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Things To Do In The Fall In Tampa


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Willow Carpenter



Tampa, located on the west coast of Florida, is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions throughout the year. But when fall arrives, Tampa becomes even more enticing, with a plethora of events and opportunities to enjoy the season. From fall festivals and pumpkin patches to haunted houses and fall food festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


The temperature starts to cool down in Tampa during the fall months, making it the perfect time to explore the outdoors. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll in the park, Tampa offers a variety of outdoor activities to suit every interest. And if you’re looking to add some thrill to your fall adventures, you can also find haunted houses and Halloween events that will give you a good scare.


In addition to the seasonal activities, Tampa is also known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. You can immerse yourself in the local art exhibitions and performances that take place during the fall months, providing a unique cultural experience. And of course, sports enthusiasts will be delighted with the range of sports events and tailgating opportunities available in Tampa during the fall season.


If you’re a food lover, Tampa won’t disappoint. Fall brings with it a variety of food and drink festivals, where you can indulge in delicious treats and taste the flavors of the season. From pumpkin spice everything to craft beer tastings, there’s no shortage of culinary delights to satisfy your cravings.


And let’s not forget about the natural beauty that surrounds Tampa. With its proximity to stunning beaches and nature reserves, fall is the perfect time to embark on nature and wildlife tours. Enjoy the scenic views, spot unique wildlife, and soak in all that nature has to offer.


Whether you’re a local or a visitor, Tampa has something for everyone to enjoy during the fall season. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top things to do in Tampa during fall, giving you a comprehensive guide to make the most of this vibrant and exciting time of year.


Fall Festivals in Tampa

Fall in Tampa is synonymous with lively festivals that celebrate the season. From music and arts to food and culture, there’s a festival for everyone. One of the most popular fall festivals in Tampa is the Tampa Bay Veg Fest. This event showcases the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle with a variety of vegan food vendors, live music, cooking demonstrations, and informative talks on health and sustainability.


If you’re a fan of live music, don’t miss the Gasparilla Music Festival. Held in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, this festival brings together national and local bands for a weekend of unforgettable performances. With a diverse lineup of genres, including rock, indie, hip-hop, and more, this festival is a must-attend for music enthusiasts.


For a more family-friendly experience, the Florida State Fair is a fall tradition in Tampa. Featuring thrilling rides, agricultural exhibits, livestock shows, live entertainment, and delicious fair food, this event offers fun and excitement for people of all ages.


The Fall Festival of the Arts is another highlight of the fall season in Tampa. This outdoor art festival takes place in Historic Ybor City and showcases the work of local artists. From paintings and sculptures to jewelry and pottery, you’ll find a wide range of artistic expressions to admire and purchase. The festival also includes live music, food vendors, and interactive art installations, creating a vibrant and immersive experience.


For those looking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Tampa, the Hispanic Heritage Festival is not to be missed. Celebrating the contributions of the Hispanic community, this festival features traditional music, dance performances, authentic cuisine, and educational exhibits. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diverse cultural tapestry of Tampa.


These are just a few examples of the many fall festivals that take place in Tampa. Whether you’re interested in music, art, food, or culture, there’s a festival that will capture your interests and provide a memorable experience.


Outdoor Activities

Fall in Tampa brings milder temperatures, making it the perfect time to engage in outdoor activities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or a thrill-seeker, there are plenty of options to enjoy the great outdoors.


Tampa is home to several beautiful parks and nature reserves, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, and picnicking. Lettuce Lake Park is a popular choice, known for its boardwalks that wind through lush wetlands, providing a chance to spot wildlife like alligators, turtles, and various bird species. With its scenic trails and serene atmosphere, it’s a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.


If you prefer a more active outdoor experience, Tampa offers fantastic biking trails. The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a 17-mile paved trail that winds through scenic landscapes, forests, and wetlands. Perfect for leisurely rides or more challenging cycling sessions, this trail caters to riders of all levels.


Water enthusiasts can take advantage of Tampa’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico by enjoying various water activities. Clearwater Beach is a short drive away and is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. You can go swimming, sunbathing, or even try your hand at water sports like jet skiing or paddleboarding.


