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16 Ways to Celebrate Halloween in San Diego 2023

From family-friendly theme park extravaganzas to bloodcurdling bar crawls, here are the best spots to have a scary-good time
Girls dressed up for Halloween in a graveyard
Halloween Events San Diego Things to Do 2023 Brick or Treat Legoland

Grab your werewolf suit and faux fangs (or a t-shirt that says “This is my costume”)—it’s spooky season in San Diego. The city offers a hair-raising roundup of Halloween happenings for kids and adults, including bone-chilling boat parties, hauntingly beautiful concerts, and not-so-terrifying trick-or-treating.

Here are 16 of the best Halloween events in San Diego.

Courtesy of SeaWorld

Now–October 29

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular

Moray eels aren’t the only creepy critters at SeaWorld this autumn. The park’s Halloween Spooktacular brings several weekends full of fall family fun, including a trick-or-treating trail, a Halloween dance party, a hay maze, and on-theme live shows. Access to these activities is included with regular admission to the park (and, in October, each adult ticket comes with a complimentary kids’ ticket!). | 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay

The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular

Little ones can don their costumes for holiday festivities at San Diego’s Sesame Place. Count crows while playing the Sesame Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt, score sweets with parkwide trick-or-treating, and do the Monster Mash with Elmo at the Furry Friends Dance Party. Sesame Place is also participating in Kids Free October. | 2052 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista

Legoland Brick-Or-Treat

Meet you at Lord Vampyre’s Fangtastic Forest. Legoland’s annual Brick-or-Treat event returns with a wacky map of trick-or-treating stops, plus a costume contest, a 4D monster movie, a zombie cheerleader show, a station for building spooky Lego spiders, and more. | 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad

October 7-28

Haunted Harvest

Julian’s Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures hosts a heart-pounding hayride every Saturday this October featuring haunting ghost stories—and even a walk through a dark, chilly forest. Not in the mood for frights? Skip the spectral tales and simply enjoy the property’s fall hoedown, complete with lively jug band music. | 4425 Highway 78, Santa Ysabel

October 20

Hauntfest On Main

Grab the fam and head to downtown El Cajon for this not-too-frightening festival. Little ones 42 inches and shorter can collect candy on a trick-or-treat trail, while bigger kiddos can play games to win sweets. Also catch carnival rides, a costume contest, and pumpkin patch chock-full of future jack-o-lanterns. | East Main Street, El Cajon

Promotional ad for Haunted Hangar Halloween Bash on Oct 21st 2023 at the USS Midway
Courtesy of the USS Midway

October 21

Haunted Hangar Halloween Bash

On deck at the USS Midway Museum, create Halloween crafts, break it down to DJ-driven tunes, and dress up with the family to compete for the $600 Best Group Costume prize. Forgot your duds? Get your face painted and transform into a creature of your choosing. Magicians, balloon artists, and a squad of anonymous dancers that might just bust out an epic performance of “Thriller” will also be wandering the crowd. | 910 North Harbor Drive, Downtown

October 22

AWARE Autistic Adult Halloween Dance Party

AWARE, by the Autism Society San Diego, throws an incredible dance party on October 22nd for autistic adults (18+). This night of fun features pizza, beverages, dancing (of course!), and great music. Costumes are optional, and entry costs only $5. Parents and caregivers have free admission. Check out this welcoming event from 2 to 4 p.m. | 5035 Shawline St, Kearny Mesa

October 27–28 

Lions Tigers & Bears Spooky Campover

Say sweet dreams alongside big cats at Lions Tigers & Bears’ annual Spooky Campover. This overnight event features pumpkin carving, a costume contest, and plenty of campfire songs. In the morning, you’ll watch the sanctuary’s rescued animals much on Halloween treats served in the jack-o-lanterns you created. | 24402 Martin Way, Alpine

October 27–29

Candlelight Open Air: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics

A string quartet haunts Mt. Helix Park amid the glow of hundreds of candles during an evening of Halloween-inspired tunes, such as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp,” and the theme songs from Ghostbusters, The Addams Family, and Psycho. | 4901 Mount Helix Drive, La Mesa

October 27–28, 31

Trick or Drink San Diego Halloween Bar Crawl

Pacific Beach Alehouse hosts a bar crawl for true party monsters—i.e. anyone who believes the fact that Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year is no excuse not to go HAM (though you can book your crawl on the preceding Friday or Saturday if you’re not feeling up to a weeknight bacchanal). A wristband gets you discounted drinks at eight bars, including 710 Beach Club, El Prez, and PB Pub. | 721 Grand Avenue, Pacific Beach

San Diego Zombie Crawl

Have so much fun it’s scary with the Gaslamp Quarter’s self-guided Zombie Crawl taking place Oct. 27-28 and 31. Giving Barbie and Ken an undead twist, this themed, three-day event features welcome “potions,” an opening party at American Junkie, and more than 20 spooky stops. Costumes heavily encouraged. | 628 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp

Promotional ad for the Santee Lakes Spooktacular with the text "Trunk or Treat?"
Courtesy of the San Diego Tourism Authority

October 28

Santee Lakes Spooktacular & Trunk-Or-Treat

The Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus have found a new haunt: Santee Lakes Reservation Preserve. Meet the witches, get lost in a mega Halloween maze, play holiday games, make spine-chilling crafts, and conjure up some sweets from the trunk-or-treat trail at this free, family-friendly event. | 9310 Fanita Parkway, Santee

Black Pearl Halloween Yacht Party

Dead men tell no tales… so let loose aboard the Black Pearl, the seasonal pseudonym of $15 million yacht California Spirit. At this sea-bound costume shindig, cruise past the San Diego skyline and the Coronado Bridge from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. while sipping drinks from the open bar, snacking on tray-passed apps, and Monster Mashing across two dance floors. | 990 North Harbor Drive, Downtown

Nightmare on Normal Street

Want to spot the coolest costumes in San Diego? Head to Hillcrest for this epic block party, where creepy clowns, colorful queens, and other Halloween heroes and villains compete for more than $2,000 in prizes. The event also features a dance floor, food trucks, and an additional contest for critters in costume. | Pride Flag Plaza, Hillcrest

Three kids trick or treating in front of the Little Italy San Diego sign

October 29

Trick-or-Treat on India Street

From 5:30 to 7:30pm, India Street businesses in Little Italy will open their doors to little witches, pirates, superheroes, and monsters, handing out candy to kids of all ages. Before you head out, capture your little one’s costume at the Piazza della Famiglia’s festive photo op. | 532 West Date Street, Little Italy

Promotional ad for Urban Mo's in Hillcrest with a lineup for their "Spooketti & Show Tunes Dinner"
Courtesy of Urban Mo’s

October 31

Spooketti & Show Tunes Dinner

Notoriously cranky drag queen Mariam T. welcomes Urban Mo’s customers to the annual Spooketti & Show Tunes Dinner. Your $13 ticket gets you a seat to see some of the top names in local drag perform Broadway’s best, plus the chance to nab cash and prizes in a costume contest. $7.50 gets you all-you-can-eat spaghetti, fueling you up for a fabulous night. | 308 University Avenue, Hillcrest

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