As October comes around and the weather cools, people nationwide look forward to the ‘spooky season’ that revolves around Halloween. From trick-or-treating and tailgating to haunted houses and horror movies, there is a little something for everyone to enjoy.
Here’s a list of some underrated halloween and fall festivals across the United States that everyone should visit at least once.
The first festival on this list, Tailgate Fest in Eastvale, CA is a tailgating festival. This festival is like the ‘country Coachella’ with food, spirits, and a ton of fun. Being one of the most popular country fests, it draws in hundreds of thousands of people a year.
Next up is Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights. Theme parks are usually about fun with the kids, but the spooky festivities all throughout October are no joke. Universal Studios turns into a wonderfully creepy world of horror, with interactive mazes based off of Hollywood classics, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Nobody is safe, there are scary monsters crawling at every corner.
The Village Halloween Parade is a nationwide sensation in New York City. This party shuts down lower Manhattan for a Halloween celebration anyone can get behind. With giant puppets and over the top costumes, this night is a spectacle to remember.
Another exciting one is Halloween In New Orleans. If Mardi Gras and Halloween had a baby, it would be this festival. With trumpets blasting and spirits flowing, this event has millions flocking to Louisiana for a weekend on debauchery. For those not big into the party scene, there are plenty of guided haunted tours as well.
For those not into the spooky times, there’s a fun festival in Manitou Springs, Colorado. At the base of Pikes Peak sits the Emma Crawford Festival. The festival is named after a young child that died from tuberculosis. Emma Walker requested to be buried on the top of a mountain, and she was. On the night of halloween, her coffin came tumbling down the mountain after a day of heavy storms. All that was left was a name plate and some bones. Because of this, the Emma Crawford Festival hosts coffin races every year and is a staple of Colorado Halloween culture.
Clocking in next is the Night Of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Botanic Garden hosts the most illuminating night of the year. A huge tourist hotspot for photographers and pumpkin enthusiasts alike, this is a sight not to miss.
A wholesome Halloween night that’s been taken to by many lies in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Historic Irvington Halloween Festival unties the Irvington community in a night of street fairs, masquerade balls, spaghetti, and more. It’s been a tradition for 73 years.
The Louisville Zoo Halloween Party is a spooky themed petting zoo in Kentucky. Although more sweet than scary, it is absolutely adorable for young children.
Another fall favorite is the Georgia based art festival, Little Five Points. LFP is a hub of local arts and culinary culture in Atlanta and the host of the food-focused Halloween Festival and parade. With two stages of local musicians, an artist market, and lots of food, this place is perfect for the glutton in all people.
The Salt River Fields Spooktacular Balloon festival is not the typical Halloween festival, the main attraction here is the 20 vibrant hot-air balloons. With tethered balloon rides and halloween festivites, this one is truly one for the bucket list.
As ‘spooky season’ begins, there’s plenty of festivities to enjoy and experience. Make an effort to see at least one of these festivals before you die.