Fun activities and cooler weather make West Central Florida the place to visit this autumn!
Everyone always thinks of Florida as the go-to destination for their summer vacation. While we agree that’s true, we think that the benefits of a fall get-away to Florida are often overlooked. As the humid summer heat turns a bit cooler – and as crowds get a bit smaller – it’s the perfect time to head to the Sunshine State – and especially to Tampa Bay!
In fact, the months of September through December are traditionally the best time to visit the Tampa area. While the fall begins with daytime highs in the upper 80’s, temperatures will drop to the upper 60’s or 70’s as we get closer to winter. Starting in October, the weather is significantly dryer – with the official end of hurricane season on November 30th. (For more information about traveling to Florida during hurricane season, read our blog here.)
Our leaves may not change colors like up North, but West Central Florida offers many other reasons to visit in fall (like our spectacular beachfront sunsets). With the break from the humidity, it’s a great time for outdoor events. Autumn brings plenty of traditional fun activities to Tampa Bay, including pumpkin patches, local fall festivals, corn mazes, and haunted houses. (Not to mention our sports teams – you can cheer on your favorites at home games during football and hockey seasons!) As an added bonus, popular tourist attractions and theme parks are historically less crowded during weekdays in the fall months – with the exception of the Thanksgiving holiday!!
Stores are stocked with the must-haves of the season and pumpkin spice is everywhere. Homes are decorated with fall décor, and pumpkins can be found on every porch – but don’t be surprised to see pirate ships or beach themes carved into them! At Kong Management Group, we decorate our properties in Zephyrhills, located just outside of Tampa, for the season and encourage our permanent residents to do the same. With our Halloween party and Thanksgiving potluck, there are lots of excuses for our community to come together and celebrate the season!
So, come visit us this fall and experience all Tampa Bay has to offer. Stay at one of our vacation homes or RV parks and see first-hand how many reasons there are to “fall” for us. Here’s a list of autumn activities that you can’t miss while you’re here:
Oktoberfest Tampa (Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Downtown Tampa) – For three days, Tampa’s downtown Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park will be transformed into the city’s largest Oktoberfest! Join the celebration of German cheer, with dancing and singing along the Hillsborough River downtown on October 11th, 12th, and 13th!
8th Annual Fantasma Fest (Centro Ybor, 1600 8th Avenue, Ybor City) – Get your pumpkin on during the Tampa’s Fantasma Fest and Little Monster’s Promenade and Pumpkin Patch on Saturday, October 26th. For the little ones, there will be more than free 3,000 pumpkins to decorate, and they will have a chance to trick-or-treat at Ybor City merchants along 7th Avenue. Later that evening, the grown-ups can witness the arrival of the legendary Pumpkin King for the second annual costumed march down 7th Avenue!
Tampa Riverwalk Fall Food & Art Festival (Water Works Park, 1710 North Highland Avenue, Tampa) – Water Works Park is the place to be on Saturday, November 2nd as it transforms into a festival of artisan craft exhibitors, live music, and food from Tampa Bay food trucks and restaurants!
Creatures of the Night at Zoo Tampa (1101 West Sligh Avenue, Tampa) – Voted the #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the country by Parents Magazine and a five-time winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, ZooTampa at Lowry Park is a must-see on any trip to Tampa. And, in the fall, it gets a little spooky! Every Friday and Saturday night in October, the zoo turns into an interactive Halloween adventure for the whole family to experience! Dress up in your best family-friendly costumes and get ready to meet the Creatures of the Night!
The Official Ybor City Ghost Tour (the corner of East Twiggs Street and North Franklin Street, Tampa) – Rated #1 Haunted Tour in the US by US City Traveler, this guided two-hour tour is a hauntingly good time! As you walk the streets, you’ll learn the tragic tales of the restless souls who inhabit Ybor City and explore its haunted spaces. See for yourself if the stories are real – and get into the Halloween spirit!
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa (10165 North McKinley Drive, Tampa) – Celebrating 20 year of scares, Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream features horrifying haunted houses, terrifying scare zones, and intense interactive entertainment. While it may have a little too much gore for small kids, this is the place to be for adults who love a good scare!
However, there is a not-so-scary option for kids at Busch Gardens with the Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends and Halloween Painting! On Saturdays and Sundays in October, kids can trick-or-treat, enjoy live, and join in parades and dance parties throughout the Sesame Street Safari of Fun section of the theme park!
Halloween Howl in Zephyrhills (38537 5th Avenue, Zephyrhills) – On Saturday, October 26th, downtown Zephyrhills gets spooky! This frighteningly fun event is free to attend and features trick-or-treating, a haunted house, hayrides, costume parade, bounce house, games, and more!
Fox Squirrel Farm (3002 Charlie Taylor Road, Plant City) – Voted the 6th best corn maze in the country by a USA Today 10 Best reader’s poll, the 8th Annual Fox Squirrel Farm Corn Maze is open on weekends only from October 5th to 27th! In addition to the maze, the farm has activities that the entire family will enjoy, including a hayride, games, a corn slide, a butterfly garden, horse and pony rides, dummy steer roping, cornhole games, and a pumpkin patch!
Hillsborough River State Park (15402 US-301, Thonotosassa) – While not a traditional fall event, this state park has a lot to offer to visitors! Take advantage of the cooler temperatures to enjoy the beauty of nature with a hike at the park. Located at the northeast corner of Hillsborough County, this is one of Florida’s oldest and most popular state parks!
You can find even more local events here!
With all of these festive activities and more, it’s easy to see why Tampa Bay is the place to visit this fall. And, when you’re in town, we hope you’ll stay with us at our Kong Vacation Homes rental properties or our RV parks! For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-499-9026.