courtesy of the Downtown Business Improvement District. The spooky festivities include a moon bounce, petting zoo, Ferris wheel, pumpkin carving, costume contests and more.LOCATION:
Downtown Huntington Beach
Main Street and 5th Street by Pacific Coast Highway

(714) 536-8300

Select nights starting October 17
An elaborate yard display in Irvine, BOOT HILL rises from the fog for it’s 14th year to inhabit the residence at 16 Goldenrod. The unearthly spirits from the old west town of Bridgewood will materialize for NINE nights, transforming the residence at 16 Goldenrod into the old church and cemetary that once occupied the land. Come if you dare…but beware the ghost of Jedediah Smith, he has been known to roam through the decaying grounds of Boot Hill.Free to all, donations are accepted with proceeds going to CHOC, Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

16 Goldenrod
Irvine, CA



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Spooktacular Saturdays
October 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2014

Four days of family fun and entertainment! Each Saturday, families can enjoy traditional fall festivities at the Orange County Great Park. Festivities will include kids crafts, petting zoo, carnival games, Harvest Walk, entertainment, gourmet food trucks and much more.

The Great Park
5 Freeway and Sand Canyon

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Fall Fest Hosted by Compass Bible Church
October 31

For the past 9 years, FALL FEST has become a favorite event for families to enjoy on Halloween night.

Costumes are welcomed…and encouraged. But please, for the sake of our younger guests NO SCARY COSTUMES.

ALL FREE family event

Compass Bible Church
150 Columbia in Aliso Viejo – There will be PLENTY OF PARKING and an event drop off zone available onsite.

October 3 – November 1, 2014
Select days, please check their website calendar
New location – The Empty Grave has moved from it’s Anaheim location to Laguna Hills Mall. This haunted attraction is located a few block from Disneyland with 50,000 square feet of terror! Featuring state of the art special effects, live actors and animatronics. Online tickets available.
23400 Laguna Hills Mall
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
October 23-25, 2014
Zombie’s have taken over the Crown Valley Community Park! Small groups will be escorted by our trained, “Zombie Squad” to experience the Haunted Trails, tents and mazes. Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you weave through the zombie infestation areas and experience the mayhem and madness! At the end of the event you will be checked out at the “infection check station” to safely leave the event.This is a VERY SCARY event and not recommended for children under 8 years of age. $12 per entrance

Crown Valley Community Park
29751 Crown Valley Parkway
Laguna Niguel, Location at the entrance to the Community Park on the emergency road.

949-362-4351 x 1

LA HABRAChildren’s Museum Mini Monsters Bash
October 31, 2014
Bring your little goblin for a fun and festive Halloween morning! There will be crafts, games, stories and a costume parade!Free to CMLH Members and visitors with paid admission.

Children’s Museum at La Habra
301 South Euclid Street
La Habra

Please call 562-905-9793 for reservations

LAKE FORESTHaunt at Heritage Hill
2014 details coming!
Be the first to dare tour the haunted schoolhouse. Are you brave enough to experience “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and the all new “La Carnivora” scream zones? There will also be a DJ, dancing and a special movie screening of the Universal classic horror film “Dracula” starring the legendary Bela Lugosi. Celebrate the legacy of Bela Lugosi with Bela Lugosi Jr. who will be at the event signing autographs and answering questions.Recommended for 13 years and older.

Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest, CA


LA PALMAHalloween Carnival
Friday, October 31, 2014
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
This yearly spooktacular event features a fabulous COSTUME CONTEST for ghouls and boys with special prizes in each age division! This year’s Halloween spookfest will feature CARNIVAL GAMES, a “GOBLIN GULCH” for children under the age of 5, and a haunted area.Free event. This event will be canceled in the event of rain.

Central Park
La Palma

For more information, please call the La Palma Recreation and Community Services Department at (714) 690-3350.

LOS ALAMITOSShocktoberfest
October 24, 25, 26 & 31, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
For the first time ever, the Youth Center partnering with St.Isidore Historical Plaza on bringing this fun annual event to our community. Join us for Oktoberfest party at St. Isidore Plaza with incredibly scary Haunted House. Experience Halloween like never before! Haunted plaza, costume contests, German music, live bands, amazing vendors, bratwursts, pretzels, kids and adult games, photo memories, fun atmosphere and prizes!$5.00 small maze, $10.00 large maze ($12 for both!)

St. Isidore Historical Plaza
10961 Reagan Street
Los Alamitos, CA

(562) 430-1073

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Trunk or Treat
2014 details coming!

The Los Alamitos Recreation & Community Services Department is proud to bring back the second annual Trunk-or-Treat event. Held at Little Cottonwood Park this year, the FREE event will offer trunk-or-treating, treasure hunting, games, costume contests and more! Be sure to dress in your Halloween best and bring a bag for all of your loot!

Cost: FREE (food available for purchase)

Little Cottonwood Park
4000 Farquhar Ave
Los Alamitos CA 90720


NEWPORT BEACHFamily Fright Zone Friday
2014 details coming!
Ghostly creatures take to fright, on this spooky family Fun Zone night. Join us for a BOOtiful evening at our 2nd Annual Halloween event. Experience costumes, pumpkins and candy, Oh My! Trick-or-treat at the Fun Zone as witches, wizards and ghosts come to life on the waterfront. Enjoy spooky storytelling, kooky crafts, face painting, magic shows and live entertainment for the entire family.Friends of Frankenstein: Dress is your favorite costume and march in our Howlin’ Halloween Costume Parade. Participate in the Monster Mash, the Mummy Wrap and other Halloween activities. No tricks, just treats!

All activities are FREE for Members or $5 for Non-Members.

600 East Bay Avenue
Newport Beach, CA, 92661

For details about this spooktacular event visitwww.explorocean.org or call (949) 675-8915!

ORANGEIrvine Park Railroad – Pumpkin Patch
Saturday, September 20 – October 31, 2014
Irvine Park Railroad’s 9th annual pumpkin patch is fun for the entire family! The pumpkin patch opens daily at 10:00 am beginning September 20th through October 31st. Activities include train rides, hay rides, a haunted house, a hay maze, pony rides, a moon bounce, panning for gold, face painting, picture stands, the Orange County Zoo, and a lot more. Admission into the pumpkin patch is free. Prices for all other activities vary. Additional activities inside of the park include Irvine Park Rentals’ paddle boats and Wheel Fun Rentals® bikes (single surrey bikes, deuce coupes, choppers, beach cruises and more), the Orange County Zoo and pony rides. School and group discounts available for Pumpkin Patch tours.LOCATION:
Irvine Park Railroad
1 Irvine Park Road, Orange


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Bats, Cats & Spiders – Halloween Toddler Program
October 3, 8 & 15, 2014

Learn about creatures that are associated with Halloween! Class includes hands-on learning, fun, spooky crafts, and meeting zoo animals up close.

Event Fee: $5.00 (includes ONE parent)
Parking Fee: Irvine Park entry fee is $3 per car weekdays & $5 per car weekends Age: 3-4 years old

Orange County Zoo
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

Special Instructions: PHONE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Call Marcy Crede-Booth, Education Coordinator at (714) 973-6846. Additional parents/siblings/family/friends must pay admission fee to enter zoo. Please note spaces fill quickly for toddler classes.

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Treats in the Streets
Thursday, October 30, 2014
4-7 p.m.

The streets surrounding the Old Towne Plaza are closed off to traffic and Old Towne merchants decorate their shops and local non-profit groups provide delicious food items and tasty treats for a nominal charge.

Fun activities include games, trick or treating, a costume parade, and entertainment for participants of all ages. (Parents please leave masks and pets at home)

Old Towne Orange Plaza Area
Chapman Ave. & Glassell

Orange Special Event Hotline (714) 744-7293


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Halloween Zoo-tacular!
October 25, 2014

Fun activities include trick-or-treating (kids ages 12 & under), spooky crafts, a scavenger hunt (kids ages 12 & under), and face painting! See the zoo animals receive treat filled pumpkins throughout the day! First 100 children (ages 12 & under) in costume receive a special gift!

Free with zoo admission ($2 per person, ages 2 & under free) Parking Fee: Irvine Park entry $5 per vehicle

Orange County Zoo
1 Irvine Park Road
Orange, CA 92869

(714) 973-6847

2014 details coming!
Get in the spirit of Halloween by joining the Historical Society Walking Tour Guides on a spooky walking tour of Los Rios Street, the oldest residential neighborhood in California. Be prepared for creepy tales of big black dogs, strange monks who have lost their heads, ghostly tales about a lady in white and other goings on.Cost: $5.00 adults $3.00 children. Reservations are required – it’s best to make them as soon as possible since these tours fill up. Meet and pay at the O’Neill Museum.

