Halloween rolls on this weekend.
Besides the continuing events, there are new, sometimes one-time fetes and festivals to get you in the mood for the big day.
Although most of these events are free or nearly so and very family friendly, be sure to check for kid comfort as some may be too scary for the littlest one.
- Micanopy’s Fall Family Fun in the Forest – Fri. & Sat. Oct. 18-19, check online for times. Micanopy Native American Heritage Preserve , 600 SE 165 Ave., Micanopy, Fla. Admission: $5, Kids 3 & under FREE, includes unlimited time on all activities. Scariest haunted trail in Alachua County. Haunted trail, bounce house, barrel train, hay ride, kids barn w/lots of games and prizes. Kids’ costume contest at 8 p.m. for ages Baby-3 yrs. & 4-8 yrs. Prizes awarded to the winners. Must be present to win. Concessions serving ghostly treats burgers, dogs, nachos, cotton candy, baked goods and more. For more information, please call 352-466-3121 or visit www.micanopytown.com.
- 31st Annual Town of Orange Park Fall Festival – Sat., Oct. 19, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sun., Oct. 20, Noon-5 p.m. Orange Park Town Hall, 2042 Park Ave., Orange Park, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Live music, Little Gym, Dance demonstrations, food, arts and crafts vendors and more. For more information, please call 904-264-2635 or visit www.townoforangepark.com.
- Haunted Hay Ride – Sat., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m. Lick Skillet Nature Preserve, Eagle Harbor, Fleming Island, Fla. Admission: $8 per person, $6 for parties of 3 or more, In the event of inclement weather, the 2013 Haunted Hayride will be rescheduled for Saturday, October 26. The Haunted Hayride is a 20-minute tour that runs continuously throughout the evening. Come out and take a tour of the famous and reputable Harbor Asylum. The friendly staff is eager to show you their work, and let’s just say they always have something “mad” in store. WARNING: The Haunted Hayride may appear frightening to young children. Please be patient as your scheduled ride time may fluctuate up to 20 minutes. For more information, please call 904-621-8362 or visit www.eagleharboronline.com.
- Haunted Moonlight Hike & Costume Ball – Sat., Oct. 19, 7-11 p.m. Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park, 6239 State Rd. 21, Keystone Heights, Fla. Admission: $5 to hike, $5 to attend ball. Presented by the Gold Head Associates, Inc., a non-profit organization. For more information, please call the park at 352-473-4701 or visit www.floridastateparks.org/mikeroess.
- Alimacani Fall Carnival Presents Seussville – Sat. Oct. 19. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Alimacani Elementary School, 2051 San Pablo Rd., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public, all activities under $2, $10 wristband for unlimited inflatables. Seussville, seven inflatables, 9-hole mini golf, toddler bowling, jousting, bungee racing, ferris wheel, Minute-to-Win-It games, prize booth and more. Food available for purchase. For more information, please call 904-221-7101.
- Craft Fair – Sar., Oct. 19, Noon-8 p.m. Isle of Faith United Methodist Church, 1821 San Pablo Rd., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Pumpkin patch, hay maze, children’s play area, a water paerk, food and Hawaiian shaved ice. For more information, please call 904-221-1700, ext. 201 or visit iofumc.org.
- Fall Festival – Fri., Oct. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. University Blvd. Church of the Nazarene, 3930 University Blvd. S., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Games, inflatables, a rock wall, food and more. Miminal fees for Rock wall and food. For more information, please call 904-737-4755 or visit www.ubnc.org.
- Howls & Haystacks – Sat., Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Seabreeze Elementary School, 1400 Seabreeze Ave., Jacksonville Beach, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public, game tickets 50¢. Game booths brought to you by students and teachers – face painting, photo booth, arts & crafts, pie-in-the face, Kona Ice truck, video game truck, and DJ. Plenty of food available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Seabreeze Elementary School PTA. For more information, please call 904-403-0210.
- Kids Fitness Zombie Chase – Sun., Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Jacksonville Landing, 2 Independent Dr., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: $20 registration for kids and zombies. Kids ages 5-15 race run 1 mile start to finish while trying to avoid being bitten – “stickered” – by zombies that roam the course. Parents and older siblings age 16 & up are the zombies. No race-day registration. For more information, please visit www.kidsfitnesszombiechase.com.
- Massacre in the River City – Fri., Oct. 18, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. 325 West Forsyth St., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: $10, ages 18 & up only. For more information, please call 904-634-8813 or visit www.facebook.com/pages/Atticus-Bar/275755719226334.
- Spooktacular at the Jacksonville Zoo – Oct. 18-21 & 25-31, 6 p.m. Jacksonville Zoo, 370 Zoo Pkwy., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: $8 members, $10 non-members, Kids 2 & under FREE, $1 discount when tickets purchased online. Charlie Brown’s Pumpkin Patch, the Enchanted Forest, Pirates Cove plus scare zones and candy stations throughout the Zoo. Come in costume with trick-or-treat bags. For more information, please call 904-757-4463 or visit www.jacksonville.org.
- Tricks & Treats Ice Skating Exhibition – Sat., Oct. 19, 1-2 p.m. Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex, 3605 Philips Hwy., Jacksonville, Fla. Admission: FREE & open to the public. Join current students for a 45-minute skating exhibition followed by trick-or-treating. For more information, please call 904-399-3223 or visit www.jaxiceandsportsplex.com.
- Haunted Trails & Corn Maze – Oct. 18 & 19, 25 & 26, 6-10 p.m. Florida Agricultural Museum, 7900 Old Kings Rd. N., Palm Coast, Fla. Admission: Adults $12, Kids ages 17-6 $10, Kids 5 & under FREE. Come in costume and wear sensible shoes. Enjoy a wagon ride through the woods, magic shows, carnival games and a haunted house. Food and drink available for purchase. For more information, please call 386-446-7630 or visit www.myagmuseum.com.
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: email@example.com