100 Plus Things To Do In Central Florida This Fall
Are you looking for things to do in Central Florida this fall? Fall kicks of the beginning of many holiday celebrations and fall bring an extraordinary variety of things to do, especially the Halloween ones!
Here is your complete guide to all events, activities, and things to do in Central Florida. Get your pumpkin patch on, bring on the scares, trick or treat or attend one of many annual fall events. With over 100 things to do, this is the most comprehensive guide you will find!
Some events are not listed yet simply because the owners have not published the dates yet or may not host the event this year. I’ll be adding additional events as they become available. If you know of an event or tradition that is not featured here, I would love to add it to the list. Please email over any suggestions, and I will gladly add and link to the event.
Celebrate fall at this pumpkin patch complete with a petting zoo, games, crafts, food, and whimsical fun. Wear your best costumes and bring your imaginations! Trunk r Treat with our vendors and maybe get a little farm fright!
When: October 10th and 11th Where: The BackWoods. 7940 Indian house ln Groveland, FL 34736 Cost: $4 advance and $5 at the door. All proceeds go towards a Fire Fund rebuilding a couple’s lives after a house fire took everything. Get tickets here.
Annual Fall Festival at the Monday Market hosts a pumpkin patch, hayride, bounce houses, market vendor, food trucks, live music, and more. Where: 9055 Northlake Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32827 Cost: Free, but activities cost extra.
The third annual Fall Festival at The Rock for a great time of fun, fellowship, food, and activities! The following day we will be celebrating The Rock’s 20th anniversary of ministry to Central Florida.
Activities: Food trucks, bounce houses, face painting, raffles, line dancing and more Where: 6641 W State Road 46, Sanford, FL Cost: Free
On the first Saturday of each month, visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. Free Music Lessons and Jam sessions every first Saturday with membership or paid admission.
Activities: Informal music jams, free workshops, and food. Where: 1776 Lightfoot Lane, Barberville, Florida 32105 Cost: $6 or free with membership
Are you interested in Square Dancing? Barberville hosts Square Dancing every Friday Evening in the School House Auditorium by the Wrangler Country Squares.
Beginner classes from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.,
Club dance – Square, Round, & Line Dancing 7:30 to 9:30.
Non-dancing visitors are always welcome at no charge. $5 per person / Free Refreshments
At Horsepower Ranch, autumn is the time for harvest and celebration. There’s something for every member of your family: horse-drawn wagon rides, Clydesdales. Pick-your-own pumpkin patch, petting zoo, pony rides, Vendors, Bounce Houses, crafters, face-painting, unicorns, music, Luau Show by Aloha Productions on Sunday with a huge car and truck show on Sunday and so much more. One of the most extensive pumpkin patches in central Florida.
Lake Catherine Farms is a family-owned and operated U-Pick blueberry and blackberry farm located in Groveland, FL. In addition to U-Pick blueberries and blackberries, they also have pre-picked berries, ice cream, raw honey, homemade jams, baked goods, blueberry lemonade, and much more.
This non-scary Halloween event includes free hayrides throughout the evening; a costume contest for babies to age 4 (with parent), ages 5 – 8, and ages 9 – 16; games; a bonfire and marshmallow roast; and lots more fun!
Where: Magnolia Park, 2929 S Binion Rd, Apopka, Florida 32703 Cost: $3 per child and free for adults.
A favorite with the locals and UCF fans on the east side of town. Painted Oaks offers an inexpensive family day out. When my nephew was younger and still interested in riding ponies, we used to visit here annually. Painted Oaks now offers the Orlando Corn Maze!
Food, Music, Dancing
Pumpkins for Sale
Train Rides $5 Kids only
Pony Rides $5 Kids 3yrs min
Hayrides $5 Everyone
Corn Maze $12 Adults and $10 Kids
Where: 15100 Lake Pickett Rd Orlando, FL 32820 Cost: Free entry and free parking
A family-friendly time to create a unique pumpkin for Halloween!
Join Pumpkin Master, Joe Yakovetic, with over 14 years of pumpkin work. Joe has appeared on Halloween Wars! Season 5, Access Hollywood Telemundo, Hollywood Today Live! Family & Home and Disneyland, as well as other venues. You will learn a few techniques on pumpkin selection, preparation, carving, decorating, and preservation.
Bring your pumpkin(s) and be ready to pick from an assortment of images to transfer to your pumpkin and let the creative juices flow!
Tools and materials provided and available for purchase.
Santa’s Forest is bursting with fun. In the fall, A Lot of Pumpkins pumpkin patch opens with tons of activities.
Pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving.
The Magical Maze has thirteen scary monster pictures hidden throughout, find them all, and win a prize!
Horse and pony rides
Barrel cart rides
Mazes and play area are open continuously during fall hours.
Dare to fly through the sky on the 400 feet long zip line or the junior zip line just 200 feet long.
Jack’s Barnyard animals are ready to welcome you to the farm. When you are finished, take a jump in the Black Cat Haystack, race some rubber duckies and dig for real shark’s teeth at Shark Tooth Beach!
Santa’s Workshop is stocked with cute and scary Halloween decorations and toys. Visit the attractions and concessions pages to learn more.
Pumpkins from Ohio and New York are fresh-picked and then displayed in a shaded lot to help preserve their freshness. A pumpkin carving table is available to carve a Jack-o-Lantern at the farm and leave the mess with us, and carving tools may be purchased from any cashier.
Where: 35317 Huff Rd., Eustis, FL 32736 Cost: General admission is $3 to $6. This covers everyone to go on the hayride and visit the petting zoo animals, and visit the pumpkin patch. An optional wristband can be purchased for additional kids’ activities.
