Many families will go door-to-door in local neighborhoods searching for candy this Halloween. But if you’d rather do something different — or don’t want to limit the fun to Oct. 31 — there are several public events to enjoy.
Several activities — most of them free — occur the weekend before Halloween, while others are scheduled for the week of the holiday, and the rest on Oct. 31.
Halloween Howl in Zephyrhills is an annual free event Oct. 25 along Fifth Avenue from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There will be a costume parade, a hayride — which costs $2 — and free books for children. There’s also a haunted house at 38533 Fifth Ave., the historic Jeffries House.
The costume parade starts at 6 p.m., near the 7-Eleven on Fifth.
If daytime activities are better for your schedule, Hillbilly Farms at 10325 U.S. 98 in Dade City, will host its annual Harvest Festival Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hayrides, horseback rides, face painting, pumpkin painting and train rides on the Woodland Express all are on the agenda.
Food and other vendors also will be available.
If you’re looking for something on a weekday morning, The Shops At Wiregrass at 28211 Paseo Drive in Wesley Chapel will have a Halloween event Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon in its parking structure.
Around 400 children are expected to attend, with gift bags ready for each of them.
Debbie Detweiler, The Shops’ marketing director, said the shopping location enjoys putting something special on each year that attracts so many people.
“It’s just a great opportunity for us to be able to give back to the community and provide free entertainment for families,” she said.
That free entertainment includes cookie decorating, balloon art, face painting, crafts and a photo booth. There will also be a costume contest for children 11 and younger benefiting the American Cancer Society, with the winner receiving a family four-pack to Legoland.
The cost is $15 until the day of the contest, and $20 on the day of the event.
Registrations must be completed by Oct. 29 at 10:30 a.m. To register in advance, visit TheShopsAtWiregrass.com.
Your four-legged friends can participate in the Halloween fun with Spooky Tails on Oct. 25, an annual event at Parwick Kennels, 22129 Carson Road in Land O’ Lakes.
Starting at noon, children can enjoy pony rides and face painting, with a police dog demonstration at 1:30 p.m.
But it’s the pets that go all out for the event, with a costume contest that begins at 2:30 p.m. Each entry gets a free pumpkin and the winner receives $200.
Local business booths, raffles and live music round out the information and entertainment.
While it’s a fun Halloween-themed event, it’s also a fundraiser to help pay the bills for police dogs when they retire from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. It also helps pay for equipment and other supplies for the K-9 Unit.
In the past, Spooky Tails has helped pay for a bite suit, which is used in K-9 training drills.
For more information about the event, call (813) 949-1687, or visit ParwickKennels.com.
If your family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, or you’d prefer to participate in a faith-based setting, there’s fall fun on your schedule, too. Several churches are hosting events on or around Halloween.
On Oct. 31, Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, 2017 Reigler Road in Land O’ Lakes, will hold a Trunk-A-Treat celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, and includes games, face painting, balloons and candy.
That same evening, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2348 Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, will host its Trunk or Treat event from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Children will go from car to car — with their trunks and tailgates open — in the church’s parking lot to collect candy and other treats in this family-friendly environment.
Also on Oct. 31, Idlewild Baptist Church, 18333 Exciting Idlewild in Lutz, will have its Light the Night event from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. No costumes are allowed, but there will be games, a hayride and inflatables.
The cost is $3 per person or $15 per family, with children under 2 admitted free.
Published October 22, 2014
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