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Things to Do in Chattanooga: October

Hello Chattanooga! Fall is here and as the leaves take on their fiery hues and the air gets that cozy, crisp edge, the Scenic City is filled with festive events. Here’s your ultimate guide to 14 events happening in Chattanooga this October.

October 1-30, Saturdays and Sundays

Rock City’s German heritage will be on full display every weekend at the 17th annual Rocktoberfest. From toe-tapping live German tunes to delightful traditional dishes to specialty brews, this festive event has something for everyone. As you sip your festive drinks, be sure to soak in Chattanooga’s stunning fall panorama from the top of Lookout Mountain.

October 1

Kick-off October by celebrating the 20th anniversary of Switchfoot’s seminal album, “The Beautiful Letdown,” at The new Signal Chattanooga. This triple-platinum record features chart-topping hits like “Meant To Live” and “Dare You To Move.” Doors open at 6:30 p.m., so be ready to rock the night away!

October 1-31, Thursday – Sunday Nights + Halloween

The spooky season is the perfect time to visit the award-winning Dread Hollow, which features three haunted houses and horror-themed escape rooms. Located at Browns Ferry Road, this experience is recommended for ages 12 and above. Secure your timed-entry tickets in advance for a spine-chilling adventure!

arial view of reflection riding nature center in the fall.

October 6 & 21

Combine the coziness of autumn campfires with concerts under the stars featuring Milele Roots – Oct 6 and hip-hop artist Swayyvo – Oct 21. The excitement takes place at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center starting at 5:45 p.m., and the tunes begin at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy s’mores, beer, and the option to camp out overnight.

October 6 & 7 

Whether you’re a die-hard bluegrass fan or someone just looking for a weekend of great music and community, head to Ross’s Landing for the free 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival, a two-day extravaganza featuring a blend of traditional and avant-garde bluegrass music. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and dogs to enjoy performances from renowned artists rain or shine.

view of the Wine over Water festival at the Walnut Pedestrian Street bridge

October 7

Hey there, wine enthusiasts! Wine Over Water is the event for you. With over 200 varieties of wine to taste, you can also indulge in some delicious local cuisine. And that’s not all; enjoy some live music on the historic Walnut Street Bridge. Sounds like a perfect day out, doesn’t it? Tickets are $125 per person, supporting the conservation efforts of Preserve Chattanooga.

October 7-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29

Hop on the Halloween Eerie Express, brought to you by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, for a vintage train ride like no other. The train travels over four bridges and through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel to reach the Funhouse Station. Don’t miss out on storytelling, blacklight mini golf, games, temporary tattoos, coloring pages, and bags of treats for children.

OCTOBER 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 

Gather your little goblins and fairies because it’s time for the Chattanooga Zoo’s most enchanting event of the year – Boo in the Zoo! This family-friendly celebration will be filled with merry-not-scary decorations, trick-or-treat stations, an exciting scavenger hunt, and the cutest costume contest. The fun takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. Please note: Tickets can be secured exclusively online. 

October 13-15

Connect with fellow car aficionados at the fourth annual Chattanooga Motorcar Festival! Explore over 1,500 cars, enjoy family-friendly street festivals, games, simulators, celebrity guests, and a concert by The B-52s. This three-day festival will be at three different locations, The Bend, Chattanooga Convention Center, and West Village, and is sure to be spectacular for those motorcar adrenaline seekers and historic car hunters.

Group dressed in German attire at the Chattanooga Octoberfest.

October 14-15

Grab your lederhosen or dirndl and make your way to the First Horizon Pavilion for a taste of Germany right here in Chattanooga! Chattanooga’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebration features over 100 seasonal and local beers, live Oompah music, and a crowning of Mr. and Ms. Oktoberfest. Event times are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

October 19

Ready for an unBOOlievable night – just for the adults! The Chattanooga Zoo is once again hosting its famed Boo’z in the Zoo event, specially crafted for those aged 21 and over.  Featuring trick-or-treat stations, themed enrichment, Halloween decorations, and a free haunted carousel ride. Don’t miss out on a scary good night! Don your most creative costumes, have a cocktail, and check out the local food trucks starting at 6:00 p.m.

October 20

The Comedy Catch is hosting The Lookout Comedy Festival, a showcase of carefully selected talent followed by a national touring headliner, Lace Larrabee. She was a semi-finalist on season 17 of America’s Got Talent and was brought back for the finale to roast judge Simon Cowell alongside the Roastmaster General himself, Jeff Ross. She was also named a nationwide finalist in the Kenan Thompson’s Ultimate Comedy Competition.

October 21 & 22

The Chattanooga Market invites you to bask in autumnal treats at the Chattanooga Apple Festival on October 21 and 22. Vendors will be offering mouthwatering apple pies, apple strudels, aromatic apple candles, and soothing apple-infused lotions, complemented by fresh local produce and handcrafted artisanal treasures. If you’re looking for some festive fun, make your way to First Horizon Pavilion between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

October 27

Wrap up the month by putting on your Halloween costume for a family-friendly celebration at the Tennessee Aquarium from 4 to 8 p.m. Aquascarium lets you fill up on candy while enjoying the aquarium’s exhibits. Visitors can also enjoy lights, themed decorations, costumed divers, and more!

That’s a wrap for October! With so much to see and do, make sure you get out and enjoy all that Chattanooga has to offer this season. Happy Fall, y’all!

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