San Diego Family October 2021

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Volume 40 • Number 7 • October 2021




39 in c e 1 9 8 2

in every issue 10 Staff Page

20 31 Days of Fall and Halloween Fun Plan your family’s month of autumnal activities

12 Short & Sweet News | Notes | Tips

Photo courtesy of SeaWorld San Diego

14 Smartphones for Kids? What parents need to know

26 October Calendar of Family Events Halloween happenings and fall festivities

24 Dress Up with Your Boo Crew!

Locals share their family Halloween costumes

28 Pumpkin Patches

30 Monster Eyes Cake Eat, drink and be not-so-scary with this festive dessert On the Cover: Maggie (age 9) of Escondido


likes Fall because her family makes pumpkin muffins when the weather changes.

2021 Af terschool Activities Guide

Cover photo: All Colors Photography

Visit m

Winner 4 • • October 2021

NOW- OCT. 31

Kids Go FREE to SeaWorld Offer Valid Now – October 31, 2021 One FREE child admission per purchase of a full-paid adult ticket

Get your kids’ costumes ready for SeaWorld Spooktacular! Enjoy not-too-spooky fun with Sesame Street friends, an exciting trick-or-treating candy trail, fall-flavored food & beverages, amazing animals, thrilling coasters and so much more.

visit: for information and to obtain offer

Kids FREE admission is valid for children ages 3-9 only. One free child admission per purchase of a full-paid adult ticket. Restrictions may apply. Children under 3 do not require a reservation or ticket for entry. Pre-paid parking is strongly encouraged. © 2021 SEAWORLD PARKS & ENTERTAINMENT, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ™/© 2021 SESAME WORKSHOP.

on the web Get to know, where you’ll discover a plethora of awesomeness for parents.

Resources: Afterschool Activities • Choosing Martial Arts for Kids



To enter these contests, visit, go to “Contests”, then “This Month’s Contests.”

Halloween is back with candy, costumes, your favorite Sesame Street friends, and plenty of spooky surprises. Treat your family to all the festive fun of SeaWorld Spooktacular® happening weekends Sept. 18 – Oct. 31. Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to SeaWorld. Contest ends Oct. 13.

For the Kids: Crafts for Kids

Photo credit: Alyssa Navapanich

• Día de los Muertos crafts

Can’t find what you’re looking for on our website? Enter key words in the search bar and browse our articles.

Follow Us: San Diego Family SDFamily

San Diego Family Magazine sandiegofamilymagazine

6 • • October 2021

At the San Diego Zoo, HalGLOWeen —a Halloween-themed extravaganza—is bigger and better than ever! This year, the glittering, glowing spectacular has been expanded to five fun-filled weekends— Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct. 1 – 31. Enter to win a 4-pack of tickets to the San Diego Zoo. Contest ends Oct. 13.

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Connect your business to families throughout San Diego County! Advertising/Marketing Representatives Tony Andrews 619-685-6977 • Point Loma, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, North County Coastal Giovanni Baldan 619-685-6987 • South Bay, San Diego Downtown, Uptown


619-685-6970 • All other areas San Diego Family Magazine is published monthly by San Diego Family Magazine LLC. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily the opinions of this publication.

Editorial Guidelines Find editorial guidelines at (“Editorial” at the bottom of the home page). Submission does not guarantee publication. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

Distribution Locations Pick up a free copy of this month’s issue at Albertsons, select Vons and CVS stores throughout the county.


Distribution Audited by

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MCCRESEARCH.COM (619) 349-4808 October 2021 • •


Publisher’s Letter

Our San Diego


It’s Fall and Halloween Time!

Thank you to all the local families who responded to our request for Halloween costume photos! Monica and Marcus Lupkin, and their son Samuel (1) of Imperial Beach as Men in Black.

October is a fun month—it’s all about Fall

and Halloween. The trees are turning colors, the temperature is cooling and fun gatherings are happening. Check out our calendar of events on p. 26 for some great fall events and Halloween activities. If you want cute, clever ideas for family Halloween costumes, look to see what other San Diego County residents have done on p. 24. Then go to p. 20 for “31 Days of Fall and Halloween Fun,” full of activities to do during October. Many of these great ideas can be revised for other holidays by changing colors or themes, so flag the article for later use. Don’t miss the Monster Eyes Cake and Mummy Pops on p. 30. How do you decide what is the best age to give your child a smartphone? How does social media impact demand? What can parents do? Contributing Writer Anne Malinoski investigates these concerns and more in her important article for parents on p. 14. Let us know what fun Fall activities your family is doing by posting photos on IG and tagging us @sandiegofamilymagazine, using #sdoutandabout or #sharesandiegofamily. Enjoy your family and friends and be safe trick-or-treating!

Main Office: 1475 Sixth Avenue, Fifth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-685-6970 Fax: 619-685-6978 Email: Mission Statement To enhance the quality of life for San Diego County families by providing information and resources that support the importance and pleasure of parenting.

