Candice

Top Things to Do in San Diego: Oct. 30 – Nov. 3, 2013

Halloween week means lots of spooky events around San Diego, but there’s more happening this week than just parading ghosts and goblins. The traditions of Mexico at Dia de los Muertos celebrations, zombies walking at a local theater, and  some post-Halloween fun at a local street fair are all part of the top things to do in San Diego, Oct. 30 – Nov. 3:

Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Carlsbad Village Faire San Diego 2013

Families will find plenty to do at the Carlsbad Village Faire

Checking out street festivals when you travel to a new city provides real insight on the town, the people, and the local culture.  From downtown San Diego, take the family on a scenic Coaster ride headed north to discover why the nation’s largest single day street fair takes place in this beautiful seaside community.

Where: Grand Ave (between Carlsbad Blvd & Jefferson St) Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Time: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cost: Free
>Find our more about the Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Plancha Baja Med Halloween Pop-Up Dinner

plancha baja med chad white pop up halloween dinner at frauds and swindlers 2013 san diego

Sample Chef Chad White Baja-Med cuisine at a special pop-up dinner

Local chef Chad White from Plancha Baja Med takes over downtown’s Frauds & Swindlers cocktail lounge for an evening of delectable cuisine and libations. The “black & white” themed menu features creative dishes like oyster-coconut cream soup and ash-cured pork belly. The evening also features a costume contest, live music and dancing into the wee hours.

Where: 820 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
When: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Cost: $70 per person
>See the complete dinner menu

Spooky Silent Films

 

Teeny Tiny Orchestra Silent Horror Movies on Halloween UCSD Geisel Library San Diego 2013

Scott Paulson’s Teeny Tiny Orchestra

If modern horror films with all the blood and guts aren’t your thing, check out The Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra’s presentation of Horror on Halloween. The event features scary silent films paired with live music and sounds. Audience participation in creating the creepy film scores is encouraged (have you ever tried to play a Theremin?).

Where: 9500 Gilman Dr. (Seuss Room at the Geisel Library, UCSD), La Jolla, CA 92093
When: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm
Cost: Free
>Find out more about Horror on Halloween

Dia de Los Muertos at Fiesta de Reyes

Dia de los Muertos day of the dead Old Town San Diego 2013

The processional begins at the 2012 Dia de los Muertos celebration in Old Town San Diego

As a part of the Old Town San Diego’s Día de los Muertos celebration, Fiesta de Reyes and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will celebrate the Day of the Dead with live music, folklorico dancing, face painting, crafts for children and a tour of more than 15 altars on Nov. 1 to 3. Visitors won’t be disappointed by the extensive Day of the Dead display at Fiesta de Reyes and the special-themed menu at Casa de Reyes and Barra Barra Saloon.

Where: 2754 Calhoun St  San Diego, CA 92110
When: Nov. 1 – 3, 2013
Time: 1:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free
>Find out more about Dia de los Muertos in Old Town San Diego

Día de los Muertos – Honoring Mexico’s Singers & Composers

san diego symphony day of the dead 2013

Dia de los Muertos in music at the San Diego Symphony

The San Diego Symphony hosts an evening honoring the music of some of Mexico’s most beloved singers and composers during a celebration of Día de los Muertos, Mexico’s colorful and magical tradition. San Diego favorite Mónica  Ábrego, Metropolitan opera veteran  José Luis Duval and one of the most famous mariachi musicians in the world, Rafael Palomar take the stage to perform passionate and exciting music.  With world-class singers and world-class mariachi, don’t miss this classic take on a cross border tradition.

Where: 750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Friday, November 1, 2013
Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $20 – $85
>Find out more about Dia de los Muertos at the San Diego Symphony

Technomania Circus: Dia de los Zombies

Zombie show at Technomania Circus San Diego 2013

There’s no telling what crazy antics you’ll encounter at the Technomania Circus

Held in a spooky former church, Technomania Circus presents ‘Dia de los Zombies’ on Friday and Saturday Nov. 1 & 2. Seek shelter from wandering zombies on the Day of the Dead in this spooky ex-church and be amused by circus performers of the live and undead variety while you await your inevitable fate.

Where: 2558 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA 92102
When: Friday, November 1 & Saturday, November 2, 2013
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Cost: $10
>Find out more about the Dia de los Zombies

Need even more ideas for what to do in San Diego? Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Candice

In Case You Missed It: Top Halloween Events around San Diego

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch

Halloween in San Diego is just days away, but if you’re still wondering what do to, we’ve got your round up of San Diego’s best Halloween happenings. From spooky to silly to sexy, you’re sure to find a Halloween event that suits your style in San Diego.

San Diego Pumpkin Patches

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch

Acres of pumpkins await at Bates Nut Farm

Still haven’t found the perfect pumpkin for your jack o’lantern? Pick up a pumpkin at one of these patches.

Family-Friendly Halloween

SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular

Even the animals get in on the Spooktacular Halloween fun at SeaWorld

San Diego’s biggest attractions go all out for Halloween events the whole family will love.

