Halloween in the Sunshine State
Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble
(September 27, 2016) – Autumn has arrived and that means October half-term and Halloween are looming! There’s plenty to do for everyone over the half-term break and if spooky happenings are not your thing, Florida still has a feast of autumnal offerings for all the family.
Ghost walking tours take place during the evening on October 22 and 23, departing from Andrew’s Capital Grille and Bar downtown. Tours leave every half hour between 6.30 and 9.30pm. Meet characters from the past who tell their tales of woe. The event is based on actual ghost lore.
Quincy PorchFest takes place on the October 22 and features musicians performing on the porches of homes in Quincy’s historic district. Audiences camp out on front lawns to watch the performances before moving onto the next home to see another band. Porchfest is a family-friendly festival and a great way to discover some new music while you are in town.
Built in 1914, Bellamy Bridge is the oldest structure of its type in Florida. It is also the centerpiece of what one recent film has proclaimed as the “most haunted spot in Florida.” Several ghost legends revolve around the bridge and trail including the story of an early 19th century moonshiner murder and the tale of a wagon driven by a headless driver. The story that brings most visitors to the bridge, however, is the fabulous tale of Elizabeth Jane Bellamy, the “Ghost of Bellamy Bridge.” After Dark Bellamy Bridge Ghost Walks will take place on October 28 and 29.
St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., is the perfect place for all manner of spooky stories.
Throughout October, the origins of Halloween and all things that go bump in the night are explored in historic St. Augustine. Haunted walking tours and Haunted pub crawls divulge the history of Halloween. On October 29, visitors can partake in the ancient Spanish tradition of El Dia de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased) when families and friends celebrate and joyfully honour the memory of their loved ones who have died. The Marcha de la Santa Compaña (March of the Holy Company), is a torch-lit procession through downtown St. Augustine from the Plaza along St. George Street to the City Gate area, with historical re-enactors representing the souls of “the Noble and Loyal City’s” citizens. Ripley’s Ghost Train Adventuretakes guests where no other tour in St. Augustine goes. This all new adventure is an 80 minute fully interactive paranormal investigation into two properties never before explored in the dark of night, each with rich haunted histories.
Halloween celebrations in Orlando are like nowhere else in the world, with more than 80 individual events during the six weeks leading up to October 31.
Just 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, Legoland Florida Resort has a host of activities for younger visitor this year. Brick or Treat, presented by Shutterfly, will be back with more spooky, kooky Halloween fun for kids. Expanded in 2016, the friendly-not-frightening event features trick-or-treating along the Brick or Treat Trail, larger-than-life LEGO® models, LEGO build activities, the world’s largest LEGO jack-o-lantern, a scavenger hunt with prizes and an exclusive, Halloween-themed fireworks show in Pirates’ Cove.
At Walt Disney World Resort during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (September 2 – October 31), guests can trick-or-treat throughout the Magic Kingdom, catch the “Boo-to-You” Halloween parade or Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular and stay for the bewitching “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks.
SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular (October 1 – 31) at SeaWorld Orlando invites youngsters to trick-or-treat amongst friendly sea witches, octopuses, mermaids and pumpkin fish in an underwater “fantasia” during this daytime event. Cookie decorating and candy galore make this a sweet Halloween event for families to splash into.
Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (September 16 – October 31) at Universal Orlando Resort allows guests to face their deepest fears in themed haunted houses, “scare zones” and mazes inspired by critically-acclaimed movies and television series. This year’s terrors include American Horror Story, The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween II, The Walking Dead and Krampus amongst others. There is even more horror lurking in the darkness with five unique scare zones and two live stage shows. The Repository is a new generation of psychological horror using new, cutting-edge custom virtual reality technology, real-life characters and intensely-themed environments – this exclusive experience will terrify even the most hardened of visitors.
Head down to the 8th Annual Sarasota Pumpkin Festival which takes place October 28 – 30. The whole family will be entertained by this traditional American festival; there’s a pumpkin patch and maze, pie eating contests, free shows, rides, games, inflatables, petting zoo and pony rides along with food stalls, craft vendors and a beer garden. In addition, there are free hayrides and safe trick or treating from vendor to vendor. The list of activities is endless!
The Florida International Airshow takes place October 21 – 23 at Punta Gorda Airport, on the Gulf Coast. Get in the Halloween spirit when Franklin’s Flying Circus performs with the Demon-1 biplane known as “Dracula.” The airbrushed blood in the paint comes straight from the opening scene of a horror movie. The airshow is focused on wholesome family entertainment, with both vintage and modern military and civilian planes demonstrating what they are capable of. Definitely a must for all aviation fans! Cape Coral
The Cape Coral Oktoberfest is the largest party of the year in the community, running over two weekends at the end of October it is THE event for fun, good food, freshly poured domestic and German beer, live music on several stages, laughter and dancing.
Why not pack your running shoes and take part in the Halloween Half Marathon. There’s even a Freaky 4-Miler for those who prefer a shorter run.
What about Pumpkins and Palm Trees? Miami doesn’t have the mists of autumn but they can still put on a great pumpkin festival! There are a host of family-friendly activities at the Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival from October 21 – 23 where you can dress up a scarecrow or pick a pumpkin from over 5,000 of all shapes and sizes in the patch!