Rest assured that there are still things to do in San Diego with kids for Halloween even in this unusual year. If an event or activity is mentioned on this list, it’s because they’ve implemented health and safety measures as required by San Diego County.
Some of these Halloween events in San Diego are also on my list of San Diego fall events. If more become announced, I’ll add them. Keep in mind that October is Kids Free San Diego where kids go free to many San Diego attractions when adults hold qualifying tickets (restrictions apply).
San Diego Zoo Halloween festivities include Halgloween, named for the glow-in-the-dark decor and entertainment that guests will enjoy during three weekend evenings on October 9–11, 16–18, and 23–25. Kids ages 11 and under are encouraged to wear costumes. There will also be a DJ spinning tunes, a bubble dance party, and much more. Admission is included with San Diego Zoo tickets.
KIDS FREE AT THE ZOO AND SAFARI PARKOne paid adult can take up to 10 kids ages 11 and under for free to both parks. The adult needs to hold a qualifying ticket, which I have at a discount below.
I have an exclusive San Diego Zoo tickets promo code and a San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket promo code that saves $6 off of 1-Day tickets. These tickets are also eligible for Kids Free October so you can save even more! Use code lajollamom below.
Some Pumpkin Station locations will be open this year and these include the Mission Valley pumpkin patch as well as the two farms: one in Bonita and the other in Rancho Bernardo. Del Mar and Plaza Bonita will not open this year.
In addition to pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, Pumpkin Stations offer additional activities to entertain kids during a visit. They are open daily through October 31.
Kids all over San Diego look forward to the annual Haunted Aquarium Halloween celebration at Birch Aquarium at Scripps. This year, they’ll continue the fun during Hauted Aquarium Remix.
Fun, educational activities geared toward kids ages 2 to 10 take advantage of the outdoor spaces, including Tide Pool Plaza, Smargon Courtyard, and the Education Courtyard. There will also be some new animal encounters to experience like baby Epaulette Sharks and unusual hermit crabs. You’ll be able to perform some spooky science experiments and enjoy some sea-themed Halloween decor, too! Reservations are required.
See also: Guide to Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Join SeaWorld San Diego on weekends in late September and October for their annual Halloween Spooktacular Weekends featuring family-friendly Halloween dance parties, safe trick-or-treating using a candy chute, fun Halloween decorations, pumpkin scavenger hunt, and more.
Some indoor exhibits, most outdoor exhibits, and shows are open. SeaWorld San Diego rides are currently closed.
Visit Friday–Sunday through November 1. Reservations are required. I have tips for how to buy SeaWorld San Diego tickets but the two best places are through SeaWorld and aRes Travel. You’ll need to decide if a Kids Free ticket or a Dine + Drink ticket is best for your day.
Our seaside amusement park will also modify their usual fall festivities. This year, guests can expect an open-air market that includes lots of great food, local artisans, and even a craft beer garden.
There will also be free modified trick-or-treating on select dates, one of California’s biggest pumpkins, and an outdoor go kart track. Harvest Walk happens on Saturdays 10/24, 10/31 (Halloween), 11/7, and 11/14.
Belmont Park ticket tips: There usually some sort of Groupon available for Belmont Park, which does have some outdoor activities open (no rides). Parking is also free, but spaces can fill up.
See also: Things to Do at Belmont Park
Head over to Del Mar Scaregrounds for the county’s largest haunted experience that is considered among the goriest and scariest Halloween events San Diego has to offer. It’s on in a modified way for 2020 that is Drive-Thru Scream Zone: Road Kill.
You’ll drive through a mile-long course that has been transformed into scenes from classic horror films so expect plenty of scary clowns, zombies, and serial killers.
As you can imagine, the Scream Zone is definitely not for kids under the age of 10 (perhaps more suited for teens, actually, as it is scary). It’s open on select dates through October 31.
Come to La Jolla to pick out your pumpkin at family-owned Mr. Jack-O-Lantern’s Pumpkin patch. Use it as a chance to score a huge pumpkin because they will deliver it, too. They also sell pumpkin carving and pumpkin decorating kits. Kids can take a spin around the spooky maze and have fun in the bounce house. Parking an admission is free.
See the spookier side of San Diego, perhaps with older kids, on one of the popular Old Town Trolley Ghost and Gravestone Tours. You’ll hop on board the “Trolley of the Doomed” to learn about some of the city’s famous ghosts and visit some spookier sites at night like El Campo Santo cemetery in Old Town San Diego.
While we are all anxiously waiting for LEGOLAND California to reopen, you can get your Miniland fix on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October (Oct. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30 & 31).
Guests will be able to see the Halloween decorations throughout this popular land, enjoy some festive activities, and even taste treats. Families are encouraged to wear costumes. Tickets are required, but they are very inexpensive and can be purchased through LEGOLAND.
Did you know that Hotel del Coronado is one of the haunted hotels in San Diego? You don’t need to stay overnight in order to book one of their roasts, which is a fun beach activity that I recommend. In addition to beach s’mores roasted on a private fire pit set up for your group, you’ll receive a paranormal visit from Kate Morgan (the hotel’s resident ghost) to hear her story during Ghost Roasts.
Book them daily in the evenings through October. The cost starts at $195 per person but they have a menu of festive add-ons from appetizers to cocktails.
Not only can you pick out your pumpkin at this fun North County spot, but guests can explore a corn maze, take tractor rides, and even shoot apples at speeds of 100 mph out of an apple canon. Teens may enjoy the Haunted Corn Maze “Field of Screams” on Friday and Saturday evenings. Carlsbad Strawberry Company is open through November 8. Admission is $5 and kids ages 5 and under are free.
San Diego County does not recommend traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating this year, sadly. They also do not recommend leaving out bowls of candy because it’s hard to control the number of kids who surround the bowl to grab their share of candy.
Instead, the County suggests one-way trick-or-treating as a lower-risk alternative. An example of this could be leaving bags of candy so that kids can walk by, pick up the bags, and keep walking in the same direction while maintaining adequate spacing. Read the full guidelines.
What is your favorite thing to do in San Diego with kids during Halloween season?
*Top photo is courtesy of LEGOLAND California Resort