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Halloween Guide: Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating in Tampa Bay | News

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Halloween Guide: Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating in Tampa Bay

Looking for some alternatives to Trick-or-Treating this Halloween?  Here are some ideas:


Haunted Halloween at Crystal River Preserve State Park
Oct. 26 - 27, 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Children's activities: Oct. 27, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Price: $5 per person, children 12 & under Free
Flyer: Haunted Halloween
Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/crystalriverpreserve/events.cfm

This year the event will be held at the Crystal Cove Area of the park, with parking off State Park Street.  To get there, from US 19 turn west on State Park Street about one mile north of the Crystal River Mall, between Denny's and the Ford dealership.  Just follow the signs.

For grownups that like to be really scared, tickets will be on sale for $5 per person from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. both nights.  

Halloween at the Park includes a "Terrifying Tram Tour" through the fearsome forest, A "Slimy Swamp Walk." a "Beastly Boat Ride" down the creepy Crystal River, Fortunes will be told by Madame Epoch, and the Florida Public Archaeology Network will once again host photograph your departed loved ones in its "Mortuary Photography" studio. 

An evening food booth will be sponsored by the Gulf Archaeology Research Institute, who will be cooking up some "Eerie Edibles" promising to satisfy horrendous hungers.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Park Visitors Center will open early, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., for a Kids Halloween Event (children under age 12, FOR FREE). There will be less scary kids activities including pumpkin decorating for the first 100 children, a costume contest, and games. A free hot dog and soda for each child will be provided by Gulf Archaeology Research Institute.

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Haunted Tram Rides at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Oct. 26-27, 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Price: Suggested donation $5 for adults for tram ride; $3 children 12 & up; Haunted House $2 per child
Flyer: Haunted Tram Rides
Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/homosassasprings/events.cfm

The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. each evening, and run until 11:00 p.m. Pepper Creek Trail will once again be transformed into a trail of haunting scenarios that will delight families.

Participating businesses and organizations have been assigned locations on Pepper Creek Trail to decorate with their own spooky set-up. There are a few spots left and guidelines and applications are available at the Park office. There is no charge to sponsor a location and all locations will be judged for cash awards from the Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park for first ($500), second ($300) and third place ($100). Park Manager Art Yerian says, "This popular annual event is a great community celebration and all participating sponsors will be recognized."

This will be the eighth year the Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park will be holding the Haunted Tram Rides event, which attracts thousands of visitors each night. In addition to the Haunted Tram Rides, the event includes family fun such as clowns, a face painter, nightly costume contests, refreshments and trinkets for the children. The suggested donation for the tram ride is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children up to age 12. A special Take a Walk on the Moon-themed Haunted House for children will be set up in the Florida Room. The donation for admission to the Haunted House is $2.00 per child.

This is the first year that the popular youth band Zero Gravity will be performing for the event. The band will start playing at 8:30 pm on Friday night and at 7:30 pm on Saturday night.

For more information on this event, please call Event Coordinator Tricia Fowler or Susan Strawbridge at (352) 628-5343.

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Florida Aquarium Annual Guppyween Event
Oct. 28, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Website: http://www.flaquarium.org/event-calendar.aspx
Price: Kids in costume $2, Adults (12 and older) $12

It's going to be a spooktacular time where kids can trick-or-treat throughout the Aquarium. There will be entertainment for the kids, lots of goodies and all the galleries will be open for viewing.

In addition to all the goodies around the Aquarium, you can also take a ride on our Creatures Of The Deep Boat Cruise (additional ticket purchase required). The cruise will include punch, treats and a skit. It departs at 6 p.m. and returns at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Please call 813-273-4030 to purchase boat cruise tickets.

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Woof Gang Bakery Clearwater hosts Halloween Yappy Hour
Oct. 25, 5 p.m. to close
Price: FREE

Attendees will enjoy free beer, wine and pizza from Anthony's Coal Fire Pizza. There will be a Pet Costume Contest with prizes including a 20-30 minute photo shoot (by Thee Ninja Photo), 8X10 Photo, Bag of Treats, and a Bath. There will be Dogtinis and Yappitizers; Halloween toys, clothes and treats; Woof Gang Bakery homemade treats and caricatures by Art Pressman. Humans can dress up too!

