Ghostly pleasures

Boo-ti-ful fun abounds for Halloween

All dressed up and no where to go this Halloween? Check the following list of seasonal fun for all ages --- most events are happening right in your own back yard!

La Jolla

Halloween Festival: 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 31 at La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect. Carnival games, face-painting, arts and crafts, rides, astro jump, music. Four tickets for $1. (858) 552-1658.

Haunted Aquarium

: 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 23-24, $15. Birch Aquarium, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. Costume contest each night, refreshments, music, slimy encounters with creatures from the deep and more. Open to guests of all ages; kids younger than 16 must attend with an adult. Reservations: (858) 534-7336.


: 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28, Muttropolis, 7755 Girard, La Jolla, (858) 459-9663, and 227 S. Cedros, Solana Beach, (858) 755- 3647. Mutt Mingle and photos, bobbing for biscuits, costume contest, treat for best trick.

Fall Harvest Festival:

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24, Nobel Athletic Fields and Rec. Center, 8810 Judicial Drive, La Jolla. Children’s tickets $5-$8, parents free. Carnival rides, bounce house, craft tables, cupcake dressing, face-painting, imagination station, raffle, magic show. Bring a lunch. Hosted by The Parent Connection.

Family Harvest Festival:

5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at La Jolla Community Church and Eastgate Christian School, 4377 Eastgate Mall, east of Genesee. Bounce houses, crafts, pumpkin decorating, game booths, prizes, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and lemonade. Free. Midnight Rising will perform. Child-friendly costumes only. (858) 558-9020, ext. 208.

Boo Fest:

4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 30, Whole Foods Store, 8825 Villa La Jolla Drive. Treat or treating for kids in costume through the store. Winner of pumpkin-coloring contest will be named. (858) 642-6700.

Fall Family Fest:

Hosted by merchants along Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores, 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 25. Kids and adults costume contest, food, music and “fun” activities. Each shop visited will stamp one of 12 boxes on a ticket; 10 stamps gets admission to the raffle for restaurant/boutique certificates and surf and kayak schools. Tickets: $5 advance, $10 day of; (619) 840-3482 or

Co-eds gone scary!

UCSD students and staff will mark the holiday with a costume contest featuring categories ranging from most original to most frightening. 11:30 a.m. Oct. 30 at Price Center Plaza. (858) 534-6444.

Del Mar

Halloween Happening:

Village Association’s Oct. 25 event offers trick or treating from 2 to 5 p.m. and magic show from 4 to 5 p.m., L’Auberge Amphitheater, 1540 Camino del Mar; arts and crafts, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Del Mar Library; Fun at Pinky’s Big Top face-painting and hair-coloring, 2 to 4 p.m. at the Del Mar Plaza. Kids get extra treats if they first pick up a Casper card at the amphitheater and library. (858) 755-1179.

Scream Zone:

7 p.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday, 7 to 11 p.m. other nights, Oct. 22-31, Del Mar Scaregrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Triple Haunt: House of Horror, Haunted Hayride and The Chamber, $27.99; House of Horror or Haunted Hayride, $14.99, at

Pumpkin Station:

Activities, rides, inflatables, slides, petting zoo and more throughout the park through Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Free parking and admission. 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd. (858) 481-4254.


Opening night.

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus will open its 55th season with a Beethoven-Bartok-Golijov concert conducted by Steven Schick. 8 p.m. Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Mandeville Auditorium.

Symphony concert:

Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican Day of the Dead Celebration, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, features the music of Mexico’s greatest musicians with Mariachi Champana Nevin, vocalists Monica Abrego and Jorge Lopez-Yanez, and Ballet Folkloric Flores del Desierto. Tickets: $20-$85. (619) 235-0804,

Bar party:

Halloween Heat with Blasphemous Guitars, 9 p.m. Oct. 31, Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. $25. (858) 481-8140.

Worth a trip

Botanic Garden Fun.

