Halloween festivities in North County: haunted houses, ghost town, pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating

Halloween festivities are happening throughout North County
(Linda McIntosh / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Halloween festivities from haunted houses and tours of a ghost town to pumpkin picking, costume contests and trick-or-treating are planned throughout North County


Halloween festivities from haunted houses and tours of a ghost town to pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating are planned throughout North County — and the Scream Zone is back at the Del Mar Fairgrounds (aka “Scaregounds”). Here is a guide:


Bearcat BOO! Halloween Tours: Meet spooky and not-so-spooky animals during hourlong early evening flashlight tours with candy stations and apple cider at 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Oct. 22, 23, 30 and 31 at Wild Wonders, 5712 Vía Montellano. Feel free to wear your costume. Tickets are $39 for adults (ages 12+) and $20 for children (ages 5-11). Visit


Haunted Corn Maze: From 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October at the Carlsbad Strawberry Fields, 1050 Cannon Road, hosted by the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation as a fundraiser for its educational programs. Admission is $25 plus $6 entry to the Strawberry Fields. (Not intended for children under 12.) Visit

Pumpkin Plunge: Halloween-themed pool activities, games with prizes, bounce house and floating pumpkin patch for families from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 15 at Alga Norte Aquatic Center at 6565 Alicante Road. The movie “Monsters, Inc.” (Rated PG) will be shown as the sun goes down on the giant outdoor movie screen while participants float in the water. Food and beverages will be sold. Cost is $10; free for children 3 and younger.

Brick-or-Treat: Legoland California holds a Halloween celebration Saturdays through Oct. 30, with not-so-spooky entertainment, dance parties, live music, costume entertainers and trick-or-treating. Brick-or-Treat Presents Monster Party is all day and is included with park admission. Visit

Pumpkin patches are open across North County.
(Linda McIntosh / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Carlsbad Strawberry Co. Pumpkin Patch: Tractor rides, corn maze and the pumpkin patch. Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 8 at 1050 Cannon Road. Admission is $6; free for kids 5 and younger. Corn maze is $10; tractor rides, $10 or $7 for kids 6-12. There are marigold and lavender fields, a hay pyramid and farm animal petting. Visit

Trick-or-Treating at The Shoppes at Carlsbad: Families can bring kids for the event from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 and participating stores and restaurants will hand out goodies, while supplies last, at The Shoppes at Carlsbad, 2525 El Camino Real. There will be photo opportunities. Visit


Murder Mystery Beer Pairing Dinner: Second Chance Beer Co., the Carmel Mountain-based “Pups First, Drinks Second” brewery, hosts its third annual Murder Mystery Beer Pairing Dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 27. Tickets are $60; a portion benefits The Animal Pad and Second Chance Dog Rescue. Visit


Family Trick-or-Treat: Kids can put on their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 30 at participating shops in the Piazza Carmel shopping center, 3810-3890 Valley Centre Drive. There will be a craft activity area in the open-air shopping center with buckets for kids to decorate for trick-or-treating. Kids can see a magic show and get a balloon ghost or cat. Free. Visit


Pumpkin Station: Festivities include a carousel, rides, giant slides, Ferris wheel, train jump,
petting zoo and play center, along with a pumpkin patch from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31 at 15555 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Free admission and parking. Visit

Not So Scary Eco Fest: A free nature-themed Halloween family day is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16 at San Dieguito County Park, 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive. Highlights include environmentally-friendly craft-making, live animal encounters with bats, reptiles and raptors, a bounce house, and interactive nature activities. A costume contest is at noon, with prizes for Most Eco-friendly, Best Animal Theme and Most Creative. Bring your cup for coffee, lemonade, water and Jimbo’s fresh organic fruit. Reserve a spot at

Scream Zone at the Scaregrounds: The Scream Zone is back through Oct. 31 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Highlights include Haunted Hayride, Hell-Billy Hootenanny, “The Passage” labyrinth, food vendors, photo opportunities and Spirit Lounge bar. Tickets are $24.99 to $35.99 with discount deals at


Ghost Town Spooktacular: A Haunted Ghost Town will be at Heritage Ranch, 450 Quail Gardens Drive, Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 28-30, featuring 25-minute spine-chilling tours of the pranks and secrets of the departed. Family-friendly “less spine-tingling” tours are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and “horrifyingly frightening tours” are from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. led by student actors from Ovation Theatre. “The haunt tells the story of a town that rises from the dead to avenge the murder of a bride at the altar, with grave diggers, stagecoach drivers, scarecrows and others. Ticket reservations required: $20; $10 for kids ages 10 and younger. Visit