O’Neill Museum
31831 Los Rios Street

Reservations are required and can be made by calling

SANTA ANADiscovery CubePresents: Spooky Science
October 4, 2014 – November 2, 2014
Creepy crawlers, pumpkins, and friendly spooks are all making their way to Discovery Cubefor Spooky Science this October. Join us as we explore pumpkins of all sizes, shapes and colors and investigate the seeds inside them. Make your own slime, explore a spooky 3-D maze, check out spiders of all sizes and colors, and much more! Even the youngest of goblins will enjoy spooky fun while learning about shapes as they create their own jack-o-lanterns out of felt.LOCATION:
Discovery Cube
2500 N. Main St.
Santa Ana, CA 92705


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BOO at the Zoo
October 18, 19, 25, 26 & 30, 2014
5:30 – 8 pm

This family-friendly costumed extravaganza will bring FUN, SAFE, trick-or-treating in a “Merry not Scary” Zoo atmosphere, with educational animal presentations, storytelling, and entertainment throughout the evening, with a grand finale costume parade!

For the older kids, there’s also “Teen Scream,” a haunted house filled with thrills and chills. This ghoulish attraction has a separate entrance, but is included with the price of admission.

$14/person (only $7/Member) ages 2 & up children under 2 free. online tickets available

Santa Ana Zoo
1801 E. Chestnut Ave



Halloween Fun with Family and Friends
October 25, 2014
12-4 p.m

Join the fun as the annual Halloween Fun with Family and Friends is conducted the Saturday prior to Halloween. This special event is open to ghosts and goblins of all ages and will feature games, DJ entertainment, costume contests, non-profit food booths and a howling good time for everyone. Be sure to bring your trick-or-treat bag!

Stanton Park
7800 Katella Avenue

For additional information please call 714-890-4270


Haunted Tales from the Shadows of Old Saddleback
2014 details coming!

Some say that Black Star Canyon is haunted. Ghost hunters wander up the canyon at night searching for tribal villagers, bandits, homesteaders, and other forgotten figures of the past. Many of the legendary tales about the Santa Ana Mountains were compiled into Shadows of Old Saddleback, a book published in 1931. Dress up like a ghost from old California and creep along with us into the dark hollows of Black Star Canyon. Hear stories about strange happenings and decide for yourself if they are true. Search for elusive apparitions and nocturnal wildlife. We will gather in front of the giant sandstone formation at the end of Black Star Canyon Road at 5:45PM. At 6PM. Some stories may be inappropriate for younger audiences.

For 9 years and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult or legal guardian.

Black Star Canyon, Black Star Canyon Rd.
Silverado, CA 92676.

Please check their website for RSVP information and special instructions to this event.

TUSTINHalloween Howl
October 31
Costume contests, family entertainment, carnival games, prizes and candy. Hosted by City of Tustin Parks & RecreationLOCATION:
Columbus Tustin Activity Center
17522 Beneta Way (Corner of Irvine Blvd & Prospect)

(714) 573-3326

VILLA PARKHalloween Fest
2014 details coming!
The night before Halloween, the VP Towne Center suddenly becomes the happy haunting grounds for young ghosts, goblins, a few pirates, some skeletons, and lots of princesses who have escaped from their local castles.Costumed children will have the opportunity to visit local merchants for treats throughout the Towne Centre.

Villa Park Towne Centre

(714) 998-1500

WESTMINSTERThe Pumpkin Factory at Westminster Mall
2014 details coming!
Visit the Pumpkin Factory for all your pumpkin needs! Check ou the HUGE selection of pumpkins if all shapes and sizes while the kids play the carnival games, rides, get your face painted, and visit the petting zoo!LOCATION:
Westminster Mall

(714) 483-9211

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Halloween Happening at the Mall
October 31

Join the City of Westminster and Westminster Mall for the annual Halloween trick or treat and nickel carnival! Located in the lower level Macy’s Court

Bring money to play carnival games!

Westminster Mall


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Costume Rentals

Creative Parties for Kids

Creative Parties for Kids now has costume rentals! Take advantage and rent now for Halloween. Visit Costume Gallery on our website for selection & prices.

New Studio Address:
924 North Batavia
Orange, CA 92867

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Halloween Parties

Creative Parties for Kids

Creative Parties For Kids offers the best and most talented committed artists. We can create a magical Halloween experience for you and your guests.

Our artists are appropriate for different kinds of parties and events, from backyard birthdays to large corporate events – our artists can even paint your company logo!


