photo: San Diego Symphony

Learn about the science behind music, meet a Giant Pacific Octopus, dive in to the Pumpkin Plunge or listen to ghost stories aboard a ship! Read on for where to make the weekend memorable.


Halloween Pumpkin Plunge
This popular annual floating pumpkin patch will delight kids who can come lasso their favorite pumpkin from the floating patch, using a hula hoop, to take home for their Halloween festivities. The fun in and out of the pool will include several Halloween-themed activities, including a bounce house, with plenty of photo opportunities. The Pumpkin Plunge ends with a special movie, The Boxtrolls (rated PG), on the giant outdoor screen, starting at dusk. The Dive In Grill will be open to purchase food and beverages throughout the event. Note: Outside food and beverages are not allowed. Sat. Event details.

La Jolla

Cephalopod Celebration!
Join Birch Aquarium to celebrate the wonderful world of cephalopods. Squid, octopus, cuttlefish and their cousins have been around since before the dinosaurs and have shaped the oceans we know and love today. Dive into the world of cephalopods with hands-on activities, crafts, scientists, authors and more! For the first time ever, Birch Aquarium is offering a Behind-The-Scenes Octopus Encounter (for an additional fee) where guests will have the opportunity to engage with the aquarium’s charismatic Giant Pacific Octopus. Each one-hour encounter is limited to six guests and includes personal interaction with members of the aquarium’s Education and Husbandry teams as well as with the Giant Pacific Octopus. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Extreme Sailing Series
This free event includes a mix of thrilling on-the-water entertainment and a huge range of on-shore activities. Open to the public, there will be a Race Village that will host family activities, beer gardens, food, live music, yoga and more fun activities. Bring your kids out to the Kids Zone presented by Rady Children’s Hospital to enjoy interactive displays that allow children, teens and adults to learn and play while emphasizing health, wellness and services available at Rady Children’s Hospital. Not to be missed in the Race Village will be the US Sailing Education Zone. This is part of the US Sailing Reach Initiative for STEM education. Stop by and learn more about the sport of sailing and how to implement STEM through sailing. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

The Science of Sound
We bet you didn’t think a scientist and a musician had anything in common, but there’s science in music and beauty in science. Children will put on their scientist’s goggles and take a closer look at the DNA of music and how music moves us in the San Diego Symphony’s first family concert of the 2018-2019 season. Goggles not included, but imagination is required for this performance conducted by Associate Conductor Sameer Patel. Sun. Event details.

Haunted Tales of the Ship
Feel the rock of the harbor beneath your feet and take note of every creak during your time aboard downtown’s iron-hulling sailing ship the Star of India. Built in 1863, you’ll be told tales by lantern light from its 153 year-old history. These tales are creepy and true or not, you’re not likely to hear these stories during its daytime operating hours. Learn how young John Campbell fell to his death from the rigging and more creepy events. Be sure to bring a sweater because if the harbor air doesn’t chill you, the stories will. Starting at 6 p.m., storytelling tours happen every 15 minutes, with the last tour starting at 9:15 p.m. Sat. Event details.

Point Loma

PLNU Fall Festival
This community-wide event is open to the public and admission is free. Activities include wagon rides, a pumpkin patch, food samples from local eateries, music, a live karaoke bank, and exhibit booths showcasing San Diego businesses, artisans, & non-profit organizations. Come out and experience a day of fun, fall-inspired activities for all ages – the young and the young at heart! Sat. Event details.


Hoot, Howl & Prowl
Dress up in your favorite costumes and embark on an after-dark adventure through the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve where you can see docents dressed as native critters. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa at the end of your journey. The fun begins every 15 minutes as docents lead guests on an after-dark adventure through the Reserve. The first group heads out at 5:30 p.m., and the last group will leave at 7:15 p.m. Sat. Event details.

Del Mar

San Diego Kids Expo & Fair
The San Diego Kids Expo and Fair is a two day event catering to kids and families. This event contains two parts. There is an Indoor expo portion housing a large variety of businesses showcasing products and services that cater to kids, babies and families. You can expect many free activities, specials appearances and performances. The second portion is the Outdoor fair with a Rock n’ Roll stage and rides like a zip-line, pedal kart race cars, zorbing balls, euro bungees and more! There is also an Inflatable Playland for kids 8 and younger that features bounce houses and jumpies. Outdoor fair attractions can be accessed with either an All Access Wristband or Playland Wristband purchase. If you are looking for an affordable fun weekend with something for the whole family, the San Diego Kids Expo & Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is the place to be! Sat. & Sun. Event details.

––Beth Shea