As summer winds down and the holiday season approaches, take your pick of virtual and in-person events happening around town. From loads of spooky Halloween happenings and the return of the Heights Night Market to fall festivals and drive-in events, here are our top picks for date night-worthy events in Tampa Bay this October.
Note: The City of Tampa as well as Hillsborough County have issued emergency executive orders requiring face coverings when out and about. As always, we urge you to keep your distance, wear a mask, and sanitize/wash hands as often as possible!
October 1 – 4
Hyde Park Village Pumpkin Patch
October 1 – 31, Mon-Fri 12-6pm; Sat 10am-6pm; Sun 12-5pm
Hyde Park Village
Pumpkin Patch returns with a socially distant spin. Pop by the patch to find your perfect pumpkin. Proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch to benefit The Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
FREE; pumpkin prices vary
Howl at the Moon Drive-In
Thursday, October 1 beginning at 8:30pm
Silvermoon Drive In (Lakeland)
5-movie marathon of classic monster films. Choose from Monsters (Dracula 1931, Frankenstein 1931, The Wolfman 1941, Frankenstein Meets Wolfman, Creatures from the Black Lagoon) or Thrills and Chills (The Thing, An American Werewolf in London, Us, Get Out, The Purge).
$25/car (for up to 6 guests per car)
Rock The Park Livestream w/ FayRoy, Discord Theory, Emily Turnage
Thursday, October 1, 7pm
Rock the Park Tampa is typically held at Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park on the first Thursday of each month. In these changing times, we’ve decided to continue to bring a live musical experience via a LIVESTREAM to your best seat in the house!
October Vintage Market
October 2 – 4
Award-winning market featuring over 30 vendors in 15,000 square feet of retail space! There are three opportunities to shop: First Dibs Friday, plus open market days on Saturday and Sunday.
$5 for Friday admission; FREE admission Saturday and Sunday
Haunted River Tours
Select weekend nights October 2 – 30
Pirate Water Taxi
Enjoy an entertaining evening with tales of ghosts and haunted history along the Hillsborough River. NEW for 2020 the tour will take place aboard Captain Jack II (50% capacity) where guests will be treated to two dead-lightful docents who will entertain passengers with spooky stories of Tampa’s past. Masks required
Creatures of the Night
Select nights October 2 – 31, 2020
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
Tampa Bay’s number one family-friendly Halloween event, Creatures of the Night, returns this October with spooky scares and unforgettable eerie frights for ghouls & goblins of all ages.
$25 and up
“All that Glitters” Halloween Wreath Making
Saturday, October 3, 2pm
Stylist Valerie Romas will guide you through the creation of your own wreath to adorn your home for the season, using her assortment of favorite materials. Ticket includes light bites and two glasses of wine.
Harvest Moon Market
Saturday, October 3, 2 – 8pm & Sunday, October 4, 2 – 8pm
Cactus Moon – Seminole Heights
Come celebrate the Grand Opening of Cactus Moon’s Seminole Heights location! Fall themed workshops all weekend, a local maker’s market, pumpkin carving contest, tarot readings, live performances and more.
Dog Yoga at Two Shepherds Taproom
Sunday, October 4, 10am
Two Shepherds Taproom
Bring your pup along for this outdoor yoga class where you’ll get to exercise while your pup burns off energy with new friends. Enjoy brunch after class from the on-site food truck.
October 5- 11
Virtual Coffee with a Curator
Wednesday, October 7, 10am
*Virtual event hosted by The Dali Museum
Curator of Education Peter Tush presents Diego and Frida: A Visual History. This talk will explore the rich and harrowing journey of one of the most fascinating couples in art history – Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Event will be streamed on YouTube.
New & Noteworthy Book Club
Wednesday, October 7, 6pm
*Virtual event hosted by Oxford Exchange
October’s New & Noteworthy Book Club features ‘The Pull of the Stars’ by Emma Donoghue. This event will take place via a Zoom Conference Call so cozy up in your favorite comfy chair and enjoy! Purchase a copy of the book here.
Fall DIY & Mini Charcuterie Workshop
Thursday, October 8, 6:15pm
AR Workshop Tampa
Come DIY your very own Mini Charcuterie/Entertaining Tray as you learn the art of Charcuterie with a live demonstration that you will personally follow along with, creating your very own Mini Charcuterie Board & Display! Guest host Heidi, from Yummy Tablas will guide you every step of the way!
Sunset Happy Hour Paddle
Friday, October 9, 5:45pm
Join Urban Kai for this weekly sunset paddle board rental event at Armature Works. Ticket includes rental and all paddleboard gear. Kayaks are also available.
