Things to Do in October in Charlotte

Balloons, Homemade Boats, and Jousting

Charlotte, North Carolina Skyline

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

The gorgeous fall colors of October in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area provide a spectacular backdrop for a collection of interesting festivals and events that include hot air balloons, homemade boats, historic houses, and Charlotte's own take on the Renaissance. So check them out and take your pick for some fall fun in the Charlotte area in October.

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Carolina Renaissance Festival

Jousters perform at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

The annual Renaissance Festival holds court on Saturdays and Sundays from October 5, 2019, through November 24, 2019, which means every weekend in October. It's held in Huntersville, North Carolina, about 15 miles from Charlotte.

The festival re-creates a 16th-century European village celebration and includes entertainment, arts and crafts, and tons of tasty food (smoked turkey legs, anyone?). You'll see live jousting tournaments, falconry, and 500 characters in costumes of the period. If that's not enough, music and comedy shows entertain you on 12 stages throughout the festival grounds. So dress up and spend the day—it's an eat, drink, and be merry kind of event.

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Carolina Balloon Fest

Carolina Balloon Fest

Brian Green / Flickr

260 Hangar Dr, Statesville, NC 28677, USA
+1 704-818-3307

Take a ride to Statesville, North Carolina, 41 miles from Charlotte, for the Carolina Balloon Fest, held from Friday, October 18, to Sunday, October 20, 2019. Be on hand to watch the glorious early-morning sight of 50 hot-air balloons launching high into the blue October sky, rising over beautiful fall foliage.

Besides the mass ascension launch, there will be aircraft flyovers, special shapes balloons, a balloon glow on Saturday evening (get up close and personal with the balloons and their pilots), a wine and beer garden to refresh you, and an artisan market to pick up a special souvenir or gift.

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Whitewater’s Fall Festival

On October 5, 2019, head to the Whitewater River for this free fall festival with a full day of races, fall-themed yoga sessions, seasonal cider sampling, and the Fall Festival’s signature Build Your Own Boat (BYOB) Competition.

Set up your blanket or lawn chair and cheer on your favorite home-made boat. Teams must make it through the challenging whitewater rapids and win over the crowd with their costumes and creative boat designs.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center is the world's premier outdoor facility featuring seasonal whitewater rafting, biking, zip lines, and more.

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Queen City OktoberFest

Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., shop 'til you drop at the Queen City OktoberFest, the biggest arts and crafts festival of the year in Charlotte. You'll find homemade crafts, food, live performances by music and dance teams, games for the kids like laser tag and corn hole, family photos in costume, and the Trick or Treat Safely Campaign, all taking place at the Carole Hoefener Center.

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Historic Salisbury October Tour

Dr Josephus Hall House

Edward / Flickr

The Historic Salisbury October Tour is one of the South's oldest annual house tours, and it's a must-see for history and architecture buffs. It's worth the 43-mile drive from Charlotte to Salisbury, North Carolina, to see examples of Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, Romanesque, Greek Revival, and Italian Renaissance on the tour, held on Saturday, October 12, and Sunday, October 13.

You'll also get a peek inside a chateau-style mansion and what was once a one-room school for African-Americans. The annual cafe and festivities will feature food, beer and wine, crafts, live musical entertainment, and activities for the entire family Saturday and Sunday during tour hours. Ticket holders can take advantage of a trolley that will transport visitors from house to house.

Plein Air Artists paints in the historic neighborhoods throughout the event and displays finished work at the Artists Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday on the Hall House Lawn.

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Fun Stuff to Do in October in Charlotte