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San Diego’s top weekend events for Oct. 27 to Oct. 30: Halloween, Día de los Muertos and more

Winston Hamilton, 4, roars at health care workers as his mother, Teresa Hamilton, looks on.
Winston Hamilton, 4, roars at health care workers as his mother, Teresa Hamilton, looks on during the 22nd Halloween Baby Parade at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022.
(Kristian Carreon / For The San Diego Union-Tribune)

It’s Halloween weekend in San Diego.

That means it feels like there are endless options for your weekend to-do list, including these 55 Halloween events and activities:

Halloween festivities are taking place all over San Diego County, from haunted houses and tours of a ghost town to pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating.

Besides the many Halloween activities ahead, here’s a list of things to do across San Diego County in theater, music, arts and other entertainment.

Here’s our list of recommendations.

Thursday

A Halloween scene in the 4S Ranch area.
(Elizabeth Marie Himchak)

Halloween Family Fun: This trick-or-treat event will include everything from kid-friendly crafts and goodies to a display of fire engines and squad cars. 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27. In the parking lot of the Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Drive, Vista. Free. cityofvista.com/residents/trick-or-treat

“First Date”: OnStage Playhouse presents Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner’s 2013 musical comedy about a man and woman, whose blind date becomes overcrowded when the couple’s inner critics and the spirits of their exes, parents and others show up. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 6. 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. $15-$25. (619) 422-7787. onstageplayhouse.org

PoeFest: Write Out Loud presents a festival of fully-staged short stories and poetry, featuring literary legends like Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley. The performances will take place at the Villa Montezuma where visitors can explore the mansion through interactive experiences. Oct. 14-16, Oct. 21-23, Oct. 27-30. Times vary. 1925 K St., San Diego. $30. writeoutloudsd.com/poefest

Friday

Witches of the Westgate Halloween high tea: The Westgate Hotel downtown will host a series of Halloween-themed high teas this weekend in its Le Fontainebleau Room. The service includes a tray of spooky pastries, savory tea sandwiches, gourmet teas and other items. Children will receive a take-home surprise and ages 21 and up will receive a glass of sparkling wine. A cash-only bar will also be available. $95 for adults, $62, children 12 and under. 1 to 3:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., San Diego. (619) 238-1818. westgatehotel.com

Ghost Town: The San Dieguito Heritage Museum and the Ovation Theatre present a Haunted Ghost Town at Heritage Ranch in Encinitas. This joint production is a 25-minute spine-chilling tour of the pranks and secrets of the departed at night. Proceeds fund school tours at the San Dieguito Heritage Museum as well as Ovation Theatre programs. 5:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Heritage Ranch, 450 Quail Gardens Drive. Tickets $20 adults, $10 ages 10 and younger. Ticket reservations required at SDHeritage.org

Patio Playhouse performs a ‘Murder Ballad’: With Halloween in mind, Patio Playhouse in Escondido is presenting “Murder Ballad,” a dark 2012 musical by Juliana Nash and Julia Jordan about a woman torn between the stable but dull life with her husband and daughter and a more exciting life with her bartender-lover. By the end of the story, someone ends up dead. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 6. 116 S. Kalmia St., Escondido. $15-$22. (760) 746-6669 or patioplayhouse.com.

“Little Shop of Horrors”: San Diego Musical Theatre presents the closing weekend of performances of this horror spoof about a man-eating plant at a skid row florist shop. 8 p.m. Friday. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. SDMT Stage, 4650 Mercury St., San Diego. $40-$75. (858) 560-5740. sdmt.org

Hidden Valley Virtuosi: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library presents Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, cellist Tanya Tomkins and pianist Ines Irawati. 7:30 p.m. today. Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., La Jolla. $15-$50. (858) 454-5872. ljathenaeum.org/chamber

Saturday

A silent film is accompanied by music on the Spreckels Pipe Organ.
(Courtesy of Robert E. Lang )

‘Spooky Halloween Concert & Silent Movie’: The Spreckels Organ Society hosts its first Halloween-themed outdoor movie concert, featuring songs and music from the Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera,” followed by a screening of the 1925 silent film classic “Phantom of the Opera” with musical accompaniment by organist Mark Herman on the Spreckels Pipe Organ. 6 p.m. Saturday. Spreckels Organ Pavilion, 2125 Pan American Road, Balboa Park, San Diego. Free. spreckelsorgan.org

Día de Los Muertos: The annual City Heights Día de Los Muertos celebration of those who have passed on has grown over 25 years from a classroom presentation by a grandmother for her grandson to a public festival. This year’s celebration includes at least 35 altars, low riders from the Dead End Car Club, music, a kids zone and entertainers, including Banda Estrella de San Diego and Danza Azteca Atlachinolli. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 3795 Fairmount Ave., San Diego. Free. facebook.com/CityHeightsDiaDeLosMuertos

At the Living Coast Discovery Center's New Year's Eve party, you may encounter Sapphire, a loggerhead sea turtle.
(Peggy Peattie / U-T )

