Hollyweird Holloween Block Party (Hollywood, FL)
This yearly block party is family-friendly and features arts and vendors, costume contests, live music, food and plenty of photo ops. The downtown Hollywood area is blocked off for the party and many of the restaurants have food and refreshment specials all night long. This year the event took place on October 26 from 6PM until 2AM. For the kids, there is a street trick or treat. Children can enjoy face painting, DIY activities, balloon twisting, bounce house, and live kids music DJ from Scratch Academy. The kids costume contest begins at 7PM. Adult costume contests sponsored by Kiss Country 99.9 FM start at 9PM and featured cash prizes. Not only is this even great for people of all ages but it’s a laid back atmosphere that you can only find in Hollywood, FL. Live DJs and dancing continued into the wee hours.
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Dread Hollow (Chattanooga, TN)
This Haunted House was voted as a #1 fan favorite in the nation on Scurryface.com. It is cleverly hidden in the valley of Chattanooga and features over 20,000 square feet of haunting terror and escape rooms! With blood-curdling features like the Beasts of the Bloodwood Forest, Mercy Hospital and a labyrinth of catacombs you will be screeching all along this fantastic journey. General Admission is $22/person and begins at 3PM. They offer a $40 RIP Fast Pass on Fridays and Saturdays for special access and perks. Check out one of the Deliverance Escape rooms if you dare! Featuring mind-bending challenges, professional acting and elaborate costuming in the following rooms: The Dark ($5), Eugene Todd ($10), The Box ($10), Apocalypse ($10), and paranormal ($15). This experience is a must-do for haunted house lovers but is only recommended for guests 12 and up. The sets are considered EXTREMELY scary and gory. This amazing experience was created by the masterminds of the nationally-ranked Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern.
If you need a little more action than a walking tour, check out this Zombie Paintball hunting at Hartman’s Corn Maze in Mosheim, TN. This attraction is an 8-acre corn maze in featuring not only your traditional family-friendly corn maze and rides, but a paintball zombie hunting option. Choose your zombie hunter team and load your weapons. Both live zombie actors as well as animatronics zombies are part of hoards of targets this challenging course presents. You ride in a Zombie paintball gun armored military vehicle in both daytime family friendly and nighttime “adults only” haunted hayride and zombie hunt tours! This tour has five star reviews and has been deemed “absolutely splendid” by fans many remarking that they “loved everything about it.” The nighttime Zombie Hunt definitely is a favorite feature.
(Multiple Locations GA)
For those of you who like self-guided options, Explore Georgia has put together a FREE GUIDE available online. With the popularity of the show The Walking Dead, Zombie fanatics flock to the show's most iconic filming sites. Sites such as Nic and Norman’s and The Waking Dead Café (part of Atlanta Movie Tours) are fan favorites, but be sure to check out the full list on your next road trip through Georgia. Senoia is also a must-see on your AMC’s Walking Dead tour of Georgia as it is featured as a primary backdrop of the show for seasons 3 and 4. Other adventures in undead fun in Georgia are the filming locations for The Vampire Diaries located in Covington, GA such as the Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast and Mystic Falls. Twelve Oaks is a beautiful 1836 antebellum home with traditional bed and breakfast services that has been used for over 90 television and film projects. It was the inspiration for the home in Gone with the Wind and has been in many scenes of The Vampire Diaries. Finally, for CW’s Vampire Diaries fans, you cannot miss the Mystic Falls Tour which features specific references to scenes in the show like the Masquerade Ball and VIP admittance into the Lockwood Mansion. The tour runs 10AM-7PM most days of the week and is $55/adult.
The leaves are changing and pumpkins are popping up all over the place as we approach a favorite holiday for many of us, Halloween. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story or a bone-chilling zombie movie? Costuming and being part of the fun has become a bigger part of the holiday for adults. The traditional “kids only” trick or treating is now just a small part of Halloween activities. The mild fall climate of the South East lends the perfect spot for Zombie festivals, parades, and ghostly tours. Here are some of our favorite events and activities in the Southeast!
Blogging for you... is written for The Front Desk Belle Concierge Services by Michelle Sharkey of Service, Style and Design and Sunshark Industries. Michelle is a professional writer and artist located in Miami, FL. She has written for MacMillian International Textbooks and has published art with Little Brown and Co. Her multifaceted talents include professional tour guide and writing lifestyle and DIY style pieces for local businesses. She lives on a boat with her husband Tom Wilson who she renovates boats and RV's as seen on their popular YouTube Channel #Renovationship.
This annual FREE festival is the weekend before Halloween and lasts for two days. This years’ event was October 26 & 27. It is a family-friendly event and also holds costume contests for all ages including Mermaid Beauty Pageant. There are plenty of scary and mythical creatures to take photos with. All guests are encouraged to wear pirate, mermaid or other maritime attire. There is a variety of continuous live music, a treasure hunt, crafts, games and more. The authentic pirate encampments and pirate reenactments make this festival top notch.