Heights Fall Festival
October 10 -11
Two-day, outdoor, family-friendly, event held on the Armature Works Pier. Heights Fall Festival will take place from 10am – 5pm both days and will feature a food drive benefiting Metropolitan Ministries, a pumpkin patch, live music, a craft beer corner, and more.
Seminole Heights Sunday Morning Market
Sunday, October 11, 11am
Southern Brewing & Winery
Enjoy live music and shop with local vendors who sell fresh produce, plants, baked goods, artisan foods and hand crafted gifts! Food Trucks offer lunch bites and the brewery is serving up some of the best local wine & beer in town. Dog Friendly & Bike Valet.
October 12 – 18
OE Book Club: Rebecca
Tuesday, October 13, 6:30pm
Oxford Exchange (Shaw Library, Commerce Club, Second Floor)
Join an in-person book club discussion of ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier. Ticket includes beer, wine and light bites.
Wine & Dine Pairing Dinner
Tuesday, October 13, 7pm
Enjoy a private five-course wine dinner that will immerse you in Spanish cuisine prepared by the Executive Chef. Plus, taste a special selection of wines from Grupo Bodegas Palacio.
Heights Night Market
Wednesday, October 14, 5:30pm
The monthly Heights Night Market is back! This event will be held outdoors, with additional space placed between vendors to promote social distancing. Peruse goods from artisans and makers including handmade goods, jewelry, art, wood-work, gifts and so much more. This event is family-friendly and also includes live music.
Tampa Bay Food Fight
Thursday, October 15, 7pm
*Virtual event hosted by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Tampa
Top chefs are returning to the ring to help keep Metropolitan Ministries’ culinary arts program in existence. Tune in for the battle between top chefs plus a live auction and raffle, all streamed live from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa.
October 15 – 17
This year, Haunted Wharf will feature an interactive spook-tacular maze on the waterside wharf featuring photo ops and other worldly visitors roaming the area. This event is great for kids and adults, alike.
$10/person; tickets required in advance
The Drive-In at Armature Works
Opening Thursday, October 15
Rooftop Cinema Club is bringing a new, contactless drive-in movie experience to Tampa! With this new drive-in experience, audiences can enjoy a mix of modern and classic films every day of the week, two showings per night, including a full week of Halloween and horror favorites.
Tickets starting at $22/vehicle
Phantasmagoria XI: Plague Tales
October 15 – 18; LIVE-stream Q&A for Tampa Theatre patrons on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9pm
*Virtual event hosted by Tampa Theatre
Available to stream starting at 6pm on Oct. 15 through Oct. 18. The oh-so-appropriate for 2020 Plague Tales program features five literary tales of terror, horrific folk stories, legends, and myths from the likes of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson. Phantasmagoria’s evocative troupe of storytellers and dancers weave together “Phantastical” dance, explosive stage combat, puppetry, projections, fire dancing, aerial arts and much, MUCH more combine to create a tapestry of elegant and whimsically macabre horror!
Ybor City WordPlay Festival – A Virtual Event
October 15 – 18
*Virtual event hosted by Wordier Than Thou
New reading festival, which will feature various fun literary events.
FREE; registration for individual events required in advance
4th Annual Come OUT St Pete Festival
Saturday, October 17, 12-5pm
*Virtual AND in-person events offered
Join this annual festival online with virtual segments and outside in the sunshine within the Grand Central District. Come take a stroll and visit vendors at participating businesses, spread out along Central Avenue from 17th to 31st Streets. Masks will be available, as well as hand sanitizer, along the route and within the vendor booths. The event will also be streamed live on Facebook, highlighting vendors and their products.
Bend, Bubbles & Brunch
Sunday, October 18, 10am
Recenter and restart with poolside yoga. Keep the relaxation going with a complimentary alcoholic beverage at the end of class. Enjoy all day pool access and stay for brunch – one lucky guest will win a $25 gift card for brunch at Élevage. Bring your own yoga mat.
$25/person in advance; $30/person at the door
Treasure Chests 5K + Fun Run
October 18 – 31
*Virtual race hosted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in supporting the cause this fall at the 8th Annual Treasure Chests 5K + Fun Run powered by Jabil. Each registration benefits local organizations in Tampa Bay who specialize in breast cancer research and patient services.
October 19 – 25
Carolanne Miljavac’s She Laughs Comedy Tour
Tuesday, October 20, 7:30pm
Sister Hazel’s Drive-In Series
Thursday, October 22, 7pm
Raymond James Stadium
Car placement will begin at 6:00pm. Show starts at 7:30pm. Vehicles will be placed on first come first serve basis.
