Halloween is creeping up and kids love a good night out on the town after dark during this exciting season! We’ve rounded up a bunch of nighttime activities for kids in San Diego who like to stay up past their bedtime to have a ball. From Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND to Birch Aquarium’s Haunted Aquarium as well as laser tag, cosmic bowling and roller skating, read on to plan a night out on the town with your kids!

Birch Aquarium's Haunted Aquarium

Enjoy close encounters with Scripps Oceanography scientists and search the exhibits for unusual underwater creatures rarely seen at Birch Aquarium. Discover a sea of glowing monsters (big and small), get sticky with slime, enjoy spooky stories, and boo-gie down to live music, all while having a monstrously good time. Recommended for ages 2+. This is a special after-hours event. You will need to purchase a separate ticket for the special event. The aquarium closes between 5 and 6 p.m. General admission discounts and coupons do not apply. Kids Free in October coupons cannot be used for this event. Oct. 25-27, 6-9 p.m. Event details.



Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND

Ghosts, Goblins and not-so-scary Monsters are back and ready to “boo-gie” down at LEGOLAND® California Resort for Brick-or-Treat Party Nights as the Park transforms into the ultimate family Halloween party with tasty goodies, monster jams and spooktacular entertainment. With treat stations located throughout the Park and inside SEA LIFE® Aquarium, there’s something to satisfy every sweet tooth. Along with tons of candy, kids can collect specialty items such as LEGO® Commemorative brick, LEGO® Life Magazine and healthy treat options. The Boo Crew returns with a new creepy crawly stilt walker, The Spider Queen! Kids can get in the Halloween spirit by jumping in and boogieing down at the season’s most frighteningly-fun dance parties which include Midnight Monster Jam where you help the Monster Crew bring their spooky fun character concert to life. You’ll also have the chance to win some scream worthy prizes by showing off your coolest costumes. Oct. 12, 19, & 26 at 5 p.m. Event details.

Family Nights at the Fleet

Come for the food truck Fridays, then stay and play at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park this summer. Get hands-on with the Retro-Active Science exhibits, head up to Kid City and light it up with It's Electric. What's more, you can sit outside and enjoy free music performances on the Craveology patio. Check out our other STEM learning spots.

The Fleet Science Center
Balboa Park
1875 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
Online: rhfleet.org/family-nights

Skate Night

Roll it out with the crew in the evening at Skateworld. Show your kids your favorite moves from when you were little. You'll find disco lights, great music and lots of laughs.

6907 Linda Vista Rd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Online: skateworldsandiego.com

Full Moon Pier Walk

Curious about what scientists do at Scripps Pier? If so, then this walk is for your water babes. This moonlit stroll down the pier is designed with older kids in mind (you have to be nine years-old to partake with your family). Normally closed to the public, you'll discover the 100-year history, collect plankton and engage in other hands-on activities.

Cost: $30/person (9 years old and up)
Online: aquarium.ucsd.edu/pier-walks

Family Bowling Night

Whether you hit the lanes and enjoy the disco lights or you try a roll at cosmic bowling, the bowling alley at Kearney Mesa Bowl in San Diego and Bowlero in San Marcos are two fam faves for a little kid-friendly competition all while grabbing a bite to eat.

945 San Marcos Blvd.
San Marcos, CA 92069
Online: amf.com

Kearney Mesa Bowl
7585 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Online: kearnymesabowl.com

photo: Belmont Park

Belmont Park

Tag you're it! Little game players love tagging each other in the foggy darkness lit up with laser lights. Parents love the laser tag at Belmont Park where the laser vest must fit comfortably to play. Even more nighttime adventure awaits at this beachside carnival. Twirl around in the new ice cream cone-themed pods on the Tilt a Whirl or defy gravity and take a dive on Zero Gravity, the new space-themed ride.

Belmont Park
3146 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92109
Online: belmontpark.com

photo: Beth Shea

Kids' Wild Night at The San Diego Zoo

Maybe no more monkeys are jumping on the bed... but the wild fun continues after dark at the San Diego Zoo. From June 16- Sept. 7 the zoo stays open until 9 p.m. Eat outside in the warm night air and catch the latest trampoline show.

The San Diego Zoo
Balboa Park
2920 Zoo Dr.
San Diego, CA
Online: zoo.sandiegozoo.org

S’mores on the Beach

No need to pack up the towels and sand toys just because the sun is setting. Instead, break out the marshmallows and skewers for s’mores beachside! Many beaches have fire pits available on a first come, first serve basis, including Coronado Beach and San Elijo State Beach in Cardiff. Fires have to be out by midnight, but the little ones will be fast asleep by then.

Coronado Beach
838 Ocean Blvd.
Coronado, CA 92118
Online: sandiego.org

San Elijo State Beach
2050 S Coast Hwy 101
Cardiff, CA 92007
Online: parks.ca.gov

Drive-in Movies

Drive-in movies aren’t just a thing of the past! Places like the Santee Drive-In and South Bay Drive-In offer current releases—several are family-friendly—from the comfort of your own car. Bring food with you or buy snacks from the concession stand. Make sure everyone takes a nap because they often show double features!

Read more about our favorite family-friendly movie theaters here.

Santee Drive-In
10990 N. Woodside Ave.
Santee, CA 92071
Online: santeedriveintheatre.com

South Bay Drive-In
2170 Coronado Ave.
San Diego, CA 92154
Online: southbaydrivein.com


What could be more magical than spending the evening gazing at stars with your little astronomers? There are plenty of opportunities for “star parties” with the San Diego Astronomy Association, which has an observation site in East County — although you’ll need your own equipment. And check out these top sites around the county, ideal for stargazing.

Click here for a list of all of our favorite spots to stargaze in San Diego.

San Diego Astronomy Association
Online: sdaa.org

photo: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Roar & Snore

Camping next to a rhinoceros? Brushing your teeth with a giraffe? Well, not quite, but the Safari Park does offer overnight excursions appropriate for all ages. Sleep in one of the park’s tents and enjoy after-hours tours of wildlife, camp activities, guided walks, dinner and breakfast the next morning. Who knows, you may even get to hear a lion roar, as the event title suggests!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
Escondido, CA 92027
Online: sdzsafaripark.org

––Michelle Franklin, Beth Shea & Nikki Walsh


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