San Diego

Weekend roundup

October 13-16


“HalGLOWeen” at San Diego Zoo

Through Oct. 29. The San Diego Zoo comes aglow at night with its Halloween-themed spectacular—running Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October (except Oct. 30). Enjoy plenty of family fun—including “Boolamoves” with activities to get the kiddos moving; concerts by the Skeleton Band (pictured); the Boo Crew scarecrow stilt-walkers; the Spooky Revue, comprising acrobats, jugglers and unicyclists, hosted by Scare D. Cat; the glowing “Python Path” through the Reptile House; and much more. Starting at 5 p.m. See website for admission info. 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park, 619.231.1515.

“Howl-O-Scream” at SeaWorld

Through Oct. 31. Are you afraid of ghosts? SeaWorld San Diego invites you to face your fears, as the park transforms into a haunted playground after sundown. This means haunted houses; “scare zones” and “roaming haunts” (watch your back, literally!); live performances from sinister dancers and zombie DJs; creepy cocktails and treats; and a chance to ride SeaWorld’s most thrilling coasters and attractions after dark. “Howl-O-Scream” takes place on select dates through October, beginning at 7 p.m.; check website in advance for schedule and admission info. 500 SeaWorld Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732.

Mr. Jack O’Lanterns Pumpkin Patch

Through Oct. 31. Pick your preferred pumpkin patch experience with a variety of offerings. Visit in-person to pick out your own pumpkin and partake in family-friendly activities and games, including a bounce house and mazes; as well as shop for Halloween costumes and decorations such as hay bales and corn stalks. Or order items online (at wholesale prices in bulk) for delivery or pickup—including pumpkin-carving kits and decorating kits. Open daily (see website for hours). Free admission and parking. 6710 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, 844.452.2567. More Info

San Diego International Film Festival

Upcoming | Oct. 19-23. Presented by the San Diego Film Foundation, the festival showcases features, documentaries and short films by independent filmmakers across the globe; along with the new Women’s Film Series in partnership with the Women’s Museum of California. Special events include the Opening Night film premiere and reception at the Museum of Photographic Arts on Oct. 19; the “Night of the Stars Tribute” at The Conrad Oct. 20; film screenings at AMC Theatres at Westfield UTC Oct. 21-23; and a “culinary cinema” Oct. 23. See website for individual ticket pricing and festival passes.

Food + Drink

“Sails & Ales” at Kona Kai Resort

Oct. 14. Enjoy local brews, sunset and bay views, food, cocktails and live entertainment at Kona Kai Resort & Spa’s second annual beer festival. Sample sips from Ballast Point, Coronado Brewing Company, Bivouac Ciderworks, Sundowner Spirits, Ricava Tequila, JuneShine and more. Pair with bites such as grilled brat skewers with stout mustard; hard-kombucha-braised pork belly on bao buns; IPA-fried rice with curried prawns; pretzel bites with pale-ale cheese fondue; and churros with tequila-spiked Mexican chocolate. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $79 per person. 1551 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619.452.3138.

Pumpkin Decorating + Donuts at Bivouac

Oct. 16. Pumpkin decorating, hard cider and cider donuts? “Adulting” isn’t so bad with this fun Halloween celebration at Bivouac Ciderworks’ North Park taproom. Each ticket includes your own pumpkin, carving and decorating supplies, a pumpkin-spice-cider donut from Nomad Donuts, and a 12-ounce glass of Bivouac’s seasonal Cat’s Paw Pumpkin Spice cider; plus classic Halloween films playing in the background all afternoon. Guests can also order fall-inspired cocktails and other menu items for purchase. Festive attire is welcome. 2-4 p.m. $35 per person (21+). 3986 30th St., North Park, 619.725.0844. Tickets

Gnarly Girl Pizza

Now Open. Among the many reasons we adore this casual new pizzeria: NYC-style pizzas by the slice; Sicilian-style pies; rotating draft beers and ciders; the specialty veggie pizzas; old-school Sega Genesis and Nintendo games; and retro-cool, pop-culture graphic art lining the walls (think: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters). Basically everything about Gnarly Girl Pizza is clever and tasty—from the Fred Flintstone and Hungry Hippo meat pies, to the Gnarly Knots with mozzarella and red sauce. See website for recently updated hours. 2302 El Cajon Blvd., University Heights, 619.782.9776.

Arts + Culture

A Diamond Cabaret at Coronado Playhouse

Oct. 14-16. One of S.D. County’s longest-running arts outfits, Coronado Playhouse presents A Diamond Cabaret: Celebrating 75 Years, dedicated to its patrons. Directed by Thomas Haine, with musical direction by Kirk Valles, the cabaret revue comprises two dozen songs, solos, duets and group numbers sung by 24 performers—highlighting popular Playhouse shows from over the years. Steven Jensen and Jim Williams (pictured L-R), for example, will reprise their roles as King Arthur and Patsy—singing “I’m all Alone” from 2014’s Spamalot. See website for showtimes and tickets. 1835 Strand Way, Coronado, 619.435.4856. Details

Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord

Closes Oct. 16. A one-woman tour de force, Kristina Wong returns to La Jolla Playhouse to perform Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord—a 2022 Pulitzer Prize finalist which she wrote. The edgy comedy takes us back to the early days of the pandemic, when Wong led the “Auntie Sewing Squad,” making masks from old bra straps and bed sheets. Wong takes audiences inside her work-from-home sweatshop built in isolation—threading in her signature blend of laugh-out-loud and thought-provoking comedy. Chay Yew directs. See website for tickets. 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, 858.550.1010.

San Diego Italian Film Festival

Through Oct. 22. Now in its 16th year, the “festivale” celebrates Italian history, culture, community and great cinema. This year’s festivities center on the theme of “CHOICE” and include in-person film screenings at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA), online films and 15 shorts comprising the fourth-annual Ristretto Awards. Selections include dramas, documentaries and independent films never seen before in San Diego. Don’t miss the film La terra dei figli / The Land of the Sons (pictured), screening at Digital Gym Cinema on Oct. 19. See website for tickets and full film lineup. More Info

Photo credits: San Diego International Film Festival by Jason de Alba. Kristina Wong by Tom Fowler. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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