Halloween will be scarier than usual this year. Not only will we have ghost tours, haunted houses, and slasher movies, but we're dealing with a pandemic and have to watch out for deranged anti-maskers and deadly overcrowded spaces as well. It's enough to make you want to stay in and curl up with Food Network's Halloween Wars instead.
If, however, you are determined to go out and enjoy Halloween during this horror movie of a year, there is a way to do it responsibly — and without even leaving your vehicle. The following is a list of Halloween events in South Florida for both families and the older crowd that you can enjoy from the safety of your car (or boat, because Florida).
Here's how this drive-thru haunted house from Cirque du Soleil veteran Francisco Santos works: You'll turn your car off every time you pull up to each of the six or seven elaborate scenes. Expect zombie, carnival, cemetery, and Christmas settings, to name a few. Once your car lights go off, the actors go on. There will be 80 or so in total, and they'll be determined to creep you the hell out with their theatrics. And yes, they'll be wearing masks. Even monsters exercise basic human decency. 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, October 1-31, and Monday, October 12, at Miramar Regional Park, 16801 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar; 1-800-383-6119; thehorrorland.com. Tickets cost $38.99 to $68.99 per car.
Not So Spooky Drive-Thru Adventure & Pumpkin Patch
This all-encompassing fall fest begins the way every event should — with candy. Trick-or-treaters will have prepackaged candy delivered to them via tubes to keep the experience contactless. Next up is the drive through various spooky scenes, where costumed characters and animatronics will greet passengers. After that, it's the roadside pumpkin patch. Patrons who want to go home with a pumpkin can have it delivered to their car via wheelbarrow. Feel comfortable leaving your vehicle? Not So Spooky has photo opp stations and a Harvest Market where you can buy pumpkin pie and pumpkin spiced lattes. Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 3-31, at Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24th St., Miami; 305-461-2700; notsospooky.com. Tickets cost $29 to $45 per car.
The Bruja is on the loose after 200 years of captivity, and, naturally, she has some serious hunger pangs. Avoid becoming witch food as you drive through this haunt, which offers six options that range from the kid-friendly "Drive and Treat" to the intense "Extreme to the Max" add-on. How extreme? There's a wash station at the end to clean off your vehicle. Other experiences include the "Haunted Woods Walk + Story Driven Challenge" add-on that takes you outside of the car and challenges you to take down that nasty ol' Bruja. 6 to 10 p.m. October 8-10, 16-18, 22-November 1, at Tree Tops Park,3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie; 954-861-0741; hauntdrive.com. Tickets cost $14 to $19 per car; optional add-ons are $10 to $45 per person.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Drive-In Screening
What's this? What's this? Only one of the best Halloween flicks ever, and it will be part of the Doral Central Park's Drive-In Movie Series. Watch this Hot Topic favorite from either the premiere parking, general admission, or large vehicles section. Popcorn and candy are included in the price of admission, regardless of where you park, but no other snacks will be available, so feel free to bring your own. 7 p.m. Friday, October 23, at Doral Central Park, 3000 NW 87th Ave., Doral; 305-593-6611; cityofdoral.com. Tickets cost $5 to $15 per car via eventbrite.com.
Now in its 21st year, this annual Halloween bash will provide much of the same spooky fun from years past, but this time in drive-thru form. Families can dress up in costume and cruise through the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, picking up candy and enjoying costumed characters and live entertainment along the way. Fair food will be available for purchase. 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, October 23-31, at the South Florida Fairgrounds, 9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach; 561-793-0333; southfloridafair.com. Tickets cost $25 per car.
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Halloween Boat-In Screening
For a nautical Halloween experience, sail over to this on-the-water showing of the 2018 slasher sequel starring Michael Myers. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the soothing current as you watch a hellbent Myers go to town on his victims with a chef's knife. The film will be shown on a two-sided, 60-foot LED screen and is part of the weekly Boat-In Movies series, which began last month. Boats must keep 50 feet apart, and there's no tying up or rafting allowed. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, October 24, at 3000 NE 151st St., North Miami; 305-424-8422; boat-inmovies.com. Tickets cost $50 per boat via eventbrite.com.