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Things to Do in San Diego at a Distance in October

Ten picks to keep you connected all month long

September 25–October 6

Wildcoast’s Keep It Wild Fundraiser

To celebrate its 20-year anniversary, Wildcoast is hosting their first-ever international fine art event and fundraiser. The award-winning conservation group is dedicated to protecting the ocean, coastlines, and wildlife through policies and education. During the fundraiser, you can show your support through their VIP Virtual Experience and take part in their virtual auction, which will feature artwork from 35 acclaimed artists from San Diego and Mexico.


October 1–31

San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Take your little ones out for a walk on the wild side at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Throughout the month, children 11 years old and younger can visit both parks free of charge. Spend a day checking out the wild animals, learning about conservation, and taking part in the special activities scheduled every weekend.


October 1

October Things to Do / Children’s Workshop

The Children’s Workshop, a nominee for Interior Design at this year’s Orchids & Onions

Darren Bradley Photography

San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Orchids & Onions

Cast your vote for the big winner at this year’s Orchids & Onions architectural awards evening. Each year, the public nominates and votes on the best—and worst—of San Diego’s architecture. Join the gala to cast your live vote for the final winner and stick around for virtual cocktail demos from Snake Oil Cocktail Co.


October 1–15

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

MCASD’s biennial art auction is making a virtual return this October. In a digital celebration of contemporary art, the museum is hosting a silent and live auction of 100 works by internationally recognized artists. Whether you’re an aspiring collector or art admirer, now is your chance to learn more about the paintings, sculptures, and other fine art that define the contemporary art scene. Catch the silent auction October 1–15 and the live auction on Wednesday, October 14.


October 2–10

Emilio Nares Foundation’s Harvest for Hope

Now in their 17th year, the annual Harvest for Hope is hosting a virtual auction to benefit the Emilio Nares Foundation. This nonprofit is dedicated to assisting families who are facing childhood cancer. The virtual auction includes excursional prizes, including a private wine tasting in Sonoma and a private charter plane and two-night stay at the Bellanca Hotel in Catalina.


October 3

La Mesa Oktoberfest

This year, you can celebrate this Bavarian tradition all from the comfort of your own home. La Mesa’s Oktoberfest has gone online with a packed schedule of festivities to keep you in the spirit. Catch pretzel-making demos, dance performances, a yodeling competition, and much more on the event’s Facebook, YouTube, and website live streams. Prost!


October 4

Hornblower’s Floating Outdoor Cinema Experience

Closing this weekend: Take your movie nights to the water with Hornblower’s floating cinema experiences. Treat your family to a screening of Back to the Future on the top deck of Inspiration, Hornblower’s biggest yacht. In addition to the film, moviegoers can treat themselves to a filling meal and 360-degree views of the city.


October 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29

SDCCU Festival of Arts

At the SDCCU Festival of Arts, you can discover the very best of North Park without leaving your house. Every Thursday and Friday of the month, the festival will showcase the food, beverages, art, and music that make up this popular neighborhood all online. The month-long event starts with a Battle of the Bands atop the North Park parking garage and continues with coffee cocktail demos, a DIY plant workshop, and more.


October 10

Big Brothers Big Sisters Virtual Gourmet Dinner

In its 58th year, the Big Brothers Big Sisters Gourmet Dinner is going virtual to celebrate and raise money to support 500 of San Diego’s “littles” with one-on-one mentoring relationships. The digital experience will feature opening and closing music, along with the main program honoring the 2020 Big Champions and hosting a live auction. Guests can choose from one of three ticket experiences that include dinner, all the way up to a dinner for two and specialty wine delivered right to your house.


October 15–18

San Diego International Film Festival

Calling all film lovers! The San Diego International Film Festival is back this month with 70 must-see films representing more than 65 countries. This year, the festival will make both a virtual and a physical footprint by showing films online and in-person with social distance protocols in place. Watch features, documentaries, and shorts at the Virtual Village and on the big screen at the festival’s drive-in theater at Westfield UTC.

San Diego International Film Festival

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