Fun October Events and Festivals for the Family

October 4, 2022  |  Permalink

Photo: @mikekerrmemphisphoto on Instagram | Location: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park

The fall season is upon us, and that means fall events and festivals are here, too! We hope to see you and your family at a Tennessee State Park, so we have put together a list of some fun fall events for the family across the state!

West Tennessee

Pelican Festival 

REELFOOT LAKE STATE PARK – TIPTONVILLE, TN 

October 22 – 24 | Various Times 
Registration: Required for photography, pontoon, and canoe tours 
Price: Based on the event ($10-$50) 

Reelfoot Lake State Park is hosting a festival to celebrate the White Pelican migration. Don’t miss your chance to see the White Pelican at Reelfoot Lake. The park is hosting vendors, canoe floats, photography and art contests, pontoon excursions, and much more. Reservations are required for photography, pontoon, and canoe tours. You can reserve your spot online with the link below. 

REGISTER HERE

Halloween Campfire Storytelling: Marshmallows and Mayhem 

T.O. FULLER STATE PARK - MEMPHIS, TN

October 28 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm 
Registration: Not required for attendees 
Price:  
   $5 / Kids 11 and under 
   $10 / Ages 12 and over 
   $20 / Donation to Park 
Meet at: Campground Pavillion 

Chilling tales for a chilly evening!  Come on out to T.O Fuller Park for a fear-filled night of folktales, fire, and food! Families will be treated to folktales and fables while roasting marshmallows with local radio personality Mother Wit, and Park Ranger Jessica Gossett. All stories will come from the diversity of people who make up the face of America and Tennessee. Families will meet at the pavilion in the campground.  Marshmallows and roasting sticks will be provided.  Please dress for the weather, and bring additional snacks, chairs, and blankets.  All proceeds will go towards supplies to continue programs like these; donations are welcome.  Please be sure to register for the event today; participants are limited to 25. 

REGISTER HERE

Howloween Spooktacular 

BIG HILL POND STATE PARK - POCAHONTAS, TN 

October 29 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm 
Registration: Not required for attendees 
Price: Free 
Meet at: Campground 

Big Hill Pond is excited to announce the 4th Annual Howloween Spooktacular event! The campground will be transformed into a trunk-or-treat location for families to walk through and enjoy a night of Howloween fun!   

LEARN MORE


Middle Tennessee 

Haunted Island Boat Ride and Tour

TIMS FORD STATE PARK — WINCHESTER, TN 

Boat rides are offered every 10 minutes from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm on October 28 and October 29.
Price: $20 per person
Meet at: Devil's Step Boat Ramp

Join Tims Ford State Park for this unique experience you won't find anywhere else. We will embark on a short boat ride from Devil's Step boat ramp to Devil's Step Island where you will have to be there to believe what happens next. After a walk around the island, your boat ride will be waiting for you... If you make it back that is. All ages are welcome. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

REGISTER

Knap-In and Archaeo-Skills Festival 

OLD STONE FORT STATE PARK — MANCHESTER, TN 

October 7 – 9 | 9:00am – 6:00pm 
Price: Entry is free
Meet at: Park Museum and Visitor Center 

This is our most unique event of the year, featuring a variety of primitive skill demonstrators and knappers, set in an ancient hilltop enclosure surrounded by waterfalls. We will have an atlatl range, with ISACs Friday and Saturday and an open throw on Saturday only. RV and tent campsites are available in the park campground and primitive camping is offered to knappers, vendors, and demonstrators in the maintenance field. We will have at least one food vendor, and many other vendors of rock, crafts, and knapped items. Hope to see you there! 

LEARN MORE

Photo Credit to: ©Tennessee Photographs 

Tennessee Timeline

BICENTENNIAL CAPITOL MALL STATE PARK — NASHVILLE, TN 

October 15 | 10:00am - 3:00pm 
Registration: Not Required 
Price: Free, donations accepted
Meet at: 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN

The Tennessee Timeline is the park's largest event each year. There will be presenters lined up down the length of the history wall in the park to discuss different aspects of Tennessee's history. This year we will have volunteers discussing Tennessean's during the Civil War, European settlement of the state, and more. We will also have representatives from The Hermitage, African American Music History Museum, Centennial Park, as well as our very own division of geology and division of archeology among other organizations.

