San Diego Weekend Guide: Oct. 27-29 – Halloween/Día de los Muertos Edition

Día de los Muertos decorations were displayed in City Height at a celebration.
It’s not just Halloween weekend. Día de los Muertos will be celebrated in City Heights, Chula Vista and more. Photo by Chris Stone

Get ahead of the game this San Diego weekend as Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebrations converge a few days ahead of the actual big days.

But first two films that match up just so for the weekend.

Before Hollywood gore-fests came to be, there was Psycho. Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills screens the 1960 Hitchcock classic just in time for Halloween, with showtimes at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The basics? A troubled woman hides out in a hotel. She meets a young man. And we never looked at showers the same again. General admission costs $18.

The Empire Strikes Back is Darth Vader’s big moment and he is a popular dude on Halloween. Seems fitting that the Rady Shell hosts the San Diego Symphony Orchestra performing composer John Williams’ Grammy-winning score live to the film many regard as the best in the Star Wars franchise. Tickets for the show, at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, start at $42.

Mix and match Halloween and Día de los Muertos fun this weekend: (to dig deeper into the season, especially the scary parts, see Halloween in San Diego: Chills and Thrills for 2023)

  • Shiver to spooky tunes from classical music to film favorites at Candlelight Open Air’s “Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics” at Mount Helix Park in La Mesa. At 8 p.m. Friday and Sunday. Tickets start at $53.
  • City Heights hosts its annual Día de los Muertos fest at Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, with altars, a Catrina contest, fun zone and entertainment. The free event starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.
  • Dance into the night at the Epic Halloween Festival at Waterfront Park, featuring Sander Van Doorn, Fatum and Oskier. Tickets for the house, techno and trance fest, at 2 p.m. Saturday, start at $50.
  • Chula Vista’s Día de los Muertos celebration, 3 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Park, includes a community altar, live music and dance at three different locations, kids crafts, vendors by Las Jefas Market, photo ops throughout the neighborhood and a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s Book of Life at 7:30 p.m.
  • The Spreckels Organ Society hosts its free Halloween concert at 6:30 p.m. Saturday with the Phantom of the Opera accompanied by the organ, silent scary movies and dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
  • The Solana Vista/Skyline Halloween Carnival in Solana Beach offers games, raffles, pony rides, a petting zoo and a costume contest. There also will be food from community partners and a bake sale. At 11 a.m. Sunday.
  • The Old Globe offers its free Día de los Muertos celebration with Danza Azteca Kuauhkoatl, the coLAB play Cuentos de el Altar performance, Las Cancioneras, Drummers Without Borders and San Diego Puppetry. At 11 a.m. Sunday in Balboa Park.
  • Seaport Village pairs its Halloween Town Costume Party with pumpkin carving and a petting zoo. The latter begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, followed by the noon party, with carnival activities, games and dancing hosted by Beetlejuice.
  • Barrio Logan’s Día de los Muertos fest starts at noon Sunday, with performances by Tropa Magica, Maiz, Cumbia Machin and more. Enter at Logan Avenue and S. Evans Street.