Autumn is finally here, meaning it is finally time for those fun fall events and Halloween celebrations. As you set off in search of fun for your family, check out these great events that are some of our favorites:

Our Favorite Fall Themed Events

Seal Swim School Pumpkin Patch
The Seal Swim School Pumpkin Patch opens from October 1 through October 31. There is also a Family Fun Festival at the pumpkin patch on October 18 from 4-8 pm at their Lutz and South Tampa locations. This event is free and open to the public and includes arts and crafts, face painting, and more. For more information,

Fall Family Field Day
Bring the family to walk, run, and play in this debut event at Pepin Stadium at University of Tampa. Taking place on October 5, from 12:15- 2:30 p.m., activities include races, hula hoop contests, and the limbo. The cost is $36 per family or carpool and one nonperishable food item per child to benefit the community food bank. Visit for more information.

USF Fall Plant Festival
On October 11 and 12 at various times, families can browse more than 60 vendors and enjoy beautiful fall plants at USF Botanical Gardens. Admission is $5 per person and free for kids 12 and under. For more information visit

Our Favorite Spooky Halloween Events

Trick-or-treat from tank to tank through the Florida Aquarium on October 26 from 4-8 p.m. Kids are invited to come in costume to trick-or-treat and see over 20,000 sea creatures. Entertainment for all ages makes this a great event for the whole family. Admission is $5 for kids in costume and $15 for kids and adults ages 12 and older. Free for museum members.

Tampa Bay History Center Night at the Museum
The Tampa Bay History Center will come alive from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 19, with spooky ghosts, funny flappers, pirates, and even pioneers. This family trick-or-treat event includes a costume contest, crafts, games, and even a Thriller dance contest! Families can board the TECO streetcar for a spooky tour of Tampa’s haunts. Bring a candy bag so the kids can load up on treats. The cost for nonmembers is $9 for kids and $14 for adults. For museum members, the cost is only $7 for kids and $9 for adults.

Zoo Boo
Experience the largest Halloween event in the Tampa Bay area on Friday and Saturday nights through October. This event is great for kids of all ages and parents alike. This year’s theme for Zoo Boo is London Frightmare, featuring turn-of-the- century England’s most notorious sites and supernatural legends. The event is 7-11 p.m. and has additional selected nights. For more info, visit

Come out for this yearly Halloween fright fest at Busch Gardens. Taking place through November 1, this year guests will be terrified in this “Cursed” fright fest. Meet up with terrifying roaming creatures, check out a chilling live show and take on the park’s thrill rides in the dark. Admission is $47. This event is recommended for teens and adults only. Visit for specific dates and times.

Halloween Spree 
Bring your little ones to the Glazer Children’s Museum on October 31 from 4:30 – 8 p.m. for indoor trick or treating, games, prizes, and even a DJ! Light refreshments and treats will be served and the cost is $8 for non-museum members, $6.50 for museum members. Visit for more info.

For even more fun October events and Halloween happenings, check out our October issue and visit and sign up for our E-Newsletter.

By Angela Ardolino of Tampa Bay Parenting,