The Spooky Season: Guide to Halloween events and fall fun in La Jolla, San Diego, Southern California


Whether you’re in the mood for creepy and kooky or family-friendly fall fun, you’ll find autumn affairs for all ages to enjoy throughout the region. Here’s a list of October activities — come in costume to add to the merriment!

La Jolla Halloween Happenings

■ The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Haunted Aquarium, themed “Shipwrecked Science!” promises a full lineup of activities 6-9 p.m. Oct. 23-24. Recommended for ages 2 and older, activities include SIO scientists showcasing exciting, and sometimes spooky, research; making seaweed slime to take home; meeting a huge Humboldt Squid and learning what makes it unique inside and out; experiencing the smallest 3-D microscope; and costume contests. Community organizations will be coming with their own games, activities and giveaways. $12-19. (858) 534-7336. 2300 Expedition Way.

■ It’s baaack! Barbarella Restaurant in La Jolla Shores brings its Halloween-obsessed décor to 2171 Avenida de la Playa. 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.

Halloween window-painting for Bird Rock kids, using the storefronts of participating merchants on La Jolla Boulevard will take place 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. It’s sponsored by bird rock community council. Adult volunteers are needed to supervise artists on painting day and help clean the windows after Halloween. or

■ A Fall Festival and Halloween Carnival comes to The Children’s School 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25. Open to the public and for children of all ages. 2225 Torrey Pines Lane.

■ Oh no, the library is haunted! Spooky story time and trick-or-treating comes to riford Library starting at 10:30 a.m. thursday, Oct. 29. Friends of La Jolla Library members (some dressed in costume) will have different trick-or-treat stations with stickers and small prizes. 7555 Draper Ave. (858) 552-1657.

Pillage the Village! Hosted by La Jolla Village Merchants Association, come in costume and go trick-or-treatin’ 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 along La Jolla’s retail streets. Look for merchants with “Pillage” posters in the window or balloons out front.

■ Since more than 400 children attended last year, La Jolla Christian Fellowship’s Halloween party will be back this year. the theme is Knights and Princesses, and the party will run 5-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at the 627 Genter St. church, with a jump castle, mystery forest, cider, cookies, children’s activities, photo opportunities and candy. (858) 454-9636.

■ An autumn Passeggiata for Bird Rock residents 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 along the 5500-5700 blocks of La Jolla Boulevard. Stroll the neighborhood for music, art, art activities for children and merchant specials. Open to all ages.

Fall Family Festival with inflatables, games, candy, food and more, noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25 at Torrey Pines Christian Church, 8320 La Jolla Scenic Drive North. (858) 453-3550.

■ The 17th annual La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market Harvest Festival will have free games, music, prizes and more, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday Oct. 25, on the corner of Girard Avenue and Genter Street. While there, check out the October offerings: apples, avocados, green beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, eggplant, figs, grapes, guava, kiwi, citrus, melons, pears, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radish, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and more.

■ La Jolla Presbyterian Church Harvest Festival (a fundraiser for the church preschool), is a celebration of old- fashioned family fun, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. Dunk tank, jump houses, pie-eating contest, games, cakewalk, pony rides and more. Admission is $5 for adults, kids attend for free. Varying costs for activities, or purchase a wristband for unlimited games/activities for $20. 7715 Draper Ave. (858) 454-0713.

Halloween at La Jolla YMCA: Halloween Carnival, Friday, 4-6 p.m. Oct. 23, dress in costume, play spooky games and win prizes. Free to members.

Gymnastics Halloween Sleepover, 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 to 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 23, ages 5 and older, gymnastics, movies, dinner, breakfast, trick-or-treating and more, $37 members, $49 participants. Y Pumpkin Dive, 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, ages 5-12, free for members, $15 for participants. Dive in the pool for your pumpkin, decorate it and take it home! Must pre-register at the Membership Desk. Ages 5-6 must be accompanied by an adult in the pool. 8355 Cliffridge Ave. (858) 453- 3483.

Regional Halloween Happenings

■ Get ready to shriek at The Scream Zone at Del Mar Fairgrounds, with four nightmare-inducing activities: two mazes (House of Horror and Karnevil), Haunted Hayride and Paintball Apocalypse: A Nightmare of clown Street. Open 7-11 p.m. Oct. 8-11, 15-18, 21-31 and Nov. 1. 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Admission: $18-$52 (cost varies based on activity). 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. (858) 755-1161.