LEARN MORE

Haunted Trail and Trunk or Treat 

CORDELL HULL BIRTHPLACE STATE PARK — BYRDSTOWN, TN 

October 15 | 5:00pm 
Registration: Required 
Price: Free 
Meet at: Bunkum Cave Trail 

Join us for a guided, haunted trail hike on a small portion of the Bunkum Cave Trail. If you plan on hiking the haunted portion of the trail, be sure to bring a sturdy pair of close-toed shoes! 

We will have a trunk or treat for the kids beside the museum's parking lot with cornhole from 5:00pm till dark. Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be for sale by the friend's group behind the park office. We will also have smores at the trailhead! The haunted trail will start at sunset at the trailhead. It will be a scare of a good time!   

REGISTER HERE

Harvest Craft Festival

EDGAR EVINS STATE PARK — SILVER POINT, TN 

October 15 & 16 | 9:00am - 4:00pm 
Registration: Not Required
Price: Free 
Meet at: Boat Ramp 1

We are hosting a Harvest Craft Festival inside the park. The event will contain crafters, artisans, kids activities, and photo op displays. Come join in on the fun and enjoy the beautiful views of Center Hill Lake at Edgar Evins State Park,  Admission is free.

LEARN MORE

Fall Colors Spooktacular 

FALL CREEK FALLS STATE PARK — SPENCER, TN 

October 22 & 23 | Various Times 
Registration: Not Required 
Price: Varies depending on activity 

Enjoy a weekend filled with fall colors, boat rides, campsite decorating competitions, hayrides, campground trick-or-treating and more! Don't miss out on the most fun you can have in state parks this weekend! 

LEARN MORE

Tales at Twilight 

JOHNSONVILLE HISTORIC STATE PARK — JOHNSONVILLE, TN 

October 22 | 6:30pm - 8:00pm 
Registration: Required 
Price: Free, donations accepted 
Meet at: Park Entrance, follow blue signs 

Long before we had gizmos and gadgets to entertain us, tales were told around a roaring fire. Relive that tradition tonight with us as we enjoy some good old-fashioned storytelling with Ranger Bob and Ranger Noah.  

REGISTER HERE

Photo Credit to: ©Tennessee Photographs 

Annual Halloween in the Campground 

HENRY HORTON STATE PARK - CHAPEL HILL, TN 

October 29 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm 
Registration: Required 
Price: $5 per Trick-or-Treater; $20 for a family of 5 or more Trick-or-Treaters 
Meet at: Campground 

Join us for the 3rd annual Halloween in the Campground! Take an easy stroll around the RV-campers loop. Campers will be decorating their sites and will pass out candy to the children. Costumes are encouraged!  

You do not have to be camping to participate. This is open to the community, but registration is required. Parking is limited. Please consider carpooling or shuttling from a larger parking area inside the day use area of the park 

REGISTER HERE


East Tennessee 

Ranger Led Ghost House Hike 

BIG RIDGE STATE PARK - MAYNARDVILLE, TN 

October 7,14, 21, 28 | 8:00pm - 9:30pm 
Registration: Required, must be over 7 years old 
Price: $5 
Meet at: Grist Mill 

Come take a hike around our Ghost House trail at twilight and let one of our rangers tell you all the tales of hauntings here at Big Ridge. On this easy to moderate 1 mile hike you'll tour the Norton Grist Mill, Norton Cemetery, and the remnants of an old homestead here on the park. On your journey you'll hear the tales of the area that have been passed down for 150 years.  

See you there, if you dare! 

