From lively Oktoberfests to fun food-and-wine celebrations to fantastic Kids Free deals, San Diego is the place to be during the next two weeks. Don’t miss out on all the early-fall fun, festivities and top things to do — book your San Diego getaway today!
When: Oct. 1-31, 2023
October is awesome for families in San Diego, where kids can eat, stay and play for free all month long! Check out more than 50 Kids Free San Diego deals and discounts at hotels, restaurants, attractions and more, all around the San Diego region.
When: Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2023
La Mesa’s renowned Oktoberfest celebrates its 50th year with traditional Bavarian festivities, promising fun for visitors of all ages. With great music, food and more, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a festive weekend in the heart of La Mesa.
When: Sept. 29 – Oct. 8, 2023
From bratwurst to sauerkraut to German beers, Oktoberfest in El Cajon offers an authentic Bavarian experience over two fall weekends. The celebration comes complete with the music of Guggenbach-Buam, a band straight from Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Dance and sing along to oom-pah music, watch traditional folk-dance performances, compete in numerous games and contests, check out vendor and craft booths and treat the youngsters to their own Kids Zone.
When: Sept. 30, 2023
Get ready to get sweaty — not to mention muddy! The 2023 version of the Marine Corps Mud Run features a 7K trail run with multiple military-themed obstacles, fitness stations and of course plenty of MUD! (Special note for this year’s event: Those without base access must arrange to be escorted in on race morning by an authorized base patron.)
When: Sept.30, 2023
Get ready for the ultimate Oktoberfest experience in Downtown San Diego’s East Village! Quartyard and the East Village Association have teamed to bring the seventh annual Oktoberfest celebration to the community. Streets between Market and Park will be closed off and transformed into a contemporary Oktoberfest experience tailored to the neighborhood. Attendees can look forward to lots of craft beer and other traditional Oktoberfest fare, plus traditional polka music and tribute bands.
When: Oct. 3-14, 2023
The San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF) returns to in-person screenings at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, with eight films screened in person and 13 virtual short-film selections. This celebrated event showcases the best of new Italian film, with a series of premieres ranging from dramas and comedies to documentaries. The festival also is hosting the third annual SDIFF Ristretto Awards, dedicated to short narratives either by Italians or about Italian culture, Italian-American identity or more broadly for the Italian community.
When: Oct. 6-7, 2023
What’s billed as “the WILDEST Oktoberfest in San Diego” returns to Ocean Beach, with both family-friendly and adult activities. The family-friendly vendors and activities are organized by the Ocean Beach Main Street Association in Veterans Plaza. In the 21+ beer garden. you can enjoy a classic German brew or local beer, wine and spirits. You can also look forward to live music by local and nationally touring artists, plus contests, vendors, giveaways and more.
When: Oct. 7, 2023
Pacific BeachFest is San Diego’s premier beach festival, and it unfolds along the bustling boardwalk in the heart of beautiful “P.B.,” a classic San Diego beach community. It’s a full-day, family-friendly, music-packed event, and it’s all free!
When: Oct. 7-28, 2023
Get ready for some spooky-season fun with this event at Fort Cross, a family farm in the charming East County mountain town of Santa Ysabel. Activities range from haunted hayrides to jug-band music to ghost and a traditional country hoedown. (Note: Prepaid reservations are required.)
When: Oct. 7-8, 2023
Mouth-watering, lip-smacking cocktails await at this two-day signature event, which promises to be a feast for ALL your senses. Savor a weekend of unlimited sips as you reconnect with brands you know and discover new ones from over 60 labels, ranging from high-end spirits to ready-to-drink cocktails and seltzers. The San Diego Spirits Festival is THE major cocktail-culture extravaganza celebrated in San Diego.
When: Oct. 7, 2023
Home to culinary innovation and cutting-edge brew masters, North Park is a go-to San Diego destination for everything food and drink. Taste of North Park invites culinary enthusiasts to enjoy over 40 food tastes from San Diego’s best restaurants. But the event isn’t just for foodies! If you’re looking to enjoy some hops while you walk, you can also sip on the region’s best craft beer: Craft brewers convene in North Park for the day to offer 4-ounce samples of their best releases as well as an array of distinctively created nonalcoholic beverages.
When: Oct. 7-8, 2023
The La Jolla Art & Wine Festival returns to downtown La Jolla, showcasing prestigious art, regional and international wines, craft beer and spirits, and family-friendly fun. The festival features more than 160 artists from across the U.S. and Mexico, whose exquisite creations come in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, jewelry design, fine glass, ceramics, woodwork, mixed media and photography. The fest is also a place for vino enthusiasts and craft-beer lovers to unite, with 35 international wineries, local craft breweries and craft distilleries represented.