For nearly a decade, the annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day has turned the park’s Central Mesa into a giant park-wide Halloween carnival. Presented by the Balboa Park Conservancy in partnership with the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, the Halloween Family Day presents dozens of free activity booths in the Plaza de Panama and El Prado, hosted by dozens of park attractions and community organizations and sponsors.
Throughout the day, the Balboa Park Visitors Center welcomes hundreds of costumed kids and their families, handing out free candy or gifts and holding a drawing for tickets to park events and other family–friendly activities in San Diego. In addition, participating museums offer free admission to children 12 and under with paying adult and present free Halloween-themed activities, including craft-making, costume parades and contests, storytelling, and special gallery tours and treasure hunts.
Among the recurring highlights of past Family Days are mini-carnival games for prizes presented by the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, a doggie costume contest in the Spanish Village Art Center, a rooftop pumpkin drop at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, a flash mob dance in the Plaza de Panama, live animals from the San Diego Zoo, and food trucks.