Fall is finally here which means that, along with cooler weather, so are all the festivals and Halloween celebrations in Durham. You can even get your pets blessed at Duke Chapel. (For real!) Here are our top picks for this month.

Be sure to check out our complete guide to Durham this Fall including festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween celebrations.

Get your pet blessed at the Blessing of the Animals | October 6

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.

Phoenix Fest

October 5 | Free | Fayetteville Street

Phoenix Fest is back on Saturday October 5, for its 18th 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.


Photo @amaniah

Carve Pumpkins with baby goats at Spring Haven Farm

Baby Goat Pumpkin Carving: Saturday October 12th – 13th and 19th – 20th and 26th and 27th 12:00pm to 4:00pm | Buy Tickets Here

Have you ever carved pumpkins WITH BABY GOATS? This is totally worth the drive to Chapel Hill. Head to Spring Haven Farm to carve your pumpkins this year with baby goats jumping up on the tables around you, putting their cute little heads inside of hollowed out pumpkins, petting them, and feeding them.

Also, there’s an incredibly nice donkey, horses, ducks, free-range chickens, pigs, adult goats, a kid tractor ride, an adult tractor ride, a small concession stand, hand-washing stations, a small maze, and face painting. The animals are all so friendly, and you can buy carrots and pellets to feed them.

Tickets must be purchased online, not at the farm. All farm activities, Tractor Rides are included in the ticket price! 

Ride at Pumpkin Express at the Museum of Life and Science | Oct 6-27 (Weekends Only) 

Pick the perfect pumpkin to decorate and take home, then enjoy crafts and a variety of carnival games before returning to the station. (Grab tickets because they will sell out!)

Watch a horror film at Carolina Theatre | Oct. 11-13  

Splatterflix showcases 16 of the creepiest horror films during this weekend at Carolina Theatre.

Festival of Nations

October 12 | 11 am- 4 pm | Duke Homestead 

Come have fun and share in the culture of Tanzania, England, Greece, Russia, Japan, China, Mexico, Costa Rica and Romania. Activities include:

  • Children’s Activities with the Scrap Exchange
  • International Foods
  • Raffles, Silent Auction, Art, Souvenirs, Door Prizes
  • Exhibits of the Cultures of Durham’s International Communities
  • International Dance & Music Groups
  • International Beer Garden

Admission is $5. Children under 12 are free

Learn the Science of Beer at the Museum of Life and Science | Oct. 17

Your favorite North Carolina brewers will serve up samples while scientists school you on the science behind beer making and drinking. In addition to exploring MLS’s 65,000 sq. feet of indoor hands-on exhibits, you’ll get to enjoy Gateway Park, Hideaway Woods, and Magic Wings Butterfly House. 

World Beer Festival

October 19 | Durham Bulls Athletic Park | Tickets $40-75

Get a tasting glass with unlimited 2oz tastings from over some of the finest beers and ciders! Access into the Art of Beer Experience for beer ingredient samplings, pairings, educational seminars, a mini commercial brewery and more!

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

Duke Homestead’s Halloween Phantasmagoria

Photo: Duke Homestead

October 25 | 6:30-9pm

Phantasmagoria, noun: a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection or assemblage; a dreamlike state where real and imagined elements blur together; a magical event at Duke Homestead on October 25.

Explore historical concepts of Spiritualism, awe, and wonder from the 19th century at Duke Homestead. You are invited to wander the property to see what wonders you can find. This will be unlike any other Halloween experience you will have!

Appropriate for all ages. (No experiences are designed to scare!) 

$10 plus tax per adult in advance, $15 plus tax at the door. $5 plus tax for kids 12 and under

Bike-a-Bull City Festival

October 26 | 9 am- 2 pm

Choose from three rides that all end at noon at Durty Bull, followed by family-friendly celebrations! Followed by food, drink, socializing and activities like a bike maintenance workshop, tire changing contest, raffle prize drawing, and tables from local bike-related vendors and supporters.

Goat Kid Festival- Halloween on the Farm

October 27 | 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.


October 26 | 3-6pm | 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.

Get weird at the Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Ball | Oct 30 & 31

A fully-interactive, theatrical FX-driven, light show-blazing, fog-blowing, call-backing, costume-wearing, motion picture extravaganza at Carolina Theatre.

Celebrate Halloween at West Point on the Eno | Oct 31  

Designed particularly for children ages 12 and younger, this special event features campfire stories and songs, hayrides, treats, crafts, games, and face painting. No need to register – just come out, rain or shine!

See the Moon up close at Bull Moon Rising | Oct. 31- Nov. 3

The Moon is coming to Durham! Bull Moon Rising is a free, once-in-a-lifetime four-day community event that kicks off on Halloween and runs through November 3.⁠

Open 24 hours a day, the breathtaking exhibit will be suspended over CCB Plaza, atop the watchful eye of Major the Bull, providing the closest look at the moon our city has ever seen.

Museum of the Moon will be home to numerous free events and performances for everyone to enjoy. The lineup includes a reading of “Goodnight Moon” by Mayor Steve Schewel, Paperhand Puppets Halloween-themed performance, a Bull Moon Ball at Unscripted Hotel, and a lot more.⁠

Be sure to check out our complete guide to Durham this Fall including festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween celebrations.

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