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Here’s how you can celebrate Halloween in San Diego this year

The Presley's Halloween rum cocktail, Presley Potion
(Courtesy photo)

This year has been plagued by countless cancellations due to COVID-19 concerns, but that doesn’t mean the Halloween spirit has to disappear. From socially-distanced events to at-home happenings, here’s how to (safely) celebrate spooky season in San Diego.

Brews with Charlie Brown

Cheers to Halloween with a San Diego specialty: craft beer. Museum of Beer is hosting Halloween Brew & View, a craft beer food pairing at Theatre Box featuring six hand-selected beers, bites from Sugar Factory, and a screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The socially-distanced event will be held on both Oct. 30 and 31, kicking off at 8 p.m. both nights Make sure to show up in costume for a chance to win the Museum of Beer prize pack. Tickets are $60 per person, sold in tables of two or four. All attendees must be 21 years or older. 701 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, museumofbeer.com

Drive-in at the mall

This year, have a haunted movie marathon from the comfort of your car. On Halloween weekend, San Diego International Film Festival and Westfield UTC will screen two spooky favorites — Beetlejuice on Oct. 30 and Hocus Pocus on Oct. 31 — in the shopping mall’s parking lot. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 6 p.m. $30 per car; upgrade to VIP ($50) for front row seats and additional perks. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla, sdfilmfest.com/drive-in-westfieldutc

Superhero trivia and brunch

Ready to don your cape? Duck Dive in Pacific Beach will host two Superhero-themed events to celebrate the good guys. Reserve a table for trivia on Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. — even if you don’t win the game, you’ll have a chance to score a prize for best costume. Then return on Oct. 30 for Superhero Brunch with themed cocktails and bottomless mimosas, plus entertainment from DJ Jeremiah James, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 4650 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach, theduckdive.com

Nightmare on Garnet

Starting Oct. 26, Mavericks Beach Club will deck out the beach bar with Halloween decor and encourages guests to dress up for the third annual Nightmare on Garnet. Stop by on Oct. 31 — from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — for a Haunted Special Cocktail Menu and themed swag. 860 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, maverickssd.com

Mavericks Beach Club in Pacific Beach will host its third annual Nightmare on Garnet
Mavericks Beach Club in Pacific Beach will host its third annual Nightmare on Garnet, featuring themed decor, plenty of costumes and a Haunted Special Cocktail Menu.
(Courtesy photo)

Churros, donuts and more in North Park

Is sugar your favorite part of Halloween? The Gluten Free Baking Company in North Park is partnering with Madre Churro & Cacao for a Halloween pop-up to satisfy every sweet tooth. Stop by the North Park shop from 4 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31 for handmade churro bites or cacao nibs. (Skip the line with the preorder option, available online for swift pick-up.) The Gluten Free Baking Company will also be offering its themed menu, including candy cupcakes and candy apple decorating kits — plus free mini donuts and cupcakes for those who arrive in costume — all weekend long. 4594 30th St., North Park, thegfbakingco.com

A themed donut from The Gluten Free Baking Co. in North Park
(Courtesy photo)

Pastries for a good cause

For those in North County, Solana Beach restaurant Ranch 45 and culinary nonprofit Friendly Feast have teamed up for a sweet pop-up event. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 31, pick up a $35 themed pastry box filled with six treats. The offerings — such as candy corn marshmallows and pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats — are made by local pastry chefs and bakers like Suellen Drummond from Favela Bonita and Maeve Rochford from Sugar and Scribe. There are a limited number of boxes, so be sure to preorder online. All proceeds will go to Friendly Feast and Monarch School. 512 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, friendlyfeast.org/halloween-pop-up

‘A Grand Halloween’ at Manchester Grand Hyatt

If you want to take a staycation for the holiday — Halloween is on a Saturday this year — book a room at Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown, which will offer themed events on Oct. 31. All guests can partake in socially-distanced trick-or-treating (with full size candy bars), arts and crafts on the rooftop, and a spooky outdoor swim after dark featuring a “dive-in” movie screening. Use offer code HAUNT at check-out. 1 Market Place, downtown, hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/california/manchester-grand-hyatt-san-diego/sanrs/news-events

'A Grand Halloween' at Manchester Grand Hyatt
‘A Grand Halloween’ at Manchester Grand Hyatt
(Courtesy photo)

