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Fall into Balboa Park

Autumn is awesome in San Diego's urban cultural park

Fall ushers in slightly cooler weather, clearer skies, fun festivities and plenty of opportunities to explore the very best of Balboa Park. From guided hikes to Halloween happenings, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy this sublime season.

This page is updated as soon as event details are available. Events are subject to change or cancellation, so please check with event organizers for the most up-to-date information.

Take a Hike

Canyoneers Guided Hikes
Where: San Diego Natural History Museum

With its wisp of crisper air, fall is the perfect time to take in some of Balboa Park’s trails less traveled. The good news, you don’t have to guess which trail to take and you don’t even need to do it alone as the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Canyoneers, a dedicated group of volunteers, offers a variety of guided hikes in Balboa Park and around the region. Most of the hikes happen on the weekends but there are some weekday hikes, too. The Canyoneers are trained citizen scientists who aren’t just trail guides but educators who can give you the skinny about the park’s and region's natural history. If you are looking to go on your own timetable and pace, be sure to pick up Coast to Cactus: The Canyoneer Trail Guide to San Diego Outdoors, which details the best hikes in Balboa Park and beyond.

Trail of Fears

Haunted Trail Of Balboa Park
Where: Starts at Juniper Road and Balboa Drive

The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is BACK, with two haunts in one; a mile long terrifying outdoor trail through twisted pines and gnarled oaks and the 3,500 square foot eXperiment Maze. Follow the faceless boy through Merlin’s Forest, float downstream with Pennywise, climb aboard the Ghoul Bus where a cloister of Nuns share the horrifying ride with you, steampunk Chainsaw-Wielding clowns have the run of the trail, feel your way through the fog of the upside down world, and meet your favorite Horror Icons lurking in the dark corners……Do you have the guts?


San Diego Sake Day
Where: Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego

In the fall, sunlight has a special way of dappling with a heavenly hue that is hard to resist. One of the best places in the park to see and celebrate this golden glow is the always picturesque Japanese Friendship Garden. On October 1 you will not only be able to treat your eyes but also your taste buds at its Setting Sun Sake garden party. San Diego's largest sake celebration will Beshock Ramen, Setting Sun Sake Brewing Co., and sponsored guests: SakeOne, Hakutsuru Sake, and Fifth Taste Sake.

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