Haunted Houses

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park. Photo by Mike Rollerson

What ever you do, don’t walk into any of the houses along The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park! Photo by Mike Rollerson

Are you brave enough to brave these spooky sites?

Adults-Only Halloween Parties

monster bash san diego halloween 2013

Dancers get the party going at last year’s San Diego Monster Bash

Too old for trick-or-treating? Get wild and crazy at these Halloween bashes.

Of course, the Halloween events don’t stop with this list. Find even more Halloween activities. 

Benjamin Eastman

San Diego Halloween Parties That You Shouldn’t Miss!

Zombie crawl san diego halloween 2013

As we all know, San Diegan’s don’t really need an excuse to dress up in costume…but when there’s an actual holiday with costumes involved, you know this city gets behind it! And while the kids are out trick-or-treating in the early evening, the ghoulish get down at night.

Here are just some of the San Diego Halloween parties that will be sure to get you moving:

San Diego Monster Bash

monster bash san diego halloween 2013

Dancers get the party going at last year’s San Diego Monster Bash

Without a doubt the largest and most spectacular Halloween party in town! They’re shutting down 8 blocks of downtown San Diego to create a massive street party with 3 music stages, 10 bars, 50 dancers and thousands of costumed party-goers.

When: Saturday, October 26th, 6:00pm – Midnight
Where: 7th Avenue & Market Street, San Diego, 92101 
Cost:
  $40 Advance General Admission; $45 Day-Of General Admission or upgrade to VIP status for lots of fiendishly fun extras
> Get your tickets to Monster Bash 2013

San Diego Zombie Crawl

Zombie crawl san diego halloween 2013

Things might get scary at Zombie Crawl

As the perfect add-on to your Monster Bash tickets, or even a great party on its own, your Zombie Crawl pass will get you into 22 different Halloween parties at participating downtown bars and nightclubs and includes a free drink at 15 different locations! Enjoy no cover charge access to Halloween hot spots including Bassmnt, F6ix, Stingaree or the Pussy Cat Dollhouse – with free shots at any number of local restaurants, bars and nightclubs. And for those day-walkers who want to party all night, admission to Side Bar’s FIVE TEN “Crack of Dawn” party from 5:00-10:00 a.m. is included!

When: Saturday, October 26th, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: 820 5th Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Cost:  $60
> Get your tickets to Zombie Crawl

Hard Rock Hotel’s Halloween Haunts

hard rock hotekl san diego halloween 2013

The Hard Rock Hotel’s annual Halloween bash features lots of room to party

Start the Halloween party early on Saturday night with 3 floors of the Hard Rock Hotel dedicated to Halloween hijinx, featuring 4 venues and 15 DJs! Then come back for more mischief on Halloween night to party with the EC Twins and other featured entertainers in 2 separate venues.

When: Saturday, October 26th and Thursday, October 31st, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: 207 5th Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Cost:  Saturday – $60 pre-sale/$75 Day-Of; Thursday – $30
> Find out more about Hard Rock Hotel’s Halloween Haunts

Night Fright at Wave House Beach Club

night fright wave house san diego beach club halloween

Night Fright is your stop for Halloween on the beach

For those Halloween revelers who just can’t give up being in the sand – even for a wild night of partying – look no further than Fortune 421’s Night Fright party at the Wave House in Mission Beach.  Dance the night away under the stars to the beats of Andy Caldwell, Ayla Simone and Chris Liosi.

When: October 26th, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: 3125 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, 92109
Cost: $12.50 Early Bird/$17.50 Day-Of
> Find out more about Night Fright at the Wave House

Know of any other great San Diego Halloween parties?  Comment below and let us know!

Candice

Top Things to Do in San Diego: Oct. 24-27, 2013

dia de los muertos mission san luis rey oceanside san diego

The weekend weather forecast calls for 70-degree days, but fall is in full swing in San Diego, thanks to these upcoming festivities.

6th Annual Fall Fest on Avenida de la Playa

La Jolla Shores Fall Festival 2013 San Diego

Join the fun at the Fall Fest along La Jolla Shores

Dubbed “Party on the Playa,” bring the kids and costumes for this super fun block party near La Jolla Shores, one of San Diego’s most iconic beaches. The fun festivities feature local restaurant tastings, a costume contest, bouncy house, live music from Hullabaloo, giveaways, and super spooktacular prizes from local merchants.

Where: 2160 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, 92037
When: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Time:  4 – 7 p.m.
Cost: $5 in advance, $10 day of event
For more information, call (619) 840-3482 or email lajollashoresmerchants@gmail.com.

Halloween Dinner & Party Cruise

San Diego Flagship Cruises and Events Haunted Halloween Dinner Party Cruise 2013

Break out your costumes for Flagship Cruises & Events’ Halloween Cruise (Photo by David Veit for Flagship Cruises & Events)

It’s going to be a scary good time aboard Flagship Cruises & Events’ special Halloween dinner cruise. Dig up your most ghoulish friends and best Halloween costume, and come out for a night full of screams out on the water! Your ticket includes a 2.5 hour cruise around San Diego Bay, dining, dancing, musical entertainment, a complimentary boarding cocktail, and the chance to win a great costume contest prize.

Where: 990 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, 92101
When: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Time:  7 – 10 p.m.
Cost: $54.50 – $80.50
> Find out more about Flagship Cruises’ Halloween Dinner & Party Cruise

Family Fun at Old Town San Diego’s Fall Festival

Old Town Fall Festival San Diego 2013

History comes alive in Old Town San Diego

Hop on the San Diego Trolley’s Green Line to get to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for its annual Fall Festival, which features tons of unique merchants and artisans peddling one-of-a-kind creations. Kids will get to experience craft making and activities like never before – organizers let their creative juices flow recreating old-fashioned activities that families enjoyed back in 1872. Be sure to check out the nearby Mormon Battalion site where kids can participate in an interactive tour that is educational, state-of-the-art and, most importantly, tons of fun.

Where: Old Town State Historic Park 4002 Wallace St, San Diego CA 92110
When: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Time: 12 – 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Old Town Fall Festival

12th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival at Old Mission San Luis Rey

dia de los muertos mission san luis rey oceanside san diego

The culture and traditions of Mexico shine at Mission San Luis Rey’s Dia de los Muertos Festival

Dubbed the “King of the Missions,” Oceanside’s Mission San Luis Rey celebrates the Mexican tradition of Dia de los Muertos. In addition to elaborate and beautiful altars and offerings to departed loved ones, the celebration includes 75 vendors, traditional food, a chalk cemetery, plus a carnival for the kids. The event even includes a creative car show, where classic car and lowriders become makeshift alters to the departed.

Where: 4050 Mission Ave., Oceanside, 92057
When: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Time:  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cost: Free ($5 parking fee)
> Find out more about Mission San Luis Rey’s Dia de los Muertos Festival

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

 

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – October 16-20, 2013

Haunted Star of India - Maritime Museum of San Diego

It’s a great time to visit San Diego! The weather is beautiful and in the 70s, kids eat, stay and play for free all month-long, Halloween is just around the corner, and there is plenty of fun to be had at these top things to do this weekend:

Taste of Coronado

Clayton's Cafe in Coronado

Discover why Clayton’s and other local restaurants are so popular during Taste of Coronado

Spend a night on Coronado Island, indulging your senses and enjoying amazing bites prepared by our local chefs. Take a culinary trip around the world sampling from the island’s local bistros. Meander along Orange Avenue or take a ride on the complimentary trolley. This will be a night to remember so come and bring your friends!

Where: 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: October 16, 2103
Time: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Cost: $35-$30
> Find out more about Taste of Coronado

Haunted Tales of our Seafaring Past

Haunted Star of India - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Gather round for haunted seafaring tales and lantern tours at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

For a historically haunting experience, venture on board the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship for a special 45-60 minute tour. Part of San Diego’s Maritime Museum collection, the Star of India’s storied past includes real-life encounters with ghosts, and the tour includes special activities for the family, including seafaring ghost stories and “creepy treats.” Kids are encouraged to wear costumes.

Where: The San Diego Maritime Museum – 1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 18-19 and 25-26, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $8-$16
> Find out more about Haunted Tales of Our Seafaring Past

> Have more family friendly Halloween fun

2013 Escondido Fall Street Faire

Escondido Street Fair - Top Things to Do in San Diego

The Escondido Street Faire is fun for the whole family

Since 1989, the Escondido Street Faire has brought live entertainment, over 500 vendors, children’s rides and activities, and food from around the world to the downtown tree-lined streets of Escondido. Covering seven blocks along historic Grand Avenue, the Escondido Street Fair is the second largest single-day fair in California.

Where: Grand Avenue, between Center City Pkwy and Ivy, Escondido, CA 92025
When: October 20, 2013
Time: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Escondido Fall Street Faire

Pumpkin Express

Pumpkin Express

Your conductor is dying to take you to the Great Pumpkin’s Pumpkin Patch

Join in the fun aboard the Pumpkin Express at the historic Campo Depot and travel to the Great Pumpkin Patch. Children and their parents will enjoy the one hour train ride, then tour the Haunted Train, where each child gets to pick out his or her own pumpkin and decorate it inside the Display Building.

Advance reservations for this popular event are required.

Where: 750 Depot Street, Campo, CA 91906
When: Saturdays and Sundays through October 27, 2013
Time: Three Trains: 10:00 AM, 12:15 PM and 2:30 PM
Cost: $5-$15
> Find out more about the Pumpkin Express

> Find the perfect pumpkin at even more San Diego Pumpkin Patches

Bow Wow Brunch on the Bay Cruise

Bow Wow Brunch Cruise in San Diego - Top Things to Do in San Diego

This sailor is on the lookout for the Fire Hydrant of Youth!

