St. Augustine Visitors and Convention Bureau Communications Director, Jay Humphreys, updated Historic City News on this Halloween weekend’s entertainment including Uptown Saturday Night, a benefit event for the Shriner’s Hospitals for Crippled Children, and more frights than you can imagine.
Saturday: October 31
UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT
A favorite end-of-the-month event, Uptown Saturday Night takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. the last Saturday of every month in the Uptown San Marco Shopping District, St. Augustine. Galleries, antique stores and unique shops between Ripley’s Museum and the Mission of Nombre de Dios remain open during this special time. Meet the artists, book signings, live music, refreshments and other events contribute to the party-like atmosphere. The Mission of Nombre de Dios provides FREE PARKING for Uptown Saturday Night. Appetizers are provided by the Saint Augustine Independent Restaurant Association (SAiRA). The event is sponsored by the San Marco Avenue Merchants Association. Please call 904.824.3152 for more information.
Sunday: November 1
24th ANNUAL GREAT CHOWDER DEBATE
Looking for the best chowder on the east coast? Satisfy your passion for great seafood at the Conch House Marina’s celebrated annual Great Chowder Debate. More than 30 area restaurants compete to see who has the best chowder. Sample an almost limitless variety – from local favorites like the Menorcan chowders to an assortment of New England chowders – made with clams, conch, lobster, scallops and crab and laced with secret concoctions of herbs and spices. The event starts at noon and runs throughout the day. All proceeds benefit the Shriner’s Hospitals for Crippled Children. The Conch House Marina is located at 57 Comares Avenue in St. Augustine. For more Information, call 904.829.8646.
Spirits in St. Augustine: Walk, ride or sail your way through a night of ghostly encounters on three tours offered October 30 and 31 only by Ghost Tours of St. Augustine – selected by Florida Living magazine as the Number One guided tour in Florida. A Ghostly Experience is a walking tour led by a guide in period costume who provides authentic stories of old St. Augustine – and an encounter with a spirit at three stops. Ghost and Legends is a riding tour through the historic district and a stop at Potter’s Wax Museum. This tour ends with a nighttime walk on the grounds of the St. Augustine Lighthouse – a place called “the Mona Lisa of paranormal sites” in the United States by the Scy-Fy network’s Ghost Hunters. Ghosts of the Matanzas features a one-hour, moonlit cruise aboard the schooner Freedom through the haunted waters of Matanzas Bay – the spirit of a long-decease pirate will be your guide. For reservations, tickets and more information on these tours, call 904.829.1122.
Ghosts and Gravestones: As seen on The Today Show, Sci-Fi Channel and Travel Channel. Explore the darker side of the Nation’s Oldest City with our ghost guides and experience the historic haunted tales and legends found at every turn. Included is a visit to the town’s most haunted building, The Old Jail, for an up close and personal encounter. Ghosts & Gravestones Frightseeing Tour boards every evening at the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 27 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine. Call for reservations as space is limited. (904) 826-3663.
Lighthouse Dark of the Moon Halloween Tour: Climb the St. Augustine Lighthouse and explore the grounds of one of the most haunted locations in northeast Florida. Special tours on Halloween night at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person. Call 904.829.9745 for details and reservations.
Black Raven Adventures: Go aboard the Black Raven pirate ship for a voyage that will make your blood run cold. Sure, the games, libations and fun stuff make it seem harmless, but a visit to the Haunted Locker of the Matanzas on the quarter deck will make you beg for a quick return to dry land. This adventure is available every Friday and Saturday leading up to Halloween Eve and Halloween when The Return of the Matanzas Zombies take over the ship! It is suggested that passengers set their affairs in order before departing on this cruise. The 8:15 cruise on each night is suitable for the entire family, but only adults over the age of 21 are allowed onboard for the 11:15 p.m. finales. For full details, call 877.578.5050.
Creatures of the Night: A visit to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is sure to create lasting Halloween memories for the entire family! From 5:30-7 p.m. on October 29, 30 & 31, the Alligator Farm will present Creatures of the Night – a fun way to encounter creepy creatures along the park’s wild walkways. Costumed keepers, candy and an alligator show each evening – plus drawings for free annual passes. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children. For more details, call 904.824.3337.
History and Legends of Halloween: The true history of Halloween and the Celtic New Year is presented on a fun walk offered by the top-rated St. Augustine Pub Crawl. Find out how the Celts got Halloween off to a great start on the night when the veil between the living and dead is at its thinnest, learn the significance of bonfires and jack-o’-lanterns, plus much more and a stop at five pubs along the way. This special tour is available each Wednesday through Sunday night through October 31. For full details, call 904.540.3476.
A Ghostly Encounter: Walk the dark, narrow streets of St. Augustine and hear stories of those who came before us and refuse to leave. Remember, the doctor is always in at the Haunted Hospital! Come check in with the MAD Surgeon as he demonstrates the “cutting” edge of patient care – this year he has brought some friends. Meet them up close and personal when you walk through the Haunted Hospital. Ghostly Encounters occur from 7-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 30 & 31. Presented by Ancient City Tours, 904.827.0807.
