Fall is in the air and so are discussions about who is going to which haunted houses, what costumes are to be worn, which neighborhoods to trick-or-treat at, etc. Some are gearing up to hit the amusement parks and others are looking for some affordable alternatives for some Halloween fun.
I hand-picked some of my favorite family-friendly Halloween events in San Diego: The list includes haunted houses and ships, trick-or-treating, and Balboa Park Halloween Family Day and more.
Balboa Park Halloween Family Day
Balboa Park plans to host its 5th annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day! Take advantage of free children’s admission with a paid adult at over a dozen participating museums and cultural attractions! Enjoy fall and Halloween-themed hands-on activities, crafts, special tours, storytelling, and some other spook-a–licious goodies!
When: Saturday, October 26, 2013, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Who: Children 12 and under
Cost: Free with paid adult admission
SDBM Tip: Make sure to arrive early (or use public transportation) as to have an easier time finding parking. If you have a few hours to invest, buy a Stay-for-the-Day Pass to visit five museums for just $43. Experience art, science, transportation, and history all in one day.
Enjoy a spooktacular night at Birch Aquarium dubs invites you to its “Shipwrecked Adventure.” Wear costumes to enter the costume raffle contest! Tickets cost $17 for tickets at the door, but advance purchase recommended and saves you $2.
o Live music and dancing with Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters
o Games with community partners and Birch Aquarium volunteers
o Story times throughout the evening
o Walk through a “whale fall” and learn about this unique habitat
o Create slime in our “deep-sea” slime lab
o Touch live animals
o See the wonders of animals that glow in the dark
o Collect tricky treats
o Costume raffle; anyone in costume is eligible to enter our raffle to win a prize
When: Friday and Saturday October 25 – 26 2013 from 6-9 pm at
Who: All ages
Cost: Tickets cost $17 for tickets at the door
SDBM Tip: Advance purchase recommended and save $2. The October Kids Free in San Diego offer applies to general aquarium admission only and does NOT apply to Haunted Aquarium or other special events.
Halloween Bash at Seaport Village
Get the kids all dolled up for this one! The third annual celebration at Seaport Village includes photos with a living scarecrow, costume contest for kids and pets, music including a monster mash band and Thriller DJ, and games for kids.
The costume contest will award prizes for the best superhero, scariest, prettiest, family and pet costumes. Make note that this year the event will not include candy or trick-or-treating, but will offer many family-friendly activities, including a scavenger hunt, face painting and harvest-themed games.
When: Saturday, October 26, from 1 to 5 p.m.
SDBM Tips: There is metered parking, but if you park in the Seaport Village parking lot, you might want to make a minimum purchase of $10 in the Village and have your parking ticket validated, parking is just $3 for the first 2 hours and $2 every 30 minutes thereafter. Non-validated parking: $8 per hour or part thereof. Great photo opp is at the carousel.
Bonus: Locals Appreciation Week precedes this fall event with special deals from Seaport Village’s shops and restaurants to say “thank you” and kick off the fall season. All deals for the week will be listed on their Facebook page on October 21. Locals must show valid California ID or SDG&E bill to redeem the discounts and gifts.
Looking for a neighborhood trick-or-treat alternative? Stroll around and collect free goodies from merchants at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park with the whole family. Kids can enjoy special holiday treats and activities, while parents enjoy extended shopping hours within the park. This event is free.
When: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
SDBM Tip: Parking lot fills up, but there is surrounding parking and the walk does not take long. I suggest you satisfy your sweet tooth at Cousin’s Old Town Candy Shop and try out one or two of their 19 flavors of handmade fudge! That is something I could sink my fangs in!
My girl says to be prepared for a hair-raising event, as she says the storytelling is pretty compelling (but not too scary!)! Star of India storytellers tell eerie legends of the past and tales of ghostly encounters. Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes, and treats will be handed out to all who attend. The Haunting Tales are included with Maritime Museum admission.
When: Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26 – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $16 per ticket for adults, $8 per ticket for kids 4-12, kids 3 and under free
SDBM Tip: There are metered spaces in the lot directly in front of the Maritime Museum, but they are only enforced 8am – 6 pm, Monday – Saturday.
More Suggestions while you are out and about:
o Be sure to check out October Kids Free in San Diego before you hit the town.
o Want to score some meal deals while out and about this fall? Check out our growing list of where kids eat free in San Diego!
o Remember to check out the local specials from our partner, NBC 7 San Diego THE GOODS.