Top San Diego Halloween Events in 2020

“A Grand Halloween” at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Celebrate Halloween in San Diego with these festive happenings.

“Halloweekend” at The Lafayette Hotel
Oct. 29-Nov. 1. It’s a packed weekend of Halloween fun here. The lineup includes a poolside screening of Hotel Transylvania on Thursday; Halloween Yappy Hour on Friday, when you can bring (and dress up!) your furry friends; A Night of Scare on Saturday that includes poolside music, drinks and a screening of The Shining; and Bloody Brunch on Sunday with bloody mary specials. There’s even a weekend-long Dare to Scare costume contest. See website for details and reservations. 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.296.2101. lafayettehotelsd.com

Family fun at the Coronado Pumpkin Patch

Coronado Pumpkin Patch
Oct. 30-31. They had us at “slime station.” Presented by Flagship Cruises & Events, this Halloween extravaganza by the bay in Coronado features an actual slime station; plus games, face painting, balloon art, pumpkin-painting kits, cookie-decorating kits, kettle corn, Julian hot-apple cider and cotton candy. Oh, and there’s plenty of actual pumpkins in all shapes and sizes from which to choose. It’s the perfect place to make some family-friendly Halloween memories. F 3-8 p.m.; Sa 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission is free. Coronado Ferry Landing, 1201 First St., Coronado, 619.435.1053. coronadopumpkinpatch.com

Halloween at the Drive-In”
Oct. 30-31.
Westfield UTC has partnered with the San Diego International Film Festival to present Halloween-themed, drive-in movies in its parking lot near Macy’s. The lineup includes Beetlejuice on Friday and Hocus Pocus on Saturday; plus special dining offers from the mall’s restaurants. Proceeds benefit the San Diego Film Foundation’s Focus on Impact educational program. Costumes are encouraged. 6:30 p.m. (Event gates open at 5 p.m.) Tickets start at $30 per car. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, UTC. sdfilmfest.com

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Halloween Brew & View”
Oct. 30-31.
Enjoy a night at the movies that also includes craft beer tastings and food pairings. Presented by the Museum of Beer at Theatre Box, the experience includes samplings of six local craft brews, paired with savory and sweet fare from Sugar Factory restaurant; a viewing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (which is not airing on network TV this year for the first time in more than 50 years); two tickets to another movie at the venue for a later date; and a prize for the best costume each evening. 8 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person (sold as tables of two and four). 701 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. museumofbeer.com

Cocktails and costume fun at Mavericks Beach Club

Mavericks Beach Club’s “Nightmare on Garnet”
Oct. 31.
Don your costume and spend all day at this trendy, open-air beach bar. Mavericks is going all out for this third annual event—featuring over-the-top Halloween decorations; “haunted” food menus; six full bars, each with a different scary theme; spooky swag giveaways; and more. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 860 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.999.0348. maverickssd.com

Barleymash’s Virtual Costume Contest & Special Menu
Through Oct. 31.
Is your Halloween costume award-worthy? Show it off on Instagram and tag @barleymash for a chance to win swag and gift cards worth up to $200. And visit the restaurant to sample festive dishes and libations—such as the Give’m Pumpkin to Talk About flatbread; and the Freddy Krueger cocktail with Skyy vodka, lemon, sugar and activated charcoal. See website for weekend hours. 600 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.255.7373. barleymash.com

Sightseeing at Birch Aquarium

Haunted Aquarium Remix”
Through Oct. 31.
Creepy, crawly sea creatures and educational fun await at Birch Aquarium, which presents a Halloween celebration complete with alfresco activities and new animal encounters. Kids (who are encouraged to wear costumes!) can get close to—and actually touch, if they dare—sea spiders, several species of small sharks, slimy seaweed and more. Face coverings required and safety protocols enforced. See website for hours and pricing. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474. aquarium.ucsd.edu

Mr. Jack O’Lanterns Pumpkin Patch
Through Oct. 31.
Pick your preferred pumpkin patch experience this year with a variety of new offerings. Visit in-person to pick out your own pumpkin and partake in family-friendly activities and games; as well as shop for Halloween costumes and decorations such as hay bales and corn stalks. (Face coverings and other safety protocols enforced.) Or order items online either for delivery or contactless curbside pickup—including pumpkin carving kits and decorating kits to-go. See website for hours. 6710 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, 844.452.2567. mrjackolanternspumpkins.com

The Frankenstein’s Creation ramen bowl at Tajima

Tajima Mercury’s Halloween Menu
Through Oct. 31.
The Halloween spirit is alive and well via the menu at Tajima Mercury. Sample seasonal sips such as the Drunken Pumpkin made with Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum, RumChata liqueur, Amaretto, pumpkin spice, lemon juice and walnut bitters; the Osaka Pirate with Malahat black tea rum; and Beetlejuice, a blend of Jameson, Yuzu liqueur, honeydew syrup, Dr. Pepper, lemon juice and winter melon bitters. (Warning: Don’t order it three times fast!) Add some sustenance with Frankenstein’s Creation (available at all Tajima locations)—a hearty ramen bowl with spinach noodles and green coconut-curry broth. Groups who come in to dine in their Halloween costumes will receive a free large hot sake. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. 4411 Mercury St., Suite 110, Kearny Mesa, 858.278.5367. tajimasandiego.com

“Carnevil” Halloween Pop-Up
Through Nov. 1
. What do you get when you cross Vaudeville circus-style performances with tasty treats, cocktails and a gypsy DJ? Welcome to “Carnevil” in the Gaslamp—an outdoor pop-up Halloween experience calling all “devious clowns’ to come out and play (and dress the part, if you wish). The festivities include specialty libations, snacks and a 30-minute showcase of contortionists, acrobatics and more, led by a tormented ringmaster. Intrigued? See website for details and reservations (required). Seating begins each night at 5:30 p.m. $48 per person. 376 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. More Info

“A Grand Halloween”
Through Nov. 1.
The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego is offering one-of-a-kind Halloween experiences for guests staying on the property. Partake in some socially distant trick-or-treating along Trick-or-Treat Trail in the hotel’s ballroom—which has been transformed for the holiday, complete with cobwebs hanging from the ceilings and pumpkins lining its hallways. Swing by the fourth-floor pool deck for Spooky Swim After Dark—entailing a scary film screening and, if you dare, a moonlit swim in the pool. Or, engage in some Halloween-inspired arts & crafts with the family on the Grand Haunted Rooftop, while taking in jaw-dropping views of the San Diego skyline. See website for reservations. 1 Market Place, downtown, 619.232.1234. hyatt.com

“Spooktacular” at SeaWorld
Through Nov. 1.
Have no fear; the kiddos can still trick-or-treat this year—and safely. SeaWorld’s limited-capacity “Spooktacular” experience includes candy and other sweet treats, character appearances, and a chance to explore the park’s animal exhibits sans the mass crowds. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and single-day admission for kids (ages 3-9) is free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Costumes are encouraged. See website for hours and ticket packages. 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732. seaworld.com

Photo credits: All images are courtesy of the venues featured.

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