How to Halloween in San Diego

Approximately a 2 minute read

Okay, I am not a Halloween person. Judging by the amount of effort my neighbors are putting into decorations (more than Christmas it seems), Halloween is actually gaining in popularity as a holiday as the years go by. Although October 31st is on a Tuesday this year, there are plenty of opportunities to get the pants scared off of you leading up to the Big Night. Read on for Halloween in San Diego…

Nighttime Palm Trees
Image by Agencia de Noticias ANDES on flickr

The Haunted Trail ($25) gets points from me due to its convenient location in Balboa Park. I also give them the award for best radio commercial. Their radio slogan: “Haunted Trail dot net. Because we couldn’t get dot com.” A couple of years I took a hike in Balboa Park while the trail was being set up and I was very impressed with how extensive it is.

The Haunted Hotel ($19) is a little cheaper than the Haunted Trail and is located in the Gaslamp (downtown). You can add on a parking pass when you buy the ticket online—now that is handy. The Haunted Hotel has been featured on the Travel Channel, so that sounds promising… If you’re into haunted stuff. As for me, I’ll be sitting at home watching Casper. 

If you just want to party while wearing a costume, the annual 91X Boos Cruise ($20, $10 earlybird) is almost an institution at this point. Taking place on a Hornblower cruise in the San Diego Bay, the music will not disappoint and the costume contest has some awesome prizes.

The Scream Zone is the big one in San Diego county. Located up at the Del Mar fairgrounds, their ticket features the “triple haunt:” a haunted hayride, house of horror, and “karnevil” (carnival). Seems like the most scare for your money ($33), if you ask me.

The Whaley House in Old Town San Diego isn’t just haunted during Halloween, it is rumored to be a real haunted house. Visit the house/museum (prices vary) and decide for yourself. Hours extended during Halloween.

I can’t forget to mention Knott’s Scary Farm ($42 & up) which is not in San Diego county, but is a classic October event (the biggest in Southern California). Knott’s transforms their whole theme park for the month including 13 mazes (good lord) in addition to their rollercoasters. They keep up with current trends in horror culture while including old, terrifying, favorites as well.

You can also find a list of more family-friendly Halloween events at the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website.

What are your plans for Halloween? 


Staci blogs about travel at


1 Response

  1. Loved the “Boos” Cruise clever! Sounds like Halloween is definitely gaining in popularity. I personally love the holiday, the spooky vibes, and everything that comes along with it. Cazzie on the other hand….does not. He hates being scared so I’m trying to convince him to go to a haunted house with me to no avail. Ha!

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