Asheville in October gives a steady display of fun and beauty. From the gorgeous color of the leaves and perfect fall weather to the many festivals and events held to enjoy the season, there is something to do every single day of the month.
Each family celebrates Halloween in Asheville in a different way. Some traditions come back year after year, and new ones are always popping up. Of course, the evening of October 31 is the grand finale of a spectacular month, and we go all out to celebrate.
Asheville’s October events cover it all: from family-friendly haunted houses, fun corn mazes, and picturesque pumpkin patches to fabulous ghost tours, a trivia brunch, Halloween pet costume parades, opportunities to hang out with wolves, and a gory haunted farm experience, there is something for everyone!
Like always, many of the most beloved family traditions are not organized events. Driving around the best neighborhoods to trick-or-treat and appreciate the decorations before the big night is just as much fun.
You can also follow the self-guided 22-mile driving tour created by the Asheville Museum of History and discover all the haunted places in Asheville. By now, you might have heard about the mythical Pink Lady at the Grove Park Inn. She’s an icon!
But what about the ghost of Church Street, the mysterious self-rocking chair at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, or the hospital fire that killed Zelda Fitzgerald? So, pack some pumpkin bread, apple cider, or your favorite fall treats, and follow this map to learn about Asheville’s enigmas and history.
Celebrating Halloween in Asheville? I’ve compiled a list of events that offer something for everyone. While most of them are family-friendly, others target only adults. And some even involve giving back to the community.
Of course, I could only include some of the best Halloween events because there are so many! Please check the awesome calendars of Asheville.com and AVL Today to learn about the latest happenings, and follow our Facebook group, What’s Happening, Asheville?, for daily updates.
Also, many organizations in the community (churches, community centers, etc.) host sweet little events that are perfect and not so overwhelming for younger kids. Happy Halloween!
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14 Fun Asheville Halloween Events to Check Out this October
1. Explore the Family-Friendly Haunted Trail
The Haunted Trail at The Adventure Center of Asheville is one of the top Asheville Halloween events for families with young kids (the suggested age range is 3-12). Asheville Plays puts together this fun show where you won’t see blood or gore, and no eerie creatures will chase you or your sweet little ones.
The Haunted Trail “Sweet Peek Tour” opens at 6:30 pm, so you can explore the scenes before it gets dark and the actors arrive. Then, starting at 7:00 pm, you’ll have two hours to enjoy 16 fun Halloween scenes, including an encounter with a mermaid in the pirate cove!
You’ll love the quiet area for younger kids, featuring a playhouse and a storytime. There is also a tent with games, ice cream, local snacks, pizza from Mellow Mushroom, beer, hot chocolate, face painting, and loads more Halloween fun.
They also offer an Aerial Glow Trail with thousands of multi-colored twinkle and laser lights (you’ll need to buy separate tickets; unlike the Haunted Trail, it sells out). There is also a Sensory Friendly Night.
In addition to all this goodness, the Boo to Hunger initiative gives $1 to Manna Food Bank per ticket sold. In the last two years, they have raised money for 38,400 meals to support those who face food insecurity.
2. Get Lost in the Corn Maze at Eliada Home
The Eliada Fall Festival and Corn Maze is one of the top Asheville Halloween events, without a doubt. You’ll love spending an afternoon in the sun with your kids and finding your way out of this great corn maze.
The festival is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from late September to late October, and it’s perfect for young kids and silly teenagers. There are corn cannons, spider climbers, lawn games, hay rides, slides, face painting, and pumpkins for sale (not a pumpkin patch, though).
Of course, food and drinks are covered! Follow them on social media to see the scheduled food trucks and the latest additions to their Halloween fun.
The best part? One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Eliada’s mission of helping children succeed. Eliada provides an impressive array of services to 600 children and youth annually in partnership with their families. Would you like to give them extra love? You can volunteer at the corn maze or donate!
