We often feel that living in Florida, we don't experience the same kind of "change in seasons" that our northern neighbors do. Yet with kids back in school, football firing up our TV screens and a slight dip in humidity, we know that for us, fall's in full swing - including one of the best aspects of our area: a full roster of fun activities and events.
With fall traditionally meaning fewer visitors and tourists, it's a great time to enjoy our area and have it all to ourselves.
We all know a chill in the air is eventually coming. But if you're ready for some chills right now, our area is offering plenty of Halloween fun throughout October.
Ready to step back in time? Spend an evening at the Powel Crosley Estate with Edgar Allan Poe and the House of Horrors. You'll hear terrifying tales and suspenseful stories made all the more macabre through inspired live performances of "Mask of the Red Death," "The Black Cat," "The Conqueror Worm" and "Annabelle Lee." You can also enjoy Poe's stories come to life in the House of Horrors - the rooms of the Crosley Carriage House, decorated and themed as classic Poe stories. Events run Oct. 21-24 and 27-30, with the House of Horrors additionally open the 31st. For info, call 722-3244.
For a page right out of our local history, be sure to catch Spirit Voices from Old Manatee taking place at the Manatee Village Historical Park, running October 10-13 and 17-19. Staged at the Old Manatee Burying Grounds, you'll witness the dead "come back to life" as costumed actors portraying the deceased arise to provide haunting graveside narratives of Florida's pioneer past. For information, call 741-4075.
Take a different kind of historical venture on the Candlelight Halloween Tour at Gamble Mansion Historic State Park in Ellenton on Oct. 12. A scavenger hunt and treats for the kids round out the evening. Get tickets soon, though. Only 500 tickets will be sold. To reserve yours,
And if you always believed that the thought of careening through the treetops on a zipline tour was scary enough, TreeUmph! is adding two more ingredients to turn up the fright - nighttime and zombies. Oct. 18-19, 25-26 and Nov. 1-brings Zombie Zip at the area's newest adventure course east of Bradenton on State Road 70. Reservations are recommended. Call 322-2130.
Ever wonder where you can find out more about all the great activities and events going on in the area? Our online calendar constantly provides an updated source of great things to do. You'll find it at BradentonGulfIslands.com/events.
I hope you'll get out during this season and have a great time. And don't forget - invite your friends.
Elliott Falcione, Executive Director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, can be reached at Elliott.Falcione@BACVB.com or 941-729-9177, ext. 222.