If you’re looking to add a bit of thrill to your outdoor adventure, consider booking a kayak or canoe tour of the Hillsborough River. Paddle through scenic landscapes, admire the abundant wildlife, and experience the tranquility of nature firsthand. Some tours even offer moonlight paddles for a unique and romantic experience.


For those who enjoy a round of golf, Tampa has a variety of golf courses that offer stunning views and challenging gameplay. From well-manicured fairways to scenic water features, these courses provide the perfect setting to tee off and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.


With its diverse range of outdoor activities, Tampa offers something for everyone, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a breath of fresh air. Soak up the sunshine and embrace the natural beauty that surrounds the city during the fall season.


Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes

No fall season is complete without a visit to a pumpkin patch or getting lost in a corn maze, and Tampa has some fantastic options to enjoy these quintessential fall activities.


One popular destination for pumpkin picking is Harvestmoon Farm. Located just outside of Tampa, this family-owned farm offers a wide selection of pumpkins in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Take a leisurely stroll through the pumpkin patch, admire the vibrant orange hues, and find the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween decorations or use for delicious pumpkin-flavored recipes.


For an even more immersive experience, head to Sweetfields Farm, known for its annual Fall Corn Maze. This sprawling farm transforms into a corn maze adventure, with twisting passages and hidden surprises for visitors to explore. Challenge yourself to find your way out or enjoy a leisurely walk while appreciating the intricate designs carved into the cornfield.


In addition to pumpkin patches and corn mazes, many farms in Tampa offer hayrides, pony rides, petting zoos, and other family-friendly activities. Old McMicky’s Farm is a popular choice, providing a fun and educational experience for children to interact with farm animals, ride ponies, and enjoy tractor-pulled hayrides.


If you’re looking for a more adult-oriented experience, consider visiting Tampa Bay Fall Beer Festival. This annual event combines the fun of a fall festival with the opportunity to sample a wide array of craft beers. You can stroll through the beer garden, savor seasonal brews, and enjoy live music and food trucks.


Whether you’re planning a family outing or looking for a unique date idea, Tampa’s pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and fall beer festivals offer a delightful way to embrace the spirit of the season. Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and create lasting memories with loved ones as you celebrate the beauty of fall.


Haunted Houses and Halloween Events

As the leaves change colors and the nights grow longer, Tampa embraces the spooky spirit of Halloween with a variety of haunted houses and Halloween events that are sure to give you a frightful and memorable experience.


For the brave souls seeking a hair-raising encounter, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens is a must-visit. This annual event transforms the theme park into a haunted playground with terrifying haunted houses, scare zones, and thrilling rides in the dark. From blood-curdling mazes to sinister characters lurking around every corner, Howl-O-Scream offers an adrenaline-pumping experience for thrill-seekers.


If you prefer a historical and immersive haunted experience, check out the Ybor City Ghost Tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, this walking tour takes you through the historic streets of Ybor City, known for its rich history and eerie tales. Learn about the area’s haunted past, visit haunted buildings, and hear chilling stories of ghostly encounters that will send shivers down your spine.


For a more family-friendly Halloween event, consider attending the Annual Halloween Spooktacular at the Florida Aquarium. Kids and adults can enjoy trick-or-treating throughout the aquarium, encounter costumed characters, and participate in interactive activities and games. With a unique underwater twist, this event provides a fun-filled Halloween experience for the whole family.


In addition to these major events, many local organizations and neighborhoods host haunted houses and Halloween-themed events. From haunted trails and hayrides to costume contests and pumpkin carving contests, there’s no shortage of spooky entertainment in Tampa during the fall season.


Whether you’re looking for a heart-pounding scare or a family-friendly Halloween experience, Tampa has it all. Embrace the mysterious, embrace the creepy, and enjoy the thrill of haunted houses and Halloween events that will leave you with lasting memories.


Fall Food and Drink Festivals

When it comes to delicious food and refreshing drinks, Tampa knows how to satisfy your cravings during the fall season. From pumpkin spice treats to craft beer tastings, there are several food and drink festivals that showcase the flavors of autumn.


