Top San Diego Things to Do in October

Sample food from over 50 of San Diego’s best restaurants at the Taste of North Park.

Sample food from over 50 of San Diego’s best restaurants at the Taste of North Park.

 

From film festivals to haunted Halloween trails and spooktacular parties, check out San Diego’s top October events.

Edited by Madelyn Harris.

 

La Mesa Oktoberfest
Through Oct. 1. The largest Oktoberfest celebration in San Diego County features hundreds of vendors, plus several beer gardens, food courts, carnival games and rides, live music and dance performances and a children’s area. La Mesa Blvd. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. lamesaoktoberfest.org

 

Haunted Trail
Oct. 1-31. No ordinary walk in the park, this mile-long scary trail features spine-tingling and shriek-inducing sights (not suitable for kids under 10), as well as an additional terrifying maze called The Experiment. 7-11 p.m. $25. Balboa Park, Corner of Balboa Drive and Juniper at Marston Point. hauntedtrail.net

 

Scream Zone
Oct. 1-31. Eerie attractions include the Haunted Hayride, Zombie Boot Camp and the House or Horror. Visit website for detailed schedules and prices. Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. thescreamzone.com

 

‘The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey’
Oct. 1-29. In this acclaimed one-man show, a brash New Jersey detective in search of a missing teenager follows clues that lead him to unexpected places and show him one one boy’s bravery can light the way towards truth.  $62+.  White Theatre at the Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org

 

San Diego Film Festival
Oct. 4-8. This five-day event showcases more than 100 independent feature films, including documentaries and shorts from around the world. Plus, enjoy filmmaker meet-and-greets, industry panels, film premieres, celebrity appearances and exclusive VIP events. See website for film lineup and events. sdfilmfest.com

 

Catch runway shows and hip after parties at Fashion Week San Diego.

Catch runway shows and hip after parties at Fashion Week San Diego.

Fashion Week San Diego
Oct. 4-8. Showcasing local and national designers with a range of styles from street couture to modern glamour, this fashion-forward event features art and beauty forums, after parties, runway shows, a trunk show and live entertainment. Various locations in La Jolla, downtown and Coronado. fashionweeksd.com

 

Ramsey Lewis
Oct. 5. At 80 years old, three-time Grammy winner Ramsey Lewis continues to perform his chart-topping hits such as “Hang on Sloopy” and “The In Crowd”. His current tour celebrates the 50th anniversary of his hit albums. 7:30 p.m. $50. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., 619.570.1100. sandiegotheatres.org

 

Fashion Week San Diego Official After-Party
Oct. 6.
Enjoy VIP treatment at Florent’s exclusive after-party soiree that will celebrate the past, present and future of the historic venue with a vintage glam theme. The red carpet experience will feature an exclusive runway and art show by Upright Citizen, DJs and dancers and a FWSD cocktail and food menu. 10 p.m. Free for PWSD pass holders. 672 Fifth Ave., 619.595.0123. fashionweeksd.com

 

National Noodle Day at BLVD Asian Kitchen
Oct. 6. Known for fresh, perfectly flavored ramen bowls, the La Mesa Asian kitchen will be offering specials all day (such as their flavored ramen bowls) in honor of National Noodle Day. Post a photo at BLVD with the hashtag #ShowUsYourNoods and receive complimentary edamame for the table. All day. 8325 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa. blvdnoodles.com

 

‘Smoke on the Mountain’
Oct. 6-Nov. 19. The Sanders Family Singers are back on the road, and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church will never be quite the same again in this hilarious ensemble musical comedy. $68. Lamb’s Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. lambsplayers.org

 

Take part in a stein-holding contest at the Ocean Beach Oktoberfest event.

Take part in a stein-holding contest at the Ocean Beach Oktoberfest event.

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest
Oct. 6-7. Enjoy live bands, bratwurst-eating and stein-holding contests, a sausage toss and more on O.B.’s Newport Avenue. Free. Ocean Beach. oceanbeachsandiego.com

 

South Park Walkabout
Oct. 7. Experience a fun-filled evening festival that showcases the unique and independent businesses within South Park. Enjoy complimentary treats, live entertainment and special offers. 6-10 p.m. Free. South Park Neighborhood. southparksd.com

 

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival
Oct. 7-8. The ninth annual juried art show and fundraiser benefits arts and physical education programs at local schools. Take in works by more than 150 artists, plus live entertainment, a silent auction, gourmet marketplace and beer and wine garden. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. Girard Ave., between Prospect Ave. and Torrey Pines St. ljawf.com

 

Catch a glimpse of fantastic innovations at the San Diego Maker Faire.

Catch a glimpse of fantastic innovations at the San Diego Maker Faire.