Shift in California Home Sales

Investors are playing a smaller role in the California housing market as the number of distressed properties shrink, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors.

Distressed property sales dropped to 17.1 percent of sales in July, compared to 20.1 percent in June and 40.8 percent in July 2012, the association reported.
Thumbnail image for leslie-appleton-young.jpg

“The increase in the share of equity sales reflects a market that is fully transitioning from investor purchases of distressed homes to primary home purchases by households,” C.A.R. chief economist Leslie Appleton-Young said in the report. “The market continues to improve as more previously underwater homes gain equity due to recent upward movement in prices.”

Equity sales – or non-distressed property sales – accounted for 82.9 percent of sales, the highest share since December 2007. The share of equity sales has risen on a month-to- month basis for 17 of the last 18 months, CAR reports.

The number of short sales fell to the lowest point since April 2009 at 11.6 percent, down from 12.9 percent in June and 22.7 percent of all sales a year earlier.

“The continuing decline in short sales indicates more previously underwater homes are moving into positive equity as home prices remain on an upward trend,” the report says.

The median price of a single family home in California is up more than 30 percent in the last year, in part due to a tight supply of homes for sale. Inventory is still “tight” the association reports, with the “Unsold Inventory Index” essentially unchanged in the last month.

Pending home sales were also flat in July, with CAR’s Pending Home Sales Index dropping 0.2 percent in July to 114, down from 114.3 in June, based on signed contracts. Pending sales were down 1.5 percent from the 115.8 index recorded in July 2012. – See more at: http://www.worldpropertychannel.com/north-america-residential-news/california-home-sales-equity-sales-investor-sales-distressed-property-short-sales-california-association-of-realtors-7255.php#sthash.ifDNUUEW.dpuf

Southern California Home Sales Hit 7-year High

rising home pricesBuyers poured a record $4.65 billion in cash into Southern California’s housing market during May, driving the biggest price gain in nine years and putting sales at a seven-year high, a research firm said Tuesday. 

Last month, cash down payments and home purchases jumped 19.5 percent from $3.89 billion the year before and increased 1.8 percent from $4.57 million in April, the prior record, said La Jolla-based DataQuick.

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos in the six-county region increased 24.7 percent in May to $368,000 from $295,000 a year earlier and it was up 3.1 percent from $357,000 in April. 

Last month’s median was the highest for any month since May 2008, when it was $370,000, and the year-over-year increase was the largest since a 24.8 percent gain in October 2004. 

“We’re deep into uncharted territory: Amazingly low mortgage rates, a razor-thin inventory of homes for sale, and the release of years’ worth of pent-up demand. Plus there’s a seemingly endless stream of investors and non-investors who pay cash and thereby avoid the loan-qualification process. How this all plays out is educated guesswork at this point,” John Walsh, DataQuick president, said in a statement. 

“Understandably, speculation continues over whether another housing bubble is forming.” 

Price gains in the six county region ranged from 30.2 percent in Los Angeles County to 18.1 percent in Ventura County, DataQuick said. 

The median price has now increased on a year-over-year basis for 14 consecutive months, with those annual gains ranging between 10.8 percent and 24.7 percent over the past 10 months. But May’s median remained 27.1 percent below the record $505,000 median for the region in spring and summer of 2007. 

rising home prices2Michael Carney, executive director of the Real Estate Research Council at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, believes that prices will eventually level out with the peak of the last boom remaining a distant target. 

“Those kind of increases can’t be sustained, 20 to 30 percent are enormous increases,” Carney said. “We’re not going back to the earlier (record price) levels. Not in my lifetime.” 

Prices are heating up now because of near record low inventory and because housing again is an attractive investment

“This has been going on for some time and it’s largely people chasing yield,” Carney said of the cash-flush market. “At this point, it’s looking pretty profitable to invest in housing.” 

Most of last month’s year-over-year gain in the median reflects rising home prices, while about a quarter of it reflects a change in market mix. Sales are increasing in more expensive markets and falling in low-cost areas, DataQuick said. 

Lack of inventory continued to pinch sales in May. 

Last month, sales across Southern California increased 3.8 percent to 23,034 properties from 22,192 a year earlier, DataQuick said. Last month’s sales total was the highest for the month of May since 30,303 sold in May 2006.

The spiking prices will likely shake loose some inventory, said DataQuick analyst Andrew LePage. 

