The leaves may not turn around here, but the fall season brings its own share of traditions in Greater Fort Lauderdale. From spooky soirees and cultural events to festivals and the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, the coming months have exciting activities for all.

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Honoring the Past

Explore the alter ego of artist Maggie Steber through her three-month photography exhibit, “The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma,” at MAD Arts in Dania Beach through the end of October. A mix of ethereal, spooky, and thought-provoking, visitors get a peek at the subconscious and fears of Lily.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with History Fort Lauderdale’s “Ofrenda” events beginning on Oct. 3 and ending on Nov. 2, Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Festivities include ofrenda altars to honor our passed loved ones, the “Inspiracion Frida” fine art exhibition, community conversations, and a skeleton procession to close out the month.

History Fort Lauderdale presents “Making Waves: A Visual History of the Marine Industry in Fort Lauderdale” from October 11 through November 1 at The Galleria Fort Lauderdale. The retrospective coincides with the annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and chronicles the marine pioneers and companies that have contributed to the city’s rise to yachting fame. 

Aerial shot of super yachts at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 

The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - FLIBS for short - takes place at the end of the month from Oct. 27 through 31. We have lots of advice for navigating the world's largest in-water boat show and you'll need it, since it is spread out over seven locations. FLIBS is one of Greater Fort Lauderdale's longest-running and largest events. If it's fun on the water, you'll find it here with displays ranging from small center console boats to superyachts, watersports toys, marine electronics, the latest fashions and jewelry for the outdoors and on-the-water lifestyle, great food, and luscious libations. Tickets are available ranging from basic single-day entry up to the Windward VIP Experience. 

Perhaps Greater Fort Lauderdale’s original sport, alligator wrestling, is the topic of Stranahan House’s November History Happy Hour on Nov. 17. The Seminole Tribe of Florida’s cultural ambassador, Everett Osceola, shares his knowledge of alligator wrestling and its history with the Seminole tribe. Guests will also be treated to a tour of the Fort Lauderdale historical site and light bites. 

Get Spooky

You might think you’re safe inside your locked car as you drive through the Miramar Regional Parker Amphitheater, but think again! Keep an eye out for the walking dead and other gruesome creatures at this Halloween Drive and Scream, and if you have the guts, walk through the haunted pumpkin patch. This spooky event is on Oct. 8. 

Flamingo Gardens in Davie hosts themed weekends this October, with scarecrows, scavenger hunts, costumed characters, photo opportunities, and other fall fun at their annual Harvest Festival. The festival is on Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31, and bring your goofiest scarecrow for the 11th Annual Scarecrow Contest on Oct. 9 and 10.

On your marks, get set, trot! The City of Sunrise is hosting Trick or Trot 5K,  a Halloween-themed 5K race for runners (and walkers and rollers) of all ages and abilities to a run or romp through Markham Park on Oct. 23. Costumes are encouraged and proceeds from the race will benefit the Florida chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Start the festivities a day early with the 4th Annual Halloween Bar Crawl starting at Booze Garden in Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 30. Follow the map for drink deals and delicious food and wear your best costume for a chance at $1,000. Don’t forget to stay for the afterparty. One of the gayborhood’s biggest events of the year, Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors is transformed into a spooky Halloween party on Oct. 31 from 6 to 11 p.m. The theme of this year’s Wicked Manors is “Turn Back Time,” fit with costumes, drag queens, drink stations, live music, and ghouls on parade. Proceeds of this annual event benefit the Pride Center at Equality Park.

Wicked Manors

Feel the Beat

After being postponed from this spring, the Tortuga Music Festival is finally back for a weekend of music and ocean conservation from Nov. 12 to 14. Top acts this year include Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Pitbull, Barenaked Ladies, Vanilla Ice, Rita Wilson, and more. The event benefits the Rock the Ocean Foundation.

tortuga music festival

Classically trained violist and violinist Wil B. and Kev Marcus, known as Black Violin, kick off the holiday season on Nov. 27 at the Broward Center with their special blending of classical music and hip hop. Following the theme of giving thanks, Black Violin’s fall tour consists of unique storytelling and melodies that will get you out of your seat.