October brings the Atlanta Pride Festival.

Cool Things To Do in October in Atlanta

A certain energy converges on the city during October, bringing Halloween hijinks, popular festivals and one-of-a-kind experiences. Take a peek at what’s coming up, and mark your calendar so that you don’t miss a thing.

Can you Escape the Netherworld?

Prepare to be scared. (Photo courtesy of NETHERWORLD)

The iron-bound doors of NETHERWORLD Haunted House will be groaning open once more to unveil the unspeakable horrors that lurk within. Celebrating its 27th Season of Screams, NETHERWORLD returns with two new haunt themes: Primordial and Cryptid Chaos. Both will shock and amaze with intricate sets, next-level special effects and terrifyingly realistic monsters.

Primordial is a continuation of The Undying Horror tale experienced by NETHERWORLD fans last year. In Cryptid Chaos, the Boogeyman creates his own twisted world of living nightmares and begins to drain the dark energy of the Cryptid Creatures imprisoned in a secret facility known as the BOX. But, before he can consume them, the creatures fight back, and battle the Boogeyman to place a new Cryptid Creature at the top of the food chain.

Escape the NETHERWORLD also is launching an intense new, over-the-top, space-themed escape room. Try this experience along with the other Escape Games. “Alien Terror: The Doom of the Dark Horizonis an intricate escape room featuring complex puzzles, realistic props and jaw-dropping special effects. Can you escape the doomed ship?

Celebrating Andrew Young

“The Many Lives of Andrew Young” exhibit returns to Atlanta and will be at Morehouse College throughout October. The exhibit and accompanying coffee table book were created as a part of Ambassador Andrew Young’s 90th birthday celebration in 2022 that featured a prayer service, peace walk through downtown Atlanta and a birthday celebration.

The exhibit allows visitors to see photographs and memorabilia from throughout Young’s life and learn about the significant contributions Andrew Young has made during his nine decades.


See Olivia Lux at BrunchOUT on Oct. 14. (Photo courtesy of Kimpton Shane Hotel and Olivia Lux)

In honor of Atlanta Pride, the Kimpton Shane Hotel will host its annual drag brunch series, BrunchOUT, on Oct. 14. There will be brunch bites, a full bar and silent auction with prizes from the Kimpton. A special treat will be the performance of Olivia Lux, the drag artist, actor, singer and musician who starred on Season 13 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” finishing in the top five. All ticket and silent auction proceeds go to support The Trevor Project’s life-saving mission to support of LGBTQIA+ youth.

Tasting the Best of Midtown’s Culinary Scene

Foodie alert! The Epicurean Hotel Atlanta is hosting a Grand Tasting Midtown (Photo courtesy of he Grand Tasting Midtown)

 Mark your calendars and get ready to sip, savor, mix and mingle your way through Atlanta’s diverse and impressively unique culinary scene at Taste of Atlanta’s food and beverage tasting experience — Grand Tasting Midtown Oct. 19 at Epicurean Hotel Atlanta.

The Grand Tasting will entice foodies from all around Atlanta to experience the gastronomic offerings of Midtown Atlanta’s finest restaurants, chefs and bakeries. For one night only, the Grand Tasting will offer all you can eat or drink from 6 until 10 p.m. For foodies 21+ the ticket includes beer, wine and cocktail tastings. 

Meet Me at the Atlanta Fair

Deep-fried Oreos anyone? Meet you at the fair? (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Fair)

The Atlanta Fair returns starting Oct. 6 and running through Nov. 5, bringing with it rides for all ages, games, booths and most importantly — fair food. Bite into deep-fried Oreos and Snickers, funnel cakes, cotton candy, chicken on a stick and fresh squeezed lemonade. Bring the family and have some good old-fashioned fair fun.

