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It’s all treats - and some drive-thrus - for Halloween 2020 events in South Florida

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 10/8/2020 By Brett Shweky, South Florida Sun Sentinel
a group of people standing in front of a fruit stand: Milania Porto, of Royal Palm Beach, stations herself at the Community of Hope church's Pumpkins 4 Sale pumpkin patch entrance at a previous event. © Lee Hershfield / Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Milania Porto, of Royal Palm Beach, stations herself at the Community of Hope church's Pumpkins 4 Sale pumpkin patch entrance at a previous event.

From candy shoots to scavenger hunts, Halloween fans are getting creative to make sure the spooky holiday goes on this year in a socially distanced way. While retail stores slowly stocked their aisles with chocolate bars, candy corn and costumes, families waited to see what the fate of Halloween would be in the wake of COVID-19. It looks like trick-or-treaters can breathe of sigh of relief as cities, churches and community organizations across Broward and Palm Beach counties are planning a hauntingly fun array of fall activities.

They may not be the same events as before, but the pivot to pandemic-friendly pastimes will keep families in the spirit of the season.

Here’s our guide to the Halloween happenings this month:

Broward County

Cooper City

Cooper City’s Trick or Treat on Wheels is a perfect way to get in the Halloween spirit. While decorating their cars and wearing their favorite costume, families can ride over to the free drive-thru experience at the city’s Community Center, 9000 SW 50th Place, to receive candy. All participants must wear a mask and remain in their vehicles. Families must enter through the Cooper City City Hall parking lot. Call 954-434-4300, #272.

Coral Springs

Dive into Coral Springs' Monster Splash to enjoy a Halloween-decorated pool deck along with two-hour pool sessions on Friday, Oct. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 25. Located at Cypress Pool, 1300 Coral Springs Drive, guests are required to wear face coverings at all times, except when enjoying the pool. Children under 2 are also not required to wear masks. The big slide will remain open, while the Splash Pad and Kids Water Play Area will be closed for the event. Outside chairs and beverages are allowed. No glass containers are permitted. The free event offers spooky swim sessions from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Space is limited to 80 guests per session. Individuals and families must register for the event at bit.ly/33HGuAA.

Pick your Halloween pumpkin and take your annual autumn family photo with the Parkridge Church’s Pumpkin Patch. From now until Saturday, Oct. 31, families and individuals can visit the Parkridge Church Pumpkin Patch, 5600 Coral Ridge Drive, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sundays. All proceeds are given to the church’s student ministry. Call 954-346-9009.

Donate money to a good cause to receive Halloween entertainment and candy by going to Parkridge Church’s Trunk or Treat Drive-Thru on Saturday, Oct. 31. Located at 5600 Coral Ridge Drive, families and individuals can decorate the trunk of their vehicles to partake in the church’s festivities from 5 to 7 p.m. No registration is required to attend the event. Call 954-346-9009.

Davie

Saturdays are special in October at the Old Davie School Historical Museum, 6650 Griffin Road. Tour the museum at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 30 to visit the Mad Scientist’s Lab to mix up some potions and meet investigators from War Party Paranormal while they demonstrate tools and techniques used in ghost hunting. Cost is $10 adults and $7 seniors and kids under 12. Call 954-797-1044 or visit olddavieschool.org/.

a group of stuffed animals sitting next to a dog: Sofia Garcia and Lola dressed up for the seventh annual Bow Wow Ween event last year. © Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Sofia Garcia and Lola dressed up for the seventh annual Bow Wow Ween event last year.

Fort Lauderdale

Take a trip back in time for a classic drive-in movie experience at The Mai-Kai’s 12th annual Hulaween on Friday, Oct. 30 at the restaurant’s parking lot, 3599 N. Federal Highway. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., all cars must be in position by 7:45 p.m. and “Beast of Blood" (PG) starts at 8 p.m. Before the movie, there will be an on-screen presentation of Hulaweens past with videos of Halloween tunes by Mai-Kai favorites Slip and The Spinouts. Other clips will be presented by The Atomic Grog. A costume contest with prizes for first, second and third place will take place after the movie. Register upon arrival. Tickets are $30 per carload pre-purchased via bit.ly/36MrUJU. Beach chairs are permitted as cars will be parked according to social distancing guidelines. A food and drink menu will be available online pre-order or during the event. Visit bit.ly/3iJAzyY or email pia@maikai.com.

Hallandale Beach

a couple of people posing for the camera: Dress up in your spooky best for Gulfstream Park Village's free Not So Spooky Halloween! trick-or-treating event.\n\n © Gulfstream Park Village / Courtesy/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Dress up in your spooky best for Gulfstream Park Village's free Not So Spooky Halloween! trick-or-treating event.\n\n

Gulfstream Park Village’s annual Not So Spooky Halloween! offers a socially distanced alternative to trick-or-treating from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30. All ages can dress in costume to collect candy from over 20 participating merchants in the plaza, 901 S. Federal Highway. Call 954-454-7000 or visit gulfstreampark.com. Free.

Lauderhill

Hosted by the Lauderhill Police Department, the annual Halloween Safety Night and Lauderhill Night Out Against Crime will take place on Friday, Oct. 23. From 4 to 7 p.m., the free event is at Wolk Park, 1076 NW 42nd Way, in Lauderhill. While placing their vehicles in park, families can receive treats placed in their trunks along with safety bags for the parents. Face coverings are required. Call 954-321-2450.

North Lauderdale

The city of North Lauderdale will be having its annual Halloween Trick or Treat event at Hampton Pines Park, 7800 Hampton Blvd., on Saturday, Oct. 31. From 9:30 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m., families can attend the yearly event for $5 per person. Tickets are available at the Teen Recreation Center behind North Lauderdale City Hall from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Call 954-724-7061.

Parkland

Jam-packed with candy, pumpkin giveaways, Halloween displays and a drive-in movie, the city of Parkland’s Flick or Treat Halloween Drive-Thru event has something for everyone of all ages. Located at the Equestrian Center, 8350 Ranch Road in Parkland, individuals must show proof of residency to attend the free event. While remaining in their vehicles, families can enjoy the Halloween activities at 5 p.m. and the viewing of “Hotel Transylvania” at 7 p.m. In addition to the festivities, families can also receive donations from Harvest Drive. Masks are required. Call 954-757-4107.

Pembroke Pines

a sign hanging from a tree: The Mai-Kai Restaurant is transforming its parking lot into a drive-movie theater for Halloween. © Mike Stocker / Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS The Mai-Kai Restaurant is transforming its parking lot into a drive-movie theater for Halloween.

The eight annual Pembroke Pines Bow Wow Ween event will be going virtual this year. Due to COVID-19, the annual pet-friendly event will be done via social media with residents encouraged to dress up their furry friends. Picking one of six categories, pet owners can dress up their companions and submit photos of their holiday-spirited pet to recreation@ppines.coom, along with the completed application. The categories include most original/creative, funniest, scariest, cutest, family look-a-like and Miss Bow Wow Ween. Participants must also post their photos on social media using the hashtag #pinesbowwowween2020. First-, second- and third-place winners will be featured on the city’s social media page as well as in the City Connect Newspaper. The deadline to submit photos is Tuesday, Oct. 20. Call 954-392-2116.

a sign in front of a building: Visit Batty Manor at The Gardens Mall for a spooky show featuring Mrs. Whistifer and Mr. Hanks.\n\n © The Gardens Mall / Courtesy/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Visit Batty Manor at The Gardens Mall for a spooky show featuring Mrs. Whistifer and Mr. Hanks.\n\n

Greet some not-so-scary characters at your car while trick-or-treating with the city of Pembroke Pines’s BooVille drive-thru event. Costumed guests are invited to participate in the socially-distanced Scare Fun Zone at the Charles F. Dodge City Center, 601 City Center Way, in Pembroke Pines. Parents and children who frighten easily will have a designated escape route before they enter. Tickets are free and can be picked up while supplies last at the Pembroke Lakes Tennis Center, 10500 Taft St. Proof of residency is required to receive a ticket and is limited to one ticket per household or family. Call 954-392-2116.

Logan Lodge, of Coral Springs, picks out a pumpkin during a visit to the pumpkin patch at Parkridge Church last year. © Carline Jean / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS Logan Lodge, of Coral Springs, picks out a pumpkin during a visit to the pumpkin patch at Parkridge Church last year.

Plantation

The Sanderson sisters are the stars for the city of Plantation and Greater Plantation Chamber of Commerce’s Reels & Rides Drive-In Movie Disney’s “Hocus Pocus" at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 taking place at the Westfield Broward Mall’s southwest parking lot behind JCPenney, 8000 W. Broward Blvd. Admission is free, but advance registration is required. Call 954-452-2510 or register at parks.plantation.org. Food will be available for purchase. Cars will be distanced and safety guidelines will be in place.

You’ve heard of a drive-thru, but how about a drive-boo? The city of Plantation Parks & Recreation Department and the Greater Plantation Chamber of Commerce will put on Halloween in the Park...A Spooky Drive-Boo from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at Plantation Central Park, 600 Central Park Drive. Enter off Cleary Boulevard. The contactless event for all ages will let families drive through Halloween displays. Children can also take part in the contactless trunk-or-treat to receive goodies. Social distancing guidelines will be in place. Call 954-452-2500. Free.

