San Diego

Weekend roundup

October 28-31


San Diego Distillers Guild Fest

Oct. 30. Head to Lane Field Park by the bay (across from Broadway Pier) for an intimate and interactive evening of imbibing. Ticket holders can sample complimentary spirits from nearly 20 craft distilleries, as well as meet and mingle with master distillers. The lineup includes Cutwater, Liberty Call Distilling, Malahat Spirits Co., Rebru Spirits and Seven Caves Spirits. Local restaurants will also be on hand, serving sweet and savory bites; along with live music by jazz ensemble The Justin Joyce Trio. 6-10 p.m. $60 general admission; $100 VIP. 900 Bayfront Court, downtown.

Fall Fest at Belmont Park

Through Nov. 14. Belmont Park’s annual celebration of all things autumn is in full swing, offering something fun for everyone. Festivities include a pumpkin patch (open daily), a craft beer garden and live acoustic concerts on Friday evenings, and themed treats from Sweet Shoppe. Wear your Halloween costume and bring the kiddos this Sunday for free trick-or-treating (beginning at 5 p.m.); and stay and dine at the park’s restaurants, such as Cannonball, Draft and Beach House. Open daily (see website for hours). Free general admission. 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach.

Breeders’ Cup Festival

Upcoming | Nov. 1-6. See Del Mar all decked out in anticipation and celebration of the Breeders’ Cup—one of the most prominent international competitions in horse racing. The weeklong series of events includes the Rood & Riddle Breeders’ Cup Post-Position Draw on Nov. 1; “Taco and Tequila Tuesday” on Nov. 2; the “Fashionable Fillies Goes West” benefit on Nov. 3; and live music performances all week in Del Mar Village. (The 38th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championship races take place Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.) See website for all details.

Halloween Weekend

San Diego Zombie Crawl

Oct. 28-30. Can you handle three days of partying with the undead? Get ready for one hell of a weekend (pun intended) at this bonanza of booze, ghouls and graveyards in the Gaslamp. The chaos kicks off with Blood Thirsty Thursday at American Junkie and ends with the Freakish Finale at Vin de Syrah wine parlor. Tickets include access to more than 10 over-the-top costume parties; drink tickets for welcome shots; food discounts; free entry to 10-plus nightclubs; special parking and hotel rates; and more. Tickets start at $35. 628 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. More Info

Nightmare on Normal Street

Oct. 29. Eat, drink and be scary with the return Hillcrest’s infamous Halloween block party and costume competition. Highlights include complimentary cocktails during Haunted Hosted Hour; local food trucks; beats by DJ Kinky Loops and DJ K-Swift; a massive outdoor dance floor; and “Horror at the Prom,” an immersive selfie set inspired by the film Carrie. The famed costume contest promises $3,000 in prizes, complete with local celebrity guest judges. There’s even a pet costume competition! 6-11 p.m. Tickets start at $25. Pride Flag Plaza, 1500 University Ave., Hillcrest. More Info

Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

Oct. 30. Spend the day in deep devotion to craft beer infused with the mighty orange gourd. This Seattle-based festival makes its San Diego premiere, featuring 40 pumpkin-flavored beers, seasonal brews and a “Great Pumpkin Keg Tapping.” Participating breweries include Duck Foot Brewing Co., Juneshine Hard Kombucha, Green Flash Brewing and Thorn Brewing. Guests can also sample squash-based foodie creations (think: caramelized-onion-butternut-squash pizza); plus, live entertainment and a costume contest. 3:25-10:25 p.m. (Even the times are silly!) $38-$118. Seventh and Island avenues, Gaslamp Quarter. Tickets

Howl-o-Ween at Little Italy Dog Park

Oct. 30. Pet care ambassador TrustedHousesitters hosts a Halloween party for your pooches. The fun entails complimentary embroidered bandanas (for the first 40 guests), caricature drawings, paw paintings and a doggie photo booth; plus $1 raffles—with prizes including a TrustedHousesitters premium membership, a dog-embroidered sweatshirt and more. Raffle proceeds will benefit The Animal Pad—a volunteer-based nonprofit that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and the streets of Mexico. Human and canine costumes are welcome. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. 254 W. Date St., Little Italy.

Seaport Village’s “Treatport Village”

Oct. 31. Spend Sunday by the bay at this family-friendly Halloween hoopla. Pick up a free Seaport Village tote bag and map and go trick-or-treating (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) at participating shops. Afterward, head to Seaport Fudge for a costume contest and chance to win prizes from SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, The New Children’s Museum and more. Categories include “Best Overall Costume,” “Best Family,” “Scariest” and “Funniest.” More perks: live entertainment, a themed dessert bar and a pop-up pizzeria and toy shop. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 849 W. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero, 619.530.0704.

Food + Drink

STK's Green Goblin cocktail photo courtesy STK

Boos & Booze Brunch at STK

Oct. 30-31. The swanky steakhouse is offering Halloween brunch this weekend—indoors and on the sidewalk dining patio—featuring specialty libations, desserts, costume contests for guests and staff, and DJs on both days. Try the Green Goblin cocktail with Grey Goose vodka, jalapeño, basil leaves and lime juice. And the popular Junk Chalice is back—an ice cream sundae with candy, brownies, popcorn, chocolate, caramel-and-vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream and cotton candy. (Oh my!) Reservations recommended. See website for hours. 600 F St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.354.5988.

Halloween Treats at Devil’s Dozen

Through Oct. 31. They’re equal parts adorable, spooky and delicious. Devil’s Dozen Donut Shop is offering Halloween-themed delights through Sunday. The bakery is known for its classic and creative flavors (with donuts made fresh hourly) and locally roasted coffee. Get into the spirit with the Nutella-glazed Trick ‘r’ Treat donut with holiday sprinkles and pumpkin gummies; Frankenweenie, a vanilla-glazed purple donut with a Frankenstein marshmallow; the pink-vanilla-glazed Spider Web; Children of the Corn topped with candy corn; and more. See website for hours. 2001 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy, 619.780.0914.


Now Open. What started as a tiny pop-up in Oceanside has grown into its own brick-and-mortar outpost. Chef William Eick is an architect of modern Japanese cuisine, but you won’t find traditional sushi rolls here. Instead, diners are offered a four-course menu, with dishes incorporating both Japanese and locally sourced seasonal ingredients—such as tempura unagi, A5 wagyu with dandelion, buttery-sweet sablefish, and duck with turnips and persimmon. Or double the indulgence and splurge on the eight-course omakase menu. Th-M 4-10 p.m. 626 S. Tremont St., Oceanside, 760.231.6331.

Arts + Culture

San Diego Ballet at Liberty Station

Oct. 30-31. Live ballet is back! After going dark most of 2020, San Diego Ballet opens its 2021-22 season with outdoor shows at Ingram Plaza in the Arts District Liberty Station. As part of the company’s “Ritmos Latinos” program, two audience favorites will be performed each day: the rapturous Que Bonito Amor, set to mariachi music; and Mambomania, inspired by the childhood music of artistic director Javier Velasco. (Pictured: San Diego Ballet dancer Tona Gómez). And save the date for additional shows Nov. 6-7 at Ingram Plaza. 2:30 p.m. $10-$40. 2751 Dewey Road, Liberty Station. Tickets

Photo credits: San Diego Distillers Guild Fest courtesy of Cutwater Spirits. Seaport Village by Kimberly Motos. San Diego Ballet by Canela Photography. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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