The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden’s Scarecrows in the Forest exhibit features handmade scarecrows that populate the garden through November. CONTRIBUTED

Nothing has been “as usual” since the first positive COVID tests showed up in the Florida Keys in March 2020. The pandemic has hijacked holiday travel plans, canceled concerts, classes and cherished community events.

Halloween is no different. Shortly after the announcement was made that Key West’s Fantasy Fest parade and some other events would not happen, officials also canceled the popular Children’s Day event that takes place annually at Bayview Park. 

But never fear, there are still some Halloween happenings to keep the kids entertained — and chock full of candy.

Of course, there are plenty of adult parties occurring during the 2021 Fantasy Fest. Check fantasyfest.com for a complete and updated schedule.

And here is a sampling of kid- and family-friendly Halloween-themed events.

Daily through Nov. 30


The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden’s event features locally designed scarecrows from individuals, students, creative pros, organizations and businesses. Scarecrow creators use natural and recycled materials. See the scarecrows during any visit to the garden through November.

Daily through Halloween

PUMPKIN PATCH is open at the MARC Plant Store, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1401 Seminary St.

Friday, Oct. 29

DIVE-IN SCARY MOVIE at the Casa Marina Resort’s family pool, 7:30-9:30 p.m., 1500 Reynolds St., Key West

Saturday, Oct. 30

FREE MINIATURE PUMPKIN-PAINTING at the Casa Marina Resort, along the water walk by the family pool, 2-4 p.m., 1500 Reynolds St., Key West.

Sunday, Oct. 31

CHILDREN’S DAY AT ISLAND FARM presented by Island Farm and Historic Tours of America is a family-friendly event featuring food, games, music, pony rides, archery, arts and crafts, and face painting located on Island Farm, end of 5th Street on Stock Island. 12-5 p.m. Call 305-292-8912 for information and registration.

Offered nightly year-round

  • GHOSTS & GRAVESTONES TOUR, a chilling adventure perfect for this haunted holiday aboard the Trolley of the Doomed. A ghost host takes participants on an eerie ride to the most famous ghostly sites on the island. Visit ghostsandgravestones.com/key-west.
  • NEW PRIVATE LOCKDOWN WITH ROBERT THE DOLL — Are you brave enough to conduct your own paranormal investigation with the world’s most haunted doll? Sloan’s Ghost Fort Adventures provides cutting-edge ghost-hunting gear, investigation tips and access to Robert’s toy box filled with “trigger objects.” $400 for up to 8 people. 6 and 11 p.m. nightly. These are private events, so there’s no age limit, but parents are urged to use their best judgment before exposing children to uncertain paranormal forces. Visit ghostfort.com for reservations.
  • CIVIL WAR FORT GHOST HUNT featuring Robert the Doll at 8:30 p.m. nightly. $45 general admission, $85 VIP admission includes a bonus hour of independent hunting at the fort. Ages 12 and up only. Visit ghostfort.com for reservations.

KEY WEST’S ORIGINAL GHOST HUNT features nightly ghost hunts through historic Old Town with the ghost tour company that started it all.

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Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. She's married to a saintly — and handy — fisherman, and has been stringing words together in Key West since 1998.