Maren

Live Music in San Diego: November Rocks!

Transfer Band

Transfer Band

It’s rock, roll and robots this November in San Diego. From rock legends to hometown favorites, La Jolla Playhouse to the Casbah, November is the month to get indoors and see the myriad ways live music in San Diego rocks.

Walk the Moon

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPedH9B8AAE]

With a youthful vibe and infectious rhythms, Walk the Moon has managed to rise to fame in as little as 4 years.  With hits like “Tightrope” from their self-titled album, released in June of 2012, they show little sign of slowing down.

Location: House of Blues – 1055 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 14, 2012
Time: 8:00 PM
Cost: $27 ($17.50 + $9.50 service fee)
> Get Walk The Moon Tickets

Dave Mason

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8_FOQ7-P30]

Take the chance to see rock legend Dave Mason, who first found fame with the rock band Traffic and has played and recorded with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac and Cass Elliot over his four decade career.

Location: Anthology Supper Club – 1337 India St, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 15, 2012
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: $19-$79
> Get Dave Mason Tickets

Transfer

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x39IsffUiYY]

See hometown favorites, Transfer, in their last San Diego appearance of2012. Alreadt winners of “Best Rock” and “Song of the Year” at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards, Transfer continues to win crowds over with soaring vocals and memorable anthems.

Location: Casbah – 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Date: November 17, 2012
Time: 8:30 PM
Cost: $12
> Get Transfer Tickets

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Banner - La Jolla Playhouse

The music of the Flaming Lips comes alive through 14-foot robot puppets, dancers in “glowing” LED costumes and stunning projections in this world premiere musical at the La Jolla Playhouse.

Location: La Jolla Playhouse –
Dates: Now through December 16, 2012
Times: Vary by Date
Cost: Starting at $15
> Get Yoshimi Battle the Pink Robots Tickets

> Discover more Live Music in San Diego

Let us know in the comments below, what rocks about San Diego?

Sandra

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends and Where to Get Them in San Diego

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends from Neiman Marcus
Fall and Winter Fashion Trends from Neiman Marcus

Fall and Winter Fashion Trends from Neiman Marcus

Even though San Diego’s consistent favorable weather might make you think that we don’t shop for the latest fall and winter fashion trends; we certainly embrace the season’s ensembles that fit our active lifestyle and great weather!

Westfield Style Tour with Stacy London

Westfield Style Tour with Stacy London from What Not to Wear

At the “Westfield Style Tour,” Stacy London, from What Not To Wear, described San Diego’s style as healthy, colorful, and cheerful and that made me think that the jewel tones for fall and winter will fit perfectly! Some key pieces to buy while visiting San Diego would be, colored denim, a casual-chic jacket, or a gem colored holiday dress.

Some of these items can be found at various boutiques around San Diego:

Poppy Boutique

Clothes at the Poppy Boutique

Poppy Boutique

One of my favorite to shop for jackets and on-trend colors for Fall is Poppy Boutique. This boutique features the current trends for every season and I especially love their faux leather leggings.

Location: 16087 San Dieguito Road, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 (map)
Website: www.poppyrsf.com

Rica Boutique La Jolla

RICA Boutique Storefront

RICA Boutique in San Diego’s La Jolla

Rica Boutique La Jolla showcases some great fashions that won’t break the bank! I love their colored and patterned denim, festive holiday dresses, and the essential faux-leather motto jacket!

Location: 7456 Girard Avenue, San Diego, CA 92037 (map)
Website: www.shop-rica.com

Le Bel Age Boutique

Le Bel Age Boutique Storefront

Fashion in the Heart of Mission Hills at Le Bel Age Boutique

The go-to boutique called Le Bel Age carries looks from bold-boho-chic to effortless -elegant-chic. I love their take on modern tunics with leggings (great for layering), to gorgeous holiday dresses and Chanel-inspired jackets. If the fabulous window displays do not entice you in then their price points sure will!

Location: 1607 West Lewis Street, San Diego, CA 92103 (map)
Website: www.facebook.com/lebelageboutique

> Discover even more great shopping in San Diego

Know of another great place to shop for fall and winter fashion trends in San Diego? Let me and others know in the comments below.

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: November 1-4, 2012

Day of the Dead Fiesta de Reyes Altar

Get ready to enjoy a fun and warm fall weekend in San Diego with these great things to do:

1. Old Town San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Fiesta de Reyes Altar

An impressive alter at Fiesta de Reyes

Colorful altars and other traditional celebrations of Day of the Dead, one of Mexico’s most revered and festive holidays, return to Old Town San Diego. This community-wide commemoration, which honors ancestors and other deceased loved ones with special menus, music, dancing and crafts, is free and designed for all ages.

Location: Old Town San Diego (map)
Dates: November 1-2, 2012
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos

2. Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Carlsbad Village Street Faire

Carlsbad Village Street Faire

Head up to Carlsbad on Sunday, November 4 for the largest one day street fair in California. The Faire features over 800 exhibitors, international food and live entertainment.

Location: Grand Ave. from Carlsbad Blvd. to Jefferson St. (map)
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

3. Fall Back Festival: the Children’s Historical Street Faire

Fall Back Gaslamp Quarter Logo

The free Fall Back Festival brings the history and culture of the Gaslamp Quarter and Old San Diego alive for children and families. The event features entertainment such as a Wild West Shootout, hayrides, ice cream eating contest, clog dancing and food.

Location: 410 Island Avenue (map)
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Fall Back Festival: the Children’s Historical Street Faire

4. 13th Annual Asian Film Festival

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2012 Logo

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the largest exhibitions of Asian international and Asian American cinema in North America. Along with narrative features, the nine-day Festival also showcases documentaries, short films, and animation. Screenings take place at the Mission Valley UltraStar Cinema with tickets starting at $11.50.

Location: Mission Valley UltraStar Cinema (map)
Dates: November 1-9, 2012
Cost: Tickets start at $11.50
> Find out more about the 13th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival

5. San Diego Beer Week

Cheers during San Diego Beer Week

Say Cheers to another exciting San Diego Beer Week!

The San Diego Brewers Guild Festival kicks of San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) this Saturday. SDBW is a ten-day celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture. With over 317 events throughout the week, visitors are sure to get their share of San Diego’s best brews.

Locations: Varies by event
Dates: November 2-11, 2012
Cost: Varies by event
> Find out more about San Diego Beer Week

Know of any other great events going on in San Diego? Let us and other know about them in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Beer Week Returns – November 2-11, 2012

Cheers during San Diego Beer Week
Cheers during San Diego Beer Week

Say Cheers to another exciting San Diego Beer Week!

San Diego Beer Week is a countywide celebration of the amazing local craft beer culture. Over the course of 10 days, SDBW offers craft beer lovers the chance to sample award winning regional beers (San Diego breweries took home 15 medals from the 2012 Great American Beer Festival!) at more than 250 different events including festivals, tap takeovers, beer brunches, brewery tours, pint nights, beer releases, cask nights, beer dinners, brewer meet and greets, education sessions and more.

You can find a full list of events at www.sdbw.org/events.

While picking an event to attend each day and/or night can be a difficult decision, here are two events you don’t want to miss:

San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival

Mayor Sanders Tapping the first keg - San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival

San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders taps the first keg during the 2011 San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival.

The Brewers Guild Festival is SDBW’s signature event and features more than 100 different beers from San Diego craft breweries, food from local brew pubs, and live music and entertainment throughout the festival. Entry into the festival includes a commemorative 4 ounce tasting glasses, ten tasting tickets and the chance to talk to the brewers as they pour you a cold one.