“As prices continue to rise at this rate it’s almost a given. You will see what economists call a supply response and an increase in inventory,” he said. 

In addition, the housing market continues to wean itself of distressed properties. 

During May, foreclosure sales — homes foreclosed in the prior 12 months — accounted for 10.8 percent market share. That was down from 12.4 percent in April before and down from 26.9 percent a year earlier. Last month’s foreclosure resale rate was the lowest since it hit 0 percent in August 2007. In the current cycle, foreclosure resales hit a high of 56.7 percent in February 2009. 

Short sales — transactions where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property — had 17.7 percent share last month, unchanged from April but down from 24.3 percent a year earlier. 

Absentee buyers — mostly investors and some second-home purchasers “” bought 29.5 percent of the homes sold last month. That was down from 30.6 percent in April and up from 27.5 percent a year earlier. 

The record was 32.4 percent in January this year. 

The number of cases of flipping properties for a quick profit remained low last month. 

During May, 5.9 percent of the homes sold had previously changed owners in the prior six months, down from 6 percent in April and up from 4.3 percent a year ago. 

Kimberly Ritter-Martinez, an economist at the Kyser Center for Economic Research in Los Angeles who has been tracking the market since its collapse in the Great Recession, said the housing market is finally healing. 

“It’s safe to say we are in recovery. It’s here and gaining momentum,” she said. “But my forecast for home prices is a lot of uncertainty.”

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Fannie Mae Forecasts ‘Continued Gradual Healing for real estate market’

Despite signs of a slowdown in global economic growth, recent single-family housing data suggest the housing recovery is “on track” and is set for “continued gradual healing,” according to a monthly economic outlook released this week by Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group.

There are some favorable signs that a housing recovery is under way, Fannie Mae said. Homebuilder confidence reached its highest level in five years in May. Mortgage rates are expected to remain around their current lows through this year to average 3.8 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.


Home prices are showing signs of finding a floor thanks to fewer distressed sales, though Fannie Mae doesn’t expect them to reach a bottom until 2013. The mortgage giant expects prices to decline another 1.2 percent this year before regaining that same percentage in 2013.

Year to date through April, existing-home sales, new-home sales and single-family housing starts were above the levels posted during the same period last year, and Fannie Mae predicts each will rise 7.6 percent, 13.5 percent and 17.4 percent, respectively, in 2012 compared to 2011.

Despite these encouraging indicators, the housing market continues to face challenges, Fannie Mae said. These include drops in purchase mortgage applications and contract signings for existing homes in April, a persistently high share of loans in foreclosure, damaged household balance sheets, sluggish income growth, and historically tight lending standards.

The latter “help explain why record-high affordability conditions stemming from declining mortgage rates and home prices have not substantially boosted home sales. The tight relationship between affordability and home sales observed prior to the year 2000 has clearly broken down,” the report said.

A spring lull in hiring and the European sovereign debt crisis are also weighing on the market. Though still gaining, employment growth has slowed each of the last five months, and in May the jobless rate rose to 8.2 percent, adding just 69,000 jobs.

“It is now less convincing to frame the weakness as just a payback to warm winter weather. Rather, it appears increasingly likely that labor market fundamentals have deteriorated amid the slowdown in the global economy and the intensified European sovereign debt crisis, which likely made businesses more cautious,” the report said.

“In his testimony before Congress on the economic outlook in early June, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke noted weather-related payback and seasonal adjustment issues, but reiterated his theory delivered earlier this year that strong gains in hiring late last year and early this year were ‘catchup hiring.’ That is, businesses may have aggressively laid off workers earlier in the cycle, prompting them to catch up later on — a process that has largely been completed.”

This is the third straight year to see a spring slowdown in economic activity, said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, in a statement.

“Our view is that the underlying resilience of the economy and of consumers, in particular, that has been demonstrated during the past couple of years will persist,” he said.

“However, the magnitude of the uncertainties surrounding the European debt crisis and our fiscal condition here in the U.S. implies that the risks to the outlook are clearly tilted to the downside.”

Nevertheless, the slowdown in the labor market and uncertainty about European solvency “should not derail the housing recovery if hiring picks up again as expected,” the report said.  

Fannie Mae anticipates an average 8.1 percent unemployment rate this year, followed by an average 7.8 percent rate in 2013. The mortgage giant also forecasts a moderate 2.2 percent increase in gross domestic product for all of 2012, up from 1.6 percent in 2011.