Pumpkins are priced by size, and most range between $3 and $12.
Where: 26216 County Rd. 448A, Mt. Dora, FL 32757 Cost: Everyone must purchase a general admission wristband to enter the back of the farm where all the activities are located. Even if you do not want to participate in the activities, you will need to purchase an admission wristband to be admitted to the back of the farm.
Kids 3 and under – free
Kids (4 through 16) – $12.00 (All kids must be with a paying adult)
Adults (17 & older) – $12.00
Maze admission includes; both Corn Mazes, the permanent Tree Maze, Rope Maze, Labyrinth, Mist Maze, Super Slide, Jumping Pillow, Small Kids Zip Line, Huge Fort-like playground, Tot Lot, Sand Tires, Tether Ball, other games and covered picnic areas.
The Pumpkin Patch and hay maze open in October. A variety of pumpkins can be purchased from the Pumpkin Patch. Adults and children will enjoy finding their way through the hay maze. Take your time and enjoy the animal jokes you will find in the maze.
Fall Fun Nights:
Enjoy a night hayride, take a “Walk on the Wildside,” where you will see owls, and other nocturnal animals. Visit the “Creepy Crawly Barn” for a close encounter with reptilian wonders. Find your way through the hay maze if you can.
Activities: Farm, pumpkin patch, reptiles, animals, and mazes. When: October Where: 2713 Griffin Avenue, Lady Lake, Florida 32159 Cost: $10 for special events
Things To Do In Central Florida: Festivals & Events
The 4th Annual Harvest Moon Dinner presented by Heritage Park and the Sanford Historic Trust. Show off your tablescaping skills and mingle with Sanford’s great community.
This year’s theme is: If you can bring one person to dinner, dead or alive, who would be the dinner guest of your dreams?
Is it your Grandmother with the best meatball recipe since the ’90s? Good. Bring her! Is it a local celebrity? Good. Bring them! What about the historical figure or international celebrity that you aspire to be? Good, dress it up. We want to see it all. We want to see you breaking bread with new friends, old friends, and the mysterious dinner guest of your dreams. We will provide the table, chairs, entertainment, and ambiance in our beautiful Magnolia Square. You set the table and invite your guests.
Where: Magnolia Street and 2nd Street – Downtown Sanford Cost: $160 for a table of 8
Central Florida Veg Fest is an exciting day of colorful and educational exhibits and activities! Veg Fest is a family-friendly, dog-friendly, alcohol-free, and smoke-free event. Veg Fest, now in its 15th year, is one of the biggest and best vegan festivals in the country!
Where: Orlando Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson Street, Orlando, FL 32803 Cost: Free
Alive After 5 (AA5) is Central Florida’s largest recurring monthly street party in Historic Downtown Sanford. Festival-goers come to celebrate the community and local artistry and to partake in an evening of music, food, craft beers, and shopping.
Activities: Oktoberfest-themed street party Where: Downtown Sanford Cost: Free
The 6th annual Owloween at Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge is an action-packed event that benefits wildlife. This place, once located on East Colonial, holds a special place in my heart. I’ve personally been many times. To take in injured wildlife, to view the wildlife, and to donate.
Over 30 food, market, and craft vendors!
A costume contest, trick or treating at the vendor booths, bounce house, face painting,
Home Depot workshop, and critter companion “stuffed animal” adoptions.
Grab your lawn chairs and enjoy the live band, Blackout Dayz
Meet some not so spooky creatures of the night like our resident owls, Lockhart and Luna.
Win big at our raffle tables!
And don’t forget to stop by our Witches’ Kitchen to satisfy your sweet cravings!
Where: Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge
10525 Clapp Simms Duda Road, Orlando, FL 32832 Cost: All proceeds benefit the wildlife of Back to Nature. Admission is free for all event activities. If you choose to participate in the Wildlife Walk, it’s $5/donation per person for Wildlife Walk or purchases an annual family pass for just $30
Enjoy a variety of live blues music by top-class performers on the outdoor stage. Get ready for a major Clash of the BBQ Titans! Some of the nation’s top BBQ Rib Competitors from all around the country to compete in an epic battle for the top spot as the Lakeridge Winery “Rib Champion.”
Activities: Live blues music, BBQ competition, food, wine, and beer, along with complimentary winery tours and wine tasting. Where: 19239 U.S. 27 North, Clermont, Florida 34715 Cost: Adult Admission – $10, Children 12 and under – free
Even if motorcycles are not your thing, Biketoberfest is something everyone needs to experience at least once. Thousands of bikes will be roar across Daytona, and many special events take place, ranging from concerts to contests!
Activities: Shows, live music, scenic rides, vendors, and more. Where: Volusia countywide. Hubs include Main Street, Beach Street and events at Daytona International Speedway Cost: Free
Bok Tower Gardens has offered some of Florida’s most remarkable experiences to more than 23 million visitors since 1929. The Gardens offer unparalleled opportunities for artistic, cultural, personal, and spiritual enrichment. At Bok Tower Gardens, there is something to discover for visitors of all ages. Bok Tower Gardens has an impressive line up for Fall. And guess what? We will be visiting this beautiful garden in September, so be on the lookout for more coming on Bok Tower Gardens.
If you never have visite Bok Tower Gardens, fall is the time. The weather will be more relaxed, and there is so much going on!
Photo Courtesy of Bok Tower Gardens
Fridays in September. 2-5 P.M. Stop by The Shop at Bok each Friday in September for a complimentary sample of Florida Orange Groves Winery wines and a cocktail that incorporates one of Floral Elixir Co. floral essences. Stop by the Blue Palmetto Café to try new menu offerings.
