fall colors in the Smoky Mountains

6 Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg During October

If you’ve never been to Gatlinburg during the fall, what are you waiting for? With acres of incredible foliage that changes with each season, this gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains is the ideal travel location for sightseers of every age. In fact, October is one of the most popular months throughout the year to visit. During fall, the leaves start to change to gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, and red. Not only are there beautiful sights everywhere you turn, but there are so many fun activities, festivals, and events in the area! To help guarantee you have a fun fall vacation, we’ve made a list of some of favorite fun things to do in Gatlinburg in October!

1.Enjoy Autumn at Anakeesta

Willow at AnakeestaIf you’re interested in fall-themed decorations, fun, and food, combined with gorgeous fall views, then Autumn at Anakeesta is the perfect event for you! Anakeesta is a mountaintop attraction that offers gorgeous views from the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg, along with rides, eateries, and other activities. During the month of October, visitors can enjoy Hallow Mountain. Not only will you have the best views of the fall colors, but there’s also Halloween-themed decor, Bavarian-themed food and drink specials, live music, and more. Take a ride on the Rail Runner mountain coaster, walk along the Treetop Skywalk, or gather around a fire pit and sip a fall cocktail!

2. Attend the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair

A mixture of music and art draws a crowd each year for about two weeks in mid-October. The Gatlinburg Convention Center houses artisans from across the U.S. for the annual fall Craftsmen’s Fair. Guests often like to relax and listen to the live country, gospel, or bluegrass music after browsing through arts and crafts tables. At a typical fair, more than 200 booths fill the venue with items like ceramics, blown glass, jewelry, and even baked goods.

3. Halloween Boo Bash at the SkyLift Park

Gatlinburg SkyLift ParkLooking for some spooky things to do in Gatlinburg in October? Visit the SkyLift Park for its Halloween Boo Bash! Not only is this one of the best spots to see the Smoky Mountain fall foliage, but it’s also one of the most fun places to be for families this October! Along the SkyTrail, visitors will encounter animatronic witches, ghostly figures, lighted trees, and spooky spiders. During the evening, the walk turns into a haunted one, and the SkyBridge is cloaked in fog, adding chilling thrills for all who dare to cross! Throughout select nights in October, the attraction will be airing family-friendly Halloween movies on a giant screen on the SkyDeck. The fun happens all October long!

4. OktOberfest

A trip to Gatlinburg is not complete unless you spend at least one day at Ober Gatlinburg. Throughout the month of October, the OktOberfest celebration dominates the festivities. Bavarian food, dress, and culture are all a part of this popular event. If you like German folk dances and yodeling, then you won’t want to miss it. The biggest hit of the festival is the food and drink. Enjoy schnitzel, bratwurst, strudel, and more — plus an Outdoor Bier Garten! You can also look forward to the Smoky Mountain Oompah Band, who performs traditional Bavarian folk dances, sing-a-longs, and more. The aerial tram that takes you to the amusement park at the top of a mountain is an experience that rivals the attraction itself; it gives you a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape with its spectacular fall colors!

5. Ripley’s Fright Nights

Ripley's Haunted AdventureGet into the Halloween spirit at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure! Fright Nights occur every weekend leading up to the 31st. Fright Nights at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure are one of the most popular things to do in Gatlinburg in October. It’s a family-friendly event that attracts visitors both young and old. While young patrons enjoy the evening character parade, the older audience gets its kicks from the scary but thrilling performance that follows. Shows run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the entire month. The experience will not be easily forgotten!

6. Gatlinburg’s Mysterious Mansion

The Mysterious Mansion is perhaps the spookiest spot in town. Your self-guided tour will lead you into dark hallways and chambers where danger lurks. Ghosts from residents past may show up at the most inopportune moments. Although you can visit this haunted turn-of-the-century house on a spring or summer day, its chilling effect reaches farther and wider during the hair-raising month of October as Halloween night approaches.

Check out these other Halloween-themed activities in Gatlinburg!

Now that you know about all the fun things to do in Gatlinburg during October, you better start planning your trip so you don’t miss out! Our hotel is the best place to stay just minutes from all the action. If you’re looking for a comfortable room to return to after all the fall fun, look no further than Old Creek Lodge! Plus, we have rooms for all occasions, from romantic getaways to family vacations.

Browse all our Gatlinburg hotel rooms and reserve your stay in Gatlinburg this October!