If you’re looking for things to do in October in Atlanta, this is the right place! We’re highlighting a few activities and events this month, hoping to give you some entertainment ideas. The list may continue to grow after October 1st, so please check back!
Our readers have asked us for content like this, that allows them to see events farther in advance so they can save the date. We’re listening, and trying to give you what you need.
Please remember to verify every event before you head out! That’s why we provide so many links. We try to keep up with cancellations, but there are a whole lot of them right now.
And remember, just because something is happening doesn’t mean you have to go.
As always, stay home if you feel unwell, or if you’ve been exposed to someone who was (or became) sick. Use your best judgment and weigh the risks. Take a face mask and hand sanitizer with you.
Annual October events that have been canceled for 2020:
(this list may continue to grow)
- Johns Creek Arts Festival
- Chalktoberfest on the Marietta Square
- Candler Park Fall Festival & Tour of Homes
- Georgia Apple Festival
- Fall Festival on Ponce
You may also be interested in:
- Over 100 Halloween events, plus ideas for safer celebrations
- 20+ FREE trick-or-treat events for kids
- Discounts for Stone Mountain's Pumpkin Festival "Glow by Night" attraction
- Best pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and haunted attractions in 2020
- 2020 guide to apple festivals and U-pick orchards
- Discounts for the Buford Corn Maze & Haunted Forest
- Fall farmers markets around Atlanta
- Free and cheap things to do this week
October in Atlanta:
top events and things to do this month
Below the spotlighted events, you’ll find a day-by-day calendar listing of October events, in chronological order.
A Taste of the Fair
October 2 – 4, 2020
Jim R. Miller Park
2245 Callaway Road SW
The 2020 edition of the North Georgia State Fair is a drive-thru (or walk-thru) food event only. No rides or live entertainment, but you can stuff yourself on corn dogs and funnel cakes. Order in advance for pickup, or order on-site.
Fair details here
Pumpkin Festival and “Glow by Night” attraction
September 19 – November 1
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only
Stone Mountain Park
Hours are 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the glow attractions lighting up at dusk. Daytime activities include most regular park attractions (some are still closed). But the immersive Glow By Night experience is where it’s at! This year’s glow display is even bigger and brighter, with plenty of nighttime experiences that are perfect for date night as well as for families.
More festival details
You can come to Stone Mountain to play by day, glow by night with a special deal on Groupon. Thanks to Groupon, the pass is just $19.95 per pass (discounted from $29.95). The Groupon deal is set to expire on October 17th, so be sure to buy before then. Park capacity is also limited, so don’t delay if you want a certain date.
Georgia State Fair
October 2 – 11, 2020
Atlanta Motor Speedway
1500 Tara Place
Surprisingly, the fair is back for 2020. Despite the requirements for masks, temperature checks, and social distancing, we don’t plan to go. If you feel safe doing so, there are a bunch of ways to get free admission and/or great deals on unlimited rides.
Get the details
Woodstock International Food Festival (drive-thru event)
October 10 – 11
The 2020 Woodstock International Food Festival will be a drive-thru event to pick up pre-ordered food.
The organizers promise lots of delicious options and an easy order process.
Info, menu, and ordering details here
Cumming Greek Festival (drive-thru event)
October 16 – 18, 2020
Saints Raphael, Nicholas & Irene Greek Orthodox Church
3074 Bethelview Road
Cumming, GA 30042
Go Greek for a day! In 2020, this annual festival is taking place as a drive-through food event. You can order in advance for pickup, or order on-site. There will also be virtual events and an online marketplace.
Get the festival details
The Haunted Highway (drive-thru spooktacular!)
October 16 – 31
Enjoy this haunted attraction from the safety of your own vehicle!
The Haunted Highway will operate in the parking lot of North Dekalb Mall. There is a family-friendly afternoon version for the little ones, and a scarier version after sunset for teens and grownups.
And there’s a Groupon deal for discounted admission!
More info here
FREE museum days
There are three FREE admission programs are going on this month! The major difference is that you now must reserve a timed ticket in advance, instead of just showing up. In some cases, just selecting the date and time gets the fee waived, while others require a promo code at checkout.
Take advantage of the following, by reserving a spot now:
- October 3rd & 4th — Free admission for Bank of America cardholders at Atlanta History Center, High Museum, and Tellus Science Museum (through the Museums on Us program)
- October 11th — Free Second Sundays admission at the High Museum of Art
- All month long — Free admission at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Halloween events & safe ways to celebrate
As usual, we’re compiling a list of safe events for kids — including trick-or-treat, trunk-or-treat, and whatever pops up for 2020. Note that the list might seem sparse if you check it early in October — but we’ll be busy adding events all month long, so please check back as Halloween draws closer. You could also subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when new activities are added.
