Things to do in Atlanta

Halloween Happenings: Atlanta’s Best Frightful Festivities

Delight in fright as you experience Atlanta’s best thrills and chills with these Halloween festivities.

With Halloween comes the air of intrigue, mystery, and otherworldly, goosebumps-evoking thrills. It’s no surprise, considering the holiday we know and love today has roots in the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain. People once celebrated Samhain by lighting bonfires and wearing costumes to scare away ghosts.

Given the city’s history, the many Atlanta events for Halloween make a lot of sense. Stories whispered by locals tell tales of Civil War-era ghosts of Confederate soldiers drifting through parks and graveyards. Others claim to spot ghosts at hotels, cemeteries, and other buildings across the city.

As the autumn season approaches, the Halloween festivities began to creep up, bringing in an array of things to do in Atlanta. From frightful fun the whole family can enjoy to truly terrifying adult-only Halloween events in Atlanta, the Big Peach knows how to put on a spectacular party. If you’re looking for things to do in Atlanta for Halloween, we have you covered.

We’ve compiled a list of unforgettable Halloween-themed activities in Atlanta. These are sure to inspire the seasonal spirit and leave you with ghoulish grins — if you’re not screaming in fright!

Family-Friendly Frights

Even the youngest of monsters in the family can get involved in these family-friendly frights. Aimed toward families with children, these outings embrace the most enjoyable aspects of the holiday while remaining low on the fright level.

Expect kid-approved fun and exciting adventures that shouldn’t be too scary for the youngest children in the family. There shouldn’t be any crying for mummies with these exciting Atlanta Halloween events.

1. Boo at the Zoo - Zoo Atlanta

For most of the year, Zoo Atlanta is home to all sorts of creepy crawlies and other animals that can be fun to see on any given day. But, as Halloween gets closer, Zoo Atlanta undergoes a haunting transformation for its Boo at the Zoo event.

Each year, costumed children can welcome the spooky season alongside the wildlife by drinking in fantastic festivities, such as exploring Trick or Treat Lane for a few extra sweets. They can rattle their bones while dancing to Halloween tunes and making frightening crafts to take home.

On the days of the spooktacular event, carnival games and a themed ride on the Norfolk Southern Zoo Train are must-visit attractions. All around the zoo, costumed characters and themed entertainment help each guest have a wickedly good time.

2. Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park

It isn’t Halloween without pumpkins, and Stone Mountain Park has them in spades. You’ll be hard-pressed to find an area not adorned with festive orange pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns.

From mid-September until late October, people flock to Stone Mountain Park for the Pumpkin Festival. This celebration offers daytime and nighttime activities. People can play by day throughout the park’s numerous amenities, but the real fun starts after the sun goes down.

Once it’s dark, the Glow by Night festivities promise a grand time. Dazzle at breathtaking synchronized drones creating an aerial show, and marvel at a fireworks event. The immersive 3D light show is bound to leave you captivated.

Have you ever wanted to play mini golf at night? You can do it with glow-in-the-dark putt-putt or experience other glowing attractions across the park. One of the highlights beloved by many of the younger visitors is the Glow-A-Long Parade. It features glowing floats ridden by storybook characters.

Photographer: Steven Van Elk

3. Fernbank Museum’s Dinosaur Trick-or-Treat

The Fernbank Museum is worth visiting any time of the year, but in October, there’s a fun event that excites children across the city. The spooky season roars to life through the Fernbank Museum with the Dinosaur Trick-or-Treat Halloween dance party for children of all ages.

Children can walk along the various exhibits in costume to marvel at the collection while gathering some candy, and trick-or-treating along the way. There might even be a few tricks alongside the sweet treats as children can participate in a range of hosted activities designed to incite a frighteningly good time.

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Une publication partagée par Fernbank (@fernbankmuseum)

Adults-Only Haunts

The fun and festivities aren’t just for kids; these Halloween events for adults in Atlanta evoke feelings of terror in the best way. Gather your best friends for some group scares, and welcome the season in style at this unforgettable Halloween gathering.

4. Netherworld Haunted House

If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable, positively petrifying event, the Netherworld Haunted House is ready to deliver. Not only is it one of the scariest haunted houses in Georgia, but it frequently ranks among the scariest in the entire country.

The film and television professionals credited for this horror masterpiece have decades of experience creating out-of-this-world sets featuring actors and special effects that embody everything we like to see in shows — total immersion, suspension of disbelief, and awe-inspiring displays.

At Netherworld Haunted House, the Halloween spirit extends from September to November. With two floors filled with visceral, spine-tingling terror created by expert performers, these immersive haunts are filled with blood-curdling screams.

It’s no wonder, considering the rave reviews for its high-quality animatronics and costumes that create the thrill of a lifetime.

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Une publication partagée par NETHERWORLD (@netherworldhauntedhouse)

All-Ages Community Events

Nothing brings the community together like an occasion to throw a festival, and the Halloween season is no exception. These festivals are designed to inspire and evoke spooky, kooky feelings fitting for the Halloween season. They’re perfect for anyone of any age to go bump in the night and enjoy some excitement.

