A Guide to Can't-Miss October Events in the Sarasota Area

It’s that time of year when we get a hint of fall in Sarasota.  That means pumpkins, hay rides, and some spooky treats for the kids.  Here are our favorite October events in the Sarasota area that you shouldn’t miss.

Sharktoberfest at Mote Marine

When:  October 1, from 7 pm to 10 pm

Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236

This after-hours event at Mote Marine features more than 15 local and regional breweries that will provide samples of their best selections, plus some of their favorite seasonal brews.  The event features live entertainment, food stations, merchandise vendors, and special experiences provided by Mote’s education department.

Must be 21 or older to attend.

34th Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Fest

When:  October 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 from 10am to 5pm

Address:  7410 Fruitville Road, Sarasota, FL 34240

Visit: https://fruitvillegrovefarm.com/

This family favorite is in its 34th year!  The event features pony rides, hay rides, pumpkin painting, mini train rides, a petting zoo, plus Halloween decorations for sale.  Much of the event, including parking, is free.  Individual rides and games have their own price.  Don’t miss the children’s costume contest every Saturday at 2pm.

Manatee Village Historical Park’s Tombstone Tour

When:  October 8th and 22nd, from 10 am to 11 am

Address:  1404 Manatee Ave. E, Bradenton, FL 34208

Visit:  https://www.manateevillage.org/events

This is a free, staff-led tour of the historic cemetery.  Learn the interesting history of the cemetery as well as the meaning of tombstone symbols.  Plus hear some stories of some of the inhabitants who are buried there.  Space is limited and spots are filled on a first-come basis.  Admission is free.

Lights at Spooky Point

When:  October 14th to 31st, 6:30pm to 7:30pm and 7:45pm to 8:45pm

Address:  Historic Spanish Point, 401 N. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

Visit:  https://selby.org/hsp/hsp-special-events/lights-at-spooky-point/

This new, Halloween-themed light show will transform the Historic Spanish Point into “Spooky Point”.  Guests will discover amazing, but not too scary, creations around every turn.  Follow an eerily lit path through the woods, encountering creatures and pumpkins along the way.  There is also a hay maze.

31st Annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival

When:  October 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30,

Address: Hunsader Farms, C.R. 675, Bradenton, FL 34211

Visit:  https://www.hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival

This popular family event features a craft show, live music, pioneer trades village, scarecrow displays, charity pumpkin games, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, frog jumping championships, kids train rides, and much more.

Please note:  Admission and attractions are cash only.

October only comes once a year and these events won’t last long, so make sure you round up the family and check out some of these great things to do this year.

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