With just over a week to go before Halloween, haunts are coming fast and furious now. Fall is in full effect this San Diego weekend and a bounty of boos (and beers) is up for grabs throughout the county.
(Note: for a full slate of Halloween goodness, see Halloween in San Diego: Chills & Thrills for 2023.)
The free Haunt Fest on Main takes over Main Street in El Cajon Friday, from Magnolia Avenue to where Avocado Avenue and Ballentyne Street meet. Dress up for the costume contest, pick the plumpest pumpkin, follow the candy trail and enjoy music on two stages, starting at 4 p.m.
Ovation Theatre and Heritage Ranch offer their annual family friendly Haunted Ghost Town at San Dieguito Heritage Museum in Encinitas beginning Friday. Visitors are transported to Bitter Gulch to confront the souls who have remained trapped there since the Gold Rush. There’s magicians, trick or treating and festival games too. Tickets cost $22 for adults and $12 for children. The production opens at 5 p.m. nightly and continues through Oct. 30.
Another Encinitas option: San Diego Botanic Garden hosts its annual Fall Festival Family Day at 10 a.m Saturday with a pumpkin display in Hamilton Children’s Garden, fall crafts, music from Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters and a boo-tanical costume parade. And slimy worms too. Garden admission starts at $18.
Decorated lowriders for Halloween? National City has ’em at Kimball Park for Trunk or Treat at noon Saturday. There’s free treats, a costume contest at 3 p.m. and prizes for the best decorated trunks.
The Rancho Beernardo Festival begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, with unlimited 2-ounce pours, local wines, food and music at Webb Park. More than 30 breweries are set for the fest, including Black Plague Brewing, California Wild Ales, Mason Ale Works and Cerveza Xteca. Tickets start at $65.
More beer? Head east for Santee Brews and Bites, starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Town Center Community Park. Tickets start at $35. There will be drinks from more than a dozen breweries, vineyards and more, and bites from more than 20 eateries. Proceeds benefit the Santee Teen Center, park projects and the Recreation Scholarship Program.
George Clinton brings Parliament/Funkadelic, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, to the Epstein Family Amphitheater at UC San Diego at 8 p.m. Saturday. Fans can see the R&B/funk trailblazer while also celebrating the venue’s one-year anniversary. UCSD alum DJ Shammy Dee opens at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $45.
Maraya Performing Arts in Chula Vista hosts an arts and culture summit, along with a blood drive, at its home studio in Eastlake, 11 a.m. Sunday. Enjoy Filipino food, children’s arts classes, and a preview of a dance theater tour, performed by Maraya’s professional company. Tickets for young participants start at $69, and for parents, $49.