Admit it … you’ve already had your share of pumpkin patches and straw mazes. Even though little Johnny is begging to see more pumpkins, why not venture out to something a little off the pumpkin path? How about something haunted that won’t leave the wee ones frightened for years to come? Here are three San Diego traditions designed for the little ghosts to enjoy.

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND
A tradition for kids under 12, the Brick-or-Treat trail at LEGOLAND is a series of seven LEGO-themed stations along a small cul-de-sac where costumed friends hand out goodies to the kids. Not to worry—it’s not all candy. Last year there were small toys, crayons and other non-sugar high inducing items, in addition to a smidge of yummy treats. The treats don’t stop at the trail though–kids who come dressed in costume can enter into a contest, dance along with some spooky tunes, and catch a fireworks show in the evening. It’s a full day of Halloween-themed fun for all your little ghouls. Brick-or-Treat runs every weekend for the month of October.

The Pumpkin Express
The Ninth Annual Pumpkin Express is getting ready to go! Passengers board the train at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum’s Campo Depot and travel to the Great Pumpkin Patch. Kids and parents will enjoy a one hour ride and tour of the haunted train where kiddos get to pick out a pumpkin and have fun decorating it. Who says you can’t pick your pumpkin and decorate it too?! Advance reservations are required for this kid-friendly haunted ride. The train departs on Saturdays and Sundays from Oct. 13 through Oct. 28.

Mickey’s Halloween Party
Where else would your kiddo want to get trick-or-treating than at the happiest place on Earth? Come experience the ultimate trick-or-treating “neighborhood” as the park is transformed into a Halloween-themed wonderland filled with costumed characters, photo ops, treats for the kids, a fireworks show, and lots of decorations. Mickey’s Halloween Party happens on select nights throughout the month of October. Check the website for pricing and park hours.

Haunted Birch Aquarium
Take the family out for a family-friendly haunted tour of the Birch Aquarium. Little goblins will enjoy close encounters of the fishy kind, dance to Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters, and explore the wreckage for sunken treasures. Kids are encouraged to come in costume to be entered into the costume raffle. And of course, there is plenty of trick or treating to be had! The Aquarium is haunted on Oct. 26 and 27, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Night at the Museum Halloween Sleepover
Ready to spend the night in a haunted museum? Bring the family to the San Diego “Scare” (Air) and Space Museum on Friday, Oct. 19 for a Halloween sleepover. Explore the spooky museum while embarking on a scavenger hunt, making ghastly gliders, and taking a flashlight tour of the nooks not seen before. Young princesses and draculas should arrive in costume to win prizes. Due to the haunted nature of the event, the museum is open to ghouls and goblins aged 7-12.

Do your kids love haunted outings or are they too little to love the ghost and goblins of Halloween? Share with us your fave Halloween happenings in the comment section below!

– Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons