Florida travel calendar for October

Adrienne Cutway

Orlando Sentinel

12:00 AM EDT, September 29, 2015


 Check out festivals and events in October across the state.

 View events this coming weekend, or view the whole month's offerings by region below:

 This list is organized by region.

Central Florida (including Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Sanford, the Space Coast, Lakeland/Polk and Lake County)

Sept. 18 - Nov. 1 (select nights): Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, Orlando. The event is considered one of the world's largest, most elaborate Halloween celebrations. Guests will experience live mega-horror movies with this year's nine haunted houses. Universal enlists a "scream team" of designers to research the human psyche and its deepest fears so guests can confront all the physical and psychological horrors of the movies. 407-363-8000. www.halloweenhorrornights.com

Sept. 25 - Nov. 16: Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Walt Disney World. The annual food and wine lover's paradise offers tapas-style dishes and beverages from close to 30 global marketplaces. Also on tap are celebrity chef demonstrations and rock star performances during the Eat to the Beat concert series. Festival comes with Epcot admission and plates range from $4-$9. You can make reservations for the select events at Disney's website. 407-WDW-FEST. disneyworld.disney.go.com

Oct. 1-4: Port Orange Family Days, Port Orange. With a parade, street painting and expo:Port Orange City Center, 1999 City Center Circle, Port Orange; free (some events or rides extra); 386-506-5935. familydays.com

Oct. 3: Central Florida Fall Harvest & Peanut Festival, Williston. The Annual Central Florida Fall Harvest & Peanut Festival features crafts, music, rides, lots of peanuts and peanut products, and even free grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while they last at Heritage Park. Little Peanut King and Queen and Baby Peanut contests are planned. Heritage Park is at 444 Northwest Main Street. For information, visit www.seenorthflorida.com.

Oct. 3: First Saturday Jam, Barberville. On the first Saturday each month visit the Pioneer Settlement for entertainment and fun for the entire family. 9 a.m to 4 p.m. There will be informal music jams, free workshops, food, and a barn-style dance. 386-749-2959. www.pioneersettlement.org

Oct. 3: Children's Cane Pole Fishing Tournament, DeLeon Springs. Head over to De Leon Springs State Park for this fun traditional take on fishing. Children 15 and under can test their angling skills and compete for trophies in three age groups for largest, smallest and most fish caught. Everyone will win something. Bait provided. Regular park admission. 8 a.m - 11 a.m. 386-985-4212. www.friendsofdeleonspringsstatepark.com.

Oct. 3, Oct. 24: Oktoberfest, Casselberry. With live bands and entertainment: 2-11 p.m. on both Saturdays; The German-American Society of Central Florida, 381 Orange Lane, Casselberry; $5 adults and free for ages 12 and younger; 407-834-0574. www.gasocf.com

Oct. 5-11: Come Out With Pride Festival, Orlando. LGBT pride festival that includes dinner and fireworks, a VIP experience event and more. Event locations and prices vary. comeoutwithpride.com

Oct. 8: Alive After 5, Sanford. Oktoberfest-themed street party with vendors and entertainment: 5-8 p.m. Thursday; Sanford Welcome Center, 230 E. First St., Sanford. 407-302-2586. sanfordwelcomecenter.com

Oct. 9-11: MusicFest, Winter Garden. Outdoor and indoor music celebration featuring performances by more than 50 live performances from 30 different music genres that include everything from country, jazz and blues to Americana, acoustic, classic rock, southern rock, funk, pop, classical, opera, musical theater, choral, and more. Vendors sell everything from soy candles to fine handcrafted jewelry. Greek, BBQ, Jamaican, Caribbean, Italian, Asian and American food specialties tempt the palate. On Plant Street downtown. Hours vary. Free. 407-292-7922. www.wintergardenmusicfest.com

Oct. 9-11: Daytona Blues Festival, Daytona Beach. Among the artists slated to perform during the festival are Janiva Magness, Sonny Landreth and Victor Wainwright & The WildRoots. The festival is at the Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Downtown Daytona Beach. A variety of tickets is available as are hotel and ticket packages. For information, visit www.DaytonaBluesFestival.com.

