Spooky Season has arrived here in San Diego! The autumn months are some of the most beautiful times to visit Southern California, and the city of San Diego comes alive with the Halloween spirit.
If you're looking for the best Halloween things to do, check out our favorite spots throughout the city to snag some candy. It wouldn't be Halloween in San Diego, with out trick or treating at some of the gorgeous neighborhoods around downtown, San Diego Bay, and the surrounding area - whether you are a tourist who hopes to visit San Diego, or a transplant looking for new places to explore.
From pumpkin patches and harvest festivals to farmers markets and trick or treating the city of San Diego is the perfect place to spend Halloween. If you're planning the ultimate autumn adventure and looking for the best trick-or-treat fun for your family, we're here to help. Dress up your little witches and little monsters in their best costumes and hit the down to celebrate America's favorite Halloween tradition and enjoy some sweet sugar rushes along the way!
Throughout October, there are tons of fun trick-or-treating events throughout the city at local businesses, as well as neighborhoods with exceptional Halloween décor, so we've accumulated a list of the best spots to snag delicious Halloween treats and have some spooky fun with your little ghouls and goblins while visiting San Diego, CA.
Little Italy has one of the best-known trick-or-treating events in the city and is located in downtown San Diego. Don't skip the annual trick-or-treat on India Street in the vibrant Little Italy neighborhood. This year's event is already in the works, and rest assured that the whole family will have fun dressing up and visiting participating businesses on historic India Street. Stop door to door to collect candy, and maybe treat yourself to little retail therapy at one of the local Little Italy businesses while you're at it!
The 2023 event will take place on Friday, October 27 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
Mission Hills is one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the United States - so it should come as no surprise that this neighborhood is one of the best places to trick or treat in San Diego! Mission Hills locals really go all out with epic decorations and goodie bags full of sweet treats. According to residents, as many as 500 trick-or-treaters visit the area. Sunset Boulevard is particularly exciting, and some decorations are extra spooky making this an ideal trick-or-treat stop for families with older kids.
Santa Fe Hills
Located in San Marcos, Santa Fe Hills is often credited as being the best neighborhood in San Diego for trick-or-treating. The whole neighborhood gets into the Halloween spirit with elaborately fun Halloween decorations. Plus, rumor has it that these homes give out some of the best Halloween candy! This is another great spot for families with older kids who really went to get into the spooky vibe.
If you're looking for some authentic trick-or-treating, head to Carlsbad. The neighborhood of Bressi Ranch is one of the top places in the city to collect candy with your little monsters this Halloween. The homes in this area are decked out with spooky decor, making it one of the best places to go for trick-or-treating. We're talking professional lighting, music, and special effects.
Also within Carlsbad, visit the Shoppes at the Forum for an indoor trick-or-treat experience with plenty of immersive family fun. It's an awesome option for a daytime event before you hit the streets and the shops will have plenty of candy for kids as well as some fun activities to help celebrate Halloween.
Dress up in your most elaborate costumes and head to Seaport Village. The waterfront shopping and dining district is located in San Diego's downtown area and hosts a variety of Halloween events like carnival games, face painting, costume contests, games, live music, and more. Pumpkin carving contests, DJ dance parties, raffles, and giveaways ensure that there is fun for the whole family.
Encinitas is another great Sam Diego neighborhood known for Halloween fun. Located on the iconic Highway 101 in downtown Encinitas, you'll find the Safe Trick-or-Treat event which is perfect for families with kids. Enjoy Halloween-themed activities like games and live music perfect for a Halloween dance party. There are pumpkins lining the streets with elaborately carved designs and participating stores and businesses will be handing out sweet treats late into the night.
The event takes place on Halloween from 5-8 pm.
Trick or treating for military families
San Diego is full of some of the nation's largest military bases, and many San Diego military members and their families live on base. Because there is such a high concentration of families on bases, they make an excellent place for trick-or-treating fun.
Miramar is at the top of the list when it comes to on-base trick-or-treating communities. Many community members invite their friends and loved ones to join in and there are tons of kids running around. Parents enjoy a safe environment while kids can enjoy a night of authentic trick or treat.
Other San Diego Halloween Events for families with kids
Count's Halloween Spooktacular
Located at Sesame Place San Diego, one of the most popular San Diego attractions, this event is fun for the whole family. Dress up in your favorite Halloween costumes and head straight to Sesame Place where kids can participate in fun interactive Halloween activities like a Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt, trick-or-treating, live performances, and dance alongside Elmo ast the Furry Friends Dance Party. On Saturday, October 28 and Sunday October 29 there will be a Halloween costume contest at the Sesame Street Theater!
The event takes place on weekends from mid-September though the end of October. Count's Halloween Spooktacular is included with the cost of admission to Sesame Place. Tickets start around $70 and children under 3 are free.
San Diego Zoo HalGLOween
Taking place on Fridays, Satrudays, and Sundays throughout October, HalGLOween is a beloved family friendly way to celebrate Halloween in San Diego. The zoo comes alive with Halloween lights and themed events at night. Kids under the age of 11 can visit for free. It's the perfect place for some family friendly fun this Halloween in San Diego.
LEGOland Brick or Treat
LEGOland offers another great option for not too spooky fun this Halloween season. LEGOland California is one of the top attractions around San Diego County, and this year, monsters will be leading the celebration for kids at the the LEGOLAND California Resort. The resort will transform into one of the best kid-friendly San Diego Halloween parties with LEGO characters and plenty of interactive activities. Admission to the Brick or Treat event is included with general admission.
Take a haunted hayride
On select dates throughout October you can visit Julian's Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures for Halloween events including haunted hayrides with ghost stories, live music, and more. Prepaid reservations are required, and admission costs $30 per person.
Check out the Haunted Trail at Balboa Park
The Haunted Trail at Balboa Park is a must-visit attraction around Halloween and one of the best haunted house type events in the country. It can be quite scary for little kids, so save this one for kids who are a bit older.
Walk through a haunted corn maze
Carlsbad Strawberry Company offers one of the best Halloween events around San Diego for adults and kids alike. In addition to fall treats and pumpkin patches, adults and older kids will love exploring the Haunted Corn Maze.
Take a ghost tour
Learn about the haunted history of San Diego on a ghost tour of the city with Old Town Trolley Ghost Tours. Several tours are available including a classic trolley tour with ghost stories and local history, and an after hours paranormal investigation.