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.

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PGIF: Of Butterflies and Bazaars

It’s one of the highlights of the season this weekend: Pacific Grove’s annual Butterfly Parade and Bazaar, and the Historic Homes Tour. Thousands of locals and visitors flock to Lighthouse Avenue and beyond to celebrate the future and embrace the past. Here’s a look at some of the most fun things to do in Monterey this weekend as September flutters away into a brilliant October.

Butterflies in the City

Known as ‘Butterfly Town, USA,’ each year Pacific Grove welcomes the ‘king’ of butterflies, the Monarch, to its coastal havens and mild winters. This October marks more than 70 years of a well-loved community tradition, with the colorful Butterfly Parade and Bazaar, Saturday, October 1. Children dress up as butterflies, otters, pioneers, and more, parading through the streets of Pacific Grove to Robert Down Elementary School for the festive Butterfly Bazaar, with carnival games, a raffle, and a bake sale. Don’t miss the celebration! And watch out for ‘Butterfly Crossing’ signs.

Step into the Past

Another date to put on your calendar this coming weekend is the 42nd Annual Historic Home Tour, Sunday, October 2. It’s your chance to ask questions, look inside, and discover all the Victorian charm of Pacific Grove’s historic buildings, bed & breakfasts, churches, and houses. We hope you stop by and see us!

Celebrating Our Heritage

Both of these fun community events are part of the Pacific Grove Chautauqua Days, Friday to Sunday, a tradition begun at Pacific Grove’s birth in the late 1800s and continued today throughout the city—at Chautauqua Hall, the public library, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, local schools, and more. The focus is on all that makes our city great, from its people to its products, who we are to what we do. To list just a few of the things you can do this weekend, there is a Monterey County Artist studio tour at Pacific Grove Art Center on September 30, as well as a dance jam at Chautauqua Hall; a lecture, ‘Your Inner Butterfly: The Power of Words to Change Our World,’ and ‘The Itty Bitty Variety Show’ at the Pacific Grove Public Library on October 1; and a historic walking tour downtown on October 2. Check out the Pacific Grove Official Visitors Guide for more info.

Born to Be Wild

If you own a Harley, there’s definitely one place you need to be this weekend: the 2011 California State H.O.G. Rally at the Monterey County Fairgrounds and Monterey County Harley-Davidson dealership, now to October 1. A special occasion just for HOGS (Harley Owners Group members), the rally kicks off with an opening ceremony and continues through Saturday with scenic rides all over the peninsula (including Hollister, Big Sur, Carmel, and Santa Cruz), finishing up with a homestyle BBQ chicken and tri-tip dinner before closing ceremonies. Come take a ride through the place where it all began.

Art

Whether in the adobes or on the wharf, wherever you go in Monterey you will find creative minds of every kind. This fall is the first ever Art in the Adobes in Old Monterey, September 30 to October 2. A combination of rarely-seen early California art and Monterey’s classic adobes and fairy-tale gardens, you won’t want to miss a tour of these ‘Hidden Treasures from Old Monterey,’ the theme for this year’s kickoff. Venues include the beautiful Cooper-Molera adobe, the Monterey Museum of Art, and the Stevenson House, where Robert Louis Stevenson once stayed as Monterey inspired one of his greatest works, Treasure Island. There’s also fun for kids at the Monterey Museum of Art’s family activities day, October 1 at Elkins Park. Learn how to make some favorite Victorian crafts such as leaf rubbings, treasure boxes, and designs made from seeds and dried beans.

Another gathering for art-lovers is Art on the Wharf on Old Fisherman’s Wharf, October 1. The Wharf will showcase a full range of artistic abilities—painting, music, pottery, photography, performing arts, chalk art—and show visitors and aspiring young artists that anything, even beach debris, can become a masterpiece with a creative outlook and a splash of inspiration.

Strolling downtown in a vibrant Butterfly Parade, touring historic avenues, uncovering hidden treasures—come join us in celebrating our roots as a community while appreciating all that makes us proud to live in Monterey, and especially Pacific Grove. We would love to welcome you to our beautiful city!

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