TAMPA BAY, Fla. — Tampa Bay loves Halloween, and while the house parties won’t be as crowded and the neighborhoods won’t be as full of kids roaming the streets, there will still be plenty of celebration leading up to All Hallows’ Eve.
Here’s a list of events scheduled during the run-up to everyone’s favorite holiday dedicated to pretending you’re someone you’re not; check back often, as we’ll be adding and updating often. Got a marvelous Halloween event on the books during this season of uncertainty? Let us know.
What You Need To Know
- Despite the pandemic, there are plenty of Halloween-themed events scheduled for the Tampa Bay area
- Check back often for updated events and listings
Busch Gardens’ uber-popular Howl-O-Scream scarefest will return this year, albeit with lowered capacity and COVID precautions. This year’s iteration will take place in the open air, and feature 10 “scare zones,” including four all-new attractions. If you’ve ever been camping and gotten freaked out about those noises that take place just outside the glow of the fire, get ready for the thrilling Lycan Landing, which will deliver on that particular phobia in furry full-moon style. Runs September 25-November 1.
Dade City’s annual attraction—which, rumor has it, is actually really haunted—is back this year with six frights in one. Among the new themes for 2020 is Ravenhill Asylum, an experience in which patrons can decide the level of interactivity they endure. Do you just want to explore the facility, or really get touchy? It’s up to you. Tickets are already on sale for Scream-A-Geddon, which hardcore Tampa Bay Halloween fans look forward to all year long, and don’t forget to steel your nerves with a beverage at Bonzo’s Beer Garden. Runs through November 1.
A perennial favorite among Halloween fans and animal lovers of all ages, ZooTampa at Lowry Park is bringing Creatures of the Night back this year, with all the recommended coronavirus precautions in place. This year's theme is "The Spider Queen," so expect a family-friendly storyline that ties the evening together, including scares that are appropriate for the little ones, too. Plus: Animals! Creatures of the Night is especially popular with locals and ZooTampa annual passholders, so you should probably grab your tickets while you can. Friday and Saturday nights in October, and Thursday, October 29.
One of Central Florida's highest-rated seasonal scares is bringing three new trail exeriences to Plant City. Outdoor venue? Check. Comprehensive COVID safety plan? Check. Family-friendliness? Check and check. So check it out! While it may not get the name recognistion of a Halloween Horror Nights, Sir Henry's receives rave reviews year after year. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in October, excepting Sunday, October 4.
Channelside’s American Victory Ship Mariners Memorial Museum hosts a pulse-pounding interactive experience wherein you “traverse multiple decks of this historic WWII cargo ship armed only with nerves of steel and a will to survive.” Feel like getting chased by zombies on a ship? This is where you can get chased by zombies on a ship. Runs October 2-31.
Spring Hill is going it up right for revelers of all ages at the Concourse with a train full of ghosts and goblins as well as a haunted trail for those who prefer their scares on the hoof. 6:30-10:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday through October 31.
Tampa’s Pirate Water Taxi will once again be hosting its Haunted River Tour, a 45-minute jaunt down the Hillsborough River rife with scary tales and haunted history. This one is ideal for both adults and children, and launches from the Tampa Convention Center every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening in October. Grab a beverage and get scared; tours begin at 6:15, 7:15, 8:15 and 9:15 p.m. all weekend long.
If you think a Saturday night in Ybor City is scary enough on its own, you should check out one of these ghost tours, which take place throughout the year but are especially fun as Halloween approaches. History and folklore come together as you walk through one of Tampa Bay’s most unique neighborhoods. It’s a two-hour tour with frequent stops that’s packed with information about the multicultural district, and tales of those who didn’t leave it behind even after they died. At press time, this official Ybor ghost tour is still taking reservations despite the pandemic, and will provide memorable All Hallows thrills.
The suburbs can be just as scary as that old abandoned warehouse when World of Beer in Westchase gets up to some horrific Halloween hijinks. Grab a craft beer and try not to be terrified by the four areas in this one-night affair, from the Murder House and the Asylum to the Coven and the Freakshow. Thrills, chills and brews? Sounds like the perfect night for adults who love All Hallows Eve.
This South Tampa Neighborhood tradtion has grown over its four years to include more than 200,000 holiday-themed lights, and includes a donation drive that raises resources for several local nonprofits. Register online. Various dates and times Octoiber 9-31.
This one's a little different: Tampa massage and halotherapy business EPIC Services is inviting folks of all ages to get a little salt therapy while enjoying the season and hunting for candy in their Salt Room. Costumes are encouraged, and there will be a social media-based costume contest as well. Reservations are recommended. Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, October 31, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Bring the little ones to this safe and fun trip through Pasco Safety Town in Spring Hill. Everyone in the family will enjoy it, and at press time the organizers were still looking for vendors to add to the attractions. Friday, October 30, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday, October 31, 6-9 p.m.
Pinellas Park's annual candy giveaway for the kids will be an in-car affair this year due to the pandemic. The drive begins at the Little League baseball park on 94th Avenue, and meanders to the main "get your pumpkin buckets full of gooidies" spot at Forbes Recreation Park. Want to help make it a success? You can volunteer to dress up and cheer the parade on in the drop-off zone, or donate candy to the cause. Saturday, October 31.
This special St. Pete area arts event is so secret, we don't even know the details. We do know the theme is "House of Lost," that it's honoring COVID-19 safety guidelines, that it's "a cacophony of arts and performance for one night only," and that you've gotta DM the promoters at the page above with the word "RESERVATIONS" to get the full scoop. Yeah, we're getting a pretty "adults-only" vibe, too. Spooky! Saturday, October 31, 7 p.m.-midnight.
This one's super kid-friendly, and all the extras come with your paid admission to the aquarium. Your little ones will watch (and judge!) an underwater pumpkin carving contest, enjoy available special Halloween-themed concessions, enjoy educational stations set up throughout the facility, and thrill to the "residents" getting their own seasonal treats. Saturday, October 31-Sunday, November 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.