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Jonny Reno's Dog-o-Ween
Every Tuesday in October
Price: Free

Jonny Reno's will host a Weekly Pet Costume Contest during Yappy Hour from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. There will be live music, drink and food specials. Prizes and Gift Baskets from "One Lucky Dog", "Animal House", "Best Buddies", and "Reno Beach Surf Shop".


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St. Pete Boot Camp's 5th Annual Pumpkin Boot Camp
Oct. 30, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.; 6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Price: Free
Website: www.stpetebootcamp.com  

Bring a pumpkin; we'll turn it into a fat-burning machine. 

What size pumpkin?  Depends if you're a scaredy-cat or a fitness freak.  Wimps: bring an itty 'bitty baby squash.  Tough guys, bring a giant gourd to make you sweat!

Wear a costume, and we'll even take fifty push-ups off your drill. 

Reward your workout with free healthy food, face painting and prizes for best costumes. 

All proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 

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15th Annual Halloween in the Park at Honeymoon Island State Park

Oct. 26-27, 6-10 p.m. in picnic area
Price: $10 donation includes 10 free game tickets, annual passes not valid for this event
Flyer: 15th Annual Halloween in the Park
Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/honeymoonisland/events.cfm

This annual event sponsored by the Florida Park Service and Friend's of the Island Parks, Inc. is a family event which raises funds to help support Honeymoon and Caladesi Island State Parks.  

This year's theme will be a Western Theme complete with a Haunted House as well as scenes along the scary trail.  

There will be a family area for the younger ones where children and adults will be entertained with Halloween themed arts and crafts, games, music and freeze dance. There will also be face painting for the kids, fortune telling for the parents, bungee jump, a dunk tank, games, storytelling with the Dunedin library, food and fun.

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2012 Spooktacular Halloween Bash at Gulfport Recreation Center
Oct. 31, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Price: Free

This ghoulish event will be held at the Recreation Center starting at 7 p.m. The bash will include a bigger and better frightful Haunted House, carnival games with candy, a Haunted Snack Shack, a BOO-ROOM for tots and a Costume Contest for the children and their family. 

The Haunted Snack Shack will sell pizza slices for a $1, popcorn for 25¢ and "potion" for 25¢. 

The Costume Contest will begin at 7:30 p.m. Winners will be chosen from eight age categories: 0-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-12, 13-17 and Family. There will be three awards given in each age category. The fun ends at 9 p.m.

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Trick-or-Treat at Gulf View Square Mall
Oct. 31, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Price: Free

Your favorite little black cats and spooky bats are invited to Gulf View Square Mall for a fun and safe night of trick-or-treating!

Children of all ages can come in costume to scour the mall and its participating retailers for candy, all in a safe and climate-controlled environment. 

A spook-tacular magic show by Philip & Henry will be taking place at 7 p.m. in Center Court next to Best Buy, and Monster energy drinks will be on-hand providing samples for parents.

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Halloween Spooktacular for Kids

Oct. 27, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Price: $10 for adults, $5 for kids 4-12
Website & Tickets: www.armedforcesmuseum.com


Children will be able to go on a scavenger hunt for treats throughout the museum, enjoy decorating cupcakes and cookies, participating in take home arts and crafts projects, playing games, and a costume contest.  Halloween Spooktacular for Kids is brought to you in part by Publix.

The Red, White and Craft Brews Fest will take place on Saturday, November 3, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  There will be over 30 brewers with over 60 craft and specialty beers to sample.  Tickets are $25 and include beer tasting,  food from Pappas Ranch, and a souvenir cup.  The Red, White and Craft Brews Fest is brought to you in part by tbt*, WQYK, JJ Taylor Distributing and Cigar City Brewing.

