A frightful October awaits visitors who dare set foot on one seriously spooky Tavares farm. Far Reach Ranch, a usually peaceful family farm,has been successfully transformed into an exceptionally ghoulish seasonal experience rightfully dubbed Far Reach Scream Park. Instead of the ripe u-pick blueberries that typically draw droves of visitors to the former cattle ranch, the sprawling farm venue has become an eerie destination with three haunted attractions where monsters and ghouls delight in heart-stopping antics.
The farm’s three intensely haunted attractions, Bloodline Barn, Grimoire Manor, and Chainsaw Chase, challenge even guests with nerves of steel not to scream in terror. Guests who enjoy a little less intensity can partake in devilish competition, like ax throwing and old-school carnival games, at Dr. Deviant’s Game Emporium. There are also family-friendly yard games like cornhole, giant Jenga, ring toss, plus an area for creating smores.
The Pitchfork Parlor and Bar serves up special ghoulish drinks, craft beer, and wine with ample tables for listening to the Halloween-themed rock band, The DIsmembered. A food truck is on-site dishing out American classics available for purchase.
“This is my favorite event of the year,” reveals Brennan Hamill, Director of Operations and Business Development for Far Reach Ranch Farm. “We really turn it out for Halloween and create a spectacularly spooky experience chock-full of creepy characters. Our haunted houses will give you a great scare, but we balance it out with tons of fun! This year, we have three new haunted houses, plus games, activities for kids, live music, food, drinks, and a full bar,”
Fear Reach Scream Park is open Fridays and Saturdays through November 4th and Halloween, Tuesday, October 31, from 7 p.m. to midnight. The attractions open at dark, and lines close at 11:30 p.m. General admission starts at $25 and increases later in the season. Speed Pass tickets, which allow guests to skip the lines, start at $35 per person, including admission, and also increase throughout the season. Tickets must be purchased online and in advance.
As fall temperatures slowly return, so does one of Central Florida's biggest events. The streets of downtown Mount Dora transform into a sprawling craft fair on October 28 and 29 with hundreds of crafters from across the country. The Mount Dora Craft Fair is a nationally ranked craft fair and features an eclectic mix of handmade items ranging from jewelry, photography and textiles to paintings, leather goods and woodwork. The two-day event has previously attracted approximately 100,000 visitors, according to its organizers.
RELATED: Best local Fall events & festivals Crafts aren’t all there will be in downtown Mount Dora that weekend. Its many unique stores and seemingly endless restaurants are also open during the craft fair’s hours to accommodate shoppers and diners.
The festival runs Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking restrictions begin downtown in the late afternoon on Friday to allow for the craft vendors to set up. Street parking during the festival is limited, so as visitors drive into Mount Dora, they are encouraged to look for signs for park-and-ride shuttles located near the different entry points into the city. There are also private parking lots with paid parking available closer to the event. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app. Be sure to followMount Dora Buzz's Instagram and Facebook page for more local info.
Don’t look for changing leaves to signal the start of the fall season in sunny Central Florida. However, every year there is one reminder that a cooler time of year is approaching evergreen Mount Dora.
The big tell is the annual Fall in the Field outdoor event at Renningers Antique Center. The two-day event blends an exotic heirloom pumpkin patch with plenty of primitive fall decor and a large dose of vintage shopping. This year the event is October 7 and 8 and celebrates its 12th anniversary.
In addition to the shopping experience, the weekend also features make–and–take crafts for kids at the complimentary craft tent. Fall in the Field runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m on both days, rain or shine. Admission and parking are free.
Every year the City of Tavares ushers in the season with a splash. RocktoberFest and the Monster Seaplane Fly-in feature family friendly activities, live rock music concerts, seaplane competitions, and food and merchandise vendors in lakefront Wooton Park.
The all-day event kicks off with the Monster Splash Seaplane Fly-In beginning at 11:00 a.m. Seaplanes fly in from across Florida to participate in the flying competitions, like the crowd-favorite “Pumpkin Drop” contest. While the pilots are competing, pumpkin decorating kits will be given to the first 200 kids at the Pilot Registration Tent. Spectators can meet the pilots from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and get photos with their planes.
Following the seaplane contests, RocktoberFest continues with a performance by multi-genre band, Hypersona. The Ries Brothers, a duo from St Petersburg, follow and bring their soulful-sophisticated sound to the stage. The Grammy-nominated headlining band SIster Hazel will be the final concert of the night. Admission is free, but seating is limited, so guests are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. The event begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Free parking is available on the street and at the nearby parking garage located at 200 N. Sinclair Avenue in downtown Tavares.