10 • • October 2021

Twins Mila and Ellie (age 3) of Eastlake as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from Alice in Wonderland (Mom & Dad dressed as the Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter). The Dinich family of Chula Vista: Grandpa and Grandma (Paul & Sue) as Old MacDonald and a cow; Mom and Dad (Crystal & Paul) as a pig and horse; Andrew (1) and Nathan (2) as a duck and dog.

Turn to page 24 for more family costume inspiration!

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Short & Sweet

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Digital Vaccination Cards Would having a digital copy of your family’s vaccination cards make life a tad easier? Vaccinated California residents can receive a QR code for their digital cards by registering at

Your Kids Need this Cookbook

If you could only buy one really awesome baking cookbook for kids, The Big, Fun Kids Baking Book from Food Network Magazine is it. I love, love, love this book! Chock full of delicious recipes for cookies, bars, cupcakes, cakes and more—all with big, bright, full-color photos. Also included are unique extras such as how to make edible cupcake toppers, 30 frosting colors and DIY sprinkles— plus a whole chapter on fakeout cakes (a must-have for any tricksters in the family). The Big, Fun Kids Baking Book would also make a great gift.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Volunteers are needed Nov. 23–25 for the annual Oceanside Turkey Trot. It’s a fun event for the whole family and helpers of all ages are welcome. Volunteers receive a t-shirt and the event is eligible for community service hours. Register at get-involved/volunteer by Nov. 11.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now has a toolkit to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities understand and protect themselves against COVID-19. Social stories, videos, posters and activities are offered in easy-to-read language. Access the free resources (in English or Spanish) at humandevelopment/covid-19/index.html.

Take a (Guided) Hike! After a year-long hiatus, the San Diego Natural History Museum Canyoneers are back in action, leading dozens of in-person hikes throughout the county between now and June. Choose from short loops, intermediate or challenging hikes, while learning about nature in our region. Hikes are free (museum donations appreciated), but registration is required. Learn more at

12 • • October 2021

Calling All Expecting and New Parents! Come to The Prego Expo on Sunday, Oct. 24 at the Town and Country Resort in Mission Valley to discover dozens of exhibitors specializing in everything baby and pregnancy. Shop at pop-up boutiques, discover local healthcare providers and newborn photographers, talk with labor and delivery experts, attend seminars and more. Be sure to stop by the San Diego Family Magazine booth to say hello and enter to win a fabulous stack of prizes! Visit to register and find out about VIP tickets.


Anne Malinoski

Smartphones for Kids?

What parents need to know When I set out to write this article, I was hoping to provide an antidote to the alarming stories I’d read about kids and smartphones. However, the research really does paint a clear picture. Study after study confirms that smartphones—and the apps children access on them—are highly addictive with the potential to cause significant developmental harm. Unlike the bulky flip phone that once lived in my high school backpack, smart devices are a gateway to the Internet, social media and gaming apps. Tristan Harris, President of the Center for Humane Technology (CHT) and subject of the 2020 Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, famously compares smartphones to slot machines. Every time we check

14 • • October 2021

our phones, he says, we pull that lever. Occasionally, something exciting pops up, prompting a surge of pleasure in the brain, courtesy of the chemical messenger dopamine. It should come as no surprise that most of us check our phones about 160 times per day. We’re hooked! What’s more, our children have been watching. They want what we have, and they are even more susceptible to screen addiction. Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist Divya Kakaiya, PhD is the founder of San Diego’s Healthy Within wellness center and speaks frequently about the impact of technology on the developing brain. She was not surprised to hear that my 8-year-old has been asking for a phone since preschool. “From a neuroscience

perspective, they beg for it because it hits all those dopamine pathways the way cocaine or alcohol hit,” she says. “It’s the biggest dopamine hit they will ever get in their life.”

The Social Media Problem Social media platforms have been carefully engineered to keep users scrolling, clicking and staring compulsively. The highly curated and edited images kids see tend to reflect an impossible standard of beauty. According to CHT, social media use has been shown to increase body dysmorphia in young people. Plastic surgery is on the rise, with the greatest increase among people in their teens and twenties. Not surprisingly, several studies have linked adolescent social

media use with increased rates of depression and anxiety. Social apps that are popular with kids—like Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok—skillfully exploit a child’s natural desire for human connection. According to Kakaiya, online interactions are not the best way to grow relationship skills. “Children benefit from social-emotional connections they develop with friends, where they are learning emotional negotiation skills,” she says. “When we do these things online the brain does not receive the information the same way.” She warns that these apps give a false sense of belonging, when in real life, kids are feeling increasingly disconnected.

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You are your child’s first teacher. Let your child see you eat fruits & vegetables. Model how to calm down for your child. Talk to your child’s doctor about healthy habits.

