Chattanooga's Top Picks for Family-Friendly Fall Activities

Autumn has arrived in Chattanooga, and a collective sigh of relief can be heard throughout the city. The back-to-school rush is in full swing, the beloved Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has returned, and while the South's temperatures may only be beginning to cool down slightly, we're embracing every bit of it!

As we welcome fall, it's time to start planning all the exciting activities this season brings: visits to pumpkin patches, indulging in harvest festivals, and gearing up for spooky Halloween celebrations. To save you guys some time and allow you to enjoy that pumpkin spice latte, I have compiled a list of family-friendly fall activities around Chattanooga to help you make the most of this beautiful season.

Image: News Channel 9

Chattanooga’s Boo in the Zoo 

October 13, 2023 - October 28, 2023 | 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM  | Recurring weekly on Friday, Saturday

This annual family-friendly celebration will be hosted at the Chattanooga Zoo for the entire month of October. With not-so-scary decorations, trick-or-treat stations, scavenger hunts, costume shows, and more, this is the perfect event for your family! Bring your own trick-or-treat container and come dressed in your favorite non-scary costume to enjoy these festivities. On top of these fun fall activities, all the animals will be on exhibit, and the Zoo Choo train will be operating rides! 

Note: You must purchase tickets online; no tickets will be sold at the gate. For all members, tickets will be $10 and non-members will be $15.

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Images: Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls Lantern Tour: Ghost Walk Edition

September 10, 2023 - October 31, 2023 | 9:00 PM | Recurring on Select Thursday and Sunday Nights

Ruby Falls celebrates this spooky season with their Ghost Walk Edition Lantern tours. If you’re 12 years or older, you can get in the spirit by exploring the caverns while carrying handheld lanterns and hearing ghost stories from the 94-year history of Ruby Falls and frightening Chattanooga legends. Going to the underground waterfall, you will visit sites of peculiarity, mystery, and tragedy. 

Note: Tickets are $39.95 and are expected to sell out fast. Booking in advance is required, so get your tickets now!

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Image: Only in Your State

TN Valley Railroad Museum’s Halloween Eerie Express

October 2023 | 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Most Fridays and Saturdays| 3:30 PM on Saturdays

Embark on a fun Halloween adventure with the Railroad Museum’s Eerie Express. This fall activity, designed for families with younger children, begins with you boarding a vintage train, where you will be taken to the main event of your night. At the end of the ride, you arrive at the Funhouse station, where you and your family will enter the funhouse area filled with a variety of festivities. You can experience storytelling, mini-golf, temporary tattoos, and a walk-through of different decorated rooms. Make sure your child is holding their Eerie Express ticket for the opportunity to pick out a mini pumpkin and a goody bag to take home. There will also be a contest with prizes for the best costumes, so come dressed up!

Note: This event is for children ages 2+, and each ticket costs $25. You can book tickets online!

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Image 1: Trip Advisor Image 2: Visit Chattanooga

Haunted Chattanooga Market

October 29, 2023 | 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 

Whether you are a regular attendee or just visiting Chattanooga, you are welcome to the Haunted edition of the Chattanooga Market. Vendors will pass out candy as you explore the booths, and you are encouraged to dress in your most clever costume and participate in the costume parade starting at 2 p.m. There will be trick-or-treating for your little goblins and live music by “The Scarlet Love Conspiracy,” creating a fun and festive atmosphere for you and your family to enjoy!

Note: Meet at the Lodge cast iron sizzle stage for the costume parade.

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Image: WDEF

Creative Discovery Museum’s Monster Bash

October 20-21, 2023 | 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM 

If you are a member of Chattanooga’s Creative Discovery Museum, you need to check out the annual Monster Bash. Admission to this event gives you access to all museum exhibits plus additional fall-themed activities. Dress up in your family-friendly costume and explore the massive pumpkin patch, play a variety of games, or even have a meet and greet with princesses from Chattanooga Princess Parties. There will be plenty of photo opportunities to show off your costumes, so bring your family and be ready to have a spooktacular time!

Note: Tickets are $10 and children under 2 are free!

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Images: Flat Top Mountain Farm

Flat Top Mountain Farm's Fall Festival

September 15, 2023 - October 29, 2023 | 10:00 AM - 8:00 Pm Fridays | 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM Saturdays | 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM Sundays

This fun family festival offers a variety of activities for you to enjoy. Vendors located throughout the festival offer activities such as pony riding, face painting, picnics, carriage rides, and more. For an additional cost, you can purchase tickets to gather flowers or experience a bonfire and s'mores with your group. Flat Top Mountain Farm is known for its two corn mazes that cater to all levels of maze-goers. Whether you are seeking a relaxed adventure or thrill, there is a place for you! With such a variety of options, this is ideal for any family looking for a day packed with fun.