San Diego Maker Faire
Oct. 7-8. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, Maker Faire is a venue for innovators to showcase their radical inventions. Glimpse into the future and get inspired! 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $30+. Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado. sandiego.makerfaire.com

 

End of Summer Luau and Pig Roast
Oct. 8. Transport yourself to the ultimate island getaway, complete with a traditional pig roast and Polynesian-inspired bites by The Grass Skirt’s chef de cuisine Erin Harris and executive Chef Brian Redzikowski. Also, enjoy tiki cocktails, live music, steel drums, a snake charmer, tiki carvings, hula dancers and a custom lei making station. 3-8 p.m. $69. 910 Grand Ave., 858.412.5237. venno.com

 

‘The Legend of Georgia McBride’
Oct. 11-Nov. 12. An unemployed Elvis impersonator is given the opportunity to trade one sequined outfit for another when his club brings in a drag act in this music-filled comedy that celebrates finding your voice. Cygnet Theatre in Old Town, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town. cygnettheatre.com

 

Fleet Week Sea & Air Parade Cruise
Oct. 14. Experience the best of the U.S. military on display and in action with this 2.5 hour cruise. Guests will enjoy close-up views and professional narration of ships, destroyers, frigates, submarines and landing craft. Choose from a spectator cruise or brunch cruise option. 11:30 boarding. $35 spectator; $69.95 brunch. 1800 N. Harbor Drive. hornblower.com

 

Jason Mraz
Oct. 14. Multiple-Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter will perform an intimate homecoming show in celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the release of his debut album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come Home. 8 p.m. View website for ticket prices. Spreckles Theatre, 121 Broadway, 619.235.9500. ticketmaster.com

 

Taste of North Park
Oct. 14.
Culinary enthusiasts can sample food from over 50 of San Diego’s best restaurants as well as try craft beers from 15 local breweries. 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. $50. North Park Main Street, northparkmainstreet.com

 

Art, Rhythm & Wine Festival
Oct. 14-15. Head to Carlsbad for a two-day community event expected to draw over 5,000 attendees. Guests can view innovative works in differing styles of contemporary, traditional, modern and southwest art. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. The Forum Carlsbad, 1923 Calle Barcelona, 760.479.0166. theforumcarlsbad.com

 

Participate in 3 different races or cheer on your favorite athlete) at the Life Time Tri.

Participate in three different races (or cheer on your favorite athlete) at the Life Time Tri.

Life Time Tri San Diego
Oct. 15. Participate in three different short course triathlons in Mission Bay, the same location where the very first modern triathlon was held in 1974. Choose from a super sprint triathlon, sprint triathlon or mixed relax. Visit site for races and pricing. South Shores Park. trisandiego.com

 

John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’
Oct. 18-Nov. 12. This classic drama novella-turned play tells the story of friendship in a world of solitude that is sustained by illusory dreams. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org

 

Tegan and Sara
Oct. 20. In honor of their original album’s 10 year anniversary, catch a performance by Tegan and Sara, who will cover the record front-to-back with all new arrangements. 9 p.m. $37+. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., 619.570.1100. teganandsara.com

 

Coronado Art Walk
Oct. 21-22. Open-air arts festival features dozen of artists displaying their wares in historic downtown Coronado. Plus, enjoy hands-on art activities, live music and dining options. Coronado Ferry Landing, 1201 First St. coronadoartwalk.com

 

San Diego Botanic Garden Fall Plant Sale
Oct. 21-23. Plant lovers can choose from thousands of unique, exotic, unusual and drought-tolerant plants at San Diego County’s largest and most diverse plant sale. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, 760.436.3036. sdbgarden.org

 

A Night with Janis Joplin
Oct. 25-26. San Diegans are invited to share an evening the queen of rock and roll. Enjoy some of her unforgettable songs such as “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Mercedes Benz,” “Cry Baby” and “Summertime”. 8 p.m. $36+. 1100 Third Ave., 619.570.1100. sandiegotheatres.org

 

Trick or Treat on India Street
Oct. 27. Get ready to see little ones dressed up as goblins, ghouls, superheroes and princesses at this 11th annual event. Kids will enjoy going door to door as businesses in the neighborhood pass out candy and Halloween treats. 5:30-7:30 p.m. 621 W Fir St., 619.233.3898. littleitalysd.com

 

Don your best costume and get ready to party at MonsterBash.

Don your best costume and get ready to party at Monster Bash.

Monster Bash
Oct. 28. Watch as the iconic Gaslamp Quarter is transformed into a wicked underworld for over 15,000 people. The annual street party features live bands, a Bones and Booze bar crawl, DJs and a Halloween costume contest with a $5,000 cash prize.  21+. Gaslamp. sandiegomonsterbash.com

 

Barn at the Beach
Oct. 28-Nov. 4.  Attendees from around the globe and local community members will enjoy special events celebrating the internationally acclaimed Breeders Cup. Highlights of public events include the kickoff 5K Jake’s Beach Fun Run, Post-Position Draw Party, a bluegrass concert and bourbon tasting experience and a Best of the Barn culinary event. View full festival schedule and prices online. Powerhouse Park. dmtc.com

 

Boomont Park
Through Oct. 29. For the fifth consecutive year, Belmont Park will transform into the frightenly-fun Boomont Park and feature free family-friendly fall activities such as zombie laser tag, superhero zip line, rock wall, trick or treating and an expanded pumpkin patch. Noon-8:30 p.m. Free. 3146 Mission Blvd. belmontpark.com

 

‘Benny & Joon’
Through Oct. 22. With unforgettable characters and a tuneful score, this world-premiere musical—based on the beloved offbeat ’90s romantic comedy movie—explores what happens when we step out of our comfort zones and take a leap toward love. Shiley Stage at the Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park.  theoldglobe.org

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