By Kay Whatley, Editor
This list may include events from North Carolina counties of Edgecombe, Franklin, Nash, Johnston, Wake, Wayne, Wilson, and beyond (Inner Coastal Plains / Five County area of Eastern NC). Piedmont and Coastal events are sometimes included on the weekly list. While the majority of listed events are free happenings, some ticketed events may be included, especially ticketed events by local arts councils or theater groups.
Also check out our 2017 list of attractions — NC agricultural mazes, haunted houses, and more — in this article (by location)
Contact information or RSVP deadlines, where applicable, have been included. Events may be rescheduled, delayed by weather, canceled, times adjusted, or locations changed, without our knowledge.
Events may be added/updated by emailing event notices to the Editor.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Food Truck Thursday (October 26, 2017 @ 11:30am & 6pm)
*This date is the third Thursday of the month and includes live music.* Stop by to purchase lunch (11:30am-1:30pm) or dinner (6-8pm) near the Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater, 810 N First Avenue, Knightdale NC. Food trucks arranged weekly at the park. See the full schedule on the town website here. (Remaining dates are November 2, 9, and 16, 2017.)
October Teen Crafts (October 26, 2017 @ 4pm)
The Elm City branch library, part of the Wilson County Public Library system, is offering this Halloween-themed teen craft program. Come and see how to create Ghost String Lights. The Elm City branch library is located at 114 N Railroad Street, Elm City NC. County library information may be found at www1.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl. To register, contact Beverly Lamm, Teen Librarian, at 252.236.4269, or email.
Teens Tech (October 26, 2017 @ 4:30pm)
Topic will be “Google Cardboard” in the conference room at the Wilson County main branch library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. To register or with questions, contact Leslie Schultz, Teen Librarian, at 252.237.5355 x.5073 or email.
Teen Game Night (October 26, 2017 @ 5:30-7:30pm)
Join the fun and “get your game on” in the Teen Area and Computer Lab at Braswell Memorial Library, 727 N Grace Street, Rocky Mount NC. Library details and events are online at braswell-library.libguides.com. Next game night is December 28, 2017.
Smithfield Historical Ghost Walk (October 26, 2017 @ 6:30 open; tours 7-9pm)
This Heritage Center guided tour takes place at Riverside Cemetery in Smithfield NC — beside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Second and Church Streets. The first tour begins at 7pm, with tours begin every five minutes or so. After the cemetery tour, guests can enjoy refreshments in the historic Hastings House. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students (K-12). Dress appropriately for evening temperatures, comfortable walking shoes. More online here. Contact the Heritage Center at 919.934.2836 with questions.
Halloween Spooktacular (October 26, 2017 @ 4:30-8:30pm)
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is sponsoring this annual Spooktacular at the Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N White Street, Wake Forest NC. This is a free, family-oriented festival for children ages 12 and younger. Festivities include a costume contest, face painting, cupcake walk, and a variety of ghostly games and activities. Free pumpkin giveaways while supplies last. See more on the town’s Facebook page.
Halloween International Film Festival (October 26-28, 2017)
The second-annual Halloween International Film Festival returns to R/C Kill Devil Hills Movies 10, 1803 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills NC. Tickets are $12-$30, available here. (Note that this independent film festival is followed by a separate local event, the Outer Banks Halloween Parade of Costumes on Sunday, October 29, 2017.)
Pride And Prejudice Performances (October 26-29, 2017 @ various times)
Jane Austin’s beloved book, Pride and Prejudice, comes to life at the Theatre at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount NC. Showtimes are 7:30pm Thursday through Saturday, with a matinee at 2pm on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for children, $9 for students and seniors, and $11 for adults. Tickets are available at imperialcentre.org, or by calling the box office at 252.972.1266.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Imagination Station Halloween Party (October 27, 2017 @ 3-5pm)
Halloween Hayride (October 27, 2017 @ 4-6pm)
The Town of Clayton NC is holding a Halloween Hayride at Clayton Community Park. Meet Halloween characters, play games and win prizes as you ride around the trail. Fee is $5 per child over age 2, and adults ride free. Watch for updates on the town website at www.townofclaytonnc.org or on their Facebook page.