One of the most anticipated events is the Tampa Bay Veg Fest, which not only celebrates a plant-based lifestyle but also offers a wide range of delectable vegan food options. From vegan burgers and tacos to dairy-free ice cream and pastries, you’ll find an array of delicious and innovative plant-based creations to indulge in.


If you’re a seafood lover, make sure to check out the Stone Crab Festival. Held in October, this festival highlights Florida’s famous stone crabs, which are harvested during the fall season. Enjoy freshly caught stone crab claws, prepared in various mouthwatering ways, along with live music, entertainment, and arts and crafts vendors.


For beer enthusiasts, the Tampa Bay Beer Week is a highly anticipated event. With a focus on craft beer, this week-long festival offers a chance to taste a wide selection of local and national brews, attend beer pairing dinners, and participate in beer education sessions. It’s a fantastic opportunity to sip on seasonal brews and discover new favorites.


Love chili? Don’t miss the WaZoo Beer Fest at the Lowry Park Zoo. In addition to the impressive beer selection, this event features a chili cook-off where local chefs and enthusiasts compete for the best chili recipe. Sample the mouthwatering chili creations, vote for your favorite, and enjoy live music and entertainment in the unique setting of the zoo.


And let’s not forget about the ever-popular Florida Strawberry Festival held in nearby Plant City. While not strictly a fall festival, it takes place in late February and celebrates the abundance of strawberries that are harvested during the cooler months. Indulge in strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes, and other strawberry-infused treats while enjoying live entertainment and carnival rides.


These are just a few examples of the fall food and drink festivals that you can enjoy in Tampa. With its diverse culinary scene and a passion for gastronomy, Tampa provides ample opportunities to tantalize your taste buds and experience the flavors of the season.


Art and Culture Exhibitions

Tampa’s vibrant arts and culture scene shines brightly during the fall season, with a myriad of exhibitions and events that showcase the city’s creative spirit and talent. From contemporary art galleries to historical museums, there are numerous opportunities to immerse yourself in the world of art and culture.


The Tampa Museum of Art is a must-visit for art lovers. With its stunning architecture and diverse collection, the museum offers a thought-provoking experience. From ancient artworks to contemporary masterpieces, you’ll find a wide range of artistic expressions on display. The museum also hosts special exhibitions that rotate throughout the year, so there’s always something new and exciting to discover.


For those interested in local history and culture, the Tampa Bay History Center is a fascinating destination. Explore the interactive exhibits and learn about Tampa’s past, from its early Native American settlements to its development as a bustling port city. The center also frequently hosts temporary exhibitions that delve into specific aspects of Tampa’s rich history, providing a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural heritage.


If you enjoy contemporary art, visit the Tampa Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum focuses on presenting cutting-edge works by both local and international artists. With its dynamic and thought-provoking exhibitions, the museum offers a platform for showcasing innovative and experimental art forms.


Additionally, the Ybor City Museum State Park provides a glimpse into the history of Tampa’s vibrant and culturally diverse neighborhood. Housed in a restored cigar worker’s house, the museum showcases the heritage of Ybor City and its immigrant communities through exhibits and guided tours. Discover the stories of cigar workers, explore the historic streets, and gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural contributions of this unique area.


Throughout the fall season, local art galleries also curate exhibitions that highlight the talent of Tampa’s artists. From solo shows to group exhibitions, these galleries offer a chance to explore various artistic styles and support local creatives.


Whether you have a passion for traditional art, contemporary creations, or local history, Tampa’s art and culture exhibitions provide a rich and immersive experience. Immerse yourself in the beauty of artistic expression and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural fabric.


Sports Events and Tailgating

Tampa is a city that loves sports, and fall is an exciting time for sports enthusiasts as they gear up for an array of thrilling games and events. From football to hockey, Tampa offers a variety of sports events to enjoy during the fall season.


One of the most anticipated sports events in Tampa is the football season. The city’s pride lies in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFL team that plays their home games at the iconic Raymond James Stadium. Join the sea of red and pewter as you cheer on the Bucs, savor the electrifying atmosphere, and witness the excitement of live football.


