Halloween events in Tampa Bay: Choose your level of scare

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While theme park events in the Tampa Bay area are highly attended around the holidays, there are other events – without the large price tag – that you and your family can attend to celebrate the fun of the season, no matter what level of “spooky” you enjoy.

From haunted walking tours in a historic area of Tampa, to a more family-friendly event on the Riverwalk during the holiday itself, many are looking forward to Halloween after the cancellation of many things last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The list below is not in any particular order. Don’t see your favorite on this list? Let us know what you’re up to by emailing online@wfla.com. This list will be updated when we know more!

1. Halloween Lighted Boat Parade

Location: Hillsborough River – Downtown Tampa, Riverwalk

Friends of the Riverwalk and the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation will present this event along the Riverwalk on Sat., Oct. 30. The boat parade will begin at the Tampa Convention Center and end at Sparkman Wharf.

The event’s website says the winner of the sailboat and motorboat competition will each receive a trophy.

2. Riverwalk Trick-or-Treat

Location: Hillsborough River – Downtown Tampa, Riverwalk

This free community event will go alongside the lighted boat parade on Oct. 30. Kids in costume and their families can trick-or-treat along the Riverwalk and enjoy activities along the way.

Over 50 stations will participate along the walk, from Water Works Park to Marriot Water Street. Curtis Hixon Park is also included.

The event begins at 4 p.m. and lasts through 7 p.m., prior to the boat parade.

3. “I Run for the Boos” Halloween 5K, 10K at Whiskey Joe’s

Location: 7720 West Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa

Before you take the kids trick-or-treating or you go out to enjoy the spooky holiday yourself, spend the morning at Whiskey Joe’s with either a 5K or 10K run. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and registration is available online.

4. Official Walking Ybor City Ghost Tour

Location: 1523 East 7th Avenue, Tampa

Those who love the paranormal and history buffs alike can take a guided walking tour around Tampa’s iconic Ybor City, but there’s no telling what may be seen inside some of the buildings.

The Official Ybor City Ghost Tour takes guests on foot to six stops around Tampa’s “most haunted” neighborhood.

The tour is the only tour in Ybor City that has access inside the Cuban Club, named by the Travel Channel as one of its Top 10 Most Haunted Places.

Tickets are $25 for adults and tour times vary.

5. Palm Harbor Halloween Carnival

Location: 1500 16th Street, Palm Harbor

This event for children of all ages will be a non-scary trick-or-treat event, though there will be a “haunted” hayride, in addition to games, music and food.

The “Centre of Doom” will also be featured, which consists of haunted houses run by local groups.

The event, which runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m. is free for the non-scary trick-or-treat and the games. Haunted houses and hay ride are included with a $10 wristband.

7. Wesley Chapel Fall Festival

Location: 2300 Grand Cypress Drive, Lutz

This event returns for its 17th year at the Tampa Premium Outlets in Wesley Chapel. According to the event Facebook page, it includes a community stage with live entertainment, a pumpkin patch, a “trunk-or-treat,” pet costume contest, local crafters and more.

The World’s Largest Food Truck rally will also be in attendance with more than 70 local and national food trucks on hand.

8. American Victory Ship UNDead in the Water

Location: 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa

The American Victory Ship has left its home area and has headed to Sparkman Wharf. As of Oct. 1, they operate 12 nights throughout the month.

“The frantic and terrified crew tell horrific stories of a mysterious female apparition. Who is she and what does she want?” a press release from the museum says.

9. Howl-O-Train & Carnival, Largo Central Park

Location: 101 Central Park Drive, Largo

Those on the Howl-O-Train will see decorated scenes and characters can have fun beginning Oct. 23 at the Park.

“The notorious miniature trains will take patrons on an eerie ride, as they chug through the haunted tracks draped with thrilling décor and Halloween characters,” a press release said.

After the ride, guests can have fun at other fall-theme games and activities.