Cruise around San Diego Bay and enjoy a delicious and bountiful buffet with unlimited champagne and desserts while Fido gets a pet buffet to choose from along with a dog relief area set up on the sun deck of the yacht! Portion of the proceeds for the Bow Wow Brunch on the Bay will go directly to helping Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Where: Grape Street Pier – 1800 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 20, 2013
Time: 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Cost: $70 per person. Dogs cruise free
> Find out more about the Bow Wow Brunch on the Bay Cruise

> PSST…here’s a $2 off coupon for the Bow Wow Brunch on the Bay Cruise

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Sarah Weinberg

Frightfully Fun and Family Friendly Halloween Happenings in San Diego

LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat

Time to start thinking about what you’ll wear for Halloween. Don’t wait until October 31 to try out your costumes. Here are some fun places in San Diego to take your dressed-up kids before Halloween even hits. Go ahead; get a few more wears out of those get-ups!

LEGOLAND for Brick or Treat

LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat

My son was so excited for Brick-or-Treat that he jumped out of his skin! 🙂

My kids’ favorite place for Halloween is LEGOLAND for Brick or Treat weekends in October. We’ve been lucky enough to go three years in a row and they are begging me to make it four this year. In addition to the always amazing and humorous spooky LEGO figures that are added to the park for the Halloween theme, my kids enjoy the interaction of the Brick or Treat Trail where they collect coloring books, healthy snacks, unhealthy snacks, and oh yes, some candy. The kids love that they are running around the park, in their costumes, at night, with a complimentary Brick or Treat bag full of free stuff.

Parents will agree it’s a great time to visit LEGOLAND because not only are hours extended during Brick or Treat weekends, there are free fireworks and extra shows on Saturday nights, and best of all, it’s Kids Free October in San Diego! Visitors get a free child admission with each paying adult through October.

Where: LEGOLAND California Resort, One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: The Brick or Treat Trail is open Weekends in October 2013
Time: Saturday 12:00 to 9:00 PM. Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free with admission. Special $30 Party Nights Hopper tickets are available online only and valid for same-day admission to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium between the hours of 5:00 to 9:00 PM on Brick-or-Treat Party Nights October 5, 12, 19 or 26. This is an exclusive online discount. Also, $59 Brick-or-Treat Hopper tickets are available online only and valid for same-day admission to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE Aquarium on customer selected Saturday in October.
> Find out more about Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND

> Kids Go Free to LEGOLAND California all October

Have a Spooktacular Time at SeaWorld

SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular

Even the animals get in on the Spooktacular Halloween fun at SeaWorld

Another family favorite is SeaWorld weekend’s during the Halloween season. Kids can wear costumes and hunt around the park for 10 different trick or treat stations. The Sesame Street characters have a special “Countdown to Halloween” show, Penelope”s Undersea Pumpkinfish Patch, and sea lion’s Clyde and Seamore’s new “Spooky Adventure” show.

Where: SeaWorld Adventure Park, 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
When: Weekends September 28 – October 27
Cost: Free with admission
> Find out more about SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular

> Kids Go, Eat and Play Free to SeaWorld all October

Haunted Birch Aquarium

Pirate Ship - Haunted Birch Aquarium - Shipwrecked

Haunted Pirate Ships and More at the Birch Aquarium

Looking for an affordable, educational and family-sized Halloween event? Discover what lurks beneath the surface October 25 & 26 at the 13th annual Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked! The entire family can enjoy spooky science activities, explore the aquarium’s “wreckage” for sunken treasures, listen to zydeco band Billy Lee & the Swamp Critters, and enjoy the aquarium after dark, in costume. Haunted Birch Aquarium offers participants a fun and informal atmosphere in which to learn about ocean science and win prizes for best costume. This not-too-spooky event is geared toward families and open to guests of all ages. Children ages 2 and under are free, and children under 16 must be accompanied by a paid adult.

Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: October 25-26
Cost: $12-$17
> Find out more about Haunted Birch Aquarium

> Kids Go Free to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps all October

Star of India Haunted Tales of the Ship

Haunted Star of India - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Gather round for haunted seafaring tales and lantern tours at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

For a historically haunting experience, venture on board the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship for a special 45-60 minute tour. Part of San Diego’s Maritime Museum collection, the Star of India’s storied past includes real-life encounters with ghosts, and the tour includes special activities for the family, including seafaring ghost stories and “creepy treats.” Kids are encouraged to wear costumes.

Where: The San Diego Maritime Museum – 1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 18-19 and 25-26
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $8-$16
> Find out more about Haunted Tales of Our Seafaring Past

Seaport Village Halloween Bash on the Bay

Halloween Scarecrow at Seaport Village

Bring the kids for some Halloween fun in San Diego’s Downtown

Want to get some shopping done while celebrating the spooky season? Take the family to Seaport Village’s Halloween Bash on the Bay and enjoy a kid’s costume contest with prizes, photos of your ghouls, princesses and pirates next to a living scarecrow, and music by the Monster Mash Band and Thriller DJ. The event will not include candy or trick or treating, but offers many family-friendly activities, including a scavenger hunt, face painting and harvest-themed games.

