Get Off The Couch, Bradenton! 25 Cool Things To Do In October

Autumn is here! Celebrate the fall season by checking out all the fun fall-themed things to do in Bradenton.

From the return of the Bradenton Public Market to pumpkin festivals, cemetery tours, and more – there are plenty of fun ways for you to enjoy the season while supporting local. Check out our round-up of the top 25 cool things to do in Bradenton this month!

1. Bradenton Public Market – RESCHEDULED TO 10/8

Every Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm (Beginning 10/1)
Old Main Street, Bradenton, FL 34205

It’s the most exciting time of the year – the Bradenton Public Market is back! We can’t wait to head downtown to check out the fresh-grown produce, local art, live music, and more.

The Public Market, organized by Realize Bradenton, hosts over eighty vendors selling locally-grown fruits, vegetables, plants, organic products, fresh seafood, and prepared foods. You’ll also find local artists and craftspeople displaying their works. The Public Market is held every Saturday from October through May, so don’t miss out on this popular local tradition.

2. Plants and More Sale at Palma Sola Botanical Park

Sunday, October 2nd from 10 am to 3 pm
Palma Sola Botanical Park: 9800 17th Ave NW Bradenton, FL 34209

If you’re a plant lover, you definitely won’t wat to miss the Fall Plants & More Sale at Palma Sola Botanical Park!

They’ll have a wonderful array of plants for sale and craft vendors all throughout the park. There will also be art, food, and music for you to enjoy. This fun annual event is FREE to enjoy, so be sure to head on out.

Note that some vendors accept cash only. Do yourself a favor and stop at the ATM on your way – you’ll be glad you did!

3. Micro Wrestling Returns to Palmetto

Sunday, October 2nd from 6 pm to 8 pm
El Sombrero: 1330 Northeast US Highway 301, Palmetto, FL 34221

If you’re looking for an evening of unique entertainment, look no further than Micro Wrestling at El Sombrero in Palmetto. This will be a full-scale WWE-type event with an entire cast under five feet tall.

Watch as the Micro Wrestlers body slam, bear hug, and headlock all throughout the evening of non-stop action. Following the show, fans can stick around and socialize and get autographs with the Micro cast members! You can get all this for just $20! Get your tickets here.

4. Cattle Baron’s Ball (FELT) – RESCHEDULED to 12/3

Saturday, October 8th from 6 pm to 10 pm
Manatee County Fairgrounds: 1402 14th Ave W. Palmetto, FL 34221

Celebrate Feeding Empty Little Tummies‘ 12 years of community service and support their cause by heading over to the Cattle Baron’s Ball.

Enjoy an evening filled with live country music by One Night Rodeo with dinner, dancing, and raffles.

RSVPs are highly recommended. Tickets are $50.00 each or you can purchase a Reserved Table for 8 with 2 drink tickets/person + gifts for $650.00. Get your tickets here.

5. Dead Set at Birdrock Taco Shack

Saturday, October 8th at 7:30 pm
Birdrock Taco Shack: 1213 13th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205

Watch as this Tampa Bay based band performs the music and great hits of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and other favorites at Birdrock Taco Shack.  Come dance, spin, and jam away – oh! And there will be tacos, too!

6. Cortez Nautical Flea Market

Saturday, October 8th from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Florida Maritime Museum: 4415 119th St W, Cortez, FL 34215

If you’re a fan of all things sea-related, then you don’t want to miss the Annual Cortez Nautical Flea Market at the Florida Maritime Museum. Here, you’ll find all sorts of fishing gear, marine equipment, and other maritime flotsam and jetsam.

There will also be a nautical-themed arts and crafts sale at the Cultural Center. Parking will be available at the F.I.S.H. Preserve next to the Cortez Cultural Center east of FMM. This is a family-friendly event, so bring your kids and come check it out!

7. Cemetary Tours

Saturday, October 8th, and Saturday, October 22nd at 10 am
Manatee Village Historical Park: 1404 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208

What better way to celebrate the spooky season than to take a historical Cemetary Tour? During this informative and unique tour, you’ll visit the 1850 Manatee Burying Ground and learn about Manatee County’s history.

This is a FREE hour-long guided tour at the area’s oldest public cemetery. It will begin at 10 am at Wiggins Store in Manatee Village Historical Park. Spots are limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

8. Candlelight Yin and Sound Bath

Sunday, October 9th from 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Thrive Yoga & Fitness: 8819 Cortez Rd W Bradenton, FL 34210

When you need to escape from the stress of everyday life, there’s nothing quite like a Yin Yoga session. Join Erin and Diana at Thrive Yoga & Fitness, as they introduce you to a transformative Candlelight Yin class and a Sound Bath complete with a Saturn gong, crystal bowls, and sacred mantra.

