15 Fall Things to Do in San Diego: 2023 Events & Activities


The seasons change in San Diego with out quite a lot of fanfare. We have year-round sunny and delicate climate, so many of the timber don’t shed their leaves within the fall and also you received’t truly want to place in your favourite flannel-checked scarf. We make up for what we lack in autumn climate, nevertheless, with quite a lot of seasonal actions, festivals, and fall enjoyable.

There are loads of fall actions in San Diego, so should you’ll be visiting and on the lookout for seasonal actions in September, October or November, seize a pumpkin spice latte and take a look at this checklist.

You can save on tickets, excursions, and inns via my affiliations. If you make purchases via the hyperlinks on this submit, I could also be compensated.

1. Take Advantage of Kids Free San Diego (TOP PICK)

Kids Free San Diego is without doubt one of the greatest annual occasions in San Diego. For the entire month of October, children get free admission (with a paying grownup) to 50+ museums, plus San Diego theme parks, excursions, and points of interest — together with our main theme parks.

There are additionally restaurant reductions and resort reductions, making October the best time to go to San Diego with children

Residents also needs to make the most of these Kids Free San Diego offers as properly. When it involves our points of interest, some would require a qualifying ticket, which you may get (at a reduction, too) over at aRes Travel. Learn extra about San Diego in October.

2. Peep Fall Foliage on the Japanese Friendship Garden

Visiting the Japanese Friendship Garden is one in all my favourite issues to do in Balboa Park. It’s particularly stunning in autumn, and it’s the most effective locations to see some fall colours close to downtown San Diego.

The Japanese maple timber flip good shades of crimson right now of 12 months, and also you’ll see different timber and shrubs turning shiny orange and yellow. Kids love the koi fish, too.

3. Celebrate Halloween at LEGOLAND Brick-Or-Treat

Kids in costume (cowboy and cheetah) posing next to a life-sized LEGO mummy mini figure.
Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND California Resort

This contains LEGOLAND®’s Brick or Treat Party Nights. Most of the theme parks adorn and weave in some seasonal enjoyable.

4. Or, at SeaWorld San Diego Spooktacular

Little girl dressed as Batgirl trick or treating at SeaWorld Halloween event

SeaWorld San Diego hosts their annual Halloween fun-fest SeaWorld Spooktacular on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays via October 29. The enjoyable, family-friendly occasion is included together with your park admission ticket and is properly price a go to.

Children can get within the Halloween spirit by taking part in a fancy dress occasion or becoming a member of the Halloween Dance Party. They also can take pleasure in secure trick-or-treating alongside the park’s Candy Trail, wander via the Hay Maze, go on a Pumpkin Hunt, or take a look at the brand new O.P. Otter’s Spooktacular Surprise present on the park’s Mission Bay Theater.

In addition, company will encounter SeaWorld’s many out of doors and indoor animal displays, marine life animal shows, and crowd-favorite reveals, together with Dolphin Adventures, Sea Lion & Otter Spotlight, and the Orca Encounter.

There’s additionally the scarier night Howl-O-Scream occasion that’s for the older teenagers and adults. A separate ticket is required.

Speaking of tickets, you may learn my information for purchasing low cost SeaWorld San Diego tickets. Annual Pass and Fun Card holders obtain free entry. But you may select a Dine + Drink choice that features meals all day lengthy in addition to different upgrades.

5. Visit Bates Nut Farm

One of San Diego’s favourite family-owned farms, Bates Nut Farm, hosts its annual Pumpkin Patch and fall actions via October 31. Go looking for scrumptious nuts and sweet, but in addition select your Halloween pumpkin among the many fall foliage, multi functional enjoyable place.

Guests can take pleasure in hay rides, face portray, bounce and slides, mountain climbing, balloon artwork, pony rides, and the farm’s standard petting zoo. There’s even a mechanical bull for these courageous sufficient! Activity tickets are bought in $2 increments and can be utilized in direction of every attraction’s requirement.

The farm’s Fall Friday Festival takes place on October 13, 20, and 27 this 12 months and contains all of the actions above, plus dwell music from 3:30–6:30 p.m.

In addition, company also can take pleasure in dwell leisure each Saturday and Sunday all through October on the farm, plus choose dates in November. You can verify their occasion calendar for particulars, and also you’ll additionally discover the occasion’s opening hours right here.

Other fall particular occasions embrace the thirty second Annual Scarecrow Contest on October 7. Design and construct a scarecrow to exhibit on the farm all through October, and also you’ll get a jack-o-lantern pumpkin on your efforts, plus there are money and present card prizes for the successful entries. But be warned, Bates Nut Farm owns all scarecrows as soon as entered so as to add to their well-known assortment! Get the entry particulars.

