By Michelle Colesanti

Be prepared to enjoy some frightening and not-so-frightening fun around town in October.

Fall Festival At Hawthorne Village Retirement Community

Bring the family to Hawthorne Village Retirement Community on Friday, October 27 from 6-8 enjoy fall fun. There will be face painting, a pumpkin carving contest, scavenger hunt, games, bounce house and pumpkin patch photos.

Hawthorne Village of Brandon is located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information, call 661-8998 or visit

Busch Gardens Extends Sesame Street Halloween Event Throughout October

Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay welcomes back Sesame Street® Kids’ Weekends this October, with an extended four weeks of Halloween fun each Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Beloved Sesame Street characters, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, Rosita, and other popular faces will make appearances and will be dressed in their own special Halloween costumes.

Each fun-filled weekend will feature trick-or-treating and fall festival activities including a hay bale maze, dance parties, games and character parades throughout the day as well as very special surprises for each theme.

Children are welcome to wear Halloween costumes and every weekend is jam-packed with brand-new events and activities.

For more information, visit or call 1-888-800-5447.

Family Fun At Florida Aquarium’s Guppyween

Visit the Florida Aquarium on Saturday and Sunday, October 28 and 29 from 1-5 p.m. for a spooktacular time at Guppyween, where kids can trick or treat throughout the Aquarium. There will be family-friendly entertainment and a sea of candy in a safe setting. All Aquarium exhibits, including the new outdoor plaza Fin bar and Splash Pad, will be open.

The cost is regular admission pricing for adults, kids (11 years and under) in costume are $10 for those not in costume, it is regular admission pricing. Kids 2 and under are free.

Pirate Water Taxi Presents River Of Frights

Stay close to your fearless captain on this journey to uncover the dark secrets hidden amongst the waterways of Tampa. Travel along the haunted passes filled with the sights and sounds of the betrayed and undead. Brave your way through unexpected terrors lurking on the river, including live, interactive entertainment. River of Frights is an intense adventure and chilling cruise experience! Book your tickets in advance to ensure availability.

This is a 40 minute cruise into the unknown. It is recommended for adults and teens, but younger children may attend if parents choose to bring them (we recommend no kids under 10 and kids 18 and younger need an adult with them). You will experience intense audio, lighting, low visibility, strobe-lights, fog, special effects and sudden actions. If you are sensitive to any of these elements, suffer from asthma, heart conditions, are prone to seizures or any type of medical problem, you are advised not to ride.

The cost is $25 plus tax on Thursday and Sundays and $35 plus tax on Friday and Saturday. Boarding time takes place five to ten minutes prior to departing. Cruise times are 7, 8, 9 10 and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 7, 8 9 and 10 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday nights.

Additional boat times may be available based on demand. Cruises may be cancelled without notice due to weather or other circumstances.

A Boarding Photo will be available for purchase. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase on board.

To purchase tickets, visit

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.