In addition to football, Tampa is home to the Tampa Bay Lightning, an NHL team that competes at the Amalie Arena. Hockey fans can experience the thrill of fast-paced action on the ice as they support the Lightning and watch the professionals showcase their skills.


Aside from the professional sports teams, college sports also play a significant role in Tampa’s sports culture. The University of South Florida Bulls football team attracts passionate fans who come together to cheer on the Bulls during their home games at Raymond James Stadium. The spirited atmosphere, combined with the excitement of college football, creates a vibrant experience for sports enthusiasts.


When it comes to sports events in Tampa, tailgating is an integral part of the experience. Before the game, fans gather in parking lots to set up their grills, enjoy good food, and socialize with fellow supporters. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition that builds camaraderie and adds to the festive atmosphere surrounding sports events.


Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply enjoy the lively energy of sports events, Tampa offers a range of sports experiences to suit everyone’s tastes. Don your team’s colors, join the cheering crowd, and embrace the thrilling world of sports during the fall season in Tampa.


Nature and Wildlife Tours

With its stunning natural beauty and diverse ecosystems, Tampa provides ample opportunities to explore and appreciate its abundant wildlife and picturesque landscapes. Fall is the perfect time to embark on nature and wildlife tours, immersing yourself in the serenity of the outdoors.


One popular choice for nature enthusiasts is the Everglades National Park, located just a short drive from Tampa. This renowned national park is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, manatees, and a wide array of bird species. Take a guided airboat tour through the Everglades’ marshes and mangroves, and experience the natural wonders firsthand.


For a unique perspective on Tampa’s natural beauty, consider a kayak or canoe tour of the Hillsborough River. Paddle through serene waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse wildlife. Some tours even offer the opportunity to spot wild monkeys that inhabit certain areas along the river.


The Florida Aquarium also offers an opportunity to explore underwater ecosystems and learn about marine life. Take a guided tour to experience close encounters with sea turtles, sharks, and other fascinating creatures. Through informative exhibits and interactive experiences, the aquarium provides a deeper understanding of Tampa’s marine ecosystem and the importance of conservation.


If you’re interested in bird watching, Tampa is a haven for avian enthusiasts. The Brooker Creek Preserve is a prime location for birding, boasting over 150 bird species within its sprawling natural area. Guided tours and educational programs are available to help you spot and identify various birds native to the region.


For a more leisurely nature experience, head to Tampa’s picturesque beaches. Places like Clearwater Beach, St. Pete Beach, and Fort De Soto Park offer pristine sandy shores, sparkling waters, and the chance to spot dolphins and other marine life. Take a stroll along the shoreline, sunbathe, or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty.


Remember to respect and protect the natural environments you visit during your nature and wildlife tours. Tampa’s diverse ecosystem awaits, ready to captivate you with its beauty and offer unforgettable encounters with its incredible wildlife.


Fall Shopping and Markets

Fall in Tampa not only offers beautiful weather and exciting events but also provides a fantastic opportunity for shopping enthusiasts to explore local markets and find unique treasures. Whether you’re searching for seasonal decorations, artisan crafts, or fresh produce, Tampa’s fall shopping and markets have something for everyone.


One of the most popular destinations for fall shopping is the Ybor City Saturday Market. This vibrant market takes place every Saturday and features a wide variety of vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, handmade crafts, and more. Stroll through the lively stalls, meet local artisans, and immerse yourself in the energetic atmosphere of Ybor City.


If you’re on the hunt for vintage treasures, don’t miss the Brocante Market. Held at various locations throughout the year, this market brings together a curated selection of vendors offering vintage and antique goods. From clothing and home decor to unique collectibles, you’ll find a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind items that will add character to your fall shopping finds.


For those seeking a unique shopping experience, visit Armature Works. This beautifully renovated historic building is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, and artisanal vendors. Browse through eclectic shops, indulge in gourmet treats, and discover local artists and designers showcasing their creations.