Smithsonian Museum Day Live:
Sept 21. Enjoy free general admission with a downloaded voucher from http://www.smithsonianmag.com
Discover Drumming Introduction:
Sept 28. 1-3 P.M. Holyoake’s DRUMBEAT is the world’s first structured learning program using music, psychology, and neurobiology to reconnect with others and ourselves. The name DRUMBEAT is an acronym for Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes, and Thoughts. Participants from age 10 to 100 will enjoy personal growth and insight while drumming on djembe drums through this DRUMBEAT program. No previous drumming experience is necessary. Registration required, included with general admission or membership.
Sept 29. 9-11 P.M. Restorative Yoga provides students the opportunity to “fully rest” while opening the body through a variety of supported poses, meditation, and breathwork that encourage deep relaxation. $30 members/$37 non-members.
Tuesdays, Oct 1-Nov 19. 4-5 P.M. Holyoake’s DRUMBEAT is the world’s first structured learning program using music, psychology, and neurobiology to reconnect with others and ourselves. The name DRUMBEAT is an acronym for Discovering Relationships Using Music, Beliefs, Emotions, Attitudes, and Thoughts. Participants from age 10 to 100 will enjoy personal growth and insight while drumming on djembe drums through this DRUMBEAT program. No previous drumming experience is necessary. Registration required, included with general admission or membership.
Yoga for Every Body
Thursdays, Oct 3- Nov 14. 8:30-9:30 A.M. This Hatha yoga class will follow a core sequence of held postures combined with breathwork. Learn to listen to your body and modify postures as needed. Participants of all adult ages, shapes, and abilities will gain strength, balance, and serenity in this Hatha Yoga class Registration required, free with admission.
Road Trip To The Gardens: Kansas City:
Oct 5. 12-2:30 P.M. Enjoy live music with the Rusty Wright Trio on the Blue Palmetto Café Terrace. The concert included with general admission or membership. Compliment your live music experience by digging into Chef Fulwood’s baby back ribs with Kansas City BBQ sauce, macaroni & cheese, and coleslaw. The meal is $20 per person, plus tax. Members receive a 10% discount.
Edward Bok Birthday Concert:
Oct 9. 1 P.M. & 3 P.M. Celebrate Edward Bok’s gift of gratitude to America on his birthday. Included with general admission or membership.
Road Trip To The Gardens: New Orleans:
Oct 12. 12-2:30 P.M. Enjoy live music with the Jazz Phools on the Blue Palmetto Café Terrace. The concert included with general admission or membership. Let the good times roll with an authentic “Po Boy” sandwich stuffed with fresh shrimp and remoulade sauce, homemade French fries, and a special dipping sauce. The meal is $20 per person, plus tax. Members receive a 10% discount.
Garden Cocktail Party:
Oct 12. 4:30-5:30 P.M. Join 3x-Food Network champion and creator of Grilled Cheese Social, MacKenzie Smith, and Florida native food expert and Yaupon Brothers American Tea founder, Bryon White, for a charismatic cocktail hour at Bok Tower Gardens. Enjoy recipes inspired by foraging Florida plants and the subtropical essence of the Sunshine State. $10 members/non-members $25.
Oct 15. 5:30-6:30 P.M. Join Buffy La Roux as she guides participants inward in this meditation experience incorporating a blend of energy and relaxation modalities, such as crystal bowls, Reiki, positive affirmations, and themed guided meditation. This is a time to relax and receive. Bring a mat and or blanket. Optional items that may enhance your experience are water, journal, pillow, and eye mask. $25 members/$35 non-members.
Rootstock Plant & Garden Festival:
Duke Energy powers it: Oct 19. 8 A.M – 5 P.M. Shop, the area’s most massive plant sale, featuring live entertainment, activities, food vendors, craft beer & wine garden, and more. Free admission, $10 parking for non-members.
Flower Essences Class:
Oct 23. 12-1 P.M. Flowers spread their beauty and aroma. They can soothe and inspire us. Garden Educator Stephen Kane will share how to capture the essence of flowers as we make and take home the beauty of flower essences. $10 members/$20 non-members.
Photo Courtesy of Bok Tower Gardens
Farm to Table Dinner with Chef Amy Freeze “The Great Pumpkin”:
Oct 24. 6-8 P.M. Join World Food Championships Chef Amy Freeze in the Outdoor Kitchen for dinner celebrating everything pumpkin. Enjoy pumpkin hummus, pumpkin & ginger scones, roasted pumpkin salad, pumpkin risotto with cider-braised chicken, pumpkin & dark chocolate tarts with caramel seafoam candy and a creamy pumpkin cocktail with Rumchata. The meal is served with flavored tea, water, seasonal craft beers, and wine. $50 members/$60 non-members.
Bok After Dark “The 60’s”:
Oct 25. 5-8 P.M. Experience live music on the Terrace with The Blue Roosters from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M., followed by a 7:30 P.M. carillon concert with Geert D’hollander. Included with general admission or membership. Blue Palmetto Café and The Shop at Bok will be open with dining and shopping specials. For purchase-including Chef Fulwood’s Beef Bourguignon featuring tender chunks of sirloin, and a rich stew served in a freshly baked bread bowl. The meal is complete with a fresh garden salad dressed with zinfandel vinaigrette. The Meal is $20 per person, plus tax. Members receive a 10% discount.
Revitalize Your Life, Renew Your Energy Balance and Reclaim Your Health:
Oct 26. 9:30 A.M. -1:30 P.M. Join Kelly Andrews, HeartMath Trainer, and Wellness Coach, and Debbie Zimmerman, Food for Life Instructor and Health Coach, in an energizing day of lifestyle activities that will help you reclaim your youthfulness. Learn how stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and mindfulness, can improve your health in multiple ways. Hear how whole-food, plant-based nutrition will help reduce chronic disease and inflammation. Participants will enjoy a deliciously prepared meal to nourish from the inside out. $55 members/$70 non-members.