View the list here
Spooky films at the drive-in
Select dates in October
Check out our list of outdoor movies and drive-in movies for a Halloween classic. Some are FREE community events and others are at paid venues. Drive-in movies are a thing this fall!
More info here
Free Sunset Sessions outdoor concerts
Every Sunday in October
500 10th St.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Head to Park Tavern in midtown Atlanta any Sunday evening in October for a free Sunset Sessions concert, featuring alternative music. It happens rain or shine, under a canopy on the tavern’s patio.
Get the details.
Little 5 Points Spookathon and Virtual Parade
October 17, 2020
This annual parade has gone virtual for 2020. But if you happen to be in the L5P business district any time in October, you might stumble across a special pop-up event.
Scarecrow Harvest Festival
October 4 – November 2, 2020
Alpharetta downtown business district
The street festival component of the event is canceled for 2020 — but the scarecrows will be on display as usual, so you can stroll through, take pictures, and enjoy the autumn sunshine.
Scarecrows in the Square
October 4 – November 1, 2020
Marietta’s annual HarvestFest is taking place in a limited fashion this year. The scarecrow displays in the Square will be up for you to enjoy, but the street festival is canceled. There is also a virtual costume contest and virtual pumpkin carving contest that you can enter by submitting photos. Details here
Virtual Day of the Dead Festival
October 30, 2020
The Atlanta History Center’s annual cultural celebration goes virtual in 2020, and you can participate in a variety of ways.
Ghost tours & haunted history tours
Content coming soon! Please check back, or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and hayrides
Most days in October
Fall is a great time to be outdoors! Grab your family or a friend and head to one of the farms on our big list of pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and haunted trails. Many of the farms listed have produce markets, petting zoos, picnic areas, hayrides, games and more. All have safety precautions and distancing measures in place. Some have discounted admission deals, and you’ll find those listed too.
Get more details.
Apple picking in north Georgia
Weekends and some weekdays in October
Many of the North Georgia orchards open for apple-picking and fun farm days in October, or until the apples are gone. Take a look at our handy guide to apple festivals and u-pick orchards.
Alpaca Barn Tours
Every Saturday & Sunday in October
Creekwater Alpaca Farm
2812 Centerville Rosebud Rd SW
Snellville, GA 30039
This Gwinnett County farm is open to the public on weekends. The admission fee for the barn tours includes one bag of feed, so you can give the friendly alpacas a healthy snack when you visit them in their pens. According to the farm’s website, tour groups are limited to around 10 people and happen at an easy pace.
Get more details
Murmuration– an interactive art installation
Through November 29, 2020
Now open on the grounds of the Woodruff Arts Campus, on the plaza outside the High Museum. As with all outdoor exhibits, it is FREE for the public to explore. Visitors are invited to “perch and nest” alongside the birds in this outdoor mesh canopy.
More details on Murmuration
Alice’s Wonderland Re-imagined
Through November 1, 2020
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is open again, with safety measures in place, and a new system of ticketing with specific entry times. Check out the special exhibit, complete with topiary-like statues of Alice, the White Rabbit, a giant chess board, and more. You can also take advantage of Cocktails in the Garden, an evening event that features specialty cocktails available for purchase.
Details on visiting ABG
Autumn farmers markets
There is a farmers market happening somewhere on nearly every day of the week in October Check out our full schedule of markets, organized by day of the week and location. We also let you know which markets double EBT dollars.
Find a farmers market near you
Marietta Beer Bus
October 3 and 17, 2020
2 to 8:30 p.m.
The popular ride service lets you drink without driving! On 1st and 3rd Saturdays, you can hop on the Marietta Beer Bus and enjoy a FREE shuttle ride to 6 craft alcohol establishments.
Details on the Beer Bus
Atlanta From the Ashes history tour
Thursday, October 1, 2020
Saturday, October 17, 2020
We’ve gone on this tour, which starts at the ATL playground at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta. Wouldn’t you love to be able to point out a building to your friends and tell them the secret formula for Coca Cola was kept there, in a basement vault, for many decades?
History tour details
Zoo Atlanta admission deal
Zoo Atlanta is once again open for visitors! There are safety measures in place, and certain indoor attractions and rides remain closed. Plus, there’s a limited-time Groupon deal running, so you might save a few bucks.
The good news is, if you’d like to visit, prices have dropped a bit to reflect a slightly more limited experience. And you will likely enjoy a less crowded experience, because Zoo Atlanta is now selling timed tickets — essentially, you make a reservation for the time you enter the zoo. Details on visiting Zoo Atlanta
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