Halloween hot spots in Fort Myers
October is a month full of transitions, excitement, and holiday spirit. Pumpkin-flavored everything, cooler evenings, and people donning weird, wacky, and terrifying costumes is what many look forward to this time of year, not to mention the abundance of Halloween decorations and parties galore.
Annual Halloween events are a big hit with the locals. Multiple events are scheduled throughout the month of October, many of which are free of charge. The most popular in the greater Fort Myers area is Zombiecon, an annual event where guests gather dressed as zombies.
This year, the theme is “The Time Machine.” This will be held Oct. 19 at downtown Fort Myers beginning at nightfall. This event features zombie-themed music, decorations and art open to the public.
Jessica Goodstein, sophomore environmental studies major, is excited to experience Zombiecon this year. This will be her first time at Zombiecon and she is planning on going with her boyfriend and some friends.
“It’s really cool to see how people go to dress up,” Goodstein said. “My favorite part of Halloween isn’t really dressing up, but carving the pumpkins, decorating the house and eating pumpkin pie.”
While experiencing a night in the life of the undead may seem exciting to some, another student plans to resurrect her childhood tradition of dressing up and begging for candy.
“I used to go trick or treating with my parents, and then stopped for a few years,” said Kelsey Brugger, a sophomore management major. “This year I’m going with a friend. I think my favorite memories are just being outside in cool weather and in the dark on Halloween.”
Brugger is not the only student who has fond memories of trick-or-treating with her family. Freshman nursing major Nikki Zahora reminisces about her favorite Halloween experience before she came to Florida Gulf Coast University.
“My favorite memory was tricking my neighbors two year ago,” Zahora said. “My family gave out fiber bars and boxes of raisins to get people mad. It was really funny to listen to the kids reactions when they didn’t see a bowl of candy. Then we opened the door and, of course, gave them some candy.”
Instead of staying local, Zahora plans to make a couple of road trips to amusement parks in Tampa and Orlando, testing her bravery against multiple haunted houses and thrilling roller coasters.
“My plans are to go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal and Halloscream at Busch Gardens,” Zahora said.
For students looking for something close to campus, the shops at Bell Tower are holding a “Howl-o-ween” event Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at center court. All the proceeds benefit the Shy Wolf Sanctuary.
Gulf Coast Town Center will experience a “Total Zombie Outbreak” on Saturdays through Nov. 2 from 5 to 10:00 p.m. For more information, call 410-7032.
For a more family friendly atmosphere, Lakes Park is holding a fall festival and Halloween extravaganza Oct. 18-30. Games, ghouls, food and music will be located at 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers.
For country fans, Fleamasters Fleamarket will be home to the “Great Pumpkin Festival” October 11, 12 and 13. This event features country singing, dancing, and a classic pumpkin patch.
Bay Oaks Recreation Center is holding its 24th annual Family Fright Night at Fort Myers Beach from 6 – 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18. Guests will enjoy games, bounce houses and costume contests.
Looking for that perfect pumpkin? Several pumpkin patches will be available to the public.
North Fort Myers’ Nazarene Pumpkin Patch on 6781 Bayshore Road will be open October 14-31(excluding Sundays) from 9 a.m. till dark.
Cypress Lake Pumpkin Patch, at Cypress Lake United Methodist Church at 8570 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, is open September 29 till sold out from Monday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sundays: noon to 8 p.m.
Riverside Church Pumpkin Patch, located on Daniels parkway, Fort Myers, is open 11 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Friday Oct. 17-31 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays to Sundays.