Fall, that time of year when Floridians anxiously await the first blush of “cold” weather. We have longed to don a hoodie or put a pair of boots on, to feel cool air on our faces as we walk outside instead of a blanket of humidity laying over us. Well it is here folks! These cooler temperatures may be fleeting, but the absolute best weather of the year, some would say, is about to descend upon us. Pumpkin lattes, apple pies, and preparations for holiday gatherings are beginning.
Fall decorations adorn light posts and bales of hay and potted flowers featuring jewel tones sit on neighbors’ porches. But first, we need to stock our candy cabinets and search Pinterest for that perfect costume, because Halloween weekend is coming! Families are gearing up for the festivities, and this year they are spooktacular. Festivals, pumpkin patches, costume contests and a host of equally fun and frightening events are sure to scare your Halloween tradition into the next stratosphere. It’s all happening in the Sarasota area, so sit back and plan your most bloodcurdling Halloween to date with these exciting and ghoulish festivities.
Oct 28-30, 8th Annual Sarasota Pumpkin Festival, Lakewood Ranch Premier Sports Campus, 12:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M.
This community favorite event features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, carnival rides, live music, pony rides, and safe trick-or-treating. A costume contest will occur daily at 5:00 P.M. Beer gardens, food tents, and family activities will provide something for people of all ages. Admission prices is $10 adults, $7 students ages 13-18, and $5 kids ages 5-12. Children four and under are free.
Oct 29-30, 25th Annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival, 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Head out to Hunsader’s for an even more special festival this year, as they celebrate 25 years of delighting area families. Hunsader’s Festival is a time honored tradition featuring elaborate corn mazes, scarecrow displays, crafts and artisan booths, pony rides, petting zoo, rock climbing, face painting and much, much more. Admission is $10, kids 12 and under are free. Parking is $5.
Oct 29-30, 28th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest, 10:00 A.M.to 5:00 P.M.
Pumpkin painting, train rides, petting zoo, hay rides and crafts make this one of the most popular festivals in the county. Free admission and free parking make it a bit more economical also. Come on out and find the perfect Halloween decorations for your home and pick the best pumpkin while you’re at it. Food is available for purchase and the produce market will also be open.
Oct 30, Selby Gardens Spooktacular, 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
This is a family-friendly event featuring a variety of activities for all ages including a mad scientist lab for the older kids, and seed-planting, pumpkin decorating and crafts for the younger goblins. Trick-or-treating along Sarasota Bay with a backdrop of gorgeous gardens that only Selby can provide. How can you go wrong with this one? Food will be available for purchase. Members admission is free; members’ guests pay $10. Nonmembers $20, children 4-17 $10.
Oct 30, Big Cat Habitat’s Wild-O-Ween, 12:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary shows you how some of the most exotic animals in the world celebrate Halloween. With a petting zoo, pony rides, games and plenty of monkey business for all, this will be a fun afternoon for the whole gang. The first 50 kids in the door receive a special gift. Adults $18 and children $8.
We hope your Halloween weekend is both delightful and frightful. Tap into the wonderment that children feel as they become whomever they want to be for one magical evening. Whip up some tasty treats and fill your cauldrons with monster eyeballs and you have a party in the making. And, whether you choose to trick-or-treat in Siesta Village, Downtown Bradenton, St. Armand’s Circle, or in your own neighborhoods, we hope you have a safe and fun Halloween. Bring on the candy corn!
photos from pixabay.com