7 Frighteningly Fun Ways to Enjoy Halloween in Gatlinburg and the Smokies

The Mysterious Mansion in Gatlinburg.

In addition to breathtaking foliage, fall brings lots of Halloween fun to Gatlinburg, TN! Throughout the month of October, our Smoky Mountain city hosts a number of special events and activities that are sure to delight ghosts and ghouls of all ages. To help you make the most of your next vacation, Hearthside Cabin Rentals has put together a convenient guide to enjoying Halloween in Gatlinburg and the Smokies.

1. Halloween Weekends at the Mysterious Mansion

The Mysterious Mansion has been delivering thrills and chills to vacationers in Gatlinburg for over 35 years! In the weeks leading up to Halloween, this spooky haunted house offers special presentations on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. These Halloween shows are even scarier than a typical visit to the Mysterious Mansion. If your family wants an experience that is (slightly) less intense, they can attend one of the weekday shows at the Mansion. There will also be an extra terrifying show on October 31st.

2. Great Pumpkin LumiNights at DollywoodA giant pumpkin at the Dollywood Welcome Center during the Harvest Festival.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights are the latest addition to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival. During October evenings, the theme park will feature thousands of illuminated jack-o-lanterns that are carved with whimsical designs. Guests will also have the chance to meet kid-friendly Halloween characters like Harvey the Pumpkin and Vine Vinny, explore a glow-in-the-dark maze, get their faces painted with glow-in-the-dark paint, watch pumpkin carving demonstrations, and enjoy tasty fall-themed snacks. The LumiNights aren’t scary at all, which makes them a great Halloween activity for families with young children.

3. Ghost & Haunt Tours of Gatlinburg

Taking one of the city’s Ghost & Haunt Tours is another great way to celebrate Halloween in Gatlinburg! When you sign up for one of these tours, a paranormal expert will take you to all of Gatlinburg’s most haunted locations. Along the way, you’ll hear chilling ghost stories from Gatlinburg’s past that will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. A highlight of the tour is the chance to use real ghost hunting equipment to check for supernatural activity in the Smokies.

A wooden sign at a corn maze.4. Kyker Farms Korn Maze

Visiting Kyker Farms is a Halloween tradition for many Smoky Mountain vacationers! This family-owned farm is famous for its signature “Kornfusing Korn Maze”, which will have even the smartest guests scratching their heads and walking in circles. In addition to the maze, Kyker Farms also offers hayrides, tunnel slides, corn cob swings, corn hole, a pumpkin patch, and even more fall fun. Be sure to come back at night so you can play Zombie Blasterz (an interactive paintball ride) or experience The Trail (a terrifying trek through a haunted cornfield).

5. Ripley’s Fright Nights

Much like the Mysterious Mansion, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure also hosts special Halloween events throughout October. Held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights (along with October 31st), these creepy Fright Nights are guaranteed to leave you screaming! Ripley’s Fright Nights begin at 6 p.m. with a character parade filled with gruesome monsters and maniacs. The Fright Nights are open to guests aged 6 and up, but it is recommended that visitors be at least 12.

6. Halloween at The Island

Kids at a Halloween party.

One of the most eagerly anticipated events in October is the annual Halloween Carnival at The Island in Pigeon Forge. Featuring acrobats, stilt walkers, circus sideshows, and contortionists, this family-friendly event is always a blast. Admission to the carnival is free and guests who arrive early in costume will receive a 50% discount on unlimited ride passes. There will also be a fun costume contest, so be sure to go all out with your wigs, face paint, and props!

7. Trick or Treat Kick-Off Karnival

On October 31st, your family can begin Halloween with a bang by attending Gatlinburg’s Trick or Treat Kick-Off Karnival. Held at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies Plaza from 1 – 5 p.m., this fun event will feature costumed characters, contests, and lots of candy. Guests are encouraged to dress up for the occasion!

Exterior shot of one of our secluded luxury cabins.Where to Stay in Gatlinburg

When you stay with Hearthside Cabin Rentals, you’ll be near all of these amazing attractions and events celebrating Halloween in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 18 bedroom cabins, we are sure to have the perfect accommodations for your vacation. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of cabins in Gatlinburg!