Honeymoon Island is the place to be for haunts this weekend.
Halloween in the Park, which typically draws 3,000 people, is designed to be a safe trick-or-treating alternative for families with children of all ages.
The 15th annual event features concessions, children's games, face-painting, fortune-telling, ghost stories, a dunk tank, a bungee jump trampoline, a scary haunted house, and a spooky trail walk.
A haunted trail, a spooky couple-hundred-yards amble through the woods around the picnic area, is set to a Wild West theme. Park officials began constructing props — a saloon, an abandoned gold mine shaft, a bank and a wagon train — in June. It is the "fun" type of scary for older children, according to Peter Krulder, island park manager. Countryside High School drama students are helping to bring it to life, he said.
The haunted house, Krulder said, is organized each year by someone who once worked Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream. He said the haunted house, set up inside one of the pavilions in the picnic area, is really scary and not for children.
Dunedin and Palm Harbor libraries are helping with children's storytelling. Clearwater Marine Aquarium will also have an activity for kids.
Want to Go?
- When: Oct. 26 and 27; 6-10 p.m.
- Where: Picnic area at Honeymoon Island State Park
- Bring: Bug spray, a flash light, bag for collecting candy
- What to Wear: Halloween costumes encouraged. (Insider's tip: Long sleeve shirts and closed-toe shoes help against mosquito bites)
- Cost: $10 per carload; cost includes 10 activity tickets (Park passes not valid for this event)
The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Island Parks and the Florida Park Service.