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The Gaming Problem Much like social media, gaming apps are highly addictive by design. One in 10 video gamers will develop a pathological addiction—one that damages their ability to function in multiple areas of life. Parents report difficulty convincing young gamers to engage with the family or complete homework. In severe cases, teens skip school and lose sleep to continue playing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pathological gamers experience increased levels of depression, anxiety and social phobia. Spending three to seven hours a day gaming leaves little time to foster the real-life relationships necessary for building empathy, resilience and well-being. Violence is prevalent in many popular games—and that’s a huge problem. Kakaiya says our bodies release the same stress hormones during simulated battle as they would in actual combat. The brain and body behave as if the player is in actual danger. She warns that repetition accelerates learning—and since video games are repetitive by nature— gamers quickly learn to behave more violently. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the connection between violent video games and aggressive behavior is clear. More than a thousand studies

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confirm this. Repeated exposure to violent media is a stronger predictor of aggressive behavior than poverty, substance abuse or even having abusive parents.

What Can Parents Do?

Is Your Baby Meeting Important Milestones? If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait! Early Intervention Services are Available

“Let them fly!” says Psychologist and Parenting Expert Reena B. Patel. “Allowing children to spend time with their friends on their own helps build a sense of autonomy. It shows that you trust and respect them.” Training with a sports team isn’t enough to fulfill a child’s intense need for peer connection. Make sure the group is getting together after practice.

California Early Start is a state and federally funded program that provides free assessments to infants and toddlers and, if needed, important therapeutic services (free to eligible families) early enough to make a huge impact in a child’s development. Services provided include early intervention instruction; physical, occupational, and speech therapy; medical diagnosis/evaluation. Even with pandemic restrictions, the San Diego Regional Center is open and working to ensure your child has the right services to meet their needs.

Call the San Diego Regional Center at 858-496-4318 or the Exceptional Family Resource Center (EFRC) at 619-594-7416. Se habla español. Learn more about the San Diego Regional Center Early Start Program at

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Facilitate real-world connection. Young people feel an intense need to spend unstructured time together. If they can’t connect in person, they’ll want to do it online. Create opportunities for kids to gather in real life. Even if you’re overscheduled. Even if you’re the only parent who ever offers to drive. Here’s another challenge—provide the minimum level of supervision appropriate for the children’s age group.

Consider smartphone alternatives. Parents who give their kids smartphones are often responding to pressing needs. For instance, some kids coordinate rides with multiple caregivers. Certain apps improve the lives of kids with special needs. GPS tracking may be important for children who walk home. In some cases, those needs can be met with “dumb phones”—basic phones that allow kids to text or call without harmful distractions. Every major cell carrier supports one. Or, check out for GPSenabled phones and watches. Gabb devices operate like dumb phones, but look and feel like the smart devices kids feel pressured to possess. Set limits. If smartphones have a place in your home, set clear boundaries. Work together on a technology contract (find help at parenting/how-to-make-a-familydigital-citizenship-contract), to include screen time limits. The best way to

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Take Action • Take the “Wait Until 8th” pledge. If 10 or more parents from your child’s school agree not to give their kids smartphones until eighth grade, you can combat peer pressure together. Visit • Center for Humane Technology provides simple steps that anyone can take to immediately improve their relationship with technology. Visit to get started now. • Watch and discuss “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix. • If video game addiction has impacted your family, Game Quitters can help. Visit prevent or break the cycle of addiction is to reduce time spent on the device. It’s easier to loosen restrictions than tighten them, so be stricter than you think is necessary because it’s hard to regain control. If you change your mind about an app, game or device your child has been using, stand firm. Kakaiya warns that behavioral blowback could last up to two weeks after the technology is removed—kids may yell, and be nasty and disrespectful. “They are literally going through withdrawal,” she says. “They may promise to do extra chores if you just give it back—these are drug-seeking behaviors.” There is more to the scope of the smartphone problem. Read additional concerns in the full article at what-age-should-kids-get-a-phone and consider the suggestions under “Take Action” above. v Anne Malinoski is a contributing writer and mother of two boys. After researching for this article, she plans to give her boys “dumb phones” in 8th grade, and smartphones in 11th grade.


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Costumes Encouraged, Visit the Pumpkin Patch, & Receive a Goodie Bag!


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October 2021 • •


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Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt for kids and their friends. Some items to search for: things that are brown, a rake, spider webs or scarecrows. Or, use our free, printable Halloween Scavenger Hunt at Hand out themed prizes from the dollar store.


Grab a package of glow sticks and play an epic game of glow-inthe-dark tag.


Generate Halloween excitement by making a black and orange paper chain to count down the days until Oct. 31.





Have a fall-themed day in Julian. Start off by apple picking at an orchard, eat lunch on Main Street, then pan for gold at Eagle Mining Company. End your afternoon at Julian Cider Mill for tasty treats like fudge, candy and apple butter.


Take a hike at Palomar Mountain to enjoy fresh air and fall colors. Feeling even more adventurous? Camp out with the family at the state park.