Create Your Own Beauty Care Products:
Oct 26. 10 A.M. -12:00 P.M. Join herbalist Debbie Krause and learn to make herbal infused salves. Know all the ingredients that go on your skin as you make a multipurpose skincare salve just for you to take home. $25 members/ $32 members.
Fall Walking Tours:
Nov 1-30. Mon-Sat noon & 2 P.M. and Sun 2 P.M. Walking tours of the Gardens start at the Visitor Center. Free with general admission or membership.
Basics of Growing Orchids:
Nov 2. 10:30 A.M. -12 P.M. Learn about the basics of growing and keeping orchids with Dr. Larry Apotheker, owner of Buddha’s Garden. Explore the different types of orchids, light requirements, potting medium, fertilizing, watering, when and how to divide and when and how to report, what to look for when buying orchids, and common diseases and how to treat them best. $15 members/$25 non-members.
Yaupon Tea Revival and Florida AG Survival:
Nov 2. 2-4 P.M. For thousands of years, the Yaupon Holly tree was a central part of Native American culture in Florida. The caffeinated plant was revered and worshiped for its stimulating and purifying qualities, and was later exported to Europe and consumed as a tea by early Americans but eventually faded into obscurity. Could a Yaupon Tea revival equal Florida’s agriculture survival? Explore the history of Yaupon consumption in the American South, and delve into the prospects of Yaupon Holly as an alternative native crop for Florida farmers. Free for members/ $15 non-members.
Fall Into the Gardens Wine Walk:
Nov 2. 2-5 P.M. Sip and stroll through the Gardens while enjoying ten carefully curated wines from around the world and light nibbles at each stop. $25 members/$35 non-members. Enjoy an exclusive after-party from 5 P.M.-7 P.M. with live music from Free Whiskey Band, a dinner special and shopping. Experience the thrill of the grill at the after-party with Chef Fulwood’s filet mignon, special recipe macaroni & cheese, and roasted vegetables. The meal is $25 per person, plus tax. Members receive a 10% discount.
Tea Time At Book Tower Gardens:
Nov 6. 12-1 P.M., Join Garden Educator Stephen Kane, to learn about delicious teas right in your backyard! The class includes samples of teas that grow here at Bok Tower Gardens. $5 members/$15 non-member.
Italian Food: Flavors and Fascinating Facts:
Nov 8. 5:30-7:00 P.M. Join us for a historical snapshot of the role of insects in Italian history and a peek at Modena’s gastronomical traditions. As part of the lecture and culinary sampling experience, the University of Florida professors Phillip Kaufman and Jennifer L. Gillett-Kaufman will discuss the production process of two typical Italian products: Lambrusco and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. $15 members/$25 non-members.
Gentle Yoga and Crystal Bowls:
Nov 9. 10-11:30 A.M. Most humans are operating from the fight, flight, or freeze system. This class is designed to stimulate the rest and digest system through familiarity, repetition, and sensory anchors. Instructors Jody Reece and Buffy La Roux will conduct a majority of the class on the floor with a few standing and balancing poses accompanied by the soothing sounds of crystal bowls and other sweet sounds. $35 members/$45 non-members.
Brunch in the Gardens:
Nov 10. 11 A.M. -1 P.M. Join Chef Matt Fulwood and the Blue Palmetto Café team for a delicious meal in the Outdoor Kitchen. Enjoy Chef Fulwood’s twist on eggs benedict along with two new unique chef-prepared creations, unlimited scrambled eggs, bacon, waffle bar, fresh fruit, coffee, and bottomless Florida’s Natural mimosas! $40 members/$47 non-members. Kids ages 5-12 $15 and kids five and under free.
The Transit of Mercury:
Nov 11. 8 A.M.- 1 P.M. Join astronomers on the Oval Lawn for a rare astronomy event. Mercury, our solar system’s smallest and innermost planet, will transit across the face of the sun. This happens only 13 – 14 times in a century. The next occurrence will not be until November 13, 2032, so do not miss this planetary event! Included with general admission or membership.
Veterans Day Concert:
Nov 11. 1 P.M. & 3 P.M. A musical salute of gratitude. Free admission offered to all branches of the military; active, retired, and disabled veterans with valid ID. It included with general admission or membership.
Planting to Attract Pollinators in Your Yard:
Nov 13. 12-1 P.M. Want to attract more pollinators to your garden? Join us to learn about which flowers to plant to get those bees, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators flying to your garden! Included with general admission or membership.
Farm to Table Dinner with Chef Amy Freeze “The Bounty-Fall Harvest”:
Nov 14. 6-8:00 P.M. Join World Food Championship Chef Amy Freeze in the Outdoor Kitchen for dinner celebrating the fall harvest. Enjoy autumn quinoa salad, sausage & kale sweet potato gnocchi, pecan pie bread pudding, and cider-rum punch. The meal is served with flavored tea, water, seasonal craft beers, and wine. $50 members/$60 non-members.
Bok After Dark “Rock The Bok”:
Nov 15. 5- 8 P.M. Experience live music with Free Whiskey Band on the Terrace from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M., followed by a 7:30 P.M. carillon concert with Geert D’hollander. Included with general admission or membership. The Blue Palmetto Café and The Shop at Bok will be open with dining and shopping specials for purchase, including Chef Fulwood ‘s TACOS – choice of three tacos (pork belly, chicken or barbacoa) – with Spanish rice, chips, and his world-famous salsa! The meal is $20 per person, plus tax. Members receive a 10% discount.
