Autumn is the perfect time to visit San Diego and enjoy everything America's Finest City has to offer. The city comes alive with harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, colorful Halloween decorations, and spooky season events. By the time October rolls around the crowds of summer tourists have thinned out a little but the weather is still perfect with daily temperatures in the mid-seventies and plenty of sunshine. You'll find cheaper prices on hotels and no shortage of exciting events and Halloween things to do throughout the city from downtown to San Diego Bay.
Are you looking for the best places in San Diego to celebrate Halloween in 2023? Whether you're searching for fun family-friendly attractions or looking to get dressed up and party all night with friends, we've created the ultimate list of San Diego's best Halloween events for locals and tourists alike.
Best San Diego Halloween Events in San Diego for families with kids
Get your little ghosts, goblins, and witches all dressed up and head out for some family-friendly fun with Halloween events at some of the popular San Diego attractions. These events certainly aren't just for kids - people of all ages can enjoy the fun, but they're less scary and more age-appropriate for little ones to celebrate.
San Diego Zoo HalGLOWeen
San Diego Zoo is world-famous and one of the top attractions in the city for locals and tourists alike. Located within Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo is home to 650 species of animals. During the month of October, the zoo is decorated with Halloween decor and tons of lights, making a night-time visit one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween in San Diego.
HalGLOWeen activities start around 5 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October. You can enjoy live music, performances, and other themed activities throughout the evening while enjoying the funky light displays.
LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Party Nights
Brick-or-Treat is LEGOLAND's unique Halloween celebration that takes place throughout the month of October. This year the theme is - Monster Party! There will be live entertainment, music, and interactive activities plus costume contests and meet and greets with characters. Of course, there will also be plenty of candy for trick-or-treaters.
Admission to the Halloween events is included with the cost of admission to LEGOLAND. This year the dates are September 16, 23, and 30th, as well as October 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, and 28-29.
SeaWorld San Diego's Halloween Spooktacular
Not to be confused with SeaWorld's Howl-o-Scream (which is a separate nighttime event that is more geared towards older kids and adults) the Halloween Spooktacular is a relaxed kid-friendly experience that takes place during normal hours at SeaWorld. During October there will be candy for trick-or-treaters and kids are invited to dress up in costumes. Expect plenty of fun Halloween decorations!
Helen Woodward Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Days
Embrace the Halloween spirit while enjoying some time outside in the San Diego sunshine with your little ones at Helen Woodward Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Days. There will be hands-on experience with animals, mini-pumpkin patches, and fun mystery-solving games at the Midnight Mystery Laboratory. Many local school groups participate and the experience can be booked from October 1st through November 11th by appointment only.
Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place
Visit Sesame Place San Diego for a Halloween event that is great for small kids as it isn't too scary. Families can enjoy a scarecrow scavenger hunt, rides, trick or treating, and character meet and greets. 2023 select dates are from September 17 through November 6.
Disneyland Halloween Time
Disneyland California is undoubtedly one of the best places to experience Halloween with your family. Of course, you can expect the highest quality Halloween decorations and attractions - the entire resort is done up and really goes all out for a spooky season with tons of events and activities throughout the park.
Halloween Time takes place from September 1st through October 31st, so it's perfect for families who like to get into the spooky spirit as early as possible.
Best San Diego Halloween events in San Diego for adults
Kids aren't the only ones who love to celebrate Halloween, and San Diego has plenty of chilling events that are best left for the adults. If you're looking for San Diego's top haunted attractions, all-night parties, or a freaky Halloween event - look no further! Get dressed up and hit the city for some seriously spooky fun with our list of the best places for adults to go for Halloween fun in San Diego.
Old Town Trolley Ghost and Gravestone Tours
What better way to celebrate Halloween than to learn about San Diego's haunted history? This tour is available year-round, but it's especially fun during the weeks leading up to Halloween. On this tour, you will take a ride on the "Trolley of the Doomed" to Whaley House Courtyard, which has been named one of the most haunted places in America by the Travel Channel. You'll also walk through a cemetery and learn all about San Diego's creepier historical characters.
Murder Mystery Tour in Gaslamp Quarter - Downtown San Diego
This two-hour tour is a scavenger hunt meets murder mystery experience in which you will visit many of the Gaslamp Quarter's popular spots while working to solve a murder. There are virtual clues throughout the city that will help you solve the crime. It's a perfect Halloween activity for groups of friends looking to experience San Diego in a unique way.