BOO your neighbors! Participate in this kind hearted activity by leaving surprise treats for friends. Get all the details (and free printables) at things-to-do/seasonal-happenings/ boo-neighbors-free-printable.

Who says you can’t spot fall foliage in San Diego? Check out maple trees at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park for some excellent leaf peeping.


Take a trip to a local pumpkin patch, such as Pumpkin Station (five locations), Carlsbad Pumpkin Patch or Family Christmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch in El Cajon. Turn to page 28 for more. Many offer tractor hay rides, petting zoos and more.

20 • • October 2021

Whip up a yummy batch of hot chocolate. Top your drinks with addins such as white chocolate chips and candy corn. Or, order hot chocolate bombs from a local maker and watch the contents burst open in your cup! Feeling ambitious? Learn to make spooky eyeball cocoa bombs at Have a kid-friendly Halloween movie night with your crew. Family classics such as “Halloweentown,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “Hocus Pocus” are streaming on Disney+. Make it a Día de los Muertos celebration with the movie “Coco.” Don’t forget the popcorn!


Bake all things pumpkin with the kids—pies, breads, milkshakes, even mac ‘n’ cheese—the possibilities are endless! Find these recipes and more in our round-up of Pumpkiny Goodness: dining-and-recipes/pumpkin-recipes.


Fall is a great time to be outside! Pack a picnic and take it to a nearby park. We’re big fans of the green space at Morley Field in North Park and Waterfront Park downtown.

Photo credit: @SanDiegoFamilyAdventures

Ready for a fabulous month of autumnal fun? Here are 31 days of ideas for your family this October.


Once you’ve picked the perfect pumpkin, get to carving. Be sure to set aside some seeds to roast for a yummy and nutritious snack. Not a fan of cleaning up gourd guts? Painting pumpkins is just as fun and (slightly) less messy. Find great no-carve pumpkins ideas at


If your kids are older (13+), take them on a spooky adventure on the Old Town Trolley Ghost Tour. Visit historic San Diego sites like El Campo Santo Cemetery and the Whaley House.

It’s time to press play. Fun with friends. New adventures. Making a difference. You’re ready to go and Girl Scouts is ready for you.


Have fall fun with the games in our article Learning with Pumpkins:


Plan a day to make no-bake treats with the kids! Visit halloween-dipped-mint-oreos for seven cute ways to decorate Oreos for Halloween. Flip to page 30 for Mummy Pops.


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Check out an area farmers market and score delicious fall produce including pears, persimmons and squash.


Make a Halloween craft together. Pick up a package of googly eyes, pipe cleaners and black paper plates to create a silly spider decoration, or find more craft ideas in our Halloween Round-Up: halloween-round-up.


Decorate your front porch as a family. Whether you’re into ghosts and goblins or pumpkins and haystacks, you’ll have a blast adorning your house with seasonal decor. Find instructions for Halloween door décor at


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Plan an epic family Halloween costume. Hit up the Spirit Halloween store (because they support kids at Rady Children’s Hospital through their Spirit of Children program) and browse the aisles. Or, grab a glue gun and DIY. Not sure where to start? Check out page 24 for inspiration.


Light up the backyard fire pit and tell scary stories once the sun goes down. Make s’mores for the ultimate fall evening under the stars.

22 23

Go kayaking at La Jolla Shores and explore sea caves and spectacular marine life. Don’t own a kayak? Not to worry; there are many rental companies that offer tours for ages 5 and up.


Have a family dance party. Stream a Halloween playlist on your music service and get your wiggles out. The theme song from “Ghostbusters” and “Monster Mash” are both a must!


Throw a neighborhood harvest get-together. Prepare autumnal-themed foods for guests to nosh on (think soups and fresh baked breads) and serve up warm apple cider. After dinner, have kids bob for apples and play hide and seek.

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Autumn is the time for all things football. Assemble your friends to play a game of touch football in the backyard or at a neighborhood park.

Create a Halloween sensory bin for preschoolers. Pour rice into a big container, then mix in plastic spiders, eyeballs, skeletons and other goodies from the dollar store.

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Ju st $2 5 fo r m em be rs (Public $30)


In preparation for Día de los Muertos (Nov. 1 & 2), make nichos to honor loved ones. Find directions and other Day of the Dead craft projects at

& s2 ag e e r und ee fr are

Ghosts, goblins, mermaids and sharks?? Meet slimy sea creatures, learn about mysterious animals from the sea, and get up close with spooky science. Capacity is limited to allow for social distancing and the event is anticipated to sell out.


Make Halloween treat bags for classmates, friends or neighbors. Print free, festive labels at for-the-kids/crafts-for-kids/diyhalloween-treats.


Plan ahead for what to do with all your Halloween candy. Read 12 Ways to “Give Back” Halloween Candy for ideas.


Grab a buddy and make your way through a straw or corn maze. See where to find them at


Host a Halloween party for the kids. Choose activities from our list of 13 fun games at v Freelance writer Natalie Dal Pra loves all things pumpkin and Halloween. She’s looking forward to spending her first fall in San Diego.

