San Diego Weekend Guide: Oct. 13-15 – Friday the 13th edition

Coronado historic hotels beachfront
A grand old gal, the Hotel del Coronado, marks her 135th anniversary this weekend and there’s a shindig to celebrate. Photo credit: Screen shot, hoteldel.com/

So, Friday the 13th. You’re either, meh or completely skeeved. But when a Friday the 13th falls in October? It’s a great chance to start celebrating Halloween early, and this San Diego weekend you won’t lack for opportunities.

The Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Show begins at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with hundreds of artisans and their handmade best – almost certainly a few Halloween decorations – including jewelry, clothing, specialty foods, photos, original art, woodwork and more. Doors open at 10 a.m. Friday and the show remains in Del Mar through Sunday. General admission is $9.

For Swifties who didn’t make the Eras Tour, Friday the 13th isn’t all bad. This is the first weekend Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is in theaters and AMC will mark the occasion with a free festival in its Mission Valley Center courtyard. The fest, which opens at 4 p.m., includes a DJ playing you-know-who, bracelet bead bar, photo moments and a prize wheel with gifts from mall stores, Bath & Body Works and Francesca’s among them.

The Gaslamp Museum wholeheartedly embraces the Friday the 13th spirit, inviting the fearless to “downtown San Diego’s most haunted building” at 7 p.m. Learn about popular spirit hunting methods and hear ghost stories straight from those who’ve lived them. There will be a fortune teller and tattoo station too. Tickets cost $45.

You also may lean into Friday the 13th with La Experiencia at Fiesta del Reyes in Old Town. The month-long celebration of Dia de los Muertos, through Nov. 2, includes face painters, art demonstrations, live entertainment, traditional and contemporary altars and a host of vibrant Catrinas holding court.

You can head to the historic Hotel del Coronado for spooky or classic reasons Friday and Saturday:

  • Ghost Roast – try a beach bonfire with a supernatural flair, while roasting s’mores and trading ghost stories (perhaps about the Hotel del’s own resident specter, Kate Morgan). Roasts continue at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. daily through Halloween.
  • Seaside Victorian Carnival – enjoy the throwback vibes as the hotel celebrates 135 years with a free beachside fest. See strolling performers, tight-rope walkers and sandcastles, while playing old-timey carnival games and indulging in caramel apples, chocolate kettle corn, corn dogs, giant pretzels and more. The fun starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

If Friday the 13th doesn’t impress you, how about an eclipse? The Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park hosts a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party early Saturday. The celestial phenomenon commences at 8:09 a.m. and its climax will be visible from San Diego at 9:26 a.m. Eclipse activities will continue throughout the day at the museum.

Who doesn’t want to sit behind the wheel of a fire truck? The city of Chula Vista offers up the opportunity at a Saturday open house at Fire Station 5, 341 Orange Ave. There will be tours, demonstrations, music, food and activities for youngsters at the event, at 10 a.m.

How about another big anniversary? The San Diego Serbian Festival celebrates its 50th beginning at noon Saturday. Tuck into authentic cuisine and desserts, and enjoy live music and folk dancing, along with an open market. Head to St. George-Serbian Orthodox Church in Bay Park where there will be tours too.