photo: The Big Bounce America

Jump for joy on the world’s biggest bounce house or run away and join the circus with your family this weekend! Seriously! Or take your daredevils mountain biking, head to the San Diego Maker Faire to feast your eyes on the latest and greatest inventions, step back in time at the Rendezvous in Poway, stomp some grapes at the Grape Day Festival –– or celebrate autumn at a pumpkin festival down on the farm! Read on for where to have a ball this fall weekend.


World’s Biggest Bounce House
The magical, candy-colored inflatable castle a.k.a. Biggest Bounce House in the World is 10,000 square feet of fun, games and laughter that can be enjoyed by everyone. Multiple themed zones from inflatable forests inhabited by giant inflatable characters (8 ft. pink gorilla’s anyone?) to super-sized ball pits, slides, obstacles and basketball hoops for you to jump on, slide down and slam-dunk into! When you’ve had your fill of all that activity there are over-sized sofas, boats, palm trees, beds and a separate domed ‘chill out zone’ for you to relax in. At the heart of the experience is the resident DJ located on a circular centre stage who will be hosting games and competitions while playing the best in age-appropriate party music throughout each hour long bounce session. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Mission Bay

Boomont Park
Everyone’s favorite beach-side amusement park transforms itself into a month-long Halloween extravaganza. Mission Beach’s “Boomont” Park is full of fun events for the youngest kids to the most seasoned Halloween revelers. Activities include Zombie Laser Tag, costume contests, crafts, a pumpkin patch, trick or treating and rides on the Giant Dipper roller coaster. Fri. Event details.

Valley Center

Pumpkin Festival Arts ‘n’ Crafts Fair at Bates Nut Farm
More than 80 artisans will be selling a variety of handmade crafts and fine art at the annual “Pumpkin Festival” Arts ‘n Crafts Fair. See beautiful jewelry, woodworking, candles, toys, and many other handmade and one-of-a kind items. Get an early start on your holiday shopping! Bates’ famous Pumpkin Patch will also be open with a variety of family friendly activities including hay rides, a straw maze, pony rides, and numerous food vendors. Note: Free admission. $5 parking on October weekends. Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Rendezvous in Poway
The City of Poway, along with the living history groups Shadow River Regulators, and the Apache Canyon Gang, present the annual Rendezvous in Poway. History comes to life as you walk back in time to the 1820-1890’s. Experience history first hand during this one of a kind event. Interact with period correct historical encampments and meet Mountain Men, Cowboys, Pioneers and much more. Experience gun fighting reenactments and mock train robberies. Pan for gold along the banks of Rattlesnake Creek and ride the speeder for nominal fees. Walk through the Boardwalk Craft Market and see beautiful hand crafted arts. Visit the Nelson House and the Heritage Museum, as well! Sat. & Sun. Event details.


Eat Better Art! Eat Local! Exploring San Diego Cuisine
Eat Better Art is a series of artful cooking classes designed to bring parents and children together in the kitchen as they learn about good nutrition and create delicious dishes! Ages 4-6 are welcome from 10 a.m.-noon and ages 7-12 are welcome from 1-3 p.m. Each child and adult pair will create seasonal dishes and a simple art activity to take home with the assistance of our experienced Teaching Artists. Sat. Event details.


Grape Day Festival
Bring the family to Escondido’s Grape Day Festival for grape stomping, shopping and crafts, a chili cook-off, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Foam, pie eating contest, face painting, free grapes and more! Sat. Event details.

La Jolla

Family Circus Day
Since juggling family life is like a three-ring circus act––who’s ready for Family Circus Day? This three-hour workshop (with a snack break!) will include games, learning some basic clown gags including slap stick, juggling, acrobatics and some magic tricks. You’ll also make your own juggling balls to take home. Put it all together: and you have a stellar act. A raffle with many fun prizes will be offered after the show. Each member that attends the workshop gets one free raffle ticket. The Circus Day Workshop is for ages 6+. Although there is a cost for the workshop, it’s free admission to attend the show. Invite other family members and friends to see you and your little ones performing together. The schedule is: 12-3 p.m. Circus workshop for kids and adults (Earth Room) and 4-5 p.m. Circus Show & raffle (Sky Deck). Sat. Event details.

Balboa Park

San Diego Maker Faire
A hands-on visual feast of invention and creativity and a celebration of the Maker movement. Come check out Balboa Park at this celebration of technology, arts, crafts, science, many more projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It’s for innovative, creative people who like to tinker and love to create and also for those curious minds who want to see what new and innovative things are just around the corner. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day
Go catch some air at Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day. This free event encourages communities around the world to join together and ride mountain bikes with youth. The goal is to develop a connection between kids and the natural world around them. The Ninja team has a fun afternoon planned with stations to practice skills and then put them to test on the trails. All ages are welcome. Registration for the event is required. Register hereSat. Event details.


LEGOLAND transforms into a monster mash bash for the ultimate family fun Halloween celebration during Brick-or-Treat Party Nights filled with sweeter treats, exciting entertainment and not-so-spooky thrills. New this year, the Model Shop roof will be the home to The AstroBash, a space themed dance party out of this world and new Midnight Monster Jam at Fun Town Stage where you can boogie down with the monster crew. Go on the Ghost Cruise adventure and enjoy a fall festival complete with a LEGO pumpkin patch building activity, Bluegrass Band Jamboree and a special LEGO Friends meet and greet in Heartlake City, where kids can decorate their own craft. Along with 31 Candy Stations kids can collect LEGO specialty items and watch “The Curse of the Hallowmeenie” show and entertainment from The Witchettes. Sat. Event details.

Carlsbad Oktoberfest Family Fall Festival
Head to this fun-filled Oktoberfest in a beautiful park setting. Enjoy costume contests, yodeling contests, live music, chicken dances, a Kinder Korner filled with bounce houses a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating, performances by Ranger Jack (one man band and puppeteer) and more. Of course there will be German food and beer as well as other dining options to please everyone. Sat. Event details.


Sweetwater Farm’s Pumpkin and Ponies
Lots of fun to be had at the barn and petting zoo, as well as a tractor-drawn hayride, hay maze, pumpkin patch and a animal treat bag. There’s also pony rides and interactive craft booths offering Painting Horse Shoes, making Stick Horses and making Scarecrows (additional charges apply). Don’t forget to check out pumpkins, beautiful fresh cut flowers, yummy food trucks and artisan goods. Bring your camera because the photo ops are everywhere and all day long at Sweetwater Farms. Sun. Event details.


Kanaka Fall Hike
Come to the mountains and hike the Kanaka Loop in search of some fall color. This is a moderate 7-mile hike through beautiful terrain with some hills. Meet at Farmer Staging Area. There is no cost to attend and all ages are welcome. Sun. Event details.

Where are you having a ball this fall weekend? Let us know in the comments.

––Beth Shea