Let the Ghoul Times Roll! Here’s a roundup of local Halloween Happenings

Let the Ghoul Times roll this Halloween with our roundup of local events

All in the spirit of fun, there are dozens of events to give you giggles or goosebumps this season! Most are in La Jolla, but we’ve included a few worth venturing out for!

Tricks and Treats

The annual Bird Rock Halloween Window Painting will run 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, along La Jolla Boulevard. Participating businesses are volunteering their windows for little goblins to paint, and the finished works will be on display in the community until Halloween Night.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography presents its annual Haunted Aquarium, themed “Spooky Science!” 6-9 p.m. Oct. 21-22. Recommended for ages 2 and older, activities include scientists showcasing exciting projects, seaweed slime making, a costume contest, story time, creepy crafts and music. Guests can check out “Frankensquid,” a huge Humboldt squid; view tiny species under a 3-D microscope, observe spooky species such as sea spiders and critters that create their own glow-in-the-dark light — all at 2300 Expedition Way. Pre-sale tickets $13.50-$18.50, at the door $20. (858) 534-7336.

The ninth annual La Jolla Shores Fall Fest will be 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16 along Avenida de la Playa, in The Shores. There will be live music, food, a jump house, face painting, trick-or-treating to area businesses, raffles, train rides and more. Tickets $10 online at or $15 at the event.

While in the Shores, stop by Barbarella to check out the sensational spooky décor at the 2171 Avenida de la Playa restaurant. Truly a sight to behold, the eatery is decked out floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall with creatures, monsters, skeletons, decapitated heads and more. (858) 454-7373.

Keep an eye out for posters for this year’s Pillage the Village, a community trick-or-treating event sponsored by La Jolla Village Merchants Association. For the trick-or-treating event, Girard Avenue businesses with posters in their windows will give out candy or treats, 3-6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. “Beggars” with particularly good costumes may be approached by a witch or a fairy, who will direct them to the costume contest! More information at or on the posters.

At SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular, kids can dress up in their Halloween best and go on a trick-or-treating adventure throughout the park (trick-or-treat bags provided); see Halloween shows, including Clyde & Seamore’s “Big Halloween Bash” at Sea Lion and Otter Stadium and Sesame Street’s “Who Said Boo?”; and more. New this year, is a themed area celebrating Dia de los Muertos, where colorful papel picado flags, vibrant ofrendas and large Catrinas will invite guests to learn about and take part in the festivities of this traditional Mexican holiday. Spooktacular takes place weekends in October. Events included with park admission, which starts at $69.99 at 500 Sea World Drive. (800) 257-4268.

For the fourth year, Boomont (aka Belmont) Park in Mission Beach will transform into a Halloween-themed amusement park with family-friendly fall activities for monsters of all ages, 5 p.m. to close on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 1-31. Free trick-or-treating will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31. Attractions include: Zombie Laser Tag, where creatures will join you in this three-floor adventure ($8 per game, $20 unlimited); superhero Zip Line & Rock Wall ($12, kids in costume receive 50 percent off); and the Giant Dipper that will become a Spooky Coaster ($6). This year there will be an expanded pumpkin patch with an option to purchase pumpkins to paint. Free admission and parking, 3146 Mission Blvd. (858) 228-9283.

The free Balboa Park Halloween Family Day gives families a safe, fun, and culturally inspired way to kick off their Halloween activities. Two dozen museums and cultural attractions will present craft projects for kids, costume parades and contests, and other fun surprises from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Participating museums are offering free admission to ages 12 and under with paying adult.

Highlights include mini-carnival games and costume contests for prizes hosted by San Diego Park and Rec., a doggie costume contest in the Spanish Village, the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s annual rooftop pumpkin drop, live animals from the San Diego Zoo, food trucks, and free activity and prize-drawing booths on the Prado and in the Plaza de Panama.

Witchy-poo hands a young library patron a treat at last year's Spooky Storytime.
Witchy-poo hands a young library patron a treat at last year’s Spooky Storytime.
(Light File )

Scary Stories

Off the Wall invites writers and actors to an open mic “Night of Dark Tales,” 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at Hennessey’s Tavern, 7811 Herschel Ave. Writers are encouraged to bring their scariest original story, actors to bring a frightening scene or monologue, or just come on in and sit and be entertained. Readers will be limited to three minutes. Costumes welcomed. Tickets $5. Food and drinks available for purchase. (858) 551-8772.

It’s time again for all aspiring ghosts, goblins, pirates and princesses to gather on the Star of India for some ghostly tales of enormous proportions. Enjoy lantern-led tours around the ship and hear eerie legends from the Star of India’s past, 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. Tickets $8-$16 for admission and lantern tours. The museum is on The Embarcadero in downtown San Diego at 1492 North Harbor Drive. (619) 234-9153.

Spooky Sounds

Hear the San Diego Symphony orchestra perform the famous scores from Tim Burton films such as: “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman,” “BigFish,” “Corpse Bride,” and more during “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tom Burton,” 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown. The magic of each film will be brought to life onstage by visuals of Burton’s original film sketches, drawings and storyboards. Tickets from $20. (619) 235-0804 or (619) 235-0800.

Celebrate Day of the Dead with the San Diego Symphony during another seasonal concert, “Dia De Los Muertos,” 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30 at Symphony Hall, 750 B St. The celebration features the joyous sounds of Mariachi Champaña Nevin along with dancers, singer Aida Cuevas (“The Queen of Ranchera Music”) and special alters for the community. Tickets from $20. (619) 235-0804 or (619) 235-0800.

Bargain Boo-tique

Goodwill Southern California stores kick off the Halloween shopping season with costumes, make-up, home decorations and props — and making its debut, a pictorial costume Look Book that features a variety of inspirations. La Jolla’s Goodwill store is at 7631 Girard Ave.

Party Time for Pirates

Aaargh! The Maritime Museum of San Diego is hosting a new, haunted pirate-themed party for adults ages 21 and up, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 in the ghostly tavern on the ferryboat Berkeley, 1492 North Harbor Drive. Event includes costume contests and prizes, games, live music, photo booth pictures, dancing and general piratical behavior.

Guests are encouraged to wear their finest ghost-pirate attire for a chance to win prizes. Games will be played throughout the evening for opportunities to grab some pirate treasure. Tickets are $35 and include complimentary photos, Pirate Grog and appetizers. (619) 234-9153x106.

San Diego’s Haunted Houses

One of the most haunted spots in San Diego, the Whaley House in Old Town, has plenty to send shivers down your spine this Halloween, starting with a screening of the Vincent Price horror classic “House on Haunted Hill” (1959), 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 2476 San Diego Ave. Tickets $15 (advance purchase recommended).

On Oct. 26, there will be Whaley House Nighttime tours 5-9:30 p.m. Rub shoulders with the spirits as you hear tales of the Whaley Family and their eerie home. Tours are $13 for adults, $8 for seniors and children (who dare!) the event is not recommneded for kids under age 5.

On Oct. 31, Old Town will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with period music, historic lighting and tales of paranormal encounters, then until midnight for creepy exploration. Admission $15.

Del Mar Fairgrounds Scream Zone includes two scary mazes, a Haunted Hayride and new for this year is a Zombie Boot Camp; runs select dates through Oct. 31. Find all the details at