Full moon kayak tours, drive-thru haunted houses and family-friendly experiences
GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (September 16, 2020) – This year’s Halloween may be different from years past but Visit Lauderdale has curated a Top 8 list of fun and safe ways to celebrate in Greater Fort Lauderdale. After all, your creative and coordinated costumes deserve to be flaunted. Timeless photos of the kids at the pumpkin patch are a must, and Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a spooktacular haunted house.
“Greater Fort Lauderdale businesses and attractions are finding creative ways to help residents and visitors get in the Halloween spirit and celebrate safely,” says Stacy Ritter, President and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “This is a great time to experience some of our beautiful parks with a twist, historic sites and family-friendly attractions.”
Here are recommendations for memorable and thrilling Halloween experiences for all ages, plus unique ways to celebrate this year’s blue full moon.
1. Kayak under the blue full moon
A full moon occurs on Halloween only every 18 to 19 years, and this year’s Halloween full moon is also a blue moon, since it’s the second of two full moons in the month of October. Celebrate this doubly rare occurrence on one of two full moon kayak paddling tours offered at each of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront state parks. At Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach, paddle the winding, watery trails of Whiskey Creek and work up an appetite for treats. Enjoy s’mores and refreshments around the campfire that awaits you at the end of your journey at Whiskey Creek Hideout. Or, take the moonlight kayak tour at Park & Ocean inside Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. Grab glowsticks and follow your guide on a tour of a fresh water coastal dune lake. Afterwards grab Caribbean and Southern-inspired bites and local craft beer at Park & Ocean restaurant and garden as you take in the full moon oceanfront views of Fort Lauderdale beach.
2. Drive through Horrorland
Experience a haunted house beyond the traditional at , South Florida’s first drive-thru, touchless haunted house, at Miramar Regional Park. You won’t have to worry about getting too close to the undead as you navigate the seven themed houses in your car. Monsters, ghosts, zombies and creatures of the night will accompany you on the other side of the window through immersive scenes, including Alice in Horrorland, Christmas Nightmare, Creepy Carnival, Zombie Apocalypse, Farm of Horrors, Asylum of Darkness and Scream’s Cemetery. This 35-minute scream fest is the brainchild of a Cirque du Soleil veteran with more than 20 years of experience in the experiential entertainment business, so you can expect an elaborate fantasy world complete with ghoulish characters, acrobats and unusual activities.
3. Have an Xtreme Halloween
Get in the Halloween spirit with interactive experiences for the whole family at Xtreme Action Park, the largest indoor entertainment venue in Florida. Thrill seekers can venture through a haunted house featuring creatures of the night on Thursdays through Sundays in October. You never know who or what awaits you in the woods of Duskfield Springs. All month long, play hide and go seek with zombies in an interactive laser tag game. Or race to the graveyard on October 30 as you navigate a 40-lap race in the dark on a racetrack complete with fog and spooky surprises. All ages can join the Boogeyman Skate at Xtreme’s indoor rink on October 31. As a live DJ spins, show off your skating skills in your creative garb and you just might win the costume contest.
4. Experience Haunt Drive
The picturesque Tree Tops Park in Davie turns into Haunt Drive in October. Coast in your car but be aware of the Tree Tops Forest Witch and her minions as they prey on those who wander too close to her home. For even more unexpected twists and scream worthy moments, add on the Dark Woods Walk. Step out of the safety of your car and follow the path to the witch’s lair if you dare. Family-friendly drives during daylight are available on select dates, and for younger children, there is a one day only free drive & treat.
5. Catch a Halloween flick
If something about being in a car and watching a scary movie, especially on Halloween, is your idea of a good time, look no further than the 14-screen drive-in theater at the Swap Shop in Sunrise, one of the world’s largest drive-in theaters. Open 365 days a year, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch various scary movies leading up to October 31 or on the day itself from the comfort of your car.
6. Tour local haunts
Tour the historic , which served as a trading post, post office, town hall and home to Fort Lauderdale’s founding father. This museum has a bone-chilling history of mysterious deaths. If you dare, visit some of the spirits that are said to remain inside Greater Fort Lauderdale’s oldest surviving structure. Paranormal investigators have confirmed six entities that make Stranahan House their home.
7. Pick out the perfect pumpkin
Head to Flamingo Road Nursery in October for your pick of pumpkins for carving contests and holiday décor. Walk the Pumpkin Trail in your search of the perfect pumpkin under the scenic oak hammock. Flamingo Nursery is a locals’ gem, not only for adding serious curb appeal with the fantastic array of tropical trees and lush plants, but for the seasonal, family-friendly events and the Farmer’s Market. Before you leave with your pumpkins in tow, stop by the indoor Farmer’s Market for handcrafted smoothies, produce from their on-site hydroponic greenhouse and honey from their herb farm.
Look for Trunk-or-Treat experiences throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale or plan your own with family and friends. Line up the cars or park in a circle and pop open the decorated trunks for a social distancing trick-or-treat experience. Ghosts and goblins of all ages will enjoy roaming from vehicle to vehicle, collecting candy and Halloween treats as they go. If you need inspiration to get your trunk decked out, try turning your open-trunk cars into open-mouthed monsters or recreating a set from your favorite movie or TV show. Whether the trunk matches your costume or has a theme on its own, get ready to show off your decorative flair and create a fun, safe way for kids to fill their candy buckets this Halloween.
For visitor guidelines and local policies visit sunny.org/healthadvisory. Masks are required in all public places.
About Greater Fort Lauderdale
Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts an average year-round temperature of 77˚F and has 3,000+ hours of annual sunshine. Explore 4,000+ eateries, 300+ miles of navigable waterways, eight distinct beaches, a Greater Fort Lauderdale tourism industry thriving arts and culture scene, craft breweries, rooftop bars, outdoor adventure, and world-class shopping – all conveniently located in the center of South Florida. Made of up 31 municipalities, the destination boasts more than 35,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a cosmopolitan vibe. Upon arrival at FLL Airport (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport), it is just five minutes to the beach, Port Everglades, the Broward County Convention Center and downtown. For trip planning inspiration, visit sunny.org and follow @VisitLauderdale.
About Visit Lauderdale
Visit Lauderdale, a.k.a. the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) is the tourism marketing organization for Broward County, Florida, where more than 13 million annual visitors support 180,000 direct and indirect tourism jobs and spend over $8 billion. The GFLCVB markets Greater Fort Lauderdale’s community of 31 municipalities to a global audience of leisure and business travelers and books conventions into the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and area hotels and resorts. The GFLCVB produces marketing and brand campaigns to keep the destination top-of-mind with travelers and maintains relationships with and hosts site tours for travel journalists, social media influencers, meeting planners, sports event planners, tour operators and travel agents. For more information about the destination, visit sunny.org and follow @VisitLauderdale on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
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