October 2021 • •


Dress Up with Your

Boo Crew!

Looking for costume inspiration? Check out these local readers and social media followers who have a blast dreaming up family Halloween costumes year after year (find more photos on p.10 and at

The Dixon Family of La Mesa got in the Halloween spirit by dressing as characters from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Here is Holly (age 4) as Princess Aurora. Holly’s parents (Gregory and Chandra) are Prince Phillip and Maleficent. Grandma and Grandpa are Queen Leah and King Stefan.

Chula Vista residents Claudia, Ariella (16 mos.) and Carlos Carballo. The beehive costume is made from foam piping and the beekeeper outfit is a painters suit (both from Home Depot).

Penelope (5), Jonah (6) and the rest of the Montes family of Chula Vista having fun as characters from the Mario Kart video game series! Inspired by the Disney/ Pixar movie Coco, this is the Ballesteros family of Santee: Gabriel as Mamá Coco, Jimmy (age 2) as Miguel, Anissa as Mamá Imelda, Gianna (3 mos.) as Miguel’s baby sister, and Aaron Gonzalez as Héctor.

Otay Ranch residents Steve, Viva and Ethan (2) as Geppetto, the Blue Fairy and Pinocchio.

24 • • October 2021

Mason (age 3) and his dad Josh (residents of Hillcrest) as Peter Pan and Shadow. “Every year my family creates a group costume, most of which is handmade. It’s literally my favorite thing to do!” says Joy.

Anthony and Annabelle of Otay Ranch are serving up the cutest little burgers on the planet (Amaya, 4 mos.).



All New Models

Limo Packages & Theme Parties • Proms • Birthdays • Graduations • Sweet 16/ Quinceañera

WWW.TOPDOGLiMOBUS.COM October 2021 • •


Halloween Safety Month • Bat Appreciation Month • National Apple Month


Still looking for last month’s events? Check out the digital edition of our September issue at

SeaWorld Spooktacular

Trick-or-treat, explore the decorated trail and meet all sorts of colorful characters. Weekends through Oct. 31. Included with park admission. Kids free all October with paid adult. Interstate 5, exit SeaWorld Dr. Visit for hours and tickets. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld San Diego

Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

friday | 1 Kids FREE San Diego. During the entire month of October, kids 12 & under receive free admission at many art, cultural, and science museums and historical sites in San Diego County. To view participating museums visit

Oktoberfest. Authentic German food, Oom-pah music and more. Today, 4–10 pm; tomorrow, 12–10 pm; Sun., 12–9 pm. $31–$41, under 21 free. German American Societies of San Diego, 1017 S. Mollison Ave., El Cajon. FREE “Cruella.” 5:30 pm. Sage Canyon Neighborhood Park, 5252 Harvest Run Dr.

HalGLOWeen. Enjoy “fang-tastic” entertainment, interactive games and costume fun. Fri.–Sun., 5–9 pm through Oct. 31. Kids free all October. Visit website for tickets. San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park.

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND. Enjoy notso-spooky entertainment, dance parties, live music, costumed entertainers and safe trick-or-treating. Saturdays in Oct., 3–8 pm. One LEGOLAND Dr., Carlsbad. Visit for tickets.

Fall Fest at Belmont Park. Rides and attractions, pumpkin patch and more. Through Nov. 14. Also Fall Nights every Friday, 5–8 pm. 3146 Mission Blvd. Visit for tickets.

Classics in Concert. Three ballets including the classic tutu ballet of ‘Paquita’ after Marius Petipa, the enchanting ‘Elegies’ and the fast-paced ‘Gottschalk Festival.’ Today & tomorrow, 8 pm; Oct. 3, 2:30 pm. Joan B. Kroc Theatre, 6611 University Ave. Visit for tickets.

FREE La Mesa Oktoberfest. German festivities for all ages. Today, 4–10 pm; tomorrow, 10 am–10 pm; Oct. 3, 12–8 pm. 8361 Allison Ave., La Mesa.

26 • • October 2021

FREE Pacific Beachfest. Family-friendly, music packed event. 11 am–7 pm. Along

the boardwalk from Felspar to Thomas St. Howl-O-Ween Harvest Family Days. Hands-on animal encounters, trick-or-treat stations, entry into the “Eerie Expedition”, crafts, a hay maze and a mini pumpkin patch. Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 & 31. 9 am–1 pm. $40, ticket includes 4 people. Helen Woodward Animal Center, 6461 El Apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe. Registration required at Julian Autumn Jubilee. U-Pick veggie and pumpkin garden, hayrides, petting zoo, crafts and more. Weekends, through Oct. 30. Sat., 10 am–5 pm; Sun., 11 am–5 pm. Visit website for ticket prices. Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures, 4425 Hwy. 78, Santa Ysabel. FREE Mission Fed ArtWalk. View and purchase artwork, enjoy music and dance performances and participate in interactive art experiences. Today & tomorrow, 11 am–6 pm. Piazza della Famiglia, 555 W. Date St., Little Italy.