Oct. 9-11: Bicycle Festival, Mount Dora. Attracting 1,000 cyclists, this is Florida's oldest and largest bicycling event, featuring rides of varying lengths and skill levels. Cyclists of all ages come and see why Lake County is recognized as one of the best places in the world to ride. 341 N. Alexander St. 352-455-3545 or 352-383-2165. mountdorabicyclefestival.com

Oct. 10-11: Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, Winter Park. A juried art show with a longstanding tradition, drawing more than 40,000 people. The show features work by outstanding Orlando artists and also offers live entertainment and food provided by local restaurants. Children's art workshops are also offered. In Central Park. Free. 407-644-8281. www.autumnartfestival.org

Oct. 2-31 (select nights): A Petrified Forest, Altamonte Springs. Haunted scare trail and laser tag: 7:30-11 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. A Petrified Forest, 1360 E. Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs; $15 for main haunted trail; other packages are also available.  407-468-6600. apetrifiedforest.com

Oct. 9-11: Oktoberfest, Port St. Lucie. Dust off your lederhosen! German food and beer, music, dance and crafts will be on tap during Oktoberfest, presented by the City of Port St. Lucie and the German American Club of the Treasure Coast on Oct. 9-11.  The event will be held at the Promenade at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center, at the corner of U.S. 1 and Walton Road. Admission is free. For details, visit www.psloktoberfest.blogspot.com.

Oct. 11: Great Bowls of Fire Chili Cookoff, DeLand. Annual judged chili contest with entertainment, vendors, crafts and Kids Zone. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tasting will continue until chili runs out. East Indiana Avenue in downtown. Adults $10, Kids 4-12 $3. 4 and under free. 386-740-6813. www.greatbowlsofchilicookoff.com

Oct. 10, 24: Gamble Jam, Flagler Beach. Jam out at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area for the Gamble Jam in the park, held the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Musicians of all levels are encouraged to bring their instruments and a chair to join the circle for a casual acoustic jam session. Instruments of all types are welcome. Pre-registration is requested. 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. www.floridastateparks.org/park-events/gamble-rogers

Oct. 10-11: Vintage Venture at Lakeridge Winery, Clermont. There is nothing better than a Vintage Car Show to bring back nostalgia. These special gems from the past are a must-see and you can also enjoy a variety of live vintage '50s and '60s music by top class performers on the outdoor stage. Lakeridge wine, beer, soft drinks and a variety of food will be available for purchase, along with complimentary winery tours and wine tasting. At Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards. Admission $2 donation. 800-768-9463. www.lakeridgewinery.com

Oct. 15-18: Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach. Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach is a rousing, fun-filled weekend that attracts more than 125,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from near and far. Activities include rides, concerts, food and much more. Admission: Free. 386-255-0415. www.daytonabeach.com/biketoberfest

Oct. 21-25: Orlando Film Festival, Orlando. This annual festival features events in and around the heart of Orlando, where patrons are able to enjoy great films in exciting venues while experiencing Orlando's downtown lifestyle. The festival seeks to inspire future and current filmmakers in the art of film-making and to enhance the movie-viewing experience. Day passes are available for $15 each, other ticket packages and options are also available.  www.orlandofilmfest.com

Oct. 23-24. Oktoberfest, Celebration. With hayrides, activities and live music: 5:30-10 p.m.; Celebration Town Center, 610 Sycamore St., Celebration; free; 407-566-4007. celebrationtowncenter.com

Oct. 24: Hoooowl for the Arts, Sanford. This annual event features an auction of original art and masks created by local artists, celebrities and elected officials. Music, entertainment and non-alcoholic beverages will all be available at the Seminole Harley Davidson during the event from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Advance tickets are available online for $35 each. www.seminoleculturalarts.org

Oct. 24: Cows ‘n Cabs, Winter Park. Cows ‘n Cabs (“CNC”), a charity-based, food-and-wine festival curated by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ David Larue and celebrated Chef John Rivers of 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP, returns with its signature rustic, western scene presented under one tent in Winter Park’s West Meadow. Cows ‘n Cabs is anticipating 400 guests for a collaborative event featuring cuisine by more than 18 of Central Florida’s top chefs. www.cowsncabs.com

Oct. 24-25: Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora. This nationally ranked, juried event continues to attract more than 250,000 visitors and more than 350 of the best crafters in the country. In downtown streets. Free admission. 352-217-8390. mountdora.com/festivals.php

Oct. 24-26: Orlando Home Show, Orlando. Held at the Orange County Convention Center, the Orlando Home Show features local, regional and national experts in remodeling, building, decorating and landscaping. Other highlights include instructional seminars, giveaways, contests and exhibits with the industry's latest products. Admission is $10 (children 5 and under are free). For details, visit www.marketplaceevents.com/OHS/EventsHome.aspx

