Let's be real — while living in the Sunshine State is similar to living in paradise, getting in the spooky season spirit can be tough. We don't get the beautiful fall colors, and we most definitely don't get cool enough weather for sweaters, boots, and bonfires.
What Florida lacks in the changing of the seasons, we make up for with some awesome festivals, events, and experiences that ring in those fall vibes. We're sure you've already started decorating, but if you're lookin' to really get in the Halloween mood, this list of 10 things to do this fall in Florida to get in the spooky season spirit has you covered.
Mortem Manor Haunted House + Buried Alive Experience
Price: $15 per person to explore two floors of scares at this haunted house. Or you can get "buried alive" for $5 per person. Combo ticket available at $18 includes both experiences.
Address: 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., Kissimmee, FL, 34746
Hours: Open year-round.
Monday and Tuesday by appointment only
Wednesday-Thursday, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday 6 p.m. to midnight.
Sundays 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Holiday hours may vary.
Why You Need To Go: Named America's Scariest Haunted House by the Travel Channel with 2 floors of spooks and scares at a reasonable price; not for the faint of heart. You can even get "buried alive".
Busch Gardens Howl-o-Scream + New Haunted House
Price: Single-day tickets are available for $39.99, or you can test your bravery at all 22 nights for $79.99.
When: Every weekend starting September 20th through November 2nd.
7:30 p.m. - 1 a.m.
Address: 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
Why You Need To Go: Ride thrilling rides or wander Haunted Houses and scare zones with tons of spook! They even have a new haunted house called The Residence coming in this year as well as some other cool new experiences.
Price: $25/person — must be 12+ in order to attend.
Address: 2081 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32508
Hours: Book your ghost hunt experience online, generally starting at 8 p.m. on the booked date.
Standard operating hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., 7 days a week.
Why You Need To Go: Named one of Americas Most Haunted Lighthouses by SciFi's Ghost Hunters; many guests reported unexplained voices on EVP recordings. Is it really haunted? Paranormal enthusiasts and skeptics who became believers seem to think so.
Price: $25/person, tickets for children under 12 are $20.
Address: 81 Lighthouse Ave, St. Augustine, FL 32080
Hours: Tours start at 8:30 p.m. on booked ticket date.
Standard operating hours are 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., 7 days a week.
Why You Need To Go: Another haunted lighthouse also considered to be one of the most haunted places in America by SciFi's Ghost Hunters. Guests have seen figures in the halls and captured disturbing disembodied voices on EVP recordings.
Price: $15/person or $13 if you serve in the military with valid ID or proof of service. Tickets can be purchased online.
When: Every Friday & Saturday in October, plus Thursday, Oct. 31 (Halloween), and Nov. 1-2 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Address: American Victory Ship, 705 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602 (behind )
Why You Need To Go: Try to escape the horde of the animated undead aboard the eerie WW2 cargo ship, the American Victory. Armed only with a black light flashlight following the zombie-hunting Ripper Squad, do you have what it takes to survive the legions of the undead?
Visit Florida's own 'Town of Spiritualists', Cassadaga
Price: Free to explore with experiences for purchase, like a $25 night time tour of the allegedly haunted town.
Address: Cassadaga, FL
Why You Need To Go: An entire town of spiritualists, mediums, and the paranormal. Go to spiritualist camp, visit haunted locations, learn about the haunted history of the town, get a tarot reading, or tour the allegedly haunted streets at night to ghost hunt. They even have a whimsical fairy trail if you're looking for something a little less spooky.
Price: Multiple ticket deals are available, some including VIP experiences and even offer installment payment options. A base ghost hunt with the stars ticket is $125 plus tax. You can view all ticket packages here.
When: Saturday, February 8th, 2020; Gates open for the ghost hunt with the stars ticket holders at 6 p.m., with autographs and meet and greets running from 7 p.m. - 1 a.m. Afterward, it's light's out and the hunt for haunts begins.
Address: Clay County Jail & Courthouse — 21 Gratiot Place, Green Cove Springs, FL.
Why You Need To Go: Okay, so this one isn't this fall, but if you're anything like me and wish it were Halloween year round, you can keep the scares going at this experience in Feb 2020. A chance to meet the Tennessee Wraith Chasers and ghost hunt at the old clay county courthouse and other reportedly haunted locations in the area. A truly exciting and terrifying experience for thrill-seekers and paranormal enthusiasts alike.
Price: $20-100, depending on which day you go or if you want to go more than 1 day with a 3 or 4-day pass. Ticket packages can be seen here.
When: October 31st - November 3rd, 2019
Thursday, October 31st 5:00 p.m.
Friday, November 1st at 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 2nd at 11:00 a.m.
Sunday, November 3rd at 11:00 a.m.
(Opens 1 hour earlier for VIP pass holders)
Address: Tampa Convention Center — 333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602
Why You Need To Go: Meet and greets with some of the biggest celeb names in horror all days of the event, shop all things scary, and even get tattooed if you want to! Take place in the zombie walk event, one of the largest to exist in the U.S., or simply dress up in a cosplay of your favorite horror star for extra Halloween costume fun.
Price: Admission is $10 (children 10 and under get in free), parking is $5. The festival includes many free experiences, as well as other activities for small fees. Food is also available for purchase.
When: Oct. 12-13, 19-20, and 26-27, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Address: 5500 Co Rd. 675, Bradenton, FL 34211
Why You Need To Go: 6 different days you can go throughout the fall season to get you in the spooky season spirit. Tons of activities are included in the admission price, such as hayrides and a petting zoo. Other fun stuff to do for small fees like a corn maze and zipline. Live music, carnival food, corn, pumpkin pie, and fall fun on a farm — you can even get pumpkins!
Do the 'Zombie Infected' Realistic Laser Tag Mission at Tank America
Price: $20-25/person, depending on which day and timeslot you book online.
Address: 9150 Ellis Rd., Melbourne, FL 32904
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Holiday hours may vary.
Why You Need To Go: Over 30 different missions to choose from, including a "Zombie Infected" mode. You'll run through a Hollywood style set and feel like you're in a real-life video game — the weapons are replicas of real guns, with simulated recoil and sound effects making for a realistic laser tag experience. You can even track your kills, deaths, and accuracy by creating an account, and of course, snap a picture out front after you're done. This place also offers an experience that lets you drive a real tank and crush cars!
It's up to you to keep your spooky juices flowin', but we Floridians are def blessed with so many ways to keep the Halloween spirit alive. What are you waiting for? Grab yourself a PSL and keep your haunts going all fall long.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.