Pups and potions at The Presley

Bring your canines — dogs, not fangs — to The Presley in Liberty Station at 2 p.m. on Oct. 31. Furry friends can participate in a costume contest sponsored by Tito’s Vodka, with prizes including The Presley gift cards, a Tito’s Gift Basket and more. A portion of proceeds from Tito’s Vodka sales will benefit the San Diego Humane Society. All weekend, young diners at The Presley will receive a Halloween goodie bag, and adults can enjoy the Presley Potion, a $10 drink featuring light rum, strawberry puree, and fresh lime juice. 2855 Perry Road, Point Loma, goodtimedesignsd.com/the-presley

Cocktails and costumes at Barleymash

On Oct. 31, Barleymash invites guests to try their Halloween specials such as Give’m Pumpkin to Talk About, a roasted pumpkin flatbread with garlic cream and pickled hallow-peños. Pair it with two specialty drinks: a vodka-based Freddy Krueger (also featuring activated charcoal) or a Michael Myers, made with Makers Mark. The Gaslamp restaurant and bar will also host a virtual costume contest from now through Halloween. Dress up in your best outfit and tag @barleymashsd on Instagram to win $200 (1st place), $100 (2nd place) or $50 (3rd place) gift cards, along with Barleymash swag. 600 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, barleymash.com

A virtual Edgar Allan Poe

Write Out Loud invites theater lovers to PoeFest,an annual show highlighting the works of poet Edgar Allan Poe, known for his mysterious tales. All six performances for the 2020 edition are virtual, available to stream through Nov. 8. Programs costs $13 each, or opt for a $50 VIP pass to watch all six. Buy tickets online or by phone at 619-297-8953. writeoutloudsd.com/poefest-2020

Horror on the radio

This month, La Jolla Playhouse launched a radio horror show called Listen With The Lights Off. The new drama series, which is a collaboration with local literary and performing arts nonprofit So Say We All, consists of fictional, audio-only short plays adapted from Black Candies, So Say We All’s horror anthologies. Episodes of the three-part series — released Oct. 15, 21 and 28 — are available to stream for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and YouTube. lajollaplayhouse.org/wow-goes-digital/listen-with-the-lights-off

Chilly (and creepy) to-go treat

For some chills this holiday, order Mr. Trustee Creamery’s newest creepy-crawly flavor. Worms & Dirt Ice Cream — available on Oct. 29, 30 and 31 — is an exclusive Halloween flavor featuring chocolate ice cream, chocolate marshmallow whip, Oreos, fudge ripple and — of course — gummy worms. 4033 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills, instagram.com/mrtrusteeicecream

Worms & Dirt Ice Cream from Mr. Trustee's Creamery in Mission Hills
(Courtesy photo)

Twisted cirque in Gaslamp

Head down to Gaslamp Quarter for Carnevil, an outdoor pop-up experience at a twisted cirque inspired restaurant. The “sip, snack and snap” Halloween event welcomes all ages to indulge in a pre-selected plate and specialty cocktail. There will be plenty of photo opps at the pop-up, which will be adorned in themed decor, props and costumed staff. (Guests can dress how they’d like, but best costume does win $100 in restaurant giftcards.) One-hour seating available for groups of two, four and six available, with tickets starting at $37.95 per person. Email events@mcfarlanepromotions.com for parties larger than six. Dinners are happening every evening from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1. 376 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, gaslampcarnevil.com

AleSmith’s evil suds

Swing by AleSmith Brewing Company’s tasting room on Oct. 30 and 31 for a pint of its spooky beer: Evil Dead Red Ale. If you’re craving something sweet, pop on over to the brewery’s gift shop and buy a brownie by Amore Cheesecakes, which was Evil Dead Red Ale as one of its ingredients. Wear your costume to snag a raffle ticket, which puts you in the running for AleSmith swag and gift cards. Tasting room hours are noon to 8 p.m. both days. 9990 AleSmith Court, Miramar, alesmith.com

A chilly encounter at Taco Stand

In lieu of traditional trick-or-treating, knock on The Taco Stand’s door for some paletas. Also known as ice pops, these treats are locally made with natural ingredients and offered in a assortment of flavors including Oreo, pistachio and coconut. The best part? All paletas are only $1 each. 3000 Upas St., North Park; 635 B St., downtown; 621 Pearl St., La Jolla; letstaco.com


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