Universal Studio new dining experiences
The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen are Universal Orlando’s newest immersive dining experience and are now officially open at Universal CityWalk with a diverse, radically innovative menu that also raises the art of chocolate to an entirely new level. Nickelodeon Way, Orlando, universalorlando.com.
Lowry Park Zoo “Creatures of the Night”
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo will transform into an eerie Halloween adventure for the whole family with the all-new “Creatures of the Night,” when the Zoo stays open late and animals lurk in the night and spooky surprises around every corner. There will be a wide variety of Halloween-themed activities with a special sanctuary set aside for little ‘boos” and “ghouls” when Wallaroo Station transforms into a festive fall harvest, complete with a pumpkin patch, scarecrows and friendly farm animals. Specialty dining will be available featuring seasonal flavors. 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, 813-935-8552 or lowryparkzoo.org/FL. 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, through Oct. 29.
Never miss a local story.
Busch Gardens “Howl-O-Scream”
Howl-O-Scream will return with an “Evil Encore” for 21 select terrifying nights featuring tormenting surprises and unexpected terrors around every corner including roaming hoards, horrific haunted houses, chilling live shows and the chance to challenge Florida’s top thrill rides in the dark on the all-new Cobra’s Curse. The event is a separate-ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. For a limited time with the Summer Deal, any single-day admission to Howl-O-Scream is $45, and includes early access to the park starting at 5 p.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa, 888-800-5447 or seaworldparks.com/buschgardens. 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Thursday through Sunday nights through Oct. 30.
SeaWorld Halloween Spooktacular
Halloween meets the seas every weekend in October during SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular. The family-friendly event immerses guests in an underwater “fantasea” with trick-or-treating, whimsical pumpkin fish, sea-themed arts and crafts, and up-close animal encounters. Highlights include Waves of Trick-or-Treat Fun, Penelope’s Garden Party, Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween, a Spooktacular Dance Party, and various spooky add-ons available at seaworldorlando.com. The event is included in park admission. 7007 Sea World Dr., Orlando, 888-800-5447 or seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando. noon-park close, weekends through Oct. 30.
Universal Orlando Resort “Halloween Horror Nights”
On select nights this fall the streets of Universal Studios Florida come alive with hordes of horrifying mutants, monsters and maniacs. Visitors can explore all-new terrifying haunted houses, brave multiple creature-filled scare zones, enjoy outrageous live shows and experience many of the park’s most exciting rides and attractions, which will include “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Krampus,” a St. Nicholas evil counterpart, “You Won’t Stand A Chance” and “Halloween,” “The Walking Dead,” and “The Exorcist.” 6000 Universal Blvd., Orlando, 407-363-8000 or universalorlando.com. Through Nov. 5.
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
The annual Disney celebration of global flavors will feature inspired sips and bites at more than 30 marketplaces and various celebrity chefs will appear throughout the festival and visitors can experience hands-on workshops, wine and dine packages and “eat to the beat” with festival concerts including Wang Chung, Plain White T’s, Delta Rae, Toad The Wet Sprocket, Wilson Phillips, Boyz II Men and Jeffrey Osbourne. 200 Epcot Center Dr., Orlando, 407-824-4321 or disneyworld.disney.co.com/destinations/epcot. Through Nov. 14.
MOSI Discovery Passport “Pay for a day, rest of the year free”
Guests who purchase regularly priced Museum of Science and Industry general admission this summer will get a new Discovery Passport, giving them free unlimited admission to MOSI through Dec. 31, 2016. General admission: $26.95. 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, 813-987-6000 or mosi.org. Now through Dec. 31.
LEGOLAND will celebrate its fifth birthday in 2016 and brings an exciting lineup of special events, including LEGO Club Weekends featuring Brick or Treat on select days in October, Firefighter Friday Oct. 28, Christmas Bricktacular on select dates in December and Kids’ New Year’s eve on Dec. 31. All events are designed for kids 2-12 years old and offer incredible entertainment with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions in 13 themed lands. 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven. florida.legoland.com.
“Museums on Us”
Bank of America’s “Museums on Us” is offering cardholders free admission to some of the most exciting cultural venues in the United States. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders can get free access to more than 150 participating museums in 94 cities and include the Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa and the Florida Holocaust Museum and Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. Present your Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card along with a photo ID to gain free general admission. The offer is valid for cardholders only, guests are not eligible. museums.bankofamerica.com. First weekend of each month, Nov. 3-4.
Busch Gardens “Christmas Town”
The annual holiday tradition, “Christmas Town,” returns to Busch Gardens with more than two million twinkling lights, festive treats, holiday entertainment and unique attractions, including the all-new addition of the beloved Rudolph the red-nosed-reindeer, Santa’s house, thrill rides at night, and fan-favorite shows that ring in the season, including Christmas on Ice, Carol of the Bells light show and the Holiday Hills Brass Band. The event takes place on 23 select dates starting Nov. 23-Dec. 31. Busch Gardens, 10165 N. McKinley Dr., Tampa, 888-800-5447 or seaworldparks.com/buschgardens. Nov. 23-Dec. 31.
African Penguins at Lowry Park Zoo
Peer into the life and plight of the endangered African penguins at the newly renovated Penguin Beach campus at the Zoo. Eleven birds have returned to their outdoor beach-themed habitat following an extended “staycation” during construction, welcoming new colony member “Marcus,” a 1-year old male. The new facility is critical to the Zoo’s role as a leader in African penguin conservation. 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, 813-935-8552 or lowryparkzoo.org.
For a limited time Florida residents can ride the Orlando Eye, a 400-feet observation wheel at a special rate of $18 for adults, and $13 children ages 3-12. Proof of residency is required. Restrictions apply. 8401 International Dr., No. 100, Orlando, officialorlandoeye.com.
Palma Sola Botanical Park
Palma Sola Botanical Park features landscaped grounds, specialty gardens, a rare fruit tree section, lakes, a gazebo, a screened pavilion and play ground. Restroom and picnic tables are provided. Sidewalks and paths wind through the 10 acre grounds. The Galleria building features a large room, suitable for weddings, parties and other celebrations and is for rent through the administrative office. Admission to the park is free. 9800 17th Ave. NW., Bradenton, 941-761-2866 or palmasolabp.com. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
RealRail Train Displays
Come enjoy the operating train displays. Admission is free. 6804 14th St. W., Bradenton, realrail.org. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, except on holiday weekends.