Things To Do

Halloween 2015: The 11 Best Family-Friendly Events in Miami

October is such a busy month. It represents multiple things: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Anit-Bullying Month, Miami Attraction Month, and for college kids it’s always the time of those dreadful midterms. But, among all the awareness and celebrating for various causes in October, there’s also one major event to look forward to: Halloween!

As adults, Halloween has turned into an annual evening of debauchery more so than anything else — the night has lost the luster from your childhood days of yore. Fear not! There are plenty of events happening throughout the month to help take you back to those simpler times, and if you have kiddies of your own, these events are right up your alley.

October 18, Great Pumpkin Patch at Kendall Village
Let’s face it, you can’t have Halloween without pumpkins — that would be blasphemous. So to start off the season, there’s the Great Pumpkin Patch at Kendall Village where you can decorate your pumpkin at their handy decorating station during their weekly Farmers’ Market event.

October 18, Not So Scary Halloween Bash at Miami Children’s Museum
Halloween doesn’t have to be scary — ghosts and zombie brains can be friendly too! At Miami Children’s Museum, families can enjoy their haunted house, partake in trick or treating, get your arts and crafts on, plus there’s gonna be food.

October 24 & 25, Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival
Living in South Florida, we don’t get the option of having wonderful orchards nearby where you can pick apples, have cider doughnuts, and take a hayride around a maze. Thank the heavens for Coconut Grove and their annual Pumpkin Patch Festival! During the fest, kids can experience a hay maze, there will be carnival rides, a petting zoo, hayrides, and best of all, there will be over 5,000 pumpkins. While your kids are having the time of their lives, mom and dad, you can sneak away to the Pumpkin Beer Garden for some adult refreshments.

October 24 & 25, Zoo Boo at Zoo Miami
Trick or treating around your neighborhood is fun and all, but imagine collecting candy surrounded by animals. At Zoo Boo, you can dress up in your scariest (or prettiest) costumes and go trick or treating, participate in a costume contest, see animals get treats of their own. Best part: it’s all included with zoo admission.

October 29-31, Movies at the Drive In
Watching scary movies on Halloween should be a part of everyone’s yearly traditions. For those that can’t handle the scare, there are plenty of thematic films to choose from. At the Blue Starlite Drive In, you can catch the Rocky Horror Picture Show (a Halloween classic) on October 29, then on October 30 the kids will definitely enjoy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and on all Hallows Eve, get happily freaked with Little Shop of Horrors.

October 30, Howl-O-Ween at Fairchild Tropical Garden
If your children are a little fuzzier than most — hey, we’re not judging, pets are practically like kids too! — then Howl-O-Ween is the place for you. Guests can take their pooches for a stroll around the park and show off their tiny costumes and make the other chihuahuas jealous.

October 31 & 31, Spooky Zoo Nights at Zoo Miami
Imagine a zoo at night: lights in the cages are turned off and you can’t see that wild tiger coming at you. Run! We jest, but during Zoo Miami’s Spooky Zoo Nights, guests can experience Dr. Wilde’s Creepy House, hop aboard the zombie-laden tram ride, and then relax a bit on the carousel rides. Expect candy. There’s always candy.

October 31, Halloween Haunted Trials and Kid’s Fun Zone at Elaine Gordon Park
At Gordon Park on Halloween, there will be a hayrides for the kids, a kid’s fun zone with music and fall activities, and their always popular “haunted trials.”

October 31, Mall of the Americas’ Annual Halloween Celebration
In Miami on Halloween, it’s often too hot to go outside and trick or treat. If you do, you come home a sweaty ghost with the bed sheet practically glued onto your skin. It’s much nicer to go candy hunting where there’s air conditioning — like inside a mall. At Mall of the Americas, the trick or treating starts at 6 p.m. and costumes are encouraged, but masks are not allowed inside the mall.

October 31, Halloween on the Mile in Coral Gables
Coral Gables might as well be renamed Pleasantville. With Halloween on the Mile, tons of businesses are coming together to give you and your family the most fun possible. There will be a reading circle at Books & Books, a doggie costume contest at the Coral Gables Museum, face painting and a balloon artist at Nini & Loli, a photobooth at the Leica Store, and a musical performance and costume contest at the Actor’s Playhouse. Everything has been perfectly timed out so you can enjoy all the festivities.

October 31, Knock! Knock! Halloween at Jungle Island
Jungle Island is putting their best foot forward and rolling out all the stops for the kids this Halloween. With trick or treating around the jungle and Halloween-themed arts and crafts, there’s plenty to do to keep the kids occupied. Also spread out around the attraction are knock, knock jokes placed on doors that lead you into a room filled with prizes — it’s like a Halloween trickster’s dream come true.
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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.