Harmonize your physical mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies, while aligning yourself in love, gratitude, and joy – and watch your tension and stress go away. Sign up here to reserve your spot for this unforgettable event.

9. 6th Annual Sanga-rita Showdown – RESCHEDULED TO 11/18

Friday, October 14th from 6 pm to 9 pm
Manatee County Fairgrounds, Veterans Hall: 1402 14th Ave W Palmetto, FL 34221

The Sanga-rita Showdown is back! Come on out to support Parenting Matters and watch as some of the area’s best restaurants compete in a battle to prove that they make the Best Sangria or Margarita on the Suncoast.

Your ticket gives you the chance to taste samples from each restaurant and vote for your favorite. There will also be delicious appetizers and entertainment for you to enjoy. Get your tickets here.

10. Goblin Gathering

Friday, October 14th from 5:30 pm to 8 pm
GT Bray Park: 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West Bradenton, FL 34209

The Goblin Gathering is back for its 20th spooktacular year at GT Bray Park! Come out with your family and friends to join this fun Halloween Celebration.

There will be tons of family-friendly games and activities including bounce slides, a hay maze, crawling over inflatables, and face painting. Local businesses will be there to give out “treats & sweets” for the children, as a safe alternative to trick-or-treating. Food trucks will also be on-site to provide food and drinks.

There will also be a Costume Contest in the following categories: 1 year and under, 2 to 4 years old, 5 to 8 years old, 9 and older, and families. 

11. WCR Fall Chili Cook-off Festival

Friday, October 14th at 6 pm
Hidden Acres Barn-Weddings & Events: 6004 77th St East Palmetto, FL 34221

Nothing says “Fall” quite like a hot bowl of chili. Come on out to Hidden Acres Barn and join the Women’s Council Of Realtors Manatee County for their Fall Chili Cook-Off Festival.

During this family-friendly event, you’ll have the chance to taste a variety of chili recipes while enjoying music, games, face painting, and more. Get your tickets now!

12. Laughter in LWR

Saturday, October 15th from 5 pm to 9:30 pm
GROVE Restaurant • Patio • Ballroom: 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

Knock Out Marketing is bringing laughter into Lakewood Ranch again! This stand-up comedy show will feature three amazing comedians – Goldiee, Sheila Kay, and Phil Palisoul.

Come in your best formal attire, socialize, and enjoy the food and drinks. Stick around after to get a chance to meet the Comedians. This may sell out, so be sure to get your tickets soon! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Humane Society of Manatee County (HSMC).

13. 21st Annual AMI Bayfest

Saturday, October 15th from 10 am to 9 pm
Pine Avenue, Anna Maria Island, FL

Get ready for the 21st Annual Anna Maria Island Bayfest on Pine Avenue. The event will feature delicious food, cold drinks, craft vendors, and an amazing car show.

Trevor Bystrom Band 11 am-1:15 pm
Lisa & The Island Hoppers 1:45-4 pm
The Karen & Jimmy Band 4:30-6:30 pm
Dr. Dave Band 7-9 pm

14. Hunsader Pumpkin Festival

October 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th, and 30th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Hunsader Farms: 5500 County Road 675 E, Bradenton, FL 34211

Come and celebrate the festivities at Hunsader Farms’ 31st Annual Pumpkin Festival!

Every day there will be a variety of fun activities and games including Pony Rides, Homemade Ice Cream, a Barnyard Playground, a Petting Zoo, and much more.

This is a family-friendly event, where everyone, even dogs (on a leash) are welcome to join. The admission fee is $15. Children 10 years old and under, get in for FREE, and Parking is $5.

Learn more at

15. Discover Bradenton’s Networking Event

Thursday, October 20th from 5 pm to 7 pm
Oscura: 816 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34208

Attention business owners! You are invited to join Discover Bradenton for a casual networking happy hour at one of Bradenton’s hottest new venues – Oscura.

Be sure to bring lots of business cards and prepare to make some great connections and maybe even some new friends. There will be lite bites, door prizes, and a cash bar.

This event is FREE for members and $10 for future members. RSVP is required. Get your tickets here!

16. Sheriff’s Spooktactical Night

Thursday, October 20th from 5 pm to 8 pm
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office: 600 Highway 301 Boulevard West Bradenton, FL 34205

Celebrate Halloween safely at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Operations Center. There will be all sorts of fun games and activities for the kids, free food, and trick or treating at each unit’s station. MCSO Units will also have vehicles on display.

