Things to Do in October: An Orlando Event Guide

23 Halloween happenings, 15 special events, and 16 fundraisers happening during the month of October




Cheer for your favorite racing team at the International Dragon Boat Festival at Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, Oct. 19

Jenna M. Spence

HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS

SEAWORLD’S HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR
Through Oct. 27: Watch the silly, not-too-spooky live shows, and trick-or-treat for candy and goodies throughout the park. Costumes are encouraged. Included in regular park admission on select weekends. SeaWorld Orlando, 7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando. seaworldparks.com

MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY
Through Oct. 31: Dress in costume for this Halloween celebration with candies and sweets just waiting to be found throughout the Magic Kingdom. Select days from 7 p.m.-midnight. Separate park ticket required for this event. Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista. disneyworld.disney.go.com

HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS
Through Nov. 2: Universal Studios Florida comes alive on select nights with horrifying haunted houses, “scare zones,” outrageous live shows and shorter lines for many of the park’s usual rides and attractions. Starts at 6:30 p.m. A separate park ticket is required. Universal Orlando Resort, 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando. halloweenhorrornights.com

HOWL-O-SCREAM
Through Nov. 2: Scary creatures roam Busch Gardens and guests are surprised at every turn. Chilling live shows are combined with challenging thrill rides. The fear and fun begin at 7:30 p.m. on select nights; a separate admission fee is charged, with park access after 5 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa. seaworldparks.com

SCREAM-A-GEDDON
Through Nov. 2: This “horror park” covers 60 acres and features carnival games and food and drink, plus various bone-chilling attractions. Select nights. 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City. screamageddon.com

PHANTASMAGORIA ROYAL PALM GHOST TRAIN
Through Nov. 3: Depart from Tavares Union Station every Sunday for an 80-minute train ride and experience tales of hauntings and ghost lore. 2:45 and 5:15 p.m. 305 E. Ruby St., Tavares. thefloridatrain.com

DARK HORIZON—POINT OF NO RETURN
Oct. 4-Nov. 2: History is coming back to haunt visitors with three spooky houses modeled after Florida’s pirate past, two death-defying live entertainment stages, multiple immersive bars and more. 14500 Continental Gateway Drive, Orlando. darkhorizonorlando.com

SCOTT’S MAZE ADVENTURES
Oct. 5-Dec. 15: Get lost—and have fun—exploring two corn mazes that cover seven acres of this family farm, or take a hay ride. There’s also a produce market and cafe. Saturdays and Sundays only. Long & Scott Farms, 26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora. 352-383-6900. longandscottfarms.com

BRICK OR TREAT
Oct. 5-6, 12-13,19-20 & 26-27: This friendly—not frightening—event features trick-or-treating, Halloween shows, and fireworks. Select dates. Included with regular park admission. Legoland, 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven. florida.legoland.com

HAUNTING TALES
Oct. 11: The gates open at Harry P. Leu Gardens at 6 p.m., with spine-chilling tales to begin at 7:30 p.m. Grilled food, drinks and treats will be available for purchase or bring a picnic dinner. Alcohol permitted. 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando. 407-246-2620. leugardens.org

GREENWOOD CEMETERY MOONLIGHT WALKING TOUR
Oct. 11: Less scary and more historic, this approximately 4-mile walk through the cemetery visits 100 graves of notable individuals. 8-10 p.m. 1603 Greenwood St., Orlando. 407-246-2616. orlando.gov/events/greenwood-cemetery-moonlight-walking-tour

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS & MONSTER FACTORY
Oct. 17-Nov. 15: An annual, juried Day of the Dead/Halloween art exhibition and sale of new works in various media. Opening reception and block party Oct. 17 from 7-11 p.m. CityArts, Rogers Kiene Building, 39 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. downtownartsdistrict.com

DISNEY IN CONCERT—TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Oct. 18: Experience the cult classic with the score performed live by a symphony orchestra. 8 p.m. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. 844-513-2014. drphillipscenter.org

PHANTASMAGORIA X—RECKONING
Oct. 18-21: Live performers, explosive stage combat, large-scale puppetry, aerial performance and haunting storytelling combine to create a tapestry of macabre and whimsical horror. Orlando Shakes, 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando. 407-447-1700. phantasmagoriaorlando.com

KID’S HALLOWEEN PARTY FEATURING CASPER
Oct. 21: Bring the entire family in costume for a party and screening of the animated movie Casper. It’s preceded by a themed lunch, games and a costume contest. Lunch 11:15 a.m.; film 12:30 p.m. Enzian theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-1088. enzian.org

