Florida Friday Vol. 3, Issue 13 | September 28th, 2018

Halloween in the Sunshine State

From fancy dress parades and ghost tours to haunted houses and terrifying rollercoasters, the fun of Halloween lasts for more than just one night in Florida. It's time to get spooky in the Sunshine State.

Universal Studios
Some of the most terrifying names in the world of film and TV horror will come to life in 10 brand new haunted houses at Universal Orlando Resort this year. Stranger Things, Trick 'r' Treat and Poltergeist will all feature in the park's legendary Halloween Horror Nights when you can encounter nightmarish creatures in five scare zones, including Chucky, the world's scariest doll. Get ready to scream.

Visit Tampa Bay
Not one for the faint hearted, Busch Gardens Tampa has added some terrifying experiences for its Howl-O-Scream event this year. Do you dare to enter Simon's Slaughterhouse, recommended for those aged 17 and over, to take a journey through a Meat Market where cannibalistic creatures feast on the weak? Or, how about spending a night at Camp D.O.A, where swamp mutants arise from the marsh to make sure nobody gets a good night's rest?

Fort Myers & Sanibel
Treat the whole family to some Halloween fun at the 200-acre Koreshan State Historic Site. Its Halloween Festival, now in its fifth year, is on 27 October, 4-7pm, and is free upon park admission. Enjoy the spooky parade, hayrides, natural trails, and more, and you can also camp overnight as the festival continues into the evening after normal park hours.

Greater Fort Lauderdale
Head to Fort Lauderdale for a special Halloween 'Brush and Brunch' on October 27 at Festival Market Place. You'll get the chance to enjoy a day of painting under expert instruction, make a special Halloween-inspired creation, and then share a delicious brunch with friends. From beginners to experts, everyone is welcome. Limited spaces are available so book online to secure a place.

Amelia Island
Take a ghost tour with the Amelia Island Museum of History and delve into the island's spooky past. You'll start in a church cemetery (of course) and then tiptoe through the dark streets to hear all of the island's terrifying tales. The museum has its own ghost, the infamous pirate Luis Aury who, the night before his execution, attempted to avoid the humiliation by slitting his own throat but was caught and crudely stitched up by a surgeon to keep him alive. Watch out!

Visit Pensacola
The whole family can celebrate Halloween on the beach at a special event, Beach-O-Ween, on October 26, hosted by Visit Pensacola, Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce, Pensacola Beach Boardwalk Merchants and the Santa Rosa Island Authority. Join the locals for an evening of fun, including karaoke, unicorn pony rides, inflatables, games and more from 4pm-8pm.

LEGOLAND Florida
The annual Brick or Treat event returns to LEGOLAND Florida in October with trick-or-treating, Halloween shows, giant LEGO models, special meet-and greets with LEGO Halloween characters and more. Taking place every weekend in October, and on the night of Halloween itself, kids can join the Monster Bash dance party, new Brick or Treat trail interactive experiences, Tale of Pirates' Cove fireworks spectacular, and meet LEGO Frankenstein, Mad Scientist, Lord Vampyre, Mummy and Spider lady.

Daytona Beach
Join a tour of one of Florida's spookiest buildings, Cassadaga Hotel, from 26-31 October to experience a myriad of terrifying experiences. Tours are recommended for adults (minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian) and will introduce you to the history of the local community, known as the Psychic Centre of the World, where a third of the 300 residents are still considered spiritualists. The hotel is said to be haunted by Arthur, a friendly Irishman who resided in room 22. He enjoyed smoking cigars and drinking gin and many who have stayed at the hotel claim to have caught a whiff of cigar and alcohol.

Florida's Historic Coast
Celebrating its rich Spanish heritage, St. Augustine will mark the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with historic re-enactments and festive events next month. There will be demonstrations of the traditional customs associated with this holiday, still used by Hispanic cultures today. There will also be a night-time, torch-lit procession through downtown St. Augustine and a candle-lit production of the play, Don Juan Tenorio, a time-honored part of Día de los Muertos celebrations.

Stay connected, when navigating around the Sunshine State with the recently launched Hertz Connect. The free portable and secure wi-fi device is available to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards customers, with a minimum prepaid booking total of £350, or $500 if paying at location. Providing unlimited data and 4G hotspot, plus many other roaming benefits, this service is available when collecting from major locations including: Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. For more road trip inspiration in Florida, the Full On Florida route on Hertz Road Trip Planner includes 14 iconic and off-the-beaten track stops in the Sunshine State, with downloadable maps and insider guides.

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