Best Halloween Parties In Tampa Bay

October 12, 2012 6:00 AM

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(Photo credit: Barbara Ann Kelley)

(Photo credit: Barbara Ann Kelley)

scotts camera 3 1521 Best Halloween Parties In Tampa Bay

(Photo credit: Barbara Ann Kelley)

Tampa Bay embraces the Halloween tradition much like it does its coveted Gasparilla events at the beginning of each year. Haunting adult creativity is flowing all over the bay area, so no matter where or when you head out into the night, you will definitely be running into plenty of tricks and treats. Just remember, on this day, anything can and will happen. And the same can be said for the below Halloween hot spots.

Jackson’s Nightclub
601 S. Harbour Island Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33689
(813) 263-7844

Price: $10
Date: October 27 from 8 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Dubbed “Halloween 14 with Pedro M and Friends,” the trendy establishment out on Harbour Island is always a packed house on this reason-to-dress-sexy occasion. The waterfront restaurant and lounge will overflow with an assortment of elaborate costumes and the inside areas are filled with typical club mixes and notable DJs. The staff is usually decked out in some sort of theme and the variety of costume contests (best couple, most creative, sexiest, etc.) takes place outside on the main stage on the patio. It’s a decent spot for those that don’t feel like bar hopping at the usual haunts.

Related: Best DJs in Tampa Bay

Guavaween 2012
East 7th Avenue Ybor City
Tampa, FL

Price: $20 gains access to all participating venues
Date: October 27 from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Although the cornerstone of this historic event (the parade) has been cancelled, the show must go on in what has become the biggest Halloween celebration in Tampa for as long as anyone can remember. The Mardi Gras-like bonanza in Ybor City will transform into a celebration of live bands who will be rocking stages, outside and in, at seven participating bars on the 7th Avenue stretch. The treasured costume contests are still happening (at 9 p.m.), and while there will be no barricades and/or fences this time around, armbands will still be required to bask in the madness that runs into the early-morning hours. By the way, if this event was a movie, it would probably be rated R despite the revamp.

Related: 7 Scariest Haunted Houses in Tampa Bay

NOVA 535
535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 821-6682

Price: $15 (includes free valet)
Date: October 26 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

For those who enjoy “costume watching,” this is the party to venture into. Held at the modern NOVA 535 event space, this place lures in some of the most daring, funny and sexiest costumed patrons in town. The people that orchestrate this masquerade are constantly executing interactive games and contests to keep this no-holds barred night moving along. On hand this year will be one of those giant photo booths along with live entertainment on the stage. In other words, try to picture the best of a college house party and the classiness of a wedding reception, and then add a heavy dose of creative costuming.

Related: Best Make Up for Zombies To Glow-In-The-Dark At Halloween

GuavaScream 17 – Invasion of the Vodka Soaked Zombie Army
The Czar
1420 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 247-2664

Price: $15 (includes all you can drink keg beer)
Date: October 27 from 7:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.

This roving “house/block party” has been setting up shop in bars all over Tampa for the last 16 years. In what started out as a couple of college friends wanting to throw an alternative Halloween gathering, it has morphed into a sponsored mega-party that many nightlife promoters seek out to place in their respective bars around this hellish time of year. In this edition, The Czar in Ybor City will be hosting and a portion of the proceeds go towards the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation. Expect to see elaborate decorations laced throughout two of the three massive rooms.  Be on the lookout for your friends emailing around the flyer (classic college party-like marketing) with full details. Just as homemade costumes are usually the best ones out there, that is pretty much the analogy one could use to capture the essence of this old-school event.

South Howard Avenue
Between Kennedy Blvd. and Swann Ave.

Price: Varies by location
Dates: October 27 from the start of the night until 3 a.m.

The SoHo district is always a surefire scene for adult Halloween shenanigans. With a plethora of bars to choose from on South Howard Avenue, the sexy, drunken and insanely crowded atmosphere always give a new meaning to the word “wild.” For those that want to avoid the massive lines, be sure to head out into the night prior to 11 p.m. Also, if being in shoulder-to-shoulder scenarios all evening will get on your precious nerves, then perhaps one of the other above options is a better suit for Halloween.

Related: Top Piano Bars In Tampa Bay

Joe Belcastro is an established journalist based in Tampa, Florida. His vast coverage of the local, national, & international scene has led his work to appear all over the world in respected print and online publications. After making a name for himself in the realm of film criticism, his candid approach & style to reporting has enabled him to cover such beats as music and nightlife, all while conducting interviews with people who have way more money than him. His work can be found at
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