A Raleigh Mom’s Guide to October Events

This October in and around Raleigh is jam-packed with activities for families to enjoy from the annual NC State Fair, BugFest, A Shopping Spree!, family-friendly Halloween haunts, an International Festival and much more.  Plan your family fun with our mom-approved Guide to the Month of October.

*Bookmark this page as we will be adding more events as they pop up.

October Events for Raleigh-Area Families

*Events are subject to change. Be sure to click on the event link to verify date and time.

Cary Dog Days

October 6th.  |  9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  |  Bond Park, Cary

Bring your friendly family dog (leashed, of course!) for a day of Fall fun in the park! Enter into (or watch) the Skyhoundz Canine Frisbee Disc Competition, get your pup washed by the members of the Cary Teen Council, or enjoy a Pet Paddle experience!  Want to provide a forever home for a pet? Local dog rescue groups and other vendors will be on site to families to adopt. Vaccinate and microchip your pets with Cary Animal Control and other local veterinarians. 

Pumpkin Patch Express

October 6th-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-28th  |  Museum of Life & Sciences, Durham

Welcome in Fall with a ride on the Pumpkin Patch Express. Hop aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway and journey to the Museum’s pumpkin patch. Enjoy picking out your favorite pumpkin, participate in carnival games, a pumpkin toss, a hay maze a corn crib and more.  Pre-register and purchase tickets HERE. (This is not included in museum admission.)

Triangle Parade of Homes

October 6th-7th, 12th – 14th, 19- 21st  |  12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  |  Wake, Durham, Orange & Chatham Counties

Grab your besties for an opportunity to visit over 250 homes in the Triangle. This popular annual event is a FREE self-guided tour of new homes that showcase the hottest design and builder trends. Visit their website HERE to learn more and download the Triangle Parade of Homes App.

Big Sweep

October 6th  |  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  |  Blue Jay Point County Park, Raleigh

Ready to roll up your sleeves and help? Join others to clean up the Falls Lake shoreline around Blue Jay Point. For ages 8 years and up.  Bring work gloves, water bottle, sunscreen, and insect-repellant. Don’t forget to wear closed-toes shoes or old sneakers. Register in advance.

Garner Fireman’s Festival

October 6th  |  11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  |  Garner Fire Station 1

Come out and celebrate our local firemen with a parade, live fire demonstrations, raffle drawings, live music, activities and games, food vendors and more. 

Above the Rim presented by PNC Free Family Saturday

October 6th  |  12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  |  CAM Raleigh, Downtown Raleigh

It’s a basketball block party for all ages celebrating the new exhibition Above the Rim. The fun will be inside and outside of the museum.  Basketball activities for big and littles, watch a Slam Dunk competition with Raleigh’s new professional basketball team, the Raleigh Firebirds, dance performances, music, food & drinks, art activities and so much more. Most importantly, participate in a Food + Supplies Drive for eastern North Carolina hurricane relief efforts. Bring paper towels, cleaning supplies, and your favorite canned soups.

15th Annual Haunting at Harris:  Halloween Around the World

October 7th  |  1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  |  Harris Lake County Park, New Hill

Experience Halloween traditions from around the world – Mexico, Romania, Ireland, China and United States are just a few of the countries that will be represented. Wear your Halloween costume, create crafts, meet live critters, take the obstacle course challenge, and more. Take a creepy wagon ride and see the “Day of the Dead”, Dracula, jack-o-lanterns and other surprises! FREE event. No registration required. Tickets for the wagon ride are first come, first served. These tickets are free but limited. Ticket distribution times are 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Raleigh Moms Blog Mom’s Morning Out: Shop with Meaning at The Flourish Market

October 13th  |  10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  |  The Flourish Market, Downtown Raleigh

Save the Date for our Mom’s Morning Out: Shop with Meaning event with The Flourish Market  on Saturday, October 13th from 10am – 1pm. Stay tuned to our Facebook Page as we announce all the details. This special morning out for mamas will feature shopping Fall fun, raffles, personal styling, special giveaways for the first attendees, a delicious Fall beverage, small bites and much more with 10% off all shopping sales to benefit a very special adopting mom. 


Photo Credit: A Shopping Spree!


Junior League of Raleigh: A Shopping Spree!

October 18th – 21st  |  Raleigh Convention Center, Downtown Raleigh

Grab your friends and family and kick-off your holiday shopping during this four-day shopping fundraiser that showcases local, regional, and national exhibitors. check out the latest in fashion and home decor trends, unique gifts and holiday merchandise. A Shopping SPREE! is a juried event to ensure a well-balanced selection of products and quality merchandise.⠀Proceeds from A Shopping Spree! help support the Junior League of Raleigh’s Center for Community Leadership and community projects, particularly in the League’s focus area of promising youth. The League has donated more than $1.6 million and more than 237,000 volunteer hours to programs and projects that impact youth in our community such as BackPack Buddies, SAFEchild, Brentwood Boys & Girls Club, StepUp Ministry, Helping Horse, Heritage Park Community Learning Center, Kids on the Block and AventWest Children’s Mentoring.⠀Visit their website HERE to learn more and get your tickets today!