Where Have All the Foreclosures Gone?

The inventory of foreclosed homes for sale has been dwindling for almost six months. Everyone is wondering if the worst of our challenges with distressed properties are behind us. We are sorry to report that isn’t the case. We must realize that the problems banks have experienced with their paperwork on these properties has done nothing but delay them from coming onto the market.

The robo-signing blunders and then the MERS mess have caused the banks to slow down the foreclosure process dramatically.  Just last week, the Office of Thrift Supervision released their Mortgage Metrics Report covering the 4th Quarter of 2010. In that report, they showed how foreclosure completions fell sharply because of these paperwork complications. Here are the numbers:


Foreclosures are not disappearing. They are just being delayed.

Bottom Line

If you think that waiting to sell your home makes sense, you may not be correct. Check with a local real estate professional to see how this will impact your market.

Why the Housing Market is Three Times Worse Than You Think

Between the recent report that sales of new homes hit a record low in February and this week’s news that 19 of the 20 largest metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index saw a price slump in January, it hasn’t exactly been a stellar few weeks for the housing market. And yet another data dump tracking foreclosed and distressed homes that have yet to hit the markets – what’s known as “shadow inventory” – suggests things are not likely to get a whole lot better for a long time.

Supply Sigh Economics

More robust economic growth, a pickup in job creation (and wage growth), and a renewed desire by banks to actually write mortgages are all central pieces of any housing rebound. Job growth last month was indeed stronger than in past months, and a new survey of CEOs finds them increasingly upbeat about hiring. But even if those green shoots emerge, it may take a whole lot longer to see any pickup in home values given the alarming backlog of homes currently on the market, as well as homes that may soon be for sale.

Sign of the times in some markets

In terms of homes for sale, we have three inventorytracks to keep an eye on:

* The official inventory: 3.5 million homes. The National Association of Realtors says the current inventory of existing homes that are listed for sale would take 8.6 months to work down at the current sales pace. In “normal” times, the inventory backlog is more in the vicinity of six months.

* The unofficial shadow inventory: 1.8 million homes. According to research firm CoreLogic, there’s another 1.8 million homes sitting in shadow inventory. These are homes that don’t yet show up in NAR’s Multiple Listing Service as being for sale, but that are likely to hit the market at some point. They include homes that banks have already foreclosed on but have yet to put up for sale, homes that are somewhere in the foreclosure process, and homes in which owners are at least 90 days late on their mortgage payments. CoreLogic estimates that those 1.8 million homes represents an additional 9 months of potential supply given the pace of how bank-owned property and pending foreclosures make their way to market.

* The severely underwater inventory: 2 million. CoreLogic uses this category to refer to homeowners that are at least 50 percent underwater on their mortgages. Now there’s nothing that says homeowners with negative equity will in fact walk away from their mortgages. But it’s reasonable to presume that short of a quick turnaround in home values or a settlement between the state attorneys general and lenders that leads to substantial loan modifications, a significant chunk of these homes will end up on the market in the coming months or years.

Add it all up, and NAR’s 8.6 month official backlog triples to about two years or so.

Distress Points

To get a sense of where your housing market stands, take a look at CoreLogic’s comparison of each state’s tally of mortgages that are at least 90 days late to its current sales rate. The states with the most distressed housing inventory are New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, and Florida, while those with the least distressed inventory are North Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana.

Of course, even state-level data doesn’t capture what’s going on in your local area. If you’re looking to buy or sell, one important step at this juncture is to look beyond the official sales and inventory data, and try to get a sense of local shadow inventory. This is where a solid and straight-up real estate agent is going to be crucial. You don’t want sugarcoating; you need an honest assessment of what’s in your local pipeline.

The fact that your local market has a large shadow inventory doesn’t necessarily mean more steep price declines. But if there is indeed a big backlog of shadow inventory, it’s hard to make a case that home values will rebound any time soon given the large supply that needs to come to market and be absorbed.

If you’re looking to buy, a high shadow inventory is seemingly an argument to take your time looking, but keep all the moving pieces of this in mind. For example, even if you don’t have to worry about rising prices, what about mortgage rates? No one can predict where mortgage rates will be in six months or a year, but we do know that current rates are at historic lows. As for sellers, well, if you really want to sell and you find you are in an area with a lot of shadow inventory, waiting might not be in your best interests. Even if prices stabilize, working through that backlog could make it a while before prices start to climb again. 

States with the most distressed properties are expressed in red