October 2019: 10 Family-Friendly Activities in San Diego

October is here, and it’s once again time for hay rides, scary stories, and pumpkin spice everything. October also happens to be a great month for finding things to do in San Diego with kids. There are outdoor festivals, fairs, and kids getting free admission to tons of local venues! Fall into Fall with these awesome family-friendly adventures going on this month:

  1. Kids Free in October
    When: October 1-31
    Where: Over two dozen museums throughout San Diego
    Cost: Free
    In October, the San Diego Museum Council offers kids the opportunity to cruise San Diego’s museum scene with their parents for free! Complimentary kids’ admission is available at a wide array of museums across San Diego County, as well as at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.
  2. Beachside Fall Fest
    When: Every Friday-Sunday in October
    Where: 3146 Mission Blvd. San Diego, CA 92109
    Cost: Free
    Every Friday through Sunday evening in October, families can get their spooky fun on at San Diego’s historic Belmont amusement park in Mission Beach. The park hosts free trick-or-treating, family costume contests, and Halloween-themed rides and attractions like the Spooky Coaster and Zombie Laser Tag!
  3. The New Children’s Museum: Tikitiko
    When: Beginning on Friday, October 11th
    Where: The New Children’s Museum, 200 W. Island Ave San Diego, CA, 92101
    Cost: $14 for adults and children 1+, free for under 1 years old.
    Artist-in-residence Tanya Aguiñiga is redesigning the Tot Studio to better inspire toddlers and caregivers to make meaningful connections. The space will feature abstract forms covered in colorful and furry textiles. Guests of all ages will love the rotating hands-on learning experiences designed to nurture developmental skills and family bonding.
  4. Pumpkins and Ponies
    When: Every weekend in October, 11am-4pm
    Where: Sweetwater Farms, 3051 Equitation Lane, Bonita CA 91902
    Cost: Admission is $5 for kids, $4 for adults. Ponie rides are $10.
    When it comes to Fall family fun, it’s hard to beat pumpkin picking, hay mazes, and riding adorable ponies. Head over to Sweetwater Family Horse Farm in Bonita where the kids can ride ponies, carve pumpkins, go on a hayride, paint horseshoes, and pet and feed the barn animals every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month.
  5. Nature and Me Storytime: Bats
    When: October 10, 10:15 am
    Where: San Diego Natural Museum of History, 1788 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101
    Cost: $11.95 for kids, free for children 2 and under. Adult admission $19.95
    The Nat hosts a nature-focused story hour the second Tuesday of every month. In honor of the spookiest month, October is all about bats.
  6. HalGLOWeen at San Diego Zoo
    When: October 11-13, 18-20, 25-27
    Where: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
    Cost: Free for kids
    Looking for free things to do in San Diego? Head to the Zoo for HalGLOWeen.  The “colorfully creepy” celebration positively glows with spooky activities and entertainment including a DJ, acrobats, jugglers, a cupcake walk, and fun animal surprises.  Kids get in free in October!
  7. Halloween Family Day at Balboa Park
    When: October 26, 11am-4pm
    Where: Balboa Park, San Diego
    Cost: Free
    On October 26, join San Diego’s largest free Halloween carnival as it celebrates a decade of bringing culturally-inspired Halloween fun to families across the county! Dozens of Balboa Park museums offer free craft projects for kids, and there will be a costume parade, mini-carnival games, food trucks, a doggie costume contest, and much more!
  8. Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Days
    When: October 26 & 27, 9am-1pm
    Where: Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
    Cost: $14.24 for kids, $5 for adults
    Animal lovers, this one’s for you! The Helen Woodward Animal Center’s Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Days gives families the chance to encounter all kinds of animals, from snakes and miniature horses to lizards, alpacas, and Vietnamese walking sticks! Kids will be delighted by the trick or treat stations, the Creepy Clinic, a mystical maze, ghoulishly fun games, and delicious snacks and treats.
  9. Liberty Station’s Halloween Celebration
    When: October 27, 12pm-4pm
    Where: Liberty Station, 2850 Womble Road, Suite 100-312, San Diego, CA 92106
    Cost: Free
    Suit up in your most elaborate Halloween costume and head down to Liberty Station’s North Promenade to enjoy a free, family-friendly Halloween celebration! The eerie festivities will include trick-or-treating throughout the Liberty Station district, live music and entertainment, food and drink, and lots of spooky “Boo!” moments.
  10. San Diego Speedboat Adventures
    When: October 1-31
    Where: 1450 Harbor Island Drive Suite 205, San Diego, CA 92101
    Cost: Free admission for one child with 2 paying adult tickets
    Take advantage of a Kids Free San Diego deal throughout October and enjoy the fall weather during a 13-mile boat tour around the gorgeous San Diego bay. Get a great view of Navy ships, the USS Midway, Coronado Bridge, Star of India, and the downtown skyline, plus all the marine animals that call the Harbor home.

Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups is your go-to resource for family-friendly events every month! Check out all of our articles about local events here in San Diego.

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