SAVE YOUR SPOT

Photo Credit to: ©Tennessee Photographs 

41st Annual Heritage Day Festival 

FROZEN HEAD STATE PARK — WARTBURG, TN 

October 8 | 10:00am – 5:00pm 
Registration: Not Required 
Price: Free 
Meet at: Frozen Head Stage Area 

Frozen Head State Park’s Heritage Day is an annual event that celebrates the music, crafts, and culture of the Appalachian and Cumberland Mountains in and around Frozen Head. Heritage Day features craftspeople, demonstrators, and musicians from around the region performing throughout the day. This free event will feature day long live Old-time, Blues and Bluegrass Music! 

LEARN MORE

Photo Credit to: ©Tennessee Photographs 

October Full Moon Hike 

ROCKY FORK STATE PARK — FLAG POND, TN 

October 8 | 8:30pm – 10:30pm 
Registration: Required 
Price: $5 per hiker 
Meet at: Parking Lot 

Join Ranger Jeff, Saturday, October 8, 2022, at 8:30pm for a moderate hike up to White Oak Flats to observe the Full Moon. This hike is an exclusive after-hours hike. We will hike up to the overlook to observe the Full Moon along the Rocky Fork Valley and the distant mountain peaks. This hike is intended for adults and children old enough to hike 2.5 miles. We usually see the Moon, although there is no guarantee. Please bring a headlamp or flashlight. 

REGISTER HERE

Photo Credit to: ©Mark Taylor 

Scary Stories at Camp Watauga 

SYCAMORE SHOALS STATE HISTORIC PARK — ELIZABETHTON, TN 

October 27 | 7:30pm 
Registration: Not Required 
Price: Free 
Meet at: Camp Watauga 

Strange things happen around All Hallows Eve, especially at an old fort by the river... but don't be afraid, Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals isn't haunted...or is it?!?!  Join us for an evening of family friendly stories, songs, and tales that are sure to send a shiver down your spine and tickle your funny bone. 

LEARN MORE

Halloween Festivities 

DAVID CROCKETT BIRTHPLACE STATE PARK — LIMESTONE, TN 

October 29 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm 
Registration: Not Required 
Price: Free 
Meet at: Campgrounds 

Come bring your kids to trunk-or-treat in the campground! Parking coordinators will be directing traffic to the Visitor Center parking lot, where your family can walk to the campground. People with accessibility needs will be able to be dropped off at the front entrance. 

On your way in, stop by the Stonecypher Cabin - complete with fall decor for your family to snap a quick picture! Our Friends Group will have hot cider and hot chocolate available here for a donation. 

If you are a camper with us during this event, we will be hosting a "Best Decorated Campsite" competition, complete with prizes for the top three!  

Want to take a detour from the campground? Take a walk down to the homestead to see and talk to our "Spirits of the Past," where historic reenactors will be there with a fire to greet you and talk to you about spooky tales from history! 

LEARN MORE

Photo Credit to: ©Tennessee Photographs 

Creepy Creatures Trick-or-Treating 

SEVEN ISLANDS STATE BIRDING PARK — KODAK, TN 

October 29 | Starting at 4:00pm, then every 15 minutes with last slot at 6:30pm 
Registration: Required 
Price: $10 per child 
Meet at: Bluebird Barn 

Put on your costume and join us at Seven Islands State Park for a family friendly adventure! You will hike approximately 1-mile down Kelly Lane while trick-or-treating at several stops. Along the way, you will learn about and meet some of the Creepy Creatures that live at Seven Islands. You will end at the Green House lawn, where families can enjoy storytelling, games, and a bonfire before heading back to the park entrance. Families with small children are welcome to bring strollers.  

Plan for your adventure to last about 2-2.5 hours. Participants in later time slots can enjoy the dark sky and listen for the owls and other nocturnal creatures as you hike back to the park entrance. Flashlights are recommended. 

Each time slot is limited to 15 trick-or-treaters. Adults, babies, and toddlers who are not trick-or-treating can attend for free with a paid child. 

REGISTER HERE

About the author