Haunted houses, pumpkin patches, and more: Halloween events in Northwest Florida
The month of Halloween has arrived, and masks are already a wardrobe staple. This year, Northwest Florida has many events to offer for the haunted holiday — some returning and some new.
Nixon Farm’s Corn Maze in Baker will return with a multitude of activities for families.
Michelle Nixon, the farm’s co-owner, said “the beauty of the farm itself” is the biggest attraction of the event, now in its second year.
Last Halloween: Four brothers create annual Haunted House
New attractions added for this year’s event include a corn pit, which resembles a sandbox but has dry corn instead of sand for kids to dig and play in. The addition of a bounce house and slides, a “pumpkin wall” that’s great for photo ops, and a family-budget-friendly food menu are some of the other changes from the inaugural event.
After a decade of hosting a haunted house in their childhood home in the Kenwood neighborhood of Fort Walton Beach, the Wentz brothers are starting a similar but new venture at Santa Rosa Mall in Mary Esther.
“It's the first year that we're not in our parents’ house, so it's going to be a little more interesting,” said Andrew Wentz. “There's a lot more that goes into it. We’re really excited for the space, and we're also excited to grow — and that's what we want to do. We want to continue to make it better, because we've gotten such a great following in Fort Walton from all of our friends, And the next step to do and that was to grow and find a commercial space, so that's where we are.”
Check out some of the other spooky events along the Gulf Coast.
Nixon Farm’s Corn Maze
WHAT: Nixon Farm’s Corn Maze offers a hayride, pumpkins, kiddie train, corn pit, corn cannon, bouncy house and slide, kid peddle carts, sunflowers, petting zoo and food. Admission includes all of the activities.
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 1-6 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31, last ticket sold at 5 p.m.
WHERE: 486 Martin Mill Road
COST: $10 general admission, $5 children 5-6 years old and free for children 3 and younger
Fright Nights presents “Face Your Demons”
WHAT: Fright Nights presents what it calls “the largest haunted house in Northwest Florida.” All ages are welcome, but 13 and older are recommended.
WHEN: 7-10 p.m. Oct. 15-16, 22-23, 29-31
WHERE: 2653 Highway 90 E., DeFuniak Springs
COST: $10 cash only
Halloween Haunt at the Destin Commons
WHAT: It will be a frightfully fun time for the family on Halloween, according to the Destin Commons Facebook page. This eerie event will feature kid's creepy crafts, fantasy face painting, trick-or-treating, and a costume contest. Get creative and bring the kids and dogs dressed in their bewitching best for the costume contest. Come dressed to impress and you might win a hauntingly awesome assortment of prizes. After the contest, kids can go trick-or-treating in a safe and friendly environment at participating stores throughout Destin Commons.
WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 29
WHERE: 4100 Legendary Drive
McGuire’s Destin Halloween Run
WHAT: McGuire's Irish Pub of Destin will host its 23rd annual Halloween 5K Run/Walk 10K Run with a free pre-race breakfast and followed with a post race party with live entertainment, Irish fare, Irish wakes and Irish ale.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26
WHERE: McGuire’s Irish Pub, 33 U.S. Highway 98 E.
"This is Halloween" Performance: Sinfonia
WHAT: Sinfonia Youth Orchestra will present, “This is Halloween” on the Main Stage at HarborWalk Village.
WHEN: 6 p.m. Oct. 28
WHERE: HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd.
Boos & Booze Bingo: Pub Crawl & Concert
WHAT: Make a donation to Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and receive a bingo card featuring drink specials. Complete your bingo card for a chance to win door prizes.
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29 Boos & Booze Bingo, 7 p.m. Tyler Livingston & The Absolutes concert, 9:30 p.m. Spooktacular door prize drawings, 10 p.m. adult costume contest at Coyote Ugly
WHERE: HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd.
Spook Street: Trick-or-Treating
WHAT: Join HarborWalk for trick-or-treating along the Destin Harbor and a family costume contest on the main stage.
