Can’t-Miss Atlanta Events: October 2016

After the hottest summer on record, let’s all rejoice over pumpkin spice and everything nice about fall: pumpkin patches, tricks and treats, costumes and festivals, and a whole lot of great opportunities to make memories with the family.


October (and beyond): Tinkertoy: Build Your Imagination

There’s no limit to what kids can do in this new interactive special exhibit. Giant replicas of the classis TINKERTOY set provide the framework for fun, educational activities that turn imagination into working solutions to real world challenges. Design, build, and work together to make amazing TINKERTOY structures. Experiment with renewable energy and clean water technology, create your own inventions, and build, build, build!


October: Fall Weekends at The Rock Ranch

The Rock Ranch is proud to announce this year’s fall season schedule, which includes five famously themed Saturdays and select Sundays in October. Over the years, The Rock Ranch has received many powerful testimonies from people letting us know how spending time at The Rock Ranch brought their families, friendships and other groups closer together. Our founder, the late S. Truett Cathy, actually stated several times before his passing that a Sunday afternoon at The Rock Ranch was something he would like to make available for families, church groups, and others. To help this vision live on, we are opening The Rock Ranch on four October Sundays this year for good old-fashioned fall family fun! Enjoy Cowboy Day (Oct. 8), Hot Air Balloon Day (Oct. 15), a “Not So Spooky” Halloween (Oct. 29) and more!


October: Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park

Enjoy the beautiful fall colors and cooler weather at Atlanta’s favorite place to celebrate the fall season. Stone Mountain Park’s annual Pumpkin Festival has become a family favorite with kids and parents alike. Take in all of the splendor that autumn provides with attractions, fun-filled games, shows, and more. New for 2016! Spookley’s Funtastic Kid’s Carnival, including inflatables, candy, and traditional boardwalk games. Let the autumn breeze blow across you as you listen to classic and contemporary tales, including the Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, during Adventure Tales Storytelling. Plus, enjoy all of your favorite Stone Mountain Park attractions during Pumpkin Festival.


October: Brick-or-Treat

Halloween will bring scary amounts of fun to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta with its annual Brick-or-Treat celebration! Every Saturday and Sunday of October, children can enjoy a “find the pumpkins” MINILAND scavenger hunt and pumpkin build classes in the Master Builder Academy to place in the LEGO® pumpkin patch! The attraction will also host a costume contest on October 29-30 at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Don’t miss out on all the spook-tacular, fall fun!


October: Georgia A-Scary-Um

Join Dracula, Igor, Frankenstein and his bride, and all their other chilling friends as they visit Georgia Aquarium for Halloween. But these monsters are here to party! The music brings the monsters alive as they sing and dance to hits of the ’70s and ’80s. This boogie-filled fright fest will be fun for families and ghouls alike! Graveyard Smash: A Monstrous Spook-tacular will run at 12:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays starting October 1 through Halloween.


October 1: Porches and Pies Festival

Do you like porches? Well, what about pie? How about porches AND pies? The Adair Park located festival marries the two great loves in life to bring us an autumn fun-time event for fans of both alliteration and eating baked desserts on a porch swing. This delicious Southern festival features a city-wide pie bake-off and tasting that showcases the many professional and amateur bakers and pastry chefs in Atlanta. All proceeds benefit Adair Park Today, Inc. to support community programming, education and development.


October 4-30: Scarecrows in the Garden

The Garden is stuffed with fall fun! Enjoy more than 100 spooky, creative scarecrows handcrafted by businesses, individuals, schools and organizations, or better yet, make your own! Stay tuned for details on another season of fall family events at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The sometimes wild and wacky scarecrows compete for prizes in one of two division — professional and nonprofessional — and visitors will delight in discovering their own personal favorites. Enjoy Goblins in the Garden on October 23, too!


October 8: SPARK Saturday: Food & Your Ethical Footprint

This SPARK Saturday aligns with Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family! Youth under 18 years of age receive FREE admission to The Center. Youth will explore the ethical footprint of the food we eat through engaging activities. Improper waste disposal can lead to dangerous environmental issues and the spread of disease. To spread awareness of these issues, youth will participate in recycling activities to learn the importance of selection food items/materials that may be recycled.


