20 free things to do in metro Atlanta in October

Fall Festival on Ponce
Credit: Caren West PR

October brings a delightful blend of autumnal charm and cultural excitement to Atlanta. As the leaves begin to change and the weather turns milder, there’s no shortage of free activities to enjoy throughout the city. Whether you’re a local looking for budget-friendly entertainment or a visitor eager to explore Atlanta without breaking the bank, we’ve compiled a list of 20 fantastic and cost-free things to do around the city this October.

From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, this article will guide you through the best ways to make the most of your autumn in Atlanta without spending a dime, and we’ll bring you plenty of spooktacular events to ensure you have a hauntingly good time.

Location: Cumberland - 800 Battery Ave. SE; Website: batteryatl.com; Dates: Mondays (Oct 2, 16, 23 and 30); Time: 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Punchline Comedy Night - Avalon (Alpharetta)

Have a night of laughter and entertainment as Punchline Comedy Night takes place at Palmer Plaza at the Avalon. Don’t forget to bring your own chairs and join in on the fun!

Location: Alpharetta - 2200 Avalon Blvd.; Website: experienceavalon.com; Date: Monday, Oct. 2; Time: 7:30 - 9 p.m.

Broad Street Boardwalk Lunchtime Performance Series - Downtown Atlanta

Get outdoors and elevate your lunch break in Downtown this fall with live performances on the Broad Street Boardwalk every Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Downtown - Broad St. NW; Website: atlantadowntown.com; Dates: Every Wednesday (Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25); Time: Noon - 1:30 p.m.

Tunes by the Tracks - Stone Mountain

Enjoy live music on Main Street in Stone Mountain Village during Tunes by the Tracks, held every Friday night in October. Bring a lawn chair and see local artists perform under the open sky.

Location: Stone Mountain - 922 Main St.; Website: facebook.com; Date: Fridays (Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27); Time: 7 - 9 p.m.

Fall Festival on Ponce - Olmsted Linear Park

Immerse yourself in Atlanta’s artistic spirit at the Festival on Ponce, featuring 125+ displays of fine arts, crafts, folk, and outsider art, as well as a children’s area and local food.

Location: East Atlanta - 1788 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE; Website: festivalonponce.com; Dates: Saturday, Oct. 7 - Sunday, Oct. 8

Fairies in the Garden - Woodlands Garden (Decatur)

Step into a magical woodland wonderland at Woodlands Garden for “Fairies in the Garden.” Don your costumes and discover enchanting fairy homes hidden throughout the forest.

Location: Decatur - 932 Scott Blvd.; Website: woodlandsgarden.org; Date: Saturday, Oct. 7 - Saturday, Oct. 21

Friday the 13th - Urban Tree Cidery

Celebrate Friday the 13th at the Haunting on Howell Mill, UrbanTree Cidery’s Halloween pop-up bar grand opening! Enjoy tarot readings, karaoke, a live DJ and Halloween cocktails all month long.

Location: Northeast - 1465 Howell Mill Rd. NW; Website: urbantreecidery.com; Date: Friday, Oct. 13; Time: 4 p.m. - Midnight

Chalktoberfest - Marietta Square

Immerse yourself in a world of artistic wonder at Chalktoberfest, where over 80 professional artists transform Marietta’s streets into a vibrant gallery of captivating chalk art while enjoying family-friendly fun, live music, food trucks and even the chance to unleash your inner artist in the public chalk competition!

Location: Marietta - 99 S. Park Square NE; Website: chalktoberfest.com; Date: Saturday, Oct. 14 - Sunday, Oct. 15

Atlanta Pride Parade

Join over 100,000 enthusiastic supporters as the Atlanta Pride Parade, the festival’s centerpiece, marches down Peachtree Street, offering you the chance to cheer and show your support for the community!

Location: Midtown (Parade Route); Website: atlantapride.org; Date: Sunday, Oct. 15

Hocus Pocus on the Green - Atlantic Station

Enjoy movie night under the stars at Atlantic Station on October 19, enjoy “Hocus Pocus,” and on October 26, catch “Hocus Pocus 2.”