Where: Seaport Village – 849 West Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
When: Saturday, October 26
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Seaport Village’s Halloween Bash on the Bay

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

Costumed fun in San Diego’s Historic Balboa Park

Over a dozen museums are treating families to free admission for children 12 and under during the 5th annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day on Saturday, October 26. In addition to free children’s admission with a paid adult, participating museums and cultural attractions will present a spooky array of hands-on activities, crafts, special tours, storytelling, and other free goodies.

Where: Balboa Park – 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 26, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free. Kids 12 and under free to museums with paid adult admission
> Find out more about the Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

> Kids Go Free to Many Balboa Park Museums all October

> Discover More Halloween Excitement in San Diego

What’s your favorite family friendly Halloween activity in San Diego? Let us and other families know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Find the Perfect Pumpkin Patch in San Diego – 2013

Pumpkin Patch sign and pumpkins at Summer Farms

Fall in San Diego means warm days, cool nights, Halloween fun and, of course, pumpkin patches! Browse the list below to find the perfect pumpkin patch near you.

> Browse the updated 2014 list of Pumpkin Patches in San Diego

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch

Acres of pumpkins await at Bates Nut Farm

Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center has been a Pumpkin Patch staple for as long as I can remember (the Bates family has owned the farm since 1921, and I have been going since the early 80s). Bates has plenty of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, tractor hayrides, a straw maze, pony rides and a petting zoo. There is even a bounce house during the weekends.

Location: 15954 Woods Valley Road, Valley Center, CA 92082
Dates: September 25 – October 31, 2013
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Saturday-Sunday: 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Pumpkin and activity prices vary. The Pumpkin Package for $9.25 includes 1 Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin, 1 tractor/hayride and 1 straw maze ticket.
> Find out more about Bate’s Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch

Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt

Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt at Belmont Park

Pick an amazing pumpkin by the beach at Belmont Park’s Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt. While you’re there, bravely walk through the Boomont Manor (a kid-friendly haunted house and maze), play zombie laser tag and ride the spooky Giant Dipper. Don’t forget to bring the pumpkin pail for free trick-or-treating between 6:30 and 7:30 PM.

Location: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
Dates: October 4-27, 2013 (Fridays-Sundays)
Hours: Starts at 5:00 PM.
Cost: Free admission. Haunted House – $6. Rides and laser tag have separate admission costs.
> Find out more about the Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt

Farm Stand West’s Pumpkin Patch

Farm Stand West's Pumpkin Patch

Pick the perfect pumpkin straight from the field at Farm Stand West’s Pumpkin Patch

Get a true pumpkin picking experience by picking the perfect future jack-o-lantern straight from Farm Stand West’s pumpkin fields. Stop by over the weekend of October 26-27 between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM for the Annual Farm Stand Fall Harvest Festival. Have fun on a hayride, pick up some delicious homemade jams and farm fresh produce, and shop from local artisans.

Location: 2115 Miller Ave., Escondido, CA 92025
Dates: October 1-31, 2013 (Closed on Mondays)
Hours: Weekdays: 12:00 to 6:00 PM. Weekends: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Cost: Free admission, pumpkins vary
> Find out more about Farm Stand West’s Pumpkin Patch

Julian Mining Company Pumpkin Picking Patch

Take the family on a day trip to Julian for apple pie from Mom’s and pumpkins from the Julian Mining Company. Even more fall fun awaits with Indian Camp, Tomahawk throwing and farm animals. Upgrade to the Harvest tour and enjoy a hayride, fresh apple cider and an animal corral. In for a fright? Well then ride on the kid-friendly Night Time Spooky Hayride: Tale of the Doomed Miner through the pastures and fields and includes the tale of the doomed miner (you may even see his spirit wandering with a lantern in the distance). Spooky Hayrides are offered on October 18-19 and 25-26 at 7:30 PM and reservations are required.

Dates: September 28 – October 27, 2013 (Saturday-Sunday)
Hours:  10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Kids – $2, Adults – $3. Harvest Tour: Kids – $7, Adults – $9. Spooky Hayride: $15 per person.
> Find out more about the Julian Mining Company Pumpkin Picking Patch

Lavender Hill Pumpkins

Pumpkins at Lavender Hill Pumpkins

A variety of pumpkins at Lavender Hill Pumpkins

Looking for a no-nonsense pumpkin picking outing? Then head to Lavendar Hill Pumpkins for a vast selection of pumpkins perfect for either carving or cooking.

Location: 1509 East Mission Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028
Dates: September 28 – October 31, 2013
Hours: Weekdays: 2:00 to 5:00 PM, Weekends: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Varies
> Find out more about Lavender Hill Pumpkins

Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch

Kids with their Pumpkins at Mountain Valley Ranch

Pumpkins for everyone at Mountain Valley Ranch

Up near the small mountain town of Ramona is the Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch. Take some time to find the perfect carving or cooking pumpkin, get lost in the gigantic corn maze, launch an ear of corn out of a cannon, pet a few farm animals and add a few pictures of the kids on antique farm equipment to the scrapbook.

