Parks and Rec

Thrilling and Chilling Halloween Events at Parks

It’s time to fall into autumn with some Halloween-themed fright fetes! San Diego County Parks and Recreation is hosting seven eerie and cheery events at parks and preserves across the county this October.

Celebrations are for all ages.

No tricks here. All of these special events will be a treat! Most are free, though some have parking fees.

Fall Festival

Kick off the season at the Fall Festival at San Dieguito County Park. Festival activities include ghoulish games, pumpkin decorating and face painting. Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage while drinking coffee or cider. Plus, discover the wildlife that live at San Dieguito County Park at “critter camp.” Costumes are encouraged!


  • Where: San Dieguito County Park, 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Del Mar, CA 92014
  • Date: Oct. 8
  • Time: noon to 3 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee
  • Phone: 858-755-2386

Haunted Trails Hike at Dos Picos

The woods of Dos Picos County Park will come to life with both natural and supernatural creatures during Haunted Trails hikes. Each hike lasts about 20 minutes and covers some challenging terrain. Brave trekkers will start their journey in the parking lot—just look for the park rangers. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. Bring a flashlight and an adult. Inclement weather will cancel this event.


  • Where: Dos Picos County Park, 17953 Dos Picos Road, Ramona, CA 92065
  • Date: Oct. 15 and Oct. 22
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Fee: $3 parking fee
  • Phone: 760-789-2220

Hellhole Halloween

The Friends of Hellhole Canyon will host a spooky and kooky fair chock-full of Halloween activities, including a haunted trail walk, costume and pumpkin carving contests, refreshments and an outdoor movie screening.


Haunted Trails Hike at Oakoasis

Park staff will be your spirit guides on a dark and macabre hike at Oakoasis County Preserve. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers if you dare to take this terrifying (yet safe) trail. Inclement weather will cancel this event. Please bring a flashlight.

  • Where: Oakoasis County Preserve, 12620 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, CA 92040
  • Date: Oct. 22
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Phone: 619-561-0580

Haunted Trails Hike at Morrison Pond

Beware of ghosts, goblins and ghouls lurking about on a hike through the woods near Morrison Pond at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park. Spooktacular Halloween-themed games will be played at the end of the trail. Bring a flashlight and be ready for an outdoor adventure!


Family Discovery Days: Not-So-Scary Estuary

Meet creepy, crawly and hooting nocturnal animals that “spirit” the lagoon after dark—and discover that they are not-so-scary after all. Activities include crafts, trick-or-treating, live animal presentations and some special costume contests at noon and 2 p.m.


Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos—the Day of the Dead—is returning to Rancho Guajome Adobe in Vista. The 3,000-year-old tradition is a cultural holiday celebrated here, in Mexico and other parts of the world. Celebrants honor relatives who have passed away with small altars and gifts of their favorite foods, beverages, flowers and more. Altars will be set up throughout the 22-room adobe ranch house. Outside, there will be traditional dancing, vibrant live music and colorful crafts for kids.


  • Where: Rancho Guajome Adobe, 2210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Oceanside, CA 92083
  • Date: Oct. 29
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Fee: Free – ages 0-3, $2 – ages 4-12, $4 – ages 13 and older
  • Phone: 760-724-4082

In addition, there will be scary-cool happenings at the Fallbrook, Lakeside and Spring Valley community centers on Halloween day.

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