PGIF: Cocktails, Concerts, and Things That Go Bump in the Night

It’s almost that time of year again. For trick-or-treating, costumes, and things that go bump in the night. For turkey dinners, and early Christmas shopping, and an entire holiday season filled with the brightest of memories. In fact, it’s the right time for anything here in Pacific Grove, and the weekend lineup is as eclectic and far-reaching as the Monterey Peninsula itself. From fall feasts to festive frights, here’s our quick list of a few things you can do in Monterey this Friday to Sunday.

After Hours Too

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook,” says Julia Child. And there is no dieting allowed in Monterey this weekend! There are several culinary options to choose from:

Third Annual Monterey Bay Restaurant Week, October 20-27
A whole week exclusively for Monterey Bay restaurants! Cuisine in Monterey is top of the line all year long, but this week you’ll get a chance to taste the very best of what the Peninsula has to offer through a selection of prix fixe menus at some of the area’s finest: Andre’s Bouchée Bistro, Carmel Food Company, 1833 Restaurant, and The Fish Hopper to name just a few (check out our Fish Hopper review!). Top chefs bring together the freshest local seafood and produce prepared a la Monterey just for you. Take a look at menus and make reservations at the Monterey Bay Restaurant Week website.

Monterey Tequila and Mezcal Expo, October 22, Portola Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey
If you want to know about spirits, there’s a whole expo dedicated to a couple of the world’s most popular. Find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about Tequila at the Tequila 101 presentation, then get some samples at a special tasting. There’s also a salsa dance performance, music, and a silent auction to benefit the Salinas Jaycees Children’s Shopping Tour for underprivileged children.

Salinas Valley Food & Wine, October 22, Salinas
More in Salinas! A collection of the best local food, wine, and friends, brought together on 200 block Main Street in Oldtown.

Halloween Fun

Here in Monterey, we believe Halloween should be safe and FUN! There’s no limit to activities for the whole family:

Haunted Mirror Maze, October 21-22; 28-31
Meander your way through Monterey Mirror Maze, weekends through the end of October. But watch out—it’s haunted! Try their Lazer Maze Challenge or throw on a pair of Kaleidoscope glasses for even more thrills. Check out the videos on their website!

October 22
Halloween/Ghost Tours, Point Sur Lightstation. Experience the lighthouses of Point Sur at sunset for some eerie entertainment—a unique Halloween tour with ghost stories, a ‘paranormal investigator,’ and refreshments. All you need is a sense of fun…and a little courage.

Howl-O-Ween Safari, Wild Things, Salinas. A great choice for younger children and anyone who prefers their Halloween a little more cuddly and a little less scary. Wild Things, a company that provides humanely trained animals for film, productions, and education, is opening up their ‘jungle’ for Howl-O-Ween flashlight tours with a Halloween show, costume contest, Nocturnal Safari, and Trick-or-Treating. Come meet the real creatures of the night!

Fun Fall Days continue this Saturday at Earthbound Farms in Carmel. A host of fun activities for everyone! Check out what they have going on year-round.

October 22-23
A few other fall-themed events you might want to stop by are the Monterey Bay FallFest Arts and Crafts Faire, Custom House Plaza, Monterey State Historic Park, and the Monterey Fall Home Show at Monterey County Fairgrounds, providing everything you need to build and furnish your home for the holidays.

*Mark your calendars now for October 29: the 95th Annual Carmel-By-the-Sea Birthday Celebration & Halloween Parade!

Sunset Spectaculars

There are so many things going on at the Sunset Center this weekend, it merited a special mention all of its own. Here’s something fun you can do every day this weekend:

Friday, October 21
With a name like Mangia del’ Arte, you know it has to be good. It’s an evening of cirque, dance, fine Italian food, and magic at Sunset Center’s Studio 105. Ringmaster Jeff Raz (star of over 500 performances for Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo) has teamed up with magician Calvin Kai Ku for breathtaking acrobatics and magic, while choreographer Tandy Beal directs the cornucopia of visual delights.

Saturday, October 22
Hey Teacher, leave us kids alone! No, it’s not a back-to-school classroom rebellion. It’s the Pink Floyd Concert Experience, what the San Francisco Chronicles calls, ‘One of the best Pink Floyd shows we’ve seen!’ Starring House of Floyd, this live recreation of a real Pink Floyd show is complete with laser lights and a mix of the hits, both old and new, including ‘The Wall’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ You might even hear some tunes you’ve never heard before!

Sunday, October 23
Lisztomania! Presented by the Monterey Symphony with conductor Max Bragado-Darman and pianist Zhengyu Chen. The best of the best.

Magic, memories, and a little mystery…there’s so much to do here this Halloween and beyond. So what are you afraid of? Come visit us! Here’s wishing you a season as colorful as the leaves outside your window, and a happy and safe Halloween. We hope you’ll stop by before the year is out! Our door is always open and our light is always on.

PGIF: October Fests and Columbus Day Weekend

October. A time for pumpkins, festivals, Fleet Week, theater, beer, and celebrating the fall, our nation…and especially California. Here’s our quick list of just a few ways you can enjoy Columbus Day weekend 2011:

Further Back
It was around this time many years ago that Monterey housed the debates that have led California to where we are today: Statehood. Now you can see how it all began at the Monterey History Fest this weekend, October 8–9, at the Custom House Plaza and other venues around Monterey. It’s a fun way to dig deep into the richness of Monterey’s heritage, with historical reenactments, musket and cannon firing demonstrations, a Native American puppet show children will love, and Civil War encampments—plus a military camp of the California Historical Artillery Society, the largest mounted artillery group in the US. There will also be a special commemoration of the 162nd Anniversary of California’s Constitution Day, scripted from actual state records. Come be a part of history!

Further On
Grateful Dead founding members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir are coming to the area with their band ‘Further,’ on tour now. And Monterey is throwing a festival just for them! The Further Festival at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, October 7–8, will feature an outstanding lineup of musicians, including Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, Joe Russo, Sunshine Becker, and Jeff Pehrson, as Further lights up the Peninsula with their signature jams and stellar style.

Pure Jade
The 20th Annual Big Sur Jade Festival kicks off this Friday, October 7–9, at the Pacific Valley School across Highway 1 in Big Sur. Peruse long tables covered with the precious stone and enjoy live music, good food, and lectures and demonstrations including how to carve a jade bangle. One of the world’s largest shows of its kind, the three-day event is perfect for craft-makers, collectors, hobbyists…just about anyone.

Photo by Digital Sophia

Footloose and Fancy Fare
If you’re in the mood for something sweet and savory with a little ’80s panache, try a Taste of Carmel, one of the top wine and dine events in the area, Thursday, October 6, at the historic Carmel Mission. Sample a variety of flavors from some of the best local restaurants and wineries—Cantinetta Luca, Merlot Bistro, Lula’s Chocolates, Morgan Winery, and Chateau Julien, to name just a few. You’re also invited to wear your ’80s best for this year’s theme, ‘Footloose and Fancy Fare,’ with a DJ and dance party.

Mini Mention
They may be small, but they are mighty: miniature ships at the Society of Miniature Ship Collectors Meeting, Northern California chapter, October 8 at the Portola Hotel & Spa, Monterey. Hundreds of models will be displayed, drawing exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. You might even see some Naval ships passing through the area, part of San Francisco’s Fleet Week.

Weekend Shorts
There are too many events to list this weekend! Here are a few more you might enjoy:

October 7
First Fridays Art Walk, downtown Salinas. A great way to observe California Arts Day!

Robinson Jeffers Fall Festival, Robinson Jeffers Tor House, Carmel. The festival runs Friday to Sunday with poetry readings, lectures, and an Annual Jeffers Poetry Walk on Carmel River Beach.

October 8
Beerfest at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Cannery Row, Monterey. Beer and live music, Octoberfest style.

Photo Safari, Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing. Beginner to advanced photographer, anyone can join this fun cruise through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area, taking photos of the wildlife and making memories for a lifetime.

October 9
First Annual Monterey Beer Garden, Memory Gardens, downtown Monterey. Hosted by Peter B’s Brewpub of the Portola Hotel & Spa, the evening offers over a dozen brews, BBQ, and some great fall fun.

October 7-9
Romeo & Juliet, Outdoor Forest Theater, Carmel. A classic, right here in Monterey.

There’s no wrong way to celebrate Columbus Day weekend. We hope you celebrate with us!

Join 7 other followers