Looking for ideas to celebrate fall? Check out some of our favorite October festivals across Tennessee. From blues music to local markets and traditions to fall produce and crafts, the state has plenty of activities perfect for the whole family.
10/6 – 10/7—3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival | Chattanooga, TN
Enjoy some rich southern bluegrass in the Scenic City at the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival. Featuring more than 10 performances in two days, it’s no wonder this festival was recently named one of the Top Five Bluegrass Festivals by Great American Country. And admission is free!
10/6-10/7—Annual Unicoi County Apple Festival | Erwin, TN
Located just south of Johnson City, downtown Erwin is host to the Annual Unicoi County Apple Festival. The event boasts over 350 arts and crafts vendors from around the county including painting, photography, wood-turning, sculpture, metal, jewelry, glass and more. You and your family can get your fill at one of three food courts while you enjoy live music, children’s rides, activities, tournaments and more.
10/6 – 10/21—RiverRocks Festival | Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga wasn’t named the “Best Town Ever” by Outdoor magazine for nothing. Check out the annual RiverRocks Festival, a multi-day event celebrating the city’s outdoor lifestyle with pro and amateur competitions, various festival events including the Best Town (for) Ever Celebration, and, of course, some live music.
10/6 – 10/8—National Storytelling Festival | Jonesborough, TN
More than 40 years ago, National Storytelling Festival started with just 60 people using hay bales and wagons for stages. Now, the festival attracts dozens of storytellers and more than 10,000 visitors each year. Located in historic Jonesborough, this event features stories from acclaimed tellers. You can even tell your own at the Swappin’ Ground, where anyone is invited to tell a tale.
10/14—Pumpkintown Festival | Athens, TN
Celebrate the rich history, heritage and harvest of historic Athens at the annual Pumpkintown festival. Enjoy the day with local art, entertainment and a look at some of the rich Native American culture. Your pet can even join in on the fun at the Mutt Strut parade and costume contest.
10/21 – 10/22—Cleveland Apple Festival | Cleveland, TN
The Cleveland Apple Festival has something for everyone. Check out arts and crafts from local vendors, cheer on participants in the talent show or listen to live bluegrass music. Kids can enjoy pony and hay rides and other entertainment in the kids’ zone.
Discover more activities for your family to enjoy in Tennessee.
10/7 – 10/8—National Banana Pudding Festival | Centerville, TN
Celebrating one of the South’s most beloved desserts, this unique fall festival is something you don’t want to miss. The National Banana Pudding Festival features plenty of games and activities, music, and of course, lots of banana pudding. Watch chefs compete live for the title of America’s Best Banana Pudding and sample some for yourself by taking a stroll down Puddin’ Path.
10/7—Spring Hill Country Ham Festival | Spring Hill, TN
Your family will never get bored at this annual festival. Enjoy a variety of fun activities including live music, games and even hot air balloon rides at the Country Ham Festival. Let the kids explore the kids’ zone with huge inflatables, face painting and much more.
10/5 – 10/8—Oktoberfest | Nashville, TN
Celebrate Oktoberfest in historic Germantown this year, with activities spanning six city blocks. Enjoy traditional German food, street performances and other live entertainment. There’s even a free children’s area and the Dachshund Dash race to entertain the little ones.
10/13 – 10/15—Southern Festival of Books | Nashville, TN
For almost 30 years, the Southern Festival of Books has brought over 200 authors from across the nation to Nashville. Bring the whole family to this three-day celebration and listen to readings, panel discussions and maybe even have some of your favorite books signed! The kids will have the opportunity to check out some new children’s stories and even meet the authors.
10/28—Pumpkinfest | Franklin, TN
Celebrate fall in historic Franklin at the annual Pumpkinfest festival. This festival is packed with tons of events perfect for the whole family. Let the kids enjoy the kids’ zone, participate in costume contests, check out some extreme pumpkin carving or even guess the weight of the Great Pumpkin in the square. While you’re there, you can check out some live music along with work from local artisans.
10/5—Road to the Biscuit Blues Festival | Memphis, TN
Enjoy live blues music in the city where it all started. Head over to Beale Street to catch local musicians and acts that will be performing at the famed King Biscuit Music Festival in Helena, AR. The Road to the Biscuit features 13 stages and plenty of music and fun throughout the day.
10/7—Oakland in October Festival | Oakland, TN
Located just outside Memphis, the Oakland in October Festival provides a full day of activities. Start at the pancake breakfast, participate in the karaoke contest and take part in the annual pet parade.
10/7—Best Memphis Burger Fest | Memphis, TN
A fundraiser for Memphis Paws, the Best Memphis Burger Fest is an annual event to support area animal rescues. Watch as teams engage in some friendly competition for the title of Best Memphis Burger, and enjoy some live music and a meal from local food trucks. There’s also a kids’ zone, where youngsters can have some fun of their own.
10/13 – 10/15—Pink Palace Crafts Fair | Memphis, TN
Supporting the Pink Palace Museum, the Pink Palace Crafts Fair is one of the country’s oldest craft fairs—it has been going strong for 45 years. Browse the vendor stalls while you listen to some music and enjoy some food. Kids’ crafts, educational exhibits and family activities add to the fun.
10/21—Hatchie Fall Fest | Brownsville, TN
Known as Brownsville’s largest annual celebration, Hatchie Fall Fest is sure to be a blast for the whole family. Named after the scenic Hatchie River and Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, this community event is all about celebrating the area’s history and bringing families together. You’ll find plenty of games and activities for the kids along with a variety of musical performances, a cake baking contest and a cornhole competition.
10/27 – 10/29—RiverArtsFest | Memphis, TN
Named by Travel magazine as one of the best festivals and fairs in Tennessee, the annual RiverArtsFest celebrates the arts, local music and fantastic southern cuisine. More than 180 fine artists from around the country gather in the historic South Main Arts District to exhibit and sell their latest works. RiverArtsFest also has plenty of games and activities for children as well.
Do you have a favorite fall festival? Let us know in the comments.
Most outdoor activities have some level of risk, and you may need to consult an expert before engaging in the activity. Always check the current weather conditions before embarking on any outdoor activity.