Trick-or-Treating on Pumpkin Lane: Free 20th annual Safe Trick-or-Treat is from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31. Many downtown businesses will have goodies for kids. Costumed trick-or-treaters can stroll on “Pumpkin Lane,” aka South Coast Highway 101, from Encinitas Boulevard to K Street. There will be Halloween-themed activities and games for kids in The Lumberyard Courtyard and dancing to live music of Bucket Ruckus on the courtyard stage. Treats will be provided by Mooski Snacks. Visit


Escondido High School’s Pumpkin Fest: The Escondido High School Agriculture Department will host a Pumpkinfest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Escondido High farm, 1535 N. Broadway, behind the baseball field. Highlights include tractor rides, carnival games, a petting zoo, face painting, crafts, food, plants, music and entertainment, and a classic car show. Proceeds benefit students of the school’s Agriculture Department. Free admission. Pumpkins grown by students will be sold. Visit

Harvest Party: The annual event features carnival-style games, pony rides, face painting and balloon animals from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 29 for families with children ages 2 through sixth grade at Emmanuel Faith Community Church, 639 E. 17th St. Hot dogs will be sold and there will be food trucks. Visit

Pumpkin Patch: The Farm Stand West hosts a you-pick Pumpkin Patch from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 31 at 2115 Miller Ave. A Fall Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15-16. Free admission. Visit


Howl’in Halloween Contest: Registration starts at 10 a.m. with contest from 10:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 23 at Performance K9 Training & Boarding, 279 Del Valle Drive. Prizes for best matched pair — human and pet, most scary, funniest and most creative. Entry fee is $10, benefiting the Fallbrook Animal Sanctuary. Visit

Scarecrow Days: A drive-by viewing of scarecrows runs through Oct. 31 in various neighborhoods of Fallbrook. New attractions include “Wizard of Oz” characters, Pillow Fight Kids and Ring Around The Rosy, along with the Field of Silent People and the Pumpkin Heads. Scarecrow Fall Fun Kids Zone at the Fallbrook Main Avenue Farmers Market is on Saturdays through Oct 15. Scarecrow viewing directory is at

Halloween Treats Downtown: Visit Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce member businesses and market vendors for a treat from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Main Avenue Farmers Market. Kids can wear costumes. Visit

Pumpkin picking: Pick a pumpkin from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31 (closed Mondays) at The Vineyard, 1924 E. Mission Road. Free admission, weekday specials and special events every weekend. Visit

Halloween Festival: The event featuring games, music, trick-or-treating, crafts and costume contests followed by movies in the park is set for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Fallbrook Community Center, 341 Heald Lane. Visit

Halloween Dinner Mob: The event, which includes a costume contest, is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at 127 West Social House, 127 W. Elder St. Register early at (760) 728-5845. Visit


Spooktacular Halloween: The event from 2 to 8 p.m. Oct. 29 will feature a “Trunk or Treat” and Family Movie Night at Mance Buchanon Soccer Fields. Highlights include games, crafts, a costume parade and treats for trick-or-treaters. A Halloween movie will be shown at 6 p.m. on the soccer field. Food and refreshments will be sold from local food trucks. Visit

Trunk or Treat Halloween: Trick-or-treaters will find treats hidden behind the “Halloween Tower” in the parking lot at North Coast United Methodist Church, 1501 Kelly St., starting at 6 p.m. Oct. 15. Stay for an outdoor movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” starting at dark. Visit or call (760) 439-4099.

Mission Marketplace Halloween Spooktacular: Free Halloween trick-or-treating event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 29 at Mission Marketplace, 427 College Blvd. Wear a costume. Visit

Pumpkin Patch story times: The Halloween-themed story times are at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 25 and Oct. 27 at the Mission Branch Library, 3861 Mission Ave., for toddlers and preschoolers, and 6 p.m. Oct. 25 for families at the Civic Center Library, 330 Coast Highway. There will be stories and songs. Wear your costume. Visit

Mellano Farm Stand’s Fall Festival & Spooky Fest: From 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October at the family farm, 5714 N. River Road. Highlights include tractor rides around the farm, a corn maze and pumpkin patch, along with live music, local vendors, children’s crafts and a farm stand full of farm fresh flowers and produce, including local honey. Cowboy Jack performs country music Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. Visit


