We love Halloween almost as much as Christmas, if not for all the waiting in line at Party City.
Seriously, though, the little ones absolutely adore this holiday: They can dress up in kooky costumes, knock on strangers’ doors and supply you with mini Snickers until the new year.
Miami has plenty of spots to celebrate Halloween (a Thursday this year). We rounded up a few of the creepiest, coolest — and cutest.
“Tricks, treats, frights, and delights,” reads the invite for Homestead’s Freaky Friday. This one sounds like a win win. Organizers say they will debut a “Thriller” style flash mob dance routine. “The choreography will be as easy as possible so the kids will be able to learn it quick,” spokesman Zackery Good told Miami.com, who says the haunted house is another draw. “It’s actually really cool,” he said. “There’s a haunted maze, different rooms to walk through, creepy crawly stuff to feel in the dark. You’ll get some good jumps and then laugh at yourself afterward.”
Details: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Oct. 25 at Harris Field Pavilion, 1034 NE 8th S., Homestead. 305-224-4570. www.cityofhomestead.com. Free.
The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center presents Night of the Haunted Carnival: Expect (naturally) a haunted house, kids’ costume parade, games, prizes and candy giveaways. Plus after the kids go to sleep: Come dressed as your fave Tim Burton movie character for a costume contest inspired by the famed director for those 18 and up at 9:30 p.m.
Details: 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. for kids under 18; 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for adults. Oct. 25 at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211 St, Cutler Bay, 786-573-5300, SMDCAC.org. Free.
Friendly Creatures of the Night
In order to discover the true magic of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden at night, bring your flashlight, organizers say. Learn all about the creatures that make the vast outdoor paradise their home while you stroll around exploring. Animal costumes are encouraged.
Details: 5-8 p.m. Oct. 25 at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables. 305-667-1651. www.fairchildgarden.org
Party with the adorable animals at this always entertaining two-day weekend event at Zoo Miami. Enjoy face painting, trick or treating, a costume contest with prizes, pumpkin patch photo ops and craft-making (hang in your front yard to scare the neighbors). Bonus: Watch scenes from classic musicals played out by performers from Actors Playhouse Musical Miracles at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Details: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 26-27 at Zoo Miami, 12400 SW 152 St., Miami; Event is included with zoo admission of $22.95 per adult and kids 3-12, $18.95. 305-251-0400, www.zoomiami.org.
Latin Grammy Award-winning composer Dr. Ed Calle will perform at this pet- and family-friendly fundraiser whose proceeds benefit the many dogs saved by Paws 4 You. A costume contest (dress up your four legged friends, too) will be judged by local celebrities like Congresswoman Donna Shalala and Pinecrest Mayor Joseph Corradino. For humans: a kids’ maze, pumpkin patch portraits and snow cones courtesy of Candy Bistro.
Details: Noon-5 p.m. Oct. 27 at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Road, Pinecrest 305-669-6990, www.pinecrestgardens.org. $5.
Spooky Crafts & Treats at Jungle Island
Jungle Island is hosting a two-day family friendly Halloween celebration perfect for the little ghosts and witches in your life. Besides exploring the park, your child can participate in Halloween-themed arts and crafts activities, enter a costume contest or search for candy in 18 acres of the park.
Details: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 26 and 27 at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami, $44.99 per adult, $33.49 per child (ages 3 to 9). You can save 20 percent if you purchase tickets online.
Once the sun goes down, you can stroll through hundreds of giant lanterns shaped like animals and iconic Miami destinations during Jungle Island’s Luminosa Festival of Lights. The nighttime spooktacular will include live music, free treats and food trucks.
Details: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27. Adults are $35, children $30 (ages 3 to 9), Family pack is $99 (2 adults + 2 children). You can save 10 percent if you purchase online.
Both events are being held at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami. 305-400-7000. www.jungleisland.com
Superheroes like Batman, Spiderman, Elsa, Moana, Thor and Wonder Women will be stationed along a one-mile stretch of Washington Avenue in South Beach. Kids can trick or treat at hotels, restaurants, and retailers. Dress up your pups and enter them in the doggie costume contest.
Details: 5:30-9 p.m. on Oct. 31 on Washington Avenue from 5th– 17th Streets
Additional reporting by Miami Herald staff writer Michelle Marchante.