Pompano Beach

Bring your Halloween bucket to see fire breathers, a mad scientist, stilt walkers and your favorite Disney characters in Pompano Beach’s Boo Bash Drive-Thru. Starting at 10th Street and Community Park, the drive-thru trail will wind down the road of the park before reaching the Aquatic Center. Located at 2001 NE 10th St. in Pompano Beach, the drive-thru will run from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. Call 954-786-4111.

Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from participating in Halloween costume contests with Pompano Beach’s Virtual Costume Contest. Judged by Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation staff members, the virtual event is set to run from Friday, Oct. 23 to Saturday, Oct. 31. The contest categories include scariest, best duo, baby costume, cutest, most original, funniest and best overall. Contest winners will receive a Halloween category award. Interested participants can take a selfie or full body photo to enter the contest. The link for the contest will be made available on Oct. 23. Call 954-786-4111.

Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation promises “a fun-filled party” at its HallowSCREAM event from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at McNair Recreation Center, 951 NW 27th Ave.

Sunrise

While dressing up in their favorite Halloween costumes, families can partake in Sunrise’s Boo-Thru on Saturday, Oct. 31 as an alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. After entering Sunrise Sportsplex from Pine Island Road, families can wind through a route, featuring themed displays, to receive candy and other goodies for the children in the vehicles. The free event at the Sunrise Sportsplex, 9101 NW 50th St., will run from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 954-747-4600.

Grab your running shoes and best Halloween costume to participate in the city of Sunrise’s fourth annual Trick or Trot 5K. Going virtual for the first time, the annual run is open to individuals of all ages and abilities. Registration is $15 through Friday, Oct. 16, and increases to $30 on Saturday, Oct. 17. From Oct. 17 through Saturday, Oct. 31, participants can run or walk, using the RaceJoy mobile app to track their progress and submit their time. Finishers will be eligible to receive a commemorative medal and tech T-shirt. All race proceeds will benefit the Florida Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America. Call 954-747-4600. Visit bit.ly/33Gd71f

Tamarac

Featuring spooky characters, candy and a DJ, the Tamarac Parks and Recreation Drive-Thru Halloween Haunt provides a free socially-distanced alternative on Friday, Oct. 23. From 6 to 8 p.m., the Tamarac Sports Complex, 9901 NW 77th St., will have vehicles go through its decorated parking lot while collecting bags of treats and crafts. Call 954-597-3674.

Palm Beach County

Boca Raton

Ghosts, costumed characters, Halloween music, photo opportunities, food trucks and candy are on tap for the Peter Blum Family YMCA’s drive-thru Halloween event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. The YMCA is at 6631 Palmetto Circle S. Call Patty Costopolous at 561-395-9622. RSVP at bit.ly/36O0zXA. Free.

Boynton Beach

Superheroes, Disney characters and free pumpkins are what people will find when they drive through the city of Boynton Beach’s Fall Festival Drive By from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Ezell Hester Jr. Community Center, 1901 N. Seacrest Blvd. The Boynton Beach CRA, Community Police, Healthier Boynton Beach, Connect to Greatness, city of Boynton’s Utility Department and Recreation Department will distribute goody bags filled with candy and small gifts. To get families ready for Halloween night and in honor of Boynton Beach’s Centennial, the first 100 cars will receive a free pumpkin. Free.

The DeVos-Blum Family YMCA, 9600 S. Military Trail, is inviting everyone to its Halloween drive-thru trunk-or-treat event from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. A limited number of spots will also be available to participate as a decorated trunk for $20 and candy will be provided by the Y. To participate, call Kayla Spinelli at 561-536-1406 or register at the front desk. They will have contests for best themed, scariest, most creative and cutest trunks. A DJ and costumed characters will be visiting. RSVP at bit.ly/2I7qdfV. Free.

Delray Beach

Downtown Delray Beach is celebrating the holiday with a variety of events. Take a drive or walk through downtown to check out the Storefront Window Décor Parade from Oct. 24-31.

All month long, the Achievement Centers for Children & Families is hosting events (live and virtual). Visit bit.ly/3lo9Z0g. Registration is a $20 donation to ACCF to receive access to the virtual events. Register at witchesofdelray.org.

