Sometimes we need to realize that living in South Florida is a privilege. We get great weather, beautiful people, and rent that isn't great, but hey, it's worse in New York. But one thing that we are soon starting to understand is that gorgeous beaches and 365-day summers brings mean thing: mediocre Halloween attractions. Don't take "mediocre" the wrong way: it's kinda like when a guy rates you a seven. It's not awesome, but who is really a ten? Well, in this situation, House of Horror is a ten. Buried Alive at Miami Seaquarium is about a six.
When you hear that tickets are only $13, you think to yourself, "Wow, that's amazing!" Well, yes, it is, but don't get caught up in the hype. Parking is $8, so for the environment and your wallet, we suggest you carpool. And speaking of money, we have two words for you: bring cash. The park only accepts cash for anything you would want (parking, food, etc.) and if you don't bring any....well, you're fucked because they don't have an ATM on the premises.
When you arrive, they welcome you in true Miami Seaquarium style with a family photo taken by their park photographers in their spooky themed "outdoor photo studio." We're not going to say you will want to remember this evening in particular with a photo, but grandma is going to need something for Christmas, right? Also at arrival, they have maybe one of the coolest things we have ever seen for kids that makes us wish we were one. It is a large bubble on top of water that you get inside of and can frolic around in -- even bopping into fellow bubblers. After that, the park gets less exciting.
First, it's not that this place is lame, its just VERY FAMILY FRIENDLY. Yet, the staff informs us that they were trying to make it more adult-themed, but the only way we see that they did was by serving beer (which was awesome, by the way, if you like Bud Light or Budweiser). The haunted houses will get you slightly on your toes, but they are pretty low budget. And by low budget we mean the one near the entrance we're pretty sure is made entirely of plastic trash bags.
The second is a little more spooky with complete darkness, walls with zombies that jump out of them and hallways of hanging heads. Were we scared? Not really. But the family in front of us (with children that ranged from 4 to 14) told us that they loved both haunted houses and were in fact scared (the little nugget was crying, in fact.) Their website calls it, "South Florida's most horrific haunted houses." Well, that is just a lie.
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When it comes to attractions, they have them, but not that many. The Ferris wheel ride will make you fall back in love with Miami with a gorgeous view of the entire city and with about seven other carnival rides (that are all included in your ticket price), your kids (who make the height requirement) will definitely be entertained. If your idea of a good time is rides that go really fast, spin you around and make you feel like your going to throw up, then your in luck because they ALL do just that.
As for food, don't get too excited either. They have hand-squeezed lemonade, arepas, and one station for greasy food that includes steak sandwiches, nachos, French fries, etc. If you're looking for fried oreos, elephant ears, or giant turkey legs, we suggest you head over to House of Horrors.
One thing that will keep you and your older kids occupied is the Battle of The Amateur DJ competition (which is happening Oct. 23 and 24th with the finals held on the 28th.) Last night it was hosted by Mr. pimp with a limp himself, DJ Laz. You will never hear us gripe about any party hosted by Laz. One thing we definitely suggest is to get there early. This place fills up really fast.
Will this place change your life? No. For adults, will it scare you? Probably not. But if you have a family and kids, then it really is a great place to spend a weekend evening. And with beers being a reasonable $4 a piece, well, you don't hear us complaining about that either.