For families on a budget, Halloween can be a pricey time as haunted house admissions and tickets to seasonal performances really add up. Fortunately for visitors in Louisville, Kentucky, there are plenty of free Halloween events to enjoy. From storytelling performances for little ones to a special Halloween-themed symphony concert, there is a holiday activity for everyone.
Many Halloween events in 2020 have been scaled back or canceled, so check on the individual official event webpages for the most up-to-date information.
The town of St. Matthews, just 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, hosts one of the most popular family-friendly Halloween events in the metropolitan area, Halloween in Brown Park. The 2020 event takes place on October 24, but with some changes to follow local health guidelines. The biggest change is that Halloween in Brown Park won't be taking place in Brown Park in 2020, but rather in the parking lot of Mall St. Matthews. Families will be able to drive through a decorated course while costumed volunteers pass out candy to a trick-or-treat bag affixed to the outside of the car.
The annual Jack O’Lantern Stroll typically includes more than 1,000 beautifully carved pumpkins lighting their way around St. Francis of Assisi Church, with fanfare including Louisville’s largest pumpkin pie, team mascots, and live music. However, the 2020 Jack O'Lantern Stroll is a virtual event taking place on October 23. This online Halloween party will feature entertainment, a seasonal cocktail session, a pumpkin carving contest, and a costume contest. The event is hosted by the local non-profit organization, Dreams With Wings, supporting children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities in the Louisville area.
The Louisville Halloween Parade and Festival are both canceled in 2020.
The Halloween Festival, Louisville's biggest free Halloween event, is an annual tradition. A street festival kicks off the day with craft booths, local food, and live music. The crown jewel is the parade, which features floats, decorations, and spooky ghouls walking down Bardstown Road. If you are in the festive spirit, you can wear a costume and jump onto the end of the parade. Plenty of candy is thrown from floats, so kids may want to bring a bag to carry all their treats.
Halloween on Hillcrest is canceled in 2020.
This historic street is a popular Halloween stop in Louisville during October, and pulses with family-friendly Halloween spirit. You can check out the decorated homes on Hillcrest Avenue, fall-themed storytime at the library and local bookstore, free chili nights, and a Halloween trolley hop.
The 2020 season of the Louisville Philharmonia is canceled.
The Louisville Philharmonia gets together in October to perform your favorite spooky-sounding songs, like classic songs from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" soundtrack and the more sinister "Night on Bald Mountain" by Mussorgsky. You can catch this free show at the Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church. There's no need to reserve tickets in advance.
The Fall Festival at Norton Commons is canceled in 2020.
At the Fall Festival in Norton Commons, 20 minutes northeast of Louisville, families can enjoy music, face painting, inflatables, and more fun, as well as trick-or-treating at local area businesses.
The Corn Island Storytelling Festival is canceled in 2020.
At the Corn Island Storytelling Festival at the Blackacre Conservancy, you'll hear some great bone-chilling ghost stories. Parents need not fear—the tales told here are family-friendly, but they become spookier as the evening progresses. This festival also features live music and flame-grilled fare from local eateries.