Things to Do in San Diego in Fall 2018 – Attractions, Activities & More

San Diego offers mild, sunny weather in the fall and plays host to lots of annual fall festivals, seasonal events, and more.

If you’re planning a trip and looking for things to do in San Diego in the Fall, take a look at our suggestions for the top attractions and activities to check out this year.

Our favorite fall activities for 2018 include:

  • Special Events at the Fleet Science Center
  • Infinity Cube at Birch Aquarium
  • Knott’s Scary Farm
  • LEGOLAND California Brick-or-Treat
  • Local fall festivals
  • San Diego Beer Festival
  • and more!

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these San Diego area activities are included on the Go San Diego® Card.

Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.

Check out all San Diego tourist passes, attractions and prices.

Please note, some of the Fall events listed below may be separately ticketed and not included on the Go San Diego® Card.

Special Events at The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

The-Reuben-H-Fleet-Science-Center-4

Head to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center for some amazing fall special events.

As part of their ongoing efforts to engage young ones in scientific topics and provide a hands-on way for kids to gain experience, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has rounded up a series of exciting visiting exhibits that will be ongoing throughout the fall, included daily science shows, a hands-on myth-busting activity, and an exhibit about the powers of simple household tape.

Weekends and select weeknights are popular times for the science center to host ongoing workshop programs, like “3D Printing & CAD” and “Science Club for Girls,” among other themes (including some for adults!). Check their event site in advance to see what’s going on.

Getting In: General admission Fleet Science Center plus IMAX tickets are included with the Go San Diego Card.

Research in Action at the Birch Aquarium

Birch Aquarium

Come check out the newest exhibit in the Hall of Fishes called Research in Action: 100 Island Challenge and see first-hand real scientists in the field and the learn about the research and advances they’re making in coral reef exploration, right in their laboratories at Birch Aquarium.

Getting In: Birch Aquarium tickets (and access to the Infinity Cube) is included with the Go San Diego Card.

Knott’s Scary Farm

Select Dates, September 20 – October 31, 2018
Knott’s Berry Farm

Evil rises at Knott’s Scary Farm this Halloween season for the 45th annual world-renowned event featuring 24 horrifying nights.

Guests will enjoy bloodcurdling mazes, spooky live shows, and more can’t-miss attractions. You’ll also terrified at every turn with the 1000 costumed actors and staff members wandering the poorly-lit part grounds…

2018 will be featuring more than a few new scares, including spooky mazes, hair-raising shows, haunted houses, and more…

This event is definitely not recommended for children, although they also offer Knott’s Spooky Farm during the day for the younger crowd.

Getting In: Admission to Knott’s Scary Farm is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website.

However, Regular admission to Knott’s Berry Farm is included with the Go San Diego® Card.

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND® California

Select Weekends in October 2018

September 29, October 6, 13, 20, & 27
LEGOLAND® California

Head to LEGOLAND California for Halloween-themed family fun with their Brick-or-Treat nights

Photo credit: LEGOLAND California

Head to LEGOLAND® California for Brick-or-Treat Party Nights on select days this October for Halloween-themed fun, music, costume contests, the Brick-or-Treat Trail, and more, including expanded Brick-or-Treat Trail, including 2 stations at SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Halloween adventures at Heartlake City and Fun Town.

Catch tons of fun, live entertainment, and shows (new for 2018!) while getting into the Halloween spirit.

Getting In: Admission to Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND California is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website.

However, Regular admission to LEGOLAND California is included with the Go San Diego® Card.

San Diego Festival of Beer

September 22, 2018
Broadway Pier

Craft beer enthusiasts with love the San Diego Festival of Beer this fall

Photo credit: San Diego Festival of Beer’s Official Facebook Page

Head to the Broadway Pier to see what’s on tap this year from more than 50 participating breweries at the San Diego Festival of Beer for live music, entertainment, food, and to sample craft beers from over 60 different breweries.

Tickets to the event include admission and unlimited 2 oz beer tastes. This is a great event for couples or groups of friends.

Getting In: Admission to the San Diego Festival of Beer is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website.

Julian Apple Days Festival

 Various dates in September 2018
Julian, CA

For classic, fall fun, head to the Julian Apple Days festival this year

Photo credit: Julian Chamber of Commerce’s Official Facebook Page

This two-day festival in historic Julian, an official California Historical Landmark known for its gold panning days during the American Gold Rush,  is perfect for the whole family and 2018 will be the 49th annual Apple Days Festival in Julian.

It  features music, dancing, gold panning demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, food, independent vendors, contests, apple pie sampling, and more seasonal fun.

Getting In: Admission to the Julian Apple Festival is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about this event, including admission prices, please visit the event website.

Haunted San Diego

Looking for scary Halloween experiences in San Diego? Visit the Haunted Trail and Haunted Hotel.

Photo credit: The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park’s Official Facebook Page

Enter the Haunted Hotel (if you dare) and try to find your way back out for a spine-tingling experience. Named by Haunt World Magazine as one of the top 13 haunted houses in America, it’s sure to give you the spooks.

Or, enter the mile-long Haunted Trail in Balboa Park for a scary stroll through a haunted old Plantation and a walk along Bourbon Street in New Orleans for a night you’ll never forget.

Getting In: Admission to Halloween attractions in San Diego is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about each attraction or to purchase admission, please visit the individual attraction websites.

Fleet Week’s Big Bay Bash

October 20-27, 2018
Various locations throughout San Diego

Fleet Week San Diego's 80th Anniversary

Photo credit: Fleet Week San Diego’s Official Facebook Page

Celebrate the iconic Fleet Week this year with various scheduled events, including a family tailgate, gold tournament, ship tours, a Navy vs. Notre Dame watch party, and more.

Events are open to the public with the purpose of honoring and celebrating all the men and women who have served in the US navy and military.

Getting In: Admission to Fleet Week events is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about these events and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website.

Dia de Los Muertos

Select dates, October 20-November 4, 2018
Old Town San Diego

Head to picturesque Old Town San Diego for a Dia de Los Muertos celebration that showcases the traditions and cultural activities that celebrate the returned spirits of lost loved ones.

There will be lots of family-friendly fun activities, crafts, food, and more.

Getting In: Admission to the Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in San Diego is free.

Gaslamp Quarter Fallback Festival

November 4, 2018 11:00 am-4:00 pm
410 Island Avenue

For fall fun in San Diego check out the Annual Fallback Festival in the Gaslamp Quarter

Photo credit: SanDiego.org

Celebrate the history and culture of downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Go on an old-fashioned hay ride, pan for gold, ride a pony, and more.

This festival will feature lots of fall-themed family-friendly fun, live entertainment, and educational content with a focus on the history the Wild West in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.

Getting In: Admission to the Fall Back Festival is free.

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival

November 12-18, 2018
Embarcadero Marina Park North

This fall, check out the San Diego Bay Food and Wine Festival

Photo credit: San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival’s Official Facebook Page

Enjoy some of the world’s best wine and culinary creations at the 11th annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. Visitors will enjoy cooking classes, tasting panels, celebrity chef dinners, and more.

2018 will be the 15th annual San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival event – and the biggest yet. It’s now the biggest culinary event to take place on the entire West Coast!

Getting In: Admission to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information about this event and to purchase tickets, please visit the event website.

Let’s Recap

Who knew autumn could be this much fun? We hope you enjoyed these suggestions of a few popular things to do in San Diego in the Fall.

And remember, you can save on combined admission on many of these popular attractions, tours, and more with the Go San Diego® Card.

Please note, some of the Fall events taking place mentioned in this post may be separately ticketed and not included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Go San Diego Card

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

Please leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *