Autumn and Halloween Activities for Nashville Residents and Travelers

Nashville Skyline

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In October, there are incredible events around Nashville, including some of the best and most well-liked activities to celebrate the Autumn season and Halloween holiday. There is an unlimited supply of haunted houses, ghostly tours, pumpkin patches, fall foliage hikes, and even special corn mazes to explore in the middle Tennessee area. Families, couples, and friends will enjoy this list of over 20 events celebrating arts and culture, Oktoberfest, nature, and music. 

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    Painting at the 2017 Artclectic Fair

    This event began over a decade ago as a desire to bring artists and their artwork to the University School of Nashville for a school fundraiser. It has now evolved into a nationally respected art show that attracts loyal patrons and newcomers to view work by a carefully selected group of talented emerging and established artists.

    The show has included work by artists such as Katherine Stratton Miller, Bennet LeMaster, and Josh Yazdian, and changes every year. An array of mediums such as jewelry, painting, mixed media, and sculpture is presented in the show. There are additional events the weekend of the gallery show for parents, students, alumni, and community members.

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    Woman Dancing in the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival
    Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival

    Formerly known as Celebration of Cultures, Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival celebrates and embraces the cultural diversity of the community by encouraging understanding, appreciation, and respect for the cultures of the Greater Nashville community. This free festival includes a fun-filled day of music, dance, food, children's activities, a marketplace, and other educational components.

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    Sausages, Pretzel and Beer at the Clarksville Oktoberfest
    Clarksville Oktoberfest

    Clarksville Oktoberfest is held the first weekend of October. Upwards of 10,000 individuals attend this festival with German flair, which features authentic German food, music, dancing, and fun.

    Entertainment from German musicians, like the Prost and Die Mitternachters, attend annually and guests are encouraged to put on any traditional clothing they have for this event.

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    Commodore Quake

    Performers at Commodore Quake
    Commodore Quake

    The Commodore Quake is Vanderbilt University's Homecoming festival. This annual event takes place every October, and the festivities generate buzz beyond the campus borders every year. The Quake has a tradition of showcasing hit music's most popular acts, such as Migos and SZA, with tickets selling out fast.

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    Goblins in the Garden at Cheekwood Estate & Garden
    Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

    The Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art hosts their annual “Goblins in the Garden” event every year in late October, right around Halloween. Preschoolers and young goblins are invited to wear their favorite spooky or zany costume and head out to Cheekwood for a trick-or-treat trail in the Color Garden, themed art and science activities, and a Pumpkin House photo booth.

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    Photo of the Grand Ole Opry Stage, Grand Ole Opry
    Grand Ole Opry

    The Grand Ole Opry hosts its annual Birthday Bash every October at the Grand Ole Opry House by offering a star-packed homecoming celebration. This includes tons of entertainment including backstage tours, autograph sessions, and free music in the Opry Plaza. This weekend event also includes food trucks, live performances by popular artists, and activities like picnics and bingo.

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    Tennessee State Museum
    Tennessee State Museum 

    Tennessee State Museum’s annual ghost story festival, Haunted Museum, is held the weekend before Halloween. This is a family-oriented event that place during daylight hours.

    Kids can enjoy a "ghost trail" throughout the museum featuring surprises, crafts, and beverages. Ghost stories about Tennessee's past-like the Bell Witch, Cherokee spirit Spearfinger-are told. Additional storytelling activities and prizes are given throughout the trail.

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    NAIA Pow Wow & Fall Festival
    Native American Indian Association of Tennessee

    The NAIA Pow Wow and Fall Festival, beginning on the third Saturday in October, attracts people from all over the state of Tennessee. This event is billed in Indian Country as the largest Pow Wow east of the Mississippi.

    Each October, Indians from around the nation gather to share a part of their culture and educate people through Native American arts and crafts, paintings, pictures, clothing, and food like Indian tacos, chili, fry bread, and more.

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  • 09 of 10
    Roller Coaster Yard Sale in Tennessee
    Roller Coaster Yard Sale 

    The Roller coaster Yard Sale is normally held the first weekend of October. This four-day grassroots extravaganza offers 150 miles of yard sales, crafts, antiques, handcrafted quilts, produce, southern foods, BBQ, entertainment, and flea markets. It spans from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky to Byrdstown, Tennessee, and allows shoppers to enjoy the breathtaking fall foliage from Highway 63 to Highways 52 and 111.

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    Schermerhorn Symphony Center
     Stephen Saks/Getty Images

    Every Fall season, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center plays host to the annual region's Free Day of Music. The popular event invites the entire community to Schermerhorn Symphony Center to enjoy free musical performances all day long...and into the night. The event is usually held in the first days of October​ and features a wide variety of local ensembles performing.

    Included are more than 20 performers from the Nashville Symphony, arts and crafts, an Instrument Petting Zoo, food vendors, and a beer garden.

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