Bust out the creative costumes, faux spider webs and Jack-o-lanterns – Halloween is here, and there's certainly no shortage of fun and spooky Halloween-themed events happening around San Diego.
• San Diego Monster Bash (Saturday, Oct. 26 – 6 p.m. to midnight): Celebrate Halloween 2013 with this massive annual block party, which spans eight blocks along downtown San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter. The (21+) Monster Bash – accessed through Market and 6th Avenue -- includes three stages, DJs, 10 bars and thousands of partygoers dressed in outrageous costumes. The party’s “World Famous Costume Contest” offers a $5,000 grand prize to the best outfit of the night.
• Haunted W San Diego (Saturday, Oct. 26 – 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.): Ring in Halloween with this nighttime party at downtown’s posh W Hotel featuring DJs, two dance floors and a VIP lounge.
• SoundDiego LIVE’s October Spooktacular (Thursday, Oct. 31 - begins at 7 p.m.): North Park’s popular bar, The Office, will host this (21+) SoundDiego music event, which includes sets by punk pop powerhouse the Frights, the Garage 2 Glory battle-of-the bands winner (Gloomsday and Love & the Skull will face off) and a surprise special guest headliner (to be announced Sept. 29). Also, some scary good costume prizes and a VIP happy hour from Jack Daniel’s will top off this party.
• Halloween PubCrawl San Diego (Thursday, Oct. 31 – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.): Grab a few spirits on the spookiest day of the year by joining Halloween PubCrawl San Diego, a (21+) tour highlighting some of the best bars – and drink specials – in downtown’s Gaslamp area. Revelers are encouraged to wear costumes as they make their way from pub to pub.
• The Haunted Hotel: Zombie clowns, hanging out with Jason from “Friday the 13th,” riding on something called the “Hellevator.” It’s all in a day’s work at The Haunted Hotel located at 424 Market St. The annual downtown haunt is open Sept. 27 through Nov. 2, and Halloween night is sure bring in a bevy of brave souls who just love being scared. Ticket prices range from $15-$27.
• The Scream Zone Del Mar: A paintball war against zombies, a House of Horrors boasting 12 different “devious dens" and a haunted hayride? Those are just a few of the main attractions at The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Scaregrounds located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. The Scream Zone is open Sept. 27 through Nov. 2, including Halloween night. Tickets range from $17-$30, plus $20-$25 for Zombie Paintball.
• The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park: The Haunted Trail is a stroll – or, more likely, a brisk, frightened walk – through Balboa Park that you’ll never forget. The mile-long trail through a twisted grove of pines and gnarled oaks will have you glancing over your shoulder a lot, scanning the area for spooky surprises. The Haunted Trail runs Sept. 27 through Nov. 2, including Halloween night. Ticket prices range from $15-$32.
• Old Town San Diego Trick-or-Treat (Thursday, Oct. 31): Free goodies from merchants at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park make this a unique trick-or-treating experience for the family. Kids can enjoy special holiday treats and activities, while parents enjoy extended shopping hours within the park. This event is free.
• Balboa Park Halloween Family Day 2013 (Saturday, Oct. 26 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.): Over a dozen museums at Balboa Park will treat children 12 and under to free admission with paid adult admission during the 5th annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day. Participating museums will also present special, spooky activities, tours, storytelling and other goodies.
• Haunting Tales from Our Seafaring Past at Star of India (Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26 – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.): Ghosts, goblins, pirates and princesses alike will love this scary storytelling session aboard the Star of India as storytellers reveal the eerie legends of the past and tales of ghostly encounters. Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes, and creepy treats will be handed out to all who attend. The Haunting Tales are included with Maritime Museum admission ($16 per ticket for adults, $8 per ticket for kids 4-12, kids 3 and under free).
• Spooky Sleepover at the San Diego Zoo (Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 – 4 p.m. to 9 a.m.): Get into the spirit of the Halloween season with a Spooky Sleepover at the San Diego Zoo led by ghostly camp director, Dr. Zoolittle. Participants get to make their own personalized treat bags and take an exclusive bus tour to visit some scary and strange animals. Families will then settle in for the night at “haunted” Camp Timbuktu where they can partake in a costume parade, ghost stories, dinner, snacks around the campfire and an optional night prowl through the Zoo. Tickets cost $139 per adult and $119 per child (ages 4-11), plus Zoo admission for nonmembers.
• SeaWorld San Diego Halloween Spooktacular (Weekends, Sept. 28 – Oct. 27): SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular includes special shows, fun activities, photo ops with wacky characters and gob of ghoulish goodies. Kids are encouraged to come to the park in their costumes. The Halloween Spooktacular is included with park admission ($64 per person).
• Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND (Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26 – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.): Held every Saturday in October, the Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND boasts several special areas open late, including Miniland USA, Land of Adventure and Castle Hill. Activities include a dance party, the “Mail Order Monsters Show,” a live performance from a group called The Witchettes, a magic show and a costume contest. The event is free with paid one-day admission to the park ($59 per person).
• 7th Annual October Gaslamp Zombiewalk (Saturday, Oct. 26 – 5:30 p.m.): Throw on your best zombie makeup and costume and stroll with the undead at the 7th Annual October Gaslamp Zombiewalk in downtown San Diego. Zombies of all ages will meet at Children’s Park on Island Avenue, between 1st and Front Street, and walk around the Gaslamp area. If you’re a spectator, don’t worry, these undead folks don’t bite.