October 8: Junior Ranger Day

Do you like super, duper activities? Are you enthusiastic about a fantastic prize? Join us in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area for our first Junior Ranger Day! The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance teams with partner organizations to offer some amazing experiences for kids at the Panola Mountain State Park Nature Center. When the youngsters complete these activities using our new Junior Ranger Activity Journal, they will be the first group in the metropolitan area to earn a snazzy Junior Ranger Badge. With space limited to 100 kids ages 8 to 12, register now for our Junior Ranger Day!  Great memories will last a lifetime.


October 8: Grand Opening Celebration, Orvis Shooting Grounds at Pursell Farms

Join us for our Grand Opening Celebration! The main event, a fun and exciting outing for the whole family, will be held on Saturday, October 8th. All around the picturesque property, you’ll find exhibitors and vendors, as well as, seminars and demonstrations for kids and adults. Seminars and demonstrations include dog-training, culinary demonstrations, fly casting and shooting instruction, a variety of hands-on youth programs, and a Land Rover driving course. We will be hosting a sporting clays tournament that will begin at 9:00am on Saturday, October 8th. Awesome prizes will be given away to the shooters with the first, second and third highest scores.


October 9-30: Fox Theatre Ghost Tours

The Fox Theatre will host its 4th annual Fox Theatre Ghost Tours this Halloween season starring its resident spirits and specters. From Sunday, October 9 until Sunday, October 30 guests are invited to walk the haunted halls of one of the city’s most treasured landmarks and to learn about the guests that loved the theatre so much they never left. They might even meet one, if they are lucky. The Ghost Tours are not recommended for children under 10 and no children under the age of 6 are permitted. Everyone must have a ticket to attend the tour. Read about why we love these tours here.


October 15: North Georgia Live Steamers

The 2016 season is coming to a close and what a great time we had riding around the railroad with family, friends, and visitors.  Come out one more time and take in all of the different locomotives and railcars traveling around the Conyers & Hightower Trail Railroad.  We will also be operating with extended hours (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)  on Saturday, October 15th as we participating in the 14th Annual Piedmont Pilgrimage which is hosted by the Atlanta Area Division for the National Model Railroad Association and Southeastern Region. Bring family, friends, and simply anyone who wants to enjoy trains for the day.  While at the railroad learn how you or someone you know can get involved with the North Georgia Live Steamers.  No experience or equipment needed just an interest in having fun. More train adventures here.

October 15-16: Fall Festival on Ponce

The Festival on Ponce is an Atlanta arts and crafts festival set in the historic park, Olmsted Linear Park. Visitors will enjoy the gorgeous landscape designed by one of America’s most celebrated landscape architects, Fredrick Olmsted Sr. along with over 125 displays of fine arts and crafts, folk and “outsider art”. In addition to the fine arts, there will be a children’s area and local food and beverage. Attendance is Free. The Olmsted Linear Park Alliance has a $10 million capital improvement plan to protect these historic parks. These beautiful parks have lovely trees and paths and great visibility from one of Atlanta’s main traffic arteries between Atlanta and Decatur. This is a unique and wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors to appreciate the vision and legacy of Fredrick Olmsted, Sr. Learn more about this location by visiting The Olmsted Linear Park Alliance website.


October 16: VI Baby Expo Before and After Pregnancy 2016

For the sixth consecutive year AYC Events, partners, sponsors, volunteers and friends will be bringing the VI Baby Expo Before and After Pregnancy 2016. This expo is the premiere infant event targeting the multicultural community in Atlanta. Our mission is to educate parents with young children and to be the platform in which they can have the opportunity to have one on one interaction with organizations, vendors and health screening opportunities in a family oriented environment. More than 30 family oriented vendors will be distributing valuable information & executing demos of their products and services.


October 16: Hills and Dales Stories in the Garden

In partnership with the Azalea Story Telling Festival two story tellers will present stories in the pecan grove and this year we will be featuring LaGrange’s own Fred Newman. Fred is the sound effects expert for “Prairie Home Companion” on National Public Radio. After the storytelling, we will have a commemorative tree planting to honor the 100th anniversary of the home. Also enjoy Halloween at the Callaway Home on October 31.