Oct. 25: Festival Calle Orange, Orlando. Central Florida's largest Hispanic festival bringing together people of many nationalities, religions and backgrounds to enjoy food, music and dancing in the streets. Features multiple stages of music from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean, kiosks offering foods and delicacies from all the countries, and entire blocks dedicated to all types of entertainment including sports and children's activities. Downtown in special ten-block designated area. 407-205-2831. www.calleorangefest.com

Sept. 25- Oct. 31 (select nights): Old Town Halloween, Kissimmee. Experience the Old Town Halloween in Kissimmee. The spooky event will include haunt zones, live entertainment and costume contests. Fridays and Saturdays : 7-11 p.m. 5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, FL, 34746. 407-396-4888. myoldtownusa.com

Oct. 30 - Nov. 1: Hurricane Who, Orlando. Hurricane Who, a Doctor Who fan group, will be hosting a weekend-long convention devoted to Doctor Who and British science fiction. Visit www.hurricanewho.com

Oct. 30 - 31: Swan & Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, Lake Buena Vista. Annual event with tastings and beverage seminars at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, FL , 32830. Ticket prices vary. 888-828-8850. www.swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com/


Tampa Bay-Sarasota (including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Tarpon Springs and Homosassa)


Sept. 25-Oct. 31: Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream, Tampa Bay. Howl-O-Scream is back this year with gut-wrenching scares. The theme is Unearthed. Event runs every Thurs.-Sat. throughout the month of October. Howl-O-Scream is not recommended for young children. seaworldparks.com/howloscream/

Oct. 9-11: Necronomicon, Tampa. Timothy Zahn, Joe Haldeman and Eric Flint will be the guests of honor at this year's Necronomicon, a convention for science fiction, fantasy and horror. It will be held at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. Visit necronomicon2015.com

Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25: Pumpkin Festival, Bradenton. Kids and adults will enjoy a day at a real working farm with homemade apple cider, a petting farm, old country store, pumpkin patch and arts and crafts. Festival to include 100+ craft booths, live music, live shows, pumpkins, charity pumpkin games, Pioneer Trades Village, hayrides, pony rides, chainsaw sculptor, corn maze ($2 extra), scarecrow displays, homemade ice cream, farm roasted sweet corn, rock climbing wall, power jump, petting zoo, barnyard playground, face painting, children's train ride, juggler, butterfly experience, frog jumping championship. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.. Admission: $10, children 12 and under are Free. Parking: $5. At Hunsader Farms. 941-322-2168. www.hunsaderfarms.com

Oct. 15-18: Ringling International Arts Festival, Sarasota. Splendid kick-off to the Florida Gulf Coast cultural season with performances in music, theater and dance, and major art exhibitions.  The four-day festival will feature artists from Australia, Canada, England, France, Israel, Scotland, Spain and America, presented in the Historic Asolo Theater, Mertz Theatre, and Cook Theatre. Please note that all performances, except opening night concert, are offered at multiple times over the course of the four days. Tickets may be purchased in festival packages or in single ticket sales. 941-359-5700. A detailed schedule of events is available at www.ringling.org

Oct. 15-18: Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Clearwater. The annual Jazz Holiday brings together all veins of jazz music in four days of free entertainment at Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater. One of the longest-running and best-known free live jazz events in the country, it has presented in concert virtually every jazz luminary of our generation. The signature celebration sets the stage for the most recognized Smooth Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Fusion, Latin and local bands ever assembled. At Coachman Park. Free admission (lawn seating, so bring lawn chairs). 727-461-5200. www.clearwaterjazz.com

Oct. 16: Cigar Heritage Party 2015, Ybor. Join the fun and ambience of Ybor City for a day of activities celebrating the rich cigar heritage that once made Tampa the 'Cigar Capital of the World.' Join thousands of cigar enthusiasts at this party. Hosted by the Ybor Museum. www.ybormuseum.org

Oct. 17: Anna Maria Island Chamber Bayfest, Anna Maria. One of the most popular, annual festivals on Anna Maria Island is Bayfest, the celebration of music, food, arts and crafts. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. On Pine Avenue. Free. 941-778-1541. www.annamariaislandchamber.org

Oct. 23-25: Sarasota Pumpkin Festival, Sarasota. The Sarasota Pumpkin Festival celebrates autumn at Payne Park in downtown Sarasota on Oct. 23-25. On the agenda are a pumpkin patch, maze, midway rides and games, pie eating contest, shows, petting zoo, crafts, hayrides, pony rides and a beer garden. Admission is $10 (children 10 and under are free). For details, visit www.sarasotapumpkinfestival.com.

