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Things to Do This Weekend in San Diego

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 10/1/2021 Alysia Gray Painter
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There's always something fun to do in America's Finest City. Our Weekend Events guide is here to help. Get up. Get out. Play!

What to Know

  • Our Weekend Events guide publishes each Friday on The Scene section of
  • Like our mission always, our guide will do its best to span the county -- north, south, east, and west -- to bring you fun, fresh, and affordable things to do in San Diego
  • Follow @TheSceneSD on Twitter or here for the latest stories on things to do around San Diego

Saturday, Oct. 2


Kids Free San DiegoTimes and locations varyIt's that golden, heart-gladdening, mood-raising, let's-have-an-adventure time of year again, when oodles (yes, literally "oodles") of local museums, hotels, and restaurants waive admission and offer discounts for visiting kids. Have the tots been wanting to breeze by San Diego Zoo? That's a freebie, for kids ages 3 to 11, throughout October 2021 (yep, they should be accompanied by an adult who has purchased admission). Been talking about whale watching for a good long time? There are boat trips ahead, ones where your youngsters can board for free. In fact, there are over 100 pursuits, pastimes, places to dine, attractions, and cultural centers offering sweet October deals; check them out now.


Adams Avenue Alive

1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.; Kensington (two locations)

When October arrives? We're longing for lovely twang-a-tude, for the strum of a great guitar, for a ditty we can tap the toes to and hum on our way home. And if we're getting all of that for free? Oh, the songs can seem even sweeter. But here's something that's even higher on the sweet scale: This get-moving music series will take place over three October weekends at three locations along Adams Avenue. On Saturday, Oct. 2? Blind Mountain Holler is playing in the early afternoon at Kensington Library Park while The Oxen are on stage at 30th and Adams in the early evening. As merrily mentioned, entry is free.

Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Days

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Rancho Santa Fe What's a Halloween fan to do when they also are completely besotted with beasties? And we don't just mean the werewolves and fantastical figures seen in spooky stories; we're talking turtles, alpacas, and other shell-rocking, furry-fab animals. The solution? Make for an outdoor gathering that has both October oomph and "hands-on animal encounters," meaning you could meet a miniature horse, hermit crab, or another cool critter. The Helen Woodward Animal Center is the place for this wholesome happening, which will be popping up throughout the month. Your entry? It is $40, which gets a family of four inside (add an additional person to your group for $10).

Untappd Beer Festival

11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m; Downtown San Diego

Sipping a host of hopsy masterpieces from a line-up of artisanal libation makers? A beer buff can't always find a situation where there are lots of fine brews to try, in an airy setting. But when that location is found (Petco Park) and the timing is just right (the glorious start of October), you may want to purchase your admission at once. Several regional and Golden State greats will be appearing at this mondo meet-up, including East Brother Beer Company, Around the Horn Brewing Company, and North Park Beer Company. Your ticket in? It's $65, but best get it soon, as spots are selling out.

Westin Carlsbad + the Carlsbad Pumpkin PatchTimes vary; Carlsbad

Searching for a spectacular squash can be a tiring affair. After all, you'll want to eye a bevy of stem shapes, gently thump a few exteriors, and determine if you want to go super-orange for your jack o'lantern or ghostly white. The Westin Carlsbad can help you get the rest you need for this adventure, thanks to Fall Kids Eat Free Package. Not only are there perks at the inn, including free breakfast for youngsters 12 and under, but families can enjoy a free shuttle, plus free entry, to The Carlsbad Pumpkin Patch. Upping the atmos for the teens in your group? A haunted maze on Fridays and Saturday nights. The package starts at $349 a night.

Sunday, Oct. 3

San Diego Restaurant Week Times and locations vary Trying every prix fixe meal in the region over this multi-day dining-stravaganza, which is like an extravaganza only full of fabulous foodstuffs? That just can't be done, not in the way that time and space are currently configured. But if you want to eat at a couple of restaurants you've been eager to check out, you still have time, as the final day for the current sup-around spectacular is Sunday, Oct. 3. Several spots are participating, including Great Maple Dinette in Hillcrest, Del's Hideout in Mission Valley, and Poseidon Restaurant in Del Mar. You can also search by cuisine type, if you're hankering for something specific (and aren't we all, whatever the hour or day).

Bloody Sunday Dark Wave Lunch 12:30 p.m.; North Park

Oh hello there, October, the spookiest of all the -ber months. While plenty of people will jumpstart their jumps and startles later in the month, there's a way to find the month's quintessential mood early on, all while sipping fine suds, too. Just make for Bivouac Ciderworks on Sunday, Oct. 3 for a goth-good grub fest, one that involves spooky doughnuts from Nomad Donuts, sparkling cider, Bloody Marys, and plenty of Dark Wave tunes (you just might hear your favorite hits from The Cure, Dead Can Dance, and other great bands of the October-perfect genre). Don't forget to wear your goth-iest duds, too. Entry is free, food and drink is additional.

Find Fall Fun TimesTimes and locations vary

It's totally true that autumn high jinks definitely do rev up well before fall has officially arrived around San Diego. You can find the occasional patch o' pumpkins, and haunted house, and chilling ghost tour at the end of summer, if you're game, but if you've been waiting for the start of the spookiest season to get your gourd search on? You're in luck: It's here. Bates Nut Farm is now open for seekers of squashes, while SeaWorld San Diego's Howl-O-Scream is making an eeky splash. Find your fall go-outs and eerie ideas on the Fall 2021 Guide now.

Encinitas Oktoberfest10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Encinitas

Have you been practicing your chicken dance? It's time to step that up, for this stein time is ready to celebrate 25 years. The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce is at the helm, there shall be live German music, and a street fair, too, to add authentic charm. German food, too, shall be for sale, and beers as well, and visiting a family fun zone? That can be part of the day, if you have tots in tow. However you plan to celebrate, whether it is with foam, festive dancing, or simply a stroll by all of the autumnal offerings, here's something worth "Prost!"-ing over: Admission is totally free.

StockzillaTimes vary; Santee Lake

Some anglers swear by "Fishmas," which traditionally arrives near the end of April, while others look to a fish-tacular fall. After all, being lakeside in the autumn can be a marvelously mellow experience, giving those looking to commune with the water, and what it holds, a cheerfully chill-out day. But don't chill out too much: Stockzilla at Santee Lakes is unfolding over the first weekend in October, which means you'll have a chance to cast a line in waves fully brimming with catfish. For information on camping, visiting, and all you need to know before you pack up your gear, click.

Listen/subscribe to the Scene in San Diego podcast to get the latest local lifestyle stories and news from our local food and drink scene. As we continue to adjust to life (back and forth, back and forth) in these times of the coronavirus pandemic, the way we enjoy our city has changed. We’ll keep you up to speed on how those changes impact the things you love to do in our city. Tap here to find Scene in San Diego wherever you listen to podcasts.


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