Pumpkins, apples, warm spices, the changing of the leaves, and sweet, cool air are all just around the corner! Throughout Middle Tennessee, preparations for our famous fall festivals have long been underway, and it’s time to purchase tickets, plan our getaway weekends, and celebrate with our friends, family members, and neighbors! The following eleven festivals are our top destinations this October and November, and we’re positive you’ll enjoy them all.

Please note that many of our selections require advance tickets.

Nashville Pumpkin Festival
When: Th - Sun, September 18 - October 30

Where: Lucky Ladd Farms | Eagleville
Purchase Tickets Here

Lucky Ladd Farms throws a bash voted Middle Tennessee’s Best Fall Festival and the #1 Pumpkin Patch in the state, so it is a must-see event for visitors to our region and locals alike. The farm offers thousands of pumpkins in every shape, size, and color, so no matter your plans for your gorgeous squash, you’ll find your perfect pumpkin(s) here. Flavor-packed little pie pumpkins, hollow-bodied hulking jack-o-lantern candidates, and petite decorative breeds are all available throughout October.

Of course, there’s far more than pumpkins to enjoy. Wander the enormous corn maze, enjoy seasonal treats made fresh on the farm (kettle corn, apple cider donuts, and pumpkin spice lattes are our favorites), visit the petting zoo, send your children on a pony ride, enjoy the hayride, visit educational exhibits, and whoosh down the mega slides!

Accessibility: Lucky Ladd Farms is wheelchair accessible. The barnyard, wagon ride, and playground are also accessible, and the playground features an accessible swing.

Cheekwood Harvest
When: September 18 - October 31

Where: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens | Nashville
Purchase Advance Tickets Here

Cheekwood Harvest is the star of the Estate and Garden’s yearly autumnal festivities. The gardens are an ideal venue in which to view the changing of the leaves across the thousands of carefully tended trees, and the featured art exhibits are enhanced in these stunning natural surroundings. If you’re feeling chilly during your stay, be sure to pick up some hot apple cider to warm your hands while you wander the expansive grounds.

El Día de los Muertos
When: October 28 - October 29

Where: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens | Nashville
Purchase Advance Tickets Here

Throughout Latin America, El Día de los Muertos is the time to gather to celebrate, honor, and share stories of loved ones who have passed into the spirit realm. Here in Nashville, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens invites you to join their El Día de los Muertos festival in their 24th year as they share the art, cuisine, music, and dance of Latin America. Visit handmade illuminated altar displays, shop the pop-up marketplace, and strengthen your community this season at Cheekwood. 

Halloween Pooch Party
When: October 21 - 22, 9AM to 4:30PM

Where: Cheekwood Museum and Gardens | Nashville
Advanced Tickets Required

Let’s celebrate all costumed canines at Cheekwood! Autumn isn’t complete without the “pawtumn” Pooch Parade, so bring your beloved canine in their favorite costume, dress yourself to match, and join in the parade! You and your furry friend will have the opportunity to win any one of several prizes and be put in the running for the grand prize!

Local vendors will be in attendance with yummy treats, and you and your dog can snap selfies at the adorable Pumpkin Houses. Leashes are required, and this party requests that you BYO pup’s water bowl.

Boo at the Zoo
When: October 13 - 29 | 5PM to 9PM

Where: Nashville Zoo at Grassmere | Nashville
Purchase Advance Tickets Here

Boo at the Zoo returns in 2023, and it will be spectacular! There will be an array of enchanting illuminated scenes to enjoy and use as photo opportunities, the beloved Monster Mash dance, delightful animal shows, plenty of trick-or-treat stations, giant straw creatures, complimentary rides on the decorated Scary-Go-Round Carousel, a pumpkin patch, and educational spooky tours at the Grassmere Historic Home.

Family-friendly costumes are encouraged for visitors of all ages.

Nashville Dog Day Festival
When: October 21, 10AM to 4PM

Where: Centennial Park | Nashville

Nashville Human Society is holding their crowd-pleasing fundraiser once again. That’s right, the Annual Dog Day Festival is back, and it’s your dog’s chance to take center stage! If your pooch loves to dress up, bring your fluffy cutie in their Halloween finery to join the pup parade, sit for a portrait, and join the community for live music, entertainment, a variety of seasonal fun centers, mouth-watering food trucks, and more. 

Nashville Oktoberfest
When: October 5th–8th, 2023

Where: Bi-Centennial Mall, 600 James Robertson Pkwy | Nashville
Free General Admission

Nashville’s longest consecutively running party returns this fall, and Oktoberfest in Music City is not to be missed! Germans, those of German heritage, beer enthusiasts, and party people are all invited to partake of the many draft beer stations, each of which will highlight beer that’s been imported from Germany for the occasion. The party tent, sponsored by Jägermeister, will feature live music, beer, and bratwurst throughout the festival.

Bring your dog, especially if your canine companion enjoys dressing up for the holiday, because costumed dogs are invited to show off their outfits in the Pup Parade taking place in front of the main stage. German restaurants will be offering delectable meals, arts and crafts vendors are set to help you with your holiday shopping, and the region’s second-largest 5k will take place during this free festival.

Halloween In the Park
When: October 21, 11AM to 3PM

Where: Charlie Daniels Park | Mt. Juliet
Free Admission

Halloween in the Park is Mt. Juliet’s annual community party for children, so you and yours are invited to take a hayride, visit the petting zoo, bounce through inflatables, ride the trackless train, join in the costume contest, visit the many booths offering free gifts, and enjoy oodles of free candy!

36th Annual Pumpkinfest 2021
When: October 28, 10AM to 7PM

Where: Main Street, Downtown | Franklin
Free Admission

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County is throwing Middle Tennessee’s largest annual family fall festival, so mark your calendar! This gargantuan celebration extends the full length of Main Street and down many side avenues, and it’s a good thing, because this event will be attended by over 110,000 people.

Fun, festivities, crafts, arts, and artisan goods will be on offer for visitors of all ages, including autumn-themed meals, drinks, and desserts you can’t find anywhere else. Wear your costume, bring your costumed dog, and you can both enter the costume contest! Do stay for the live music and take the time to chat with community members from all across Middle Tennessee.

Main Street Festival
October 7, 10AM - 5 PM

Main Street, Downtown | Gatlinburg
Free Admission, Free Parking

Gatlinburg’s annual Main Street Festival is celebrating 37 years and has expanded to more than 200 vendors serving over 30,000 visitors! We recommend arriving early for this rain or shine event, because each year has been more popular than the last. Live music and entertainment will be taking place on the main stage, local eateries will be serving up delicious eats, and there is a designated children’s area for little ones who need a large space in which to play and join in seasonal activities.

Haunted Canoe the Caney
When: Fridays and Saturdays, October 6 through November 11 | Hourly 6PM to 10PM

Where: Caney Fork River | Silverville
Purchase Advance Tickets Here

This chilling tour is only for the bold. Are you prepared to paddle the shimmering waters of the Caney Fork River under the moonlit skies? This shiver-inducing ghost tour begins with a walking tour just a breath away from the old cemetery and a stone’s throw from the old military base. Stay close to your guide, for you will hear the most frightening tales of the past six decades. The stories begin with a flooded town’s lost graves, the ghostly encounters that followed, and the disembodied voices that still whisper to passersby. Remember, this is not a staged attraction. The tales you’ll hear are authentic stories passed down from previous residents, so only board your canoe if you’re sure you’ve got what it takes to glide only 15 feet above the sunken graveyard founded over a century ago.

Do the ghastly stories stem from the graves that remain in the watery depths of Cemetery Cove? Are the spirits wandering below your canoe? In these darkened waters, keep your eyes peeled for shimmers of shapes, and you may head home with a ghost story of your own to tell.

The Takeaway

If you’ve read our top eleven festival descriptions, visited those near you, and just can’t get enough of Middle Tennessee’s fall celebrations, we understand! Autumn is our region’s most gorgeous season, and our community events reflect our collective enthusiasm for this time of year.

In addition to the specifically fall-themed festivities, consider checking out the following events as well:

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