Your 2023 fall in Raleigh bucket list

There’s nothing quite like fall in Raleigh. We’ve got you covered with all the best festivals, events, and other activities throughout the City of Oaks for this autumn.


Cooler temperatures bring changing leaves — and plenty of fun activities for fall in Raleigh.

Photo by RALtoday

Sept. 23 marked the beginning of fall in Raleigh and we can’t wait to get the autumnal vibes started. Keep reading for cozy fall events, spooky Halloween activities, and more to celebrate the season.

Bonus: Print this list off, stick it to your fridge, and see how many items you can check off.

Events + festivals
☐ Grab your banjo for IBMA Bluegrass Live. (Sept. 29-30)
Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week promises delicious specials at multiple downtown eateries, new and old. (Oct. 2-8)
☐ Cheers with steins at Triangle Oktoberfest (Oct. 6-Oct. 7), or check out Oktrophyfest at Trophy Brewing on Maywood. (Oct. 14)
☐ Commemorate the start of autumn with Falling for Local at Dix Park which includes hay rides, craft beer, inflatables, and more fall fun. (Oct. 7)
☐ Watch golf pros on the fairways of Prestonwood Country Club at the SAS Championship. (Oct. 9-15)
☐ Don’t forget the fried food, farm animals, and ferris wheel rides when you visit the NC State Fair. (Oct. 12-22)
☐ Dress your best for Raleigh Fashion Fest at Raleigh Iron Works. Shop local boutiques at this show which benefits local nonprofit The Women’s Center. (Oct. 19)
☐ Centro’s Day of the Dead 5K will run through Historic Oakwood. In addition to the run, bring offerings for the altars, and dress your best for the costume contest. (Oct. 28)
☐ Enjoy JC Raulston Arboretum’s plants and inventive lighting at Moonlight in the Garden. This magical night features live music, roasted marshmallows, and is your only chance to see the arboretum at night. (Nov. 9-18)
☐ Celebrate the 28th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration at the NC Museum of History with performances and presentations. (Nov. 18)

A variety of plants lit with colorful lights

JC Raulston Arboretum is lit up just two weekends a year to explore after hours.

Photo by RALtoday

Family-friendly events
☐ Celebrate the Hindu festival of lights at Hum Sub Diwali at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. (Oct. 14)
☐ Doggie bakery Hause of Dogs is holding a Lick or Treat Halloween event with a pup-up photo booth and plenty more spooky fun. (Oct. 22)
☐ Head to Marbles for a Kooky Spooky Halloween Party and enjoy a monster mash dance party and mad scientist experiments. (Oct. 27)
Spellbound at Mordecai is a children’s Halloween market with magic, fortune tellers, and pumpkin painting — plus, show up in your costume. (Oct. 28)
☐ You won’t want to miss the colorful displays, food, and entertainment at the NC Chinese Lantern Festival. (Nov. 17-January 14, 2024)
☐ Gather in downtown for the 79th Annual ABC11 Raleigh Christmas Parade, the largest Christmas parade between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. with 65,000 parade-goers. This year’s event will be completely on foot with no vehicles. (Nov. 18)

A pumpkin display

Pick from a patch’s worth of pumpkins at the NC State Farmers Market.

Photo by RALtoday

More autumnal must dos
☐ Take one of Raleigh’s many haunted tours, or enjoy the brisk weather with another walking tour.
☐ Pick pumpkins and enjoy the fall ambiance at a local farm like Page Farms or Phillips Farms.
☐ Catch a NC State football game at Carter-Finley.
☐ Carolina Ballet presents a haunting interpretation of “Frankenstein” Oct. 12-29 at Fletcher Opera Theater.
☐ Sing your heart out at one of the dozens of concerts in Raleigh this fall.
☐ Enjoy delicious fall flavors at one of our local farmers markets.
☐ Skate through a winter wonderland right here in Raleigh at the RINK at Red Hat Amphitheater starting Nov. 19.