> Watch highlights from last years festival here

Location: Port Pavilion Pier – 1000 North Harbor Drive (map)
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: $10-$45
> Find out more about the San Diego Beer Week Brewers Guild Festival

Tip: Save yourself the hassle and use an alternative mode of transportation to get to the festival. Take any of the multiple buses, Blue or Orange Trolley Lines, or Coaster that stop at the Santa Fe Depot, and it’s just a short two block walk to the pier. Find public transportation schedules at www.sdcommute.com. You can also easily take a taxi or Uber it. Remember to enjoy yourself and stay safe.

The Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Beer Garden attendees talking to a brewer during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden

Meet the Brewers during San Diego Beer Week Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

To close out SDBW, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is hosting the Beer Garden, a relaxing Sunday afternoon that includes unlimited beer tastings from 20 local breweries, food pairings from 10 of San Diego’s finest chefs and a beautiful view of Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean. Take advantage of one of the Signature Room ($349) or Palisade Room ($429) packages offered by the Lodge that include a one night stay and two tickets to the festival.

Location: The Lodge at Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road (map)
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Time: 12:00 to 3:00 PM
Cost: $75
> Find out more about the Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Which San Diego Beer Week event are you most looking forward to this year?

Denise

Hanging Out at San Diego’s Tide Pools

Swami's Tidepools - Encinitas

Mild ocean breezes and rolling waves are always in season at San Diego beaches.  In the fall, the weather is still warm enough to hit the surf, and even better, a great time to discover the secret world of tide pools. There’s no telling what tiny creatures you’ll encounter in these incredible little ecosystems teeming with life along San Diego’s shoreline. It all happens when the tide rolls out – shallow pools form around the rocks and become a home to tiny octopuses, colorful sea stars, hardy Hermit crabs and other remarkable critters. And that’s just what’s visible to the naked eye.

When my own kids were very young, exploring the tide pools was one of our favorite weekend adventures. Their favorite discoveries: The slimy looking sea cucumbers and prickly sea urchins. Now teenagers, they still love to go, so this activity is good for nature-lovers of all ages.

Fall kicks-off the best viewing season and runs through winter. Before you visit, check the surf report to make sure it’s low or minus tide, so the tide pools are out in the open. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Cabrillo National Monument

Tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument

The Intertidal Area – Cabrillo National Monument

Walk down the scenic path where land and sea meet to a large rocky area. These tide pools offers some of San Diego’s best protected examples of periwinkle snails, tiny crabs and other unique organisms.

Shell Beach, La Jolla

Minus tide is the best time to see the tide pool here.  It is at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park in La Jolla at the bottom of the small cement stairway.  This beach is also home to Seal Rock Reserve, where you can watch seals and sea lions playing and sunning themselves.

Tourmaline Surfing Park, Pacific Beach

This is a surfing-only beach that’s also popular with biology students. To get to the tide pools walk north along the beach from the parking area west of La Jolla Boulevard at the north end of Pacific Beach.

Swami’s, Encinitas

Swami's Tidepools - Encinitas

Swami’s Tidepools – Encinitas

North on Pacific Coast Highway from Cardiff State Beach is Swami’s. Once you’re on the beach, walk north to the rocky areas. Hidden in the hard sedimentary rock are old fossils shells, and during low tide, you have a good chance of seeing sea hares, brittle stars and octopuses.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

She sees Sea Hares down by the sea shore!

For something more organized, Birch Aquarium offers guided visits to La Jolla tide pool to learn how these amazing habitats and their inhabitants truly survive “between a rock and a hard place.”

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…

Martin

7 Pier Fishing Spots in San Diego

Family Pier Fishing under a Blue San Diego Sky
Family Pier Fishing under a Blue San Diego Sky

Pier Fishing in San Diego is Amazing!

Scrape away the years and years of fishing experiences from most old salts and you’ll probably find a pier or barge fisherman under all those tales of whoppers and the ones that got away.

Pier fishing is how many fishermen started out. It’s a blue-collar way to enjoy the sport. Anglers don’t need a fishing license to fish a public pier, so there’s that, but it’s also a great place to take kids because there’s always something for them to do.

San Diego is blessed with some of the best fishing piers in the state, including two that are nearly 2,000 feet long.

