Super Hero Obstacle Run
8 – 11 AM
Location: Carlsbad, Alga Norte Community Park, 6565 Alicante Rd.
Dress up like your favorite super hero at the City of Carlsbad’s Super Hero Obstacle Race at Alga Norte Community Park. Parents and children run together through a super hero themed 2K obstacle course. Participants must be 4 years and older. Groups will be launched every 10 mins. The race will take approximately one hour to complete. You can pick a start time that works for you.
Defeat villains while leaping over tall buildings, crawl through toxic tunnels and navigate 20 obstacles throughout the park. Conquer inflatable mazes and slides, wrecking balls, tights ropes, web crawlers and other obstacles along the way.
Participants will receive race logoed superhero cape, bib number and finishing medal. Cost is $25 per participant. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
The Scream Zone
October 1 – 31
Location: Del Mar, Del Mar Fairgrounds
Welcome to Your Nightmare!
San Diego County’s largest haunted experience, The Scream Zone is considered among the goriest, scariest, and screaming-est fright fests to be found in the dark corners of Southern California. We invite you to be our guests, that is, if you have the nerve!
The Scream Zone is assembled from a collection of body parts and roughly stitched together into four terrifying haunts and other monstrous attractions. This year the Scream Zone runs 24 selected nights beginning September 29 and continues through October 31. Parking at The Scream Zone is free.
Your Triple Haunt favorites are back: the horrifying House of Horror, the dizzying KarnEvil, and the Haunted Hayride, each casting its evil spell on the Del Mar Fairgrounds. If our Triple Haunt isn’t enough for you, lace up your sneakers and take part in The Running Dead. Will you survive the zombie apocalypse or will you become a wandering corpse?
Scaredy Cats are welcome to enter The Scream Zone compound at no charge if you want to wait for your children or hang with your friends but are too scared to enter the haunts. There are lots of things for you to do and see, including great food vendors, photo opportunities and our Spirit Lounge bar.
Location: Encinitas, Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real
The 22st Annual Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest will be held on Sunday, October 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real. This event is completely FREE and fun for the entire family!
The event entertainment features authentic German music from The Bluebirds, the Gemütlichkeit Alpine Dancers, carnival rides, a street craft faire featuring over 200 vendors and more! The family food and refreshment tent along with the Keepin’ It Local Craft Beer Garden will be serving authentic German food and beers from German and local San Diego breweries.
FREE PARKING is available at the Flora Vista Elementary School (1690 Wandering Road) with FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE from the parking lot to the Oktoberfest site.
Kids Free in October San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
Kids Free in October San Diego Museum Council
October 1 – October 31
Location: San Diego County, multiple locations
October is a great month for kids! Both the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and the San Diego Museum Council are offering free admission to children throughout October!
Calling all kids! October is Kids Free month at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park presented by Mission Fed at the San Diego Zoo! All month long, children 11 years and younger receive free admission when accompanied by an adult with a paid admission or membership. Special activities on the weekends help kids connect with wildlife and nature in exciting and fun ways.
During the month of October, you can upgrade your child’s experience with a 1-Day Pass Child Upgrade for only $12—which includes the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus, and Skyfari aerial tram. Come let your wild ones meet ours!
This October, the San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) and ScholarShare present Kids Free in October, which provides San Diegans and tourists alike the opportunity to visit more museum destinations than ever before. In its seventh year, this annual program provides free admission for kids 12 and under at 43 art, cultural, and science museums in San Diego County.
This program can bring savings of up to $30 for a family of four. Free admission is available for up to two kids for every adult ticket purchase. To participate, download the Kids Free in October coupon. Simply present the coupon at the participating museum’s admissions desk.
Taste of Oceanside
2 – 5 PM
Location: Oceanside, Downtown, various locations
Stroll around the downtown, or take the Taste Trolley, and nibble tantalizing food samples along the way.
Taste of Oceanside will feature a wide variety of restaurants, breweries and wineries that will offer samples of their food and beverages. This event is to feature Oceanside’s growing restaurant, brewery, and winery businesses.
12 – 10 PM
Location: Carlsbad, Holiday Park, Chestnut St. and Pio Pico
Be a part of this Carlsbad premier tradition with several hundred of your closest friends, family and neighbors for a day of great food, awesome music, and festive fun. Rob the DJ Nunez will kick off the day’s entertainment by spinning your favorite tunes followed by live bands starting with local favorites Faith Page, Bluebirds, and ending with The Last Call.