Oct. 25: Time Lord Fest, Tampa. Time Lord Fest is a one-day literature and science-fiction convention focusing on Doctor Who. Visit timelordfest.com

Southwest Florida (including Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda)

Oct. 2-3: Oktoberfest, Oakland Park. Oompah fun, German food and beer are highlights of Oktoberfest on Oct. 2-3. The event, at Jaco Pastorius Park, 4000 N. Dixie Highway, also features amusement rides, crafts and more. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and older. For information, visit www.oaklandparkfl.org/228/Oktoberfest.

Oct. 9-11: Pirate Festival, Fort Myers Beach. Strap on your eyepatch and join your mateys at the Annual Pirate Festival, where more fun than ever is scheduled. The festival also features two stages of live entertainment, and some of the best pirate crews, pirate actors and reenactors, pirate storytellers, pirate musicians and pirate fighting crews from across Florida. On Old San Carlos Blvd. Free. 239-454-7500. www.fortmyersbeach.org/piratefest

Oct. 9-11: Summerset Regatta, Fort Myers Beach. Fifty boats carrying 250 sailors will compete in the annual Summerset Regatta. For the past 49 years, the event has been hosted by a local yachting club that calls itself the Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society, but sailors from up and down the Southwest Florida coast participate. For spectators, the sight of billowy sails and sleek yachts racing with the wind stirs romantic notions of a sport that requires skill, strategy, and muscle. www.summersetregatta.com

Oct. 17-18: Las Olas Art Fair, Fort Lauderdale. Outdoor event featuring more than 150 artists from around the nation. Along Las Olas Boulevard. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.  www.artfestival.com

Oct. 18-24: Ding Darling Days, Sanibel Island. The J. N. “Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge sets the scene for the annual Ding Darling Days, a week of eco activities on Oct. 18-24. Activities include hiking, biking tours, and kayaking. Some activities are free, others have fees. For details, visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org/dingdarlingdays.php

South Florida and the Keys (including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Key Largo, Key West and the Treasure Coast)

Oct. 1-11: Oktoberfest, Coral Gables. An 11-day beer, food and music festival that will benefit The Woody Foundation. Admission is free. On the Bierhaus Plaza in front of Fritz & Franz Bierhaus, 60 Merrick Way www.oktoberfestmiami.com

Oct. 1-4: Bird Festival, Coral Gables. The Bird Festival at Fairchild is held in partnership with the Tropical Audubon Society and features bird walks, a photo contest, plant sales, and lectures by James A. Kushlan Keynote Speakers Kenn Kaufman. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. www.fairchildgarden.org

Oct. 2-4: West Palm Beach Antiques Festival, West Palm Beach. Known as one of Florida's biggest and best antique shows, this festival has been running at the same location for more than 20 years, attracting dealers from all over the country and selling a vast array of antiques, collectibles, and decorative accessories. At the South Florida Fairgrounds. 941-697-7475. www.wpbaf.com

Oct. 2-4: Mizucon, Miami. This convention focuses on anime through cosplay, gaming, exhibits and more. Visit mizucon.com

Oct. 3: Rock’n Ribfest, Homestead. The Rock’n Ribfest benefits charity and features entertainment, arts and crafts, kids’ play area and barbecue on Oct. 3. The festival, at the Homestead Harris Field Pavilion, Southwest 312 Street, is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $10; kids 10 and under are free. Food is not included in admission. For details, visit www.homesteadribfest.org.

Oct. 3: Harvest Fest, Jupiter. Jupiter puts on Harvest Fest on Oct. 3. A family friendly festival, it features free children’s activities, traditional fall foods, arts and crafts and entertainment. The event, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., is at The Plaza Down Under on the Riverwalk. For information, log on to jupiter.fl.us/index.aspx?NID=677.

Oct. 3-4: Downtown Delray Beach Craft Festival, Delray Beach. Streets of downtown Delray Beach are transformed into an outdoor craft showcase, complete with 150 crafters offering affordable original works. Free admission. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.artfestival.com/Festivals/Downtown_Delray_Beach_Craft_Festival_Delray_Beach_Florida_October.ASPX

Oct. 10: Key West Marathon, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Key West Marathon on Oct. 10. The event also includes various discounts and promotions around the island before the 26.2-mile marathon. The scenic, flat course takes runners through Key West, across Stock Island and on to Rockland Key, allowing an opportunity to view both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. A half-marathon is also on the agenda. For details, visit www.somomarathon.com.

