Spooky season is here and that means lots of candy, tricks, treats, and some frights! Things are bouncing back after last year’s shut-downs and there are lots of fun ways to celebrate Halloween in Bradenton and the surrounding area this year. Here are a few of our recommendations.
1. The Pumpkin Patch Express
Select Dates in October
Florida Railroad Museum: 12210 83rd St. E. Parrish, FL 34219
You’re going to LOVE this one-of-a-kind Halloween experience! The Pumpkin Patch Express is a 2.5-hour train ride from the train station to the Museum’s own pumpkin patch. There will be plenty of fun activities to enjoy along the way, including hayrides, arts and crafts, Lincoln log building, and games.
The kids will be able to choose a pumpkin from the patch and there will also be food and beverages available for purchase onboard the train and while at the Pumpkin Patch. This will sell out, so get your tickets soon!
2. Pet Costume Photo Contest
October 3rd through November 1st
Discover Bradenton is looking for the area’s best-dressed pet! To compete in this fun online pet costume photo contest, just head over to the entry page and upload a photo of your furry (or scaly) friend.
The photo with the most votes at the end of the contest period will win a $100 gift card to Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille. There will also be a random drawing for a $25 cash prize.
In addition, Discover Bradenton is donating $1.00 per entry to Friends of Manatee County Animal Services, so why not help support this great cause?!
3. Goblin Gathering at GT Bray
Friday, October 15th from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
GT Bray Park: 5502 33rd Ave Dr. W, Bradenton, FL 34209
If you’re looking for a safe way for your children to trick-or-treat, bring the whole family out to GT Bray Park and join in on the fun! There will be a costume contest, face painting, and bounce houses!
Children will need a $5 wristband to participate in activities. Parental participation and trick-or-treating is free. Food vendors will have food for purchase and several local businesses will be participating by passing out “treats & sweets” to participants.
4. Lights of Palmetto
October 15th through October 31st
5220 69th St E, Palmetto, FL 34221
You definitely won’t want to miss the Lights of Palmetto Halloween Show! It’s a “dance to the music” light show with all of your favorite Halloween songs like Thriller and Monster Mash.
Just drive up, park nearby, then tune into your radio on 96.1 to hear the music along with the lights. CLICK HERE to watch a quick video from previous years.
This show runs from October 15th through the 31st, then shuts down for a few weeks so they can set up their jaw-dropping holiday show. This is a must-see event, so make sure to mark your calendars.
5. Spooktacular Halloween Mixology w/ Mad Mixologist, Rob Boyland
Thursday, October 21st from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Pineapple Kitchen: 4914 Lena Rd, Bradenton, FL 34211
Looking to entertain your adult ghouls and goblins this Halloween? Book your reservation at Pineapple Kitchen, where Rob the “Mad Mixologist”, will teach you how to create three spooktacularly fun cocktails “The Vampire’s Kiss” “Witches Brew” and “Pumpkin Old Fashioned.”
The class also includes Creepy yet delicious Halloween Charcuterie and Sinful Appetizers. This will likely sell out, so make sure you get your tickets soon!
6. Trick or Treat! At the Bishop
Saturday, October 30th from 4 pm to 8 pm
The Bishop Museum: 201 10th St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205
Are you and your little ones ready for a dino-mite Halloween? Head over to The Bishop for trick-or-treating through the life-like dinosaurs in their new DinoVenture experience (opening October 23)! But beware… the T. rex, tenontosaurus, triceratops, and others will come to life — breathing, moving, and roaring!
You’re guaranteed to leave with plenty of candy and amazing memories!
7. Beachcraftin and Brew Pumpkins & Costume Party
Saturday, October 30th from 4 pm to 7 pm
Gypsea Soul: 615 15th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
Ladies, this event is for you! Dress up in your best witch or mermaid costume and head over to Gypsea Soul for their Halloween event.
Make a beautiful piece of art, enjoy a festive adult beverage, and show off your creative costume. The person with the best witch or mermaid costume will win a free creative workshop! This is going to be a ton of fun, so be sure to mark your calendars.
Pre-registration is required. Book your tickets here!
8. 18th Annual Safe Kids Night
Sunday, October 31st from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Manatee County Fairgrounds: 1402 14th Ave W, Palmetto, FL 34221
Want to bring your kids out for some safe Halloween fun? Head out to the Manatee County Fairgrounds for this event sponsored by Crimestoppers of Manatee County. All of the festivities will be set up under the open-air Mosaic Arena. It’s free to attend and there will be plenty of fun and candy for the whole family!
9. 1,000 Pieces of Candy! Halloween Event
Sunday, October 31st from 6 pm to 9 pm
Alcover Massage: 1302 12th Ave. W. Bradenton, FL 34205
On Halloween night, head over to Alcover Massage in the Village of the Arts for their 1,000 pieces of candy giveaway. The nonprofit organization ALSO Youth, which serves Sarasota and Manatee Counties’ LGBTQ+ youth community, will also be joining the event.
As part of the national Teal Pumpkin Project, there will be gluten-free and peanut-free candies along with candy-free alternatives available for children with dietary restrictions. As if this wasn’t enough, Alcover Massage will also be giving out children’s books in addition to candy!
10. Downtown Bradenton Ghost Tours
Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 pm
Want to do something truly terrifying? Join the Paranormal Society of Bradenton for one of their weekly ghost tours.
The cost is just $20 to join these expert guides on a haunting adventure throughout downtown Bradenton. They will share documented and personal experiences of paranormal activity in the downtown area.
The walking tour lasts for approximately 90 minutes. It departs from The Riverwalk and Old Main, across from the new Springhill Marriott. Tour Hot Spots include the Manatee Players Theatre, Fort Braden, Hampton Inn, and the Manatee County Courthouse.
Check out their Facebook Page to learn more and message them to reserve your spot!
There you have it, ten fun ways to celebrate Halloween in Bradenton! We hope you find at least a few that you’ll enjoy! If you’re looking for even more Bradenton events, take a look at our events calendar. We’re constantly adding new things, so be sure to bookmark it and check back often.