Garden Buds: Pumpkin Spice

October 11th & 12th  |  10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  |  The Yurt in the JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh

Explore self-guided hands-on activities and creative-art projects all about Pumpkins with your preschooler in the garden. For ages 3-5 years. Register in advance. Cost: $5 per child for Arboretum members, $7 per child for non-members. (No charge for adults.) 

A Long Term Love Affair with the N.C. State Fair

Check out our post on “A Long Term Love Affair with the N.C. State Fair”

N.C. State Fair

October 12th – 21st  |  N.C. State Fairgrounds, Raleigh

It’s State Fair season so don’t miss out! From midway rides, delicious Fair eats, performances, contests, character meet & greets, livestock competitions and so much more….there is something for everyone in the family. Learn more HERE about all that is happening at the N.C. State Fair!

Track or Treat: Halloween Express

October 13th, 20th & 27th  |  New Hope Valley Railway, New Hill

Hop aboard a real train and join this family-friendly “Mummy Mayhem” where passengers search for 13 mummies hidden along the train tracks, and in the rail yard and museum. Enjoy popular singing pumpkins, creepy art, magical bubbles, games, food vendors and much more. Learn more HERE.

Raleigh Responders Day

October 13th  |  11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Quiet Hours – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)  | Method Community Park, Raleigh

FREE event to climb, touch, and explore the vehicles and trucks of our local Raleigh Responders. Meet the crews from the Raleigh Police Department, Wake County EMS, North Carolina Wildlife, City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources, Urban Forestry, and more! 

Empowering Wake Day

October 13th  |  1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. |  Flower Fields at Dorothea Dix Park, Raleigh

It’ time to celebrate youth (ages 12-17 years) who have volunteered their time and talents in the community. This is a fun afternoon with inflatables, a silent disco, arts and crafts and more! Have a youth that has volunteered? Learn more HERE and register.

Time for Tots: State Fair Fun

October 13th  |  10:00 a.m. – 10: 45 a.m.  |  NC Museum of History, Raleigh

Learn all about the NC State Fair and create a little fair Fall fun of your own! For ages 3-5 years with an adult.  Cost: $5 per child/ FREE for museum members. 

STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities

October 16th  |  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  |  NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

The STEM Career Showcase for Students with Disabilities is an annual educational event where attendees meet role models with disabilities who have thriving careers in STEM fields. 


October 18th – 21st  |  City Plaza, Downtown Raleigh

A festival that celebrates all things creative “for the community by the community“! Four days of artistry, vendor shopping, kids activities, performances, design, fashion, food, literature, tech and much more. Visit their website and start making plans.

RLT Presents The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

October 19th – 28th  |  Canton V. Sutton Theatre at The Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh

Take your family to visit this classic tale by C.S. Lewis and journey to the Land of Narnia with RLT. Enjoy special events such as a Post-Show Discussion and Milk & Cookies Night. A Sensory-Friendly performance designed especially for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities, or other disabilities will be held November 3rd at 1:00 p.m. Visit their website HERE to learn more and purchase your tickets. 


October 20th  |  9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Inside the Museum) 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Outside the Museum)  |  NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

This year’s theme: Arthropod – Crayfish and other Crustaceans! Learn about the fascinating world of creepy critters at this annual bug festival. During BugFest enjoy over 100 entertaining exhibits, interact with entomologists and other scientists, participate in hands-on crafts, games and activities, sample buggy dishes, and spend an evening with live music, bug stands and a street carnival to close up the day. Visit their website to learn more. This is a FREE event.  From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. outside of the museum will be live bands, bug stations, and a street carnival!

Pumpkin Patch

October 20th  |  11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  |  Parkside Town Commons, Cary

FREE Fall fun event!  Enjoy a trackless train ride, bounce houses, face-painting, games and prizes, character meet and greets, crafts and more. Children (under 10 years of age) can pick out their favorite pumpkin, too, while supplies last. 

Moonlight Walk: A Walk Around the World

October 24th  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  |  East Regional Library, Raleigh

FREE event for all ages. Celebrate and explore the different cultures around the world during the 14th Annual Moonlight Walk featuring an evening of activities – enjoy puppet shows, multicultural games, and make an international craft. Families can also take a walk around the nature trail. No registration required.

