2020 Halloween Events in Clearwater and Beyond

Who doesn’t love Halloween with its costumes, candy and all that’s creepy?

Halloween Haul – photo credit Chaya Caughey

Unfortunately, things may be a bit different locally in 2020.

“The city of Clearwater won’t be holding any Halloween events this year, such as the BooBash at Spectrum Field and other rec center events,” said Heather Parsons, Senior Public Information Coordinator at the City of Clearwater Public Communications Department. “We will be following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for fall holiday celebrations.”

However, some organizations in Clearwater will opt to continue with tradition. Heritage United Methodist Church will host its annual Pumpkin Patch from October 10 – 31, noon – 7:30 p.m.

Scott McLeod on UnSplash

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium will host Halloweekends from October 24 to November 1, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. with costumes, tasty treats, underwater pumpkin carvings and more.

Photo courtesy of Clearwater Marine Aquarium

KnowBe4 is hosting a drive thru Alice in Wonderland themed Halloween event in downtown Clearwater on Friday, October 30 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. As you enter the drive thru, you’ll be greeted by the Mad Hatter, and head down the rabbit hole where Alice and the caterpillar will be waiting for you. Along the way you’ll encounter the White Queen and the Queen of Hearts, who will be painting the roses red and playing croquet! Members of the community will also receive different treats consisting of candy, gourmet popcorn and goody bags.

Trick or Treat at the Plaza ,Bayside Bridge Plaza, 1560 McMullen Booth Rd on Friday, October 30, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Surrounding towns will also hold Halloween events:

Belleair: Skeleton Trail, 918 Osceola Rd on Wednesday, October 21 to Monday, November 2.

Belleair: Halloween Bash Family Fun Night, 918 Osceola Rd on Friday, October 30 from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Advanced registration required.)

Dunedin: Haunt’oween Hammock Hike at Highlander Park on Saturday, October 24, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Dunedin: The Great Pumpkin Drive-Thru at Highlander Park on Saturday, October 24, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Largo: Pumpkin Fest 2020 at the Florida Botanical Gardens on Sunday, October 25 from noon to 4 p.m.

Largo: Drive-O-Ween Spooktacular at Largo Central Park on Friday, October 30 from 6 p.m. until bags run out.

Largo: Fright Night Halloween Party at the Highland Recreation Complex on Friday, October 17 from 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. (ages 11 – 17)

Palm Harbor: Drive-Thru Trunk or Treat at Palm Harbor United Methodist Church on Friday, October 23 from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

New Port Richey: Huboween 2020 at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park on Friday, October 30 from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

New Port Richey: Trunk or Treat at First Baptist Church of NPR on Friday, October 30, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Seminole: Trunk or Treat Trail at Faith Community Church on Wednesday, October 28 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Spring Hill: Spooky Train Rides and Scary Trail at The Grand Concourse Railroad  on Fridays and Saturdays beginning September 25 from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Tampa: Riverwalk Halloween Hunt at The Tampa Riverwalk on Saturday, October 17 at 8 a.m.

Tampa: 21st Annual Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens every Friday through Sunday from September 25 to November 1, Event hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. – midnight and Sundays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Tampa: Haunted River Tour on the Pirate Water Taxi each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in October.

Tampa: Undead in the Water zombie encounter at the American Victory Ship and Museum on Fridays and Saturdays beginning October 2 at 7:30 p.m., as well as Thursday, October 29 (age 12 and up.)

Tampa: Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa from Friday, October 2 to Saturday, October 31

Tarpon Springs: Trunk or Treat Drive-Thru BOO! at 400 S Walton Ave, on Friday, October 30 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Hannah Troupe on UnSplash

The CDC also reminds us that things will likely need to be different this fall to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and recommend that people avoid activities that are higher risk and consider fun alternatives that pose lower risks of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

For more information, visit the CDC’s Fall Holiday Recommendations.

Nicolas Picard on UnSplash

The CDC states that many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses, but there are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

The following are categorized into lower-, moderate- and higher-risk activities:

Lower risk activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

Kids and families can still have plenty of fun during Halloween season – just participate safely.

Feature photo by David Menidrey on UnSplash

Related articles: Fall Out for Fun and Other Halloween Happenings (2019)


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Kelly Kelly
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