SAN DIEGO — Looking to get the spooky vibes going with some fun Halloween activities?
From thrills for horror fans to family-friendly events, we’ve compiled a list of the top Halloween attractions across San Diego County.
HalGLOWeen at San Diego Zoo
HalGLOWeen returns to the San Diego Zoo each weekend in October with the Halloween celebration and other activities starting at 5 p.m. There will be musical entertainment, dance parties (featuring bubbles!), special performances, and more including Dr. Zoolittle, zoo characters and food specials, the zoo website says. Kids 11 and younger are welcome to come in costume and HalGLOWeen is included in all memberships and all admission tickets.
Halloween at SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld is extending its two Halloween-themed events this year: The annual SeaWorld Spooktacular and the first-ever Howl-O-Scream.
The Spooktacular is included with a SeaWorld admission ticket, offering families candy, costumes and fun with Sesame Street friends each weekend from Sept. 18 – Oct. 31. Additional nights were just added, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, while Howl-O-Scream will take place on Thursdays in addition to the formerly- announced Friday-Sunday schedule. Horror fans can experience three haunted houses, scare zones, nighttime coaster rides, a live show and themed bars, including a steam-punk dance club called The Underground, during Howl-O-Scream. The separately-ticketed event starts at $59.99 per person.
Brick-or-Treat at Legoland
Legoland is open after dark for a kid-focused Halloween event every Saturday in October. Brick-or-Treat attendees can enjoy rides open late, trick-or-treating, live entertainment, Halloween décor, and more at the theme park. Costumes are encouraged and there’s more Halloween fun at the SEA LIFE aquarium with live creatures and underwater pumpkin carving. Tickets start at $104.99 and reservations are required to visit the theme park, according to the website.
22nd Annual Haunted Aquarium
Birch Aquarium is hosting its annual Haunted Aquarium from 6-9 p.m. on October 22, 23 and 24. Visitors will meet slimy sea creatures, learn about mysterious animals from the sea and get up close with spooky science during the family-friendly event. Anticipate goodie bags and fun Halloween-themed activities including a “kelp” maze. Costumes, especially those that are ocean-themed, are encouraged and tickets must be purchased in advance online. Admission is $25 for members and $30 for the general public.
Spooky Campover and Pumpkin Bash events
Lions Tigers & Bears, the big cat and bear sanctuary in Alpine, is hosting two family-friendly Halloween events this year. Families are invited to camp out in the countryside and sleep under the stars with the animals during a Spooky Campover on Friday, Oct. 29.
The overnight event includes s’mores, campfire songs, pumpkin carving and a Halloween costume contest. Families must bring their own camping gear for the event, which starts at 3 p.m. and ends at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Prices for members include $50 for ages 13+ and $35 per child. Non-members will pay $80 per adult and $55 per child.
The sanctuary’s Pumpkin Bash will take place Saturday, Oct. 30 at 10 a.m. Come dressed in costume and watch the big cats and bears devour pumpkins stuffed with goodies and enjoy fall-themed toys and treats. The cost for members is $30 for ages 13+ and $15 per child, while non-members will pay $60 per adult and $35 per child.
Halloween at Children’s Nature Retreat
Get up-close with 170+ animals in their habitat and visit an “array of beautiful pumpkins” during Children’s Nature Retreat’s fall festivities. A pumpkin patch is included with admission and other fall fun includes costume contests and fall family photo shoots on select Sundays (call to reserve). Single-day admission is $38 and the retreat is open Oct. 1-31, Thursday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Halloween movies at Rooftop Cinema Club
Halloween fans can start celebrating early with Halloween movie showings at Rooftop Cinema Club along the Embarcadero. From Hocus Pocus to Beetlejuice and the Nightmare Before Christmas, the venue is offering plenty of movies to get the Halloween vibes going. Movie tickets start at $17.50 for adults and $13.50 for kids.
Haunted Corn Maze at Carlsbad Strawberry Company
Carlsbad Strawberry Company is a popular fall destination and those looking for a spooky adventure may want to check out their haunted maze. Organizers teamed up with the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation to put on the haunted maze from 7-10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 1-30. Tickets are $25 per person.
Haunted Trail of Balboa Park and Haunted Hotel
The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park returns this year with a 3,500-square foot “eXperiment Maze” featuring horror icons lurking in dark corners followed by a mile long outdoor trail. You’re invited to follow the faceless boy through Merlin’s Forest, float downstream with Pennywise and climb aboard a “Ghoul Bus” with a cloister of nuns. Recommended for ages 10 and up, the event takes place most nights from Sept. 24-31 and tickets start at $24.99.
The same team behind the Haunted Trail puts on The Haunted Hotel’s Disturbance in Mission Valley. Tickets also begin at $24.99 and coupons for $5 off the haunted experiences are available at Goodwill stores countywide.
Fort Cross Haunted Harvest
Fort Cross, a family farm in Julian, has a host of fall activities for the family at its Julian Autumn jubilee, from hayrides to cider pressing and a pumpkin patch. Those desiring some spooky fun may be interested in the Fort Cross Haunted Harvest featuring Jug Band Music, a hoedown, ghost stories and a haunted hayride. The $30 per person event takes place on Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and prepaid reservations are required.
Halloween display in Oceanside
Looking for some free family fun ahead of Halloween? All are invited to take in the sights and sounds of an Oceanside family’s display. The decorations light up from dusk to midnight every night at 1050 Bells Drive. The Denning family is encouraging visitors to get out and walk around to take in some of the finer details of their homemade display, which made its debut in 2020 after they moved from Denver to Oceanside.
For those who don’t mind a drive for some Halloween fun, a new haunted attraction is open in Temecula this year. Temecula Terror is open Thursdays-Sundays in October and features three “terrifying” mazes — Hyde Street Haunted House, Butterfield Asylum and the Crypt. Attendees are invited to indulge on creepy cocktails and brews at two bars and kids can also get it on the fun with Family Fright hours from 5-7 p.m. Tickets for adults start at $20 for weekdays and $25 on weekends, according to the event website.