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Friday, Oct 24, 2014

Halloween Hotspots for Families in Florida

Published:   |   Updated: August 22, 2014 at 08:31 AM

Halloween is so much more than just one night of trick-or-treating, especially in Florida. Celebrations begin in September and don’t end until in November. We’re talking serious family fun.

So whether you’re looking to have a not-so-scary time with Mickey Mouse or an autumn celebration with Shamu the whale, you’ll find it here.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Select nights from September through October 2014

Suitable for all ages, kids and even adults dress in costumes and trick-or-treat around Magic Kingdom Park in the evening. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is not included in regular park admission and requires a separate ticket. However, fewer people means shorter lines for even the most popular rides and enough candy for all. Don’t miss the Boo To You Halloween Parade and the night’s finale - the Happy HalloWishes fireworks display. Lake Buena Vista, Fla 32830  (407) 939-5277.

SeaWorld’s Orlando Halloween Spooktacular

Every Saturday and Sunday in October

This one is a SEA-sonal favorite with all the fun included in your regular admission. SeaWorld Orlando kicks off the fun at noon with 14 trick-or-treat stations and costumed characters like Gummy Worm Wanda. Be sure to join Princess Penelope and friends at the Spooktacular Dance Party each night and dance along with the interactive DJ. 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, Fla 32821 (888) 800-5447.

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights

Select nights Sept. 19 through Nov. 1, 2014

This is a favorite among the adult crowd and it's not recommended for children. For more than 20 years, Universal Orlando Resort has brought to life guests' most horrifying fears in a way no one else can. At Halloween Horror Nights, you’ll encounter hundreds of "scareactors" roaming throughout eight haunted houses, scare zones and shows that are sure to give you nightmares for years to come. Be sure to check out the on-site resort vacation packages. 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, Fla 32819 (407)363-8000.

The Pumpkin Patch at Little Farm, Redland

Oct. 4-31, 2014

The pumpkin patch at Little Farm is rated E for everyone. Take a drive into the country and discover this gem -- a real life working farm that your kids will love -- and learn from. Pick out a pumpkin, see farm animals, ride ponies, explore the butterfly garden and more. Be sure to get a scarecrow kit and harvest décor to decorate when you get home too. 13401 SW 224 St., Goulds, Fla 33170 (305) 258-3186.

Jacksonville Zoo Spooktacular

October 17 – 19, Oct. 24 – 26 and Oct. 29 – Nov. 1. 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Explore the night and its lively inhabitants at the Jacksonville Zoo Spooktacular. Along the way, trick or treat, enjoy music, dancing, food, bounce houses, and a giant slide. Jack-o-lanterns light the paths to special animal exhibits and candy stations. 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, Fla 32218 (904) 757-4463.

Central Florida Zoo Boo Bash

Oct. 18-19 and Oct. 25-26, 2014

Bring your kids in costume and bring a bag to fill up with goodies as you trick-or-treat around the wildest neighborhood at the Central Florida Zoo Boo Bash! You’ll find haunted hayrides, a pumpkin patch for family photos, face-painting and a daily costume contest. This event is included with zoo admission. 3755 NW Highway 17-92, Sanford, Fla (407) 323-4450.

Uncle Donald’s Farm in Lady Lake

Select nights in October
Enjoy an old fashioned hay ride; walk on the wild side and see nocturnal animals like panthers and owls for the Fall Fun Nights at Uncle Donald’s Farm.  Meander through the Pumpkin Patch and meet a bevy of reptiles in the Creepy Crawly Barn. Oh, and don’t forget to get lost in the hay maze too. 2713 Griffin Ave., Lady Lake, Fla 32159 (352) 753-2882.

Busch Gardens Tampa Howl-O-Scream

Oct. 2-Nov. 1.Thursday, Friday and Saturdays
Howl-O-Scream will leave you begging for mercy... and screaming for more. With gore, blood and violence, this is one for adults only. There are scare zones, live shows, roaming hoards of creatures and haunted houses. Be sure to ride the park’s top thrill rides too – in the dark – for the loudest screams and fun. 10001 N. Malcolm McKinley Dr., Tampa, Fla 33612 (888) 800-5447.

Amazing Grace Crop Maze

Oct. 4-Nov. 2 Fridays and Saturdays
This family-owned farm welcomes families each Fall to experience a crop maze, hay rides, a plentiful pumpkin patch and games. Located in Green Cove Springs, just south of Jacksonville, the Amazing Grace Crop Maze offers plenty of fun and is a great educational experience for families to learn about life on a farm. 2899 Wisteria Farms Rd., Green Cove Springs, Fla 32043 (904) 284-2949.

Key West Fantasy Fest

Children’s Day Oct. 26, 2014
Key West Fantasy Fest is legendary for adults, but the day-after parade is Children's Day featuring food, games, crafts and a children's costume contest. All the fun at this year’s Fantasy Fest Children’s Day takes place at Bayview Park at Truman Avenue and Eisenhower Drive. Bayview Park, Key West, Fla 33040.

Monster Splash at Miami Seaquarium

Select dates in October
Families are invited for a day or night of thrills and chills. In addition to scary, creepy stuff for adults, there’ll be happy hauntings for the little ones at ‘Frightening Forest’ at this year’s event at Miami Seaquarium. Kids 12 and under can trick-or-treat on weekend nights, 5-8:30 p.m. 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, Fla 33149 (305) 361-5705.

This is just a sampling of the Halloween Hot Spots to be had in Florida. So put on those costumes, grab your camera (and a sack for treats) and go have some great fall fun with your family!  

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