There’s additionally a Howl-o-Ween Doggie Costume Contest & Parade on October 21 and the Annual Costume Contest & Parade for the entire household on October 22. All the small print are included within the farm’s occasion calendar.

Parking is free on the farm from Monday–Friday however prices $10 per car on weekends in October.

6. Go Camping at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Guests enjoying their San Diego Zoo Safari Park Roar and Snore Safari tent.
Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo Safari Park

When fall comes round, so does the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s distinctive Roar and Snore Safari. This sleepover journey happens on most weekends in October, November, and December.

Various safari choices could be loved by youngsters and their households, and even an adults-only choice. All sleepovers embrace guided after-hours wildlife walks, camp actions, s’mores across the fireplace, dinner, and breakfast.

Guests can improve to the Supreme Roar & Snore Safari package deal, the place you’ll soar via the park on a zipline experience, seize binoculars for a Night Vision Safari via the Africa and Asia wildlife sections, take pleasure in a VIP viewing of wildlife encounters over breakfast, and expertise an up-close Wildlife Safari into the park’s savanna habitats in an open-air safari truck.

Tent choices vary from fundamental (carry your personal sleeping luggage) to luxurious (wooden flooring, shops, a fan and heater, a queen mattress with linens, and two cots).

Whether you like to tough it or “glamp” in fashion, it is a memorable option to spend an evening in San Diego with your loved ones. Prices per individual begin from $155 up. The Supreme Roar & Snore Safari package deal begins at $315 per individual.

Roar and Snore runs via December 31, 2023, and contains this 12 months’s particular themed sleepover choices, Creepy Camp and Holly Jolly Jungle.


Check for unpublished deeper financial savings on tickets via my partnership with aRes Travel, a certified San Diego Zoo Safari Park ticket vendor.

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7. Explore Carlsbad Village and Beach

Fall is a superb time to go to this stunning coastal city in North County San Diego. The summer season crush is gone, and you’ll benefit from the miles of sandy seashores with many extra parking alternatives. Look out for dolphins, too, as they’re usually noticed within the ocean there.

Carlsbad Village is correct subsequent to the seashore, albeit up an extended flight of stairs from the seashore. The village is a superb place to spend a day with the household. There’s plenty of parking proper within the heart by the city sq. advanced, and you’ll stroll all over the place from there.

The fountain within the city sq. is the right spot to loosen up with the little ones, who can roam round and do cartwheels on the unreal turf surrounding the fountain. There are plenty of present outlets to peruse, loads of cafes for lunch, a gelateria, and even a connoisseur popcorn store.

The streets surrounding the principle sq. are dotted with cute however well-priced boutiques, extra outlets, cafes, and eating places. Family favorites embrace Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream on State Street and a brief stroll alongside the identical highway will lead you to The Goods, the place the large connoisseur donuts are to die for!

Dining choices are aplenty. Popular eating places embrace 264 Fresco and Campfire, or Pure Taco is a superb household choice.

You also can get the Coaster prepare to Carlsbad Station from town or different stops alongside the coast. And you may hire E-bikes at Pedego Electric Bikes.

8. Celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Old Town

San Diego’s atmospheric and delightful Old Town district is stuffed with enjoyable issues to do within the fall, and the weeks main as much as Dia de los Muertos are a good time to go to.

This Mexican custom celebrates family members who’ve handed, and the streets of Old Town are adorned with ofrendas (altars) and plenty of conventional Dia de los Muertos arts and crafts, together with painted sugar skulls.

This 12 months, the annual Dia de los Muertos candlelit procession takes place on November 2, beginning on the Immaculate Conception Church at 6:15 p.m.

There will even be a free out of doors screening of Disney Pixar’s Coco within the Plaza de Armas on October 28 at 7 p.m.

Various festivities will happen within the State Historic Park all weekend, the place you may honor your personal misplaced cherished one on the Community Altar, additionally situated within the Plaza de Armas.

And don’t overlook to absorb one of many unbelievable Mexican eating places that line the streets of Old Town, or go to the famed haunted Whaley House Museum, should you dare!

You can verify the whole calendar of occasions.

9. Attend the Autumn Festival at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

For these eager to mingle with animals of all sizes on the Safari Park however only for the day, head to the park’s Autumn Festival, which is held each Saturday and Sunday all through October.

Fun household actions embrace a maze, a Jamboree dance, and dwell nation and bluegrass tunes by The Barn Owls trio.

Friendly scarecrows are available to information you thru the park. And make sure you keep until darkness falls for the Reflections present within the Nairobi Village. The enchanting 7-minute musical journey of floating, flickering lanterns dancing in a choreographed musical journey all over the world is certain to be the right finish to your go to.

There’s additionally the Halgloween night celebration at San Diego Zoo!

