By Olivia Fleming
Looking for Halloween activities in the Tampa Bay area close to the UT campus? Then you’re in luck! The community offers tons of free events within walking distance from The University of Tampa’s campus that people of all ages can enjoy.
Fall in Tampa is a little different since it’s still 80 degrees and sunny but there are plenty of ways to get into the fall spirit.
Armature Works Fall Festivities
Armature Works offers fall-themed events throughout October all leading up to the spookiest day of the year, Halloween.
The Height Districts annual fall fest is a free event that takes place on October 14-15 and 21-22. The festive decorations offer great photo opportunities for community members who attend.
“Fall Fest is my favorite fall event simply because it has activities for the entire family. Live entertainment, pumpkins for sale, face painting, bounce houses,” said Marci Bolkovartz Event Operations Manager at Armature Works. “This year they are partnering with Metropolitan Ministries.”
The riverfront pumpkin patch, bounce houses, face painting, live entertainment, fall treats and petting zoo are all expected from the event. Not only is the event filled with lots of fun activities but it’s benefitting Metropolitan Ministries.
Those attending are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to the food drive. Each item donated counts as a raffle towards a $100 Armature Works gift card and basket.
Feeling Crafty? Armature Works is also holding a pumpkin painting event on Oct. 23 from 6-8 p.m. The creative workshop will be held inside the Show + Tell room in the AW market and participants will have to purchase tickets for $15 each. The workshop offers full creative freedom for participants to design a unique pumpkin of their choosing.
Pied Piper’s third annual Haunted Carnival is making a return to the Armature Works property this year from Oct. 26-28. This event is perfect if you love rides or music. It’s the perfect place to spend some time with friends and family during Halloween weekend. Aside from classic carnival rides, the carnival also features fall-themed treats, games, a costume contest and music from some of the greatest performers.
“I have gone to the Haunted Carnival both years that we hosted it here on property,” said Bolkavatz. “It is now one of the largest Halloween parties in Tampa. During the day it is a family friendly event with carnival rides and delicious fair food and then after dark it becomes a more risqué vibe. The concerts are a lot of fun and they bring in some very talented artists.”
During the day the carnival is family friendly and at night adults can join some of the featured artists at the 21+ DJ stage. Those interested in gaining access to the stage to see performers like Diplo, Quavo, Above & Beyond, Wuki, Jauz, Sommer Ray and VAVO will need to purchase a VIP pass before the show.
Tampa’s Haunted Extravaganza
The Tampa Bay History Center holds their own A Night at The Museum event on Oct. 22 from 4-7 p.m. The exhibits come to life after the museum closes just like the famous 2006 film starring Ben Stiller.
Guests can enjoy trick-or-treating, a costume contest, games, and Halloween crafts where you can expect lots of photo ops. Special characters will be roaming the museum all night at this family-friendly event. Tickets can be purchased online prior to the event.
Month Long Events
Hyde Park Village shares the fall spirit all October long. From Oct. 4-26 the village annually transforms the Village Circle into a pumpkin patch.
In addition to taking a stroll through the village and shopping up a storm, you can enjoy a cute photo opportunity.
Proceeds from the pumpkin patch are donated to Tampa’s well-known animal rescue, The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
A new event in the Tampa area is the haunted water taxi tours. Spirit of The Shallows tours run for 45 minutes and on your cruise, the ghostly crew will tell stories of Tampa’s spooky past.
During the trip, the taxi will stop at Captain Patchy’s Pumpkin Barge where children on the tour will choose a pumpkin and will get to meet Captain Patchy.
The crew will take cruisers along the Hillsborough River as they narrate a spooky tour of Tampa. The tour is family-friendly and fun for people of all ages.
A Nightmare on Franklin Street
If you are familiar with the Tampa Bay area you may have heard the rumors that the Tampa Theatre downtown is haunted.
During the ‘A Nightmare on Franklin Street’ series, the Tampa Theatre presents Halloween classics, horror movies, ghost tours and spooky storytelling. Every Friday the theater opens the lobby at 5 p.m. for a Halloween Happy Hour before the movie begins. All movies during the series begin at 7 p.m.
If you’re a movie lover this is the perfect place for you to spend your Friday nights. Showings of movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Interview With The Vampire, The Shining, Dead of Night, Talk to Me, Saw, The Purge, Slotherhouse, and the John Carpenter classic, Halloween which will end the series on Oct. 31.
Ghost tours are free for Tampa Theatre Members but for newcomers, tickets are $15. The tour is approximately 90 minutes long and those who attend will get to hear about why the Tampa Theatre is known as one of the most haunted buildings in town.
Halloween is the perfect time to take a tour of the historic movie palace and meet its ghostly guests.