Temperatures may still be high, but you know that fall has arrived in Southwest Florida thanks to the slate of seasonal activities and events that come around as the days get shorter and the Gulf breezes get a little stronger. Pumpkins patches, costume contests and corn mazes—oh my! There’s lots to look forward to for the whole family now that fall is in the air.
As you spend the next couple of weeks planning which superheroes, celebrity icons or sports stars your little ones will embody this Halloween, make time to check into these festive events throughout Naples, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers to get your entire clan in the spooky spirit.
This list will be continually updated as new events come in.
Go out for hayrides, a corn maze and pumpkin patch during the 7th Annual Fall Festival at Farmer Mike’s U-Pick in Bonita Springs. With 16 stations throughout the maze, your kiddos will have a blast while finding their way through this year’s The Amazing Honeybee-themed maze. Kids learn about the farm’s pollinators while making their way around the family-friendly maze. Then, reward them with a stop at the pumpkin patch to take home the biggest gourd they can find.
Take the family to Lakes Park for the 10th Annual Scarecrows in the Park, complete with the Halloween Express train, which whizzes munchkins around the park. Local groups and individuals enter their decorated scarecrows, which are displayed throughout the 279-acre park and then honored with prizes by celebrity judges and a People’s Choice award.
Reserve your spot for Art in the Park’s: Pumpkin Painting at Fleischmann Park in Naples. Hosted by Paradise Coast Parent, the gathering costs $20 per participant, which gets your young Picasso a pumpkin, along with all the carving and painting supplies they need to make a standout jack-o-lantern.
October 22 through October 24
For three days, kids under the age of 12 who show up in a costume gain free admission to the Naples Zoo during the highly anticipated Boo at the Zoo. The whole family can sail off on a Pirate Expedition Cruise, meet a mermaid and trick-or-treat around the zoo, while learning about the furry residents and Florida ecology.
Head to Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples (C’MON) for the Halloween Spooktacular, where little ones can participate in scavenger hunts, Día de los Muertos-themed crafts, mummy-wrapping and a dance party. In true C’Mon spirit, just about every part of the celebration includes an educational component. Oh, and costumes are highly encouraged.
Book a date-night with your tween and grab a seat for Monster Mash, part of The Naples Players monthly family-friendly improv comedy nights—this time, with a ghoulish spin. The audience drives the scenes by offering suggestions, and there’s almost always a special celeb guest appearance.
Meet the more than 300 rescue reptiles, birds and other critters at the Bonita Springs Wonder Gardens during the free-admission WonderWeen . Kids can trick-or-treat from the Gator Sweet Tooth stations, explore the Boneyard (complete with cool fossils), play a round of pumpkin tossing and join in on educational scavenger hunts throughout the three-acre ecological park, which is undergoing a transformation.
Stroll along Fifth Avenue South in Downtown Naples for the Halloween on 5th Spooktacular, when the thoroughfare fills with games, live music and lots of good food and trick-or-treating goods. From 12-3 p.m., it’s all about the kids, including a costume contest for little ones. Afterward, the Evening on Fifth festivities continue with the regularly anticipated lineup of music, dancing and more merrymaking.
Celebrate the holiday while getting a culture-fix during Gulf Coast Symphony’s Star Wars vs. Harry Potter Symphony Spooktacular. It’s never too early to introduce kiddos to fine music, after all. Dress up as your favorite wizards or Jedis and get in on the action as the group plays scores from the blockbuster films.