Sometimes seashells go crunch in the night. Though Greater Fort Lauderdale is perhaps best known for its 23 miles of Blue Wave beaches, shopping opportunities, and 300+ mile Intracoastal Waterway, the goose bumps on its visitors' necks aren't always caused by the cool ocean breeze. Greater Fort Lauderdale's sunny days may foil the plans of many a vampire, but ghosts don't scare as easily. Visitors can rest assured that as long as they stick close together, they have little to fear … or do they?
Come October, the area transforms itself from the home of white sand beaches to a home for spell-casting witches. With so many superb Halloween-themed events taking place, you won’t have time to haunt them all.
Films That Go Bump in the Night: October 27
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a scary movie. During Disney’s “Hocus Pocus,” which plays free at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center on October 27, guests are invited to come in their best costumes and children are encouraged to come early for Halloween-themed rooms, trick-or-treating, and giveaways before the movie.
Early Events and Family Fun: October 19-27
As Halloween approaches, Greater Fort Lauderdale comes alive with the holiday spirit. One of the most enjoyable local events is the Great Pumpkin Splash at the Caporella Aquatic Center in Tamarac on October 19, featuring spooky water fun, pumpkin picking, and a pumpkin-decorating event.
Treat the little ones to an extra special Halloween happening with a ticket on the Halloween Trick-or-Train. For two weekends, October 19-20 and 26-27, guest will be transported on a Brightline train to Trainsylvania—or Miami—with an interactive show from the Florida Children’s Theater taking place during the journey. After arriving, descend into the play area full of crafts, games, and challenges, along with a complimentary meal for kids.
Hide the Children!: October 24-27
Greater Fort Lauderdale has a diverse array of Halloween experiences for adults, none better than Ghouls Night Out on October 24 at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa in North Beach Village. This free networking event is a chance to socialize and sip cocktails dressed as your favorite superhero. Best group costume, most elaborate costume, and funniest costume will all win prizes.
In Pembroke Pines, Friday Fright Night at the Library on October 25 is an eerie evening of adults-only fun featuring finger food and a full bar. Get your future told via palm or tarot, or simply enjoy the live DJ. Whatever you do, be sure to wear your very best costume—prizes will be handed out for scariest, most original, and fan favorite.
If your costume is really kicking, consider also attending the Hulaween Party at Mai-Kai Restaurant on October 25. With drink specials by the hour and a dance floor that never stops, Mai-Kai has one of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s best happy hours for Halloween and beyond.
The Saturday before Halloween, get ready to go all night with the Halloween Bar Crawl. Come dressed to kill for this epic event that will take you to five different downtown Fort Lauderdale venues featuring food and drink specials just for crawlers and culminating in a midnight after-party.
Everything about Greater Fort Lauderdale feels new and exciting, but the region is rich in history … and ghosts. If you’re interested in exploring that history, be sure to check out the Spirits of Stranahan House Halloween Tours on October 25 and 31, and November 1. The departed spirits who inhabit this place are still calling to visitors across the years, and the authentic Victorian Mourners who lead the tours know how to draw the spirits out.
All Hallow’ Eve Events: October 31
For those who simply must celebrate mummies and monsters on All Hallows’ Eve proper, Greater Fort Lauderdale is rich with opportunities to howl at the moon on October 31.
Family-friendly events include the daytime Not-So-Spooky Science Tricks and Treats at the Museum of Discovery and Science, which provides kids under 6 the chance to get hands on with ghoulish crafting ingredients. Additionally, Pompano Citi Centre’s Halloween Boo Bash is an opportunity for kids under 10 to fill their pillow cases with candy, participate in Halloween-themed craft activities, and enjoy a magical wizard show. The festivities begin at 5 p.m. and feature $1 rides on Pompano Beach’s classic carousel throughout the evening.
The highlight of All Hallows’ Eve for adults is Wicked Manors, Wilton Manors’ block party celebrating all things that go bump in the night. Sponsored by the Pride Center, Wicked Manors Halloween is the largest costume-themed block party in the Southeast, with thousands of revelers on the streets to celebrate. This free event features multiple stages for visiting entertainers, dozens of tents for sponsors and vendors, and costume contests that make sure the most arresting ensembles will receive awards.
Adults who want to party closer to the ocean should attend the Halloween Bar Hop in Deerfield Beach. Tickets are cheaper in advance and include two free drinks and live music. The Bar Hop will take you to five different spots along Ocean Drive with costumes highly encouraged.