All things that go bump in the night and send chills up and down the spine are upon us. Yes, the Halloween spirits have slithered back in to La Jolla to excite, scare and join with revelers for a great time! From the mysterious and uncanny Haunted Aquarium to the annual Pillage the Village in scenic, downtown La Jolla, in addition to other events nearby in San Diego County, we’ve got your back and invite you to discover all the best spots to begin your annual revelry. We’ve left out the ultra-scary events in the greater San Diego area and instead focused on family-friendly Halloween happenings, so dress up, get aboard your broomsticks, and enjoy yourselves!
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
October 20 & 21, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
For enchantment and brain food, there’s likely no better place to take the little zombies than Halloween at Birch Aquarium. It is a ghoulish experience for the entire herd! Visitors will marvel as they enjoy close encounters with Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists and search the galleries for unusual underwater creatures rarely seen at Birch Aquarium. Your little spooks and goblins will come across a sea of glowing otherworldly sea creatures, get all sticky with gooey, monster slime, and delight in a few spooky stories including a shipwreck tale. But wait, there’s more! Live music by Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters will entertain all as you prowl around and take part in such activities as: Scripps Institution of Oceanography Scientists showcasing their latest research, get frighten-ly (but harmless) up close and personal with an enormous (Frankensquid) Humboldt Squid (while learning what makes it distinctive), peep uncanny species, including skeleton shrimp and sea spiders, create seaweed slime and tote it back to la casa, have fun with creepy crafts, investigate a tiny 3-D microscope, developed by Scripps Oceanography scientists, and take part in a costume contest and get a chance to win prizes. Tickets are $20 for all at the door, but Birch Aquarium Members can hook their ghastly claws on them at a pre-sale cost $13.50, and the general public for $18.50. Birch Aquarium at Scripps may be found 2300 Expedition Way in La Jolla. They’ll be lurking for you!
Hotel Del Coronado
October 28th, 7 p.m.
Did you know that it’s said that the landmark Hotel Del Coronado is haunted? The 8th annual event theme is American Horror Hotel. Party-goers are encouraged to use #DelHallowine at the event and don their best costume. All attendees must be 21+ without exceptions. From 7 – 9 p.m. is the dinner reception on the Garden Patio featuring culinary delights and wine tasting – “adult trick or treating”. This event is a bit of a spree, but it will surely make for an unforgettable experience that can only happen on the frightful island. Little witches and goblins ages 4 – 12 can join in with their own Halloween party with costumes, trick-or-treating, dinner and more for $50 per ninja. The Hotel Del Coronado is located at 1500 Orange Ave in Coronado. Reservations are suggested.
October 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
You already know that Balboa Park’s Haunted Trail is not for the faint of heart or for young-in’s under 10, so if you happen to have younger vampires who aren’t somewhat ready to emit blood-curdling screams and rip your coattails to shreds, why not drive the ‘ol pumpkin coach down to Balboa Park and take the family to Halloween Family Day instead. In excess of 24 museums will feature a host of themed activities, craft projects for your little angels and aliens, costume parades, and other ghostly surprises. Participating museums will be offering free admission to hobgoblins 12 and under as long as they show up with a paying adult.
Downtown La Jolla
Tuesday October 31st, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The 7th annual Pillage the Village draws nigh like an unearthly black cat on a moonlit beach! Each and every year, monstrous little trick-or-treaters and beggars in La Jolla creep around The Village in costume and serve up some ghoulish excitement to the locals for a little Halloween enchantment. Participating merchants and various business establishments will display orange and black balloons so you know where you’ll be able to snatch some freebies and run screaming into the afternoon (Hey, it’s a kid’s thing, okay?). A likely starting point is at Girard and Prospect. From there, simply work your way around all of downtown La Jolla until you’ve trick-or-treated everywhere and are ready to hit the haystack.
Belmont Park, Mission Beach
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday running (screaming) through October
Get outta that crypt, snatch up your elves, and head to Belmont Park as the beachfront amusement park transforms into “Boomont” Park on weekends all through the month of October! Get into the thirty-first spirit of the season with a challenging game of Zombie laser tag, ride the world-renown roller coaster, creep and crawl through the pumpkin patch, trick-or-treat, and/or join in the costume contest at this Halloween-themed celebration of all things spooky. Your imps and fairies will simply adore the costume contests on Saturdays, and various Halloween-themed crafts on Sundays. Best of all, admission is free! Join in the fun at 3146 Mission Blvd.
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