October 27, 2023
The fall season in San Diego might not bring the same crisp temperatures and colorful leaves as other parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in festive fun! The appealing weather and fun local culture make it an ideal destination for fall family events. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, here are 7 exciting ideas for unforgettable fall family outings in sunny San Diego.
Balboa Park is a gold mine of cultural and recreational opportunities, and Fall Family Day is no exception. Usually held in late October, this event transforms the park into a fall wonderland with pumpkin decorating, live entertainment, and large selection of food vendors. Kids can explore the botanical gardens and museums while the adults enjoy the beautiful architecture and surroundings.
If you don’t mind heading an hour east of San Diego, you will find the charming town of Julian. The annual Apple Days Festival is a fantastic event. Running through September and October, this event is a celebration of all things apple. Families can pick their own apples, eat delicious apple pies, and sip on fresh-pressed cider. The kids will love hayrides, petting zoos, and live music in this cute little mountain town.
For a fun theme park Halloween experience, head to LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad. During the month of October, the park transforms into a spooky yet super kid-friendly destination. Families can participate in the Brick-or-Treat Trail, costume contests, and enjoy special Halloween-themed shows. Plus, the park’s signature Miniland gets a Halloween makeover with LEGO pumpkin heads and themed areas!
San Diego offers plenty of pumpkin patches and corn mazes throughout the fall season. Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center is a popular destination for families, offering not only pumpkins but also tractor hayrides, pony rides, and a farm animal corral. The pumpkin patch & corn maze at the Carlsbad Strawberry Company right off I-5 is a fantastic option! Other options include Oma’s Pumpkin Patch and Pumpkin Station, where you can enjoy classic fall activities and make cherished memories.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, located in Escondido, hosts an annual Harvest Festival featuring animal encounters, pumpkin-themed treats, and live entertainment. Families can enjoy the park’s unique landscapes while celebrating the season in a fun and educational way.
As the sun sets earlier, it’s the perfect time to venture into San Diego’s haunted attractions. For older kids and teens seeking a spookier experience, check out The Haunted Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter or the Scream Zone in Del Mar. There are also more family-friendly options like the Haunted Birch Aquarium’s Haunted Aquarium. On Halloween night, festive neighborhoods like Encinitas Ranch, Bressi Ranch and San Elijo Hills have some outstanding haunted houses, decor and fall family events to check out.
San Diego’s beaches are a year-round draw, and fall is no exception. Enjoy a day of building sandcastles, surfing, or just taking a walk along the shore. The water is still warm enough for a dip, and the beach crowds have thinned out, making it a fun and enjoyable experience for the entire family.
Fall in San Diego may not bring chilly weather, but it does offer tons of fall family events and activities to enjoy. Whether you’re carving pumpkins or taking in the sights, there’s no shortage of ways to make the most of the season with your friends and family.
On a side note, fall is also one of my busiest seasons for family photography. If you are looking to capture some beautiful yearly photos at one of San Diego’s picturesque locations, don’t hesitate to reach out through my website! You can also check out a recent family blog post for some tips! I’d love to capture some memories for you!
Tristan Quigley Photography specializes in luxury maternity, newborn & family photography in San Diego, California and the surrounding areas including Carlsbad, Encinitas and La Jolla.
Our portrait studio is located at:
7040 Avenida Encinias #205
Carlsbad, CA 92011