10. Seminole Frights

Location: Seminole Heights

This safe trick-or-treating event will host a curated list of houses decorated “exceptionally” for Halloween in the neighborhood” for families to enjoy either by foot or by car, with candy, photo opportunities and surprises along the way.

A map will be posted to the event’s Facebook page soon with indicators soon, and there will be 10 to 12 houses maximum along the way. The map will be sold for a $4 donation to TRIBE Seminole Heights.

11. Shimmering Lights

Location: 2302 North Dover Road, Dover

This fun fall activity that isn’t too scary for the family will take place on select nights beginning Oct. 8, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Activities include a 1/4th-mile walking trail with “hundreds of themed lighted displays, pixel-animated props moving to the music, outdoor movies, [a] maze of lights, [a] scavenger hunt, games, and crafts. We will have some new surprise pieces this year!” the event’s website stated.

12. Haunted Water Taxi Tour

Location: River route stops 7, 12 and 16

The Pirate Water Taxi is getting Halloween-lovers ready for a scary good time on their fleet during the month of October. Guests can expect an evening full of ghost stories and to learn more about Tampa’s haunted history.

Haunted tours run from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on select dates and follows the taxi’s regular pricing, no separate ticket is needed.

13. “Vault of the Souls” Haunted Experience at Exchange National Bank

Location: 8502 N Armenia Ave, Tampa

This experience at this Tampa bank turned banquet hall consists of three interactive performances, including descending into an “underground labyrinth” to “face challenges where tarot cards will guide your path.”

“The Vaults of Souls” will be open for five evenings. Reservations are required and a welcome cocktail, hors d’oeuvres and desserts are included.

14. Jai Alai Ween at Cigar City Brewing

Location: 3924 W Spruce St, Tampa

Cigar City Brewing is hosting “Jai Alai Ween,” in honor of one of its most popular beers, throughout Oct. at the taproom on West Spruce Street.

Each week of the month will feature two special variations of the brewery’s classic beers, which include:

  • Oct. 4: Pomegranate Margarita Gose & a Jai Alai Ween classic recipe featuring rainbow candy
  • Oct. 11: Peanut Butter Marshmallow Maduro Brown Ale & Cookie Maduro Brown Ale
  • Oct. 18: Blueberry Frost Proof Belgian-style White Ale & Raspberry Frost Proof Belgian-style White Ale
  • Oct. 25: Candy Corn Jai Alai IPA & Lemon Candy Jai Low IPA

Cigar City notes the beers are produced in “exceedingly limited quantities and are sure to disappear quickly!”

The Jai Alai Ween Bash will take place Oct. 29 and will feature the release of two versions of the brewery’s beers, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout.

15. House on the Hill: Haunted Trail

Location: 611 Beckett Way, Tarpon Springs

This Tarpon Springs location opens Oct. 22 for select dates.

The “Dead Man’s Swamp” haunted trail will be open Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and is $8 per person. Proceeds benefit the Homeless Empowerment Project.

16. Haunted Carnival

Location: 1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa

A weekend-long Haunted Carnival series will take place at Armature Works from Oct. 28-31 for those 12 and older.

The 200,000-square foot event space next to Armature Works itself will feature attractions throughout the weekend, including live entertainment, a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and other carnival rides, as well as classic carnival foods like cotton candy and funnel cakes.

The Haunted Carnival will also have a costume contest, where the winner will take over $10,000 cash and prizes. Contests can sign up for the contest Friday and Saturday 4-10 p.m. or Sunday 4-8 p.m. Winners will be announced online a week after the event.

General admission tickets and VIP passes are currently available, ranging from $5 to $45.

(Courtesy: Mike Long)

17. Haunt for HEP

Location: 3425 Brian Road S, Palm Harbor

This passion project created by a college sophomore while still in high school will take place in Palm Harbor Halloween weekend to benefit the homeless.

One hundred percent of the proceeds donated to witness the scares and thrilling sights, created by Andrew Long and his family, will benefit the Homeless Empowerment Program.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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