MR. RICHARD & THE POUND HOUNDS A HALLOWEEN CONCERT
Oct. 26: With sing-a-long tunes about skunks, snakes and Halloween fun, kids can also try out and model their costumes before the big night on the 31st. 1 p.m. Orlando Repertory Theatre, 1001 E. Princeton St., Orlando. orlandorep.com

EDEN BAR’S HALLOWEEN PARTY
Oct. 26: Dress to impress in the costume contest, jam to spooktacular music, and enjoy the scary eats and toxic drinks. Free. 21 and over only. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Enzian theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland. 407-629-1088. enzian.org

HALLOWEEN AT CRANES ROOST
Oct. 31: Families are invited to trick-or-treat in a safe environment. Includes a costume contest, games, activities, live music and dance performances. 5-9 p.m. 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs. 407-571-8180. uptownaltamonte.com

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
Oct. 31: This crowd favorite is complete with prop bags for purchase (no outside props allowed), interactive entertainment and a costume contest. 10 p.m. Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant Street, Winter Garden. 407-877-4736. gardentheatre.org

VAMPIRE’S BALL
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: The Orlando Ballet presents a tale of two vampires, told through exquisite dance. Thursday-Saturday 7:30 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. 844-513-2014. drphillipscenter.org

SPOOKY EMPIRE
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: Meet and mingle with horror movie and TV stars, browse collectibles from over 200 vendors and artists, take part in one of the largest zombie walks and more. Tampa Convention Center, 333 S. Franklin St., Tampa. spookyempire.com

SHRIEKFEST ORLANDO
Nov. 3: This bi-coastal indie horror and sci-fi film festival and competition returns to Orlando. The best movies from the Los Angeles event will be screened from 2-10 p.m. Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 201 S. Magnolia Ave., Sanford. 407-321-8111. shriekfest.com, wdpac.com


SPECIAL EVENTS

EPCOT INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
Through Nov. 23: Taste the world from one location in Central Florida as dozens of international food markets pop up within this Disney theme park. Experience the art of celebrity chefs, attend culinary demonstrations, and enjoy “Eat to the Beat” concerts. It’s more than two full months of food and fun. Walt Disney World’s Epcot World Showcase, Lake Buena Vista. disneyworld.disney.go.com

MOUNT DORA BICYCLE FESTIVAL
Oct. 3-6: Florida’s oldest and largest bicycling event offers four days of programs, games and rides of varying lengths throughout Lake County. This year’s festival is capped at 1,000 riders. mountdorabicyclefestival.com

GERMAN AMERICAN SOCIETY OKTOBERFEST
Oct. 4-5 & 25-26: The German American Society of Central Florida has two Oktoberfests, so you won’t miss out on the fun. Authentic German bands, including Mein Heimatland Musikanten, are on tap, along with Bavarian beer, home-cooked German food, German dancers and a Bavarian biergarten. Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday noon-10 p.m. German American Club, 381 Orange Lane, Casselberry. orlandogermanclub.com

BE ORIGINAL THEATER FESTIVAL    
Oct. 4-6: This new festival features table and staged readings of 16 new, original plays by Central Florida playwrights. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. 844-513-2014. drphillipscenter.org

ROCK, MINERAL, GEM, JEWELRY & FOSSIL SHOW
Oct. 4-6: The not-for-profit Central Florida Mineral & Gem Society assembles a group of vendors offering beads, minerals, gemstones, custom jewelry, fossils, artifacts and other items for sale. Friday 1-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Florida National Guard Armory, 2809 S. Fern Creek Ave., Orlando. 321-663-8805. cfmgs.org

WOODSTOCK 50TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT
Oct. 5: The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra launches its new Pops Season with these celebratory concerts featuring Jeans ‘n Classics performing the music of the iconic 1969 festival. Wear your favorite Woodstock garb. 2 & 8 p.m. Bob Carr Theater, 407 W. Livingston St., Orlando. orlandophil.org

COME OUT WITH PRIDE WEEK
Oct. 6-12: Celebrating the LGBTQ community, this week-long festival features daily events including the Drag Race 5k, Game Night with Pepe, Block Party and the parade on Saturday from noon-10 p.m. Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St., Orlando. comeoutwithpride.com

WINTER PARK AUTUMN ART FESTIVAL
Oct. 12-13: Central Park hosts the only juried fine arts festival featuring exclusively Florida artists. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 251 S. Park Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-8281.
winterpark.org/autumn-art-festival

TASTE OF ALTAMONTE
Oct. 14: Stroll along Cranes Roost Boulevard sampling cuisine from local restaurants as well as coffee, wine and beer. 6-9 p.m. 274 Cranes Roost Blvd., Altamonte Springs. 407-262-2773. uptownaltamonte.com

