With October in full swing and just a few weeks until Halloween, it’s time to enjoy some haunted fun in Southern California. Listen to ghost stories on the Star of India with Haunted Tales of the Ship. Experience a spooky nature walk on Haunted Trails or bring your furry pals to Bates Nut Farm for a doggie costume contest. Of course, there’s lots of other events happening if you need a break from Halloween. The San Diego Kids Expo takes place all weekend, or you can head to the Encinitas Library for a book and art festival. Have a great weekend!

kids expo

San Diego

Haunted Tales of the Ship
It is time again for all aspiring ghosts, goblins, pirates and princesses to gather on the Star of India for some ghostly tales of enormous proportions. Enjoy lantern led tours around the ship and hear eerie legends from the Star of India’s past. Creepy treats will be given to all who dare attend and kids are encouraged to wear costumes. Fri. and Sat., 6:00 – 10:00 pm, Star of India, $8 – $16. All ages. Event details.

Sunday Lawn Programs
Bring the family to Balboa Park and enjoy the member houses of the House of Pacific Relations. Designated houses will feature music, dance, traditional costumes, arts, crafts, and ethnic foods. Sun., 2:00 pm, House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, Free. All ages. Event details.

Wacky Science Sunday
Join Ms. Frizzle and The Magic School Bus Wahoo! for Wacky Science Sunday at the Natural History Museum. Get ready to explore the wild and wacky worlds of mysterious creatures, fascinating habitats, and phenomenal hands-on science! Sun., 12:15 pm and 2:15 pm, San Diego Natural History Museum, Free with paid admission. All ages. Event details.

North County

Harvest Festival Art and Craft Fair
This annual show features affordable family fun and shopping. More than 300 artists and craftspeople – dozens of them new to the show – will offer unique American handmade works. This is the premiere art and craft show in the San Diego area, providing families a safe and affordable experience in which to enjoy the best of American handmade crafts, great food, and fun. Be entertained at the main stage by HyJinx and Skip Banks, a one-man comedy show, and the always popular strolling entertainers. Fri. – Sun., 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Del Mar Fairgrounds, $4 – $9 (kids 12 and under free). All ages. Event details.

San Diego County Library Book and Art Festival
The Festival will feature a panel of children’s authors, as well as discussions on a variety of topics ranging from Chinese face reading and book art to eBook publishing. Guests can explore their artistic sides in a jewelry making workshop, kids’ drawing classes, an iPhone and iPad photo art workshop and more. Sat., 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Encinitas Library, Free. All ages. Event details.

Family Discovery Days: Not-So-Scary Estuary
Meet creepy, crawly, and hooting animals this Halloween at San Elijo Lagoon. Conservancy volunteers and nature center rangers will introduce guests to the not-so-scary wonders of wetlands. Kids activities include: Trick-or-Treating along the “Haunted Hike” nature trail, where clues help families look and listen for wildlife; Meet nocturnal animals in Live Presentations (2 pm each day); Create lollipop spiders; Design animal face masks; Make animal tracks in the sand, and more! Sat. and Sun., 1:00 – 4:00 pm, San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, Free. All ages. Event details.

Kids Expo and Fair
Bring the family out to the largest kids expo in San Diego. Four stages of music, dance, modeling and guest appearances, plus 100 businesses and products for kids and families. Sat. and Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Free. All ages. Event details.

“Howl-o-ween” Doggie Costume Contest
Don’t miss the 6th annual “Howl-o-ween” Doggie Costume Parade and Contest on Sunday, October 20. Bring your dog to Bates Nut Farm in their favorite costume, and compete for prizes and bragging rights. Prizes will be awarded to the Top Dogs! Sun., 9:00 am, Bates Nut Farm, Free. All ages. Event details.

East County

Haunted Trail Hikes
This time of year the dark woods are filled with spirits and creatures natural and supernatural. A ‘Spirit Guide’ will lead you on the haunted trail. Come and see if you dare. Free parking in the picnic day use parking lot. Dress warmly, bring an adult and a flashlight. Donations are gratefully accepted. Sat., 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Dos Picos County Park, Free (donations accepted). All ages. Event details.

Orange County

Bug Bog Scavenger Hunt
Black bugs, bright bugs, flying bugs, slimy bugs – we like bugs! Eight dazzling and busy bug filled areas will engage children in discovering and learning about various insects and bugs. Each experience includes a collection of take-home trading cards for the learning to continue at home. Fri. – Sun., 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Pretend City (Irvine), $15.50. Ages 2 – 8. Event details.

Are do you have planned this weekend? 

–Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of the San Diego Kids Expo Facebook page