■ Come in costume and check out SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular for monster amounts of colorful trick-or- treat stations throughout the park. It all starts at 11 a.m. each day through Nov. 1. At the Mermaid Grotto and Pumpkinfish Patch, meet and take a picture with enchanting mermaids, play in the new kinetic sand bar or join the fun as DJ cotton candy spins sweet beats leading a Spooktacular dance party. Halloween- themed shows round out the festivities. Kids enter free with a $89 adult admission through October. Halloween activities are included with admission or annual pass. 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego.

■ National Comedy Theatre presents its annual “Halloween Spooktacular” 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Oct. 30-31 at 3717 India St. in Mission Hills. This variation on an improv comedy show (think “Friday the 13th” meets “Whose Line is it Anyway?”) includes Halloween-themed subjects, spooky games and an ending so bizarre it will be discussed until Thanksgiving. Appropriate for all ages. $12-$17. (619) 295- 4999.

■ Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Fall Festival: Museums and merchants will be decorated for family friendly games, activities and entertainment, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10. Highlights include a pumpkin-carving demonstration with renowned food artist and chef Guido Michael and Gothic literature exhibit in the robinson-rose Visitor center. Free parking is available throughout Old Town with extra parking available across Taylor Street in the calTrans parking lot. (619) 287-3100.

■ For the first time in San Diego, see 5,000 hand-carved illuminated Jack O’Lanterns at San Diego Zoo Safari Park along a trail that spans a third of a mile. Guests can watch as sculptors transform 100-pound pumpkins into artistic creations during a live carve, 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Oct. 25. $24-$28. Tickets do not include admission to the Safari Park. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido.

■ Join Jack and Sally when Tim Burton’s classic, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” screens, with the music of Danny Elfman performed live by the San Diego Symphony, 8 p.m. Oct. 30-31 at San Diego Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown San Diego. Tickets: $20-$85. (619) 235-0804.

■ Belmont Park becomes Boomont Park for Halloween-themed fun after 5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays in October with trick-or-treating, pumpkin patch painting, a Manor Haunted Housemaze ($6 ages 7-12), Zombie Laser tag, Spooky coaster, Superhero Zip Line & rock Wall and more. Free admission; attractions require tickets. 3146 Mission blvd. in Mission beach, San Diego. (858) 228-9283.

■ The Pumpkin Station has rides, slides and jumps fun for ages 3-13 in the east parking lot of the Del Mar Fairgrounds next to the driving range, 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. there are also a variety of pumpkins, gourds, squashes and Indian corn available for the holiday season. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday- Sunday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday through Oct. 31. Admission is free. tickets for sale with some attractions.

Big Time Halloween Happenings

■ Disneyland: Halloween Time through Nov. 1 features the return of seasonal overlays for the attractions, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday, inspired by Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before christmas”; included with park admission. Mickey’s Halloween Party is held on select nights, but is sold out for all dates. 1313 S. Harbor blvd., Anaheim.

■ Legoland: Brick-or-Treat Party Nights start at 5 p.m. Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 30 with trick-or-treating trails, costume contests, entertainment, dance parties and more Halloween fun, along with many of the park’s rides operating. tickets from $40 for nighttime activities, $70 for day passes. 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad.

■ Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into Knott’s Scary Farm through Oct. 31: explore 11 elaborate haunt mazes; two live shows, including “Elvira’s Asylum” starring the legendary Elvira, Mistress of the Dark; three scare zones filled with roaming monsters; Fiesta de Los Muertos dance party and roller-coaster thrill rides. Not recommended for children under 13. Tickets from $39.99 per night or $80 for a Knott’s Scary Farm Pass valid for every night. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. select Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. select Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31.

In the daytime on weekends, family-friendly Halloween fun is offered at Knott’s Spooky Farm with shows and activities geared for kids ages 3-11. Admission to Knott’s Spooky Farm is included with regular Knott’s admission or a season pass. 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park.

■ Universal Studios: Halloween Horror Nights bring six terrifying mazes based on horror films/television shows, including “the Walking Dead,” “Alien vs. Predator,” “Halloween: Michael Myers” and “The Purge.” 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday-Sunday through Nov. 1. Not recommended for children under 13. tickets from $60. 100 Universal city Plaza, Hollywood.