$149/vehicle (up to 4 people); $169/vehicle VIP
Eerie Evening at the Tampa Bay Hotel
Friday, October 23, multiple times (also offered October 24 & 30)
Henry Plant Museum
The former Tampa Bay Hotel has been a silent witness to countless individuals over the past 129 years. Who knows how many crossed the threshold with malice in their hearts? Visitors to An Eerie Evening will find themselves transported back to the 1890s, shortly after a terrible crime has been committed. Evidence and clues are scattered throughout the rooms and guests must strive to put the pieces together in time to prevent the next attack. Space is limited to 30 individuals per hour and masks are required for all guests.
$25 non-members; $15 for members
The Jazz Phools at Zydeco Brew Werks
Friday, October 23, 7pm
Zydeco Brew Werks
New Orleans Traditional Jazz, 2nd Line Brass Band style and Zydeco music with a 5 pc. band.
Lighted Halloween Boat Parade
Saturday, October 24, 6:30pm
Tampa Bay Riverwalk
National Pediatric Cancer Foundation in partnership with Friends of the Riverwalk proudly present Tampa Bay’s 1st Halloween Boat Parade! Bring your blankets and chairs, dress in your Halloween costume, and enjoy your view at this prime location.
FREE; Registration required to reserve your space
Saturday, October 24, 7pm
*Virtual event hosted by Tampa Theatre
Tampa Theatre’s newest –fest fundraiser, SpiritsFest. Each Premium sampling-to-go box will include two servings each of four ready-to-pour cocktails made with Waterloo No. 9 Gin, Treaty Oak Ghost Hill Bourbon, Papa’s Pilar Blonde Rum, and Papa’s Pilar Dark Rum, a family-sized bag of Tampa Theatre popcorn, souvenir cocktail glasses, and other ghoulish goodies, PLUS access to an exclusive evening of LIVE-streaming entertainment, including a mixology class and a Tampa Theatre Ghost Tour.
3rd Annual Pumpkin Painting Fundraiser
Sunday, October 25, 12-7pm
3 Daughters Brewing
3rd Annual Pumpkin Painting Fundraiser to help continue providing rent assistance, bill assistance, and access to basic necessities our homeless and low-income communities in Pinellas via Reach St. Pete. There will be live bands, pumpkin painting, food, a photo booth, amazing raffles, AND an outdoor market with vendors. Tickets include your pumpkin, painting materials and a free drink. Pumpkin painting kits to-go also available.
October 26 – 31
Downtown Tampa Halloween Paddle Social
Friday, October 30, 5:30pm
Urban Kai at Armature Works
Come dressed in your best Halloween costume, bring the doggies dressed up too, and enjoy paddling through downtown Tampa to celebrate Halloween! Reservations are required. FREE if you BYOB (bring your own board).
Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream
Weekends September 26 – November 1
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
This year’s modified production will include significantly enhanced safety and health measures, open-air scare zones, limited-capacity admission with reservations required, and physical distancing. Masks required. This is a separately ticketed event not included with park admission.
$29.99 – $44.99/person (prices vary by date)
Diego & Frida: A Visual History
New exhibit opening September 5, 2020 – January 3, 2021
The Dali Museum
Explore the rich and harrowing journey of one of the most fascinating couples in art history – Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Through their individual artistic talents, their powerful union and their imposing presence, they became one of the most provocative and recognized couples in the world of art. With over 60 reproductions of rare historical photographs, Diego & Frida: A Visual History, captures key moments of their lives together, through the discerning eyes of their close family and friends.
Date night tip: Enjoy reduced admission prices and extended hours Thursday and Friday evenings after 5pm!
$25/person museum admission ($12.50 reduced admission during Evenings at The Dali)
Tampa Theatre Virtual Cinema
While the historic auditorium remains dark in the face of COVID-19, Tampa Theatre continues to look for ways to provide unique cinematic experiences for our fans and friends. Tampa Theatre Virtual Cinema is a collection of new, first-run and curated classic movies released via streaming platforms by our film distribution partners exclusively for art-house audiences.
Virtual ticket: $12
Want more date ideas? Here are some of our favorites:
- Outdoor Dining Guide: 50+ Places to Eat Outside in Tampa Bay
- Active Date: Annual Buccaneers Treasure Chests 5K Going Virtual
- Our Favorite To-Go Dinner Deals for Two in Tampa Bay
Feature image credit: Pirate Water Taxi