Get your boo on at local Halloween events

West Orange County is full of fun and spooky offerings this Halloween

Lamar Hodges and Glenda Cockcroft have filled their front yard with Halloween entertainment.
Lamar Hodges and Glenda Cockcroft have filled their front yard with Halloween entertainment.
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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How do you like your Halloween? Scary? Funny? Brimming with candy?

This trick-or-treating season, West Orange County offers all of these options.

If you’re near the Hidden Glen subdivision off A.D. Mims Road in Ocoee, be sure to drive past 2417 Kalch Court, where Glenda Cockcroft and Lamar Hodges have set up their annual Halloween display.

The couple has been entertaining the neighborhood with its festive yard for 12 years. They estimate they spend from $200 to $250 each year, adding a witch here and a skeleton there. Most of the figures on display move and speak (for some, it’s more of a moan), including the three witches gathered around a black pot, the mummy in the swing and the screaming caged skeleton.

“The kids enjoy it,” Hodges said. “They come by and they take pictures on Halloween night. Glenda decorated a little arch, and a lady who works at Universal, she’s a palm reader. She will read palms Halloween night, with parents’ permission.”

Cockcroft makes about 100 individual bags of candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters, and when those are gone, she gives out loose candy to the crowds that gather.

After the holiday is over, Cockcroft and Hodges will pack up their ghouls and goblins and start preparing to put up their extensive Christmas decorations.

The Halloween display is lit up from 7 to 10 p.m. each night through Oct. 31.



7 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29, at 951 Ocoee Apopka Road, Ocoee. The city of Ocoee hosts the haunted house and haunted walk through the woods. Younger children can enjoy a bounce house, hayride, prizes, candy and refreshments. Admission to the house and walk is $5 each.

Attendees are asked to take non-perishable food items to be donated to the West Orange Christian Service Center.

The Haunted House continues to be a popular Halloween haunt and in 2014 was nominated as a Top 10 attraction by Florida Haunted (407) 905-3180 or



7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-30, near the Dillards store at the West Oaks Mall, 9401 W. Colonial Drive, Ocoee. Take a tour of the Clearing Medical Center, but watch out for the patients and other disturbances. Recommended for ages 13 and older. Tickets are $15 and are available at or at the door. Online ticket purchases include front-of-the-line access.



7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, outdoors behind Windermere Town Hall, 520 Main St. The free movie to be shown is “Hotel Transylvania 2” during the Family Food Truck Night. Take a chair or blanket for comfort.



9:45 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 29, at Windermere Town Hall, 520 Main St. This Windermere Parks and Recreation event is open to all residents.

The children's costume parade will begin at 10 a.m. Participants should assemble at 9:45. The festivities include cookies and punch, story time or movie and a hayride.  Children can trick-or-treat with the downtown merchants following the event.

For more information, call the town office at 407-876-2563.



5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at The Grove Orlando, 4744 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando. Mad Science and a live disc jockey will set the mood for the evening. Children can have fun with eerie dry-ice experiments, make gooey slime to take home and experience a “gross” sensory station.

The DJ will host games, contests and a costume parade. Guests can go around to the tenants for trick-or-treating. Tickets are available at



10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Lakefront Farmer’s Market at Summerport Village, 13790 Bridgewater Crossings Blvd., Windermere. Children and furbabies are invited to attend in costume and trick-or-treat at the vendor booths, some of which will have mystery prizes.



1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at Crooked Can Brewery, 426 W. Plant St., Winter Garden. Registration starts at noon; $5 entry fee benefits A Cause for Paws. Dress up your pups for a chance to win prizes. (407) 395-9520.



6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, in downtown Winter Garden. This big annual event features trick-or-treating with merchants, a hay maze, food, live entertainment, free crafts for children, local merchandise and craft vendors and family activities. (407) 656-4111.



8 p.m. trivia and entertainment, 9 p.m. movie Monday, Oct. 31, at the Garden Theatre, 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden. Costumes are encouraged, but no outside props are allowed inside. Tickets are $10; prop bags are $5. The 1975 film is rated R. For tickets, go to



The local branches of the Orange County Library System are getting into the spirit of Halloween with programs, too. For information, call (407) 835-7323.

• MONSTERS READ, TOO! —11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at the West Oaks Library, 1821 E. Silver Star Road, Ocoee. Did you know that monsters love to read? Enjoy not-so-scary stories and crafts featuring some favorite monsters. Ages 3-5.

• THE BOO! BASH — 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Windermere Library, 530 Main St. Wear a favorite Halloween costume and enjoy a ghoulish good time with creepy crafts, spooky stories and more. Ages 3-12.

• HAUNTED LIBRARY — 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Winter Garden Library, 805 E. Plant St. Learn about library urban legends and more haunted happenings. Ages 6-12.


Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].


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