Oct. 11: Miami Carnival Parade and Festival, Miami. Traditional West Indian-style Carnival and parade featuring Caribbean music, costumes, food, arts and crafts and more. Parade date is Oct. 11 and starts at noon. Festival held at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 305-653-1877 . www.miamibrowardcarnival.com

Oct. 16-18, 23-25: Oktoberfest, Cape Coral. German tradition is alive and well in Cape Coral, home of Lee County's largest annual Oktoberfest. Hosted by the German-American Club, it is a huge celebration of German culture, food, music and dancing features. Highlights include authentic live entertainment from musical groups from Germany, along with enough German food and beer to make anyone do the Chicken Dance. Hours vary each day. Tickets $5 in advance, $6 at the gate. At German-American Club. 239-283-1400. www.capecoraloktoberfest.com/

Oct. 16-Nov. 6: Festival Miami 2015, Miami. Festival Miami is the annual musical festival that opens the South Florida arts season, providing diverse musical programming while expanding academic opportunities and cultural enrichment to all of South Florida and its visitors. It presents 25-30 concerts in October and November, and each concert will fall under one of four themes Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Master Classes, and Music of the Americas. Gusman Concert Hall, University of Miami. 305-284-4940. www.festivalmiami.com

Oct. 17: Stone Crab Eating Contest, Key West. The Fourth Annual Stone Crab Eating Contest celebrates the opening of the stone crab season in the Florida Keys at the Keys Fisheries Market & Marina on Oct. 17. Participation fee is required and contestants must be at least 18 to enter. Prizes will be awarded to the three top finishers. The Keys Fisheries is located at 3502 Gulfview Avenue. For information, visit http://www.keysfisheries.com/events/.  

Oct. 17: Lantern Festival: In the Spirit of Obon, Delray Beach. The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens present Lantern Festival: In the Spirit of Obon on Oct. 17. The festival showcases entertainment, including taiko drumming and Japanese folk dancing, a street fair, children’s activities and games. In keeping with the traditional Obon celebration, guests will have opportunity to personalize handmade paper lanterns. Food vendors will offer Asian and American favorites and there will be a Beer Garden and Sake Station. Event hours are from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are expected to sell out and will not be sold at the gate. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 4-10 (free for children 3 and under). Visit www.morikami.org/lanternfest.

Oct. 17-18: Cedar Key Seafood Festival, Cedar Key. This major event features great local seafood and more than 200 arts and crafts exhibits at City Park. There will be live musical entertainment at several places around town during the days and nights, and a parade on Saturday morning. In addition, an open house is scheduled at the lighthouse on Seahorse Key, the big island three miles to the west. Shuttle boats are available at City Marina.  www.floridarambler.com

Oct. 20: Downtown Gallery Walk, Punta Gorda. Held monthly on the third Thursday, 5-8 p.m. Visit any of the downtown merchants, restaurants and galleries for your game card. As always, there will be live entertainment, food and drink samplings, art, beauty and health demonstrations, a free trolley, and an evening of fun. Free; free parking. 941-505-0130. www.charlotteharbortravel.com

Oct. 21-25: Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, Key Largo. Here’s one for Bogie fans! The Humphrey Bogart Film Festival comes to the first of the Florida Keys Oct. 21-25. The annual event, where Bogie and Lauren Bacall filmed the classic thriller “Key Largo,” is to screen a rotating selection of Bogie classics. There are various tickets and passes. bogartfilmfestival.com

Oct. 23- Nov. 1: Fantasy Fest, Key West. "All Hallows Intergalactic Freak Show" is the theme for this outrageous 10-day celebration, which includes costume competitions, promenades, street fairs and a grand parade featuring marching groups and lavish floats. 305-296-1817. www.fantasyfest.net

Oct. 23-24: The Goombay Festival, Key West. The Goombay Festival takes place in the historic Bahama Village neighborhood on Oct. 23-24 and is known for its island-style food, arts and crafts, live entertainment and dancing in the streets. For details, visit www.facebook.com/BahamaVillageGoombayFestival

Oct. 23-25: Animate! Miami, Miami. This festival will take over the Miami Airport Convention Center and bring fans anime, cosplay, video games, comic books and more. Visit www.animatemiami.com

Oct. 24: Wine on Harvest Moon, Miami. Enjoy fine wine, fine food and fine art under the golden light of the Harvest Moon over Biscayne Bay at the Deering Estate at Cutler. 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. $175 for general admission. 305-235-1668 x266. www.deeringestate.com/featured-events-2

Oct. 26: Heroes and Villains 5K, Key West. The Last Key sets the scene for the Heroes and Villains 5K Run/Walk. Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero or villain. Prizes are awarded for the most creative, best group, scariest and funniest characters. The race starts at 6 p.m. at the Reach, a Waldorf Astoria Resort. Fee is $20 (price goes up $5 on Sept. 23). For details, visit www.themeruns.com.

Oct. 30: Jazz at MOCA, Miami. The popular Jazz at MOCA series presents free outdoor concerts on the last Friday of every month. Music starts at 8 p.m. The museum is open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. by donation. At Museum of Contemporary Art. 305-893-6211. www.mocanomi.org

Oct. 30: Howl-O-Ween, Coral Gables. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with man’s best friends? At Fairchild’s Howl-O-Ween celebration, the garden opens its gates to dogs, offering lots of special activities for humans and their four-legged friends. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. www.fairchildgarden.org

Northeast Florida (including Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Flagler County and Amelia Island)

Oct. 2: First Friday Art Walk, St. Augustine. One of the city's most popular cultural events, held the first Friday of each month. Enjoy new exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at 15 participating galleries, plus great food. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 1-832-779-2781. www.floridahistoriccoast.com

Oct. 3-25: Corn Maze at Sykes & Cooper Farm, Elkton. Here’s a way to get ready for fall: a nine-acre Corn Maze at Sykes & Cooper Farm. The event, Oct. 3-25, also features a Spookey The Square Pumpkin Maze for kids. Other highlights include hayrides, and farm animals to meet and greet. Admission is $9; children ages 2 and under are free. Sykes & Cooper Farm is located at 5995 Brough Road. For details, visit sycofarms.com.

Oct. 8-11: Amelia Island Jazz Festival, Fernandina Beach. The Amelia Island Jazz Festival has featured headliners such as David Sanborn, Ramsey Lewis, Spyro Gyra and Mindi Abair. The 2015 festival is set to offer world-class jazz at venues throughout Amelia Island. Various tickets are available. 904-504-4772. For details, visit ameliaislandjazzfestival.com.

Oct. 10: Artrageous Artwalk, Amelia Island. Held monthly on second Saturday, to open the doors of some of the island's incredible galleries, featuring photography, pottery, copper, stained glass, watercolor, acrylics and more. Participants can peruse more than a dozen galleries in downtown Fernandina Beach and at the Plantation Artists' Guild and Gallery located at Amelia Island Plantation. islandart.org/artrageous-artwalk

Oct. 10-12: Annual Greek Festival, St. Augustine. The Greek influence on the nation's oldest city is celebrated with music, food and dancing at this annual event. Hosted by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. At the Special Events Field on Castillo Drive downtown. Admission $3, under 12 free. www.stauggreekfest.com

Oct. 31 - Nov. 1: WasabiCon, Jacksonville. The motto of WasabiCon is "geek culture, extra spicy." The festival celebrates "all things geek," including Internet culture, paranormal, science fiction, anime and more. Visit www.wasabicon.com


North-Central Florida (including Ocala, Gainesville and Tallahassee)

Oct. 16-18: Suwannee River Quilt Show and Sale, White Springs.  More than 200 quilts of all sizes and shapes will be displayed throughout the park including the Stephen Foster Museum, the Memorial Carillon Tower and the park auditorium. Visitors can enjoy boutiques, demonstrations, lectures, quilting supply vendors, a food concessionaire and door prizes. Admission to Quilt Show is $5. 386-397-7009. www.floridastateparks.org/park-events/Stephen-Foster

Oct. 18: Pickin' in the Park, Ocala. On the third Sunday or each month, local and visiting musicians perform acoustic music in a scenic area in front of the headsprings at Silver Springs State Park. 1 p.m. Free with paid park admission. 1425 NE 58th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34470. (352) 236-7148. www.floridastateparks.org/silversprings