WINTER PARK INSTITUTE
Oct. 17: Jose Antonio Vargas discusses “The Changing Landscape of Immigration, Travel and America.” 7 p.m. Rollins College campus, 1000 Holt Ave., Alfond Sports Center, Winter Park. 407-646-2145. rollins.edu/wpitickets

ROOTSTOCK
Oct. 18-19: This annual festival is an all-day affair with vendors selling plants and garden accessories, food trucks and live music. Friday 5-8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales. 863-676-1408. boktowergardens.org

INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
Oct. 19: This is the ultimate championship—an international showcase of paddlers—attended by more than 70 teams. The event features vendors and entertainment, a health and wellness village, food trucks, a beer garden and more. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, 3401 S. Hiawassee Road, Orlando. gwndragonboat.com

JAZZ ‘N BLUES CONCERT
Oct. 19: Stroll from band to band throughout the gardens. Pack a picnic of your favorite foods and bring seating. Alcohol is permitted. 7-10 p.m. Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 Forest Ave., Orlando. 407-246-2620. leugardens.org

IMMERSE
Oct. 19-20: This annual interactive arts event, presented by The Creative City Project, features more than 1,000 artists and performers, and turns downtown Orlando into a series of unexpected and creative adventures. creativecityproject.com

FEAST ON THE 50
Oct. 24: Enjoy unlimited food and drink while alumni clubs from partner schools in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12 compete for the most spirited tent in the Official Alumni Village. Kids’ area with inflatable games, face painting and more, plus silent auction to benefit FCSports Foundation Summer Camp. 5:30 p.m. Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place, Orlando. floridacitrussports.com


Ongoing Events

Monthly Happenings Around Town

FIRST THURSDAYS AT OMA
Oct. 3: Mingle with local artists and view their work, enjoy live music and walk through the galleries of the Orlando Museum of Art. Food and drink available for purchase. This month’s theme: “Hollywood Horror.” 6-9 p.m. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave., Orlando. omart.org

EATONVILLE CRAFTS & CULTURE MARKET
Oct. 6: Experience the history, heritage and culture that is the historic Town of Eatonville with storytellers, performers, reenactments, local merchants and more, the first Sunday of each month. Free. 1-5 p.m. 100 E. Kennedy Blvd., Eatonville. eatonvillechf.com

STORY TIME AT LEU GARDENS
Oct. 7: The Orange County Library System comes to the gardens to share stories and songs with infants at 10 a.m., toddlers at 10:20 a.m. and preschoolers at 10:40 a.m. Free. 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando. 407-246-2620. leugardens.org

THORNTON PARK 2ND THURSDAY ART AND WINE WALK
Oct. 10: Artists display works for sale along the streets and inside local businesses. Free, but $15 gets you a glass (pay and pickup at Olde Town Brokers) and a map of participating businesses. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Summerlin Avenue and Washington Street. thorntonparkdistrict.com

SANFORD’S ALIVE AFTER 5 STREET PARTY
Oct. 10: Central Florida’s largest recurring street party, a monthly gathering with live music, local artists, and food and beverage samples. 5 p.m. 230 E. First St., Sanford. sanfordwelcomecenter.com

ART AND MUSIC IN THE PARK
Oct. 11: Artwork and live music in the park between Casselberry City Hall and Lake Concord. Food trucks and other vendors on site as well. 6 p.m. Free. Casselberry City Hall, 95 Triplet Lake Drive, Casselberry. 407-262-7700, ext. 1507. casselberry.org

MOUNT DORA 2ND FRIDAY ART IN THE ALLEY
Oct. 11: Downtown galleries are open to the public while art exhibitors and musicians line Royellou Lane showcasing original works, handmade goods and acoustic sounds. Free. Galleries open 6-8 p.m. Sidewalk exhibitions until 9 p.m. 138 E. Fifth Ave., Mount Dora. mountdoracenterforthearts.org

3RD THURSDAY GALLERY HOP & ART WALK
Oct. 17: Visitors converge on the core of Orlando’s Downtown Arts District to browse the galleries and nontraditional art venues that spotlight the best of established and emerging Orlando-based artists. 6 p.m. Rogers Kiene Building, 39 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. 3rdthu.com

EVENING EXCHANGE
Oct. 18:  Every third Friday, meet at East End Market for interactive workshops and a chance to browse wares from over 30 artisan makers, plus culinary demonstrations, specialty cocktail bars and food specials. 3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando. 321-236-3316. eastendmkt.com

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