October 16: Harvest on the Hooch

Celebrating the garden and the plate, the Chattahoochee Nature Center welcomes top local chefs for its annual outdoor tasting event Harvest on the Hooch. Guests will enjoy a variety of seasonal farm-to-table fare paired with samples from local craft breweries and wineries near and far. Families are welcome too, and attendees of all ages will appreciate the live music from The Bluegrass Band, fun garden games and tours of the Unity Garden, not to mention Atlanta’s perfect fall weather.


October 21-22: Owl-O-Ween

Owl-O-Ween is a Family-Friendly Event and is Atlanta’s ONLY Hot Air Balloon Festival & LARGEST Costume Party! Owl-O-Ween Also Features: Live Entertainment, Hot Air Balloon Glows, Trick-or-Treating (at the balloons), Multiple Stages, Tethered Balloon Rides, Costume Showdowns, Sports Bar, Roving Performers, Merchant Marketplace, Artist Alley, Food Trucks, FREE Interactive Kids Zone, Giant Food Court, Craft/German Beer Garden, and so much more!


October 22: Whiskies of the World

Experience whisky like you never have before. As one of the largest whisky tasting events in the US, Whiskies of the World gathers over 200 of the most fascinating distilled spirits from around the globe, along with their makers and ambassadors, to give guests an unforgettable experience. Located at the Intercontinental Buckhead, the Expo will provide whisky tastings, whisky and food pairings, whisky and cigar pairings, and the chance to interact with outstanding whisky brands as well as fellow whisky enthusiasts.


October 22: The Atlanta World Kite Festival

It’s been 5 years! Please join us for the 5th Annual Atlanta World Kite Festival and Expo. Since 2011, kite lovers and families from all over the city come together to enjoy beautiful weather and kite flying fun. There is live entertainment, a pumpkin decorating contest, face painting and tons of give-aways. You can find us all in the Meadow at Piedmont Park on Saturday, October 22nd from 1 pm to 6pm. Grab your friends and family and come have some fun!


October 22-30: Boo at the Zoo

It’s that time of year when Atlanta’s favorite fun family Halloween festival returns! Sample treats throughout the Zoo, and enjoy the sights, characters and adventures of the whimsical Zoo Boo Town on four magical days with more than 1,500 animals from around the world. Don’t forget your costume! Even the animals join the fun during Boo at the Zoo! Find out when your favorite Zoo residents are getting Halloween surprises.


October 25 (and beyond): The Headless Horseman of Silly Hollow

Schoolteacher Ichabod Crane helps the Headless Horseman find a new head and an even spookier image in this comedic version of the famous Washington Irving short story. Have fun making a silly cyclops hand puppet in the Create-A-Puppet Workshop.


October 27: Costumes on the Woof

Dress up with your favorite pooch and strut your stuff for a good cause at Costumes on the Woof benefiting Best Friends – Atlanta on Thursday, October 27 from 6-9 p.m. at Loews Atlanta Hotel. The evening will feature a runway show and costume contest with celebrity guest judges including Instagram celebrity @TunaMeltsMyHeart, The Bert Show Co-Host Kristin Klingshirn and local comedian, writer and media personality Ashley Hesseltine as the runway show emcee. The $20 advance ticket price ($25 at the door) includes two Halloween-inspired cocktails and cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, goodie bags filled with treats and trinkets, access to silent auction bidding and discounted valet parking, all enjoyed while overlooking the Midtown Atlanta skyline on the hotel’s outdoor terrace (weather permitting).


October 30: From Head to Toe

Presented by Alliance Theatre for the Very Young in conjunction with The High Museum of Art exhibition, in the MJCCA’s Morris & Rae Frank Theatre. In a playful retelling of the classic Eric Carle story, children will help “create” the animals in the book, bring them to life, and mimic their movement. This interactive play moves from “Can you do it?” to “I can do it!” to “We can do it!” Ideal for children 1-5 years old.
Find an annual list of Atlanta events here.

Paige Sullivan | Travel and Calendar Editor

Paige Sullivan recently completed her MFA at Georgia State University, where she studied, wrote, and published poetry. She now works as a marketing professional in the nonprofit sector, and in her spare time, she freelance edits and dabbles in food and travel writing. Find her on social media at @bpaigesullivan.

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