Edible Plank Hike: Wild Edible Plants of Florida:
Nov 15. 4:30-5:30 P.M. Hike the Pine Ridge Preserve trail as we discover Florida native plants and learn the many ways that they are edible or useful to humans. Included with general admission or membership.
Holiday Gourd Ornament Workshop:
Nov 16. 2-4 P.M. Hard-shell gourds have been used for centuries by native populations to create beautiful utensils, musical instruments, and art. In the last decade, they have become very popular as a contemporary art form. You will have the opportunity to create a gourd art piece in this workshop. This project uses ink for the color; gloves will be provided. Old clothes or work apron recommended. $17 members/$30 non-members.
Road Trip To The Gardens: Nashville:
Nov 16. 12-2:30 P.M. Enjoy live music with Nicole Equerme on the Blue Palmetto Café Terrace. The concert included with general admission or membership. Enjoy a meal filled with southern decadence as the Blue Palmetto team prepares a Nashville favorite! Dig into a hot honey fried chicken with collard greens, mashed potatoes, and a homemade biscuit with butter. The meal is $20 per person, plus tax. Members receive a 10% discount.
Nov 19. 5:30-6:30 P.M. Join Buffy La Roux as she guides participants inward in this meditation experience incorporating a blend of energy and relaxation modalities, such as crystal bowls, Reiki, positive affirmations, and themed guided meditation. This is a time to relax and receive. Bring a mat and or blanket. Optional items that may enhance your experience are water, journal, pillow, and eye mask. $25 members/$35 non-members.
Nov 23. 10 A.M. -12:00 P.M. Learn how to create a unique holiday décor using palm fronds. All materials are provided. $15 members/$30 non-members.
Pop-Up Make & Take Workshop “Succulents For the Holidays”:
Nov 23. 12-4 P.M. Stop by The Shop at Bok and make a holiday ornament that incorporates the natural beauty of succulents and air plants. The choice of plant material determines the cost of ornament.
Holidays At Hommock Hallow “Discover Florida Cranberry”:
Nov 23. 10 A.M. – 12 P.M. Families will learn more about the Roselle plant, also known as Florida Cranberry, with a Roselle tea tasting and tie-dye art activity at Doodlebug Art Place. It is included in general admission, free for members.
Holidays at Bok Tower Gardens Featuring The Holiday Home Tour:
Nov 29- Jan 5. Celebrate 25 Years of Holiday Home Tour magic and experience Pinewood Estate wholly transformed into a holiday showplace. Enjoy festive carillon concerts at 1 P.M. & 3 P.M., seasonal holiday foliage, and a full schedule of events and holiday programming. Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate open 10 AM. – 5 P.M. Admission to the Gardens and Pinewood Estate Holiday Home Tour is $25 adult, $12 (child aged 5-12).
Join Eatonville celebrating Fall with local artists, craft vendors, live music, attractions, local vendors. Storytellers, and so much more! Right here in the historic Town of Eatonville.
I have a soft spot for Eatonville and its history. I spent 15 plus years commuting through this neighborhood. I enjoyed many meals here; I love the one-person show post office and the rejuvenation this community is experiencing.
Historic Trail Tour
Where: 100 E Kennedy Blvd Eatonville, FL 32751 Cost: Free – $1 Raffle tickets to win gifts created by local artists and craft vendors.
Enchanted Fairy Doors – Leu Gardens
It’s the great fairy migration happening at beautiful Leu Gardens this summer! Explore the 50-acre gardens to find where the fairies live. This whimsical exhibit will feature 20 “New” one-of-a-kind fairy doors, which will inspire your child’s imaginative world of mythical forests and secret gardens. All you must do is find these beautiful doors and let your child’s creativity do the rest.
Where: Leu Gardens, Orlando Cost: Admission to the Enchanted Fairy Doors Exhibit is included in the daytime garden admission: $10 adult, $5 child (ages 4 – 17 years). Leu Gardens’ Members and all children three years of age and younger receive free admission.
This Oviedo two-day Halloween Festival for all ages.
Spooky mansion slide
Where: Oviedo Amphitheatre & Cultural Center. 299 Center Lake Lane Oviedo, FL 32765 Cost: $5 – $10 depending on when purchased. Wristbands will cover the inflatables and swan boat rides. Separate tickets will be sold for Carnival Games and Carnival Rides.
This is an hour-long guided historical tour of the Wonder House that covers three floors. Keep in mind that this is a private home, and you will see rooms in various states of restoration and construction- not all rooms have been completed. On this tour, you will learn about Conrad Schuck- the man who built the house, the gadgets and inventions he incorporated, the history of the house, and the current restoration process. All while in the Halloween theme!
Where: Wonder House, 1075 E Mann Rd, Bartow, FL 33830, USA Cost: $20. Get tickets here.
Never been to Bartow before? There is a lot more to see and do than you would expect!
The 2020 Images of Sanford Calendar is here! This is the Sanford Historical Trust’s 6th annual calendar reveal event. This free calendar is organized by the Sanford Historic Trust and paid for by sponsorship, in which 100% of the money raised is reinvested into the cost of making and printing calendars to help promote our community.
Images of Sanford will be introducing the 13 black and white photos selected to appear in the 2020 Images of the Sanford calendar. Come and meet the photographers. Advance copies of the schedule will be available.
Light refreshments will be served at the reception!
Orlando’s premier outdoor art exhibition invites more than 1,000 artists and performers to the heart of the city, including interactive shows, art installations, and live performances.
Where: The event takes place on Orange Ave south of Central to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Also, on Pine St and Church St. east and west of Orange. The event also utilizes Chase Plaza (where the movie theater is). Cost: $10 and up depending on date and ticket type
A fantastic outdoor concert in the gardens. Stroll from band to band or hang out in your favorite area of the gardens. Pack a dinner picnic of your favorite foods and bring seating, alcohol is permitted.