Fill your day with a delicious German meal, pretzels, and ice cold beers! There will also be entertainment and fun activities for kids of all ages, including costume contests, yodeling contests, dancing and a Biergarten.
Children will enjoy the Oktoberfest pumpkin patch and pumpkin decorating contest, inflatable jumpers, face painting, antique fire truck and much much more!
Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. This ticket price includes one full meal and admission for ages 10 and over. Regular admission (event entry only – no meal) is just $5 for ages 10 and up. Save time on the day of the event by ordering your admission tickets in advance!
FREE Shuttle Bus Service from The Shoppes at Carlsbad Mall (SW Corner) parking lot. Local parking is very limited – shuttle buses pick-up and drop-off at 20-minute intervals. The first shuttle departs at 11:30 AM and the last shuttle leaves Holiday Park at 10:30PM.
Grape Day Festival and 5K
5K at 7:30 – 10 AM
Festival at 2 – 8 PM
5K Location: Escondido, 150 N Centre City Pkwy
Festival Location: Escondido, Grape Day Park, 321 N Broadway
7th Annual Grape Day 5K is a 5K fun run for everyone from elite runners to casual walkers, so bring the whole family out for a good time! Each runner will receive a finishers medal, a cool tech shirt and an even cooler swag bag plus many more goodies!
Grape Day started in 1908 as a way to celebrate Escondido’s grape harvest and promote the city. This is a family friendly event and includes:
- Grape Stomping
- Free Grapes
- Bronner’s Magic Foam
- Face Painting
- Beer & Wine Garden (21 & over)
- Chili Cook-off
- Shopping & Crafts
- Food Court
- Pie Eating Contest
LEGOLAND Brick-or-Treat Party Nights
October 7, 14, 21, 28
Location: Carlsbad, LEGOLAND,
Awesome Awaits at the Park…after dark during Brick-Or-Treat Party Nights! The entire Park is open for Party Nights Saturday September 30, and every Saturday in October. The home of Halloween fun is filled with music, candy, decorations and your fishy friends at SEA LIFE® Aquarium! Highlights include:
- Live entertainment + new shows!
- Character Meet and Greets
- Costume Contests: Group, LEGO® Theme, Most Creative
- Treat stations with more than 1 million pieces of candy
- Heartlake City Fall Festival with Pumpkin Patch Build and craft time with the LEGO Friends
- The AstroBash Dance Party
- Brick-or-Treat Party Nights Pop Badge Challenge
Moonlight Beach Bash
3 – 7 PM
Location: Encinitas, Moonlight Beach, 400 B St
Moonlight Beach Fest celebrates Encinitas life to the fullest, bringing together arts, beach culture, basically all the ingredients to have a killer time at the beach! Annually, the first Saturday of October celebrates the City’s founding in October 1986. Come celebrate, spend time together with friends and family and enjoy what’s typically Encinitas’ best beach weather.
- Food trucks: Taco Picasso & Kona Ice
- The Devastators live in concert 4:30pm – 6:00pm
- Fern Street Circus – They will be hosting a fine acoustic Gypsy trio, hoops, contortion, unicycling, juggling, tight wire and foot juggling.
- Studio FX- Performing Hip-hop dances by the Urban Misfits, Syde FX and Urban FX. Come and get involved and win some Studio FX Swag Gear.
- Sidewalk chalk artists Gus Moran and Theresa Thorman- Come watch these amazing creations develop right before your eyes.
- Art Miles public mural project- have fun, come together, learn about each other’s culture and traditions. Join us in creating two murals on the beach. Fun for all ages!
- See a giant sand sculpture being built throughout the event to be completed before the event ending for a great photo opportunity.
Del Mar International Horse Show
October 11 – 29
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
The Del Mar International Horse Show takes place at one of Southern California’s finest horse show venues, the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Known for its incredible atmosphere and exciting competition, the Del Mar International Horse Show encompasses multiple weeks of world-class show jumping, which attracts an elite field of internationally recognized horses and riders.