Pier Fishing Gear

Let’s start with the gear you’ll need. It’s better to keep it simple for the walk from your vehicle to where you plan to fish on the pier. Some of the avid pier rats have carts to carry all their gear, but to get started, you can get away with a good, medium-action to stout 7- to 9-foot rod, a saltwater spinning reel (bit larger than your lake model, with the reel loaded with at least 20- to 25-pound test line or a second outfit with 10- to 15-pound line for fishing closer to shore), bait in the form of frozen squid, bloodworms, mussels, sardines or anchovies, terminal tackle should include an assortment of saltwater hooks 9 (size 2-8)  and sinkers (1 to 4 ounces). Lures are good, too, with jigs and spoons being the best options. Be sure and pack sunscreen, a good hat, sunglasses and wear comfortable shoes or Crocs. Other essentials include pliers, a fillet knife and a cooler with drinks and snacks, especially for piers with no food for sale.

Here’s a rundown on San Diego’s fishing piers and some tips for fishing them. In the summer, these piers can offer really good fishing when the grunion are running around the full moon. The beach-spawning grunion attract bigger fish like halibut, bass and other fish, and that means good action for inshore fishermen.

Imperial Beach Pier

Surfer in front of Imperial Beach Pier in San Diego's South Bay

Imperial Beach Pier

Imperial Beach Pier, San Diego’s southernmost pier, extends out 1,491 feet into water 20 feet or more deep. As with most San Diego piers, the closer to shore you are the lighter gear you want to use for inshore fish like barred surfperch, California corbina or yellowfin croaker. Halibut can lurk there, especially on nights when grunion are running. Sand bass also may be biting, too. At the end of the pier, anglers target bonito, mackerel and small barracuda, with an occasional yellowtail or white seabass.

Amenities: Restaurant, Restrooms, Fish-cleaning stations
Directions:
 To reach the pier, take I-5 south to Palm Avenue (Highway 75); follow Palm Avenue to where it divides with Highway 75, stay on Palm Avenue to Seacoast Drive, turn right to the pier.
Hours: 24/7

Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

The Coronado Ferry Landing Pier is one of the area’s secret fishing spots. It’s tucked behind the Old Ferry Landing Shopping Complex over on Coronado Island, so many don’t know it’s there. It’s only 377 feet long, but can be an excellent fishing spot for sand bass, spotted bay bass, mackerel and bonito. There’s also good action for perch, croakers, rays and sharks. You’ll need lighter tackle here because the water is very clear and shallow. There’s no bait or food for sale on the pier, but the shopping center has some options. The restrooms are a short walk from the pier.

Amenities: Restaurants, shops and bathrooms with walking distance
Directions:
To reach it, take the Coronado Bridge over to Coronado. Once there, you’re on 3rd Street, follow it to B Avenue, turn right and follow it to the front of the Old Ferry Landing at the intersection of B Avenue and First Street. The pier is behind the shops.
Hours: 24/7

Embarcadero Marina Park Pier

Embarcadero Marina Park Pier is another of the lesser-known fishing spots, but it can be very good. It’s southwest of the San Diego Convention Center and stretches out just 95 feet, but it has a T-shaped end and is 300 feet wide. There’s an artificial reef nearby that draws some quality fish like schools of bonito, mackerel, jack mackerel and small barracuda. But there’s usually always good fishing for calico bass, sand bass and spotted bay bass.

Directions: Take I-5 to the Market Street exit, follow Market Street west to Harbor Drive, turn left on Harbor Drive and go to 8th Avenue, turn right onto Convention Way. Follow that a short block to 5th Avenue and the pier.

Ocean Beach Pier

Ocean Beach Pier

Ocean Beach Pier

The Ocean Beach Pier is the longest pier in San Diego County at 1,971 feet. It’s a great place to fish and sight-see. There’s a stocked bait and tackle store and the Ocean Beach Pier Café offers good chow all day long. The T-shaped design gives this pier nearly one mile of railing for anglers, so fishing options are many. Most go to the end of the T to fish the deeper water for bass, perch, mackerel and even California spiny lobster (but only in-season, October to March).