Robert Harris Groups (jazz)
Beautiful Bobby Blackmon Band (blues)
Where: Leu Gardens Orlando Cost: Tickets can be purchased in the Gardens Gift Shop or online. Sales tax and online fees apply.
Advance Admission Ticket$15 per person
Leu Gardens Member Only Advance Admission Ticket $10 per person
(Only Leu Members may purchase up to 4 tickets per valid Leu membership at the member discount before event day. Membership number required. Not applicable to AHS or any Reciprocal Garden)
Day of Admission Ticket, $20 per person for everyone
The 44th annual Longwood Fall Festival is excited to announce the rebranding of the event, formerly known as the Longwood Arts Festival. The festival features a free kid zone, great food, live entertainment, and more than 150 vendors.
Visitors can see and buy gems, beads, metaphysical stones, and other items during this annual showcase put on by the Central Florida Mineral and Gem Society.
Activities: Demonstrations, auctions, kids’ table, slice mining for gems, and hourly door prizes. Where: FL National Guard Armory. 2809 Fern Creek Ave., Orlando, Florida 32806, United States Cost: $5 for adults, $2 for students or under 16.
Mount Dora Craft Fair
Throughout this historical community, the streets come alive with more than 400 talented crafters & artists from all over the country. All are displaying and offering for sale their most beautiful works to the more than 100,000+ visitors who are expected to attend this two-day event. Plus, there’s food and entertainment to round out a perfect day outdoors. One of Central Florida’s favorite festivals and what an ideal time of the year to host a craft fair with the cooler weather and the holidays just around the corner.
The Mount Dora Seafood Festival is a “Rain-or-Shine” event! Bring your umbrella just in case. Two days of fresh seafood, more than 100 exhibitors on hand with specialty food items, and more. This family-friendly event will feature live music all weekend and a free concert on Saturday evening.
Enjoy a movie outdoors – The Others. You may bring a dinner picnic basket and seating. Alcohol is permitted. This movie is rated PG13. Under 13 years of age requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Where: Leu Gardens, Orlando Cost: $6 adult, $3 child (4-17 years of age), Leu Members receive free admission, Membership Card and ID required.
Nativity Catholic Church Fall Festival
Nativity Catholic Church hosts several different fall-themed festivals for the whole family to enjoy!
Festival Bling Boutique
Fall Festival Silent Auction
Fall Festival Plant Tent
Festival Car Show
Where: 3255 N. Ronald Reagan Blvd, Longwood, FL 32750 Cost: Free
Called “One of the most unique theater troupes in the country.” by Good Day Atlanta, and direct from its ongoing sold-out performances in multiple cities and states,
Phantasmagoria is proud to present its 10th Anniversary main stage installment of their long-running critically acclaimed series PHANTASMAGORIA X “Reckoning.” Bringing their unique brand of “Whimsical Macabre” terrors to the Halloween Season!
With the ongoing critically acclaimed success of the past decade of the main stage and touring shows, events and appearances – the brand-new PHANTASMAGORIA X “Reckoning” thunders on to the stage with all-new stories of terror! Live performers, “Fantastical” dance, explosive stage combat, puppetry, projections, and haunting storytelling combine to create a tapestry of macabre and whimsical horror!
Photo Courtesy of Phantasmagoria
Join Phantasmagoria’s evocative troupe of storytellers, dancers, and chorus as they embark on their all-new dark journeys through literary tales of terror, horrific folk stories, legends, and myths. From the terror of a beast hidden deep within in “The Horla,” to the Penny Dreadful horrors of “Sawney Beane,” and from the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm, Edgar Allan Poe, and much, MUCH more! Phantasmagoria X “Reckoning” is sure to set the tone for a genuinely Phantasmagorical Halloween season!
It is recommended for children eight and up.
When: TBD Where: John & Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center – 812 E Rollins St, Orlando, Florida 32803 Cost: $15 – $40
A carnival-themed festival for all ages! Professional Amusements provided by Carol Stream Amusements.
Food court with plenty of carnival favorites to offer
Daily cash bingo
Nightly music & entertainment
College and professional sports on TV in the beer garden
Beer garden with beer & wine
Where: 5129 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando Florida Cost: Free admission, parking $5 on-site or free park at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, and Chain of Lakes Middle School. Carnival rides require the purchase of a wristband.
Florida’s Premier Horror Convention. Spooky Empire has been delivering the best sights, sounds, and screams to Halloween lovers since 2003. The event features an enormous room of vendors, a film and tattoo festival, music, celebrity speakers, and more to satiate even the most diehard aficionados of the spooky season!
Activities: Horror convention featuring lighting, music, celebrities, and vendors. Where: Tampa Convention Center Cost: $20 to $250 depending on which days and the number of days. See ticket prices here.
Two beautiful days of Steampunk and entertainment featuring Travelers from all over the globe -Steampunk Celtic Conundrum. You are encouraged to dress in your best Steampunk outfit and spend the day with us. Renninger’s has an impressive line up of entertainment and vendors. Admission is free, the food is excellent, and Celtic Conundrum is looking forward to playing at Renninger’s Steampunk Fest!
If you have questions about the fest itself, we will try to answer or check out their page at Renninger’s Flea Market and Antique Center
Come on out to one of the biggest and exciting venues ever! Steampunk Festival at Renninger’s If you have not been, this is your chance to see a whole different and extraordinary world of “what if.” Check out Renninger’s site for even more details!
The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is the only juried fine art festival exclusively featuring Florida artists. The community-oriented sidewalk show presents quality visual art and live entertainment the whole family can enjoy. The festival is held in beautiful Central Park located along historic Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park.