Wacky, Wonderful and Fun Festivals

Is it Halloween if you don’t go to the Little Five Points Festival? (Photo by Kate Durden)

Little 5 Points is one of the more, um, let’s say Bohemian parts of the city, so you can expect its Halloween celebration to be epic — and it is. In fact, it’s been listed as among the top Halloween parades in the country by several publications. This year the Little 5 Points Halloween Festival will feature lots of music, food, booths and, of course, the parade, which takes place Sunday, Oct. 22.

In addition to the Little 5 Points festival, check out the nearby Fall Festival on Ponce where fun, art, kids activities, food and great family fun rule. Another great neighborhood festival is the Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival with arts and crafts booths, music and, of course, food.

MJ’ Kicks Off Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta

Here is Roman Banks as MJ, along with the first national cast of “MJ.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

What better than “MJ,” the multi-Tony Award-winning play centered around Michael Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour to kick off the 2023-24 Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta season? Created by Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, “MJ” goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status.  After “MJ,” “Annie” and “The Wiz” will round out the 2023 season. The 2024 season will open with Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Another great play to see in October is “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” playing at the Horizon Theatre Company. Natasha is young, Anatole is hot and Andrey isn’t here. And what about Pierre? Based on a 70-page slice of “War and Peace,” this Tony Award-winning musical is Tolstoy like you’ve never experienced him. Step into a glamorous, romantic world of chandeliers, vodka and caviar in the salons and opera houses of 19th-century Moscow, where passions ignite as Napoleon’s war rages outside the city. With the cast and musicians swirling among audience members, this new musical brings to life the heart of literature’s most epic tale of love and fate.

InnovATL 2023 Shines the Light on Rising Stars

InnovATL 2023 shines the light on rising stars in Atlanta’s innovation ecosystem through Oct. 20. On the agenda are events amplifying entrepreneurs, innovators, creators and influencers pushing metro Atlanta to the next level of global innovation.

ONE Musicfest is, well, No. 1

ONE Musicfest is the Southeast’s largest two-day, urban progressive music festival that is enjoyed by more than 50,000 music lovers from across the nation. The lineup can’t be beat with Kendrick Lamar, Janet Jackson, Brant Faiyaz and Megan Thee Stallion headlining.

Boo at the Zoo

Bring the little ones to Boo at the Zoo at Zoo Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta)

Zoo Atlanta’s Boo at the Zoo is an all-time favorite family Halloween festival where the youngest goblins can trick or treat, smile in plenty of photo opportunities, enjoy themed entertainment and costumed characters, test their luck at carnival games and say hello to Wake the Komodo dragon and other residents of the zoo. They can take the Missing Mayor train ride through Christmasville and Valentown to look for Boo Town’s missing mayor.

Lots of Pride

Atlanta loves to show its Pride. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Pride)

Atlanta’s LGBTQI+ community celebrates Pride weekend Oct. 13 through the 15. Although there are activities throughout the city, many of them take place at Piedmont Park and in Midtown. The weekend’s culmination is the Pride Parade, which takes place on Oct. 14 starting at the MARTA Civic Center station and winding up at Piedmont Park.

More than a Chick Flick

The Atlanta Women’s Film Festival takes place Oct. 8 at Wild Heaven West End Brewery & Gardens and will feature live screenings of short films. It’s an opportunity to promote female filmmakers, directors, writers, producers, actors and female-centered story lines. There will be live screening that include Q&As with the filmmakers, table reads for the screenplays in the competition, live panels with influential women in the film industry and networking events.

Everywhere a Boo Boo

The Atlanta Horror Film Festival takes place Oct. 13-15 at the Limelight Theater to celebrate the best indie horror films of the year. Atlanta Horrorfest is packed with award-winning films from every corner of the earth.

In its 17 seasons, the festival has  showcased thousands of independent horror features and shorts and is a must for established as well as up-and-coming filmmakers who have created short and feature films the audience cannot forget — even if they try.

For more fall things to do in Atlanta, Find Out Where to See Fall Colors in Atlanta and discover the 17 Best Fall Activities for Families in Atlanta. Also keep an eye on our calendar of events for lots of things to do in Atlanta.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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