Parks and Rec

Get into the Halloween Spirit at County Parks

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Halloween is coming and County Parks has tons of tricks and treats for visitors this month. Happenings include haunted hikes, creepy crafts and a Day of the Dead celebration. Most events are free, though some have parking fees.

Rain may cancel these events—call for details.

Spooky Trails at Hellhole Canyon County Preserve

Have a spooktacular time at the 15th Annual Spooky Trails and movie screening at Hellhole Canyon. Brave the haunted trails, carve a pumpkin and enter the costume contest. Fangtastic prizes will be awarded for the best jack-o’-lanterns and costumes in the following categories: funniest, scariest, prettiest and most original. Stay to watch Hotel Transylvania 2 under the moonlight. *The Spooky Trail is not for scaredy cats. The movie is for ghosts and goblins of all ages.

  • Address: 19324 Santee Lane, Valley Center
  • Phone: 760-742-1631
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
  • Time: 4 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Fee: Free
  • Ages: All

Crafting for Bats at Lake Morena County Park

Join Ranger Kelly as you create a bat habitat to house a furry, flying friend. Bats will eat up to 6,000-8,000 mosquito-sized insects a night—that’s one ravenous beast! Participants will be using basic hand tools to craft a wooden box to take home as well as learn that bats aren’t as spooky as they seem. Parental supervision required.

  • Address: 2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo
  • Phone: 619-579-4101
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
  • Time: 2 – 3 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee/free for campers
  • Ages: 12 and older

Haunted Trail at Oakoasis County Preserve

A spirit guide will lead you on a hike through the dark woods to see natural and supernatural creatures! Brave hikers should meet in the parking lot. After the terrifying trek, check out the mystical moon and stars with the San Diego Astronomy Association. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Bring a flashlight and an adult. Hikers are encouraged to wear their eerie or cheery Halloween costume.

  • Address: 12620 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside
  • Phone: 619-561-0580
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
  • Time: 6:30 – 8 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee
  • Age: All

Haunted Trails at Dos Picos County Park

Find out what lurks in the shadows after dark at Dos Picos County Park. Hikes along the haunted trails are surprisingly short but cover some chillingly challenging terrain. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Spooky sights might pop up along the trail. Bring a flashlight and an adult. Meet rangers in the day-use parking lot by the light at the restroom.

Address: 17953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona

  • Phone: 760-789-2220
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
  • Time: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee
  • Age: All

Fall Festival at San Dieguito County Park

Experience the season close to the coast at the Fall Festival at San Dieguito County Park. This activity-packed event will be frighteningly fun. Planned activities include sack races, face painting, pumpkin decorating and even a pumpkin seed spitting contest.

  • Address: 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Del Mar
  • Phone: 858-755-2386
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
  • Time: noon – 2 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking
  • Ages: All

Dia de los Muertos at Guajome Adobe

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Guajome Adobe in Vista. Don’t let the sugar skulls fool you—this holiday is sweet with remembrance. The historic adobe will have offerings to remember the dead and honor ancestors, which may consist of foods, photographs, flowers, candles, toys and other symbolic offerings, created by community members. The event will include ballet folklorico performances, live traditional music, children’s activities, and food and craft vendors.

  • Address: 2210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Vista
  • Phone: 760-724-4082
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Fee: Free ages 0 to 3, $2 ages 4 to 12, $4 ages 13 and older
  • Ages: All

Agua Caliente After Dark Habitat Hike

Join park staff for a leisurely stroll through Agua Caliente Campground and view video footage of what lurks at night in open desert. Visitors will learn about nocturnal wildlife, seek out frog and bat habitats, and participate in a scorpion search. Bring a UV flashlight, park supply is limited.

  • Address: 39555 Great Southern Overland State Route of 1849, Julian *located at the base of the mountain, west of Anza Borrego Desert State Park
  • Phone: 760-765-1188
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee/free for campers
  • Ages: All

Not-So-Scary Estuary at San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center

Have a howling good time in nature this Halloween season with the return of our 6th Annual Not-So-Scary Estuary Family Discovery Day. The theme of this year’s festival is Changing Climate—there will be performances about sea level rise, a zero-waste activity and an opportunity to meet and greet some of the resident animals and visiting birds of prey at San Elijo. Kids in costume can join the parade and more fun inside and outside along the nature center loop trail. Organic fruit and lemonade will be available to guests at no cost. Park at Mira Costa College and take a free shuttle over to the lagoon.

  • Address: 2710 Manchester Ave., Cardiff-by-the-Sea
  • Phone: 760-634-3026
  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 28
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Fee: Free
  • Age: All

Hawk-tober

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In October, bird is the word at County parks. Fly over on your broomstick to one of three Hawk-tober events with up-close interactive presentations on birds of prey. Park staff will explore the fascinating lives and adaptations of these predators and teach you how to identify them in the wild and in your neighborhood. Be prepared for an opportunity to meet live hawks and falcons! Hawk-tober is for all ages.

Sweetwater Summit County Park amphitheater

  • Address: 3218 Summit Meadow Rd., Bonita
  • Phone: 619-472-7572
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
  • Time: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee
  • Ages: All

Goodan Ranch amphitheater

Address: 16281 Sycamore Canyon Road, Poway

  • Phone: 858-513-4737
  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 21
  • Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Fee: Free
  • Age: All

El Monte County Park

  • Address: 15805 El Monte Rd., Lakeside
  • Phone: 619-443-1474
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee
  • Age: All

Scary-Cool Halloween Carnivals at Community Centers

Beware: If you attend a Halloween carnival at a County community center, you will have a wicked good time. County Parks is hosting family-friendly parties at all three community centers. Come dressed to impress for an evening full of trick-or-treats, music, food, games and prizes.

Fallbrook Community Center

  • Address: 341 Heald Ave., Fallbrook
  • Phone: 760-728-1671
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 5 ‒ 7 p.m.
  • Fee: Free
  • Ages: All

Lakeside Community

  • Address: 9841 Vine St., Lakeside
  • Phone: 619-443-9176
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 5 ‒ 7 p.m.
  • Fee: Free
  • Ages: All

Spring Valley Community Center

  • Address: 8735 Jamacha Blvd., Spring Valley
  • Phone: 619-479-1832
  • Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
  • Time: 5 ‒ 7 p.m.
  • Fee: Free
  • Ages: All

Halloween Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park

Find out what all the hocus pocus is about. Pop the popcorn and round up family and friends for the season finale of Movies in the Park. All movies are rated PG and start 15 minutes after sunset. Moviegoers are encouraged to bring along blankets, chairs and snacks.

Date Location Movie
Friday, Oct. 12 Waterfront Park The Nightmare Before Christmas
Saturday, Oct. 13 Hellhole Canyon Preserve Hotel Transylvania 2
Saturday, Oct. 20 Agua Caliente County Park Coco
Saturday, Oct. 20 Otay Lakes County Park Hotel Transylvania
Friday, Oct. 26 Flinn Springs County Park Coco
Friday, Oct. 26 Heritage County Park Coco (in Spanish)
Saturday, Oct. 27 Lindo Lake County Park Hocus Pocus

 

Michelle Mowad is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact