July 28, 2021

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5 things to do with kids in Tampa Bay this week: Oct. 5-11

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1. Creatures of the Night: ZooTampa at Lowry Park has brought back its family-friendly Halloween series. Capacity is limited, visitors will have to make a reservation in advance and masks are required for the few indoor attractions that are open. This year’s event is themed around campfire tales and features several new outdoor Halloween experiences and spooky characters. It also has a fall harvest Pumpkin Palooza for the littlest kids to play in among a pumpkin patch and scarecrows. The event starts at 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October, with one Thursday on the last week. Prices are $24.95-$29.95 depending on the day you go. Those who have a “Pay for a Day, Come Back All Year” ticket will be charged a $5-per-person reservation fee, which will be reimbursed for a $5 food and merchandise voucher upon entry. ZooTampa at Lowry Park, 1101 W Sligh Ave., Tampa. (813) 935-8552.

A couple walks through the 3-acre corn maze at the Harvest Moon Farm and Corn Maze in Masaryktown in Hernando County. The farm also has a hayride, a tire swing and a miniature golf course. It’s running weekends through Nov. 15. [ LUIS SANTANA | Tampa Bay Times ]

2. Corn mazes: Now that October has set in, there are a number of corn mazes to check out in the North Suncoast. Harvest Holler Corn Maze in Polk City has a maze, a hayride, a tire swing and a miniature golf course. $10.50, $8.50 kids, 2 and younger free. It’s running weekends through Nov. 15: 4-8 p.m. Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday at 950 Tavares Road, Polk City. (352) 895-8687. Sweetfields Farm has a huge corn maze open weekends through Nov. 8. There’s also a hay play area, jumbo foosball and a pumpkin patch. Tickets must be purchased online for a date and time slot prior to arrival at sweetfieldsfarm.com. $9.75 for ages 3 and older. 17250 Benes Roush Road, Masaryktown. (352) 279-0977. Plant City’s Fox Squirrel Farm has a corn maze that includes tractor-pulled hayrides, music, games, food and a pumpkin patch. $11, $10 ages 3-17, 2 and younger free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at 3002 Charlie Taylor Road N, Plant City. (813) 756-8918. foxsquirrelcornmaze.com.

A pumpkin launch from a custom-built pumpkin cannon is one of the highlights at the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival in Bradenton. This will be the festival’s 29th year. [ Times (2016) ]

3. Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival: One of the biggest fall festivals in the area returns this week for its 29th annual festival that includes a pioneer trade village, hayrides, craft show, pony rides, chainsaw sculpting, scarecrow displays, a rock climbing wall, barnyard playground, arm painting, butterfly experience and a tricky dog show. $10, free for those 10 and younger. It runs weekends through Oct. 25. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Hunsader Farms, 5500 County Road 675, Bradenton. (941) 322-2168.

4. Pint-Sized Pumpkin Party: Children 6 and younger can dress in their Halloween costumes for a party with games, snacks, crafts, a costume parade and contest. $8-$10. 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Southwest Recreation Complex and Pool, 13120 Vonn Road, Largo. (727) 518-3125.

5. Evening with the Chefs: This virtual event and fundraiser lets you watch student chefs and local chefs battle in the kitchen, all from your computer or smartphone. It benefits the Ryan Wells Foundation and also culinary arts education in Pinellas County. To watch, register at chefs20.givesmart.com. $35. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday. (727) 787-7863.

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