The Disturbance is one of the best San Diego haunted houses and it's a must-visit spot if you're looking for a chilling experience this Halloween. Located in Mission Valley, you can visit three-separate scary attractions at one convenient location. The Haunted Hotel is truly terrifying, and this year you can also visit the brand new Stars of the Silver SCREAM attractions as well as the 3-D Freak Fest. There are characters wandering around to freak people out, special light shows, adult beverages, and even axe throwing!
The Disturbance is open from September 30th through October 31st. The fun starts nightly at 7 pm.
San Diego Halloween Pub Crawl
If you're looking for an epic Halloween party, book a ticket to the annual San Diego Halloween Pub Crawl on October 21st. There is a costume contest with prizes and you'll have access to drink specials for all of the participating bars on the pub crawl and won't be charged a cover to enter. Expect, games, prizes, and lots and lots of booze and debauchery. This event usually sells out, so make sure to book your tickets well in advance.
If you've visited Seaworld San Diego during the day, you'll hardly recognize it when you visit Howl-O-Scream. Starting on Sept. 15, the park transforms after dark with a freaky carnival and terrifying creatures. There will be food, cocktails, and beers for adults and plenty of spooks throughout the night. This is a ticketed event that is separate from Seaworld admission.
Ghost Roasts at Hotel del Coronado
Head to the historic Hotel del Coronado for a Halloween-themed bonfire with your friends this October. Hotel del Coronado is rumored to be haunted, so there is no better place to sit around the fire and tell ghost stories. Fire-pits are able to be reserved for a 1-hour experience for up to 10 people and there is food for purchase onsite.
Black Pearl Halloween Yacht Party San Diego
Party well past the witching hour at this wild Halloween party boat cruise. With the cost of your ticket, you can enjoy exploring three separate decks (two of which have live music) and an open bar for the entire 3-hour cruise. Appetizers are also included. The event takes place on October 28th, 2023. Ticket prices vary but start at around $53. It's one of the best San Diego Halloween Parties, so snag your ticket ASAP!
Witches of Westgate Tea – The Westgate Hotel Downtown
Gather together your witches to celebrate the season with a classic afternoon tea at the Westgate Hotel in Downtown San Diego. Enjoy pastries, sandwiches, tea, and other treats while decked out in your witchiest outfits. The dates for this event are unconfirmed for 2023 - but we will be sure to update you as soon as they're released.
Haunted Trail of Balboa Park
The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is one of the best San Diego Halloween events year after year. The trail itself is 1 mile of terror through misty forests as you're stalked by creepy creatures and evil nuns. Before you enter the trail, you'll have to survive the eXperiment Maze which is a hair-rasing 3,500 square-foot haunted corn maze haunted by evil fairytale creatures. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park has been rated one of the top Halloween haunted house attractions in the country - so don't miss out this October. Tickets cost around $30 per adult.
San Diego Zombie Crawl
Halloween in San Diego wouldn't be complete without the San Diego Zombie Crawl. It's one of the city's top Halloween celebrations and takes place over 4 nights in which you'll visit more than 22 bars, pubs, and Halloween parties. Expect live music, entertainment, free drinks, and plenty of incredible costumes. The 2023 Zombie Crawl will take place on October 26,27,28, $ 31st.
Hauntfest on Main
downtown el cajon
halloween themed carnival
trick or treat trail
Best Pumpkin Patches and Pumpkin Carving in San Diego
Picking out the perfect pumpkin for decorating your home or carving a spooky jack-0-lantern is one of the most fun and nostalgic Halloween activities out there. Luckily, San Diego has a ton of excellent options when it comes to pumpkin patches around the city. Here is a complete list of some of our favorites!
Carlsbad Strawberry Company Pumpkin Patch
Bates Nut Farm
Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch
Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch
Palomar Pumpkin Palooka
Julian Mining Company
Peltzer Pumpkin Farm
Pacific Beach Pumpkin Patch
Oma’s Pumpkin Patch
Summers Past Farms
Tom’s Adventure Pumpkin Patch
Mellano Farm Stand
Goff Family Pumpkin Patch
California Farm Life Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkin Station (multiple locations)
Fallbrook Pumpkin Patch
The Farm Stand West U-Pick Pumpkin Patch
Bonita Pumpkin Farm
Best Neighborhoods For Halloween Decorations
You've probably gathered that San Diegans love Halloween - and homeowners throughout San Diego County really go all out when it comes to decorating for the spooky season. If you're looking to see some of the gorgeous San Diego real estate transformed into epic haunted houses with mind-blowing decorations - take a drive through some of the best Halloween neighborhoods in San Diego - these are also some ideal spots to take kids trick-or-treating.
Santa Fe Hills
Chula Vista (Dias de Los Muertos)
Santa Fe Hills in San Marcos