It’s officially fall in San Diego and despite the warmer weather and sunny skies, there are plenty of fall festivities happening around town to celebrate Autumn! From apple picking to Dia de los Muertos, these six fall activities will get you into the fall spirit.
Day Trip To Julian
The historic gold mining town, Julian, is fun to explore year-round, but their most popular time of the year is the fall. Located about an hour north of downtown San Diego, Julian is a great spot for apple picking season, which typically runs from late August through October.
Popular “U-Pick” businesses include Volcan Valley Apple Farm (1284 Julian Orchards Dr.). Volcan Valley Apple Farm is open Friday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You pay $15 for a bag that you can fill with apples (about 6 pounds), and this includes admission. Kids 5 and under get in free. The farm features seven varieties of apples, most ripening through mid-September.
Julian Farm and Orchard specializes in U-pick berries (strawberries, raspberries), apples, and pumpkins. The orchard also offers seasonal activities like hayrides, apple cider-pressing, bouquet-making, and ax-throwing. There’s a $10 minimum purchase of tickets per person to enter (which can be used for activities, picking, and merch); parking is free.
It is best to check the websites or call ahead before making the trek east. Apple farms will close if all the apples have been picked.
Oktoberfest is on October 7th from 10am to 6pm and will feature live German music, brats and beer, desserts, bingo every hour, a pie/cake walk, carnival games, a silent auction, raffles and more. More info here.
On your way out of Julian, be sure to grab a pie from Julian Pie Company.
Bates Nut Farm
The picturesque North County family farm, known as Bates Nut Farm has been attracting visitors for over 50 years now. Families can grab a wheelbarrow and pick their own pumpkins to take home!
Pumpkin patch activities include tractor hayrides, straw maze, petting corral and pony rides. There is also kettle corn, food trucks and lots of additional kids’ activities like a rock-climbing wall, petting zoo and pony rides. No admission fees on weekdays, $8 entry per car on weekends.
Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND California
LEGOLAND Brick or Treat Party Nights is a family-friendly nighttime Halloween event that takes place on select evenings in the fall at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad. Guests are encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy spooktacular sweets, meet-and-greets with exclusive creepy-cool LEGO® Halloween monsters, larger-than-afterlife LEGO® build activities, limited time seasonal themed snacks PLUS BOO-tastic nightly fireworks to create the ultimate family Halloween celebration– all included with regular day admission and select Annual Passes.
Dia De Los Muertos at Old Town
Each fall, Old Town celebrates Mexican culture and those who have passed away with a giant Dia De Los Muertos party. The festivities usually take place November 1st and 2nd and include a traditional candlelight procession that starts at the Old Town entrance at San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street and ends at the historic El Campo Santo Cemetery.
Originating in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a celebration to remember and honor those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near cemeteries are filled with decorations, flowers, candy calaveras and parades. Mexican families create special altars displaying offerings of food, candles, incense, yellow marigolds and photos of departed loved ones.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Test out your puzzle solving skills and take a trip through the corn maze at Carlsbad Strawberry Company. For $10 per person, this is a great way to bond as a family and laugh your way out of the maze. The Strawberry Company also offers an apple cannon, rides, games and food on the weekend. Test out your puzzle solving skills and take a trip through our corn maze – it’s a great way to laugh and bond as a family, and it’s a great date activity. With 1.5 miles of trail, you can be sure that you’ll be challenged, but not so much so that’ll you’ll be stumped. The maze is open 7 days a week 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
And if you’re looking for something scarier, check out the haunted maze. The haunted maze is perfect for teenagers and adults, guaranteed to get your heart thumping. It is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., so make sure you plan accordingly to get your fix of a good Halloween scare! Admission is $25 per person.
Visit a Haunted San Diego Location
Over 200 years old, The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. It seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished, and the lighthouse decommissioned.
Many have held to the belief that they have personally witnessed heavy footsteps emanating from the upper rooms of the lighthouse. Other accounts have come from guests who have felt extreme drops in temperature mostly felt at the entry landing that leads up to its spiral staircase.
Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. Situated in the Cabrillo National Monument, it is now open to the public as a museum.
If you happen to visit San Diego around Halloween or anytime for that matter and want a little scare, be sure to visit to one of these five locations and uncover why San Diego is surprisingly one of the nation’s most haunted city’s.