You may have noticed that the air has felt crisper lately. Fall is finally here in Florida, and this coming Saturday night, both children and adults alike will be celebrating Halloween. The cool breeze, the dark of the night…once you notice these, your other senses will heighten. If you go to one of the events described below, you’re sure to have a spooky good time! Below we have information on ten events across South and Central Florida that will be held on Halloween night.

SOUTH FLORIDA

HocusPocusAlibi_wicked-manorsWe can’t start off an article on Halloween events without including one of the largest parties in Broward County, Wicked Manors! This is the ninth year that Wicked Manors has been presented, and over 25,000 people are expected to fill Wilton Drive (which will be closed off between 1 p.m. on Halloween and 3 a.m. the next morning). The theme is “Once Upon a Drive,” reminiscient of the ABC fantasy series Once Upon a Time, so dress up in your most inventive costume! There will be a number of costume contests judged on the main stage, starting with the first adult contest at 8:30 p.m. on the main stage. (The kids and pets have their own costume contests beforehand, between 7:15 and 8:15 p.m.)

The hosts of this event are Misty Eyez and Miss Bryan and Nikki Ramirez from Hits 97.3. They will be on the main stage all evening, judging costume contests and giving color commentary. On the north stage, some of South Florida’s fiercest drag queens will be entertaining the crowds every 30 minutes, at the top and bottom of each hour. Proceeds raised during the community event will benefit The Pride Center, so they can continue offering their many services to the local community. If you can’t attend, you can donate to The Pride Center directly by going to wickedmanors.org/donate. Hotspots Media Group is proud to be one of the local media sponsors of this event. For more information, visit wickedmanors.org.

The House of Horror Amusement Park promises to be an experience you won’t soon forget! HocusPocusAlibi_House-of-HorrorOrganizers say this haunted house is the largest in South Florida, featuring thirty rooms of terror and ten new additions since last year. There will also be two full acres of new amusement rides, some scarier than ever! There will be food trucks, live music concerts, free parking, and the return of “Micro Championship Wrestling,” where little people from across the country fight it out to become the next professional wrestler. Admission is $30 for adults and tickets can be bought online by going to houseofhorrorpark.com/tickets. The House of Horror Amusement Park is located at 1455 NW 107th Ave. in Doral.

In the Wynwood Arts District of Miami, there will be a fun block party called HalloWYN, which is free to attend. The crowds will be having fun sampling food and drink from over two dozen food trucks as well as dancing in the streets to the beats of multiple video DJs, who will be giving you the Top 40 and Halloween-themed hits you love. Attendees will be able to see each music video played on a massive 240-inch LED screen. The party switches gears at 10 p.m. when The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be shown on the large screen! If you’d like to enter the “horrific costume contest,” e-mail info@hallowynblockparty.com to register. This event is open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Mana Wynwood Production Village (318 NW 23rd St., Miami). For more information, visit hallowynblockparty.com.

Out on Miami Beach, the annual Nightmare on the Beach fundraiser event will begin at 9 p.m. HocusPocusAlibi_Nightmare-on-the-beachat Lummus Park and will go on until the wee hours. This year’s theme is “The Battle of Heaven and Hell” so dress in your scariest apocalypse costume. There will be a top-shelf open bar included in the ticket price, featuring spirits by Patron, Dos Equis, and more, and unlimited Fiji Water. There will also be food samples courtesy of the event’s catering partners. Nightmare on the Beach is a fundraiser for the Little Lighthouse Foundation, which assists local children and their families who have suffered educational, financial and medical hardships. Tickets are $175 per person and can be bought by going to nightmareonthebeach.com.

Also in Miami Beach, Lincoln Road Mall will be packed with thousands of men and women in HocusPocusAlibi_Lincoln-Road-MallHalloween costumes, as is custom. This event is free to attend, and many of the businesses in the area will be ready to help you celebrate in style! Hôtel Gaythering will be having an American Horror Story-themed party, Dylan’s Candy Bar will greet customers with a “haunted nights” theme, The Abbey Brewing Company will be one of many establishments sponsoring a costume contest, and Maya Tapas and Grill will be unveiling a special Halloween-themed menu for one day only! Come on down to Lincoln Road Mall and see why dressing up for Halloween has become such an important South Florida tradition. For more information, visit facebook.com/lincolnroadmall.