Location: 842 Hwy 78, Ramona, CA 92065
Dates: September 28 – October 31, 2013
Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Varies (Cash Only)
> Find out more about Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch

Norris Amusements Pumpkin Patches Not Operating in 2013

Tiger inflatable slide and pumpkins at Norris Amusements Pumpkin Patches

A whole day of fun at Norris Amusements Pumpkin Patches

Norris Amusements has North County covered with three locations in San Diego, Carlsbad and Escondido. Each location offers pumpkins and fun for the little ones with jumpees and carnival rides. Go to the San Diego or Escondido location on Tuesdays for Wristband Tuesday and enjoy unlimited rides. Make sure to pick up one of their coupons and save!

Locations:
San Diego – 10144 Scripps Gateway Ct., San Diego, CA 92131
Carlsbad – 2525 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA  92008
Escondido – 272 E Via Rancho Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025
Dates: October 1 – 31, 2013
Hours: Varies by location
Cost: Varies, Wristband Tuesdays: San Diego – $20 and Escondido – $15
> Find out more about Norris Amusements Pumpkin Patches

Oma’s Pumpkin Patch

Tower of Hay and Pumpkins at Oma's Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins ready to take home at Oma’s Pumpkin Patch

Over in Lakeside, Oma’s Pumpkin Patch is offering fun for the whole family. The child admission includes a Jack Patch pumpkin, a bottle of water, covered hay rides, a hay bale maze, petting corral, kid-powered games and a large play area with the climbable Cottonseed Mountain.

Location: 14950 El Monte Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040
Dates: September 24 – November 2, 2013 – Tuesday-Saturday
Hours: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: $8 per child with one free adult per child. Additional adults are $4.
> Find out more about Oma’s Pumpkin Patch

PB Pumpkins – Not Operating in 2013

Pumpkins, Hay and a Castle Jumpee at PB Pumpkins

Jump for Pumpkin Joy at PB Pumpkin Patches

City dwellers looking for pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn and squash don’t need to go far thanks to PB Pumpkins two convenient locations in Pacific Beach and La Jolla. While pumpkin hunting, the little ones can enjoy a petting zoo, slides, jumpees, carnival games, a pumpkin carving and decorating station and more.

Locations:
Pacific Beach – 2440 Grand Ave. San Diego ca 92109
La Jolla – 6705 La Jolla Blvd, San Diego, CA 92037
Dates: September 28 – October 31, 2013
Hours: Monday-Friday: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Saturday-Sunday: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Varies, Activity Tickets – $3
> Find out more about PB Pumpkins

Pumpkin Station

Pumpkin Tower at Pumpkin Station

Find pumpkins of all sizes at Pumpkin Station

All aboard…one of the seven convenient Pumpkin Station locations (including the two actual farms) throughout San Diego County. At the Pumpkin Stations, kids can peruse for the perfect pumpkin while enjoying the kiddie rides, slides, inflatable play centers and petting zoo. At their two farms in Rancho Bernardo and Bonita, little pumpkin carvers will find a living pumpkin patch, corn maze, farm animals and a tractor-pulled haywagon ride.

Dates: Vary by location
Hours: Vary by location
Cost: Free admission, ride tickets start at $1 depending on location
> Find out more about the Pumpkin Station

San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum

Pumpkin Patch and Fall Family Festival

San Diego Children's Discovery Museum Pumpkin Patch and Fall Family Festival

Pick and decorate your pumpkin at the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum Pumpkin Patch and Fall Family Festival

Stop by the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum for hands-on education (don’t tell the kids), pumpkins and fun. While the pumpkin patch is open Tuesday through Sunday, stop by on Saturday for live music, a pumpkin carving station, hands-on gardening and other craft activities. The Family Fall Festival, October 6 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM, will feature live music, food and craft vendors, hands-on activities, a jumpee and more.

Location: 320 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025
Dates: October 1-31, 2013 (Tuesday-Sunday)
Hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Pumpkin Patch – Free with admission. Fall Festival – Members – $5, Nonmembers – $10, Kids 12 and Under – Free
> Find out more about the SDCDM Fall Family Festival

Summer Past Farms Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch sign and pumpkins at Summer Farms

An picturesque pumpkin patch at Summer Farms

Head on over to Summer Past Farms Pumpkin Patch picking weekends for family fun including a jumpee (weekends of October 5, 12, 19), popcorn, corn-dogs and smoothies. On October 6, 7 and 13, the East County Breeders of Alpacas will stop by with their beautiful animals.

Location: 15602 Olde Hwy 80, Flinn Springs, CA 92021
Dates: October 5-27, 2013 (Saturday-Sunday)
Hours: Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM,  Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Varies
> Find out more about Summer Past Farms’ Pumpkin Patch

Suzie’s Farm Pumpkin Palooza

Suzie's Farm Pumpkin Palooza

Find a variety of pumpkins at Suzie’s Farm’s Pumpkin Palooza

Make a day of it in San Diego’s South Bay with pumpkin picking at Suzie’s Farm. Bring a wheelbarrow to carry home plenty of pumpkins for carving and cooking picked right from the fields, fresh produce, jams and more. While harvesting your pumpkins enjoy live music and plenty of delicious food. Don’t forget the camera!