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Halloween Run in the Woods at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Oct. 27 11 p.m.
Price: $10 each run advanced registration; $15 night of event
Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/weekiwachee/events.cfm

Monster Mile: This is a one mile off road course with some soft sandy areas and slight elevation. Anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian read and sign the registration form. Anyone under the age of 16 must have a parent or legal guardian accompany them at all times. You can walk or run, but you must have a flashlight or headlight to participate. This run begins at 11 p.m.

Creature Feature 5k: This is an approximate three mile course with some soft sandy areas and slight elevation. You must be at least 16 years old to participate and anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian read and sign the registration form. You can walk or run, but you must have a flashlight or headlight to participate. This run begins at midnight.

Registration for the night of the event will begin at 10 p.m. and will end 15 minutes prior to each run. Only cash or check is accepted. Checks should be made out to Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.

Registration forms can be picked up at the main gate between 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. or you can request one to be emailed to you by emailing john.athanason@dep.state.fl.us

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Ghouls in the Garden Family Funfest at the Ybor City Museum State Park
Oct. 27, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Price: $4 each ages 6 & up, 5 & under Free
Website: http://www.floridastateparks.org/yborcity/events.cfm

Visit for a day of excitement and suspense as the "ghouls" take over the garden at the YborCity Museum State Park. We will host a variety of activities, such as: a pumpkin decorating contest, "Bat the Rat" through the hay maze, bobbing for apples from the "poison" apple tree, story telling around the witch's cauldron and safety education tables. If you are a brave soul, you may want to have you picture taken in a real "pine box".

Try a visit to "La Casita" and see a traditional wake. Hopefully the spirits will be on their best behavior!

The museum garden and casita will be free during the children's activities.

Visit the museum to experience a glimpse into the lives of the immigrants who settled, lived in, and built the thriving community of Ybor City.

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Haunted House at Florida Aikido Center
Oct. 26, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Price: FREE
Website: http://www.flaikidocenter.com/haunted-house.html

What kind of terror happens when a martial arts studio becomes infested with ghosts, goblins, zombies and more? That's the question behind "Curse of the Haunted Dojo"- a Haunted House and Halloween Event for kids on the evening of Friday, Oct. 26. 

"Curse of the Haunted Dojo" will be open to the community from 6 to 8 p.m. and include a 1,800 sq. ft. haunted house, snacks, face painting and more. While there is no charge to enjoy the event, Florida Aikido Center will be accepting voluntary donations at the event for the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation of Tampa Bay.

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Florida Aquarium's Annual Guppyween

October 28, 4 - 8 p.m. 

Website: http://www.flaquarium.org/event-calendar.aspx

Price: Kids in costume: $2, Adults (12 and older): $12

Description: It's going to be a spooktacular time where kids can trick-or-treat throughout the Aquarium. There will be entertainment for the kids, lots of goodies and all the galleries will be open for viewing. 

In addition to all the goodies around the Aquarium, you can also take a ride on the Creatures Of The Deep Boat Cruise (additional ticket purchase required). The cruise will include punch, treats and a skit. It departs at 6:00pm and returns at 7:00pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Please call 813-273-4030 to purchase boat cruise tickets.


Lakewood Ranch Boo Fest
October 26th 6-9p.m.
Website: http://www.lwrcac.com
Price: FREE

Description: The 7th annual spooktacular BOO Fest experience is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Main Street.  This distinctive community event encourages all to dress in costume and join our community parade down Main Street.  Children can Trick or Treat safely with the merchants and sponsors, while enjoying the many Halloween theme activities that will be offered. This spine-tingling affair will entertain all ages.  Learn more here http://www.lwrcac.com

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Dogtoberfest at The Shops at Wiregrass
Oct. 27, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Website: http://www.theshopsatwiregrass.com/event/dogtoberfest/2145395212

The Shops at Wiregrass will host the 4th Annual Dogtoberfest, a celebration all about your best friend! Live music, doggie costume contest, doggie obstacle course, and on-site pet adoptions from various Tampa Bay area rescue organizations. And because everyone knows that all dogs are winners, every dog in costume will receive a medal! All proceeds to benefit local animal shelter and adoption agencies.