FREE Rendezvous in Poway. Interact with period correct historical encampments and meet Mountain Men, Cowboys, Pioneers and more. Today, 10 am–4 pm; tomorrow, 10 am–2 pm. Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Rd.

sunday | 3 Super Hero Obstacle Race. Parents and kids run together through a super hero-themed 2K obstacle course. All participants receive a free super hero cape, bib and medal. 8 am. $25. Alga Norte Community Park, 6565 Alicante Rd., Carlsbad. Register at “The Addams Family.” Gear up for the spookiest month of the year with a movie under the stars. 5 pm. Tickets starting at $17.50. Rooftop Cinema Club Embarcadero, Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place.

11 am–midnight. Newport Ave. & Abbott St.

saturday | 9 FREE La Jolla Art & Wine Festival. Over 150 juried artists, 3D chalk art displays, interactive art murals, live music, food and more. Today & tomorrow, 10 am–6 pm. Girard Ave., La Jolla. FREE Scarecrow Contest. Design and build a scarecrow to display in the Pumpkin Patch. Each entry receives a free pumpkin and certificate. Entry forms

friday | 8 Harvest Festival. Handmade art and craft show. Today & tomorrow, 10 am–5 pm; Oct. 10, 10 am–4 pm. $9; 12 & under free. Parking, $10. Del Mar Fairgounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. “Top Gun” Movie Night. The USS Midway flight deck will be transformed into the Danger Zone to watch the classic 80’s film under the stars. Today & tomorrow, 8 pm. $30; 3 & under free. Purchase tickets at OB Oktoberfest. German food, music and more. Today, 4 pm–midnight & tomorrow,

FREE Fall Festival & Artisan Makers Market. Pumpkin picking, shopping, hayrides and more. Today & tomorrow, 10 am–4 pm. The Farmstand West, 2115 Miller Ave., Escondido.

First Season! The Ultimate Pumpkin Patch at the Family Christmas Tree Farm

OCTOBER: Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays only

FREE Trick-or-Treating at Belmont Park. Sundays, 5 pm. 3146 Mission Blvd.

FREE Halloween Movies by the Pool: “The Haunted Mansion.” Bring a blanket and chair. 6:30 pm. RSVP required. Oct. 14: “Edward Scissorhands”; Oct. 21: “Hocus Pocus”; Oct. 28: “A Nightmare Before Christmas.” The Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd.

El Cajon Foodie Fest. Featuring up to 40 restaurants, catering services and food trucks. 4–8 pm. $5–$10. Downtown El Cajon.


FREE Encinitas Oktoberfest. Artisan booths, carnival rides, food, entertainment and more. 10 am–6 pm. Along Mountain Vista Dr. and El Camino Real.

thursday | 7

available online. 10 am–1 pm. Parking $5. Bates Nut Farm, 15954 Woods Valley Rd., Valley Center.

from 9am -9pm Hay rides end before sundown around 6pm.

More than 20 varieties of small, medium, large and giant Pumpkins including:

Royal Blue, Cinderella, White and Warty Goblin Cut Your Own Or Pre Cut New, Start a ily m Fun, Fa ion! Tradit


Giant er Sunflow Kits! Growing Ask About the Drill Bit Pumpkin Gutter!

• FREE Family Hay Rides through the Pumpkin Field • FREE animal area, meet and take photos with: – Wilbur and Babe the pigs – Rudy and Snowy the goats • FREE entry to the Pumpkin Field • Decorations and Unique Gifts for the Fall, Thanksgiving and Holiday Season • Hot Cocoa & Mulled Cider stand! • Huge, Hay Maze only $5 • Kid’s Hay Play Area • Fun Photo Cutouts • Popcorn ze Hay Ma t ger Hun Scaven eats! with Tr 300 Pepper Drive • El Cajon • 619-448-5331 October 2021 • •


Calendar • October


Find more at

FREE Pumpkin Station. Giant slides, rides, a petting zoo and thousands of pumpkins. Through Oct. 31, visit website for hours and ride ticket packages. Five San Diego County locations (see back cover).

Carlsbad Pumpkin Patch. Pumpkins, corn maze, apple cannons and tractor rides. Through Nov. 8. Sun.–Thurs., 9 am–7 pm; Fri.–Sat., 9 am–10 pm. $5; 5 & under free. Additional fee for activities. Carlsbad Strawberry Fields at Cannon Rd. & I–5.

