photo: Liberty Station

It’s the weekend before Halloween and the celebrations are starting early all over town. Take your little boo to trick-or-treat, decorate pumpkins, learn about bats and spiders and dance to Halloween tunes. Read on for where to don those costumes from the Zoo to The Nat!

Little Italy

Little Italy Trick-or-Treat
For the first time, Trick-or-Treat on India Street will kick-off at the Piazza della Famiglia, Little Italy’s newest piazza in the neighborhood.  “Trick-or-Treat on India Street” brings the neighborhood together and allows a chance for kids to trick-or-treat up and down India Street from participating merchants. To begin the evening, the Little Italy Association of San Diego will hand out candy to little trick-or-treaters at the Piazza della Famiglia. Attendees can pick up a map of participating businesses at the Piazza della Famiglia, located on India and West Date Streets, to find out which businesses will be passing out treats and candy at the fun-filled Halloween event. Families are then invited to take their map and head to participating businesses to begin their trick-or-treating experience. It gets crowded, so we suggest arriving early. Fri. Event details.

Balboa Park

Halloween Family Day at Balboa Park
The free annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day gives families a safe, fun, and culturally inspired way to kick off their Halloween activities. Over two dozen participating museums and cultural attractions will present free craft projects for kids, costume parades and contests, and other spooky surprises. Participating museums offer free admission to children 12 and under with paying adult. Activities include mini-carnival games, a doggie costume contest in the Spanish Village, San Diego Air & Space Museum’s rooftop pumpkin drop, a “Thriller” flash mob and dance lessons, Day of the Dead themed crafts, food trucks and more. Sat. Event details.

HalGLOWeen at San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo will glow with creepy crawly fun for its first major Halloween celebration ever—HalGLOWeen. The colorful, glowing extravaganza takes place inside Discovery Outpost at the Zoo. Guests will get the chance to enjoy myriad ghoulishly fun activities and entertainment, including the interactive “Boolahoops,” the hip-hop dancing Funky Monkeys, amazing acrobats, pumpkin and cookie decorating, cupcake walks, and the DJ Dance Party—a rousing bash where guests are invited to dance to spectacular Halloween tunes among bursts of bubbles, with a fun finale featuring black-light bubbles! The Zoo’s zany maestro of fun, Dr. Zoolittle, will astound the crowd with a special “Creepy Crawly” show that just might change your mind about snakes and spiders. Magician Glowinda the Great and jugglers Humerus and Femur will mingle among guests, astonishing everyone with amazing feats and mind-blowing acts, while the Zoo characters will get into the spirit of the season and don their best Halloween costumes. During HalGLOWeen festivities, the Zoo will close at 8 p.m. and all activities are free with paid admission or membership. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Halloween Family Day at The Nat
What lurks in the night? Celebrate bats and other nocturnal creatures at this annual Halloween-themed event. Learn all about nocturnal animals, get a tattoo and make a bat craft to take home. You can also stop by and visit The Nat out on the Prado Walkway as they’ll have a booth set up for the Park-wide Halloween Family Day. Sat. Event details.

Liberty Station

Liberty Station’s Halloween Celebration
Liberty Station is inviting the community to join in on a free family-friendly Halloween celebration. The daytime festivities will include a costume contest, trick-or-treating throughout the district, a play area presented by Kid Ventures, music and live entertainment, a Hollywood car show and more! The community can also snap some pictures with 501st Stormtroopers and participate in festive games and an inflatable obstacle course and the Liberty Public Market pumpkin patch. Sun. Event details.

Mission Valley

Clean Sweep River Cleanup
Join the biggest river cleanup of the year. October is Clean River Month, and what better time to remove every piece of trash from our Discovery Center site at Qualcomm Way to the Ocean… that’s 7 miles of Clean River! You and over 300 volunteers will work together in one huge community event to create a trash free River (along accessible sites) in Mission Valley! Volunteers work will help to beautify open spaces along the River and care for native habitat, keeping the area clean and safe for visitors and the native animal species that call our River home. All ages welcome! All tools and supplies are provided. Community service hours can be verified for those that need them. Be sure to dress in clothes that can get a little dirty and wear closed-toe shoes. RSVP required: email or call 619-297-7380. Sat. Event details.


Boo Bash
Join local children and families at the Salvation Army Kroc Center’s 16th Annual Boo Bash for a family-friendly Halloween celebration. The autumn-themed celebration is brimming with festive fun including thrilling inflatables, carnival games, candy, prizes, pumpkin decorating, rock climbing, family-friendly music, and more! UnitedHealthcare, Chuck E. Cheese, KSDW FM, La Mesa Pediatrics, Mission Brew Coffee, SDUSD K-9 unit, Woodstock’s Pizza and more will be in attendance. The Boo Bash, hosted by the Kroc Center since 2002, has become a beloved tradition in the community. The event is only $1 per person (cash only please). Sat. Event details.

North Park

Day of the Dead Festival
The Day of the Dead Festival North Park is happy to be back for a second year to continue a tradition of celebrating one of Mexico’s most culturally vibrant festivities after the great success of our first-ever Dia de Muertos Festival in North Park last year. This free, all-ages event will take place in the heart of North Park on Ray Street between University Avenue and North Park Way on October 27, 2018 from 11am-5pm. The festival will feature a community altar, face painting, unique artisan vendors, popular food trucks, a spirit cantina featuring beer, mezcal and tequila vendors, live music, craft workshops and many other family fun activities for all ages. Sat. Event details.

––Beth Shea