Location: Midtown - 1380 Atlantic Dr. NW; Website: atlanticstation.com; Dates: Thursday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 26; Time: 7 - 10 p.m.

Biketober Movie Night - Midtown

Join the community for a heartwarming outdoor screening of the classic film, “ET.” Costumes are encouraged, and there’s a bike valet for Biketober, along with giveaways for bike-in attendees.

Location: Midtown - 1005 Peachtree St. NE; Website: midtownatl.com; Date: Friday, Oct. 20; Time: 7 - 9 p.m.

Sports on the Screen - Peachtree Corners

Join fellow college football fans for a showdown between Alabama and Tennessee at the Town Green. You can tailgate, bring your own coolers, chairs and blankets, while catching the game on the big screen.

Location: Peachtree Corners - 5140 Town Center Blvd.; Website: ptreecornerstowncenter.com; Date: Saturday, Oct. 21

Boo Bash - Wills Park (Alpharetta)

Families are invited to attend Boo Bash where they can wear costumes and immerse themselves in an evening of spook-tacular fun, featuring a dance party, carnival games, treat bags and a spirited Halloween atmosphere.

Location: Alpharetta (Wills Park) - 11925 Wills Rd.; Website: awesomealpharetta.com; Date: Saturday, Oct. 21; Time: 5 - 8 p.m.

Spooky Springs - Abernathy Greenway (Sandy Springs)

Be sure to check out the annual Spooky Springs, a family-friendly Halloween event for young trick-or-treaters, featuring costumed characters, trick-or-treat candy stations, face painting, a DJ and more!

Location: Sandy Springs- 320 Irwin St. NE; Website: visitsandysprings.org; Dates: Saturday, Oct. 21; Time: 5 p.m.

Little 5 Points Festival and Parade

The Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade, a beloved Atlanta Halloween tradition, offers an array of can’t-miss activities, including a 3D haunted house, live music, an artist market, ghost tours and more.

Location: Little Five Points; Website: l5phalloween.com; Date: Saturday, Oct. 21 - Sunday, Oct. 22

Tiny Doors ATL Open Studio - Atlantic Station

On Saturday, October 21, the Tiny Doors studio will be open to the public. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how this iconic Atlanta-based art project comes to life.

Location: Midtown - 1380 Atlantic Dr. NW, Suite 14100; Website: atlanticstation.com; Date: Saturday, Oct. 21; Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Atlanta Streets Alive

Spanning from Downtown Atlanta to Midtown, Atlanta Streets Alive is a celebrated event that aligns with an international open streets movement, uniting cities around the world.

Location: Peachtree St. NE; Website: atlantastreetsalive.org; Date: Sunday, Oct.. 22

Scare on the Square - Colony Square

Families and adults alike are invited to embrace the Halloween spirit at Scare On The Square, with the Little Monsters Bash on October 24, followed by the Hallow’s Eve Party on October 27, offering a spooky soiree with live music and themed drinks.

Location: Midtown - 1197 Peachtree St. NE; Website: colonysquare.com; Dates: Tuesday, Oct. 24 and Friday, Oct. 27

Pumpkin Painting Party - The Works

American Axes hosts a lively pumpkin painting party for kids in their favorite Halloween costumes, offering pumpkin painting with the chance to win a special prize for the best costume!

Location: Northeast - 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. NW; Website: theworksatl.com; Date: Saturday, Oct. 28; Time: 10 a.m.

Day of the Dead: Haints and Saints Parade - Decatur Square

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with a unique twist during this vibrant parade that combines Day of the Dead elements with the spirited atmosphere of Halloween. Starting at Decatur Cemetery and ending in Decatur Square, this multicultural event features giant puppets and marks the grand finale of the month-long Placita Latina Hispanic heritage celebrations.

Location: Decatur - 229 Bell St.; Website: placitalatinaga.org; Date: Sunday, Oct. 29; Time: 6 p.m.

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