Pumpkin Express. Ride decorated vintage railcars, then walk through the Display Building featuring Halloween scenes, a pumpkin patch, ghosts and ghouls. Saturdays & Sundays, Oct. 9–31, 10:30 am, 11:45 am, 1:30 pm & 2:45 pm. $14–$18. Visit website for tickets. Campo Railroad Park & Museum, 750 Depot St. Mechanics Alive! Explore small, surreal worlds through mechanical sculptures in this interactive experience that combines science, technology, engineering, art and math. Visit website for times and tickets. Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park.

sunday | 10 FREE Star Walk XIII. Learn beginner astronomy concepts, facts and principles. 6–7:30 pm. Double Peak Park, 900 Double Peak Dr., San Marcos. FREE San Marcos Harvest Festival. Mile long marketplace, food, kids’ zone, live bands and more. 9 am– 5 pm. Along Via Vera Cruz & Commerce St. Don’t forget to call to confirm dates, times and admission prices.

28 • • October 2021

FREE Family Christmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Patch. Hayrides, pumpkins, a maze and more. Fri.–Sun., 9 am-9 pm, through Oct. 31. 300 Pepper Dr., El Cajon.

FREE Pumpkin Patch at Bates Nut Farm. Pumpkins, hayrides, a straw maze and more. Through Oct. 31. Open daily, 9 am–5 pm. Visit website for parking and activity fees. 15954 Woods Valley Rd., Valley Center. FREE Mountain Valley Ranch Pumpkin Patch. Corn maze, pony rides, corn cannon, petting zoo, pumpkins and more. Through Oct. 31. Daily, 9 am–6 pm. 842 Hwy. 78, Ramona.

saturday | 16 Autumn Festival. Wildlife encounters, entertainment and culinary comforts. Saturdays & Sundays, 9 am–7 pm. Through Oct. 31. Kids free all October. Visit website for tickets. San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido. FREE Fall Fun Festival. Kids’ crafts and activities, live music, a scarecrow contest and more. 10 am–3 pm. Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, 1270 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista. FREE Taste of the Philippines. A unique cultural experience celebrating Philippine and Filipino American arts, culture and history. 10 am–8 pm. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy., downtown.

Oma’s Pumpkin Patch. Giant slide, animal corral, wagon ride and more. Through Oct. 30. Tues.–Sat., 10 am–7 pm. Admission tickets ($9 and up) must be purchased online before arrival. 14950 El Monte Rd., Lakeside. FREE U-Pick Pumpkin Patch at The Farm Stand West. Through. Oct. 31. Visit website for times. 2115 Miller Ave., Escondido. FREE Pumpkin Patch at Summers Past Farms. Pumpkins, a corn maze and hay fort. Through Oct. 31. 15602 Olde Hwy. 80, Flinn Springs.

FREE Family Sunday: Day of the Dead. Learn about piñatas, then craft and decorate your own. 12–5 pm. Mingei International Museum, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park. FREE Fallbrook Harvest Faire. Petting zoo, pony rides, food, handmade crafts and more. 9 am–4 pm. Main Ave., downtown Fallbrook. FREE Grand Avenue Festival. Handcrafted gifts, international cuisine, live entertainment and more. 9 am–5 pm. Grand Ave. from Escondido Blvd. to Ivy, Escondido.

friday | 22

sunday | 17

Haunted Aquarium. Ghosts, goblins, mermaids and sharks? Meet slimy sea creatures, learn about mysterious animals from the sea and get up close with spooky science. Costumes, especially those that are ocean-themed, are encouraged. Oct. 22–24, 6–9 pm. $25–$30, 2 & under free. Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. Reserve your tickets at

Fall Family Swap Meet. 8:30 am–12 noon. $2. Torrey Pines High School, 3710 Del Mar Heights Rd. For information email

Friday Night at the Drive In: “Coco.” Gates open, 7 pm; movie, 8 pm. $20 per vehicle. High Tech High parking lot, 5331 Mt. Alifan Dr.

Antique Engine & Tractor Exhibit. Pumpkin patch, model trains, tractors, engines, cars, and more. Oct. 16–17 & 23–24, 9 am–4 pm. $3–$5; under 6 free. Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave., Vista.

San Diego Gulls. Season opener vs. Stockton Heat. 7 pm. Visit website for tickets. Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. FREE “Beetlejuice.” Tonight, 5 pm at Flinn Springs County Park, 14787 Olde Hwy. 80, El Cajon & Oct. 23, 5:30 pm at Linda Lake County Park, 12660 Linda Ln., Lakeside.

saturday | 23 FREE “Hocus Pocus.” Tonight, 4:30 pm at Otay Lakes County Park, 2270 West Rd., Chula Vista & Oct. 30, 6:30 pm at Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy., downtown.

