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Visit San Diego This Fall, Plus Kids are Free!
September 29, 2023

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2023. San Diego is always a great destination for families, but we particularly like visiting in the fall for all the festivities and “kids free” events. We've gathered everything happening from now through mid-November to show you why your family should visit San Diego this fall.

Fall is upon us, with cooler weather and spooky fun around every corner. The season is also perfect for travel, especially to warm climates like San Diego. Sandy beaches and thrilling attractions are only a few of the reasons your family will love to visit San Diego this fall. We've gathered everything from festivals and art shows, to tours and events that will have you ready to pack your bags and visit the sunny county between now and mid-November.

San Diego Restaurant Week

Every fall San Diego hosts a delicious Restaurant Week September 24th – October 1st, presented by the California Restaurant Association.

No matter which neighborhood or cuisine you want to explore, there are feasts being served at over 180 restaurants for the event. Foodies will love this week since they can score delicious cuisine for anywhere from $10 - $50 per person, depending on location and meal type. With so many restaurants participating across the county, you’re sure to find a meal that you love.

No passes, tickets or coupons are required for this scrumptious event. Instead, simply visit participating restaurants during the week to enjoy special prix fixe menus. For reservations, we suggest you contact restaurants directly or make reservations online.

San Diego International Film Festival

Film buffs have likely had this event on their radar for some time now and this year it is happening October 18-22, 2023. The San Diego International Film Festival is always popular as it showcases world premieres, documentaries and shorts.

You’ll have the chance to see never-before-seen films (many of which go on to win major awards) and rub elbows with the up-and-coming stars of the film industry. If you’re planning on attending, make sure to purchase your tickets in advance. The star-studded weekend often runs out of seats for certain panels and showings.

Fashion Week San Diego

If you have a passion for fashion, you’ll want to be in Downtown San Diego October 7 and 8, 2023 during Fashion Week. You’ll be able to see the debut of high-end fashion designs on the runways and have the chance to meet the designers and models during each night’s entertainment and afterparty. The event sells out every year, so make sure to get your tickets in advance if this is a priority for your trip to San Diego this fall.

Fleet Week San Diego

Fleet Week will be celebrated November 3-12, 2023 throughout San Diego County. The week focuses on honoring and celebrating the men and women of the U.S. military, by hosting events, tours and entertainment.

It also allows the community to interact with the military in ways they may not have been able to before. Most of the events are free and open to the public, while a few are reserved for those enlisted. Fleet Week is perfect to add on to your vacation to San Diego this fall for some educational fun.

Old Town’s Fall Festival

Kick off the fall season with the Fall Festival at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. This family-friendly event will feature decorations, games, crafts and entertainment. You can even improve your carving abilities with the free pumpkin-carving demonstration. Old Town’s Fall Festival is always fun for everyone, with decorations and activities like pumpkin painting and corn shucking.

Pumpkin Express at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

Celebrate Halloween and all things fall at the Pumpkin Express in San Diego this fall. October 7-29, 2023 the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association hosts the event complete with a scenic train ride and frightful fun. After a ride across the San Diego and Arizona Railway, your family will get to decorate pumpkins from the pumpkin patch and walk through a “haunted” train. The Pumpkin Express is sure to be spooky fun for the entire family.

Kids Free in San Diego All October

Probably the highlight during the entire month of October, is kids can get in free per paying adult at many of the most popular attractions. We think not having to pay for your little ones is one of the best reasons to visit San Diego this fall.

2023 attractions that are participating in Kids Free in San Diego include:
  • Legoland California
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Belmont Park
  • San Diego Zoo
  • USS Midway Museum
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • And more!
For more information, read our article detailing every park offering Kids Free in San Diego this fall.

San Diego Beer Week

For avid brewers, the San Diego Beer Week can’t be missed November 3rd – 13th, this 10-day celebration focuses on local breweries and inspiring growth in the brewing culture. Over 500 brewery sponsored events will occur throughout the county. If you enjoy San Diego beer, you’ll want to make sure you stop by at least one of the events.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Production, November 4th – December 24th.

While fall may have barely begun, we know many of you have already been itching to put your Santa hats on and holiday decorations out. Don’t fret - you’ll be able to celebrate that holiday spirit early if you visit San Diego this fall. Starting November 4th, the Old Globe Theatre in Downtown San Diego will be showing its How the Grinch Stole Christmas! production. The whimsical musical is returning to San Diego for its 20th year and is sure to be a family-favorite for Christmas and Dr. Seuss enthusiasts alike.

Carlsbad Fall Village Fair

Carlsbad is one of the most popular cities in San Diego, and for good reason. The city holds an annual fall festival on November 5, 2023 to celebrate its heritage and culture. Named the Fall Village Faire, the event is free to the public and includes delicious food, family entertainment and unique booths. It’s grown to be one of the largest one-day street fairs in the nation, as many people from out of state even plan their vacations around it.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Foodies who aren’t able to make Restaurant Week in San Diego this fall will want to make sure they visit the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival instead. The international showcase features gourmet food, culinary masterminds and premier spirits. Tasting events, celebrity chef dinners and cooking classes are just a few of the things you can experience during this delicious event. It’s all happening November 8-12, 2023.

Book Your San Diego Fall Vacation

We hope this list has you considering a quick getaway to the sunny county of San Diego. With so much going on, your entire family will have a blast. Plus, there’s always beautiful beaches and world-class attractions to be found in San Diego.

We recommend…
A 3-night stay at one of our most popular San Diego hotel locationsa>, along with fall festivities and kids free during October.

Book your San Diego vacation online now or give our agents a call at 855-GET-AWAY.

Visit San Diego This Fall, Plus Kids are Free! || Get Away Today

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