It’s an October Saturday morning. You wake to a perfect temperature; no sweat on your forehead and also no huddled sprints to your sweater closet. Ten o’clock approaches as you begin brewing your favorite blend of pumpkin spice coffee. Maybe a slice of warm applesauce bread to compliment.
It’s noon and your family has planned a trip to the pumpkin patch. Hay rides, hot apple cider and tons of smiling faces surround you. You get a little lost in the corn maze before heading out with your perfectly picked pumpkins for carving.
The clock strikes nine and it’s finally time to enjoy 16 savory ounces of that frothy Oktoberfest you’ve been dreaming about all day. Ah, the oaky smell of logs burning around red stones at your favorite bar & grille concludes your evening with a warm embrace and a gratefulness that you live in a city that embraces the Fall so eloquently.
Ready to dive head-first into Hallothanksmas? Us, too. Here’s your guide to experiencing the “Hallo” part in Charlotte and Lake Norman:
The Great Pumpkin Fest | Carowinds
300 Carowinds Boulevard, Charlotte NC 28273
Saturdays & Sundays Sept. 22nd through Oct. 28th
A hay and corn maze, tractor tour, foam pit, games and crafts (plus candy!) await the kiddos at the famed Great Pumpkin Fest.
Fall Festival | U.S National Whitewater Center
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte NC 28214
October 5th and 6th
Live music, cider sampling, BYOB (no, not bring your own bottle…) Build Your Own Boat competition, yoga sessions, trail races, and more! The Whitewater Center knows how to kick of Fall right.
Carolina BalloonFest | near Statesville Regional Airport
260 Hangar Drive | Statesville, NC 28677
October 19th through October 21st
This is one you can feel good about – a percentage of the proceeds for this event go to local nonprofit organizations. Experience the fun and vibrancy of hot air balloons (book a ride!), live music, kids activities, wine and craft beer tasting, pilot meet and greets, and delicious food at the 45th annual BalloonFest.
Family Fall Festival | Chestnut Square Park
315 Matthews-Indian Road | Indian Trail, NC 28079
A free event with free kids rides! Plus live music, games, activities, vendors, multi-cultural food, and more.
South End Wine Festival | Charlotte
308 W. Carson Blvd | Charlotte, NC 28203
October 20th from 2-6pm
Voted Charlotte Magazine’s best Charlotte wine event in 2016 and 17…live music, unlimited tastings from many different vineyards, and food trucks. Plus, proceeds benefit local nonprofit organization, Classroom Central.
Pineville Fall Festival | Pineville Lake Park
1000 Johnston Drive | Pineville, NC 28134
October 20th and 21st
Wholesome and fun, the Pineville Fall Fest will be one the whole family can enjoy. Pie-eating contests, carnival rides and games, plus free admission make this a great event to check out this season.
Day of the Dead/Dia de Muertos Festival | Levine Museum
200 E. 7th St. | Charlotte, NC 28202
October 29th from 12-4pm
This festival highlights all of the traditions of this Mexican holiday, including sugar skull workshops, altars, music and art, traditional Mexican food, and is free to attend!
Chili Cook Off | Dilworth/South End
1930 Camden Road | Charlotte, NC 28203
November 11th from 11am-3pm
A fun and competitive tradition of getting together with your friends and neighbors to compete for best chili recipe! Plot twist: You’ll also be competing against some of Charlotte’s best restaurant chefs…good luck!
Retro Horror at Ayrsley Grand Cinemas | Charlotte
9110 Kings Parade Blvd | Charlotte, NC 28273
September 21st through November 1st
Your favorite retro horror flicks at retro prices ($5/film!). Double features every night at 7 and 9pm
The GLOW: A Jack-o-Lantern Experience | Charlotte Motor Speedway
7301 Bruton St | Concord, NC 28027
October 4th through 28th
Ever been to a Christmas light show? Well, The GLOW is basically like that except, with jack-o-lanterns…could October in Charlotte get any more awesome than that!?
The Muggles Market | Noah’s Event Venue
2421 Yorkmont Rd | Charlotte, NC 28217
November 3rd from 10am-4pm
Fan-girls and guys, prepare yourselves: Hosted by the Charlotte Geeks, this event features over 50 artisans presenting and selling their handmade items, and also provides other activities and oddities – like a short film fest, performance tent, medieval courtyard demonstrations, a food truck rally, a fan car showcase and more! Plus food and music. Seriously, you guys can’t miss this. (Can you tell I’d fit right in?)
NovelWeen | NoDa
424 E. 36th St. | Charlotte, NC 28205
October 13th from 4-8pm
Live music, food trucks and local breweries, plus trick-or-treating for the kiddos, costume contests for both kids and adults, a special showing of Hotel Transylvania, games and prizes! Don’t miss this!
Now, for the grown up Halloween fun:
Halloween Costume Party | Banquet 49
4949 Albemarle Rd Suite B | Charlotte, NC 28205
October 27th 9pm-2am
Ticket purchase gets you dinner and two adult beverages. Dress to win! There will be 3 prizes for top 3 costumes.
Pug-o-Ween | Lucky Dog Bark & Brew
2220 Thrift Rd | Charlotte, NC 28208
October 27th from 4-9pm
This party is for 21+ humans, and dogs of any kind! 10% of all bar sales will benefit the Mid Atlantic Pug Rescue, and donations will also be accepted. Admission is free. Humans can bob for beers, and their doggos can compete in an epic pup costume contest.
Halloween Costume Party | The Rack n Roll
6912 Old Lawyers Rd | Charlotte, NC 28227
October 27th from 8pm-2am
Entrance fee includes a buffet and membership, plus prizes, games and fun!
Halloween Bar Crawl | Plaza Midwood
Begins at the Rabbit Hole – 1801 Commonwealth Ave | Charlotte, NC 28205
October 27th from 12pm-6pm
If you’re a fan of comics or hero movies, you’ll want to participate in this bar crawl…the costume theme is superheros vs. villains with battle games where the victor wins special prices on drinks!
Silent Disco | Rooftop 210
210 E. Trade St Suite B320 | Charlotte, NC 28202
October 26th from 8pm-12am
Forget the traditional club-style atmosphere where the music is so loud you can’t hear the person screaming next to you. This silent disco will feature multiple DJs whose music is broadcast and picked up be specially designed headphones, so you get to choose what set you want to listen to! If you’ve never been to a silent disco before, it’s a must. And this one will be a great first – with a costume contest, prizes, glow sticks and more Halloween fun!
Masquerade Party | Lenny Boy Brewing Co.
3000 S. Tryon St. | Charlotte, NC 28217
October 26th from 8-11pm
Come dressed up in masque attire and enjoy music, dancing, food truck appetizers, and professional dance performances…and proceeds will benefit Charlotte nonprofit organization, Caroline Calouche & Co.
Official Charlotte Halloween Bar Crawl | Charlotte
Check-in begins at Whickey River | 210 E Trade St
October 20th from 1-9pm
Tickets include an LED bracelet that reminds you when to head to the next venue, a color-changing drink cup, entry at up to 5 venues with no cover, a haunted half-time party, after party, swag, professional video and photo, drink specials, prizes, and more!
Whew! What a list, and that’s only about half of all events happening in the area! I mean, if you wanted to celebrate Fall and/or Halloween every day throughout the month of October, technically, you could. Charlotte sure knows how to do this season right. What’s your favorite Hallothanksmas event in the Charlotte/Lake Norman area? Let us know in the comments below!