As Halloween approaches, the spooktacular events are piling up! Spend the weekend having a blast at special events at the San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, LEGOLAND, Helen Woodward Animal Center and more! We even tell you where to climb aboard the Pumpkin Express train! Read on for all the frighteningly good fun.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps | La Jolla CA |

photo: Birch Aquarium at Scripps


Lux After Dark
Lux is excited to welcome you to A New Territory’s Drive-Thru Art Experience featuring exclusive art installations and performances across our campus. Purchase a limited VIP Experience ticket to enjoy a private reception 8-10 p.m. that includes light dinner and cocktails in Lux’s garden with live entertainment! Join Lux Oct. 17th for their Virtual Fundraiser event. This free event will feature their live Paddle Raise, special Lux announcements, the presentation of our annual LUXIE award, and Virtual Performances. Fri. 7-10 p.m.

Ride the Pumpkin Express
The Pumpkin Express train ride returns this Halloween! Enjoy train rides, Halloween themed displays and an outdoor Pumpkin Patch. This year’s train rides will be following CDC and San Diego County health guidelines. All passengers will be required to wear a mask during the train ride and while inside the museum buildings. To allow for social distancing, they will be limiting each train to 50 passengers. Reservations are required. Unfortunately, there are no First Class tickets this year. Trains depart multiple times each day. Sat. & Sun. 

Kids Free in October
If you haven’t take advantage of Kids Free in October yet, there’s still time! Now until Oct. 31, kids 12 and under receive free admission at many art, cultural, and science museums and historical sites in San Diego County. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are also offering free admission to kids 11 years-old and younger the entire month of October. Check out a new destination or an old favorite. Kids Free in October gives families the opportunity to enjoy new museum experiences each year. Visit to view participating museums and terms. Fri.-Sun.

Haunted Aquarium Remix
Dive in to Birch Aquarium’s Haunted Aquarium Remix, a Halloween-themed experience geared towards kids ages 2-10. Included with admission, and free for aquarium members, the inaugural event includes fun, outdoor activities that are designed with safety in mind. Upon entering, each child will receive a kit that includes a Discovery Booklet and supplies to complete activities. Kids will have the opportunity to learn about and touch spooky creeps of the deep on Tide Pool Plaza, including slimy seaweed, small sharks, rays and other local animals, as well as enjoy a haunted kelp maze, find hidden pumpkins, and explore fun decor throughout the aquarium. Kids are encouraged to dress up (please remember that masks must be worn at all times in accordance with safety guidelines). Fri.-Sun. 

LEGOLAND‘s Bricktacular Halloween
Fall is a time for costumes, treats and family fun, and even though LEGOLAND® California is still awaiting approval to open, the Resort is joining in the festivities with an outdoor experience of its own…Introducing: Halloween in Miniland! Every weekend during October the Park’s Miniland U.S.A becomes a not-so-spooky Halloween destination filled with activities, tasty treats and one of a kind LEGO® Halloween décor inviting families to wear their favorite costumes and have safe fun. Halloween in Miniland features character meet and greets, virtual costume contests, a Miniland scavenger hunt, LEGO building activities, and a goody bag filled with candy and a LEGO surprise. Families can enjoy savory food options at Smoke House BBQ and NINJA Kitchen and satisfy sweet cravings with LEGOLAND California’s world-famous Granny’s Apple Fries. Fri-Sun. 

Join the San Diego Zoo for HalGLOWeen, an event filled with glowing fun, giggles, and grins. The Zoo has designed the entertainment to allow for social distancing, so you can have fun safely. Kids 11 and younger can come in costumes that align with the Zoo’s guidelines. Activities include: Python Path, Bubble Dance Party, Dr. Zoolittle’s Mask-Erade and so much more. Fri.-Sun.

Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Festival
Gather up your little ghouls & goblins, and join the festive fun at Helen Woodward Animal Center! Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Festival includes hands-on animal encounters, trick or treat stations, a cute craft, a journey through the perilous path and a mini pumpkin patch. We look forward to providing a safe environment for your family to have an autumn adventure and to make new memories. Click here for online registration & full details (including safety protocols). *Walk-up registration is not permitted this year. Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating
Check out 13 wicked cool alternatives to trick-or-treating this year to plan how you’ll celebrate Halloween.

––Beth Shea