3. Learn About Wolves at the WNC Nature Center’s Wolf Howl for Kids
Like many other nocturnal and predatory animals, wolves have been associated with mystery, darkness, and superstition for centuries. I’m sure you can name at least four or five myths, legends, or folk tales that involve wolves and not-so-friendly ones (except for the one who raised the founders of Rome, maybe).
However, if your family wants to learn about real wolves, go to Wolf Howl for Kids at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. This new program is perfect for kids 12 and under. They’ll love spending the evening learning about the red and gray wolves of North America and meeting a wolf that hopefully won’t become a werewolf before you make it home safely!
The program includes a walk to the wolf habitats at the Nature Center for a howling session and fun activities like crafts and games. You’ll be able to get the tickets in advance.
The WNC Nature Center is home to 60 species of wildlife living in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. This is not a regular zoo: the animals at the WNC Nature Center have been permanently injured or imprinted or are part of the Special Survival Plan for endangered species.
4. Laugh Your Fears Away on LaZoom’s ‘Ghosted’ Comedy Tour
The LaZoom comedy tour buses are an Asheville icon. They are the most fun tours (and Asheville has many exciting ones!) and have options for everyone, from family-friendly tours to various choices for grown-ups (local music and beer included!). Plus, dogs are always welcome.
The “Ghosted” Comedy Bus Tour (17+) is probably the most fun way to celebrate Halloween in Asheville. This experience was described as “the best showmanship” by USA Today. Let’s find out why!
You’ll begin your evening by drinking local wine and beer and lounging on velveteen chairs in the LaZoom Room. There will be plenty of great photo opportunities! Then, without leaving your beverage behind, you’ll board a purple bus featuring eyelashes and a mustache and start the most hilarious, irreverent guided tour.
You’ll learn about the supernatural appearances in Asheville and witness the unfortunate circumstances that turned their human existences into ghostly ones. “Mental institution fires, skyscraper suicides, and the legend of a swine-infused man” are all part of Asheville’s dark past, and you’ll discover these stories through the fantastic performances of some of the best vaudeville artists in Western North Carolina.
5. Go on a Family-Friendly Ghost Tour
Haunted Asheville Ghost Tour is the oldest ghost tour in Asheville, voted one of the country’s top three tours of its kind by readers of USA Today. They offer a walking tour around downtown, another one to explore the ghosts of Biltmore Village after dark, and a third option (for adults only) where “you’ll get the full scoop on our local vampire scene, rites in Pritchard Park, dark spirits on Church Street, Native American mysticism, and much more.”
Ghost Hunters of Asheville offer private tours in downtown, Montford, and Black Mountain. You’ll learn “why Asheville and Black Mountain are such a draw for paranormal investigators worldwide.” They’ll provide you with equipment and training on using dowsing rods, spirit boxes, EVP recording, EMF meters, and ambient temperature thermometers. Get your camera ready!
Gray Line Asheville Ghost and History Tour offer a more traditional yet fun and family-friendly tour on a bus. You’ll learn about the legendary Pink Lady at the Grove Park Inn, the architect walled into his church (ouch!), and other beloved Asheville ghosts.
6. Show Off Your Pup’s Costume at ‘A Space Pawdyssey’ Halloween Dog Parade
Visiting the North Carolina Arboretum is a beautiful idea in every season: it offers a fantastic and super popular holiday light festival in the winter, an astonishing display of flowers in the spring and summer, and it’s one of the best places to see the leaves change in Asheville in October. Plus, there are miles of trails, educational exhibitions and activities for families, an on-site restaurant, and a fantastic gift shop.
While all the above is exciting, nothing can top the cuteness of the “A Space Pawdyssey” Halloween Dog Parade. Imagine dozens of furry friends parading around with their humans to show off their costumes in one of the best urban gardens in Asheville. You’ll take thousands of photos!
Registration is free, and besides the parade, there are vendors, prizes for the best costume, and other fun Halloween events. Of course, you can still watch if you don’t have a dog. Entry to the NC Arboretum is free, but there is a small parking fee (you can get a free Zoom parking pass if you are a Buncombe County library cardholder).
7. Get Some Amazing Fall Treats at Hickory Nut Gap Farm
Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s Fall Festival is one of the most loved Asheville October events. Local families head to Fairview on weekends to participate in the fall celebrations and attractions, including friendly hogs chilling on the grounds, chickens, goats, donation-based pony rides, hay rides, and a corn maze.
But locals not only love the farm during the fall. Hickory Nut Gap was voted Best CSA and Best Farm for Events in Western North Carolina (Mountain Xpress, 2022). Some of their fun events include a Sausage Festival in mid-November, a Holiday Market, and special food and music events. They also offer one of the most popular venues to have a fall wedding in Asheville.
Hickory Nut Gap Farm produces grass-fed meat and meat products that can be found in the best restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets around town, including the Saturday morning North Asheville Tailgate Market.
Your kids will play for hours in the small creek, and you’ll love the on-site store where you can find all the Hickory Nut Gap products, including fresh-pressed apple cider, frozen cider popsicles, and edible and ornamental local pumpkins (including the ones for your jack-o’-lanterns).
8. Participate in Asheville GreenWorks’ Halloween Tree Adoption and Help Create a Climate-Resilient Future in Our City
One of the many reasons we love Asheville in October is the mesmerizing fall colors. So, it seems fitting to plant a native tree to celebrate the beauty of the season.
Asheville GreenWorks’ Halloween Tree Adoption aims to help plant 400 trees a year in Buncombe County’s private yards as part of the nonprofit’s goal to restore the urban tree canopy by 50 percent by 2040.
“Native trees provide a four-fold benefit. These trees absorb excess rainwater to mitigate flooding, hold our hillsides to prevent erosion, shade our neighborhoods from extreme heat, and feed the pollinators that protect our food ecosystem.”
You can reserve your tree with a donation of any amount starting at $10. They offer alternatives for folks who want to plant trees but can’t afford the assistance. Just call (828) 254-1776.
You get a native tree to plant in your yard, and this great (and one of the oldest) local nonprofit gets money to keep working for a better future for our city’s climate. This is the perfect win-win plan to celebrate Halloween in Asheville!
9. Try Some of These Local Spooky Sweet Creations
Old Europe Pastries, The Hop, and Stay Glazed Donuts are some of the best dessert places in town, and they offer fun and creative treats to celebrate each Halloween in Asheville.
Old Europe Pastries opened in 1995, and it’s one of the oldest downtown businesses, featuring amazing European-inspired desserts and fantastic drinks. In October, some of their goodies get a creepy makeover. Think about Bloody Bourbon Caramel and Vanilla Pastel Ghosties macarons!
The Hop Handcrafted Ice Cream is another Asheville legend. Their flavors are super fun, and many are made in collaboration with other local businesses (including breweries!). Their Halloween offerings include inventions like the Eye Scream Cakes and Ghastly Tomb Ice Cream, “a sacrificial concoction of cryptic coconut, vile vanilla, bloody raspberry, and white chocolate bones.”
Stay Glazed Donuts is one of the best donut shops in Asheville, offering small-batch, hand-cut donuts, specializing in “weird flavors,” and featuring the only gluten-free mochi dough in town. In addition, they are now open on the weekends from 7:00 pm to midnight for late-night donuts! Their Halloween specialty donuts have names like Graveyard, Treehouse of Horror, Dexter, Unicorn Blood, and Toxic Avenger.
10. Test Your Halloween Triva Knowledge at Well Played Board Cafe
Well Played Board Game Cafe hosts super fun and engaging Sunday morning trivia brunches, including the special Halloween Trivia event. The experience combines many trivia rounds with excellent food, Bloody Marys, mimosas, breakfast beers, and cocktails. Plus, your team receives extra points if you show up in costume!
Also, on the actual day of Halloween, the cafe features a special Halloween menu, runs a photo contest, and people wearing costumes play for free. The photo contest winner will be randomly chosen and receive a free one-month game pass.