Mark and Sherry Cline’s Lexington Haunting Tales Ghost Tours (Lexington VA)
The Lexington Virginia Haunting Tales Ghost Tours hosted by Mark and Sherry Cline operates Memorial Day through Labor Day every year. This not so scary ghost tour takes visitors through the historic Lexington downtown area near the Virginia Military Institute. The costumed guides and performers tell folk lore and tall tales mixed some local history. In an interview he did for Costco Digital Editions Cline said, “I’ve enjoyed making smiles with my work. Smiles turn to laughter. Laughter heals and everybody wants that.” The tour not only tells stories of mystery but also delight. This tour is completely appropriate for children. Fees are $15 (ages 13 and up), $7 (6-12), and Free (5 and under). The tour includes the window that won’t shut, General Lee’s horse, the Washington student, and his dog, the cat on a hot tin roof, and the house of the 8 ghosts which is one of the most haunted in the Eastern United States. The highlight of the tour is a walk through the magically moss-laden historic Victorian-era cemetery. For believers and non-believers alike, the tour’s fantastical hosts create a world of wonders and mysteries. For reservations call (540) 464-2250. Guests are asked to be at the Visitor’s Center 30 minutes before tour time. (106 E Washington Street).
Fall Halloween activities in the South East are numerous. Please be sure to check Social Media and your local visitor’s center for activities near you! It is time to enjoy the weather and your community! Stay tuned for our future blogs on other fall activities and hot spots! For some great fall pumpkin patch loving family fun ideas, check out last week's blog!
Fayetteville Zombie Walk and Prom (Fayetteville NC)
Fayetteville North Carolina has been the proud host of an annual Zombie Walk and Prom for ten years now! The event takes place on the fourth Friday in October and is family-friendly. This year’s event was sponsored by Back Around Records and the Cool Springs Downtown District. There are people’s choice costume awards featuring participants of all ages. The event hosts music, face painting and an after-party. The party starts at 6PM at The Headquarters Library downtown (300 Maiden Lane). Promptly at the stroke of 8PM and goes down Hay Street, right around the Market House to in front of the Zombie Main Stage on Green Street. October 2019 features the bands The Answers, Keyse, and The Sherman Neckties. The zombie parade is free to walk and open to all ages, however, you MUST be in costume. Spectators are invited to watch on the sidewalks along the route. Live music ends at 10PM but the part continues with the “adult-only” Zombie Prom at The Tap Room (411 Hays St). The prom is $10/person and awards a king and queen costume contest with cash prizes! While you are in Fayetteville be sure to also check out the Trail of Terror hosted by the Stoney Point Fire Department. The haunted house style tour features the family-friendly Trail of Candy as well as the “adult-only” Zombie Rampage. Tickets are $15/person plus an extra $5/person for the Zombie Rampage. Another favorite Fayetteville attraction is the Zombie Hayride and Haunted House, featuring a Black Ops Paintball Zombie Hunt!
Fantasy Fest – Family Friendly Zombie Bike Ride (Key West, FL)
Fantasy Fest began in 1979 as a way to attract tourists to Key West during October. The business owners got together and created a ten day long costuming extravaganza. According to Fantasy Fest history, since the beginning, Fantasy Fest has been a place for adults to let loose and brings as many as 75,000 revelers each year. In more recent years, the even has become family friendly before 10PM and adults only after that until well beyond the witching hour. There is a designated Fantasy Zone as a code of conduct for more risqué costumes like full body paint (but such adult only costuming is only allowed in the Fantasy Zone and is illegal outside of it). Many of the Fantasy Fest events act as fundraiser for important local non profits such as AIDS Help of Monroe County. Be sure to check out the full list of Family Friendly and Adult Only Schedule of Events. We attended the Family Friendly Zombie Bike Ride and it did not disappoint! We watched as a parade of flesh eaters on bikes went through the US1/Duval area of town. Afterwards, we enjoyed live music in several of the venues and as part of the street party! Viewing the Zombie Bike Parade is Free for spectators and only $5 per rider! If you don’t have a bike and would like to participate in the parade, don’t worry! There are several bike rental companies in the area that rent bikes. The Ibis Resort where we stayed had bike rentals for Zombie parade participants and a Free Shuttle to the main parade area for spectators.
Zombie, Ghost, & Halloween Tours & Events of the Southeast
Afterlife Tours (St Augustine, FL and Savannah, GA)
These walking Afterlife Tours in the historic areas of St. Augustine, FL and Savannah, GA feature actual video of paranormal activity. Both tours offer an hour and a half long story filled mile-long walk through the historic areas of town. Reviewers on Travelocity praise the tour as showing “real evidence” via EVP of paranormal activity. The tour separates urban legend from Ghost Hunter Research as part of the ghoulish history. The St Augustine tours are $25/person. The St. Augustine tour features stories of the yellow fever epidemic, pirates, and hidden cemeteries. The Savannah, GA tours are $29/person. There are two tours to choose from in Savannah, the Voices of the Dead Tour (8PM) and Restless Souls Tour (10PM). The Voices of the Dead Tour features The Colonial Park Cemetery, The Historic Savannah Theater, The Foley House Inn, and the Sorrel-Weed House. The Restless Souls Tour features the Marshall House, The Moon River Brewing Company, Bradley’s Lock and Key, the Chart House, and the Alligator Soul Restaurant.