TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Is there a holiday Tampa Bay loves more than Halloween? Sure, Guavaween isn't currently a thing, but there's plenty of other stuff to do around the region, whether you're six or 60. Here's a running list; if you've got a great Halloween event coming up, Let us know!
What You Need To Know
- Halloween is Sunday, October 31
- There are events planned throughout the Tampa Bay area for all age ranges
- Covid-19 safety precautions are recommended
Boo Boo Bash
Citrus Memorial Hospital will be hosting a "trunk or treat" event on the Friday before Halloween proper to offer area kids and families a safe and fun seasonal experience. In addition to decorated trunks serving as candy stations and a fire safety house hosted by Citrus County Fire Rescue, the event will also feature a DJ, a coloring station, pumpkin carving and a kids' costume contest. 5-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. 502 W. Highland Blvd., Inverness.
Clearwater Beach Library and Recreation Complex Trunk-or-Treat
Yup, trunk or treat events are the thing again this year as COVID continues to haunt the country. Library and Rec Center staff will be on hand to distribute candy to the kids. 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20. 69 Bay Esplanade, Clearwater Beach.
A beloved tradition in one of St. Petersburg’s coolest neighborhoods, the Haunted Hike is a one-mile, one-hour “guided walking tour of one-act spooky skits created to tingle your senses.” This year’s event celebrates the ‘hood’s 100th anniversary with a Roaring ‘20s theme; there will be vendors and treats, and proceeds go to both the Euclid St. Paul’s Neighborhood Association’s operating costs and The Kind Mouse, a local nonprofit that battles food insecurity. Tours begin at 6:15 p.m. $8 adults/$5 children. Saturday, Oct. 23. Corner of 13th Ave. N. and 13th St. N., St. Petersburg.
Combine trick-or-treating with a carnival atmosphere, and you've got a great event for kids of all ages. Children are encouraged to wear costumes for this free event at Morningside Recreation Complex. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. 2400 Harn Blvd., Clearwater.
From noon until 5 p.m. on Halloween, a whopping 22 blocks of St. Pete’s Central Avenue — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Street to 31st — will be closed to all vehicular traffic so folks of all ages can wander, meander and otherwise ambulate. There will be trick-or-treating, costume contests, a magic show, a pumpkin patch, roller disco and much, much more. This family-friendly event, conjured up by the EDGE and Grand Central districts in partnership with advocacy group Car-Free St. Pete, will follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, and therefore not be all that scary, at least in that way.
The descendants of Ichabod Crane — yeah, the guy from Sleepy Hollow, New York, must’ve been a snowbird — uh, descend upon Ybor City’s purportedly haunted CerealHolic Cafe & Bar to spin some twisted tales of the macabre in this interactive-theater experience. We’re dying to know how scary is this one. 21+ only. Multiple times. Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 1-31. 1909 N. 15th St., Ybor City.
The original big, bad Tampa Bay theme-park scarefest is back with three all-new “haunted houses” (they’re not all houses, really) to try to talk your least confident friend into entering — Dutch courage is available, but not included. If you dig horror movies but haven’t yet made it to Busch Gardens for this annual bone-shaker, what are you waiting for? Make 2021 your year. Thursday-Sunday through Oct. 31. 10165 McKinley Blvd., Tampa.
Uber-pet-friendly St. Petersburg craft brewery Pinellas Ale Works gets down the day before Halloween with candy-inspired beers (Reese’s Double Peanut Butter Stout, Pink Starburst Sour), an all-new Wagging Witches Brew draft, and a dog costume contest featuring multiple categories, including some for both pet and owner. Noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. 1962 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg.
Dade City’s bonkers annual pop-up attraction has been a reliably hair-raising scary-season experience for years now, and 2021 looks to be no different. It’s got six themed zones (Bloodwater Bayou?! ZOMBIE PAINTBALL ASSAULT?!), each more terrifying than the last, and is definitely worth the drive from the Bay area proper if you’re looking for more than the usual kid stuff. Sept. 24-26, 30; every night in October. 27839 St. Joe Rd., Dade City.
Creative Keys Music School takes over Oldsmar’s R E Olds Park for two weekend nights’ worth of performances by its students. Please bring your own lawn chairs. 11:30 a.m.-6:45 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24 & Saturday, Oct. 30. 107 Shore Dr. W., Oldsmar.
Spring Hill Trunk or Treat
This is something of an annual tradition in these parts — a safe, family-friendly, community-driven experience. It’s basically condensed trick-or-treating! 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. 1320 Commercial Way, Spring Hill.
Each year, the Sylvan Ramble Lights come on to celebrate certain holliday seasons and raise money for charity. The 20-minute Halloween light show brightens autum nights in Tampa on Fridays and Saturdays througout the month of October, and donations benefit local nonprofit Clothes to Kids. Register for a time to visit online. 8-9:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays through October.
The City of Largo sponsors this seasonal thrill for the little ones ages 1-12 at Central Park. Chaperoned kids can walk the trail in their costumes, collecting treats all along the way. The first 1,500 children will get in free. 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29. 101 Central Park Dr., Largo.
A haunted house set up throughout a decommissioned historic WWII ship? Sounds lke a recipe for some serious thrills and chills. This year's theme, the Tampa attraction's fourth, is "Save Our Souls" (SOS, get it?), and sprawls across some 60,000 square feet where the SS American Victory — usually berthed at the Florida Aquarium — temporarily resides on the water beside Sparkman Wharf. Various dates. Oct. 1-31. 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa.
Walking Ghost Tours
While it’s not as trendy a thing as it used to be, and the one at John’s Pass now seems to be defunct, there are still several ghost tour options around Tampa Bay. Tampa Terrors offers a downtown Tampa experience every night of the week; the national, creatively-named Ghost Tour’s got downtown St. Petersburg covered at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays; and, of course, there’s a semi-nightly tour of Ybor City — for our money, the most likely-haunted district in the area — happening on the regular. Multiple locations and times.