10. Take a Sightseeing Tour

Visitors to San Diego usually look into our enjoyable sightseeing excursions like Old Town Trolley (they’ve a haunted tour which is enjoyable throughout Halloween time), San Diego SEAL excursions, and our number of San Diego harbor cruises. Some of those tour operators take part in Kids Free San Diego.

Some different tour concepts embrace snorkeling excursions, kayaking excursions, bay excursions, whale watching excursions, or a guided tour across the USS Midway, the historic naval plane service and museum.

You also can tour the grounds and numerous museums in Balboa Park with their Explorer Pass. The park’s free tram runs each 10-Quarter-hour.


Save $5 per individual on a 1-hour harbor cruise AND $7 per individual on a 2-hour harbor cruise with Flagship Cruises & Events. Get your tickets.

11. Go Horseback Riding

Fall is a superb time for the entire household to saddle up and luxuriate in one in all San Diego’s many stunning trails, and even the seashore, on horseback. The sizzling solar has cooled, however nonetheless, seize a hat and sunscreen for this enjoyable outing.

Picturesque-guided horseback path rides can be found via Surfside Ranch, which is situated 15 miles south of downtown. You can select from seashore or path rides, pony rides for the little ones, or rise up near different furry mates on the ranch’s Petting Zoo. There are llamas, goats, pigs, and even chickens.

Surfside Ranch is at present open seven days per week from 9 a.m– 5 p.m., however verify their web site earlier than you go in case hours change. 1-hour path rides begin from $80 per individual.

Another choice is San Diego Horse Connection in Valley Center, which provides a lesson of their enviornment earlier than you head out on the paths. A one and half hour session with two individuals max, prices $140 per individual.

12. Take a Winery Tour

There are some nice vineyard choices round San Diego County. For a singular expertise, you may hop aboard the Winery Train Tour of San Diego, the place you’ll cruise up and down the coast. Guests disembark at chosen stops for guided historic walks and a few pattern sipping at native wineries and tasting rooms.

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours runs this 5-hour journey. Tickets price $128 and embrace tastings at 4 wineries, a wine-pairing mild lunch, and different goodies. Guests could also be 18+, however you should be aged 21+ to drink alcohol.

Other choices for wine lovers embrace heading north to the famed Temecula wine nation, the place award-winning wineries abound. You also can soak up a sizzling air balloon experience over the gorgeous vineyards whereas there. Prices for a shared balloon experience price from $170 per individual.

13, Go Street Dining in La Jolla Shores, Gaslamp Quarter, and Little Italy

Three standard areas the place eating places have continued to broaden out of doors eating into streets and parking tons for the reason that pandemic embrace La Jolla Shores, the Gaslamp Quarter, and Little Italy.

Dining alongside the streets on a balmy fall night is a well-liked selection for locals and vacationers alike, because of San Diego’s year-round sunshine and the vitality felt by being in the course of the motion.

A preferred selection for each locals and guests is the Pendry San Diego, the place you may dine and drink outdoors within the Gaslamp Quarter.

14. Pick Apples in Julian

Freshly picked apples in a three woven baskets under a tree.

Break out your fall scarves and boots for a day journey to this historic gold mining city that’s well-known for its fall foliage and apple selecting. There are just a few U-pick farms to select from in 2023, and after you’ve obtained a superb haul you may head into downtown Julian to browse the lovable little present outlets.

You might carry your bushel house and make your personal apple pie, however there are some fantastic native pie outlets right here that make near-perfect apple and pumpkin pies. Learn extra about what to do on a day journey to Julian.

15. Hike with Help From theNAT (San Diego Natural History Museum)

The San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers provide free guided hikes on numerous trails all through San Diego County from September via June, totally on weekends. Fun choices this October embrace the Torrey Pines Loop via Gonzales Canyon and the picturesque Sunset Trail via Cleveland National Forest.

The Canyoneers put collectively an inventory of their favourite trails and suggestions within the Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors ebook that yow will discover at native retailers or on Amazon.

How superior to go mountain climbing with consultants via the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. This hike is obtainable in each November and December this 12 months, and you’ll verify the schedule, which incorporates many extra guided mountain climbing choices, right here. In addition, month-to-month midweek hikes enable contributors to take pleasure in limited-access trails which might be usually crowded on weekends.

The Bottom Line

As the top of October attracts nearer, normally, some San Diego neighborhoods go all out with unbelievable Halloween events, occasions, pub crawls, cruises, and extra.

Fall is a superb time to go to San Diego. Most children are again in class, so standard points of interest are typically much less busy, there are extra rooms out there at San Diego inns, and the climate is nearly all the time fabulous, with clear skies and cozy temperatures.

Whether you’re keen on celebrating Halloween or Dia de los Muertos, there are many choices. Just make sure you verify the hours for points of interest and actions earlier than you go.

What are your favourite fall issues to do in San Diego?

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