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San Diego Halloween Party Guide

by Lucas Brockenshire

With Halloween fast approaching and America’s Finest City preparing to kick into full party mode, keeping track of all the different party options can be a difficult task. As everyone knows, Halloween is one of the best times to let out all that pent-up licentiousness, and with its glorious oceanfront views, rich partying culture, and velvet-rope clubs, San Diego has no lack of spine-tingling Halloween party options to choose from.

Party fiends are in luck, because we’ve taken it upon ourselves to produce a comprehensive guide to the best Halloween parties in San Diego. We have left no stone unturned in our quest to bring you the best information on all the top-rated Halloween events going down this year, including an all-encompassing selection of parties with different price ranges, locations, and themes. Party with friends, coworkers and your significant other, or dine out with family, and decide for yourself which is the best party for you and your own. Whether it’s a harborside bash, a Rock ‘N’ Roll bar, or a beer hall you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered, so read on to get an in-depth view of San Diego’s top-rated Halloween events, venues, and more.

Harborside Parties

Yacht partyImage by www.californianightlife.com

When people think San Diego nightlife, oceanfront clubs and rooftop parties with stellar views of the city’s skyline come to mind. This year, Titanic Masquerade goes one step further by actually taking their Hall of Pleasures (and crew of sea-going hedonists) out to sea. That’s right; from the creators of Pier Pressure comes this all-star yacht party fit to please even the princeliest of party-goers.

Living up to its name, the Titanic Masquerade Party is generous and lavishly hosted by Inspiration Hornblower, a 1000 capacity fully-functioning yacht. Already in its fourth edition, Titanic Masquerade combines the allure of partying at sea with the best of on-land entertainment and music, which this year include live performances by Christopher London, Legend, and Seize on the Hip-Hop Deck. If you prefer Dance and EDM, you can always just head over the alternative deck and revel in the tunes being spun out by headlining DJ Sex Panther and other artists.

The Titanic Masquerade party is simply unparalleled for views, with attendees getting a 360-degree perspective across the moonlit Harbor towards Coronado Bridge. If that doesn’t catch your imagination, you can always just step back, sip on a drink, and take in the views on-deck, with tons of sexy costume-clad Halloween party-goers dressing up and competing for cash prizes on the night. Remember to get your costume sorted out well in advance, and throw on a facepiece for added fun and masquerading magic.

If you want to count yourself among the sailors and sailorettes shipping out on Halloween night, but would prefer to party in even more exclusive environs, you may want to consider the other Pier Pressure-inspired Halloween bash: The Black Pearl Party. Hop onboard California Spirit, a luxury, 500 capacity yacht, and get ready to party in one of the most exclusive ambiances in San Diego. California Spirit offers up a state of the art sound system, lush mahogany floors, complimentary gourmet appetizers, and a flurry of delectable drinks designed to satisfy all your wicked fancies.

This Halloween, hop on Inspiration Hornblower or California Spirit, navigate through choppy waters, and prepare to make waves as you engage in a bout of dangerously debaucherous fun! Landlubbers beware.

Club Crawl Parties

Club Crawl HalloweenImage from lajollawinetours.com

As far as sampling a variety of the best Halloween party options is concerned, it’s hard to beat any one of the numerous San Diego Pub Crawl options that are available this fall. Power your way through a selection of the most exclusive bars and nightclubs in San Diego; all without waiting in line or paying cover charges.

This year, party with World Club San Diego, and join their all-night mobile party on a tour through five different venues. This year, the party kicks off at the Tin Roof and then moves on to Side Bar, so join this creepy crawling crew and experience live rock music and early evening refreshments in the finest surroundings. Side Bar’s exclusive sitting booth areas and full-service wrap around bar dovetail perfectly with its red and black decor and wall-hugging mirrors to provide a dreamy, romantic atmosphere.

From there, get ready to visit A.D, one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s trending clubs. This newly-opened venue is a hotbed for all things sinful and sexy, with its trademark cathedral-themed backdrop of stained glass, arches, and many-armed candelabra creating this party’s unique vibe. This fall, leave your reservations behind and get ready to rock it out at the Apocalypse, A.D.’s angel and demon-themed Halloween party. Expect a host of sultry fairies, winged angels and heavenly aerial performers to be doing the rounds over the dance floor. At A.D., you’ll be treated by resident DJ Bamboozle to the best music and get to sample the venue’s much-hyped cocktail program. With World Crawl San Diego, you’ll get cap your Halloween night off in style at Fuse, one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s larger venues.

Club crawl HalloweenImage from www.adnightclub.com

To get instant access to the finest, most exclusive velvet-rope venues in San Diego, look no further than Club Crawl San Diego’s 4 Club VIP pass. Head down to The Beer Company and start your night off with a round or two of hand-crafted beer, before waltzing into a further three nightclubs along SD’s Walk of Fame.

Image from www.beerbaronlivermore.com

Rooftop Parties

Rooftop parties in San Diego
Image by www.kimptonhotels.com

Rooftop parties are synonymous with class and elegance, and in a windy, oceanfront city like San Diego, they can be especially magical.

