Listen to haunted tales aboard the Star of India, solve a spooky mystery performed by the San Diego Symphony, boogie down at Hullabaloo’s Halloween bash or lasso a gourd at the Pumpkin Plunge’s floating pumpkin patch. All this and more is in store this weekend. Read on for the details!

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Balboa Park

HalGLOWeen at San Diego Zoo
For a wild night out, head to HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo! Snap a photo with zoo characters in Halloween costumes, enjoy myriad ghoulishly fun activities and entertainment including the interactive “boolahoops,” the hip-hop dancing Funky Monkeys, amazing acrobats, a bubble dance party, stroll down python path and do the sweet cupcake walk with Dr. Zoolittle. There’s also a lively Skeleton Band and a 4-D theater “Happy Family” movie. It’s a hoot! Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Moonlight Youth Theater’s “Freaky Friday”
When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. Disney’s Freaky Friday, a family-friendly musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a hilarious, contemporary update of an American classic in which a mother and daughter really see what it is to be a family and experience each other’s lives first-hand, if only for a day. Freaky Friday is a delightfully entertaining world premiere musical for anyone with a perfectly imperfect family. Fri. & Sat. 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. Sat. Event details.

The Composer is Dead
The composer is dead! Perhaps you can solve the crime. In this perplexing murder mystery, everyone seems to have a motive, everyone has an alibi, and nearly everyone is a musical instrument. Discover clues in the text by Lemony Snicket and the music of Nathaniel Stookey performed by the San Diego Symphony. Hear for yourself exactly what took place on that fateful, well-orchestrated evening! Sun. Event details.

National City

Dia de los Muertos
An inspiring tradition honoring and reuniting with lost loved ones. Just imagine that a long-lost friend or relative is returning after a long absence. You’d welcome them with their favorite things: food and drink, photos and cherished mementos of times you’ve shared. La Vista has incorporated every traditional element to highlight how Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated today in various regions of Mexico and beyond. Get ready to admire a beautiful display of elaborate altars created by families; experience a showstopping runway of participants dressed as skeletal Catrinas, and view a wide variety of eye-popping folk art. Sat. Event details.


Halloween Bash with Hullabaloo
Don’t miss this Spooktacular Halloween Bash at The Forum Carlsbad. There will be Spooky Tunes with Hullabaloo, Halloween crafts, festive photo props, facepainting, sensory play, shopping, freebies, and more! Bring the family and come celebrate while supporting local owned businesses in your community!. “The Luckey Climbers” playstructure for the kids will be decked out to enjoy as well! Enjoy fresh Italian cuisine from Mangia Mangia & sponsored snacks by GoGo Squeez Organic. Sat. Event details.

Pumpkin Plunge
Bring a swim suit and join the Halloween fun at Alga Norte Aquatic Center that transforms into spooky fun with pool activities and games with prizes, floating obstacles, and Key Logs. The Splash Pad will also be open for the little ones. Admission is $10 per person; children 3 years and under are free but still need to be registered. Event maxes at 600 participants. Dry activities include a pumpkin themed bounce house, Floating Pumpkin Patch where every child will get to lasso and keep a pumpkin, ring toss, and a photo op. The night ends with a special movie presentation of on the giant outdoor movie screen while you float in the water. Food and beverages are available for purchase at the event. Sat. Event details.


Roots Series: Mexico at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
Celebrate Mexico at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum with a special community event for the whole family. This 2-hour event will include performances by Ballet Folklorico El Tapatio de San Dieguito and WorldBeat Cultural Center, interactive storytelling adventure, a take-home craft and Mexican cuisine. Sat. Event details.


Hoot, Howl & Prowl
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. Docents, dressed as native “critters,” will bring Blue Sky alive. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at the end of your visit. Kids are encouraged to dress in costumes, and everyone should dress warmly. Sat. Event details.

San Marcos

Horse Heritage Festival
Got a unicorn-obsessed little one at home? For a few dollars, you can enjoy a day outdoors horsing around with the next best thing—horses. San Marcos’ Horse Heritage Festival offers pony rides, a petting corral, and frontier games. There are also horsemanship demonstrations and a pumpkin patch. You’ll feel good knowing that funds raised during the event support the Horse Heritage Conservancy that connects people and horses year round and helps animals in times of emergency. Sun. Event details.

––Beth Shea