This fun downtown cafe offers a selection of 700 games organized by difficulty level – including tons of spooky board games to celebrate Halloween – and excellent food and snacks.
11. Be Scared at the Haunted Farm in Hendersonville
If you are looking for a super scary way to celebrate Halloween in Asheville, go to The Haunted Farm near Hendersonville. This seriously spooky event was voted Best Haunted House in North Carolina! So what’s the story behind the scariest Halloween attraction in Western North Carolina?
“The Haunted Farm sits on a mysterious, blood-soaked stretch of land where the locals claim an age-old Blood Feud between the Lively and Tate families has devastated the local farming community. The haunted history of curses, derangements, undead, ghosts, and terrible bloodshed brings visitors from near and far – hoping to survive The Haunted Farm.”
Will you survive? While I have no doubt you’ll return home safe and sound, please know that this experience is designed to frighten folks, so be ready!
12. Run for Your Life at Catawba Brewing’s Zombie 5K and Bar Crawl
Catawba Brewing hosts two of the best events perfect for celebrating Halloween in Asheville.
The Catawba White Zombie 5K is not only full of delightful zombies of all ages (the event is family-friendly), but it also benefits the local nonprofit BeLoved Asheville, supporting the unhoused members of our community.
This fun October event starts and ends at the brewery in the South Slope Downtown. Registration includes a race T-shirt, a custom bib, and a celebratory toast with a Catawba White Zombie Ale.
But that’s not the only Halloween event at Catawba Brewing. The annual Halloween Bar Crawl starts here and is getting more popular every year – 592 people participated in 2021, 593 in 2022, and they expect 750+ in 2023!
The ticket includes 1-2 drinks or shots, exclusive drink specials, food samples, professional photographers, an awesome after-party, and the opportunity to win $1,000 for your super creative costume! Get your tickets here.
13. Pick the Perfect Pumpkin at Abernethy United Methodist Church
While it’s not a pumpkin patch, it is a gigantic pumpkin sale. And we all know that choosing the perfect pumpkin for this year’s jack-o’-lantern is one of the favorite ways for locals to celebrate Halloween in Asheville. The sight of hundreds of pumpkins outside the church’s yard on Patton Ave has become an iconic image!
You’ll choose between hundreds of pumpkins cultivated in the Navajo Nation in Farmington, New Mexico. Heirloom, ornamental, edible, huge, tiny, whatever kind of pumpkin or gourd you want, you’ll find it here!
They sell thousands of pumpkins every year. Church members and volunteers unload them from the trucks one by one and put them on the wooden pallets. The patch is open during October, including Halloween day, and all proceeds from the sale benefit the church’s mission work.
14. Convince Fido to Participate in the Howl-O-Ween Dog Party at Aloft and Support a Rad Nonprofit
Well, you don’t have to work hard to convince Fido. Unlike cats (adorable for 1,000 other reasons), dogs are happy to follow along with our most absurd ideas. I once heard a spiritual teacher say that dogs are highly spiritual beings because they are just here to make us happier and to teach us how to love unconditionally.
So, please choose the best costume for Fido (or create one!) and take them to the annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Party at Aloft, which benefits Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue. This fun Asheville Halloween event is outdoors on the hotel’s deck, overlooking the mountains and providing great photo ops. Of course, you can always choose a costume to match your puppy’s!
Aloft is one of the most pet-friendly hotels in Asheville and often has dogs from Charlie’s Animal Rescue available for adoption in the lobby. Stop by and take a peek if you are walking around downtown! (Be careful: you might end up going home with a new best friend!)
There is an entry fee for the dog and its owner, with all donations going directly to Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue. There will be dog treats, a photo booth, and prizes for the best costumes from Twisted Laurel, Leash Asheville, Angela Alexander Art, Pawsitivity Pet Spa, Botanical Bones Co, Swirlfam Co, and Patton Avenue Pet.
That completes our list of the best Asheville Halloween events! How do you like to spend Halloween in Asheville? Let us know in the comments below!
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