Oct. 23-25: Great American Cooter Festival, Inverness. Barbecue cook-off, bike rides, live entertainment, food and craft vendors, carnival rides, family entertainment, games, cooter races and more. Liberty Park, 286 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness.  352-726-2611. www.cooterfestival.com

Oct. 25: Fall Festival, High Springs. Join the crowd downtown around the sinkhole for the town's annual Fall Festival. It will feature fine craft and art vendors, as well as music, live entertainment and fun activities for all ages. Free admission. 386-454-3120. www.naturalnorthflorida.com

The Panhandle (including Pensacola, Panama City Beach, Apalachicola and Destin)

Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Americana Under the Stars, Santa Rosa Beach. Every Thursday at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park you can find original Americana music, including folk, jazz, blues and more by musicians from Florida and other states at the upgraded amphitheater. Updated schedule of artists and dates can be found at www.luckymudmusic.com. $5 donation to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park includes regular park admission. 7525 W. Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459. 850-267-8332. www.floridastateparks.org/park/Topsail-Hill

Oct. 2-3: Florida Scallop and Music Festival, Port St. Joe. Art and craft vendors, educational exhibits, a kid zone and many great food vendors will be located throughout the park to make the two-day event an enjoyable experience for all, with sweet southern-fried scallops headlining the menu. 850-227-1223 www.scallopfestfl.org

Oct. 2-4: Destin Seafood Festival, Destin. The annual Destin Seafood Festival serves up delicacies from the sea on Oct. 2-4. The festival, at the Destin Harbor Harborwalk, also features entertainment and crafts. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Event hours are from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For information, visit www.destinseafoodfestival.org.

Oct. 3-4: Chili Vibrations Reggae Festival, Panama City Beach. Panama City Beach sets the scene for the annual Chili Vibrations Reggae Festival on Oct. 3-4. In addition to reggae music, the festival features an International Chili Society Cook-off at Aaron Bessant Park, 600 Pier Park Drive. For information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Oct. 9-11: The Pirates of the High Seas Fest at Pier Park, Panama City Beach. Columbus Day weekend is to bring a wave of swashbuckling fun to this coastal community during the Pirates of the High Seas Fest at Pier Park on Oct. 9-11. The festival will include an ensemble of parades and sword-swinging showdowns, culminating with a dueling fireworks display reenacting The Battle of the Seven Seas. Admission is free. Pier Park is at 600 Pier Park Drive. For information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Oct. 10: Blues in the Lot, Apalachicola. Enjoy live blues from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Apalachicola between Commerce St. and Water St. on Avenue D. Admission is free. bluesinthelot.com

Oct. 11: Apalach Oktoberfest, Apalachicola. Organizers promise a fun-filled weekend of live music, bratwurst and beer. A 5K will be at 8 a.m then plan for live music from noon to 9 p.m. 252 Water Street, Apalachicola. www.apalachoktoberfest.com

Oct. 15-18: Blast on the Bay Songwriter Festival, Port St. Joe. The coastal town of Port St. Joe plays host to musicians and songwriters direct from the streets of Nashville. There will be more than 20 performers. All shows are free and everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy. www.blastonthebay.com

Oct. 16-17: Annual Oktoberfest, Panama City. Panama City celebrates Oktoberfest on Harrison Avenue in downtown Oct. 16-17. Bavarian music performed by live bands and 40 crafts booths are on the agenda and Bavarian food will be available for purchase. For information, visit www.facebook.com/OktoberfestPanamaCity.

Oct. 16-18: Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival, Niceville. This popular annual festival promises a great time for the entire family with big-name entertainment, quality fine art, crafts, exhibits, and a staggering array of food concessions. Performers include Joe Nichols and Lonestar. Held at the Mullet Festival Grounds, at the intersection of College Boulevard and State Road 85 N. Admission prices vary.  850-729-4008. www.mulletfestival.com

Oct. 21-25: The Thunder Beach Annual Autumn Motorcycle Rally, Panama City Beach. Motorcycle enthusiasts are drawn to Panama City Beach for The Thunder Beach Annual Autumn Motorcycle Rally on Oct. 21-25. Highlights of the free event include a Bike Parade and vendors. For additional information, visit www.thunderbeachproductions.com.

Oct. 22-Nov. 1: Pensacola Interstate Fair, Pensacola. Top-name entertainment as well as exhibits and displays, rides, games and more. At Pensacola Interstate Fairgrounds. 850-944-4500. www.pensacolafair.com

Special Correspondent Georgina Cruz contributed to this report