So much of the fun of Halloween are the costumes and decorations; make it extra fun and exciting this year for the whole family in a cabin tucked into the colorful autumn mountains! Pack all your costuming and craft supplies in a tote and re-enact the beginning of Halloweentown when Aggie Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds) begins pulling out tons of Halloween trinkets out of her magic “bag that defies logic”. Craft and decorate personalized trick-or-treat bags at the living room coffee table with the little ones while the hilarious animated Hotel Transylvania plays in the background. Glue together your little fairy’s wand and stuff the tiny scarecrow’s sleeves with straw before heading to downtown Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg for Halloween festivals full of hair-raising scares and eerie excitement!
Frighteningly Fun Festivals
Halloween Carnival at The Island of Pigeon Forge (October 29th)
The smells of caramel apples and buttery popcorn will lure you through the cool, crisp autumn air before walking past friendly witches, grinning ghouls, and acrobats stalking the grounds on tall stilts. Allhallows Eve clashes with the circus for a Halloween Carnival like no other in The Island at Pigeon Forge! Be sure to bring the family in costume because you automatically receive UNLIMITED half-priced rides and you can enter into the Costume Contest on the Ole Smoky Stage before the show begins at 6:30 p.m. Watch the live acrobats and aerialists fly through the air in addition to tons of other free entertainment to pay tribute to all things that go bump in the night. Study your “candy map” with your little mummies and tiny fairies to be sure to travel to all the stops on the trick or treat trail inside of The Island. The fun fright fest begins at 5 p.m. and carries on after sundown to 9 p.m.; best of all the event is free of charge and provides free parking. It’s a family-friendly scare for you and the kids, instead of your wallet!
Candy, costuming, and creepy- the three pillars of my favorite holiday of the year. I love finding new costumes, décor, and party favors to celebrate this spooky time of year, but, don’t get me wrong, I can still watch Hocus Pocus and Casper for all of October. However, I wanted to try and find a new way to celebrate this year! Well, if you ever wondered what is would be like to watch that Disney Channel movie, Halloweentown, come to life, you would never guess where your opportunity would be found: the Smoky Mountains! From Halloween carnivals to haunted corn mazes, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are the coolest way to get your creep on for this monster-filled month! Listed are 6 fright-tastic ways to usher in Halloween with the family with a breakaway from the norm in a ghoulish cabin getaway…
Prepare for the Scares
Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights (September 29th through October 28th)
Dollywood celebrates Halloween with unique attractions during the Great Pumpkin LumiNights! Watch and learn from the Master Carvers who created the impressive pumpkins you can observe in Timber Canyon. Meet and hang out with some friendly autumn characters from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Wilderness Pass. Watch the kids travel through the “Glow Maze” while you bite into a delicious Caramel Apple Sunday in the crisp autumn mountain air of Dollywood. From Glow Face Painting to pumpkin funnel cakes, there is plenty of harvest holiday glee for the family to enjoy!
Gatlinburg’s Trick or Treat Karnival (October 31st)
Even more frightening fun is happening the day of Halloween in downtown Gatlinburg at the Trick or Treat Kick-Off Karnival with a pumpkin carving contest, trick or treat safety from the Gatlinburg Police, games, contests, and, of course, tons of candy! If your child is anything like me when I was younger, I could never decide on one costume, so, I wore a different costume to each party and trick-or-treating… After the weekend as a princess at the Halloween Carnival at The Island, let her be a hero, too, and dress as Wonder Woman to Gatlinburg’s festivities! Free of admission, this event is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. making it a perfect midday activity before the sun goes down and the haunting tours begin…
5) Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg (year-round)
Down quiet alleyways and in the empty, undisturbed air of abandoned rooms drift the waning spirits from cautionary tales of unfortunate souls. Get the full experience of ghost stories and ghost hunting with Ghost Walk of Gatlinburg! During the one mile narrated tour each party receives their own EMF detector like professional ghost hunters use. It’s a “storytelling experience with a twist of murder and mayhem”, the perfect adventure to set the ominous mood of Halloween! (This is not a super-scary time, therefore it’s still family friendly and kids 12 and under are free with an adult ticket!)
Spend the day taking hayrides, playing cornhole, eating delicious snacks around the bonfire, and so much more at Kyker Farms Corn Maze! While the Halloween centric activities do not start until 8 p.m. on the Haunted Trail and Zombie Blasterz, with so much to do at this family-operated farm you will definitely want to spend an afternoon here. Glide through the trees on the Bee Line zip line, pick out the perfect pumpkin to carve with the kids in the Pumpkin Patch, and push the little ones on the Corn Cob Swing. The frightening fun is available on Friday and Saturday evenings…If you are brave enough or can muster up a little courage, take on The Trail winding through ominous, tall plant walls as the creatures of the night awake within the dark rows of corn stalks. Or, you can take up arms, paintball arms that is, against the walking zombies in the Dead Woods of Kyker Farms! The live zombies are lit up by “zombie-sighting lights” and you are provided paintball guns to shoot at your undead targets!
Now, the fright-tastic fun I have mentioned is all family-friendly, but if you have some older children from ages 8 to teenagers the Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg and Ripley’s Haunted Adventure are some next-level scares to celebrate Halloween in the most authentic way possible: getting your pants scared off!