Top things to do with kids in San Diego in the Fall
By Mimi Slawoff
Experience fall with the kids in San Diego. (Flickr: Ryan and Sarah Deeds)
Summer crowds and hot temperatures have faded with the sun, slowly replaced with mild weather and fabulous family-friendly fall festivities. Round up the kids for live football games (go Chargers!), fall festivals, apple picking and farm-themed activities at nearby orchards.
Here’s a sample of fun fall activities in the San Diego area to enjoy with kids.
(TRIP PLAN: Find out how one MiniTime family spent their San Diego Vacation.)
San Diego Chargers Football Game
San Diego Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium (Flickr: Evan Gearing)
Are you ready for some football? Catch a San Diego Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. Food and the roar of the crowd add to the excitement of a live football game (no matter who you’re cheering). A designated family parking area is perfect for those who choose to tailgate without alcohol. Permits can be purchased in advance, on a seasonal basis, for $20 per game. There’s also a family section where alcohol and abusive language are not allowed. Kids ID bracelets marked with seat locations are available at any Guest Services location.
LEGOLAND California Brick-or-Treat Party Nights
LEGOLAND California Brick-or-Treat Party Nights (Legoland California)
Calling all little monsters, mermaids, witches, robots and pirates for a not-too-spooky Halloween festival featuring costume contests, nighttime trick-or-treating on the Brick-or-Treat Trail, live music, entertainment and fireworks every Saturday evening in October (plus Friday Oct. 17 and 24) in Legoland California. Separate event ticket required.
Gaslamp Quarter Fall Back Festival
Every November, three blocks in downtown are transformed into a western town depicting San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter in the 1880s. Watch blacksmith demonstrations and pan for gold. The event also features live music, children’s arts and crafts, food and spaghetti-, pie- and ice cream-eating contests.
Julian Fall Apple Harvest
Autumn is prime time to visit this historic gold mining town, located about an hour east of San Diego. See brilliant fall foliage, pan for gold, press cider and pick pumpkins and apples. Learn about Julian’s gold mining history on a one-hour guided tour through the1870s Eagle and High Peak Mine. At the Julian Mining Company you can pan for gems and ride in a hay wagon. Julian is also known for its delicious apple pies.
(MORE: Look for great kid-friendly hotels to stay in San Diego during your fall vacation.)
Harvest Festival Original Art & Craft Shows
Taking place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, this annual event is among the largest art and gift shows on the US West Coast. The event includes gourmet food samplings, live music, a Kidzone and more than 300 artists and crafts Oct. 17 – 19.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular (SeaWorld)
Shamu and the gang get into the spirit of Halloween with animal meet and greets, special Halloween shows and colorful costumed characters at SeaWorld. “Countdown to Halloween” at Sesame Street’s Bay of Play musical stage features Count Von Count, Elmo and friends. Kids are encouraged to come in costume and use their Spooktacular maps to trick or treat for gobs of ghoulish treats at sea-themed stations. Event included with park admission.