Fall-O-Ween Happenings on Florida’s Nature Coast
Hurricane Michael tried to ruin our fall fun in 2018, but NatureCoasters are just going to get out there and have a blast anyways! The humidity is waning, the temperature is dropping, and it’s time for pumpkins, scarecrows, and outdoor celebrations.
Let’s not forget Halloween, a uniquely American holiday that revolves around costumes, witches, goblins and trick-or-treating – or spooky haunted houses that range from kid-friendly to mess-your-pants adults only.
Whether you enjoy the spookiness or shun the spiritual implications of Halloween, there is just too much happening to stay home. Get out an enjoy yourself.
It’s Fall-O-Ween on the Nature Coast.
Our Number one pick: Haunted Tram Rides
My favorite of all the offerings is the Haunted Tram Rides event on October 27-28 from 6-10pm at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. The Haunted Tram Rides are a blast, although they can be a little much for the easily frightened. After boarding one of the park’s trams, guests are toured through spooky scenarios created by local organizations and businesses. Each year these elaborate, live scenarios provide plenty of fright without the bite of actual contact with visitors. All this entertainment for only $5.00 for ages 13 and over and $3.00 for those under 12. (I don’t recommend this for really young children unless they are fearless.)
Guests can park at the Visitors Center at participate in a myriad of family-friendly activities, including Halloween costume contests for age groups ranging from infant to teens, that start at 7pm, a fun slide, and refreshments. Deadwood Gulch is the theme of this year’s Haunted House with a $2.00 suggested donation.
Best of all, the Haunted Tram Rides event is put on by the Friends’ organization. All funds raised are used to support the park.
Fall is in the Air: Enjoy it with Music and Wine
At the Masaryk Winery, blueberry, strawberry and blackberry table wines are crafted by “Farmer Dan” and his team. Free tastings are available and the wines are sold by the glass or the bottle. October 13, live music is provided from 6-9 pm by Polo, a wonderful father-son duo featuring guitar and violin. Enjoy relaxing romantic music and purchase a great meal from Pee Wee’s bodacious barbecue from Brooksville. Guests can bring a lawn chair and enjoy a relaxing evening under the giant oaks with friends. The event is free but bring some scratch for the food and wine. Please no coolers.
October 13 is the date for the annual Scarecrow Festival at the Pioneer Florida Museum in Dade City. Make your own scarecrow, touch a truck, visit the pumpkin patch, petting zoo, barrel races and more on site from 9am to 5pm.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadow Cast with Meatloaf Dinner
Remember “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”? Well, it’s back at The Olive Grove, 15016 Rester Drive in Brooksville, with live shadow cast by Flustered Mustard on Friday, October 19! For $30, you get to enjoy a meatloaf dinner at 6pm, with the live shadow cast at 7pm. Goody bags are included for interactive fun. Saturday, October 20, doors open at 3 pm with psychics and Amber Lynn Nicol, songwriter/singer. Dinner at 6 and live shadow cast at 7 pm featuring Flustered Mustard, 2nd show at 9pm – show only. If you just want to see the movie, it’s $15.
Spooky Stuff for the NatureCoaster
The May-Stringer House in downtown Brooksville offers ghost tours by appointment, but October 19-20 and 26-27, they kick things up a notch with their Annual Haunted House and Fall Festival from 7-11pm. The four-story, 12-room house was built more than 150 years ago by Brooksville pioneer John May and is said to be inhabited by the spirits of long-deceased family members. Enjoy a bonfire with marshmallow roasting and storytelling. $7 adults and children 12 and up/$5 children under 12, free children’s games, food booth, maze and a fortune teller.
There are two spooky train rides: Central Pasco & Gulf Railroad has their annual rides after dark October 19-20 and 26-27 from 6-9pm in Crews Lake Park, and new for 2018 is the Spooky Train at the Concourse Friday and Saturday nights from October 12-27 from 6-10pm. Both train rides cost for everyone over 12 months.
Family Fun from Crystal River to New Port Richey
On October 31, the Crystal River Mall is having Mall-O-Ween! Halloween Fun for the whole family. Trick or treating from 5-6:30 pm and a magic show performed by John Daniels from 6:30-7:30pm, as well as costumes are all part of the fun. There will be Halloween-style crafts to make and take at Coastal Creations. half off on paintings and crafts. specials on food and beverages. Free pinatas full of candy will be held throughout the day.
And a family-friendly Trick or Treat October 31 in downtown New Port Richey. Participating businesses will provid candy and other treats for little ones – and a few treats for moms and dads too. Of particular interest is the Teal Pumpkin Project participation, offering non-food and allergen free treats for kids with food sensitivities by Wrights Natural Market.
There are corn mazes in Masaryktown. Both Sweetfields Farm and Harvestmoon Farm are open most weekends from the end of September through the end of October. Be prepared to wait in long lines at both locations, but they are great family-friendly events.
Adults-Only Halloween Events
If you want to be scared, really scared, Scream-A-Geddon offers a huge haunted attraction that competes with those put on by theme parks in Tampa and Orlando. It’s adults-only in my book.
Check out NPR After Dark Halloween party where downtown NPR comes alive after dark with live music, dinner specials, and drinks specials…all within an easy stroll. Get creative with your costume, grab your friends, order an Uber or Lyft and head downtown for a night of revelry October 27.
What’s Your Favorite Fall-o-Ween Activity or Event?
There are many, many more events happening in October and you can stay up-to-date at our NatureCoaster.com Calendar. Bookmark it and check back often.
We are entering the best time of year to live in Florida’s Nature Coast. Get out and enjoy Fall-O-Ween and let us know what your favorites are below for next year!