Are you looking for a festive event to help you celebrate Halloween this year? There’s no shortage of options for fun (and fright!) around the Bradenton and Sarasota area, ranging from simply playful to downright chilling. Here are six events to consider attending:
1. Boo Fest at Lakewood Ranch
Main St at Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota
Get ready for a whimsical journey at Lakewood Ranch this Halloween! The 10th annual Boo Fest is themed to the Wizard of Oz. Scheduled for Friday, October 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the event will include a costume contest, haunted trolley ride, dark maze, and mobile video game truck. This is a free event that provides an evening of fun for everyone in the family.
2. Night of Fish, Fun & Fright
1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota
Head to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on October 21 for a spooky Halloween party. This sea-themed event features chilling creatures of the deep alongside trick-or-treating and educational activities. Mommy & Me sessions are available for children ages two to five, and guests of all ages will enjoy the annual underwater pumpkin carving show in the “shark tank.”
The event is $8 in advance and $10 at the door for members, or $12 at the door for the general public. Children ages three and under receive free admission.
3. Haunted Trails at Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 S Tamiami Trail, Osprey
The haunted trail through Oscar Scherer State Park promises plenty of frights during the annual event on October 21 and 22 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. If frights aren’t your thing, there’s a child-friendly trail available around the lake, plus trick-or-treating, costume contests, and other Halloween activities in store to keep everyone thoroughly entertained.
Tickets are available through advance purchase only. Children five and under are free, those ages six to 12 are $5, and all other attendees are $10.
4. The Pumpkin Festival
5895 Post Blvd, Lakewood Ranch
The annual Pumpkin Festival will take place October 28, 29 and 30 from noon to 10 p.m. at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch. The festival includes plenty of fun activities, from a maze, pumpkin patch and petting zoo to craft vendors, rides, games, and inflatables. If you need something to fill your tummy, don’t miss the pie eating contests and beer garden. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, and you should plan an additional $5 for parking.
5. Spooktacular at Selby Gardens
900 S Palm Ave, Sarasota
On Sunday, October 30, Selby Gardens will feature special Halloween activities including trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, and a mad scientist center – a mix of education and entertainment, with something for every age group. The event is free with admission to the gardens, which is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages four and above.
6. Hunsader Farms' Pumpkin Festival
5500 C.R. 675, Bradenton
There's nothing like a pumpkin festival to get you in the Halloween spirit. Running October 22-23 and 29-30, this festival features family fun and includes 75 craft booths, 14 live shows, a pioneer trades village, hayrides, a petting zoo, a chainsaw sculptor and more! Admission is $10 for adults, while children 12 and under are free.
What are your favorite Halloween events in the area? Share your picks with us in the comments section below!