Amenities: Restaurant: Pier Café, Bait and Tackle Shop
Directions:
Take I-5 north of San Diego to the Sea World Drive exit. Follow Sea World Drive to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, take Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to Newport Avenue, turn right on Newport Avenue and follow it to the end and the pier parking lot.
Hours: 24/7

Crystal Pier

Crystal Pier is one of the great spots in San Diego because it offers stay-on-the-pier and over-the-ocean cottages and some good fishing off Pacific Beach. It’s a private pier at night, but anglers may fish it during the day, and the fishing can be very good for barred surfperch, corbina, walleye surfperch, shovelnose guitarfish and even an occasional halibut. There’s also fair fishing for sand bass and calico bass at the end of the pier, mostly. It’s a great lobster spot, too, and a tradition for some on the opening night of lobster season. The Crystal Pier Hotel offers great lodging, but make sure you make your reservations well ahead of time.

Amenities: Crystal Pier Hotel
Directions:
Take I-5 to Garnet Avenue and follow Garnet to the foot of the pier.
Hours: 7:00 AM to 7 PM for visitors, 24 hours for motel guests.

Shelter Island Pier

Shelter Island Pier is located near the most vibrant fishing community in San Diego. The Marlin Club is down the street, the Shelter Island Launch Ramp is east of the pier and the boardwalk is a great place to take a nice, long walk along the waterfront. It’s also a short drive from the San Diego-based sport fleet, four landings landings that offer every kind of fishing trip, from half-day to multi-day runs into Mexican waters. There are lots of quality restaurants like Fiddler’s Green. But here on the pier, you’ll see the fleet’s sport boats and private boats, and even a Navy ship or two, cruise by as you relax on the 200-foot pier with a T-shaped end that stretches 500 feet. There is lots of room to fish for mackerel, yellowfin croaker, calico and sand bass and an occasional halibut. Also lots of shovelnose sharks and bat rays.

Amenities: Restaurant, Bait and Tackle Shop
Directions:
Take I-5 or I-8 to Rosecrans (Highway 209) and go west, turn left at Shelter Island Drive and follow the road until you see the pier and entrance to the parking lot on the left.
Hours: 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM

Oceanside Pier

Picnic Area in front of Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Pier is another of the area’s top tourist spots, located near a thriving harbor and marina area, a very active beach and surfing spot and even has a restaurant at the end of the pier, Ruby’s Diner, where you can enjoy a cold drink and a killer burger over the water. There’s also a very good bait and tackle shop. The pier is 1,942 feet long and offers a wide range of fish, from the inshore species like corbina, perch and croaker to the more pelagic species like bonito, mackerel, barracuda and even an occasional white seabass or yellowtail. Halibut also show here, so be ready.

Amenities: Restaurant: Ruby’s Diner, Bait and Tackle Shop
Directions:
To reach the pier take I-5 to Mission Boulevard, go west to Pacific and turn left. Follow it to the pier.
Hours: 24/7

Tell us in the comments below, which pier is your favorite fishing pier?

Suzzanne

Halloween Fun for Kids in San Diego

Princesses at SeaWorld San Diego's Halloween Spooktacular

Halloween isn’t just for the 31st anymore, especially if you have kids. Browse the list for fun things to do with your kids this Halloween season.

1. LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Party Nights

Cruise on over to LEGOLAND California for Halloween Fun.

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights is back for its one-of-a-kind party every Saturday Night in October from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. Several monstrously fun areas of LEGOLAND are open late for Party Nights, including Land of Adventure, Castle Hill and the Imaginati

Halloween fun for kids isn’t just on the 31st anymore. Browse the list for fun things to do in San Diego with your kids this Halloween season.

on Zone. Be sure the little ones come in costume; prizes will be given for Best Pirate, Most LEGO Themed and Most Creative. And visitors who stay until 9:00 PM will be treated to an awesome fireworks display!

