What are the Halloween traditions where you live? In Florida, where many of my books take place, it doesn’t always feel the way you might expect a typical Halloween to feel. The average temperature on Halloween in Tampa is 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The record low was in 1963 at 43 degrees, and the record high was in 1971 at 89 degrees.
For that matter, the foliage isn’t very Halloween-like either! In Florida, it’s usually the sunsets that bring the state the autumn colors that much of the rest of the country sees on the trees.
So what happens in the Sunshine State on Halloween when the sun goes down?
Here are a few traditions to prove that Florida can do Halloween, too:
There’s ZooBoo at Lowry Park Zoo, too: The zoo in Tampa stays open until 10:00 p.m. for family-friendly scares. Visitors can get a look at the nighttime habitats of animals, and there are a few “scare zones.” ZooBoo is held in other zoos in the US. Do you have ZooBoo (or something like it) in your area?
Guavaween is a very non–family-friendly tradition that takes place in Tampa’s historic Ybor district. (You can also get a little taste of the flavor of Ybor in my novel Secret Justice.) Guavaween is a night street festival preceded by a parade, complete with costumes. The name “Guavaween” comes from a nickname for Tampa, “The Big Guava.”
Theme Park Halloween Events: For a mix of family fun and true Halloween scares, Floridians and tourists can swarm the theme parks. In addition to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World, and Hallow Scream at Busch Gardens, Universal Studios in Orlando puts on Halloween Horror Nights for several weeks leading up to Halloween. Roller coasters and rides that are scary all the time, plus haunted houses, and scare zones with actors posing as monsters and maniacs jumping out of nowhere to elicit screams are part of the fun for the Busch Gardens and Universal Studios events.
If all else fails, no matter where you are, you can set the mood for Halloween by reading a book that puts you on edge, like any one of my thrillers (Complete List Here.)
What are the Halloween traditions where you live?