Note: General Admission costs $12, and children 3 and under are free!

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Halloween EEKstravaganza

October 28, 2023 | 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM 

The Soddy Daisy Community Library welcomes all to an old-fashioned Halloween bash filled with frightening fun! You can enter the pie-baking contest chili cook-off or explore the petting zoo while enjoying the street entertainers performing around the park. Additionally, there will be vendors and food trucks with scary-good food and shopping. Stick around until 8:30 for the movie in the park, where they will show Goosebumps. Bring all of your friends and family to enjoy this fun-filled evening!

Note: There is no entry fee, but you can reserve a spot online.

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Images: Ketners Mill

Ketner's Mill Country Fair

October 21,2023 and October 22, 2023 | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday | 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM Sunday

This fair is filled with two days full of unique arts and crafts, food, live music, and an extensive selection of activities intended for your whole family to have a blast! During the fair, you can see how the old mill churns fresh cornmeal, visit animals at the petting zoo, and watch craftsmen, such as woodworkers and blacksmiths, creating their unique work. This festival offers a wide range of kid-friendly activities that you and your family can indulge in, ensuring a fun-filled and engaging experience!

Note: Entry fee is $7, cash only, and children 12 and under enter free! 

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Image: Stock Snap

Chasing Pumpkins 5K and Kids Candy Dash

October 28, 2023 | 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM

Join people of all ages for the 4th annual Chasing Pumpkins 5k. Whether you are by yourself or with your entire family, you can show off your best costume. At the end of the race, there will be prizes for the best family costume and the best stroller costume, so get creative! After the race, children 12 and under can participate in the candy dash, a safe and short course, where they will receive a goody bag to fill with treats at the trick-or-treating activity. Whether you enjoy running or have a child who wants to participate in the candy dash, this is the perfect event for getting in the Halloween spirit!

Note: Registration is open online until the day of the race. Tickets are $35 for individuals or $65 for two adults and children.

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Images: Mayfield Farm Park

Mayfield Farm Park's Fall Festival

September 23 - November 4, 2023 | 9:00 am - 7:00 pm Thursdays and Fridays | 11:00 am - 7:00 pm Saturdays | 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm Sundays

Mayfield Farm's fall festival is a family-friendly event spanning the fall season. With more than 40 activities, it's the ideal destination for a fun-filled day with your family. You can choose pumpkins from the farm's pumpkin patch or pick a bucket of flowers from the lovely flower fields. Additionally, you can navigate three different corn mazes, participate in a hillbilly pig race, and experience an exhilarating 80' silo slide. All the while, you can savor delicious BBQ and indulge in hand-dipped Mayfield Ice Cream! There's an abundance of activities available, so you could easily spend more than one day exploring everything this festival offers..

Note: Ticket prices vary depending on the day. Visit the website for details and purchasing options. 

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Image 1: Pixabay Image 2: Hamilton County Fair

Hamilton County Fair

November 10, 2023 - November 12, 2023 | 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Friday | 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM Saturday | 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sunday

This entertainment filled event occurring over Veteran’s Day weekend is the ultimate fall family activity. If you come hungry, there will be plenty of food, including classic fairground foods, a chili-cook off and a pie eating contest. You can indulge in many activities including amusement rides, crafts and a home tour. If you and your family need a break from being on your feet there will be live music, rodeos, lumberjack shows and fireworks! There is something for everyone to do and enjoy.

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Image 1: UTC Echo Image 2: Tennessee River Valley

Mill Country Fair

October 14, 2023 and October 15, 2023 | 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Saturday | 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday

Praters Mill invites you and all your friends and family to their annual fall country fair. This fundraiser is put on to raise money for the restoration of the historical buildings on this site. It is well worth your time with there being activities for all ages, guaranteeing you have a good time. The petting zoo, pony rides and kids train are perfect for the younger guests. You can also go on a self-guided tour of the old mill and see the historical stores and buildings throughout the property. There is a short but beautiful trail you can walk to experience the scenery of the Mill. Having a falltastic time for a good cause is a great way to spend your weekend. 

Note: Tickets are $10 cash at the gate only. Children 12 and under or those with a Military ID are free.

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