Dates: Saturdays, October 20 & 27, 2012
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Party Nights
> Kids Go Free to LEGOLAND California during October’s Kids Free San Diego

2. Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked!

Pirate Ship - Haunted Birch Aquarium - Shipwrecked

Haunted Pirate Ships and More at the Birch Aquarium

Ghouls and buoys of all ages are invited to spend a safe and “spirited” Halloween with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Discover what lurks beneath the surface and soak up spooky science activities and explore the aquarium’s “wreckage” for sunken treasures. Kids can come in their costume for a chance to win great prizes!

Dates: Friday-Saturday, October 26-27, 2012
Cost: Members – $15, Nonmembers – $17, At the Door – $19
> Find out more about Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked!
> Kids Go Free to the Birch Aquarium during Kids Free San Diego
(Offer for regular admission only, does not include special events)

3. Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld San Diego

Princesses at SeaWorld San Diego's Halloween Spooktacular

Who’s the Fairest Pumpkin Princess at SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular?

During SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular, kids can meet some spooky and not-so-spooky animals, pose for pictures with mesmerizing mermaids and trick-or-treat in a sea-inspired atmosphere.

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21 & 27-28, 2012
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about the Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld San Diego
> Kids Go and Eat Free to SeaWorld San Diego during October’s Kids Free San Diego

4. Haunted Tales from our Seafaring Past

The Star of India at the Maritime Museum of San Diego is place to be on for all aspiring ghosts, goblins and princesses to gether for some ghostly tales of enormous proportions. Creepy treats will be given to all who dare attend and kids are encouraged to wear costumes.

Dates: Friday-Saturday, October 20, 26-27, 2012
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Haunted Tales from our Seafaring Past at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

5. Balboa Park’s Halloween Family Day

Costumed fun in San Diego’s Historic Balboa Park

Head over to Balboa Park for a Park-wide Halloween celebration. There will be Halloween-themed family activities in the museums from 11:00 to 3:00 PM as well as booths along the Prado with activities.

Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Cost: Children 12 and under free at participating museums
> Find out more about Balboa Park’s Halloween Family Day
> Kids Go Free to 30 Museum in San Diego during October’s Kids Free San Diego
(Offer for regular admission only, does not include special events/exhibits)

Know of any more great Halloween fun for Kids in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego: October 18-21, 2012

Star of India with lights at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Spend another warm autumn weekend enjoying one of these great events in San Diego.

1. Haunted Tales of our Seafaring Past

Star of India with lights at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Do you dare board the Star of India when the lights go out?

During this time of year, spooky things start to happen on the Star of India at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Climb aboard  for creepy treats, a hauntingly fun tour, ghostly tales and more. Your tiny ghouls and princesses are encouraged to come dressed up for a night of Halloween excitement on the water.

Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Haunted Tales of Our Seafaring Past

2. SEA Days at the Birch Aquarium – Got Water

Family learning about tide pools at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Learn about the importance of water during SEA Days.

Water is essential to life on our planet. Bring the whole family to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps to learn about urban runoff, water quality, and conservation concerns with hands-on exploration, special activities, and a chance to interact with Scripps Oceanography scientists.

Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about SEA Days at the Birch Aquarium – Got Water
> Kids Go Free to the Birch Aquarium with the San Diego Museum Council Kids Free Coupon

3. Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

Holiday decorations for sale at the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

Get your handmade holiday decorations at the Harvest Festival in Del Mar.

For more than 40 years, craft lovers have converged at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the annual Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show. There will be food, music and plenty of unique handmade works from more than 300 arts and crafts people. It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping!

Dates: Friday-Sunday, October 19-21, 2012
Cost: Adults – $9, Seniors 62+ – $7, Ages 13-17 – $4 and Kids 12 and Under – Free
> Find out more about the Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show

4. Oktoberfest Celebration at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Sign

Travel to Africa, Asia and Germany in one day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park!