Where: Central Park, Downtown Winter Park Cost: Free
The Winter Park Community Festival is an excellent opportunity for you to connect with our students and community. The event is hosted by Orlando Technical College – Winter Park Campus and the Foundation for Winter Park Tech, Inc.
Activities: Auction Where: Orange Technical College Winter Park Campus. 901 West Webster Avenue Winter Park, FL 32789 Cost: $15 and up
Run for your life! A flesh-eating epidemic is coming to the South Florida Fairgrounds. Experience the thrills of being chased by bloodthirsty zombies as you race for your life in this one of a kind run. The creepy all-terrain course is a trail populated by the undead. All skill levels are welcome, so you can run, walk, or crawl your way to the finish line. As the sun sets, the infected will rise. Will you survive?
How it works:
The race will be chip timed by Accuchip Timing, and we will have awards for the top finishers/survivors.
Runners: costumes are welcome, but No mask or weapons, please.
An adult must accompany children under 18.
Zombies will NOT contact runners in any way.
Direct contact between runners and zombies is strictly prohibited. Violators will be asked to leave.
Water will be available on the course.
All participants will receive a spooky medal, t-shirt, and Fright Nights tickets.
Where: Coral Sky Amphitheatre. 601-7 Sansbury’s Way West Palm Beach, FL US 33411 Cost: $50
Halloween at Cranes Roost is a community-oriented, door-to-door trick-or-treat alternative for kids brought to you by the City of Altamonte Springs. The event features local businesses sponsoring booths to hand out candy and trinkets to an estimated 15,000 kids. The event kicks off with trick-or-treating around Cranes Roost Lake wit live entertainment, followed by costume contests, games, and surprises throughout the event.
This road in the Town of Celebration is a local favorite that is always on everyone’s list. Most famous for the Christmas lights, the 11 homes that participate have joined up to create a Halloween spectacular.
Where: 1033 Jeater Bend Drive Celebration, FL 34747 Cost: Free
An Epic Haunted House Experience brought to you by MainStreet DeLand Association and The Rotary Club of DeLand. Haunted Hollow will take place in the Artisan Alley Garage in Downtown DeLand.
With 11 nights to choose from, our Haunted Hollow offers a Mild Side for younger children and a Wild Side for those that dare to be scared.
MILD SIDE: An interactive, not-so-scary experience designed for children ages 3 to 12. Must be accompanied by a paid adult.
WILD SIDE: Be afraid. Very afraid. Our Wild Side Haunted House is guaranteed to elicit the best of thrill-seekers and haunt fans.
Bring the whole family to enjoy trunk-or-treating, food, entertainment, a costume contest for children, carnival-style and inflatable games, and more at this free outdoor event! This year’s event will culminate in a concert featuring St. Luke’s Children, Youth, and Handbell Choirs in the Sanctuary. Everyone is invited to visit the Pumpkin Patch during the event to purchase your pumpkins as well!
Where: 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road Orlando, FL 32819 Cost: Free
All trunk-or-treaters are encouraged to bring canned goods (from the list provided) to help Florida families have a happy Thanksgiving. Click here to see the Donation List!
First, check out their site – wow! It looks like an epic scare you to death type of experience if you are brave enough. Various haunted houses, boats, and other radical adventures await! The creators, producers, and directors of one of the terrifying haunts in the world, The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, introduce the first West Coast-style haunt in the East – Dark Horizon!
Dark Horizon emerges in Orlando with much anticipation, to feast upon your fears, fray your nerves, and curdle your blood. Escape the clutches of one of Florida’s most infamous serial killers, Bloody Ed Watson. Navigate Captain Killigrew’s ship and her deviously mad crew, and wade past the Vodou Priestess before she has a chance to evoke the (Lwa) spirits to possess your body and steal your soul. Hundreds of heinous monsters await to drag you toward the event horizon. Thrill-seekers will revel in 16 nights of terror featuring three gruesome haunted houses, immersive bars, festive fare, death-defying entertainment, and more! Brought to you by some of the most celebrated minds in the industry, don’t miss Dark Horizon, the Halloween event of the season.
Fright Nights is an annual Halloween event that occurs at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach. Scare zones, midway rides, a virtual reality experience, food vendors, video games, street performers, and live entertainment.
With four full haunts: The Cuckoo’s Nest 3, El Orfanato, Sunny Shores Hotel, and Dead Time Stories, Fright Nights should be your number one Scream Park destination!
Where: South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33411 Cost: $20 – $39
Named one of the” Scariest Haunted Houses in America” by the Travel Channel.
Journey through Mortem Manor, two floors; an old Victorian themed haunted attraction filled with scares, thrills, and fun. Featuring live actors, animatronics, and state-of-the-art special effects. Mortem Manor is open year-round just outside Orlando!
Be Buried Alive!
Yep, you read that right. Enjoy your final ride in darkness, laying on your back in a coffin. You will smell the scents, feel the emotions, and hear the sounds as you’re being buried alive in this unique experience located in Old Town, Kissimmee.
When: Year-Round Where: 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. Cost: $5 to $15
The Orlando Haunted Maze is full of Chainsaw wielding psychopaths, Demented clowns, Zombies, and many more horrors await you both inside and out. No place will be safe to hide. See you all in October…if you dare!
Remember- SCREAM-A-GEDDON are the kinds of INTERACTIVE Haunts. No one does it quite like them. Not all the attractions are interactive, but the ones that are quite terrifying.
Where: 27839 Saint Joe Rd Dade City, FL 33525 Cost: Prepaid $24.95 – $35.95 and $5 at the door. General admission ticket includes unlimited access to all haunted attractions (excluding Zombie Paintball Assault).