In a few months, don’t forget to check out our list of New Year’s Eve events in Atlanta!

5. Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade

Bigger isn’t always better — but in the case of the Little 5 Points Halloween Festival, it is. As the largest Halloween festival in the Southeast region, this is a must-see for anyone in Atlanta in October.

For one weekend every October, the Little Five Points neighborhood transforms from Boho-chic to spooktacular as it prepares for a festival that strives to be outrageously wacky. Live bands amplify the ambiance, while those who dare can explore a 3D haunted house, entering a world of thrills and chills.

Those looking for something a little less scary can explore the Artist Market or wait for the annual parade. It’s mostly child-friendly but may have some spookier costumes. If you dare, try one of the ghost tours hosted by a clairvoyant tour guide. It snakes through the district’s eeriest historical landmarks for an extra bit of thrill.

6. Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival

Every October, the skies above Kennesaw State University are illuminated with hot air balloons. Located just 20 minutes from Atlanta, the Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival is a two-day, family-friendly event you won’t want to miss. It’s home to the largest costume party in the region, and there’s far more to do than just dress up as a mystical creature or your favorite character.

Guests can ride tethered hot air balloons, do the Monster Mash at the silent disco, and enjoy the selection of other activities. With five stages of live entertainment ranging from spellbinding LED and fire performances to fortune tellers and live music, there’s something for everyone.

Children can look forward to a downtown trick-or-treat event and a children’s interactive area with inflatables. The adults can sip spooky drinks from the sports bar and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Photographer: kilolilo

7. Grant Park Halloween Lantern Parade

The traditional Halloween Lantern Parade lights up the streets at the Grant Park Milledge Fountain on Cherokee Avenue. We love the immersiveness of this event — the people are the parade!

Embrace your inner artist and create a lantern as unique as you are to help rein in the Halloween season, and carry it along the parade route to the beat of a live marching band. It’s no problem if you don’t already have your own lantern. The festivities begin at the park 2 hours before the parade, and lantern kits are available for a fee.

Embrace your inner artist by getting there early and crafting your own lantern alongside friends or family. If you prefer, you can stay on the sidelines as lanterns designed as ghouls, goblins, and other things that go bump in the night are paraded before you. It’s just as fun to watch the parade as it is to be in the parade.

Horrifying Haunted Houses

Is it really Halloween if you don’t have your pants scared off you in at least one haunted house? We love haunted houses of all kinds for the artistry that goes into them. We know the painstaking efforts put into them by the performers because it’s the same as the effort we put into our shows.

These ones take the cake and beckon the Halloween season with dazzling displays and sets. Prepare to be scared and check out some of the best-haunted houses for Halloween in Atlanta.

8. Containment Haunted House

If you’re looking for chills and thrills that’ll leave you screaming for more, you’ll find them at the Containment Haunted House. One of Atlanta’s hidden gems, this haunted house is intended for people aged 13 and older, so parents should exercise caution before taking younger children.

What was once 26 shipping containers has become a wicked-cool exhibit featuring the gruesome, the macabre, and the paranormal. It’s positively brimming with passionate actors trained in evoking sheer terror that chills to the bone.

If you can resist the urge to run screaming into the night, you'll be treated to immersive storytelling you’re not likely to forget any time soon.

9. Paranoia Haunted House

Warning: If you’re faint of heart, this isn’t the haunted house for you! As you approach the Paranoia Haunted House, you’ll likely hear audio effects and the screams of poor, unsuspecting victims echoing into the night. Don’t worry — they’ve had the life scared out of them by the roaming actors, but they’ll be just fine once their hearts stop pounding.

Not even those who've yet to buy a ticket are safe from the actors’ antics, with some prowling the ticket line to catch people unaware. With two fright-inducing attractions to visit each year and sets with expertly designed, gruesome special effects, this haunted house will send shivers down your spine.

Enter if you dare — the actors here have their hearts set on invoking fear, and they succeed. Don’t forget to check out the photo ops and the merchandise shop for a souvenir to commemorate the fright of your life, because this is one haunted house you won’t want to forget.

Enjoy a Spooky Atlanta Halloween

As Halloween creeps closer in Atlanta, be sure to visit some of these top-tier attractions. We know all the hard work that goes into making an immersive, entertaining event a success. That’s why these Halloween activities in Atlanta have our seal of approval.

From young children to older thrill-seekers, everyone can find something to do in the Big Peach to celebrate the Halloween season. We love seeing the effort that goes into these performances, and you’ll have to see why for yourself.

If you’re looking for something to keep you busy while you wait for these Halloween things to do in Atlanta to roll around again, we’d love to welcome you in style. Our shows in Atlanta aim to impress with intrigue intermixed with wonder as our performers fly through the air and put on a show you’re not likely to forget.

Sit back in your seat and hang on tight because our shows will have you mesmerized as you soar through the adventure of a lifetime! Before you know it, you’ll be spirited away to another world where adventure awaits and thrills abound.

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