San Diego’s Fall Cultural Festivals

Summer festival season may be over, but San Diego’s balmy October temperatures present a unique opportunity to ring in our version of autumn at an outdoor festival. If you’re looking for an affordable and educational activity for the whole family, a cultural fair might be just the ticket. Check out this list of upcoming festivals in San Diego and nearby, and get your loved ones together to enjoy the traditionally prepared meals, music, art, and traditions of a different culture!

Pacific Islander Festival

The 22nd annual Pacific Islander Festival on September 24th and 25th showcases the traditional cultures and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia with continuous entertainment throughout the weekend. Held at Ski Beach in Mission Bay, this event features food, music, and specialty crafts unique to each culture.

Scripps AMG Tip: You might be tempted to purchase a sugary drink at this festival, but bring a water bottle with you instead. Regular sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Plus, consuming high concentrations of sugar at once will cause your blood sugar levels to peak, and then drop, causing lethargy and dehydration. This is the last thing you want when you’re at an outdoor festival.

San Diego Polish Festival

From October 7th-9th, San Diego’s St. M. Kolbe Polish Mission in Pacific Beach will host a Polish Festival. Guests at this event can enjoy Polish folk dance performances, live music, Polish food, and dozens of vendors selling arts and crafts, jewelry, and other commemorative merchandise. Be sure to review the event schedule and be aware of age requirements; guests who attend the first day of the festival on October 7th must be 21 or older.

Scripps AMG Tip: At this particular festival, you’ll be enjoying Polish culture and entertainment during the heat of the day. Remember to cover up! Wear a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and clothing with UPF 30 to protect your skin as much as possible.

San Diego Italian Film Festival

The San Diego Italian Film Festival celebrates Italian culture and its cinematic contributions with a two-week engagement at Balboa Park and Encinitas from October 5th -16th. This extended event features Italian films from all genres, and all of the movies are complete with English subtitles. Additional attractions at this festival include Q&A sessions, director panels, workshops, and Italian food.

Scripps AMG Tip: While you’re busy getting a taste of Italian culture through film (and of course, food!), remember to balance carbohydrate-heavy foods like pizza and pasta with lean proteins such as chicken and fish. This balanced approach will help keep your blood sugar in check and help you stay fuller, longer.

Dia de Los Muertos Celebrations throughout San Diego County

Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday featuring gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember deceased loved ones. San Diego is ripe with Dia de los Muertos celebrations, which typically feature handmade altars in honor of the departed, live music and dancing, food, arts and crafts, local vendors, and various other family-friendly activities. Check out this list of Dia de los Muertos activities happening in October and November!

Scripps AMG Tip: We’re still experiencing warm San Diego weather during the day, but the nights are starting to cool off. Most of these Dia de los Muertos celebrations take place outside, so bring a jacket or sweater if you plan to attend an evening celebration.
With such a long list of family-friendly festivals to choose from, you’re sure to find one in your neighborhood! Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups physicians are experts in 29 medical specialties, including family medicine. Contact your doctor at Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups today for more information.


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