Scarecrow Overrun, 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 25, Hamilton Children’s Garden. Great photo ops. Free with admission. Halloween Party and Parade, 9:30 to 11 a.m. or 11:15 to 12:45 p.m. Oct. 31 for ages 2-6, crafts, plant potting, treat hunting, snacks, Seeds of Wonder area. $12 per child, nonmembers $17 per child. Reservations required. San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. (760) 436-3036, ext. 222. E-mail

Halloween carnival:

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25, 780 Santa Victoria, Solana Beach; hosted by Solana Beach Foundation for Learning, and Solana Vista and Skyline elementary schools to benefit educational programs. Fun includes a raffle, silent auction, food and recreation booths, carnival rides, giant slides.



Legoland California, 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 24 and 31. Costume contests, treat or treating, live music and entertainment. Some rides open late. Themed exhibits. $25 event only; or (760) 918-LEGO.

Fiesta de Reyes:

Trick or treating through shops and museums, 4 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31; storytelling of “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” 8 p.m. in the yard behind Seeley Stables. Free. Old Town San Diego State Park. (858) 689-9909.

“Rocky Horror Picture Show.

” Classic, campy horror musical, midnight Fridays, La Paloma Theatre, 471 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas. $9. (760) 436-SHOW.

Ghosts at Old Town:

Led by a clueless ghost hunter, visitors are off on a search for the ghosts of real San Diegans who met tragic deaths in Old Town during the 1880s. 6:30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 23-24 and Oct. 30-31. Meet near Visitor Center, Wallace/Calhoun streets. Tickets: $10.

SeaWorld Spooktacular:

Noon to 6 p.m. weekends through Nov. 1, “Clyde and Seamore’s Trick or Treat” show, costume contests, treat or treating. Seasonal fun included with park admission, from $55. Exit SeaWorld Drive, off Interstate 5. (800) 25-SHAMU.

Pumpkins at the Park:

Weekends through Nov. 1 at San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, Escondido. Extinct animal graveyard, scavenger hunt for treats, costume contest. Details at

Balboa Park-wide Family Day:

Museum discounts and special events throughout Balboa Park on Oct. 31. Science fun from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, where ages 17 and younger will be admitted free with a paid adult admission. Science-themed pumpkin contest with prizes in three age categories. (619) 238-1233. Costumes encouraged, but not required. Discounted IMAX films $8.50.

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park:

7 p.m. to midnight through Oct. 31. Located in the woods of Balboa Park, east of Sixth and Juniper; cash-only tickets $14.99, $4.99 extra for clown maze. No kids younger than 10. (619) 696-SCARE.

Puppet show:

“The Polka Dot Ghost” has a big problem and needs help getting ready for the big night, 10 and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 11 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; Oct. 28-31; Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, 2130 Pan American Place, Balboa Park; $3-$5; (619) 544-9203 or

Halloween Swing Dance Party:

7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 30, 12621-A Poway Road, Poway. Northside Jitterbug Swing Dance Club presents mini classes, prizes, Jack ‘n’ Jill contest, music from the Swinging Sounds of

Band Diego. Cover: $15, or $20 for couples. Details at

(858) 679-8277 or

The Haunted Hotel.

Terrifying tour of one of Gaslamp’s deepest and darkest basements, from 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through October, 424 Market St., San Diego. Tickets: $14.99 online at or (619) 231-0131.

Stay safe

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these tips to help assure an injury-free Halloween:


  • Use specifically designed carving knives, not kitchen knives. Carving knives are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin tissue where injuries can occur when a carver tries to yank out the stuck knife.
  • Never let kids carve pumpkins. Adults carving pumpkins should remember to cut in small, controlled strokes, away from themselves.
  • If you cut a fingertip or hand while carving, elevate the hand above the heart and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. If continuous pressure does not stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, an emergency room visit may be necessary.


  • Trim costumes and bags with reflective tape for visibility.
  • Make sure costumes fit properly; those that are too long may cause trips and falls.
  • Shoes for “begging” should be sturdy, comfortable and slip-resistant.
  • Masks and hats can impair vision, so secure hats well and consider using face makeup instead of masks.

Trick or treating

  • Keep to familiar neighborhoods, and only approach homes that are well lit.
  • Be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways.
  • Obey traffic signals and use designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Examine all treats for tampering before eating them.