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16th Annual Trunk-or-Treat
October 26, 6 - 9p.m.
Price: FREE
Website: http://www.ladyrosary.org

Description: An annual "holy-ween" party for the families of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Picture the parking lot full of cars and trucks with their trunks and tail gates open, decorated with traditional and not so scary décor, filled with buckets of treats and hundreds of the little ones moving safely from vehicle to vehicle for their annual bag of candy and treats. Learn more here http://www.ladyrosary.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=184&Itemid=348

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Boo Bash 2012 at Heritage Church

October 31, 6-9p.m.
Price: FREE
Website: http://boobash.info/

Description: Boo Bash is a fun, safe, family event. It's a Halloween alternative for children and parents. Learn more here http://boobash.info/

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Halloween Trains at Crews Lake Park

October 26-27, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Price: $3 per person
Website: http://www.cpgrr.org

Description: Come ride the trains through the woods and see what awaits you around the next turn. Learn more here: http://www.cpgrr.org

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October Fun Fest at Orange Lake
Oct. 26, 6 - 8 p.m.
Price: Free

The first portion of the evening will be held at Orange Lake in downtown New Port Richey from 6-8 p.m.

There is no charge to attend and families with children 10 years of age and under are welcome to join a fun night out "trunk or treating." Winners of the Halloween coloring contest will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Coloring sheets can be picked up at the recreation center (6630 Van Buren St., 34563).

Then, following the Fun Fest is Movies in the Park, courtesy of the City's Cultural Art Committee.  Everyone will love watching a free movie, "Stardust," on a cool autumn evening under the stars. The movie starts at around 7:30 p.m. and before that is Wilbur's Fun Zone starting at 6 p.m. with $5 unlimited bounce house bracelets, snacks and drinks. For more information go to discovernpr.com or call the recreation center at 727-841-4560.

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Naturally Creepy at Bok Tower Gardens:

October 26, 6-9 p.m.

Website: http://www.boktowergardens.org/

Price: $1 with costume, $10 without. 

Description: Bring your treat bag and explore the Gardens after-dark to find candy stations hidden along the torch-lit pathways. This special after-hours activity at the Gardens is open to kids of all ages as a safe and not-so-scary Halloween alternative. Visitors are encouraged to wear bug repellent and bring a flashlight.

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Boo Bash and Flashlight Fever at Exploration's V Children's Museum:

October 26, Younger children's BOO! Bash: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., older children's Flashlight fever: 6 - 8 p.m.

Website: http://www.downtownlakelandfl.com/2012/10/boo-bash-flashlight-fever-at-explorations-v-childrens-museum/

Price: $7

Description: "This year Explorations V is hosting two events on Friday, October 26, for children and families.

For the younger crowd and home schoolers, BOO! Bash will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the day. BOO! Bash features kid-friendly games, activities, snacks, music and movement and one free pumpkin per family- All included with admission of $7 or museum membership while supplies last.

Need just a little more fun? Grab your flashlight and come on in to Explorations V for a special evening event, Flashlight Fever!, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m on October 26. There'll be flashlight games, a flashlight scavenger hunt and museum exploration by flashlight. Activities are included with $7 admission or museum membership.

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Sarasota Pumpkin Festival
October 26-28, 12-10 p.m.
Website: http://sarasotapumpkinfestival.com
Price: $5 per person; $7 at the gate; 12 and under get in free

Description: The Sarasota Pumpkin Festival strikes a balance, exciting enough for the older kids but not too scary for the little ones.
"The Hometown Feel" is what you can except at the 4th Annual Sarasota Pumpkin Festival, Sarasota's Very Own Halloween Festival.  Learn more at http://sarasotapumpkinfestival.com.

6th Annual Trick-or-Treat at North Port City Hall
Oct. 31, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Price: Free, bring a nonperishable food item for local food pantry

All children up to 13 years old must be dressed in costume in order to receive treats. All children must be accompanied by an adult. There is no cost; however, the public is asked to bring a nonperishable food item to start stocking a local food pantry for the holiday season.

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Mummies & Goblins Party at George Mullen Activity Center
Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to noon
Price: $3 per child

There will be a costume contest, make-and-take projects, games, cookie decorating and more. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

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