Watch out, Palm Beach! Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds has returned, bigger HocusPocusAlibi_Fright-Nightsand scarier than ever! This year there will be four “scare zones”: Memento Mori, evoking imagery of New Orleans voodoo and witchcraft; Animal Farm, where it’s survival of the fittest and you can easily be killed if you don’t kill first; Beyond the Gates, where event attendees slip into a parallel universe and come face to face with the things that go bump in the night; and Meadow Lakes, an idyllic community attacked by an unknown virus, leading residents to paranoia, mental instability, and murder. Fright Nights is open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Halloween night, and tickets cost $25 per person online or in person. For more information, visit myfrightnights.com.

CENTRAL FLORIDA

No Central Florida Halloween would be complete without going to Universal Studios Florida for HocusPocusAlibi_Halloween-Horror-NightsHalloween Horror Nights, celebrating 25 years of scary fun this year. There are multiple scare zones where you have to keep composed or the creatures behind each corner can make you lose it! This year’s scare zone themes evoke imagery from your favorite horror films and TV shows, such as The Walking Dead, Freddy vs. Jason, Insidious, The Purge, and An American Werewolf in London. There are a number of fun live shows, such as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and The Carnage Returns. Then there’s the rides everyone looks forward to; this year’s rides include Revenge of the Mummy, Transformers: The Ride 3D, and the Men in Black Alien Attack. Florida residents can buy their tickets online for a discounted price of $76.99 for Halloween night. Visit halloweenhorrornights.com for more information.

For those of you who absolutely love dressing up in your favorite Halloween costume, whether HocusPocusAlibi_Pariament-Houseit’s scary or sexy, you have to stop by Parliament House Orlando this Halloween weekend. On Friday, October 30, they start things off with a costume contest, and the winner will be able to walk away with $5,000! That’s right, five G’s! If you think that’s awesome, you should definitely be in attendance on Halloween night, because there will be another costume contest, and this time the top prize will be $10,000 in cash! Out of all the costume contests out there, not many (if any!) give out such a massive grand prize! Second place winners will receive a Mercedes-Benz weekend rental from co-sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Orlando. Tickets are $10 in advance for each night and $15 at the door. If you purchase both nights in advance, the ticket price is just $18. For more information, visit parliamenthouse.com.

Chillers, Big Belly and Latitudes bars in Orlando present the 15th annual Halloween Party on HocusPocusAlibi_Church-StreetChurch Street, which is such a massive party, not even three bars can hold it all in! The party will spill out onto Church Street as the night goes on, with two DJs on the main street stage. There will be a costume contest too, and the winner will walk away with $3,000 in cash! If you think you have what it takes to compete, you can inquire about registration by going to facebook.com/churchbars. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the party will go on for much of the night! For more information, visit churchstreetbars.com.

Busch Gardens in Tampa is celebrating its sixteenth straight year celebrating Halloween with HocusPocusAlibi_Howl-o-screemHowl-O-Scream. The haunted houses are pretty scary this year, I’ve been told, and range in theme from “Death Water Bayou” to “Circus of Superstition” to “Zombie Mortuary.” All of Busch Gardens’ normal rides will be open, as well as the special ride Crash Test Zombies, presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Ticket prices are $60 for Halloween night when purchased online and $90 at the gate. Howl-O-Scream begins at 7:30 p.m. but ticketholders will be allowed admission into the park beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, visit seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa/howloscream.

Whether you’re going to a club or a restaurant after these events, you should find a gay-friendly hot spot to go to! It’s as easy as downloading the Hotspots Magazine app, available for free on Google Play or iTunes. On the app, you can access our comprehensive business directory, powered by Mark’s List.

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Mike Halterman
Mike Halterman has been the editor of Hotspots Central since its launch in July 2016. He joined the Hotspots Media Group family as editor of Hotspots' South Florida magazine in June 2013. A former "40 Under 40" honoree in The Advocate magazine, Mike lives in the Tampa Bay area.