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The Ultimate Guide to Halloween in North County San Diego (2018)

halloween san diego north county

It’s time for some spooktacular Halloween events! There’s plenty of frightfully good fun to be had this year for all ages. We’ve got your complete guide to celebrating Halloween in North County San Diego in the month of October.

halloween in san diego north county coastal

(Del Mar to Oceanside)

The Scream Zone Del Mar

The Scream Zone in Del Mar is one of San Diego’s longest-running Halloween events. If you love to be scared out of your boots, you will love The Scream Zone. Walk the House of Horror, take a Haunted Hayride, and definitely try your hand at The Running Dead obstacle course. Want entrance to the super swanky speakeasy? You’ll have to ask a roaming Scream Zone character for an invite. Good luck with that and let us know how it goes. The Scream Zone takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Fun fact: The Del Mar Fairgrounds is rumored to be haunted as well. The Scream Zone runs every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening, with some additional dates added as you get closer to Halloween. The event runs from 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. on all other days.   It’s good to know that this is definitely not an event for kids.

Halloween Heat at The Belly Up

Scare up some ghoulish good fun at the Belly Up at this year’s Halloween Heat event in Solana Beach. The 80’s Heat along with Bella Lux Dancers will provide the night’s entertainment along with much more fun like a costume contest and cash prizes. Tickets for this event are $25 advanced sale, $27 at the door, and $44 for reserved seating. It takes place on October 31st. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., event begins at 8:00 p.m. This event is 21 and over only. No children allowed.

Howl-O-Wine Party and Costume Contest

You’ll have a howling good time at Witch Creek Winery’s Howl-O-Wine Party. Tickets to this include two wine tastings, a sample of the Witch Creek charcuterie plate, an entry to the raffle contest, and a bag of Sleeping Tiger Coffee. Proceeds benefit the Saving Pets One At A Time and Spay and Neuter Action Project. Costume categories include Dynamic Duo (dress up with your pup), Witchiest Wagger, and Spookiest Pooch. There will be live music and a pet adoption clinic with dogs from the Texas and Louisiana hurricanes in need of forever homes. Tickets are $30. This event is on October 15th from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. We believe this event is 21+ only.

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights take place every Saturday evening in October at LEGOLAND California from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Kids trick-or-treat throughout the theme park while enjoying rides, treats, live entertainment, costume contests, dancing, and more. This is a great yearly Halloween event for kids. An annual spectacular fireworks show ends the event. If your little one wants to wear their costume, it is definitely encouraged. Special tickets are required for this event. See our full guide to Brick-Or-Treat Party Nights here.

Monster Story Time 2 Presented By TERI, Inc. Players

This one of a kind story-telling event is presented by a group of actors and artists from TERI, Inc. Kids of all ages will enjoy a hauntingly creative set and some spooky stories told by some wonderful people with special needs. Come enjoy stories, music, laughter, and fun. This is a one night only event and takes place on October 13th at 7:00pm at the STAR Theatre in Oceanside. Tickets are $10-$20 Read all about TERI, Inc. here.

Safe Trick or Treat in Encinitas

The City of Encinitas provides a safe trick-or-treat environment for all at their annual community Halloween event: Safe Trick Or Treat. On October 31st from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. head to downtown Encinitas to enjoy Halloween themed activities (in the Lumberyard Courtyard), live music, carved pumpkins on display (donated by the monks at the Self Realization Fellowship) and much more. Merchants from Encinitas Blvd to K Street will have treats for kids. This event is free to the community.

  • Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, CA 92024
  • October 31st

halloween in san diego north county inland

(Rancho Bernardo to Escondido)

Disney’s Hocus Pocus Movie Screening at The Moonlight

Every year, the Moonlight chooses a family-friendly movie to show around Halloween. This year, watch Disney’s quirky Halloween movie Hocus Pocus under the stars at The Moonlight Ampitheatre in Vista. The movie screening will take place on Saturday, October 28. Pre-movie activities begin at 6:00 p.m. and the movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Lawn seats are $5 each, reserved seating is $10 each. Outside food and drinks (with the exception of alcohol) is permitted inside. Kids 0-99 welcome, although this movie might have some slightly scary scenes for very young kids.

Once Upon a Hallowe’en

Head to Old Poway Park for a hair-raising good time. There will be haunted houses, scary stories, and more. Of course, train rides, treats, and carnival games available for a small fee. Once Upon A Hallowe’en takes place on Saturday, October 29th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This is a free event.

Bates Nut Farm October Weekends

Bates Nut Farm deserves it’s own section because well, it’s Bates. This working farm is more than a pumpkin patch. There is a farm animal zoo (you can feed some animals for a small fee), tractor hayrides, a straw maze and more. Weekends in October include pony rides, live entertainment, petting zoo, kettle corn, doggie costume contest, vendor booths and other family-friendly happenings. A stop inside the Bates Nut Farm gift shop is a must as they have a wide assortment of specialty nuts and candies. While this is a free event, parking is $5 on October weekends. And you should plan to arrive as early in the day as possible. Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch runs End of September through the end of October. The farm is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 6::00 p.m. on weekends (open until 8:00 p.m. on Fridays 10/6, 10/13 and 10/20, and 10/27).

Other Events Around Town

Don’t forget our Guide to Pumpkin Patches in North County San Diego and our list of Fun Fall Activities in North County.

Your Turn…

Which North County San Diego Halloween events are we missing? We’ll update this list as more events are scheduled.

Michelle Sybert: Michelle also writes at her blog Be Brave, Keep Going and lives in the North San Diego area with her husband and two children. When she's not writing, Michelle loves to go hiking, discover new breakfast spots, and photography. Follow Michelle on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram