Spiderwebs in the windows (not the ones you forgot to vacuum…), glowing pumpkins, rattling skeletons, the smell of apples and cinnamon in the air, pumpkin spice…everything, costumes…it’s almost Halloween! What better place to celebrate this spooky season than in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee? Take the kids trick-or-treating at The Island in Pigeon Forge (right on the Parkway), fill up on seasonal treats in Gatlinburg, make Halloween crafts at the cabin, or whip up some festive Halloween recipes in the cabin!
Halloween Events in the Smoky Mountains
What: The Legend of Hallow Mountain
When: Now – October 31, 2022
Fun or frights…find it at Anakeesta’s The Legend of Hallow Mountain this Halloween! Kids who aren’t up for the really scary stuff will love the family friendly crafts and games, kids’ activities, fall treats, and character visits – that aren’t scary. The adults looking for screams will appreciate the scare zones and the Hallow Mountain Graveyard (Vista Gardens) for ages 12+ ONLY.
What: Trick or Treat & Kickoff Carnival
When: October 31 | 11 AM – 3 PM; Costume Contest at 2 PM
Where: downtown Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge
If you want that trick or treat experience while you’re in the Smokies, you’ll have some great options in a safe environment for the kiddos. Head to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies on Halloween day, and then head to The Island in Pigeon Forge for your nighttime fun with candy and games. The 15th Annual Halloween Trick or Treat Kickoff Carnival will feature a costume contest, plenty of candy, prizes, and games – with proceeds going to a local charity.
What: Backwoods Terror 3: Family Reunion
When: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in October
Where: Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
With year-round haunts, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure kicks up the scares on Halloween. Spend tonight getting totally freaked out – with a touch of nostalgia – from 4 p.m. until close on Fridays and Saturdays and from 2 PM to 9 PM on Sundays. This 24th annual event is bringing back some favorite creepy creatures from their 2011 Backwoods Terror show.
What: Dollywood Harvest Festival
When: Now – October 29, 2022
Where: Dollywood theme park
More than 12,000 glowing pumpkins welcome you to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, where you’ll taste seasonal foods, sip cider, ride roller coasters, pose by fun seasonal scenes, listen to live entertainment (including bluegrass music), visit Hoot Owl Hollow, and more – all with the fantastic fall colors in the background.
What: OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg
When: Now – October 30
Where: Ober Gatlinburg
Another fun fall event, OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg is a celebration of all things Bavarian. Visit the Bier Garten, eat bratwurst, listen to live music, and enjoy the beautiful weather at this fun fall festival.
Sweet Treats in the Smokies
Even if you’re not trick or treating, you’ll find plenty of sweet treats waiting in the Smokies. Grab fudge, old-fashioned candies, and much more at favorites like the Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, Old Mill Candy Kitchen, Smoky Mountain Candy Makers, Chocolate Monkey, Big Rock Candy Kitchen, and Crave Golf Club.
More Fall Fun Ideas
Even beyond Halloween, find plenty of fun fall things to do in the Smoky Mountains. From Pigeon Forge events to fun fall activities, there is family fun for everyone. Need some ideas?
- Take a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- Try seasonal flavors of moonshine at Ole Smoky Moonshine.
- Enjoy fall colors on a mountain coaster ride.
- Toss a football around at Patriot Park.
- Stroll around at a fall car show like the Pigeon Forge Rod Run.
- Swing by the Gatlinburg Convention Center for the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Show – a favorite craft fair in the area.
- Shop for fall and winter clothes in Sevierville.
- Visit the Titanic Museum Attraction.
- Take a scenic fall drive around Cades Cove.
- Chow down at an annual chili cookoff.
- Spend the evening at a dinner show.
Fun Halloween Recipes for your Cabin
Our Pigeon Forge cabins boast fully equipped kitchens where you can keep chocolates melt-free in the fridge, blend up creepy cocktails, or bake some fun Halloween goodies! Check out some easy in-cabin recipes below for some fun tonight and this weekend in the cabin.
Mac-O-Lantern and Cheese Bowls
- Kosher salt
- 6 medium orange bell peppers
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 ounces mild Cheddar, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- Cut the tops off the peppers and reserve. Remove the seeds and membranes. Put the peppers and the tops in the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge the peppers into the ice bath. Once cool, remove them and use a sharp knife to carve a jack-o-lantern face into one side of each pepper.
- Return the water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook until al dente, about 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain (don’t rinse the pasta).
- Heat the half-and-half in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Continue simmering until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in the Cheddar until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Off the heat, add the macaroni to the saucepan and stir to combine. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. Season with salt if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes, then divide the mac and cheese among the peppers and cap each with a pepper top.
Spider Web Guacamole
- 4 cups guacamole
- 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- Lime juice, if needed
- 2 pitted black olives
- Blue corn tortilla chips, for serving
- 1 firm avocado, skin-on
For the web:
- Put a large round shallow bowl on a larger round platter. Fill the bowl with the guacamole and smooth the top with a spoon or offset spatula. Fill a squeeze bottle or pastry bag with Mexican crema or sour cream (thin it out with some lime juice if needed). Pipe 4 concentric circles of crema onto the guacamole. Using the tip of a knife or skewer, pull lines from the center circle out, creating a spider web pattern.
For the spider:
- Slice 1 olive in half lengthwise and use one of the halves for the spider body. Slice 8 long spider legs from the remaining 1 1/2 olives. Arrange the spider on the web. Surround the bowl of guacamole with the tortilla chips.
For the skull:
- Using a paring knife, make 2 eyes on the wide end of the avocado, cutting through the skin and flesh all the way down to the pit; discard the skin and flesh. Cut an upside-down heart shape just through the skin for the nose, then remove the skin, leaving the flesh showing. For the mouth, cut a long rectangle just through the skin and remove it. Use a skewer or the tip of a knife to draw lines on the flesh for teeth.
Dragon’s Blood Punch (no alcohol)
- 1 (46-ounce) can red punch (recommended: Hawaiian Punch)
- 1 (46-ounce) can apple juice
- 1 (48-ounce) bottle cranberry juice
- 1 (2-liter) bottle ginger ale
- Ice cubes
- For 21 and over, add berry vodka or orange liqueur, if desired
- Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pot. Add ice and stir.
- For grown up version, add 4 cups berry vodka and 1/2 cup orange liqueur.
- Ladle into serving glasses.
Ghost S’mores Dip
- 4 packages of ghost Peeps
- 2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 c. heavy cream, warmed
- Graham crackers, for serving
- mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 450°. In the bottom of a square baking dish, spread out chocolate chips and pour cream on top. Cover completely with a single layer of ghost Peeps. Place mini chocolate chips over eyes and mouth. (The already-drawn faces will fade in the oven.)
- Bake until the chocolate has melted and the ghosts are golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with graham crackers for dipping.