Tampa Bay is gearing up for a lively weekend leading up to Halloween, with an array of exciting events and activities.
This weekend serves as a dress rehearsal for the Halloween festivities since the holiday falls on a Tuesday. The festivities include extravagant parties, a carnival hosted at Armature Works in Tampa, and a delightful 2-mile block party along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
The carnival at Armature Works in Tampa is a four-day extravaganza (Oct. 26-29) featuring thrilling rides, a $10,000 costume contest, a dog costume contest, and a music festival with renowned DJs like Diplo, Quavo, Above & Beyond, and Wuki, among others. Carnival tickets start at $5, while music festival tickets start at $45. The carnival runs from 4-11 p.m. on Thursday and 4 p.m.-midnight on Friday. On Saturday, it is open from noon to midnight, and on Sunday, from noon to 11 p.m.
In St. Petersburg, nearly 2 miles of Central Avenue will be transformed into a family-style costumed stroll with entertainment and candy stations. A four-block Voodoo Vendor Village between 16th and 20th streets will showcase over 100 local makers and small businesses. Live performances, family-friendly activities, and plenty of candy for trick-or-treaters of all ages await. This event takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Sparkman Wharf in Tampa has become the Haunted Wharf, featuring a haunted pirate shipwreck with spooky fun for kids and adults. The evenings include DJ dancing, Halloween-themed entertainment, and photo props. The Haunted Wharf is open from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday through Sunday.
In New Port Richey, Huboween IV offers a drive-thru spectacle at J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 27-28). Visitors can cruise through nine scare zones in about 45 minutes. The first 500 cars receive a free swag bag with candy, and tickets cost $20-$25 per car.
For a truly terrifying experience, check out the Field of Screams in the woods of the Pinellas Pioneer Settlement in St. Petersburg, presented by the TASCO teen program. This 16th-anniversary event, titled “Beyond the Bayou,” takes participants into the swamps for an immersive scare experience. It’s not suitable for young children and features darkness, loud noises, bright lights, wooded trails, and intense scare zones. Tickets range from $10 to $15, and it runs from 7 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 27-29 and Oct. 31.
For a test run of trick-or-treating, the Riverwalk Trick-or-Treat in Tampa on Saturday (Oct. 28) offers more than 50 treat stations along the Riverwalk from Water Works Park to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. Westshore Mall in Tampa is also hosting an indoor Halloween Fest on Sunday (Oct. 29) with local businesses handing out candy, free balloon animals, face painting, crafts, video games, and meet-and-greets. Dress up as a family and you might win a prize.
And for a free family outing in Clearwater, head to Coachman Park for a movie under the stars. Live music starts at 6 p.m., followed by the movie “Hocus Pocus 2” at 7 p.m. It’s a delightful way to enjoy an evening outdoors.