Free and cheap family fun for Halloween weekend
The Halloween express is about to leave the station and if you don't get a ticket, you're going to miss the train. And don't forget, you get an extra hour of sleep when Daylight Saving Time ends early Sunday morning. That's right: After all the revelry of Halloween, you get to push the clock back one hour. Now that is truly a treat.
Sure, the crowd gets a little wild for Guavaween when night falls. But on Saturday morning, there are many events geared for kids at the Guavaween Family FunFest. There will be safe trick or treating, Spooky Story Time, arts and crafts, pumpkin giveaway, a Children's Costume Parade and Contest an more. The activities begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Ybor City. Call (813) 242-4828.
Halloween Ghost Ship Kids Spooktacular
The ghosts of wars past will be among the living on the Halloween Ghost Ship Kids Spooktacular from 2-4 p.m. Saturday. Participants can carve pumpkins, make crafts and scatter for a scavenger hunt all on a creepy old warship. It's on the SS American Victory, 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $10 ages 13 and up; $5 ages 4-12; 3 and younger free. Call (813) 228-8766 or go to the ship's Web site.
Why should we humans have all the fun? Watch as the animals at Lowry Park Zoo have their own pumpkin party during the Pumpkin Toss on Friday. See which animals stomp, chomp, kick, play and pounce on their seasonal treat. Watch the action at 11 a.m. Friday at the Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. Tickets are $19.95, $17.95 seniors, $14.95 ages 3-11. Call (813) 935-8552.
Free Admission for Kids
Get out to Dinosaur World before trick-or-treating and kids ages 3-12 dressed in costume will get in free. The park, open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., is at 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City. Tickets are $12.75 adults, $10.75 seniors, kids free Saturday. only. Call (813) 717-9865.
Here's a little fast-paced fun for Halloween. Kids 12 and under can get in free to see the Tampa Bay Lightning play the New Jersey Devils — how appropriate — with the purchase of an adult ticket. It’s one kid free per adult ticket. There will be trick or treating, face painting and costume contests. And the first 5,000 fans in receive a free Lightning pillow case. That should be just right to fill with candy later that night. The game starts at 3 p.m. Saturday at the St. Pete Times Forum. For tickets, call (813) 301-6600.
Or would you rather get on the ice yourself? Clearwater Ice Arena will admit all ghouls and goblins for half price on Halloween night during the Ghouls and Goblins Costumed Dance Night. Come in your best costume (no masks) after trick or treating to skate for $4. Deejay Stick’em will be spinning the haunted sounds and there will be games, prizes, dancing and food. 9-11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Clearwater Ice Arena, 13940 Icot Blvd., Clearwater. Call (727) 536-5843.
So not everyone gets into the frightful side of Halloween. For those folks, there's Hallelujah Night. At this alternative to trick-or-treating, no costumes are allowed. The skating is from 8-11 p.m. Saturday at United Skates of America, 5121 N Armenia Ave., Tampa. Fees are $10 (includes skates); $8 (no skates); $5 (per person youth groups). Call (813) 876-5826. This event is also being held at USA Skateplex, 5313 E Busch Blvd., Tampa. Same fees apply. Call (813) 989-2100.
Get lost in a 4-acre labyrinth made of corn. Guides are available to make sure you don’t cheat or get lost in the Corn Maze in Masaryktown. Clues to finding the exit are hidden along the way. Also, try your hand at the corn cannon or take a relaxing hay ride. Water, sunscreen and proper shoes required. Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are $8.50, $4.50 ages 3-11, 2 and younger free (cash only!) Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. and select days through Nov. 8. Catch it at Sweetfields Farm, 17250 Benes Roush Road, Masaryktown. Call (352) 279-0977.
What could be more fun than building a house for pixies and fairies to live in? Bring your 8-11 inch pumpkin to build a home for pixies at the Pixie Pumpkin Build 2009. Party Pixies serves as host for the pixie house gathering. Houses will be built from pumpkins and other natural materials. RSVP required at www.meetup.com/Party-Pixies/. Home construction is from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at Fossil Park, 6801 Dr. M.L. King St. N, St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 365-7624.
At Weedon-ween, learn the truth about some of Halloween’s creepy creatures such as vampire bats, giant spiders, ghostly owls and slithering snakes in an interactive program. Best for families with children ages 6 and older. The afternoon fun is from 2-3 p.m. Saturday at Weedon Island Preserve, 1800 Weedon Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Free but pre-registration is required. (727) 453-6500.
Check out this frightful fun too. And have a safe, Happy Halloween!
-- Sherry A. Robinson
[All photos Times files]