sunday | 24 The Prego Expo. Explore over 60 exhibitors ranging from baby brands to local healthcare providers. Spend the day testing out different products, shopping pop-up boutiques and talking to baby experts. 12:30–4 pm. $16; ages 4–12, $5. Town and Country San Diego, 500 Hotel Cir. N. FREE Once Upon a Hallowe’en. Test your bravery in the Haunted House, listen to scary stories, try your skills at haunted carnival games and ride aboard the speeder. 4:30–8:30 pm. Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Rd. Pumpkin Pool-ooza. Swim and pick a floating pumpkin. Receive a goody bag on the way out. Registration required. Visit website for times and tickets. Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Ave. FREE Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Family friendly event with exciting cultural opportunities. La Colonia Park, 715 Valley Ave., Solana Beach. FREE Oceanside Día de los Muertos Festival. Altars, chalk cemetery, kids activities and more. 870 Rivertree Dr. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Starting at Balboa Park and finishing in downtown San Diego. Today, 5K; tomorrow, marathon and half marathon. $55–$135. Register at

wednesday | 27 FREE Cajon Classic Cruise: Trunk or Treat. 5–8 pm. Downtown El Cajon at Magnolia and Main St. FREE Trick-or-Treat on India Street. Bring your little monsters in costume for fun, safe trick-or-treating at Little Italy businesses. 5:30–7:30 pm. Maps available at the Piazza della Famiglia on India and W. Date Sts.

friday | 29 FREE HauntFest on Main. Live music, costume contests, carnival rides, kidz zone and more. 4–9 pm. E. Main St. from Magnolia to Avocado, downtown El Cajon. A Year with Frog and Toad. Frog and Toad take a musical journey and discover that the differences that make them unique are also what makes their friendship so special. Through Nov. 14. $16–$18. Visit website for times. Casa del Prado Theater, Balboa Park. Spooky Campover. This spooky overnight event includes campfire songs, s’mores, pumpkin carving and a Halloween costume contest. 3 pm until tomorrow, 10 am. $35–$50. For ages 3 & up. Lions, Tigers & Bears, 24402 Martin Way, Alpine.

Howl-o-ween Mutt Run. Run or walk 5K, also a dog costume contest, prizes and more. 8:30 am–12 noon. $45–$55. Road Runner Sports, 5553 Copley Dr. Register at FREE Trunk or Treat at Belmont Park. 5 pm. 3146 Mission Blvd. FREE City Heights Day of the Dead Celebration. Community altars and family entertainment. 11 am–5 pm. Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 3795 Fairmount Ave. CityHeightsDiaDeLosMuertos

sunday | 31 Halloween FREE Halloween Treats at Viejas Outlets. 4–6:30 pm. 5003 Willows Rd., Alpine. FREE Safe Trick-or-Treat in Encinitas. Historic Hwy. 101 turns into “Pumpkin Lane” as local businesses welcome trickor-treaters. 5–8 pm. S. Coast Hwy. 101, between Encinitas Blvd & K St. FREE Halloween at the Station. Trick-ortreating, music, crafts, activities and other spooky surprises. 12–4 pm. N. Promenade at Liberty Station.

More fun events await at

saturday | 30 Mt. Carmel Tournament of Bands. Showcasing top high school marching band field shows and parades. Mt. Carmel High School, 9550 Carmel Mountain Rd. Visit for schedule and tickets.

Want us to spread the news? Email and include the name of the event or activity, a brief description, event address, date, time, cost, contact number and website. Submission does not guarantee publication. Deadline for the December issue: November 1.

Carlsbad Pumpkin Patch & Fall Festival at the Carlsbad Strawberry Fields Cannon Rd & Interstate 5

Open Daily 9am–7 pm •Corn Maze•Tractor Rides•Games •BounceLand•Apple Cannon •Pyramid of hay bales for climbing

Haunted Corn Maze opens 10/1/21 Fridays and Saturdays 7 pm-10 pm Weekend Live Entertainment

(760) 603-9608 · October 2021 • •


Eat, Drink and Be Scary!

Ever feel like you’re being watched? This Monster Eyes Cake might make you feel that way, but what an impressive and festive centerpiece for a Halloween get-together or family dinner! Oceanside food blogger Jackie Bruchez offers the recipe on her website:

Find cauldrons full of Halloween fun in our round-up at

Mummy Pops Chilled Twinkies, melted chocolate, coconut oil, candy eyes and lollipop sticks are all you need to make these kid-friendly treats! Find the full recipe and instructions at

30 • • October 2021

Photo credit:

Congratulations to the 2021-22 San Diego County Teachers of the Year

Tiffany Jokerst

Jacquelyn Jourdane

Heather McClain



Laura Reyes

Sunday, October 17 9 p.m.

Xylena “Xye” Sanders

YurView Channels 4 & 1004HD

Brought to you by San Diego County Credit Union

Learn more about the teachers at | #coxsalute

Pumpkin Station! A WONDERLAND OF FUN with giant slides, rides, petting zoo and thousands of pumpkins to choose from!

• Ride ticket packages available at great savings • No admission charge

Visit for directions and operating hours for each location





(off Camino Del Rio North next to Broken Yolk Restaurant)



(off Ring Rd. & Sweetwater Rd. – National City)


(off Jimmy Durante Blvd. across from race track)

with this coupon


One to a customer. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Must meet height and/or age restrictions.


13421 Highland Valley Road Escondido, 92128 5354 Sweetwater Rd., Bonita 91902

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