WHEN: 5 p.m. costume contest registration, 6 p.m. family costume contest, 7 p.m. DJ Doc Roc, 9 p.m. fireworks and fire spinning
WHERE: HarborWalk Village, 10 Harbor Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach
Halloween murder mystery at AJ’s on the Bayou
WHAT: You are attending Frankenstein's 202nd birthday party, according to the AJ’s on the Bayou Facebook page. Meet and mingle with some of the most iconic monsters on Earth. Don't be scared though, Frankenstein has arranged that none of you will be harmed, or bitten, but when one of these legendary monsters is murdered, it will be up to you and the detective to solve this bizarre twist of events. Do you have what it takes to solve: The Monster Mash? Wear your Halloween costume or get dressed up in your fanciest of clothes or come as you are. In this 90- to 120-minute show, audiences enjoy a meal and entertainment.
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. doors open, 7 p.m. show
WHERE: AJ’s on the Bayou, 200 Eglin Parkway NE
COST: $65 tickets (limited seating is available)
DETAILS: Call or text 850-207-7115 for tickets or purchase through the Eventbrite link.
From the archives:Wentz Asylum: A decade of haunting the Emerald Coast
The Wentz Brothers’ Festival of Fears
WHAT: For a decade, the Wentz Brothers hosted a haunted house in their childhood home in the Kenwood neighborhood of Fort Walton Beach. This year, they have upgraded to a commercial space in the Santa Rosa Mall. The new space allows them to have more scares and a longer haunted experience.
WHEN: 6-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays of October through Halloween weekend, which will include Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
WHERE: north entrance to Santa Rosa Mall, 300 Mary Esther Blvd.
COST: $15 online, $20 at the door
Holland Farms Pumpkin Patch & Maze
WHAT: Enjoy a pumpkin patch, maze, pony rides, wagon rides, food trucks, and more at Holland Farms.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday
WHERE: 2055 Homer Holland Road
Throwback Thursday Cinema
WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28
WHERE: The Village of Baytowne Wharf, 9100 Baytowne Blvd.
Watch “Hocus Pocus” on the big-screen during Baytowne’s Throwback Thursday Cinema. All movies are family-friendly and open to the public.
Batty Halloween Wing-Ding
WHAT: Have a “fang-tastic good time” with trick or treating, games, crafts, haunted trail, photo booths, cake walk, raffle, hissing booth, food trucks, and more, according to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge Facebook page. Come dressed in your cutest, scariest Halloween costume.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Oct. 22-23
WHERE: Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, 3051 Cloptons Circle
COST: $4 entry with costume, $5 entry without a costume, $1 tickets for game and crafts
Tickets can be purchased the day of the event.
Midnight Collective Halloween Party
WHAT: Yoga Dharma Studios will host its second Midnight Collective Market and Dance Party. The market will feature vendors selling a collection of wall art, oddities, crystals, scrubs, jewelry, clothes, treats, and more. The community paint canvas also will be out, so bring your inner creator. The Ecstatic Dance Party featuring a DJ will follow. Ecstatic Dance is a mindful movement dance celebration that is about releasing inhibitions and allowing the rhythm of the music to move your body intuitively. It will start off slow, stretching into the body, and then whenever you are ready, breaking free into ecstatic movement. This therapeutic dance style is known to induce meditative and ecstatic states through the free release of your expression. Please register for Ecstatic Dance as there is a 30-person max for the event.
WHEN: 6-10 p.m. vendor market, 10 p.m. to midnight Ecstatic Dance Party
WHERE: Yoga Dharma Studios, 1157 John Sims Parkway
COST: Free admission for vendor market, $15 Ecstatic Dance Party
Witch Ride 2021
WHAT: The Witches of South Walton will again ride bicycles to support the mission of Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN); providing dental, vision, and mental health services for children in Walton and Okaloosa counties. The traditional Founders Ride and Bluewater Ride will be back as normal with the Gathering Brunch to follow. The popular Sunset Ride & Goblin Ride are back, with the Goblin Ride being open to all who want to ride. The Witches of South Walton hope to build this into a family fun event. New in 2021, they introduce the Watersound Ride, which combines the Sunset and Goblin ride experiences into an evening ride that is family-friendly.
WHEN: Oct 29-30
WHERE: Various locations in South Walton
DETAILS: Find out more and register and witchesofsouthwalton.com.