Fall Festival

October 25th  |  4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  |  The District at Park West Village, Morrisville

Trick-or-treating, movie night and a costume contest!  FREE family fun starts with a hayride from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., then enjoy an outdoor family-friendly Halloween movie on the lawn, in addition to activities, prizes, and more.  Don’t forget to wear your costume and participate in the annual Costume Contest to win prizes. 

International Festival

October 26th – 28th  |  Raleigh Convention Center, Downtown Raleigh

Annual three-day festival of international performances, food, games, art, cultural exhibits and shopping. This year’s theme is “Celebrations around the World” with over 50 Triangle communities sharing their traditions and celebrating our area’s diversity. This is a ticketed event. Visit their website HERE to learn more. 

A Walk in the Dark

October 26th & 27th  |  NC Museum of History, Raleigh

Costumes optional, curiosity required! The Story of North Carolina comes to life with lantern-lit tours during these interactive evenings. In this immersive live theatre experience, audiences will follow pirates, pilots, and pioneers as they twist and turn throughout a lantern-lit tour of the real Story of North Carolina! Shows are 45 minutes long. Friday, Oct. 26th is the adult event. Saturday, Oct. 27th is the family event with craft activities and treats!  Cost:  $12 per person/$10 for MOHA/museum members, discounted through Oct. 20. Register early. Learn more HERE.

Enchanted Forest

October 27th  |  5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. |  Durant Nature Preserve, Raleigh

Explore the enchanted forest in the preserve where wildlife friends will be eager to talk with you and show you their forest homes. Bring your family and friends and explore the trails at twilight, meet magical woodland creatures, and make Halloween crafts from natural materials. Preregistration is required and children must be accompanied by an adult. For all ages. Cost: $2.  Registration Barcode: #227722

Halloween in the Village

October 27th  |  2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  |  Lafayette Village, Raleigh

Celebrate Halloween with the family and trick-or-treat around the village in the shops of the local merchants. Be on the lookout for local princesses and superheroes from Enchanted Wishes.

Apex Music Festival

October 27th  |  3:00 p.m. – Midnight |  Historic Downtown Apex

Live music is coming back to the heart of downtown Apex during this annual festival with four stages, 10 bands, food trucks, and craft beer & wine. Admission Wristbands ranges from $15 – $35. See HEREThis tends to be an adult-focused event but music lovers of all ages are welcome. Strollers are not permitted.

Trick-or-Treat Trail & Trunk-or-Treat

October 27th  |  4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  |  Hatcher Creek Trail at Morrisville Community Park, Morrisville

Trick-or-Treat with the family (for ages 0-12 years) through the 1/4 mile paved loop at the Hatcher Creek Trail. Collect goodies from costumed characters, play in bounce houses, and enjoy your favorite bites to eat from local Food Trucks. In addition, Town of Morrisville Police and Fire Departments we will also present Trunk or Treat, where local businesses and community organizations will sponsor and decorate a police car or fire truck. Participants with the best trunk will win the “Tricked Out Trunk” award! 

Kooky Spooky

October 27th  |  6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  |  Marbles Kids Museum, Downtown Raleigh

Celebrate dressed in your costume and celebrate Halloween Marbles-style with a family-friendly night of ghoulish activities including a Monster Mash Dance Party. Children must be accompanied by an adult.  Visit HERE to purchase your tickets and learn more. 

North Carolina Wine Festival

October 27th  |  Noon – 6:00 p.m.  |  Coastal Credit Union at Midtown Park, Raleigh

It’s Wine Time! Join the 4th annual N.C. Wine Festival by sampling your favorite wines, chardonnay’s, and more as you meet the makers and representatives behind these amazing wines. Learn more and purchase your tickets HERE

Pop-Up Art: Altered Architecture Photographs

October 28th  |  Noon  |  NC Museum of Art, Raleigh

FREE art-making event for all ages. Registration required. Be inspired by the exhibitions, Candida Höfer in Mexico, and take your own photos of the Museum campus. Print and alter pictures on site to create a mixed-media work of art.

Halloween Safe Night 2018

October 31st  |  6:00 – 9:00 p.m.  |  NC Museum of History, Raleigh

FREE event. Spend a spooky night searching out candies and treats in the museum as you walk along the trick-or-treat trail and through The Story of North Carolina chronological history exhibit. For ages 12 years and up with an adult.  Register in advance. 

Trick-or-Treat the Trails

October 31st  |  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  |  White Deer Park, Garner

Spend your Halloween trick-or-treating around the one-mile loop at White Deer Park with local businesses and organizations passing out candies and goodies. FREE event. Children must be accompanied by a parent at all times.  


Did we miss anything?  Share with us your favorite October events in the comments below.  




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