The end of October is a beautiful and exciting time to be in the Great Smoky Mountains. Many of the trees in the lower elevations are at their peak, boasting hues of gold, auburn and orange. Great Southern food is showcased alongside local art, crafts and seasonal décor, and there are plenty of events for the entire family. Halloween is just days away and Gatlinburg is in the spooking spirit! Check out what’s going on in the last week of October:
Ripley’s Fright Nights (October 5th – October 31st ) – The 14th Annual Ripley’s Fright Nights in Gatlinburg is themed “Voodoo 13.” It will feature creepy characters from Louisiana, including voodoo queens, swamp men and bayou creatures. This year’s haunt will have four new rooms, making it fun and mysterious for new and repeat visitors. Each night will be kicked off with a character parade at 6:13 pm. Tickets are just $13.99 + tax for ages 12 and up, and $7.99 + tax for ages 6-11. Kids under 6 are not allowed due to the graphic nature of the attraction, but it’s a great place for adults and older kids to spend Halloween.
Shocktober (October 17th – October 31st ) – Mentalist Bill Gladwell is back and better than ever this Halloween with his Shrieks and Mind Freaks show at the Arcadia Theater at the Space Needle. Through hypnotism, psychology and the power of suggestion, Gladwell will amaze and engage the audience. He even brings some audience members up on stage to be a part of the show! This is a family-friendly event, so kids and adults alike will love it.
Trick or Treat Kick Off Carnival (October 31st ) – The city of Gatlinburg will be kicking off a night of trick or treating from noon to 5 pm on Halloween day with food, fun, games and more. Stop by to get trick-or-treat safety tips from the Gatlinburg Police and Fire Departments, and enjoy contests, costumed characters, games and candy in the plaza of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. The carnival will be fun, educational and a great way to start off your Halloween night! Proceeds from some of the activities will go to the United Way of Sevier County, so it’s also an excellent way to give back to the community.
Oktoberfest at Ober (September 28th – November 4th) – Ober Gatlinburg will be celebrating October and its rich German heritage with beer, food and Bavarian-style music. Try delicious strudel, schnitzel, pretzels, bier and more while dancing and listening to some great music. While you’re there, check out the Amaze’n Maze, ice skating rink, Black Bear Habitat, Aerial Tramway and Wildlife Encounter.
Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair (October 11th – October 28th) – Each year, Gatlinburg celebrates local art and music at the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. Craftspeople and artisans from across the country will showcase their work (woodworking, quilting, leather goods, jewelry and more); they will also demonstrate their skills throughout the fair. It will be held at the Gatlinburg Convention Center and will run from 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday and from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays. Come enjoy music, food and art in the mountains!
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation or a quiet, relaxing getaway, Gatlinburg has a little bit of it all. Take a drive and enjoy the beautiful fall colors, have a picnic next to the water, or spend some time browsing the local art of the Smokies. There are plenty of things to do for kids and adults, including lots of family-friendly Halloween events. Go to gatlinburg.com for a calendar of events and more information on what’s going on in the Smokies!