This year, head down to W San Diego and enjoy a wicked Halloween night out at the hotly-anticipated Haunted Hotel Party. Soak up the ocean breeze in W San Diego’s newly-renovated rooftop patio area as you watch the night descend over the Gaslamp Quarter. With celebrity DJ Richard Vission spinning a mix of the best tracks all night long, the Haunted Hotel Party will provide all the VIP fun any San Diegan could desire.

 W Hotel San Diego
Image by W Hotel San Diego (Flickr)

This venue spares no expenses when it comes to providing attendees with the optimum partying atmosphere. Roam through five mingle areas, three rooms of music, and get ready to feast your eyes and ears on the sensory-stimulating LED screens, wall-high projector, and state of the art, high-fidelity sound system. With a complementary array of glow toys on offer and tons of cash costumes prizes up for grabs, the Haunted Hotel Party represents one of the best Halloween party options in San Diego.

If you feel up to trying something different this October 31st, head down to the Halloween Bash at Lounge Six atop Hotel Salomar. This year, Lounge Six opens its doors on Halloween for the first time, which means that this venue will go the extra mile to ensure your Halloween night experience is second to none.

Lounge Six rooftop barImage by www.desiar.co

At Lounge Six, expect white-glove service, dedicated waitresses and an array of complimentary bites and drinks that will keep on flowing all night long. Self-styled as a dreamy, dimly-lit oasis in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, Lounge Six’s rooftop layout provides a neat balance between full-blown party and exclusive, private event. If the later is to your liking, and you seek exclusivity over a thronging dance scene, retire into one of Lounge Six’s private, draped cabanas, and prepare to be doted on like party-going royalty.

Nightclub Parties

Fluxx San Diego Parties Image by www.fluxxsd.com

No guide to San Diego nightlife would be complete without mentioning Fluxx. When it opened its doors in March 2010, this venue immediately began courting a host of A-list attendees, including Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg and Floyd Mayweather, and quickly made a name for itself as one the most sophisticated and high-end party venues in America’s Finest City. This October 31st, get ready to pinch yourself as you party with celebrity performers, artists, and San Diego’s nightlife royalty.

Much of Fluxx’s allure is down to its constantly changing, custom-themed decor and its one-of-a-kind, David Krumins-designed layout. This year, expect a lot of sinful sadism and gory ghastliness as Fluxx gets a full makeover ahead of its Arkham-themed Halloween night bash. As part of the deal, you’ll be treated to a live performance by Too $hort and an array of other celebrity DJs and personalities. Watch vixens meet voyeurs, as Fluxx’s stunning entourage of gogo girls, dancers, and aerial performers take center stage on the night.

Halloween parties in San Diego: FluxxImage from www.fluxxsd.com

Fluxx’s multiple rooms and dance floors are illuminated by several eye-grabbing LED screens and a signature LED chandelier which hangs centrally over the main dance floor. Let yours eye delight in the devilish visual art, shadow plays, and live acts as you live out all your Halloween fantasies in the space of just one night. Remember to bring your favorite mask and your sexiest couture, because Fluxx is hosting an all-or-nothing Haloween costume contest, with tons of cash prizes and giveaways up for grabs.

Halloween parties in San Diego: Fluxx
Image from www.fluxxsd.com

Best Haunted Parties

Day of the Dead facepaintImage courtesy of Brooke Binkowski (Flikr)

When it comes to rocking it out on Halloween night, it’s hard to beat the magic of haunted halls and the allure of devil-ridden dungeons. This October 31st, show your festive spirit by going all out and partying in some of the scariest, most spine-tingling venues.

Head down to Lafayette Hotel and party with the truly sinful at the Massaquerade Ball Party. With four dance areas and two ballrooms, you’ll have plenty of room to roam your way around this mesmerizing maze of pleasures. Watch out for Massaquerade’s bone chilling entourage of Halloween-themed performers, including fire blowers, stilt walkers, LED glowbots, ghouls, blood-sucking vampires, and banshees. If that isn’t enough to convince you, then maybe a look at their star-studded roster of DJs will. Expect live shows by Jenaux, Playmate DJ Diamond and Miss Dust in the Sweets and Treats Ballroom, as well as headlining performances from Lea Luna, Mani Dolaz, Jeff Philipps, and DJs Jesse Saunders, among many others.

Masquerade partyImage from www.nerdreactor.com

If you feel in need of extra care and attention from Lafayette Hotel’s staff of waitresses, head over to the aptly-name VIP Vampire area and either sip on a bloody mary or two or delight in the free wine tastings on offer. At Lafayette Hotel, gothic glam meets sexy seductiveness to devastating effect, producing one of the most authentic Halloween night ambiances anywhere in the Gaslamp Quarter. Expect to meet lots of face-painted Day of the Dead enthusiasts and steampunk-clad attendees, so suit up in proper Halloween garb and join in on all the festive fun.

