Oct 29, 2021 - Things to Do
Your Halloweekend Guide in Tampa Bay
Illustration of an animated ghost emoji, transitioning from a serious face to a smile, sticking its tongue out, and sunglasses lowering over its eyes.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

If overpriced Halloween parties scare you, have no fear. There's so many free or cheap ways to celebrate around Tampa Bay this weekend.

Tampa:

  • Haunted Carnival: Come early with the family for carnival rides, a giant ferris wheel, a merry-go-round and fun food. $10,000 in cash and prizes are being given away in costume contests. Beware: After 7pm the carnival evolves into "an elevated risqué spooky experience" with concerts from Carnage, Duke Dumont and Malaa. 4-11pm Friday, 2-11pm Saturday and 2-9pm Sunday at Armature Works. $5-10.
  • Haunted Wharf: Sparkman's Wharf becomes an ​​eerie maze plagued with pirate spirits, sea-dwelling humans and sinister sirens. 6-10:30pm on Friday and 5-10:30pm on Saturday. $13.
  • Sylvan Ramble Light Show: A computerized musical light show with smoke and water effects. Shows run from 7:30-9:30pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4412 W. Sylvan Ramble St. Donations will be collected for Clothes to Kids. Free! But be sure to register online ahead of time.
  • Jai Alai Ween Bash: Taste two versions of Hunahpu's Imperial Stout: one with caramel candy additions to the spicy, chocolatey beer and the other with added chocolate candy and peanut. The final Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale keg of the season will also be tapped. Plus, a fortune teller, skeleton performers, giveaways and a costume contest. 6-11pm Friday at Cigar City Brewing's Spruce Street Taproom. Free!
  • Lighted Halloween Boat Parade: Help raise money to scare away cancer with a boat parade on the Hillsborough for the National Pediatric Cancer foundation. Deck out your boat and cruise along, or dress up and join by land along the Riverwalk. 6:30-9:30pm Saturday. Boat registration $100, Riverwalk attendance free!
  • Hogsmeade Halloween Market: A "Harry Potter" themed market with local vendors and artists, tacos, vegan food, tarot readers and a trick-or-treat station for kids. 5-9pm Sunday at Cactus Moon. Free!
  • Redrum Halloween Art Show: A costume contest, art show and spooky tunes. 8pm Sunday at Hooch and Hive. Free!
  • Wesley Chapel Fall Festival & World's Largest Food Truck Rally: Choose from 60+ food trucks and check out performances, costume contests, a petting zoo, pony rides, kids zone with bounce houses and activities, Fall Pageant and a pumpkin patch. 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday at Tampa Premium Outlets in Lutz. $10, kids 12 and under free.

St. Pete:

  • Read No More Haunted Literary Tour: Explore literary legends and lore on a tour of South St. Pete. Tours at 6, 7, 8 and 9pm on Friday. $15.
  • Ranch Rider Spirits Halloween Prom: Enjoy a full bar of Ranch Rider Spirits while dressed in your favorite Halloween costume. All drink sale proceeds go to Hooah. Friday from 8pm to midnight at Coastal Creative. Free!
  • Fright Night Halloween Art Show: Celebrate spookiness with the work of 80+ artists in a show curated by Stephanie Aguedelo, with a fire performance, costume contest and games. 6-9:30pm Saturday at Coastal Creative. $8.
  • Thrilla at Mezzo: A Halloween '80s dance party with music by DJ Bookster and friends and food by Dusty's. 8pm Saturday at Intermezzo. Free!
  • ​​FrankenPride: A St. Pete Pride event for the whole family with a monster DJ, cabaret witches, vogueing mummies, spooky drag queens, a haunted house and kids' trick-or-treating. Part of Halloween on Central. 12-5pm Sunday on the 2400 & 2500 blocks of Central Avenue. Free!

Lakeland:

  • Buena Block Party: Downtown Lakeland is hosting a Dia de los Muertos party with a night market, food trucks and DJ. 5-10pm on Saturday. Free!
  • Haunted Campground Spooktacular: Camp Halloween style, plus see Ms. Pat’s Traveling Emporium Exhibit of Horror, walk the haunted trail, go camper-treating and have s'more fun. 4-8pm Saturday at Sun n' Fun. $10 cash only.
  • Brass Tap Halloween Party: Celebrate with $4 Zombie Brain Shots, $6 Pumpkin Beers and other spooky special cocktails. Noon to midnight Saturday. Free!
  • SpooKee Lip SynK: Compete for $100 cash in Lip SynK with more prizes for runners up as well as costume contest winners. With special guest Nate Flemming. 7-8:30pm Saturday at Krazy Kup in Plant City. $10 per entry.

Go Deeper: Check out Sarasota Magazine's list of weekend events in Manatee and Sarasota.

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