Minutes from San Diego, the ideal Del Mar area features golden beaches, luxurious resorts, upscale shopping and dining, and a mild year-round climate. The Del Mar International Horse Show is part of the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League, hosting one of only seven World Cup Qualifiers on the West Coast of North America! The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar attracts Olympic veterans and world class athletes, competing head to head for a spot in the World Cup Finals!
Fall Festival Alta Vista Gardens
10 AM – 3 PM
Location: Vista, Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Dr
Bring your family to Alta Vista Botanical Gardens (at the top of the hill inside Brengle Terrace Park). Celebrate Fall at this community-centered event by creating a scarecrow on-site for our contest – clothes and supplies provided, but your additions are welcome. $2 entry fee with great prizes for our winners.
The day’s activities include crafts, games, face painting, worms and compost, music and dance for the kids – and best of all, the event is FREE! Check out the new Children’s Discovery Trail, Incredible Edibles Garden and cotton growing all around. Art displays and demos will round out the offerings for the day.
This event is free to the public.
5 – 9 PM
Location: Carlsbad, 6565 Alicante Rd
Bring a swim suit and join the Halloween fun at Alga Norte Aquatic Center that transforms into spooky fun with pool activities including Bone Collector, Brain Shootout, Creepy Animal races, and more. Race across the floating obstacles, and test your balance and agility on the Key Logs.
Dry activities include a pumpkin themed bounce house, the Floating Pumpkin Patch, ring toss, and a photo op.
The night ends with a special movie presentation of Nightmare Before Christmas on the giant outdoor movie screen. Rated PG
Enjoy dinner at the Dive In Grill open during the event. Menu includes made-to-order grilled burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza, shaved ice, ice cream and other tasty treats.
Cost is $10 per person. Children ages 3 and under are free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Register now. Event maxes at 600 participants.
Escondido Grand Avenue Festival
Location: Escondido, Grand Ave between Center City Pkwy and Juniper
Hundreds of vendors, live entertainment, and food from around the world have combined to make the Escondido Grand Avenue Festival a family tradition since 1989. The Escondido Grand Avenue Festival, held the 3rd Sunday of May and October, is the second largest single-day festival in California.
The festival kicks off at 9 a.m. and will jump and jive all day until 5 p.m. Come and join us on historic Grand Avenue in downtown Escondido. Enjoy special attractions and great family fun!
Haunted Aquarium: Sea Monster Mash
October 20 – 21
6 – 9 PM
Location: La Jolla, Birch Aquarium
Have a Sea Monstrously Good Time!
Enjoy close encounters with Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists and search the galleries for unusual underwater creatures rarely seen at Birch Aquarium. Discover a sea of glowing beasts (big and small), get sticky with slime, and enjoy spooky stories. All the while you’ll be BOO-gieing down to live music and having a monstrous good time. Recommended for ages 2+. Activities include:
- Scripps Institution of Oceanography Scientists showcasing exciting, and sometimes spooky, research!
- Slime: Make your own seaweed slime to take home
- Frankensquid: Get up close and personal with a huge Humboldt Squid and learn what makes it unique inside and out.
- 3-D microscope: experience the smallest amazing 3-D microscope developed by Scripps Oceanography scientists.
- Spooky species including skeleton shrimp and sea spiders
- Community organizations will be coming with their own games, activities, and giveaway.
- Those in a family-friendly costume will win a prize.
- Glowing critters witness creatures that create their own light and glow in the deep, dark ocean.
- Story time youngsters can gather around and listen to a spooky (but not too spooky) shipwreck tale.
- Enjoy creepy crafts that are fun for all ages!
- BOO-gie down all evening to the live music of Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters!
Birch Aquarium Members: Pre-Sale $13.50, Public: Pre-Sale $18.50, Door (all): $20. Free for children 2 and under. Please note that general admission tickets cannot be used for Haunted Aquarium. You will need to purchase a separate ticket for the special event. The aquarium closes between 5 and 6 p.m.
San Diego Aruna Run For Their Freedom
Location: Encinitas, Encinitas Community Park, 425 Santa Fe Dr
The 1st San Diego Aruna Run for Their Freedom is an exciting 5K run/walk for a worthy cause – freeing women from sexual slavery in India.
One hundred percent of the money from both the entry fee and additional sponsorship will benefit the Aruna Project, an international human rights organization focused on bringing and sustaining freedom to the sexually enslaved in South Asia through employment marked by holistic care.
Each Aruna Run participant will run for a woman, by name, who is still enslaved to raise awareness of her need of funds to bring freedom. Each participant will also receive an Athletic Drawstring Backpack made by women who are now free, empowered, and employed! All finishers will also receive an Aruna 2017 finisher medal.
Cost is $30.
Annual Fall Plant Sale
October 21 – 23
Location: Encinitas, San Diego Botanic Garden
At San Diego Botanic Garden’s Annual Fall Plant Sale, plant lovers can choose from thousands of unique, exotic, unusual and drought-tolerant plants, as well as California natives, herbs, succulents, annuals, perennials and SO much more!
Plant donations from over 100 local growers, wholesalers, retail nurseries, and individuals make this one of the largest and diverse plant sales in San Diego County.
The Botanic Attic, filled with new and gently-used garden-related items, a used book sale, and the popular Bakery Shoppe, selling home-made baked goods, jams and jellies, will also available at the Fall Plant Sale.
Free with paid admission or membership.
Antique Engine & Tractor Show
October 21, 22, 28 and 29
Location: Vista, 2040 N Santa Fe Ave
The Fall Antique Engine & Tractor Show being held at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum has something for everyone in the family. A daily Antique Equipment & Tractor Parade with tractors from all over the country, blacksmithing demos and classes, wheelwright demos, N’ scale model railroad, wagon rides, weaving and spinning demos, train rides, arts and crafts, Museum Gift Shop, music, merchant booths, food booths, and the only operating steam roller in the country.
Located on 55 acres, 2016 marks the 40th year the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum has been in Vista. Over that period our museum has grown to become one of the premier educational and recreational facilities in North San Diego County. Our museum’s collection focuses on 1849 through the early 1960’s era with exhibits that actively demonstrate early American life and technology.
Giro di San Diego GranFondo
Location: Escondido, Kit Carson Park, 3333 Bear Valley Pkwy
Welcome to the 6th annual Giro di San Diego, The Palomar Granfondo. This year the Giro has been pushed back to the end of October to allow for cooler weather and moved to Kit Carson Park in Escondido. This new location is only 20 miles from Mount Palomar. Also new for this year is a feature route that includes the Mesa Grande, a serene and picturesque loop in the back country of San Diego.
Our mission is to draw cyclist from around the globe to enjoy the best riding that San Diego has to offer. We have four road routes to choose from with 35, 60, 66, and 105 miles. We are a charity focused event and use our love for the Italian GranFondo to raise money and awareness for local causes.
Día de los Muertos Event
10 AM – 4 PM
Location: Oceanside, Mission San Luis Rey,4050 Mission Ave.
The Day of the Dead is a festive and multicultural event hosted by Mission San Luis Rey for the entire family, featuring traditional altars and ofrendas, vendors, artisans, dancers, musicians and a special classic car show with trunk altar displays put on by the Por Siempre Car Club.
No other Day of the Dead celebration offers you the feeling of peace you get when your celebrating amidst the ancestrial cemetery of the Mission. As you take in the traditional Day of the Dead tributes such as chalk cemeteries, floral alters, vehicular altars and other such remembrances, you can’t help but feel a sense of calmess and serenity come over you making this the most emotionally altering Dia you’ll ever experience!
Free admission. Parking is $5 per car at the Old Mission or at the Parish, but is free at El Camino High School at 400 Rancho del Oro Dr, Oceanside. There are free shuttle buses available from El Camino High School.
Safe Trick or Treat
5 – 8 PM
Location: Encinitas, S. Coast Hwy. and Encinitas Blvd.
On Halloween each year from 5-8pm, a stretch of South Coast Hwy 101, from Encinitas Blvd. to K Street, becomes “Pumpkin Lane,” decorated with elaborately carved pumpkins at different viewing locations. Downtown merchants hand out treats to thousands of costumed kids and Her Royal Highness grants wishes at the Queen’s Court at the Self-Realization Fellowship Bookstore at 1150 S Coast Hwy 101.
The 101 Artists’ Colony hosts a kids zone in The Lumberyard Courtyard, where children can enjoy Halloween-themed games and activities, as well as live music by Bucket Ruckus.
The Self-Realization Fellowship grow and harvest the pumpkins on the hill above Vulcan, south of Santa Fe Drive. The monks of SRF carve them for the enjoyment of the community each year.