Things To Do In Central Florida: Oktoberfest Events
The streets of Historic Downtown Sanford will once again flow with Gemütlichkeit at the annual outdoor Oktoberfest German Street Party.
We are featuring traditional cuisine from our Willow Tree Café German restaurant. German beer, wine, and Schnapps, polka music, people are dancing in Lederhosen and Dirndls, and more fun than anyone should be allowed to have.
Activities: Live music, beer, wine, authentic German dancing, and food. Where: Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café 205 E 1st St, Sanford, Florida 32771 Cost: Free to attend as the VIP tickets have sold out.
Orlando’s Most Authentic Oktoberfest. The German American Society of Central Florida puts on two festivals in October with live entertainment, dancing, stein-holding contests, beer, bratwursts, potato salad, pretzels, and bounce houses for children.
Come Out with Pride and Zebra Coalition invites you to the second annual Drag Race 5K. Put on your best colorful outfit, your favorite running shoes, and get moving! Join several local Drag personalities and hundreds of participants as they run, walk and sashay their way through Baldwin Park.
Where: Harbor Park in Baldwin Park Cost: $20 – $40
Celebrate the transgender community and pay tribute to the trailblazers who walked the steps before us. Meet and mingle, then enjoy shows from some of Orlando’s top LGBTQ+ performers in music, dance, and performance.
Come Out with Pride will take over the Stonewall Bar on Church Street for the annual Pride Weekend Launch Party. The event will showcase a variety of entertainment and special performances by Neon Hitch and DJ Kitty Glitter.
With more than 150 groups spanning a 1-mile route through downtown Orlando, A Vendor Marketplace, and SponsorWalk to highlight LGBTQ+ and ally businesses. A community rally, two entertainment stages, and a fireworks finale, this year’s Pride event will be one for the record books.
Enjoy Sunday Funday with Come Out with Pride for one last delicious brunch spread at Ember Orlando, one of downtown’s most popular venues. While you recover, enjoy live music and performances from local entertainers. Cheer along as our Parade judges announce all of Saturday’s winners!
Where: Ember Cost: TBD
LOOKING BACK. MARCHING FORWARD
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association will host a night of music, reflection, and inspiration – featuring two concert bands and a jazz ensemble. The concert will showcase LGBTQ+ history by honoring the past with a focus on building the future, as well as feature the debut of two commissioned pieces written for this event by acclaimed composers Randall Standridge and Julie Giroux. Don’t miss out!
Celebrate Halloween with Elmo, Abby, Grover, and all your favorite Sesame Street® friends every Saturday and Sunday in October during Sesame Street® Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends. Show off your family costumes during each themed weekend while you trick-or-treat. Enjoy exclusive crafts, explore through a hay bale maze, and play fall-inspired activities and games in our festival field area. Then, join your favorite Sesame Street friends during a character dance party!
Where: Busch Gardens Tampa Cost: Included in park admission
The International Food & Wine Festival features culinary demonstrations, beverage seminars, tasting events, and, most variety of international foods. Cooking presentations, famous chef shows, and food seminars offer events focused on food.
Where: Epcot, Walt Disney World Cost: Included with admission
TIP: If you are planning to stay onsite at Disney be sure to read this. This is how you can stay onsite at any of the Disney properties for 50% off the listed price.
Universal Orlando takes fear to the max. This year, the 80s return with a vengeance with ten terrifying haunted houses, five pulse-pounding scare zones, and outrageous live entertainment. From cinematic screams to the most horrifying cult classics, there’s no escape from the decade that won’t die.
Where: Universal Studio’s Orlando Cost: This event is not included with general admission and requires a separate ticket. Check the website for prices.
Screamin’ Green Hauntoween is back, and it’s bigger and more colorful than ever! Monster-ific crafts and unusual spooky happenings all month long: a themed scavenger hunt, a live slime-themed show, and Crayola Slime Class * an ooey-gooey class that’s fun for the whole family! Plus, trick-or-treating and dance parties every weekend, all while exploring 27 exciting hands-on attractions. There is so much to “BOO,” you may never want to leave. ALL Kids are welcome to wear costumes.
Where: Crayola Experience, 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando FL 32809 Cost: Included with general admission, slime class extra. FYI: Trick or treat only on the weekends.
Enjoy a not-so-spooky live show, a dance party, and trick-or-treating for candy and goodies throughout the park. It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular®. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater fantasea, including trick-or-treating, whimsical sea creatures, and more in this family-friendly event that could only come from SeaWorld.
Where: Seaworld Orlando Cost: Included in park admission
Sample wines from around the world and savor culinary artistry from pastries to pasta. This Food & Wine Classic also offers eleven educational seminars on wines, cocktails, beer, pasta-making, cheese pairing, or the fine art of sushi and sake.
Where: Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel Cost: $145
TIP: If you are planning to stay onsite at Disney be sure to read this. This is how you can stay onsite at any of the Disney properties for 50% off the listed price.
Who knew there are some many things to do in Central Florida? Who knew that fall, in particular, brings on so many opportunities for locals and visitors alike. I love fall, I love Halloween, and I enjoy celebrating traditions. I am excited that there is so much going on in my home state – Florida!
I would love to hear from you. Which of these events have you been to? Which are you going to, and why?
Looking for more things to do in Florida? Start here:
Nikki Webster is a travel writer who covers how to travel while grinding a day job, how to travel without breaking the bank, hotels, cruising, and off-the-beaten-track experiences. She is particularly fond of Florida and writes extensively about the state. She flies around 60,000 miles per year and has visited 54 countries, 50 states, and six continents. You can read all about her travels at www.britonthemove.com.