9 Actually Fun Things to Do in San Diego This Halloween Weekend

Tasty tap takeovers, mezcal and cacao tastings, and a Bridgerton-inspired soirée!

It’s Halloween weekend, San Diego! In addition to a full slate of traditional Halloween fun, we’ve got Squid Game-inspired cocktails, a Dia de los Muertos celebration at The Shell, and a couple of fancy costume parties, plus a decadent mezcal and chocolate experience, a spirited tasting by the bay, and a first peek at San Diego Beer Week! Here’s everything you can eat, drink, and do in San Diego this weekend:

Thursday, October 28
Old Town
Start your weekend early with a luscious pairing of mezcal and cacao at Tahona Bar in Old Town. You’ll be guided through a tasting of two of Latin America’s most treasured elixirs by Tahona’s mezcal specialists, with cacao treats from Maya Moon Company to nibble while you sip Dixeebe Mezcal. Order tickets online.
Cost: $45

Friday, October 29-Sunday, October 31
Liberty Station
Join Bottlecraft in the Liberty Public Market for a Hallow-pFriem Tap Takeover, featuring award-winning beers from pFriem Family Brewers of Hood, Oregon. The lineup features some of the Pacific Northwest’s most legendary brews, including Maple BA Smoked Porter, La Mure 2021, Peche, Hazy IPA, IPA, Oatmeal Cookie, Hefeweizen, and Pale Ale.
Cost: Varies

Saturday, October 30
Del Mar
Understory, the newest late-night hotspot inside Del Mar Highlands SkyDeck, hosts a Squid Game-themed Halloween bash on Saturday, October 30th. The party begins at 4:56 pm, as an homage to Netflix’s popular South Korean survival drama, and will feature $4.56 specialty shots and a variety of games with prizes to help you get in the Squid Game mindset. The bar will also offer their selection of craft cocktails, including Halloween-centric offerings like the Satanic Nightjar, (Ford's gin, turmeric, ginger, tamarind, chili, lemongrass, mint and club bubbles) and will have a DJ beginning at 9 pm. Reservations can be made for groups of six or more via Opentable.
Cost: Varies

Saturday, October 30
La Jolla
Dress to the nines for The Lot’s Annual Boo Bash Costume Party, featuring a live DJ, awesome costume contest, special Halloween desserts, candy, and chef’s choice appetizers. Prizes include a private movie screening for you and two dozen of your besties, an exclusive, three-course dinner for two, or a $150 gift card to The Lot. The Boo Bash in Liberty Station is almost sold out, so don’t wait too long, because once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Cost: $4

Saturday, October 30
Downtown
The San Diego Distillers Guild Fest returns to San Diego at a newer, larger venue, The Lane by Moniker Group, with a breezy indoor/outdoor space with the best view in town, overlooking the San Diego Bay. The first Distillers Guild Festival took place in 2019 to huge success, but the event was sidelined in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, when distillers were kept busy producing hand sanitizer. More than two dozen local distilleries are represented, including You & Yours, Cutwater, 619 Spirits, Malahat Spirits Co. and more. Ticket holders will enjoy cocktails and spirits, sweet and savory bites from local restaurants, live music from The Justin Joyce Trio and the opportunity to meet and chat with award-winning distillers. VIP tickets are already sold out, and entry is limited to 600 attendees, so grab yours before they’re gone! 21+ only.
Cost: $60 +fees for general admission, $30 +fees for designated drivers.

Saturday, October 30
Liberty Station
Mostra Coffee is celebrating their Mostraland 7th Anniversary Celebration and Halloween Fest in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The celebratory night will include live music from Tribal Theory, dancing, and a Halloween costume contest, and beer from Moska Brewing, serving the official Mostra anniversary beer, J. Wakefield Brewing and Hidden Springs Ale Works from Florida, Minnesota’s Forager Brewery, Equilibrium Brewing and Other Half Brewing from New York, Toppling Goliath from Iowa, and dozens of San Diego breweries such as Harland, Societe and AleSmith. The event also includes bites from Chef Phillip Esteban’s Silog Bowl concept, White Rice; shrimp toast from Chef Tara Monsod of Animae; and lumpias from Lia’s Lumpia; plus San Diego favorites like Pizza Kaiju, The Friendly, Lola 55, El Barbecue, and more. VIP tickets are long gone, but a few general admission tickets are still available so grab them online while they last.
Cost: $50 for general admission, $120 for general admission +unlimited beer tastings and coffee drinks, $25 for 12 and under (5 and under are free).

Sunday, October 31
La Jolla
Are you Team Bridgerton or Team Featherington? Whichever side you favor, it’s time to don your most bewitching Regency-era costume for a Bridgerton Masquerade Halloween Soirée, hosted by Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa. Indulge in an evening of unlimited food and beverage experiences, live entertainment and performances, and sexy specialty cocktails like the Featherington Flirtini, Dirty Duke Martini, The Pink Lady of Danbury, and more. Order tickets online, 21+ only.
Cost: $150 +fees.

Sunday, October 31
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
We can’t get enough of the concerts and performances at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, one of California’s most beautiful bandshells, and an affordable opportunity to see live music surrounded by the sparkling San Diego Bay. This Sunday welcomes OFRENDA: A Día de Los Muertos Celebration, a visual and musical collaboration between Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar. The program includes traditional music and dances from Veracruz and the state of Michoacán, plus music from the Disney movie Coco, and a tribute to great Mexican artists like Juan Gabriel, Selena, Pedro Infante, and José Alfredo Jiménez. Lawn tickets are already sold out, but affordable seats still can be had, so grab them online before they’re gone.
Cost: $25-200.

Ongoing
Your home
San Diego Beer Week is still a week away, but Guild Fest, the week’s traditional kickoff event, won’t be happening this year due to safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 Delta Variant. Instead, the San Diego Brewers Guild is bringing a San Diego Beer Tasting Experience straight to your door! They’ve curated two different packages of San Diego’s best craft beer, shipped only within California, featuring the 2021 Capital of Craft IPA, along with additional beers from local breweries, tasting notes, and access to interviews with the brewers via video. Proceeds will support the San Diego Brewers Guild. Only 175 boxes of each tasting are available while supplies last, so order yours before they’re gone forever. Deliveries require a signature and ID check for proof of 21+ age.
Cost: $75 +fees

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting stuff, reading cookbooks, and drinking fabulous gin. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.