As Halloween creeps up, ghosts and goblins of all ages will head out for family-friendly events. You can find tricks and treats at one of these events in the Greater Naples area:
- Join the family activities at Mercato, October 27, 5-8 p.m. for Trick-or-Treat and Halloween Extravaganza. There will be trick-or-treating at 20 stops throughout Mercato, princess makeovers, Way Too Tall Torrie the scarecrow stilt walker, pumpkion carving, balloon animals, and pumpkin patch photo ops. The highlight will be a Halloween costume parade with prizes, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Gigi’s Children Boutique. Proceeds from the pumpkin carving and silent auction will benefit the Immokalee Child Care Center.
- Miromar Outlets, Estero, Mall-O-Ween, October 31, 2-6 p.m. The celebration features costume contests with prizes for kids and pets, trick-or-treating, music, and karaoke.
The darker side of the Paradise Coast’s past is coming to light at the Naples Art Association on October 29-31 for its annual haunted house. As the story goes, during preparation for the upcoming renovation of NAA’s Art Resource Center and Library, a newspaper from November 2, 1925 was discovered. In it, the horrifying story of Captain Herleven was told:
In the area around what’s now Cambier Park, Herleven’s “Captain Herleven’s Spectacle of Living Wonders” traveling carnival had set up its tents for some Halloween entertainment. The motley crew of the exotic carnie folk were camped out near the “freak-show” tent, a regular traveling retinue of the unusual, when fire spontaneously erupted in camp, burning everything to the ground. No bodies were found—the local deputy suspected the carnies fled into the surrounding wilderness—though witnesses reported they had heard screaming from inside a tent, saying it was the captain swearing revenge. Theories abound about what happened. One gaining most steam is that of a surreptitious tryst with a wealthy local land owner’s daughter and Captain Herleven that lead to the fire and their deaths. But this all conjecture…
Fast-forward 90 years, and the site of this unresolved, tragic event is now home to the von Liebig Art Center. Marking this rather unfortunate anniversary is the third annual installment of NAA’s Halloween haunted house, Captain Lazarus and The Spectacle of Living Wonders. Experience a frightening journey through the art center while the eerie specter of Captain Herleven looks on.
- Join NAA for a scare on October 29 from 6:30-10 p.m., October 30 from 6-10 p.m., and October 31 from 5-10 p.m. Admission costs $10 per person. For more information, visit www.naplesart.or.
Pumpkin patches, scarecrows and hay rides…oh my! Fall is back Jack(-O-Lantern), so find the perfect pumpkin and fall festival here.
Downtown Naples is getting in the Halloween spirit with the fifth annual Halloween Spooktacular on Fifth Avenue South.
In the mood for a scare? On Fridays and Saturdays starting on October 16 through Halloween night, Naples largest haunt will open at the Collier County Fairgrounds for six days of scary goodtimes. The Haunted Gross Walk incorporates more than 14 rooms, covering nearly 14,000 square feet of terror, complete with haunted characters, haunted attics, and a spooky graveyard finale that will leave a chill long after the walk.
- Open October 16-17, 23-24, and 30-31 from 7-11 p.m. On Halloween night, bring the costumed kiddies for Trunk or Treat from 7:30-8:30 p.m. and a costume contest at 9 p.m. Admission costs $15 per person, per walkthrough. Proceeds benefit the Life’s Not “Fair” Fundraiser.
- For more information, call 239-455-1444 or visit colliercountyfair.com.
Looking for a scary good time? Halloweeners, young and old, fill-up those trick-or-treat bags in high style at the Waterside Shops for Boo Bash from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on October 30. Kiddies in costume can head from shop to shop, collecting tasty treats along the way, while family-fun games and activities will keep everyone entertained. From jugglers, fantasy characters, stilt walkers, live music and a few spooky surprises, this is one of the best Halloween partiers around, rain or shine.
- Admission is free. The fun starts at 5:30 and runs to 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit watersideshops.com.