17. Health Expo at Water’s Edge

Thursday, October 20th from 10 am to 2 pm
Water’s Edge of Bradenton: 2015 32nd Ave W Bradenton, FL 34205

Don’t miss out on the 5th Annual Wellness Expo at Water’s Edge of Bradenton! This event will feature a variety of interactive activities including free health screenings, hands-on demonstrations, informational wellness materials, and more. You’ll also get the chance to meet over 40 local Health & Wellness professionals!

This event is sponsored by Southwest Florida Home Care and Home Helpers Home Care.

18. Gypsy at Manatee Performing Arts Center

October 20th through 30th
Manatee Performing Arts Center: 502 Third Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205

If you’re a fan of musicals, you don’t want to miss this one! Gypsy is considered one of the best musicals in history, and you have a chance to see it at the Manatee Performing Arts Center.

Tickets sell fast! Get your tickets here.

19. Pumpkin Patch Express

October 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th
Florida Railroad Museum: 12210 83rd Street East Parrish, FL 34219

Looking for a fun and unique Halloween activity? Check out the Pumpkin Patch Express!

Lots of activities are included with your ticket. Hay rides, arts and crafts, Lincoln log building, and games will be available. Children are invited to pick a pumpkin from the patch to take home.

Food and beverages are available for purchase onboard the train and while at the Pumpkin Patch.

This is an insanely popular event that always sells out, so don’t wait to make your reservation! Get your tickets here.

20. Helicopter Ball Drop

Saturday, October 22nd at 8:25 am
Legacy Golf Club: 8255 Legacy Blvd at Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton, FL 34202

Join the excitement and participate in the fun as Feeding Little Empty Tummies (F.E.L.T) is having a Legacy Golf Club helicopter ball drop!

You can purchase 1, 10, or even 15 balls at any time to win the grand prize of $1,000. The ball that lands closest to the Pin wins, and you don’t need to be present at the ball drop to win. You can buy your balls here.

21. Copacabana Casino Night

Saturday, October 22nd at 6 pm
GROVE: 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

Want to have a fun night and help raise awareness for survivors of domestic violence and their children? HOPE Family Services will be hosting the 24th Black and White Copacabana Casino Night at GROVE.

This event will help support life-saving shelter, services, and programs for Manatee County’s domestic violence victims, survivors, and their children as 100% of all proceeds will go directly to this great cause. RSVP to the best party in town. Get your tickets here.

22. Stuff the Bus

Sunday, October 23rd from 9 am to 3 pm
All Manatee County Publix Locations

The holidays are right around the corner, and Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, needs your help to stuff the bus!

As inflation and higher costs of living caused the food security in our area to skyrocket, they are planning to raise 150,000 pounds of food in order to feed the Manatee County community.

To participate, you can go to any Manatee County Publix location, purchase food to donate, and drop it off at the school bus out front.

Interested in volunteering on the day of the event? Sign up here.

23. Boo Fest (LWR)

Friday, October 28th from 6 pm to 9 pm
Lakewood Ranch Main Street: 8100 Lakewood Main St Bradenton, FL 34202

Ready to enjoy some Halloween fun? Head on over to Lakewood Ranch and check out BooFest! This fun family-friendly event will have entertainment, food, drinks, and more.

Dress your kids up in their cutest and spookiest Halloween costumes for the parade, and let them bring their trick-or-treat bags to collect as many treats as they can.

This event is FREE to the public and tickets are not required!

24. Boo at the Bishop

Saturday, October 29th from 6 pm to 9 pm
The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature: 201 10th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is excited to host its annual Night at the Museum trick-or-treating event! Boo! at the Bishop is a safe, family-friendly event where you tour around the Museum visiting tables for candy. Don’t forget to bring your candy bag!

Costumes are encouraged, just keep it family-friendly. There will be lots of candy and plenty of fun. Register here.

25. Main Street Live

Saturday, October 29th from 6 pm to 9 pm
Old Main St. Downtown Bradenton, FL

We are super excited for the return of Main Street Live in downtown Bradenton! This is going to be a not-to-miss event, so be sure to mark your calendars for Bradenton’s most popular street party.

This month’s series is a Halloween street block party on the historic Old Main Street. Streets will be closed, as vendors and food trucks line up and live music plays all throughout the night.

There you have it! Our round-up of 25 fun and exciting things to do in Bradenton during the month of October. We encourage you to get off the couch, get out, and #SupportLocal!

Looking for even more things to do? We update our event calendar daily, so head on over and check it out. Be sure to bookmark it and check back often, so you never miss a thing!

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