Spend the day exploring the exotic and wild animals for Africa and Asia before ending your adventures with a trip to Germany (while never actually leaving the park) during the Oktoberfest Celebration at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Enjoy live music, a delicious buffet of German-inspired specialties and a variety of German Beers (for those over 21).

Date: Sunday, October 21, 2012
Cost: For Oktoberfest Only, Adults – $39.95 and Kids 3-11 – $18.95
> Find out more about the Oktoberfest Celebration at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
> Kids Go Free to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park during October’s Kids Free San Diego

5. San Diego African Restaurant Week

Ethiopian Injera and Wat

Discover Ethiopian Injera (pancake-like bread) and Wat (stew) during San Diego African Restaurant Week. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

In its inaugural year, San Diego African Restaurant week invites everyone to experience African cuisine from Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Jamaica with a Prix Fixe menu including an appetizers, main course, and desserts at restaurants in the uptown neighborhoods. Throughout the week, there will also be cooking classes, traditional music and dance, and coffee ceremonies. Don’t miss the opening event at the WorldBeat Center on Friday, October 19 starting at 7:00 PM.

Dates: Friday-Sunday, October 19-28, 2012
Cost: Prix Fixe Menu – $15, WorldBeat Center Opening Event – $10
> Find out more about San Diego African Restaurant Week

6. Pumpkin Palooza at Suzie’s Farm

Pumpkins - Suzie's Farm Pumpkin Palooza

Find a great carving or cooking pumpkin at Pumpkin Palooza at Suzie’s farm.

With Halloween just around the corner, why not find the perfect pumpkin for carving or cooking at Suzie’s Farm’s Pumpkin Palooza (you can find plenty of other pumpkin patches here). The whole family can enjoy a day of pumpkin picking, music, organic food from popular food trucks and more.

Date: Saturday, October 20, 2012
Cost: Entry is Free, Pumpkins priced by weight
> Find out more about Suzie’s Farm’s Pumpkin Pakooza

Know of another great event in San Diego this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Sarah Weinberg

Haunted Hotel Deal for a Halloween Weekend at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Haunted trail at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

We plan to hit the Halloween trail early this season and venture beyond our own neighborhood to experience a spooky yet family friendly getaway for locals and visitors alike. San Diego hotels are getting into the “spirit” of Halloween by offering special packages focusing on a ghoulishly good time for young children and their parents.

My kids are excited about our overnight visit to the Rancho Bernardo Inn on Halloween weekend to experience the Halloween @ the Inn Stay and Spook family package. My girlfriend did this last year with her kids and recommended the family activities including trick-or-treating, a not-so-scary haunted house, pumpkin decorating and even glow in the dark cocktails for mom and dad.

Halloween @ the Inn Activities

Kids Making a Witches Brew at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Double, double toil and trouble

Kids will enjoy dressing up for a costume contest and being allowed to roam through the spooky carnival games at Rancho Bernardo Inn during Halloween weekend.

Haunted trail at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Do you dare take the haunted trail

The ghostly grounds of the Rancho Bernardo Inn decorated for Halloween. The Inn’s themed family events are open to hotel guests purchasing the Stay & Spook package starting at $199 for a family of four, or locals can join in the activities scheduled Friday and Saturday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM for $17 per child (age up to 14 years old).

Kids picking pumpkins at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Find the perfect Halloween pumpkin

Younger children will enjoy the pumpkin patch, a free “goodie pumpkin” at check-in, face painting and trick or treating.

Kids acting like flying witches at the Rancho Bernardo Inn

Fly, Fly my pretties!

With a focus on a friendly Halloween experience, and lots of treats and sweets, including s’mores, trick or treating and kid-friendly snacks like caramel apples and hot pretzels available for purchase, Halloween @ the Inn should prove to be one of the most fun Halloween parties we’ve ever attended!

Halloween @ the Inn Package Information

Rates starting from $199 per night. Additional kids $17 per night (ages 3-14). Rate valid for two adults and two kids. Some restrictions may apply. Available October 26 & 27, 2012.

> Book Your Spooktacular Halloween @ the Inn Weekend Today!