Location: 2570 Sunset Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154
Date: October 12, 2013
Hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free Admission, Pumpkins Vary
> Find out more about Suzie’s Farm Pumpkin Palooza

> Discover more to do in San Diego this Fall

Have a great time at the pumpkin patch? Notice one is missing? Could I have possibly made a mistake on the info? Let me and others know in the comments below.

Maren

Sugar Skulls and Marigolds: Celebrating Day of the Dead in Old Town San Diego – November 1-2, 2012

Day Of the Dead - Catrinas
Day Of the Dead - Catrinas

Catrinas dressed in their finest at Fiesta de Reyes

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), one of Mexico’s most revered and festive holidays, returns to Old Town San Diego on November 1 and 2, 2012, in all of its marigold-lined, sugar skull-adorned, candlelit glory. Old Town San Diego, with its deeply rooted, multi-cultural heritage, provides an ideal backdrop for Dia de los Muertos, which honors and celebrates ancestors and deceased loved ones through music, dance, craft activities and special menus. This community-wide commemoration involves the numerous museums, shops, hotels and restaurants throughout Old Town and is designed for all ages.

Below are just a few highlights of San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos that will certainly make your holiday a memorable one:

Day of the Dead Tour of the Altars

Day of the Dead Alters

Bright and Festive Whaley House Alter. Photo courtesy of Sandé Lollis.

Paths lined with brilliant orange marigolds guide spirits of relatives and friends “home” where alters are prepared with a sampling of their favorite food and drink, photos, mementos and the famous sugar skulls. Follow the free Tour of the Alters map through Old Town to view over 50 personalized alters, some honoring Old Town’s historic figures, being displayed in museums, shops hotels and restaurants such as the Whaley House Museum, Bazaar del Mundo, Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant and Café Coyote.

Day of the Dead Craft Activities

Day of the Dead Crafts

Decorating sugar skulls in the beautiful San Diego fall weather. Photo courtesy of Sandé Lollis.

Participate in various workshops dedicated to Day of the Dead artistry.  Decorate your own sugar skull and learn to make Papel Picado, Mexican Paper Flowers, or Floral headbands in the Whaley House Museum courtyard while listening to free musical performances. Check out the Day of the Dead art show, Saints, Souls, & Style at Bazaar del Mundo and watch Day of the Dead performers at Fiesta de Reyes. Many establishments offer sugar skull face painting at certain times of the day. Check program for full details. All activities are free or include a nominal fee in order to cover craft materials.

Day of the Dead Processional

On Friday, November 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM, gather at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park plaza to take part in a lively candlelight processional down San Diego Avenue to El Campo Cemetery. Free candles will be available at participating businesses and guests are encouraged to sing along with the “Calaveras” processional song (video above). Once inside the cemetery, feel free to leave photographs, messages, flowers or tokens of affection for your own loved ones on the community altar.

Drink and Restaurant Specials

Skullrita and Camarones Inferno - Cafe Coyote

The Skullrita and Camarones Infierno at Cafe Coyote.

Old Town restaurants will create Dia de los Muertos menu and  drink specials for the occasion. Café Coyote, the main title sponsor of Old Town’s Dia de los Muertos, has a celebration menu available now through November 2, which includes traditional holiday fare such as turkey mole enchiladas, tamales de rajas y pollo, and firey Camearones Infierno. Drink offerings include specials such as the “Skullrita,” made with corporate sponsor Azunia Tequila, Cointreau, fresh orange juice, lime juice and a splash of pomegranate, and Mexican Spiked Hot Chocolate. For the alcohol free, complimentary Mexican hot chocolate will be available at Café Coyote’s candy store, November 1-2, 5:00 to 8:00 PM. Other Old Town dining favorites include Casa Guadalajara and Fiesta de Reyes.

Old Town San Diego’s Day of the Dead Information:

Information booths will be set up at the north and south ends of Old Town, at the Whaley House Museum, and Old Town Market. Commemorative sales will be held in the Whaley House Museum. Questions regarding transportation and parking is available here.

Date: November 1-2, 2012
Time: November 1, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM, November 2, 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Address: 2476 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110
Phone: 619.297.9327
Website: www.sddayofthedead.org

Robert Arends

Spirited Halloween Fun in Coronado!

Kate Morgan - Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado welcomes Halloween guests!

Halloween is creeping ever closer to Coronado. Eerily warm Santa Ana winds are howling and palm trees are swaying with fronds outstretched like willowy skeletal fingers. What’s that I see out of the corner of my eye…an ethereal mist taking ghostly form! Could it be the Hotel del Coronado‘s resident ghost Kate Morgan materializing for some frightfully mischievous fun?