Owl-O-Ween: The Living Coast Discovery Center is hosting an after-hours Halloween event with night hikes, a haunted graveyard, a Folklorico performance, animal encounters, Dia de Muertos stories, a costume parade, arts and crafts and more. There will be a mad science lab, trick-or-treating and other spooky activities. 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 29. Tickets are free for children under 2-years-old; $25-30 for general admission. 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/owl-o-ween-tickets-421442404577?mc_eid=b20266931a&mc_cid=471a05795f

Chula Vista celebration: The Third Avenue Village Association hosts this traditional Día de Los Muertos celebration, honoring those who have passed away. The celebration includes a community altar (bring a copy of a photo of a deceased loved one to place on the altar), an Altar Contest and Catrín/Catrína Ensemble Contest for cash prizes, music and dance, kids crafts, food, vendors, themed photo ops throughout the neighborhood, and a special screening of Disney Pixar’s “Coco” at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Bowl. 3-8 p.m. Saturday. Third and Davidson streets, Chula Vista. Free. thirdavenuevillage.com/dia-de-los-muertos-celebration

“Powerful Nature”: La Jolla Symphony & Chorus hosts guest conductor Ruben Valenzuela of Bach Collegium San Diego in a concert that features Joan Tower’s “tribute to women who take chances and who are adventurous,” as well as Beethoven’s “Pastoral” symphony and Carlos Chávez’s Piano Concerto featuring pianist Kyle Adam Blair. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. Mandeville Auditorium, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla. $19-$41. (858) 534-4637. ljsc.org

Bearcat BOO! Halloween tours: Meet spooky and not-so-spooky animals during hourlong early evening flashlight tours with candy stations and apple cider at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Oct. 30 and 31 at Wild Wonders, 5712 Vía Montellano, Bonsall. Feel free to wear your costume. Tickets are $39 for adults (ages 12+) and $20 for children (ages 5-11). Visit wildwonders.org.

Boo Bash: “The queerest free Halloween party for youth and families” will take place during a block party-style event in Hillcrest. There will be games, a costume contest, a drag show and trick-or-treating. This inaugural event is a collaboration between TransFamily Support Services and Fabulous Hillcrest. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29. 1500 University Ave., San Diego. Free. transfamilysos.org/boobash

Art Auction: The VAPA Foundation will host an art auction to raise money for the Larry T. Baza Scholarship Fund. Baza co-founded VAPA, which provides scholarships to graduating seniors from the San Diego Unified School District. 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Athenaeum Arts Center, Bread & Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., San Diego. artproduce.org

Sunday

Ofelia Esparza, 88, has brough fresh marigolds and placed them next to pictures of family members who died.
(Associated Press)

Fall Home Garden Show: Now in its 32nd year, the Fall Home/Garden Show returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for a two-day run featuring hands-on demonstrations, hundreds of home-improvement products and services, educational seminars, plant sales, and face-to-face consults with experts. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Del Mar Fairgrounds. Free. fallhomegardenshow.com

Make tracks: The Pacific Southwest Railway Museum is offering its annual Pumpkin Express Halloween Celebration. Ride decorated vintage railcars through the San Diego county mountains. Walk through the themed Display Building, complete with Halloween scenes and a creepy cast of ghosts and ghouls. Ride a train to a pumpkin patch where kids can pick pumpkins to decorate. Pass through the scary railroad cars if you dare. Trains leave at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30 from the Campo Depot, 750 Depot St., Campo. Tickets from $20 for adults. Reserve at psrm.org/pumpkin.

Sea180 hosts Dia de los Muertos events: Sea180 Coastal Tavern will host a Day of the Dead celebration for ages 21 and up only on Sunday evening. The ticketed event will feature booths serving tacos, pozole, candied pumpkin and chips and salsa, along with mezcal tastings, margaritas and Paloma cocktails. There will also be a face painter, a Dia de los Muertos wreath-making station and live Spanish classical guitar music. $65. 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday. 800 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach. cohnrestaurants.com/sea180

“Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery”: Lamb’s Players Theatre presents the San Diego premiere of this fast-paced, quick-change-laden mystery comedy inspired by the Sherlock Holmes novel “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Through Nov. 20 and Jan. 3-8. Lambs Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. $36-$72. (619) 437-6000. lambsplayers.org

Soprano Lauren Jelencovich in Concert: This world-famous concert artist will perform Broadway show tunes and arias to kick off this season’s St. James Music Series. 4 p.m. Sunday. 743 Prospect St., La Jolla. $13-$43. (858) 459-3421. stjamesmusicseries.com/jelencovich

San Diego Symphony Día de los Muertos celebration: This week, the San Diego Symphony will unveil a ofrenda alter in the Sycuan Community Plaza at The Rady Shell, which will remain open until Oct. 31. Members of the public are invited to add photos of their loved ones. Then on Oct. 28, a family night will take place there from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with crafts, a performance by Mariachi Villa Musica, food, drinks and a calavera contest. On Oct. 30, the San Diego Symphony performance lineup includes the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Los Camperos and skilled dancers of Grupo Folclórico Chiquina Palafox and festive food, drinks and activities will take place on site. 6 p.m. Oct. 30. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way. $20 to $75. theshell.org/performances/d%C3%ADa-de-los-muertos-celebration


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