For a change of pace, head down to the Halloween Block Party going down at House of Blues and take part in one of the longest-running Halloween parties in the San Diego Area. House of Blues’ unique, 30.000 square feet layout and its fully integrated 3-in-1 party scene makes this Halloween bash one of the biggest events going down this October 31st. If you’re the kind of person who puts a premium on elbow room and breathing space, then the Halloween Block Party may be one of your better Halloween party options this fall.

 Artist performing at House of Blues San DiegoImage from www.itscarmen.com

Expect a number of red and black catsuit-clad dancers to be doing the rounds on the night, together with a gaggle of ghouls, undead doctors, creepy crawlers, and much more. There will no shortage of attention-catching acts this year, with a spectacular lineup of celebrity performances being announced as part of the Halloween Block Party program. Get ready to enjoy live performances by Kinjaz, of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, and by SDMA award-winning DJ Artistic, among many others.

Deadmau5 at House of Blues San DiegoImage by Drew Ressler (Flickr)

Best Music Venue Party

Belly Up Music San DiegoImage from www.bellyupmusic.com

Sometimes all it takes to have a rollickin’ good time are some fine tunes and a beer or two to go with them. This Halloween, head down to the Belly Up Tavern and feast your ears on a selection of ‘80’s-inspired music.

Regular visitors to the Belly Up Tavern will be used to the all-around musical excellence of one San Diego’s premier live music venues. Established in 1974, the Belly Up has consistently built up its reputation as SD’s go-to live music spot by showcasing a combination of A-list artists such as The Rolling Stones, Blink 182, and Gwen Stefani and a slew of up-and-coming talents. This October 31st, you’ll get to sample the raw energy on offer at this award-winning venue as you hear Nancarrow perform live before an adoring audience.

Halloween party-goers can forget the white glove service, glowbots, and gogo dancers on show at other venues, because the Belly Up Tavern is all about pure badass, all-American Rock ‘N’ Roll hedonism. Come out in costume and stand the chance to win up to $500 in cash prizes!

Best Country Bar Party

Best Country Bar San DiegoImage from www.doubledeucesd.com

If you feel like spending your Halloween night out atop a fully-functional bull, look no further than The Double Deuce, the Gaslamp Quarter’s only mechanical bull-endowed bar. This bar’s fun-loving gang of waitresses are notoriously well-disposed toward taking care of the thirsty and needful of drink, so make sure you mark this watering hole on your Halloween night map.

This October 31st, buck tradition and head down to the Double Deuce to join in on all the foot stompin’, trick-or-treatin’ fun. With its combination of all-action bar top dancing, bull sparring, and live Country acts, this venue offers up a full-throttle, high-octane spectacle that no true San Diegan can resist. The bold and battle-hardy are welcome to straddle Buckshot, the Double Deuce’s resident roughhouser, for a bout of cowboy-themed fun.

Double Deuce Bar Image from www.doubledeucesd.com

Halloween party-goers are free to roam the Double Deuce’s performance stages, LED screens, and stripper poles, or retreat with a drink into the private sitting booths to take in the view from above. The Double Deuce loves to keep attendees on their toes, so expect an array of Halloween-themed attractions and crowd-drawing contests.

Kid-Friendly Halloween Parties

 Halloween jack-o-lanterns
Image by Shawn Campbell (Flickr)

With all the debaucherous fun going down on Halloween night, it can be easy to forget that Halloween is a kids’ celebration as well. This year, take your family out on a two-day tour of San Diego’s finest kid-friendly attractions, which include jack-o’-lantern carving sessions, nighttime trick-or-treating, and costume parades.

 Kid-friendly Halloween PartiesImage by North Charleston (Flickr)

Parents looking for a family-oriented party taking place on San Diego’s city streets may want to consider The Boulevard BOO. Self-styled as the only Halloween parade in San Diego, this year the Boulevard Boo is back and is bigger than ever before, with a host of different floats, zombies and creepy crawlers set to take center stage on October 24th. Head down to the College Area with your family and play your part in making this parade, which will run from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, the best family event in town. Stick around after the parade and watch over as your little ones enjoy an array of games, carnival rides, live performances, award ceremonies and delectable bites at the AfterBoo! Carnival.

If your toddlers are crazy about animals, then you’re in luck, because this year Sea World San Diego is hosting a month-long interactive tour of its park. Dress up your little ones in pirate and sailorette costumes, and take them down to the Mermaid Grotto and the Pumpkinsfish Patch at Sea World for a full day of trick-or-treating fun. Watch them delight in an array of Halloween-themed shows as they enjoy the special animal cuddling sessions, colorful Sea World characters, and a wicked sea-inspired treasure hunt; all within the safe confines of the park. Halloween Spooktacular runs every weekend up till November 31st, so make sure you pick up your tickets now.

Halloween Spooktacular at Sea World San Diego
Image by Mike Liu (Flickr)


About the author

Lucas Brockenshire

Born in Santiago, Chile, to Canadian parents, I spent most of my childhood living all over Southeast Asia and South America. I'm an independent publisher and writer with a passion for fantastic art and those who create it.