photo: San Diego’s Cabrillo Festival

Oktoberfests, Museum Mash Up, The Cabrillo Festival! This weekend is jam-packed with all kinds of fun for everyone––and the party doesn’t stop when the weekend ends because Sunday is the start of Kids Free in October, so kiddos get free admission to over 40 museums around San Diego all month long! Read on for where to have a ball!

Carmel Valley

Kid’s Night Out at Mint Studio
Fri-YAY Date Nights! Drop the kids off for dinner and a project while you enjoy dinner at the Village. Kids will get their creative juices flowing and have fun. Mint Studio is steps away from some great new local restaurants, including Westroot, Crudo, Dolce and more. Let the weekend begin! Fri. Event details.

La Mesa

La Mesa Oktoberfest
Celebrating its 44th year in 2017, the locally loved La Mesa Oktoberfest is going back to its roots to bring guests more entertainment, more vendors, more beer and more “Prost!” (Cheers!) than ever before. Under the direction of the La Mesa Village Association, this year’s fest will showcase a revitalized and elevated experience for all ages. From endless rows of vendors featuring incredible craftwork and knick-knacks, to scrumptious sausages, food truck favorites and live entertainment – La Mesa Oktoberfest promises to be back and better than ever this Fall! Fri.-Sun. Event details.

El Cajon

El Cajon Oktoberfest
Enjoy this traditional German festival with live Oom-pah music, the chicken dance, polkas and waltzes, authentic German food, contests, vendors and crafts and a Kids Fun Zone. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Valley Center

Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch
Go to the beloved Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch to pick the perfect pumpkin, enjoy the tractor hayrides, straw maze, petting corral and Snows Pony Rides. Pumpkin varieties you can toss into your wheelbarrow include Big Macs, Ghost, Cinderella, Jack O’ Lantern, minis, squash, gourds and other fall décor. Additionally, weekends at Bates include live entertainment from noon-3 p.m., BBQ, kettle corn, food trucks, rock climb, slide and other family-friendly events. Good to know: dogs on a leash are welcome at the farm. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Balboa Park

Last Call for Food Truck Fridays in Balboa Park
Enter the weekend with good food and fun by dining at gourmet food trucks in Balboa Park while enjoying live entertainment. You’ll find appetizers, main courses, desserts and specialty beverages all at this gathering. There will also be a different musical performer each Friday in the Plaza de Panama in the “living room” setup which boasts a large artificial lawn for kids to play on and a giant checkers set, oversized beanbags and hands-on activities hosted by various park venues. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit in the lawn area in front of the Botanical Building, or enjoy craft beers, wine and cocktails inside the nearby Panama 66 and Prado restaurants. Fri. Event details.

Point Loma

San Diego’s Cabrillo Festival
The Cabrillo Festival is a fun event for the entire family, with educational activities, cultural demonstrations and exciting folkloric performances. Brightly colored clothing and dramatic music and dancing bring to life the traditions of the Native American, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish cultures that are part of the Age of Exploration. The Cabrillo Festival features food booths with delicious traditional Mexican, Native American, Portuguese and Spanish food. Vendors will showcase their various artistic goods. The highlight of the Cabrillo Festival is the re-enactment of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s landing on the shores of San Diego Bay in 1542. “Cabrillo,” his soldiers and a priest sail into the bay on San Salvador and once again claim the land for Spain. A Portuguese navigator sailing under the flag of Spain who stepped ashore on Ballast Point, he was the first European to land on the west coast of what is now the United States of America. Fri.& Sat. Event details.


Children’s Clothing, Toys & Gear Consignment Event
Rhea Lana’s children’s consignment event features high quality and boutique children’s clothes, toys, baby equipment/accessories, maternity clothes, and much more. They accept credit card & debit cards with a valid ID and cash. Admission is free. Sun. Event details.


Halloween Time at Disneyland
For the first time, Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is also taking over Disney California Adventure Park, with areas such as Buena Vista Street and Cars Land getting all dressed up for holiday fun. The recently-opened Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction gets some additional thrills as it transforms into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark each night. There will be plenty of Halloween decorations, themed food and beverage, eerie merchandise and more. Combined with favorite Halloween traditions at Disneyland Park including Haunted Mansion Holiday, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Pumpkin Festival on Main Street, U.S.A., Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is now twice as much fun. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

San Diego

Kids free in October
It’s never been a better time to be a kid! Throughout October, kids get free admission to over 40 museums around San Diego County. Thanks to the Kids Free in October program, free admission is available for up to two kids for every adult ticket purchase using the coupon on the San Diego Museum Council website. Sun. Event details.


Museum Mash Up
Don’t miss the Kids Free in October kick-off event that is just as exciting: Museum Mash Up! More than 10 museums will be on site offering hands-on activities, entertainment and more at The New Children’s Museum Park. The day will feature fun for the whole family, including performances by the San Diego Symphony, the Water Conservation Garden’s Ms. Smarty-Plants and a drum circle from the Museum of Making Music. Not to mention, there will be Kids Free October coupons at the event that you can use to go explore The New Children’s Museum while you are there. A win, win! Sun. Event details.


Super Hero Obstacle Race
Adventure seeking families can dress up like super heroes and come out to the fourth annual Super Hero Obstacle Race. Parents and kids will run together through a super hero themed 2K obstacle course while dressed in costumes. Defeat villains while leaping over tall buildings, crawling through toxic tunnels and navigating through 20 obstacles throughout the park, including mazes, slides, wrecking balls, tight ropes and more. Everyone is a winner and each participant will receive a free super hero cape, bib and finishing medal. Note: The race will take about one hour to complete. Sun. Event details.

Where are you having a great time with your family this weekend? Share in the comments.

––Beth Shea