In the Greater Sarasota area, October brings a hint of cooler months to come. It also brings a host of wonderful events for the whole family to enjoy. From Oktoberfest to Halloween events, October is a great month to experience the best of what Sarasota has to offer. Here are eight great events to check out during 2019.
1) Halloween Trail Carnival
Event Times: Friday, October 5th from 5pm to 7pm
Location: Arlington Park Sarasota, 2650 Waldemere Street, Sarasota, FL 34239
Sponsored by the City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation, all ages are welcome and is geared for young children from 2 to 13. Enjoy carnival games, costume contest and parade, face painting, tricks and treats.
Registration is encouraged.
2) Fruitville Grove’s Pumpkin Festival
Event Times: Every Saturday & Sunday in October, 10am to 5pm
Location: 7410 Fruitville Road, Sarasota 34240
This pumpkin festival is always a lot of fun for young and old alike. Daily festival activities includes: Kids fun zone (with zip line), pony rides, face painting, mini train ride, horse drawn carriage rides, pumpkin painting, hay rides, hug-a-goat, wildflower maze, enchanted unicorn encounter, hold-a-pig, butterfly garden experience, among others.
Admission is free. Individual rides, attractions and activities have their own set prices which range from $1 – $10. Food trucks will be on hand for a wide variety of culinary choices.
3) Sarasota Water Lantern Festival
Event Times: Saturday, October 5th from 4pm to 9pm
Location: Nathen Benderson Park, 5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota, FL 34235
Experience the magic of thousands of lanterns floating on the water in a truly memorable event that inspires hope and happiness. Each adult ticket includes a floating lantern, commemorative drawstring bag, marker and wristband. Ticket price covers the cost of collecting and removing the lanterns from the water well as any trash left around the shore.
4) Sarasota Pirates & Rum Festival
Event Times: Saturday, October 5th from 5 pm to midnight.
Location: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Bayfront, 777 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236
It’s time to channel your inner pirate and party like a buccaneer! There will be live reggae bands along with smooth jazz and R&B artists, incredible food and of course, rum brands from around the world. This event raises money for cancer awareness and benefits cancer survivors. Tickets range from $20 and up. Parking is free.
5) 2nd Annual Halloween Handcrafter's and DIY Night Market
Event Times: Saturday, October 12th from 6pm to 10pm
Location: Spoiled Dirty Rotten Natural Cosmetics Soap & Bath Bakery, 5636 Swift Road, Sarasota, FL 34231
Eat, shop and craft at this special event and support the local community. Make and decorate your own Halloween crafts, trick or treat at each booth or enter to win the costume contest. There will be live music and the Double W Ribeye food ruck will be in front of the The Blue Heirloom.
6) The 2nd Annual Sarasota Oktoberfest
Event Times: Friday, October 18th from 4pm to 10pm
Saturday, October 19th from 11am to 10pm
Sunday, October 20th from 11am to 6pm
Location: Downtown Sarasota on Gulfstream and Main (33 South Gulf Stream., Sarasota, FL 34236)
October just wouldn’t be the same without Oktoberfest and its lively music, mouthwatering food and big, big pints of beer! Feast on smoked sausages and roasted meats, sauerkraut, cabbage and pretzels while enjoying authentic German music and dancers. There will also be a marketplace of arts, crafts and fine products. Free admission.
7) Fish, Fun and Fright 2019
Event Times: Friday, October 18th, 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Location: Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236
Everyone is invited to dress up in costume for a night of Fish, Fun & Fright! There will be spooky activities throughout the Aquarium, including their signature underwater pumpkin carving in Mote’s shark habitat. Plus, you can feast on deep sea delights in the “Diner of the Dead." Tickets start at $12.
8) Spooktacular at Shelby Gardens
Event Times: Sunday, October 27th, 10am to 12pm
Location: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
This family friendly event includes trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, and fun, educational activities. Children are encouraged to come in costume and bring their own trick-or-treat bags to collect their goodies. Food will be available from Michael’s on East Grill. The Selby House Café will also be open with their full menu available.