Halloween Treat Trail: Children and their families can follow the Treat Trail from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31 hosted by the Poway Chamber of Commerce — it’s like a spooky scavenger hunt around town. A list and map of participating businesses will be posted. Visit

Once Upon a Hallowe’en: Stroll through the haunted halls of Old Poway Park’s Haunted House from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road. Highlights include haunted carnival games and a ride aboard the Poway Midland Railroad. Free admission; small fee for train rides, carnival games and treats. Visit

Halloween Campout for ‘little ghouls and goblins:’ A spooky ranger-led night hike for families, including a costume contest, trick-or-treating and a jack-o’-lantern craft starting at 5 p.m. Oct. 28 at Lake Poway. Register fee is $26 per car. Fishing permits and boat rentals not included; nominal fee. Register at


Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch: Assortment of pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31 at 842 Highway 78. Corn maze, corn cannon and petting zoo. Visit


Rancho Bernardo Pumpkin Farm: Train ride, corn maze, petting zoo, tractor hay wagon and pumpkin farm, along with sunflowers from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 13 and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 14-31 at 13421 Highland Valley Road. Visit


Howl-O-Ween festival: Helen Woodward Animal Center hosts its Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday in October, starting Oct. 15, and on the day before Halloween, Oct. 30, with animal encounters, trick-or-treat stations, a hay maze, crafts and face painting, a mini pumpkin patch, and a trip to the Midnight Mystery Laboratory. The festival is also offered to schools, Scout troops and play groups by appointment through Nov. 11. Visit

Family Trunk or Treat: A family-friendly Halloween event featuring decorated cars that have trunks full of candy for trick-or-treaters will be after the 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services Oct. 30 at the Village Church’s upper parking lot and playground, 6225 Paseo Delicias. Church-friendly costumes welcome. Email or visit


Family Halloween Party: The “spooktacularly” decorated Wood House at Woodland Park, 1148 Rock Springs Road, will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 28 for a Halloween party with games, crafts, activities and goodies. Register at

Breakfast With The Littlest Pumpkin: Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and orange juice or coffee, served from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Oct. 22 with carnival games at the San Marcos Community Center, 3 Civic Center Drive. Admission is $7. Register at


Bates’ Pumpkin Patch: Hayrides, straw maze, a petting corral and pony rides, along with food and lots of pumpkins and gourds through Oct. 31 at Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Valley Woods Road. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with free parking and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free admission and $8 parking on October weekends. Pony rides, $12; interactive petting zoo, $4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in October. Visit

Howl-o-Ween Doggie Costume Contest & Parade: Bring your dog costume for the costume contest and parade Oct. 22 at Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Valley Woods Road. Prizes will be awarded to the top dogs. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m. Judging and parade begin at 11 a.m. Parking is $8. Visit


Halloween Family Fun: Free trick-or-treat event from 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 27 in the parking lot of the Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Drive. Kid-friendly crafts, goodies, display of fire engines and squad cars. Visit

Track or Treat: The event is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 22-23 during the final weekend of this year’s Fall Antique Engine & Tractor Show at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave. Highlights include a gas engine row startup, an antique equipment parade, tractor games on the parade route; demonstrations on weaving, spinning, blacksmithing and woodworking, along with milling. Pumpkin piñata, candy, prizes and pumpkin patch. Admission is $8; adults ages 65 and older, $7; kids ages 6-12, $5; and free for kids younger than 6 and active-duty military. Visit

Scarecrow contest at festival: Alta Vista Botanical Gardens’ 14th Fall Fun Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 at 1270 Vale Terrace Drive. The free event includes a scarecrow contest, pumpkin painting, children’s crafts and activities, a plant sale, Music by Vic (guitar and song), craft vendors and food vendors, including the Amigos de Vista Lions barbecue lunch. Scarecrows for the contest must be made at home. Register and pick up scarecrow supplies at the Children’s Garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 8 or Oct. 15. Participant’s deposit of $10 covers the scarecrow’s armature (sticks), a head, stuffing and clothing. The $5 will be returned when the completed scarecrow is brought back to the gardens. Bring the scarecrow to the gardens for judging from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 14 or 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 15. Homemade scarecrows (created with your own supplies) can also be registered for the contest for $5 on those days. Visit

Trunk or Treat for military families: The nonprofit Foundation for Women Warriors holds a free Halloween Trunk or Treat for active-duty military members, veterans and their families from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at 1185 Park Center Drive. Register at

To add a community Halloween event, email