Old Florida Museum: Visit the Halloween Festival at the outdoor Old Florida Museum – a living museum that features a Timucuan Indian hut, Spanish house, a Florida pioneer school house and the Old Florida General Store. Story telling, games, costume contests, pumpkin carving and much more are featured at the festival. Festival hours are 6-9 p.m., Friday, October 30, and 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Saturday, October 31, A Timucua Indian guide and a colonial Spanish maiden will be your guides. Admission is $4. The museum is located at the intersection of San Marco Avenue and State Road 16 in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.824.8874.
Family Fright Nights: What’s Halloween without a visit to the original Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! museum in St. Augustine? This year, Ripley’s is offering a chilling selection of Halloween week adventures, including special Midnight Madness Ghost Train Adventures on both Friday and Saturday nights. There will be a free Family Fun Ghost Walk departing from Ripley’s Castle Warden on Friday and Saturday nights at 5, 6, & 7 p.m. – trick-or-treaters are welcome at Ripley’s. Plus, for the truly fearless, a one-time only Witching Hour Tour will depart at 3 a.m. aboard the award-winning Ghost Train Adventure. To add to the festive atmosphere, each evening from 5-8 p.m., Spooky Dan the DJ will be spinning creepy tunes, shooting laser beams and tossing candy from his perch atop Castle Warden. For reservations or more information, cal 904.824.1606.
Ghost Town Trolley: This spirited tour is a light-hearted look at St. Augustine’s darker side as we share ghostly tales and legends that are guaranteed to raise your spirits! All of the stories told are well researched and rooted in the town’s history.The Ghost Town Trolley boards every evening at the Old Town Trolley Welcome Center at 27 San Marco Avenue. Call for reservations and availability as space is limited. (904) 826-3663
A Night at the Old Jail: Join the Paranormal Seekers as they hunt the Ghosts of the Condemned at the Authentic Old Jail of St. Augustine. All participants will have the opportunity to test various types of equipment used by paranormal investigators, such as EMF detectors and tri-field meters. This tour is not for the faint of heart What you may be seeking may be seeking you. Call for reservations and availability as space is limited. (904) 826-3663
Shivers and Awe: If you’re brave enough to go it alone, take a self-guided GPS tour through some of St. Augustine’s most haunted real estate. Or if you need some company to stiffen your spine, take a pedicab ghost tour, segway tour or a personally-guided walking tour – all presented by SA GPS Adventure Tours. For full details on these unique ghost stores, call 904. 377.1447.
Meet the Higginbothums: Take a night-time stroll with the Higginbothums, St. Augustine’s wackiest and spookiest family. This hilarious, 90-minute walking tour is the newest offering from Ancient City Tours – it’s very interactive and lots of fun even in the darkness of the Old Drug Store. The tour is nightly at 8 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the Spanish Military Hospital, the Old City Gate Train Station or by calling 904.827.0807.
Fright Music Concert: Enjoy a lively program of Halloween music presented by the St. Augustine Community Orchestra and featuring the music of Chopin, Bach even John Williams’ theme from E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. The first concert will be at 8 p.m.., October 30 in the Lightner Museum, 75 King Street in St. Augustine. The second performance is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 1 at the Switzerland Community Church, 2179 State Road 13 in St. Johns. Tickets are $10 at the door for each concert, children under 12 admitted free. For details, call 904.287.8417.
Horror Zone Haunted House: Get scared for a good cause at the St. Johns County Sheriff Department’s Horror Zone Haunted House. Creative makeup, clever lighting and motivated zombies create a scary atmosphere for visitors to the house in the former Mikee’s store in the Food Lion Plaza, 2497 U.S. 1 South in St. Augustine. Admission is $5 and proceeds benefit the department’s programs for juveniles.
Children’s Halloween Parade: Ancient City Tours is proud to again sponsor the annual Halloween costume parade/contest and trick or treating for the children. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 25 at the Clock Tower at the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center, 1 Castillo Drive, and end in the downtown Plaza for the costume judging. (Registration will begin at 1:30PM). Then safe trick or treating will take place along the historic streets of the downtown area from 3:30 – 5 p.m. For more information, call 904.827.0807.
Spooktacular Shopping: Uptown Saturday Night takes on a festive, Halloween theme on October 31 when the galleries, antique stores and unique shops along St. Augustine’s San Marco Avenue stay open until 9 p.m. Meet-the-artists, book signings, live music and refreshments provided by the St. Augustine Independent Restaurant Association create a lively, autumnal atmosphere for bargain hunters. Plus, there’s free parking at the Mission Nombre de Dios. For more information, call 904.824.3152. Also,Prime Outlets-St. Augustine, featuring a “who’s who” of luxury names including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, Juicy Couture and Cole Haan, as well as the only Gucci’s outlet store in the Southeast, will host trick-or-treating for children at the mall from 6-8 p.m. on October 31. Call 904.826.1311.
Haunted Trails: Climb aboard wagons that will carry the entire family along trails leading through the deep woods inhabited by ghouls and goblins. Pony rides, face painting, moonwalks and carnival games add to the Halloween festivities. It all takes place at the Florida Agricultural Museum, 7900 Old Kings Road near the corner of U.S. 1 and Old Kings Road just across the Flagler County line. A donation of $6 per person is requested. For more information, call 386.446.7630