In addition to these markets, fall is also a great time to explore Tampa’s shopping districts and malls. The International Plaza and Bay Street is a premier upscale shopping destination that boasts a wide range of high-end brands and designer boutiques. From fashion and accessories to home goods and electronics, this mall has it all.


Tampa’s various farmers markets are also worth a visit during the fall season. The Summerfield Sunday Market and the Downtown Tampa Market offer fresh produce, artisanal products, and local specialties. Support local farmers and enjoy the bounties of the season while exploring the vibrant market atmosphere.


From unique handmade crafts to fresh local produce, Tampa’s fall shopping and markets provide a diverse range of experiences for all types of shoppers. Whether you’re looking for a specific item or simply love the thrill of discovering something unexpected, you’re sure to find it while exploring the city’s vibrant shopping scene.


Day Trips and Weekend Getaways

While there’s plenty to see and do within Tampa, the surrounding areas also offer exciting day trips and weekend getaways for those looking to explore beyond the city limits. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or relaxation, there are numerous options for memorable escapes.


If you’re a nature lover, consider a day trip to the Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Located about an hour’s drive north of Tampa, this enchanting park is famous for its clear freshwater spring and the magical mermaid shows performed in its underwater theater. Spend the day kayaking, paddling, or simply relaxing in the pristine natural surroundings.


For history buffs and architecture enthusiasts, a visit to the Sarasota area is a must. Explore the Ringling Museum of Art, which showcases an impressive collection of Baroque and Renaissance art, as well as the Ca’ d’Zan, the grand Venetian-style mansion once home to John Ringling. While there, take a stroll along the beautiful Sarasota Bayfront and enjoy the vibrant arts and cultural scene.


For a beach getaway, St. Pete Beach is a popular choice. Just a short drive from Tampa, this barrier island boasts pristine sandy beaches, stunning sunsets, and a lively atmosphere. Relax by the crystal-clear waters, indulge in beachside dining, or explore the charming shops and cafes along the waterfront.


If you’re in search of a unique and romantic escape, consider a weekend getaway to Anna Maria Island. Known for its pristine beaches, quiet charm, and stunning sunsets, this idyllic island provides a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life. Relax on the white sand beaches, enjoy fresh seafood at local restaurants, and explore the quaint shops and art galleries that line the streets.


Another great option for a weekend getaway is St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. Rich in history and charm, St. Augustine offers a glimpse into the past with its cobblestone streets, Spanish colonial architecture, and historic landmarks such as the Castillo de San Marcos. Explore the city’s museums, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, and savor the flavors of local cuisine.


With its proximity to beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and historic towns, Tampa serves as an excellent base for day trips and weekend getaways. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, you’ll find endless possibilities to create unforgettable experiences just a short distance away.



Fall in Tampa is a season filled with vibrant festivals, outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and delicious culinary delights. From fall festivals and haunted houses to nature tours and shopping markets, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy during this time of year. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, Tampa offers a diverse range of options to embrace the beauty and excitement of the fall season.


Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of fall festivals, where you can indulge in tasty treats, listen to live music, and participate in various activities. Venture outdoors to explore the city’s parks and nature reserves, where scenic trails and wildlife encounters await. Get lost in corn mazes or pick the perfect pumpkin at local patches, adding a touch of charm to your fall decorations.


Get your adrenaline pumping by visiting haunted houses and attending Halloween events that will give you a thrilling and spooky experience. Embrace the art and culture of Tampa by visiting museums and exhibitions that showcase the city’s creative spirit. Support local artisans, find unique crafts, and savor the flavors of fall at the vibrant markets and food festivals.


For sports enthusiasts, fall in Tampa offers the excitement of football games and the thunderous cheers of the crowds. Engage in tailgating traditions and cheer on your favorite teams with fellow fans. And when you’re ready to venture beyond the city, take day trips or weekend getaways to explore the natural beauty, history, and charm of nearby destinations.


Whether you prefer adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, Tampa has something for everyone during the fall season. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, flavors, and experiences that this lively city has to offer. Embrace the magic of fall in Tampa and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.