It’s a time of year that so many of look forward to, when the weather gets cooler after months of summer heat, the leaves start to change color on the trees … and a host of special events that are associated with the fall season arrive right on schedule.
Just as enjoyable: Fall in Tampa.
Fall fun in Tampa Bay is particularly appealing. The weather has started to cool down from the unrelenting 90-degree heat and the weather beckons you to come outside.
Even better, unlike quite a few northern states, there will be no need to break out the fall jackets and hats. In Tampa, it’s still t-shirt weather – only less steamy hot and humid. For a lot of northerners fleeing cold winters, fall in Tampa Bay is better known as paradise.
And then we have those special events to look forward to, the ones connected to this season – hayrides, pumpkin patches, Oktoberfest beer celebrations, and, of course, the big daddy of them all, Halloween in Tampa.
With spectacular weather to lure residents out of their air-conditioned homes and to get the visitors out of their northern houses, Tampa Bay has a lot happening in the fall. Yes, summer has come and gone.
Now, the fall gets its chance to strut its stuff. And in Tampa Bay, there’s plenty to pick from.
What’s Happening in Tampa Bay This Fall?
Come September, Tampa Bay gets fully into things we all love about fall, including Halloween scares, Fall Festivals, pumpkin patches, and Oktoberfest. Whether you live in Tampa Bay or are planning to come to visit, you’re not likely to be disappointed at spending the fall months here.
Fall is a beloved time of year when it’s truly enjoyable to go outside again here in Florida. Without further ado, here are some fun events to consider attending – in your t-shirt and shorts. And there are so many great things to do in Tampa Bay in Fall.
Oktoberfest, the world’s largest Volksfest and one held annually in Munich, Bavaria, may have started in Germany, but this festival has spread well beyond the European shores and is a highly popular beer and folk festival in cities and towns across the U.S.
Tampa has gotten in on the fun for nearly a decade and the 9th Annual Oktoberfest Tampa will be held Oct. 12-14 at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, which gets transformed into the city’s largest waterfront beer garden, complete with live music, food, and much more.
And not surprisingly, a large variety of beers will be available, including traditional German Pils, a Wheat, the Dunkel, and multiple Oktoberfest märzens. There will also be wine, fresh-squeezed lemonade and other refreshments available, as well as Outrageous Bavarian Games that qualify you to win cool prizes.
In a similar but different vein will be Fergtoberfest, held on Oct. 13 at Ferg’s Sports Bar in St. Petersburg. This is an event that features more than 13 live local and regional bands, including headliner Applebutter Express, plus German food, Beer Olympics, a Drunk Spelling Bee, an Axe Throwing Competition, vendors, games, and raffles.
This is a variation of Oktoberfest in Tampa Bay events that also offers unlimited refills of draft beer all day long, and the event serves a good cause, raising money for the ACT St. Pete Art Conservatory for Teens.
For those who prefer wine over beer, think about heading over to the Safety Harbor Wine Festival on Main Street in Safety Harbor. Admission is free to this event celebrating its 15th anniversary, complete with wine samplings, arts & crafts sales, live entertainment and food.
You can also check out Brews by the Bay on Oct. 12. It’s the Florida Aquarium’s 10th Annual Beer and Food Festival, when the Aquarium will offer endless beers, food from local area restaurants and live entertainment, making Brews by the Bay one of Tampa Bay’s most beloved beer festivals. You also get the bonus of access to all Aquarium galleries with this event.
Beer and wine are not the only things that fall events are built around. Fall Festivals in Tampa are very popular family fare this time of year and Tampa is no exception.
The annual Hyde Park Fall Festival starts on Oct. 8 at the park at 744 S. Village Circle in Tampa, an event that serves as the kick-off to a month-long pumpkin patch in Village Circle.
In Clearwater, the Heritage United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch has a similarly huge selection of pumpkins to choose from, along with games and photo opportunities.
What’s Happening for Halloween?
Halloween is big business in Central Florida – what better way to enjoy the spooky season than by visiting an area that still feels like a tropical paradise.
And there are certainly some spooky fun events coming up, particularly for the kids.
Safety Harbor’s Halloween Spooktacular is on Friday, Oct. 23 at Folly Farms, and features ghost hunts, pumpkin decorating, and a not-so-spooky movie – a great event for kids. This is a family-friendly Halloween event in Tampa and a free one.
Another good family event is ZooBoo at the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa, a place to take the kids for a day of fright-free activities, trick or treating, and critter encounters. ZooBoo starts on Sept. 27 and continues for a month.
Check out the 7th Annual FantasmaFest, also known as the Little Monsters Promenade & Pumpkin Patch, held at Centro Ybor in Ybor City on Oct. 27. This is where kids get to enjoy face painting, choose from more than 2,000 free pumpkins to decorate, and show off their costumes by trick-or-treating down historic 7th Avenue with Ybor City merchants.
This is a free event and volunteers will be on hand to help the kids craft their special Halloween items. Be sure to stick around for the Big Monster’s Bed Race, where Ybor merchants cruise down historic 7th Avenue at breakneck speeds in handcrafted beds on wheels.
Then on Halloween day, the 13th Annual Boo Bash will be held at Bright House Field in Clearwater, another free event filled with safe community Halloween celebrations. That includes an interactive area for kids that will have games, hayrides, a costume parade on the field, and lots of candy.
Tampa is a great city all year-round, but if you’re coming here for the first time this fall, you’ll love the weather, the nearby beach – and all the fun things to do this fall in Tampa Bay as those great events kick into high gear. These are activities for all ages, and families will have a great time enjoying the Halloween season in Tampa Bay here.
It’s no wonder Tampa Bay has been ranked as one of the best cities for families – and a clear indication of why so many families are moving here. Are you thinking about joining them by living in Tampa Bay?
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