Fall is Here - Lots of Local Fun and Scary Events Too!
Increased sightings of pumpkins and scarecrows confirm that fall has arrived in St. Johns County.
Each year in October, individuals, churches and organizations host family-friendly events to celebrate Halloween and the arrival of fall.
Here’s a look at some of the creative, fun and scary happenings around town this season.
SYKES FAMILY FARMS CROP MAZE: 6 to10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; Sykes Family Farms, 5995 Brough Road, Elkton; General admission $13. children 2 and under free, seniors (65 and older), military (with ID) $11. For information, call 904-692-1370.
The nine-acre maze is the main attraction at Sykes Family Farms, but there are also other fun fall activities including hayrides, playgrounds, races, viewing of farm animals and snack vendors.
RYPE & READI PUMPKIN PATCH: Patch open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, pumpkin paintings 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday; Rype & Readi downtown farm market, 115 La Quinta Place; prices vary per pumpkin, painting $3 plus pumpkin purchase. For information, call904-429-3070.
HAUNTED BARN: Spooktacularly Scary Nights 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; Rype & Readi downtown farm market,115 La Quinta Place; $5 plus two cans of food. Rype & Readi will have canned goods available for purchase, which can be used for admission, in their downtown market. For information, call 904-429-3070.
The historic Colee Stables will bedecked out and transformed into a haunted barn with a scary graveyard, gory scenes and jump scares. It is also a canned food drive, with each night of the event benefiting a different local charity.
DARK SIDE TOUR: 7:30 p.m. Friday; Departs from Tour St. Augustine, 4 Granada St.; $20 per person; advance reservations required. Call 904-825-0087.
The family-friendly tour tells stories about the original Halloween and explains how beloved Halloween customs began, from bonfires to jack-o-lanterns to trick-or-treating in costumes. The guide also shares stories of the dark side of St. Augustine’s past while exploring back alleys downtown.
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS: 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; meets at Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, 14 St. George St.; $59 per person. For information, call 904-829-1122.
Those who dare will have special access to some of the ancient city’s most historic haunts in old homes, museums, inns, taverns, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse and sacred grounds. The 1 ¾ hour tour will offer the use of paranormal investigation equipment.
ORIGINS OF HALLOWEEN AND TALES OFST. AUGUSTINE’S DARK SIDE TOUR: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26; Tour St. Augustine,4 Granada St.; $20 per person; for reservations, call 825-0087.
Explore the stories of how many of our present-day Halloween customs began — bonfires, jack-o-lanterns, costumes and masks, trick-or-treating and more. The family-friendly evening tour will feature enchanting stories on the history, myths and legends of the original Halloween, also known as Samhain — the Celtic New Year.
HOWL-O-WEEN WALK: 2 to 4 pm. Sunday, Oct. 21; Treaty Park, 1595 Wildwood Drive; $20 per person/dog team; call 669-6612 to register.
Costumes are strongly encouraged for both dogs and their humans. The best dog costume and best team costume will be awarded a prize. Dog supplies will be collected and donated to the St. Johns County Animal Control Pet Center.
CREATURES OF THE NIGHT: 5:30 to 7 p.m., Oct. 26–28; St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, 999 Anastasia Blvd.; $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 2–11.
Join the wild side for three nights of treats, costumes and fun. Meet eerie bugs and beasts during this hands-on experience while collecting creepy creature cards around the park.
ESTUSCARY FESTIVAL & HAUNTEDFOREST TRAIL: 6 p.m. Oct. 26–27; GTM Research Reserve, 505 Guana River Road.
Admission to the festival is free. Held at the GTM Research Reserve Visitor Center, the festival includes kid-friendly booths, candy, popcorn, food truck and games. Haunted Forest Tours are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. For reservations, go to gtmnerr.org.