Halloween Happenings around Sarasota County

If you like piña coladas and getting caught eating brains, well, you might be a zombie — but October is your time to shine, darling

From family-friendly pumpkin festivals and uniquely tropical trick-or-treating events, to haunted ghost tours and spooky spectacles that are geared toward grown-ups: there's something for all ages to do during the Halloween season in Sarasota.

Pumpkin Festivals

Gourds galore! Two local farms celebrate a longstanding tradition of transforming their rural Florida citrus groves and sweet corn fields into pumpkin patches chock full of fall festival favorites: hayrides and kettle corn, scarecrow displays, carnival games, petting zoos, and more.

Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest

Every weekend from Oct. 5 to 27; Fruitville Grove

Fruitville Grove, a multi-generational family farm in east Sarasota County, knows a thing or two about hosting a fall festival: they've been doing it for three decades and counting. Snack on fall favorites, including pumpkin-flavored Amish ice cream, hand-made made locally by Big Olaf Creamery — but don't forget to save room for the pie eating contest!

The 31st annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival takes place from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every weekend in October.

Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Fest

Every weekend from Oct. 12 to 27; Hunsader Farm

From Lakewood Ranch Main Street, it it's a 20-minute scenic drive via State Rd 70 and Country Rd 675 to Hunsader Farms, a family farm operating locally since 1967. Get a taste of Hunsader's famous fire-roasted sweet corn, take a hayride, and enjoy unique attractions including a chainsaw sculptor and a "frog jumping" championship.

The 28th annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. three weekends in October

Trick-or-Treat and Halloween Fun for Kids

Howl-O-Ween Movie Night Spooktacular

Oct. 12, Ed Smith Stadium

The Baltimore Orioles are hosting a night of Hallowee-themed fun inside Birdland South. This free event starts at 5:00 p.m. with children's games, activities and photo opportunities with the Oriole Bird. Then, at 7:00 p.m., families can grab a seat in the stands to watch "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" on the scoreboard in right-centerfield. Guests are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for All Faith's Food Bank!

Aquatic Halloween

Oct. 18, Mote Marine and Laboratory

Mote's annual Night of Fish, Fun, and Fright (Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.) is a sea-themed Halloween that's not-too-spooky for the little ones and filled with sweet treats. The aquarium's Night of Fish, Fun and Fright features Mote's famous "underwater pumpkin carving" tradition, shark's teeth-hunting in "Coffin Creek," and deep sea dining in the "Diner of the Dead."

Halloween Block Party

Oct. 25, Lakewood Ranch Main Street

Do the Monster Mash on Lakewood Ranch Main Street at BOO Fest (Oct. 25, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.), an annual Halloween block party that includes spooky face painting, live music and balloon art, trick-or-treating for kids, and carnival games.

Nature Trail Trick-or-Treat

Oct. 25 and 26, Oscar Scherer State Park

The 7th annual Haunted Trails at Oscar Scherer State Park (Oct. 25-26) offers a not-too-scary trick-or-treat trail for youngsters, as well as a "Scary Trail" and a haunted house for brave big kids and folks looking for an excuse to jump out of their skin. Kids five and under get in free, ages 6-12 are in for $5, and adult tickets cost $10 per person.

Kids Costumes on Parade

Oct. 31, Historic Downtown Venice

Costumed kids have been strutting their stuff in the Children's Halloween Parade on Venice Main Street for more than six decades. Meet in costume on at Centennial Park at 4:00 p.m. to join the parade, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m. on Halloween. The Venice Lion's Club will hand out candy.

Trick-or-Treat by the Beach

Oct. 31, Siesta Key Village

Trick or treat and get some sand between your toes at the annual Siesta Key Village Safe Treats for Kids (Oct. 31, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.). The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and participating businesses will hand out candy in costume throughout the Village in the afternoon, leaving time to spare so your family can catch the sunset on the beach.

St. Armands Circle Tricks and Treats

Oct. 31, St. Armands Circle

St. Armands Circle embraces its spooky side for Fright Night on St. Armands (Oct. 31, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.). Trick-or-treat your way around the Circle among spirited statues dressed in Halloween garb and costumed street performers.

Ghost Tours and Haunted Spots

Haunted Trolley Tours

Every Friday + additional dates on select weekends and Tuesday-Thursday during the week of Halloween, downtown Sarasota

Sit back and relax with a complimentary glass of wine or beer, and a side of spine-tingling spookies, aboard Discover Sarasota's Haunted Trolley Tours. Your ghastly guide, Seva, knows all the local secrets — famous murders, unsolved crimes, and haunted buildings — and she's happy to share… if you dare. Ages 12 and up welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

Ghosts and Gruesomes Walking Tour

Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, downtown Sarasota

Some folks love Sarasota so much, they never leave — ever. Join Sarasota Suncoast Tours' Ghosts & Gruesomes Walking Tour to get acquainted with the ghosts who reside downtown. Wear comfy shoes and bring a camera: the tour keeps guests on their feet for approximately 75 minutes, and paranormal sleuths will want to review your photos afterward for ghostly orbs. This tour is not recommended for children.

Creepy History at Spanish Point

Select dates in October, Historic Spanish Point

When the veil is at its thinnest, Historic Spanish Point celebrates with special Halloween Ghost Tours that explore the "darker side of Spanish Point" by way of paranormal investigations geared toward ghostly discoveries.  History enthusiasts also have a chance to go full "Southern Gothic" by attending a theatrical Victorian Funeral — complete with a grieving 19th century widow who demonstrates historically accurate Victorian mourning etiquette. This dash of antiquated macabre is a Historic Spanish Point tradition that occurs only during the month of October.

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