Trying to find fall in Florida can be hard, especially if you are more accustomed to a New England Fall. While Central Florida is not known for its’ fall season, there are definitely many things to do in autumn. Home to some of the best actors and theme park theatrics be ready for some haunted activities. Orlando has some of the best Halloween attractions in the world.
Fall is a time to get in touch with your inner child, express yourself through your costume, and get artsy with pumpkin carving and fall décor. Here is a short guide on things to do this Fall in Central Florida and what I am doing to get into the fall season in Florida.
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Farm Fresh Fall Things to Do
Southern Hill Farm (Clermont, Florida)
Recently, I was able to spend half a day exploring Southern Hill Farm! After having an interesting drive on the dirt road out to Southern Hill Farm, I was instantly impressed with the beauty of the farm. Only 30 minutes from Orlando, this Clermont establishment is a must this fall. From U-Pick your own sunflowers and blueberries to having photoshoots with their pumpkin patch and finding your perfect pumpkin, Southern Hill hits the nail on the head for fall in Florida.
Come hungry, because Southern Hill has quite a few food stalls and the best dessert options! The smell of fresh apple cider donuts wafting through the air as you walk around the market or play cornhole on the lawn. There is even a stage for live music on the weekends. Basically, this is the spot for a relaxing farm-fresh fall day in Central Florida and a must-do this season.
Hours: Thursday, Friday 9 am- 4pm, Saturday, Sunday 11am-7:00 pm
Price: $7.99 on Thursday and Friday, $11.99 Saturday and Sunday
More Info: https://southernhillfarms.com/
Pumpkin Ponderosa at Showcase of Citrus (Clermont, Florida)
Only a 15-minute scenic drive through backcountry roads, you will find the Pumpkin Ponderosa at the Showcase of Citrus. Known for Florida citrus it is only customary to go pick your own oranges after picking out pumpkins to carve. Also, you have to try the Orange Creamsicle to stay cool, feed some farm animals, and take a tour of the Citrus estate with a giant 4 by 4 ride.
This family-owned and operated Central Florida business has opened its’ doors to the public since 1989. With over 50 varieties of citrus, a pumpkin patch, and hayrides this makes a great fall activity in Central Florida.
Date: October 1st– November 27, 2020
Hours: 9:00 am- 7:00pm
More Info: https://showcaseofcitrus.com/
Fall Festival at Hastings Ranch (St. Cloud, Florida)
Want a country fall day? Hastings Ranch offers hayrides, a corn maze, duck races, live music, and a pumpkin patch of course. This will run for the last three weekends in October for $10USD from 10 am- 5 pm. There is also catering inside an airconditioned barn if you need to escape the hot fall weather by Crabby Billy’s.
Hastings Ranch was established 20 years ago, and is a perfect setting for Halloween and fall festive photos.
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With everything going on these past few months, we contemplated not having the Fall Festival…BUT… . . . We have decided that its more important than ever to provide the community with some fresh air fun for the whole family. THE 4TH ANNUAL HASTINGS FALL FESTIVAL IS HAPPENING!! It’ll be held the last 3 weekends in October (17th-18th, 24th-25th, 31st-1st). We can’t wait to see you and your families there! 🌾🍁🎃
Long and Scott Farms (Mount Dora)
While you may not think of Orlando as surrounded by farms and countryside, many places are right on our doorstep. Long and Scott Farms started in 1963 and ever since has been run by 4 generations of family. Take in the country air this fall October 3rd– December 13th, 2020, get lost in the corn maze, shop in their country store, and try your hand at the maze at night on select Saturday nights.
Hours: Open Saturday and Sunday 12pm-5pm.
Lake Catharine Blueberries- Fall and Halloween Season (Groveland, Florida)
Fall and Halloween happenings at Lake Catharine Blueberries is a perfect escape for Halloween festivities close to Orlando. Whether you want a heart-racing thrill walking through the Dark Forest Trail of Terror, or you want a traditional fall haunted corn maze, this spot checks all the boxes for a fall fun day. This year Lake Catherine added an escape room to level up on the fun during the fall season!
Price: Haunted Maze $10 USD per person, Family Friendly Maze $5 USD, Dark Forest Trail of Terror $15 USD, and the Escape room for a small group $95 USD
More Info: http://www.lakecatherineblueberries.com/
Halloween Events in Orlando Area
The Haunted Road: A Drive- Thru Experience (September 25th– November 7th)
A drive-thru haunted house that is getting quite the praise as it scares patrons around every turn. I don’t know if I would want to be driving through this because that would definitely be scary. However, guests can ride through this alternate reality of Rapunzel and be sure to be on the edge of their seats.
While the super spooky night drive thru is sold out, there is also a family friendly version during the day. Definitely a unique experience this Halloween season in Orlando.
Price: $15- $30USD depending on date
More Info: https://www.thehauntedroad.com/
Orlando Forum of Fear
There is no other 5-star dining in Orlando, that may actually aim to unsettle your stomach. But Orlando Forum of Fear lives up to its’ name with a haunted house as well as a spooky dining experience that may just have you second guessing what you ordered! Who would not want to attend “The Dark Séance Dinner” or stroll through the “Tunnel of the Damned”?
Price: Dinner and Tunnel of the Damned $94 USD
Fall Food Events and Festivals
Magical Dining Extended Through October 31st
Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining offers diners across Orlando to participate in $35 USD prefixed menus at 77 participating restaurants! Magical Dining is in its’ 15th year and this fall it has been extended until October 31st. To say the least I will be trying a new restaurant or two while I am back home exploring this fall in Florida.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival Extended Through October 31st
In an unprecedented move by Disney’s Epcot, the International Food and Wine Festival has been extended through the end of October. This is a favorite of mine, I remember this being my first taste of traveling around the world. My dad actually came to the USA working in the Moroccan Pavilion years ago at Epcot. If it wasn’t for Disney World and bringing people from around the world to Orlando, I would probably not be here! So, this festival has a special place in my heart!
Halloween At The Theme Parks
Orlando maybe known for being the theme park capital of the world, but we are also known for the many Halloween activities and special events at theme parks in Florida. While certain events such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Halloween Horror Nights are not happening, theme parks such as Disney and Universal have adapted during these difficult times to create an equally awesome experience for guests.
This year get two brand new socially distanced haunted houses at Universal Studios included in your price of admission! Get your scream on at The Bride of Frankenstein Lives and the Revenge of the Tooth Fairy this year, while enjoying the entire park during normal hours. Also, Magic Kingdom may not be hosting the not so spooky party this year, the park is still full of fall splendor with Disney Villain gatherings, guests allowed to wear their costumes, and fall fare at eateries.
Also, now through November 1st on the weekends check out the Seaworld’s Spooktacular for trick or treating at the park, not so scary fun, and an opportunity for children to dress up.
Gators, Ghosts, and Goblins at Gatorland
One of Central Florida’s oldest attractions is sure to give you a hair-raising experience this fall. Gatorland will host its’ Gators Ghosts and Goblins event on weekends starting October 10th– November 1st. Best thing about it is if you are a Florida resident you will receive half off your admission! Be prepared for costume parades on Sundays, scavenger hunts, and even some adult entertainment in celebration at Frank and Stein’s Octoberfest.
Getaway and Staycations This Fall In Central Florida
Goblins and Giggles at Gaylord Palms
Gaylord Palms is hosting a family friendly haunting experience at their resort in Orlando, Florida this year! From September 11, 2020 – October 31, 2020 experience fall spooky weekends at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Florida.
Castillo de San Marcos ALIVE! Presents guests with a haunted walk through of an old fortress accompanied by ghost stories that will make it hard for you to sleep at night. Also, kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt, meet and greet with costumed characters, and dress up in their costumers.
Fall on The Farm at Grande Lakes
Dreaming of a fall getaway, staycation, or maybe you just want to check out Whisper Creek Farm at the Grande Lakes. Well JW Marriott and Ritz Carleton at the Grande Lakes is hosting Fall on the Farm on weekends Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm October-November.
Whisper Creek Farm is a 18,000 square foot estate that will host a falconer, pumpkin carving, hay rides, seasonal food and beverages, as well as a farmer’s market of local vendors.
Tickets: $35 USD Photo Concierge: $30-100