As an October drive through any neighborhood in Atlanta can tell you, this city loves Halloween. Not only do Atlantans go all-out on their front yard decorations (we see you, 15-foot Home Depot skeleton), we love to celebrate spooky season all month long. To make things easy as you toil over your double-trouble social calendar, we’ve rounded up some of Atlanta’s best Halloween events, from pop-up poison bars to kid-friendly witch kitsch. Grab a costume—or a dapper David S. Pumpkins suit—and make the most of Atlanta’s Halloween season.
Haunting on Howell Mill Halloween Pop-Up Bar
Where: UrbanTree Cidery, Westside
When: Event Friday, October 13, 4 to 12 p.m.; pop-up bar open nightly from October 13-31
What: Atlanta’s first craft cidery is highly regarded for its seasonal brews, and this year, they’re leaning all the way into the Halloween theme. On October’s Friday the 13th, UrbanTree launches its Halloween pop-up bar, “Haunted on Howell Mill,” featuring complimentary tarot card & palm readings, karaoke and a live DJ, tacos from the “Let’s Taco Bout It” food truck, and lots of photo-ready decor. In addition to their many cider offerings, Urban Tree’s pop-up bar will also offer a range of Halloween-themed cocktails—some of which even come in blood bags for the truly ghoulish—and jello syringe shots. If you miss the opening night party, not to worry: the pop-up runs all months long, so you get plenty of bites at this poisoned apple.
Cost: Free to enter, no reservations required
Dogs? Yes, on leash
Food? Food trucks on-site
Rescue Dogs Howl-a-ween Festival
Where: Historic Fourth Ward Park
When: Saturday, October 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What: Sure, a kids’ costume parade is cute, but have you been to a dog costume parade? Pup-lovers are sure to enjoy this popular annual event, which raises money for local animal rescue organizations. There’s the costume parade, a trick AND treat contest, where you can show off your doggo’s best trick, a photo booth for pups and their people, and lots of vendors selling pet-friendly fare. Plus, a monster-mash dance-off—dogs welcome, of course—a frisbee station, a lure chase, and an adoption area to meet your new best friend. If you and your pup prefer a more leisurely afternoon, you can bring a blanket and grab some food and drinks to lounge on the grass and watch the cute little monsters from afar. If you want to bring treats, you can donate an unopened bag of dog food to PAWS Atlanta.
Cost: Free to enter, but registration is required for all dog games and contests
Food? Vendors on-site
BYOB? No, drinks for sale on-site
Boo at the Zoo
Where: Zoo Atlanta, Grant Park
When: October 21-22 and Oct 28-29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: This popular all-ages event features all the regular zoo fun, plus a variety of spooky-season extras. Boo at the Zoo offers trick-or-treating, carnival games, craft activities, and a train ride around “Boo Town” to find the Missing Mayor. Catch some strolling characters for photo-ops, and enjoy family-friendly performances by local musicians and artists.
Cost: $19.45-$33.45; kids under 3 are free
Food? Restaurants and snack bar on-site
Goblins in the Garden
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Piedmont Park
When: Sunday, October 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What: A regular admission ticket to the Atlanta Botanical Garden will get you access to this family-fun Halloween festival. There will be live music performances, pumpkin decorating, train rides, pony rides, costume runways, and more. Adults (and culinary-minded kids) can enjoy a garden chef demo with chef Ilene Rouamvongsor in the Edible Garden Outdoor Kitchen. And of course, there’s all the usual beauty to catch at the botanical garden, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this event.
Cost: Adults $23.95-$31.95; kids under 3 are free
Food? Restaurant and cafe on-site
BYOB? No, refreshments available on-site
Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Cemetery
Where: Historic Oakland Cemetery, Grant Park
When: Select nights from October 19-31, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
What: This wildly popular event brings Atlanta’s history to life through the historic eternal residents of Oakland Cemetery. A costumed docent ushers your tour through the cemetery’s paths and gardens, seasonally lit for the occasion. The event includes mood-appropriate musical performances, craft beer and cocktails, and access to the Oakland gift shop. Costumes are encouraged for this not-to-miss historically spooky event.
Cost: $30 for general admission; VIP tickets are $45 and include a three-course meal in the newly renovated Oakland Bell Tower
Kid-friendly? Yes; kids under 4 are free
Food? Only with VIP ticket
BYOB? No, craft beer, wine and cocktails for sale
Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade
Where: Little Five Points
When: October 21-22
What: One of Atlanta’s most iconic events returns to Little Five Points for screams, spooks, and serious fun. The whole neighborhood gets involved for this one, with a 3D Haunted House at the L5P Community Center, a one-mile ghost tour around the area, photo contest, live music, and plenty of artist vendors and food and drink stands. Saturday night features a screening of the silent movie Hexen at Findley Plaza, with eerie live music from W8ingforUFO. The famous parade kicks off Sunday at 2 p.m.; you can apply to be in the parade here, but watching is just as fun.
Dogs? On leash, but not allowed in the parade
Food? Vendors on-site, plus nearby bars and restaurants open throughout
Halloween on the Roof
Where: The Roof at Ponce City Market
When: Saturday, October 28
What: Ponce City Market’s rooftop is hosting two Halloween events. In the daytime, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., bring the kids for trick-or-treating and costume parades. After 7 p.m., the venue shifts to a 21 and older prom-themed party with plenty of dancing. Wear your best costume—there’s a $1000 prize for the winner of the evening’s contest.
Cost: Daytime tickets are $30 for adults and $22 for children, nighttime tickets are $40 for adults 21 and older
Kid-friendly? Yes, until 7 p.m.
Food? Available for purchase from the Roof’s vendors
Atlanta Halloween Half-Marathon and 5K
Where: Course kicks off at Piedmont Park
When: Sunday, October 29, 8 a.m.
What: If you like your spooky a little more sporty, the Atlanta Halloween Half-Marathon and 5k has you covered. You can walk or run the 13.1k or 5k course, and costumes are highly encouraged. Medals are awarded to top finishers in each age bracket, as well as to stand-out costumes. The race starts at Piedmont Park at Charles Allen Drive off 10th Street. Half-marathon and 5k are open to teens 13 and older, but younger children are welcome to join the Spooky 1k Fun Run, which is free to enter and includes a medal.
Cost: 5k is $30-$35, Half-Marathon is $80-$85
Kid-friendly? Official races are open to those 13 and older, but kids of all ages welcome for free 1k Fun Run
Where: Lawrenceville Arts Center
When: Tuesday, October 31, 7:30 p.m.
What: Spend Halloween night laughing and sipping cocktails at this spooky-fun drag cabaret and comedy show, hosted by Atlanta drag comedian Brent Star and featuring Nicole Paige Brooks (a RuPaul’s Drag Race season 2 contestant), Destiny Brooks, Stilletto, and Brigitte Bidet.
Kid-friendly? No, the show is recommended for adults only