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2020 October Events In And Around The Greater Sarasota Area

While there may not be a chill in the air yet, October in Sarasota still brings a variety of events that remind us of fall, including the spooky variety. Because of COVID-19, there might not be as many Halloween events and fall festivals as usual taking place this year, but there are still plenty of can’t-miss opportunities to get outdoors and have some fun with family and friends.

Here are our favorite October events that are planned to take place as of the time this article was written. Please note that all events are still subject to closures and updated hours, depending on circumstances. Also, some events may require face masks. It is always best to check before you go on restrictions and that the event is still scheduled as planned.

Ghosts & Gruesomes

WHEN: Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in October
TOUR TIMES: 7pm or 8:45pm (tour is approx. 75 min. in length)
LOCATION: 301 John Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL
WEBSITE: https://www.sarasotasuncoasttours.com/tours/ghosts-gruesomes/
COST: $17.95 per person (by prior reservation only)

Take a fun evening walk on the dark side of Sarasota with this creepy walking tour. Hear tales of paranormal activity and unsolved murders as you explore the downtown Sarasota theater district with your tour host. Parental discretion is advised. Not recommended for small children.

32nd Annual Fruitville Grove Pumpkin Festival

WHEN: Every Saturday & Sunday in October
TIMES: 10am to 5pm
LOCATION: 7410 Fruitville Rd, Sarasota, FL
WEBSITE: https://fruitvillegrove.com/festival/
COST: Free Admission and parking. Some activities have individual pricing

This is a family-oriented event that features hay rides, pony rides, pumpkin painting, face painting, mini train rides, a petting zoo and much more. Plan to spend the day with the kids and have a great time. Food and drink are available for purchase.

29th Annual Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival

WHEN: October 10-11, 17-18, 24-25
TIMES: 9am to 5pm
LOCATION: 5500 C.R. 275, Bradenton, FL
WEBSITE: https://www.hunsaderfarms.com/pumpkin-festival
COST: Admission $10/Parking $5 (Children 10 and under are free) Some activities have their own pricing.

Another family-oriented event featuring craft booths, chainsaw sculpting, live music, pioneer trades village, scarecrow displays, pumpkin games for charity, hayrides, pony rides, petting zoo, frog jumping championships, kids train ride, fresh roasted sweet corn, rock climbing wall, face painting, all kinds of food and treats, plus much more.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience

WHEN: October 17th (rain date, Oct. 18th)
TIMES: 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
LOCATION: 8201 Polo Club Lane
WEBSITE: https://www.theplayers.org/show/the-legend-of-sleepy-hollow/
COST: Tickets: $20 adult/ $10 student (under 24)/ $40 (Family 4-pack, must call the theatre to purchase) 941.365.2494

Join the the Players Centre for Performing Arts for the 4th annual outdoor adaption of Washington Irving’s classic story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This show is family-friendly and good for audiences of all ages. Tickets are limited to only 100 patrons per show. Enjoy food trucks, bring a picnic and bring blankets for your socially distanced seating area!

18TH Annual Goblin Gathering

WHEN: October 16th
TIMES: 6pm to 9pm
LOCATION: GT Bray Park, 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West, Bradenton, FL
WEBSITE: https://www.facebook.com/manatee.parks.natural.resources
COST: Free

Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department is celebrating its 18th Annual Goblin Gathering in conjunction with National Night Out at G.T. Bray Park. National Night Out is a program to strengthen neighborhood spirit and create police-community partnerships to make our community a safe place to live. Several local businesses will be participating by passing out “treats & sweets” to participants, providing a safe alternative for children to trick-or-treat. Participate in the online costume contest for a chance to win prizes! 

Please Note: This is a drive-thru only event this year. For more info, please call 941.742.5923.

Although the amount of October events and festivals will undoubtedly be less this year, the above events are taking precautions so that everyone has a safe and exciting time. If you are enjoying a stay in the Sarasota area during the month of October, we remind everyone to follow local restrictions and be patient with rules and regulations in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Have fun!

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