Spider webs, sequins and a tattered bow, perhaps? How will you decorate your witch’s hat? The Witch Hat Decorating Contest’s prize is to have your creation displayed in a storefront downtown. Take a picture of your hat and send to ACCF (events@accffoundation.org) to be considered for the contest ($20 donation suggested) no later than Thursday, Oct. 15. Then visit downtown to see if your hat made it into a window. Awards for best hats will be announced at noon Monday, Nov. 2.

Do you think downtown Delray Beach may be home to some ghosts from the city’s past? Find out now through Oct. 31 by taking the Wicked Delray Ghost Tours. Your guide will meet you at 8 p.m. by the fountain in Veterans Park, 802 NE First St., carrying a lantern and dressed in black, of course. Get ready for some spooky stories. To make a reservation, call 561-666-7906.

Lake Park

Halloween is a drag for one show in particular. “It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus” (formerly “Hocus Pocus Live,” which sold out every year) is back at the Kelsey Theater, 700 Park Ave., for two nights, Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31, with performances at 7 and 9:30 p.m. each night. The all-ages tribute show features some of South Florida’s top drag performers — Nicole Halliwell, Calypso Monroe and Nicky Monet — transforming into the iconic Sanderson sisters from the 1993 classic Disney movie “Hocus Pocus.” The “Wicked Villains” preshow starring the cast of Queens The Drag Experience will bring Maleficent, Ursula, Cruella DeVille and The Evil Queen to life. Tickets are $65 for general admission and $75 for “front row” VIP, which includes a souvenir gift pack. To save $10 off any ticket, use coupon code SAVE10 at checkout hocuspocuslive.net, by calling The Kelsey Theater at 561-328-7481, or the Boca Black Box Theater at 561-483-9036. Tickets will be limited to comply with COVID-19 community health and safety guidelines. Approved masks/face coverings are required at all times while inside the venue. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the show’s displaced and furloughed cast of entertainers due to the pandemic.

Loxahatchee Groves

Pick a perfect pumpkin and support Community of Hope church’s Student Ministry. There will be pumpkins, gourds and fresh-baked pumpkin bread at the church’s Pumpkin Patch on the west campus, 14055 Okeechobee Blvd., Loxahatchee Groves, and east campus, 2341 S. Military Trail, West Palm Beach. The patches have popped up now through Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the west campus and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the west campus. Take an Instagram-worthy photo at their picture spots. Call 561-753-8883.

Palm Beach Gardens

Batty Manor’s goofy ghosts Mrs. Whistifer and Mr. Hanks are floating into the Gardens Mall’s Center Court, 3101 PGA Blvd., from Oct. 17-31. “Whistifer and Hanks' Mostly Ghostly Revue” with riddles and songs greets visitors during mall hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Call 561-775-7750 or visit thegardensmall.com. Free.

Royal Palm Beach

Looking for an alternative to trick-or-treating? Grab some dinner from the Food Truck Expo and grab a spot to watch “The Addams Family” from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31 at Commons Park, 11600 Poinciana Blvd.

Wellington

Eight different “scare zones” filled with classic horror characters, zombies and creepy clowns await visitors to the Creepy Crawl Drive-Thru experience at Village Park, 11700 Pierson Road, from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. There will be pathway options through the park including routes for scare zones rated G through PG for children and routes rated PG-13 for the older crowd. Drivers should follow event signage for the appropriate choice for their families. Attendees are directed to enter the park through the west entrance on 120th Avenue South. Traffic will move through the park from the 120th entrance and exit out onto Pierson Road. Passengers can roll down the windows while wearing masks. Free. Visit wellingtonfl.gov/843/Creepy-Crawl.

The mall is often a popular indoor spot for trick-or-treaters, but this year, the Mall at Wellington Green is taking the treats out to the parking lot. Drive-Thru Boo Halloween is rolling through from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. Drivers can go through a designated course at the mall grounds, 10300 W. Forest Hill Blvd., and receive a goodie bag per child while supplies last. Anyone interacting with staff or vendors from their car must wear a mask. Visit shopwellingtongreen.com/.

West Palm Beach

Spookyville, the popular family-friendly Halloween event at the historic Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds, becomes a drive-thru event this year because of COVID-19. Workers have been building props for the past few weeks to set the scene as families pass through enjoying entertainment, not-so-spooky décor and costumed volunteers who will be offering treats. The spooky fun happens from 6 to 9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 23-31, at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., in West Palm Beach. Cost is $25 per vehicle.

“We are encouraging the kids to still dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes for a safe and socially distanced drive through while trick-or-treating,” Lorie Stinson, the fair’s exhibits and special events manager, said in a statement.

Families can purchase a corn dog or cotton candy afterward at the Fair Eats & Treats drive-thru set up on the grounds. Visit southfloridafair.com.

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©2020 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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