Your neighborhood guide to fall festivals in metro Atlanta

Professional artists will chalk the streets of Marietta at Chalktoberfest
Credit: Chalktoberfest's Facebook

We all know what it means when the air gets crisper and cooler and the leaves slightly start changing colors – it’s fall, y’all! With the start of the autumn season comes all the fall festivals where you can enjoy the cooler weather and colorful trees with your friends. We’ve rounded up some of the most notable fall festivals in metro Atlanta that you won’t want to miss.

Stone Mountain Park - Pumpkin Festival

Glowing pumpkins and storybook characters have taken over Stone Mountain Park! Experience the new World’s Largest Pumpkin Light Show, where you’ll stroll through an impressive canopy of glowing lights, fireworks and special effects, as well as the Enchanted Glow-A-Long Parade, featuring glowing themed floats. Meander around giant jack-o-lanterns and glowing dinosaurs while playing glow-in-the-dark mini golf, then explore themed areas inspired by your favorite storybook fables, including Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Wizard of Oz and Jack and Jill.

Location: Stone Mountain Park - 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083; Dates: Sept. 17 - Oct. 30; Times: Various Hours; Admission: $24.95 + tax per ticket; Website: stonemountainpark.com

North Druid Hills - Atlanta Greek Festival

Opa! Get ready to eat all the spanakopitas, gyros and moussakas at the Atlanta Greek Festival, set in the largest Greek Orthodox complex in Georgia. You’ll be surrounded by charming Byzantine iconography and mosaic tiles while you listen to lectures inside the church about the history of Greek culture. And of course, it wouldn’t be a festival without vendors and Greek performances on the stage.

Location: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation - 2500 Clairmont Rd; Dates: Sept. 23-25; Times: Friday from 5-11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Admission: Presale tickets - $5; Website: atlantagreekfestival.org

Oakland - Sunday at the Park featuring Tunes from the Tombs

Oakland Cemetery’s two flagship events, Sunday at the Park and Tunes from the Tombs, have been combined to bring you Victorian traditions and live music this fall. Bring out your picnic blanket while enjoying the tunes set against the Atlanta skyline. Learn more about Oakland Cemetery by taking a walking tour and listening to the numerous storytelling sessions. The event also includes an artist market, vendor market and plenty of food trucks, as well as a historical costume contest if you’re up for the challenge.

Location: Oakland Cemetery - 248 Oakland Ave SE; Date: Sept. 25; Time: Noon to 7 p.m.; Admission: Kids 12 and under are free, adults starting at $20; Website: oaklandcemetery.com

Summerhill - Atlanta Fair

This fall, the space in front of f.k.a. Turner Field in Summerhill becomes the city’s fairgrounds. Take part in traditional carnival rides and games, such as the Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl and more, while (preferably not at the same time) eating hot dogs, funnel cakes, candy apples, cotton candy and more while sipping on fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Location: Across from Center Parc Credit Union Stadium - 688 Central Ave SW; Dates: Sept. 30 - Nov. 6; Times: Monday - Friday from 5-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 1-11 p.m.; Admission: Ticket prices vary; Website: atlantafair.net

Old Fourth Ward - Oktoberfest Atlanta

Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark transforms into German Bavaria in honor of Oktoberfest. Get ready to ein Bier trinken und Spiele spielen (drink a beer and play games). There will be a variety of German beers as well as local craft beers set against live German music and traditional German food, presented by Arches Brewing. Get your game on with the Bratwurst and Pretzel Tosses, Stein Hoisting Contest and Keg Roll Race, and if you have einen Hund (a dog), involve them in the Dog Parade for a chance to win prizes!

Location: Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark - 830 Willoughby Way NE; Dates: Sept. 30 - Oct. 2; Times: Friday from 4-10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.; Admission: Starts at $25; Website: oktoberfestatl.com

Marietta - Chalktoberfest

Presented by the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art, Chalktoberfest is a combination of beer festival and celebration of art through chalk drawing. Professional chalk artists, both local and from around the world, will be painting the streets with beautiful, vibrant works of art. Try your own hand at chalk drawing by entering the Chalk Competition, which is open to the public. The festival also includes over 120 different beers and 20 different wines to sample.

Location: Marietta Square - 99 S Park Square NE, Marietta, GA 30060; Dates: Oct. 8-9; Times: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Admission: Free; Website: chalktoberfest.com

Pine Lake - LakeFest

As a self-described “micropolitan” city, Pine Lake is the smallest city in DeKalb County, yet their annual LakeFest is larger than life. Relax by the lake and build sand castles, while enjoying jazz music, art and various other vendors. Participate in their annual Floatzilla parade, a tradition that brings new meaning to parade floats. This year’s theme is Witches Afloat, which means they have plenty of great entertainment brewing.

Location: Pine Lake Park and Beach - 4558-4570 Lakeshore Dr & Clubhouse Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083; Dates: Oct. 15-16; Times: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Admission: Free; Website: pinelakefest.com

Little Five Points - Halloween Parade and Festival

L5P will cast a spell on you this October with their schedule of spooky events. Participate in the Monster Hunt, a scavenger hunt of sorts where you’ll find monsters created by local artists and hidden around the neighborhood. Check out the BIZarre Bazaar Haunted Market, where you can (trick or) treat yourself to local and handmade goods. Hear ghost stories on a 1.5-hour Ghost Tour around the neighborhood, if you dare. Last but not least, experience the L5P Halloween Parade at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Location: Little Five Points Community Center - 1083 Austin Ave NE; Dates: Oct. 22-23; Times: Various Hours; Website: l5phalloween.com

Smyrna - Crafts and Drafts Festival

The popular Jonquil Fall Festival has been rebranded as the Smyrna Crafts and Drafts Festival. True to its name, the festival offers a selection of crafts and drafts. That includes craft and draft beers as well as arts and crafts booths and activities for the whole family in Smyrna’s town center.

Location: Smyrna Village Green - 200 Village Green Cir SE, Smyrna, GA 30080; Dates: Oct. 29-30; Times: Saturday from 1-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.; Admission: Free; Website: cobbcountyevents.com

Cabbagetown - Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off and Bluegrass Festival

Set against Krog Street Tunnel in the heart of the historic Cabbagetown district, the annual Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off is celebrating its 18th year. Try out a variety of chilis presented by local restaurants and chili aficionados while listening to live bluegrass bands. The event ticket is a $10 spoon that you use to taste all the delicious chilis (proceeds go to Friends of the Cabbagetown Conservancy towards parks facilities). If you’re looking to burn some calories beforehand, sign up for the Romp and Stomp 5K run that takes you around Atlanta’s first landmark historic district.

Location: Cabbagetown - 1 Krog St NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; Date: Nov. 5; Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Admission: $10 (cash only) at Little’s or at Sweet Cheat’s, $10.50 card; Website: chompandstomp.com