Family-friendly corn mazes, Zombie Farms and of course, the only-in-Athens Wild Rumpus Spectacle are just a few things visitors can look forward to in Athens this Halloween. With a month full of highly anticipated events and festivities, Athens is geared up for Halloween long before the 31st.
Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade & Spectacle
Known as Athens' own Mardi Gras, the highly anticipated Wild Rumpus Halloween Parade is anything but ordinary.
This October, the annual event will kick-off at noon, Friday, October 18 with the Monster Mash Halloween Party. Then the Wild Rumpus weekend kickoff party will occur on Friday, October 25. On Saturday, October 26, prepare to run wild in your favorite costume at the Wild RUNpus 5k. After working up a sweat, head over to Creature Comforts Brewery at 6 p.m., to cool off at the Rumpus Rally, hear live music performances by Elf Power, Calico and more. Wear your favorite costume to march in the Wild Rumpus Parade, beginning at 8:30 p.m. in Downtown Athens. Once the parade is over, take the kiddies home and conclude the nice with the Royal Rumpus Ball at the Georgia Theatre. This massive display of creativity, promoting self-expression in a safe and inviting environment, is the perfect way to celebrate Halloween!
Boo at the Zoo and Memorial Park Carnival
Head to Bear Hollow Zoo for the annual Boo at the Zoo and Memorial Park Carnival. There will be trick-or-treating through the zoo, hayrides around the lake, a carnival full of games, inflatables and a cupcake walk around the basketball court. Plus, frozen drinks from Kona Ice and food from Biggum's Bar-B-Que will be sold at the event.
Zombie Farms, North Georgia's number 1 haunted trail, is anything but your ordinary kiddie corn maze and predictable haunted house. Zombie Farms has a new theme and their 3/4 mile haunted trail is redesigned to match the theme. This year the theme,"The Hammerstein Experiments," will take you through 20 horror sets in the woods, buildings and tunnels. If the trail sounds to spooky for you, don't worry, other activities on the farm include storytelling and a campfire area for roasting marshmallows.
Gates open at 8:00 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October as well as Nov. 1-2. Admission is $20-$25 depending on the night and group size.
Athens Haunted History Walking Tour
Hear the tales of love and loss that haunt Athens on the Athens Haunted History Walking Tour with local historian, Jeff Clarke. Clarke has appeared on several programs for The Travel Channel, GPB, PBS and the Discovery Network, including the Emmy nominated series "The American Revolution." The walking tour is 45 minutes long and gives an exclusive look inside some of Athens' most haunted buildings. Participants will learn about the history of the town, see historical sites and some ghost stories along the way. Tours are held Tues.-Sat. and require a reservation.
Boo-le-Bark on Boulevard
Come out to Boo-le-Bark, a canine costume contest and parade benefitting Athenspets, an all-volunteer group dedicated to helping animals at the Athens-Clarke County Animal Control. This year's parade will have a theme: Boo-le-Bark Rocks & Rolls. Last year, the event raised $7500 for Athenspets with up to 1,000 participants and spectators in attendance. The parade festivities will continue at the Jittery Joe’s Roaster with food, music, photos, and a special kinds-only zone with games and interactive events.
Athens Eerie Evenings Tour
Revamped and better than ever, the Athens Welcome Center's Eerie Evenings Tour is back with new spooky stories to tell! On this tour, you will walk through Downtown Athens and UGA North Campus while uncovering ghost stories, spooks, specters, and oddities of the Classic City. The walking tour is about 75 minutes long, and comfortable walking shoes are advised.
Tour Dates: Oct. 10, 17, 24, and 31 (beginning at 5:30 p.m.)
Check out our Fall Festivals and Events page for a complete list of all upcoming Halloween and fall festivities and start planning your October Athens getaway today!
This post, originally published on October 4, 2016, has been updated and re-published by Erin Geoghan on October 4, 2019.