Fall is finally here which means that, along with cooler weather, so are all the festivals and Halloween celebrations in Durham plus get your pets blessed at Duke Chapel. (For real!) Here are our top picks for this month, sorted chronologically. (Links to event info are in titles)

World Beer Festival

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Photo: World Beer Festival, Instagram

October 6 |Durham Bulls Athletic Park | Tickets $40-75

Head to the 22nd Annual World Beer Festival and get a tasting glass with unlimited from some of the finest beers and ciders! 

With VIP access, get a bonus selection of rare and unique beers, and a VIP lounge with air conditioning and real bathrooms.

Also See: Must Visit Breweries and Tours in Durham

Phoenix Fest

October 6 | Free | Fayetteville Street

Phoenix Fest is back on Saturday October 6, 2018 from 9 am to 6 pm for its 17th year as Durham NC’s funkiest street music festival to celebrate the cultural legacy of the historic Hayti community and to deliver a fun-filled day of family-friendly entertainment for thousands on historic Fayetteville Street.

Celebrate all that’s great and wonderful about Durham’s African American culture by participating in the Phoenix Fest Parade.  Enter your church, organization, band, step team or business and show your Bull City pride.

Phoenix Fest is fun, it’s free and it’s for the whole family. And it’s handicapped accessible.  www.phoenixfestdurham.com 


October 12-14 | Carolina Theatre | $9.50 per film

The 1970s and 80s were a phenomenal era for horror films, with some of the greatest, scariest, and in some cases, campiest films ever made. This series which showcases 16 of the creepiest horror films. 

Tickets are just $9.50 per film.

Blessing of the Animals

duke chapel durham nc events blessing of the animals
Duke Chapel

October 7 | Duke Chapel | $5 Parking Fee, Free for Duke Permit Holders

The Blessing of Animals is an outdoor worship service held each year on the Sunday in October closest to the Feast Day of St. Francis. Last year, Duke Chapel ministers blessed animals ranging from hamsters to horses. The service is open to the public and all well-mannered pets are invited. 

** Please consider the wisdom of bringing aggressive animals. ** Parking will be available in the Bryan Center Parking Garage on a first-come basis at a flat rate of $5. People with Duke permit parking passes may park for free in the garage. Handicap parking for vehicles with ADA passes will be available in front of the Chapel. People with animals needing special care may also park in front of the Chapel.

Bike-a-Bull City Festival

October 13 | 8am-3pm | 3 Locations

Choose from three rides that all end at noon at Durty Bull, followed by family-friendly celebrations!

Road ride (~30 miles to Falls Lake)

Gravel ride (~30 miles to Brumley Forest)

Neighborhood ride featuring Durham Bicycle Boulevards (7-10 miles)

Socialize with community organizations and businesses, including local bike shops, the Bike Co-op, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and more. Activities will include a roadside maintenance clinic and raffle prizes.

Durty Bull is celebrating their second anniversary in the afternoon with tons of festivities: food trucks, live music, new brews, and axe throwing.

Also See: Your guide to 9 must-visit pumpkin patches near Durham

Fright Night at Forest Hills Park

Oct. 13 | 6-9 p.m. | Forest Hills Park 

Calling all of Durham’s ghosts and ghouls: DPR will host a fall festival and haunted house! Classic carnival games for all ages to enjoy; we’ll host a costume contest for kids and adults with prizes for the best dressed. And for those who love a fright, our haunted house will have you “howling” with screams and laughter! Admission for this event will be a canned food
donation (1-4 cans) from each family – with all proceeds going to the Durham Rescue Mission.Come out in your favorite spooky attire to have great fun for a great cause!

Goat Kid Festival- Halloween on the Farm

October 21 | 1-5 p.m. | Prodigal Farm | $5 per car

Just a short drive away in Rougemont, you can tour the 95-acre Prodigal Farm and milking parlor, play with the wee goats, meet the milking does, and taste nationally award-winning cheeses.

Come as your favorite animal — or as a farmer for Halloween!  Stay for goat story time. The Humble Pig food truck will be serving food, Mystery Brewing Company will be serving beer.

Duke Homestead’s Halloween Phantasmagoria

Photo: Duke Homestead

October 26 & 27 | 6:30-9pm, 10am-12pm | Requested donation of $5 per car

Mischief, magic, spirits, and fortunes! Enjoy a kid-oriented daytime version of THE popular Halloween Phantasmagoria event with crafts and hands-on activities. Learn all about Halloween history, and what Halloween would have been like for North Carolina kids in the 1870s.

Free Family Day at Nasher

October 28 | 12-4:30 pm | Nasher Museum of Art

Head to the Nasher for a fall celebration and get inspired by local photographers in Across County Lines: Photography from the Piedmont. Create kid-friendly versions crafts, join in the costume fashion show and then capture the memory in their photo studio. Join Paperhand Puppets for a lively and musical parade around the museum.

Also: All the Fall Festivals, Activities and Halloween Celebrations in Durham, NC


October 27 | 2:30-7pm | Durham Central Park

Join Durham Parks and Rec. for an afternoon of doggone good times at Durham Central Park. Local celebrity judges will determine the winner of the costume contests, and you can enjoy treats from local food trucks and brewers while watching canine attendees show off their wooftastic tricks.

A Rocky Horror Picture Show HALLOWEEN BALL

Carolina Theatre halloween movies activities durham nc
Carolina Theatre

October 31 | Carolina Theatre | $12 Tickets

More than just an audience participation screening, The Carolina Theatre and Retro Film Series present a fully-interactive, theatrical FX-driven, light show-blazing, fog-blowing, call-backing, costume-wearing, motion picture extravaganza! Fasten your garter belt and come up to the Carolina Theatre’s historic 1000-seat lab and see what’s on the slab! There will be door prizes, grab bags, concessions specials, and more fiendish plots than a Transylvanian mountaintop village! 

Katelyn Belch
Author: Katelyn Belch

Founder of Best of the Bull and Shop Durham. It’s my chief goal to keep you in the know about all things Durham.