Thinking about the best time to plan a family vacation to the Smokies? How about October?! Not only will you have fabulous weather and gorgeous fall foliage, but you’ll also have access to tons of October-only events like the annual Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival!
Hosted by Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies*, the Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival is a great option for families who want to trick-or-treat in the Smokies but don’t know the neighborhoods. Instead of wandering unfamiliar streets, bring your family to Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Gatlinburg for an afternoon of Halloween fun!
All things Halloween at Ripley’s Aquarium will kick off Monday, October 31, 2016, at 1 p.m. Get ready for Halloween-themed contests, costumed characters, games, food vendors, and—of course—tons of candy! Last year alone this exciting trick-or-treat event attracted more than 1,200 kids, so book your Gatlinburg cabin early and make sure your family joins the fun in 2016!
Fast Facts About the Event
What: Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival
Where: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies | 88 River Road | Gatlinburg, TN 37738
When: Monday, October 31, 2016 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Who: Anyone—especially families with children!
Why: Not only will you have a great time, but you’ll also help support a great cause—the United Way of Sevier County! Proceeds from some of the activities will benefit United Way, a non-profit organization that supports community growth and improvement.
Other Halloween Events in the Smokies
Shocktober—Celebrate Halloween during this month-long (October 1–31) Halloween event at the Space Needle in Gatlinburg. Check out the “Wicked Things” show with magical comedian Chris Collins and master mentalist Erik Dobell; a tribute to Hitchcock’s black-and-white horror films of the ‘50s; a haunted table from an old English castle; and more!
Ripley’s Fright Nights—Don’t miss the 18th annual Fright Nights at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure* in Gatlinburg. With “Movie Monster Madness” as the theme, you’ll have the chance to experience Hollywood’s most haunting celebrities every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October until Halloween!
Halloween at the Pigeon Forge Community Center—The Kickoff Karnival is not the only place to trick-or-treat in the Smokies. Visit the Pigeon Forge Community Center on the Thursday before Halloween for their annual non-scary event that’s FREE to all visitors and perfect for families. Enjoy fun activities, interactive displays, and candy from local vendors in the Pigeon Forge community.
Halloween at The Island—For another trick-or-treating event that’s safe for families and completely FREE, head to The Island in Pigeon Forge. They’ll be hosting their 4th annual Halloween at The Island event on Saturday, October 29, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. This all-new Halloween Carnival will feature circus performers—including aerialists, acrobats, and stilt walkers—a costume contest, and a candy map so you can find all your favorite treats!
Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips
At the 2016 Trick or Treat Kick Off Karnival, a few special guests you can expect to see are representatives from both the Gatlinburg Police Department and the Gatlinburg Fire Department. They’ll be offering important tips on fire safety and trick-or-treat safety throughout the event.
Their goal—and ours—is to make sure that no matter where your family chooses to trick-or-treat this year, you’ll stay safe and have a great time. So regardless of whether you can make it to this exciting Gatlinburg event, check out these trusted safety tips below, gathered from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Safe Kids Worldwide.
- Never allow your kids to trick-or-treat alone. No matter their age, kids should stay in groups and, preferably, with a trusted adult.
- Add reflective tape to your children’s costumes so drivers can easily spot them on the road.
- Check all candy and treats before your children eat them. Don’t allow them to eat food items that were not properly sealed or homemade items from strangers. And make sure they don’t eat too much candy at once!
- Keep a flashlight with you while you trick-or-treat with your family. This will ensure that you can see others and others can see you.
- Make sure your kids look both ways before crossing the street, and make sure they walk (not run) to the next house. Use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible.
- If a neighborhood does not have sidewalks, trick-or-treaters should walk facing traffic and as far to the left as possible.
- Ask your kids to leave their electronic devices at home or, at least, leave them in their pockets. They’ll need to keep their heads up while trick-or-treating so they can watch out for cars and other pedestrians.
*Denotes a Cabins for YOU partner. These attractions offer discounts to our guests simply for booking your Gatlinburg stay with us! Ask our reservation specialists about the specific discounts offered at these and other local attractions.