The countdown to Halloween is on. Your kids are certainly getting excited to sport their costumes and collect buckets of candy. Until then, you can participate in some pre-Halloween or fall themed fun around town. Spend Saturday at San Diego’s only Halloween parade and carnival. For those families in North County, stop by the Escondido Halloween Carnival for a kid-centered afternoon. If you’re not quite in the pumpkin mood, soak up the San Diego sun while watching the Dragon Boat races. It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is only a month away, isn’t it? Enjoy this less hectic time and celebrate the fall season.

San Diego

Bouleverad BOO! Parade and Carnival
Come out, come out, wherever you are! The Boulevard BOO! Parade & Carnival is San Diego’s only Halloween themed parade. When it’s over, hit the carnival, which includes rides, games, food, bands, costume contests, pumpkin bowling, a pie-eating contest, a Haunted Pumpkin Patch with Trick-or-Treating and more. Sat, 10:00 am. Clay Park. Free. All ages. Event Details.

Fall Harvest Festival
It’s not quite Halloween-themed, but this festival is all about fall. Be prepared to clown around! Come play carnival games and eat yummy food, too. A whole day of excitement is in store for you. Sat, 11:00 am. Nobel Athletic Fields and Recreation Center. All ages. Event Details.

San Diego Dragon Boat Festival
Experience the excitement of the dragon boat races on San Diego’s Mission Bay. There’s more than just boats at this festival; you and your family can enjoy the Asian Pacific Heritage Festival. Try out Asian cuisines and shop for arts and crafts. Sat-Sun, 9:00 am. Playa Pacifica, Mission Bay Park. Free for spectators. All ages. Event Details.

North County

Escondido Halloween Carnival
Expect a scary good time as you help raise money for more playground equipment for Grape Day Park! This carnival is free to attend with a modest cost for activities that include carnival games, a haunted house, a costume contest, bounce houses, art, music and more! Sun, 2:00 pm. Grape Day Park. Free. All ages. Event Details.

Del Mar Harvest Festival
Shop 24,000 handmade American arts & crafts in hundreds of booths while listening to live music. Stilt walkers, comedy jugglers and the famous “horsey guys” will be strolling the aisles of the festival everyday. Don’t miss the Home Depot Kids’ Workshops. Sat-Sun, 11:00 am. Del Mar Fairgrounds, Dell Mar. Price varies. All ages. Event Details.

— Laura Willard