Hotel del Coronado’s Hallo-wine & Spirits Party

Hallo-wine & Spirits party tomorrow at The Del!

I like to think so, as I recently encountered her on an impromptu ghost hunt at the hotel. I’m certain Kate is wandering the resort grounds, waiting to make an appearance at The Del’s 3rd Annual Hallo-wine & Spirits Party this Saturday, October 27!

Starting at 7:00 PM, costumed guests can go grown-up trick or treating and partake in a variety of wine, cheese and gourmet chocolate tastings (courtesy of ENO Wine Bar). The fright fest continues until the witching hour (midnight) with devilishly delicious hors d’oeuvres and dancing to DJ-spun tunes in the Crown Room, plus a costume contest.

Don’t worry if you have a little ghost or goblin (ages 4-12) with you, the Del is throwing them a Halloween Themed Kidtopia party as well.

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Cost: $100 per person (must be 21+), $50 per child for the Kidtopia Party
Website: www.hoteldel.com/holidays.aspx
Reservations: 619.522.8490

Stay at the Hotel del with a “Room with a Boo!” Package

Kate Morgan walking up the stairs of the Hotel del Coronado

The ghost of Kate Morgan haunts The Del!

Interested in staying overnight? Check out the “Room with a Boo!” package. It includes a great low rate and a copy of the book, Beautiful Stranger: The Ghost of Kate Morgan and the Hotel del Coronado.

Hotel del’s Room 3327

Kate Morgan roaming the halls of The Del.

Kate Morgan checked in but never checked out of Room 3327.

For more haunting shenanigans, head up to the third floor (if you dare!) and stroll by Kate’s former room #3327. Perhaps you’ll see her ghostly figure adorned in Victorian attire or feel her icy presence in the form of mysterious cold spots (like I did!).

Happy Halloween!

Suzzanne

Top Things To Do in San Diego: October 25-28, 2012

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day

Break out your costume and celebrate because it’s the last weekend before Halloween! Between family days at Balboa Park to a Monster Bash, everyone will find something to do this weekend.

For a more complete rundown of Halloween festivities, check out our previous blog posts below:

1. Balboa Park Family Day

Costumed fun in San Diego’s Historic Balboa Park

Over a dozen museums are treating families to free admission for children 12 and under during the 4th annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day on Saturday, October 27. In addition to free children’s admission with a paid adult, participating museums and cultural attractions will present a spooky array of hands-on activities, crafts, special tours, storytelling, and other free goodies.

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Kids 12 and under free with paid adult admission
> Find out more about Balboa Park’s Halloween Family Day

2. San Diego Monster Bash

Crowds - San Diego Monster Bash

San Diego Monster Bash

Head to the Gaslamp Quarter this Saturday and share in the Halloween fun with music on the entertainment stages, dancing, costumed characters, costume contest and more. Open to adults, 21 years and older. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of show.

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM to Midnight
Cost: $30-$70
> Find out more about San Diego Monster Bash

3. Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

A crashed bus at the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park.

The driver never made it through the Haunted Trail! Photo courtesy of Mike Rollerson.

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is a stroll you will never forget. As you walk the mile-long Trail, spine-tingling sights and sounds will leave you trembling. Among the twisted grove of pines and gnarled oaks along the trail, you’ll experience terror that is simply too big to house indoors. Watch your back and keep close to your companions because you never know which way the terror will hit you.

Dates: Through October 31, 2012
Times: Sunday-Thursday – 7:00 to 11:00 PM, Friday-Saturday – 6:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Cost: $15-$32
> Find out more about the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

4. Haunted Behind the Scenes Wine Tour

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa

Find out why the wine is red…at the South Coast Winery!

South Coast Winery has paired up with the “ghouls and goblins” from its Vineyard Rose Restaurant and its Winery, enhancing the ‘original’ Behind-the-Scenes Tour and adding a “Spook-tacular” Tour. Starting out in the vineyards, then the proceeding to the haunted halls of the winery, one never knows who or what will appear before you to serve up the wines for tour participants and just how it will be delivered. The tour concludes in the winery’s cellar, tucked away in the private Carter Reserve Room, for more haunted happenings.

Dates: October 26-31, 2012
Time: 4:30 to 5:45 PM
Cost: $45
> Find out more about the Haunted Behind the Scenes Wine Tour 

5. Haunted Aquarium: Shipwrecked!

Pirate Ship - Haunted Birch Aquarium - Shipwrecked

Haunted Pirate Ships and More at the Birch Aquarium

Discover what lurks beneath the surface at Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked! Enjoy close encounters of the fishy kind, BOO-gie down with Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters, and explore our wreckage for sunken treasures. Wander the aquarium’s galleys for tricky treats and discover a sea of glowing creatures while having a monstrous good time. Dress to impress!

Dates: October 26-27, 2012
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $15-$19
> Find out more about the Haunted Aquarium: Shipwrecked!

Know of any other great things to do this weekend? Let us and everyone else know in the comments below…