By Nicole Heubusch
There are many things to do in the area this time of year for those looking for a fright fest. Here are some of the “not so family friendly” options.
Busch Gardens is hosting the 14th annual Howl-O-Scream, and this year’s theme is Cursed. There will be a Freaky Preview on Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27. The cost for tickets for the preview is $45. The event starts Thursday, October 2 and runs through Saturday, November 1. It will take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with an additional Sunday night on October 19. These 18 select nights will be open for scares from 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
There will be 300 acres of scare zones and new haunted houses. The haunted houses will have guests screaming at the sight of the ghosts at Dead Fall, trying to escape from The Basement, and hiding from zombies. The park will also debut its new live show, Fiends. Spend evenings running from all of the things that go bump in the night, and don’t forget to ride the roller coasters in the dark. A Thrills & Chills ticket is available for $89 that gives includes admission to both Howl-O-Scream and Busch Gardens throughout the weekend of purchaser’s choice.
Visit http://seaworldparks.com /howloscream-tampa/ for different ticket pricings and group deals and to read more about the song of the cursed.
This year Halloween Horror Nights at Universal will bring horrors from different movies and television shows. Prepare to survive The Purge at the new The Purge Anarchy haunted house, and witness the attacks in the Alien Vs. Predator house. It will also be bringing back the popular Walking Dead house for the third time.
General admission starts at $95.99. There is also the option to attend select nights for different prices. For those feeling brave, purchase the Rush of Fear tickets, valid for any and multiple nights from September 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28 and October 2, 3, 4, 5 for just $75.99. Florida residents can save up to $50 on their tickets with a UPC code from Coca Cola products. Halloween Horror Nights will be open select nights from Friday, September 19 through Saturday, November 1.
Visit www.halloweenhorror nights.com/ orlando/index.html for more information.
On Saturday, October 11 hit the streets of Downtown Lakeland for the second annual Zombie Fest. This undead event will have scare zones, streets crawling with zombies and much more. There will be music, games, activities, vendors and tons of creepy fun. There is no cost for this event, however some individual events within the Zombie Fest will have a fee. These include scare zones, food vendors, and zombie make-up. This event is located at Munn Park in Lakeland and will take place from 3-10 p.m. This event is for both adults looking for a scary time, and for families. There will be a designated “safe zone” for children where zombies are not allowed and a kid’s area with activities. However, this does not mean that zombies will not be seen. Parental discretion is strongly advised. For more information, visit www.downtownlakelandzombies.com.
Family Friendly Events
There are also plenty of family friendly events in the area for those looking to enjoy a “scary” time with family and friends.
Lowry Park Zoo is hosting Zoo Boo again this fall. There will be a Shriek Peek Preview Friday and Saturday, September 26 and 27, and the rest of the dates will be October 3-4, 10-12, 17-19, 23-26 and 30 as well as Saturday, November 1. Zoo Boo will open every night at 7 p.m. The cost for a ticket to the Shriek Preview is $12 and general admission for regular nights starts at $14 for children ages 3-11 and $18 for ages 12 and up.
This is the largest family Halloween event in the Tampa Bay Area. Attractions will be ranging in “scare factor” with haunted houses and trails.
For each of the six haunted houses, there will be a rating from 1-7 of how scary it is. There will also be season displays of music and lights and night rides. A Spooky Fun Fair and Little Beasties Bungalow are also at Zoo Boo with games and rides. New this year is the “London Frightmare” inspired by England’s supernatural legends.
Visit www.lowry parkzoo.com/zoo boo/index.html for more information.
Held at Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is held select nights from 7 p.m.- 12 Midnight Monday, September 1 to Friday, October 31. Guests can dress up in a favorite costume, trick-or-treat their way through the park and see some of their favorite Disney Characters dressed in costumes as well.
Enjoy Mickey’s Boo-to-You Halloween Parade and Happy HalloWishes, and end the night with the Villains Castle Show. Tickets are $66 for children ages 3-9 and $71 for ages 10 and up.
Visit https://disneyworld.disney.go .com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/ for more information.
On Sunday, October 26 from 4-8 p.m. join the Florida Aquarium in celebrating its annual Guppyween. Dress up in costumes and roam around the aquarium to trick-or-treat tank-to-tank among the 20,000 sea creatures. This event is family-friendly and entertainment and treats will be provided. The prices are $5 for kids in costume, $15 for adults age 12 and over, and free for Florida Aquarium Members. For more information, visit http://www.flaquari um.org/event-calendar.aspx.
Enjoy safe and family-friendly Halloween festivities every Saturday and Sunday this October at Legoland Florida’s Brick-or-Treat. Ghosts, ghouls and goblins will descend on Miniland USA transforming it into a haunted adventure with a scavenger hunt in search of these scary creatures that have invaded the famous cities.
This spooky event features trick-or-treating along the brick-or-treat trail, super brick build activities, the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world, Halloween entertainment and an all-kids costume contest with brick-tastic prizes.
Legoland is located at One Legoland Way in Winter Haven. Visit http://florida.legoland.com /en/Plan/Special-Events/Brick-or-Treat/ for dates and prices.
Celebrate Halloween with Sea World on weekends in October with family. Penelope’s Party Zone is full of families dancing to spooky sound waves and watching colorful pumpkin fish swim by.
Make sure to wear a costume to trick-or-treat through the park, and trick-or-treaters can follow their Halloween Spooktacular maps to all the different stations.
For more information and ticket pricings, visit http://seaworld parks.com/en /seaworld-orlando/spooktacular/.