Fall Family Fun in San Diego

October is one of the best months to visit Southern California. There are fewer crowds, fall is in the air, and it’s Kids Free Month (meaning kids get to eat, play, and explore for free)! Not only that, but there are tons of events and festivals that are sure to be lots of family fun in San Diego. So come on over to “America’s Finest City” — we have something for everyone this season! 


Kids Free October 

(Photo: @seaworldsandiego)

October is paradise for kids in San Diego! Kids can enjoy free admission to The San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld Spooktacular, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Natural History Museum, and many more fantastic attractions! We’re getting in on the act at Island Palms all month long, too. For all of October, kids can enjoy a free meal with the purchase of an adult entrée at our on-site restaurant, Blue Wave Bar & Grill. Indulge in California coastal cuisine paired with incredible marina views. Check out the official San Diego Tourism Council site for the full list.  


Spooky Poolside Movies (on-site)

(Photo: @island_palms)

Spooky season is the best season as far as we’re concerned! We’re celebrating all month long with Halloween-themed movies shown at our poolside screen. Get in the spirit with frighteningly fun flicks. 


Ocean Beach Oktoberfest (4 miles away)

(Photo: @oboktoberfest)

Throw on your lederhosen and head to Oktoberfest! With both family-friendly and adults-only activities, it’s a great time for everyone! Enjoy the Artisan, Craft & Food Fair, plenty of live music, and delicious German treats! Oktoberfest takes place October 6-7.


Fall Fest at Belmont Park (6 miles away)

(Photo: @belmontparksd

It’s finally fall, and we’re celebrating the season at the Beachside Fall Fest at Belmont Park! Kids will enjoy the free trick-or-treating every Sunday while adults can indulge in festive beer every Friday night. Dive for pumpkins, meet your favorite beachside characters, enjoy live music, and delight in special treats. Fall Fest takes place September 9 – October 31. 


Pacific BeachFest (6 miles away) 

(Photo: @visitsandiego

Pacific BeachFest is an all-day family-friendly event! Take part in a variety of marathons, beach volleyball tournament, and other live sporting demonstrations. Help decide who has the best fish tacos in San Diego during the “Best of the Beach” Fish Taco Contest and enjoy live music on three stages. The Pacific BeachFest takes place on October 7. 


Autumn Activities at San Diego Zoo (9 miles away) & San Diego Zoo Safari Park (35 miles away) 

(Photo: @sandiegozoo

Aside from free entry for kids, San Diego Zoo is celebrating the season with some great events! Light up the night at HalGLOWeen, a family-friendly event featuring live music and the Bubble Dance Party. Head up to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for the Autumn Festival. Enjoy country music, seasonal activities, and more! The Autumn Festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday, the entire month of October.


Pumpkin Patch at Bates Nut Farm (43 miles)

(Photo: @batesnutfarm)

Lots of locals love to go nuts at Bates Nut Farm in the fall season. For more than 50 years, Bates Nut Farm has been welcoming families to its pumpkin patch for a truly “gourd” time. Fall activities you can look forward to through Halloween this year include tractor hay rides, a straw maze, a petting zoo, pony rides, and much more. While you’re there, don’t forget to grab a wheelbarrow and load up on an autumn harvest of squash, pumpkins, and other seasonal produce perfect for dining and décor.


Thanksgiving at Blue Wave Bar & Grill

Have plans for Turkey Day yet? Now you do! Join us at Blue Wave Bar & Grill for a masterfully, mouth-wateringly prepared Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. We’re taking reservations now, so be sure to reach out to us if you’d like to have a seat at the table. This event tends to fill up fast, so we’d love to hear from you soon!


Stay at Best Western Island Palms Hotel to enjoy spooky poolside movies and take advantage of our Kids Free Month Special. Our conveniently located hotel is your perfect homebase for all of San Diego’s fall festivities. Take a look at our exclusive offers to find the best rates for your family, and explore our Event Calendar for a full list of fall events. We can’t wait to see you!