Halloween Festival / Family Activities (October 27, 2017 @ 4pm)
The Town of Nashville fun begins with a Fall Festival at the Harold D. Cooley Library, 114 W Church Street, Nashville NC. Then, there will be trick-or-treating in downtown with Parks and Rec and the Nashville Chamber starting around 5:30pm. When the sun goes down, the Ghostbusters 2016 film will be shown in the library parking lot. Watch the Nashville NC Parks and Rec Facebook page for updates, or visit the town’s website or library website.
Family Activities / The Creepy Crawl (October 27, 2017 @ 4pm; crawl 8pm-midnight)
The third-annual Thriller Night Performance and Fall Festival activities begin at 4pm. Join the fun and games, Flash mob (5pm) and zombies, at 219 N John Street, Goldsboro NC. Kick off the Halloween celebration by either performing Michael Jackson’s Thriller or witnessing this annual event and playing games. Trunk-or-Treat at 5pm. See Goldsboro events at www.visitgoldsboronc.com/events.
Zebulon Trunk or Treat (October 27, 2017 @ 5-7pm)
Join the fun with Zebulon Parks and Rec. Bring the kids for trunk-or-treating with free candy, free walking tacos, music, and community. Held at 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. Award for best trunk. See www.facebook.com/ZebulonParksandRecreation.
Wendell Treat Trail (October 27, 2017 @ 5-8pm)
Wendell NC’s Parks and Rec is setting up a long trail through one of the town parks, with trick-or-treaters welcomed to walk along the trail. Local businesses are stationed along the way to meet parents, greet the children, and hand out goodies. The trail is designed to be non-scary, and caters toward young children. More information may be found on the town Parks and Rec Facebook page. The location is Wendell Community Park, 601 W Third Street, Wendell NC.
Clayton Free Friday Night Movie (October 27, 2017 @ 6pm)
When it starts getting dark early, Clayton offers free, Friday night movies. Bring a blankets, drinks, and food and enjoy a free film outdoors at Clayton Town Square, 110 W Main Street, Clayton NC. Movie begins when the sun goes down. See www.townofclaytonnc.org/…/movie-night. Movie title and updates available via the Facebook event.
Halloween Phantasmagoria (October 27, 2017 @ 6:30-9:30pm)
Explore historical concepts of Spiritualism, awe, and wonder from the 19th century at Duke Homestead. Come for the fun and surprises on at The Duke Homestead State Historic Site, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham NC. Appropriate for all ages; not designed to scare. Expect walking/standing on uneven terrain and cool evening temperatures; dress appropriately. The event closes at 9pm, so arriving before 8:30pm is strongly recommended. Fee is $10 (plus tax) per person when purchased in advance, or $15 (plus tax) per person at the door. See more at dukehomestead.org/special-events.php or www.ncdcr.gov/halloween-phantasmagoria.
Halloween Party with the Rhine (October 27, 2017 @ 7-9pm)
Join this special Halloween party presented by the Rhine, the Durham-based paranormal research center. There will be spooky stories from their recent Mysterious Short Story Contest, refreshments, and more. Wear a costume if you would like to be a part of the Best Costume Contest. Held at The Episcopal Center at Duke University, 505 Alexander Avenue, Durham NC. Tickets are $20, discounted for Rhine members, students, and senior citizens. Call 919.309.4600 or register online.
Act For Youth presents Back to the 80’s (October 27-28, 2017 @ 7:30-9:30pm)
See this nostalgia-filled musical by Act For Youth performed at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center, 108 Nash Street NE, Wilson NC. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Also being performed on Sunday, October 29, 2017, at 3pm. See more on the Wilson Arts Council of Wilson website at www.wilsonarts.com/act-current-season.
The Scarecrow Express (October 27-28, 2017)
As night falls on Hubb’s Corn Maze, watch and discover what happens when the farmer goes to bed….the scarecrows put on a show. At sunset, children age 12 and under, along with a parent, may board this train ride. Non-scary for younger children. The last Scarecrow Express runs at 8:30pm, so arrive early. Hubb’s Corn Maze is located at 10276 N US-421 Hwy, Clinton NC. See details and additional Corn Maze activities at www.hubbsfarmnc.com.
The Haunted Trail / Creatures of the Night (October 27-28, 2017)
Head to Grifton NC for a night of terror strolling the Haunted Trail. Held at A Time for Science, 949 Contentnea Lane, Grifton NC. A Time for Science is also offering a family-friendly hayride and guided tour through their forest to learn about the creatures of the night. Activities are $5 per person which includes a campfire and marshmallows. Visit www.atimeforscience.org or call 252.746.4470 to register.
For The Creepy Crawl, head to 219 N John Street, Goldsboro NC. Participating bars/restaurants will feature drink specials, music, and a costume contest with prizes so good it’s spooky. The first 100 crawlers will receive spooky swag, so come early to this free event, covering 5 downtown bars/restaurants in 4 hours.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Stepping Into The Past (October 28, 2017 @ 10am-3pm)
This weekly series focuses on demonstrations and displays of traditional / old-time processes. This presentation is included with museum admission. Confirm topic and details at www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org/events/stepping-into-the-past. Held at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, 709 N Church Street, Kenly NC. Next date is November 4, 2017. Note that November 10-11, 2017, a BBQ cook-off is scheduled.
Rolesville Fall FunFest (October 28, 2017 @ 10am-4pm)
The fun takes place along Main Street in Rolesville NC, with various arts/crafts vendors, information booths, and food. Get an early start on holiday shopping, enjoy a hot dog, listen to live music, or enter the costume contest (at noon). Event information is available here, and updates may be found on the town’s Facebook page.
Trick or Treat at the 1897 Poe House (October 28, 2017 @ 11am-4pm)
The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex will host free Trick-or-Treat on Saturday in the Poe House Museum, 206 Bradford Avenue, Fayetteville NC. Trick or treaters can search for ravens in the Poe House, listen to a Halloween story, and then play old fashioned games in the backyard for a prize. There will also be music, magic, and a children’s costume contest ($1 to enter). Concessions will be available. See details on the museum’s Facebook page.
Brown Bag Lunch (October 28, 2017 @ 11am-12:30pm)
Just about every Saturday, Zebulon United Methodist Church provides free “brown bag lunches” to anyone who drives or walks by the church at 121 W Gannon Avenue, Zebulon NC. For more information on food distribution for those in need, or to volunteer, visit www.zumchurch.org.
Trick or Treating in the Maze (October 28, 2017 @ noon-5pm)
Join the fun at Lazy O Farm, 3583 Packing Plant Road, Smithfield NC. Dress up and bring the little munchkins; not scary. Entry is $10 per person (cash only). Visit the animals, go on a hayride and wander through the child-friendly maze for all kinds of treats and fun and get a pumpkin. Other farm activities available. Updates and details may be available on the farm’s Facebook page.
Halloween Special Needs Dance (October 28, 2017 @ 6-8pm)
Held at the Clayton Community Center, Clayton NC. Come for this special Halloween-edition of the town’s popular free dance for special needs participants in middle school, high school and adults. Wear a costume with soft-soled shoes. Watch for updates on the town website at www.townofclaytonnc.org or on their Facebook page.
Halloween Bash at The Myers House (October 28, 2017 @ 6:30pm-midnight)
The Myers House NC is a life-size replica of the infamous Michael Myers house from John Carpenter’s classic horror film Halloween. This personal residence opens its doors each year for this special event. The Myers House is located in Hillsborough NC. See details at www.myershousenc.com. Because it is a private residence, address information is released just before this Halloween event. See updates on the Myers House NC’s Facebook page.
Blackout Challenge (October 28, 2017 @ 7-9pm)
Something special will happen after dark this Saturday at Sonlight Farms, 293 Bunn Road, Kenly NC. Come out and bring a flashlight and try their maze in the dark! They will have light concessions including S’Mores; come roast marshmallows. Admission is $5. See details/updates on the Sonlight Farms Facebook page.
Fall 2017 Movies-on-the-Barn (October 28, 2017 @ 7pm/dusk)
Vollmer Farm, located at 677 NC Hwy 98 E, Bunn NC, shows outdoor movies on Saturday nights. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and settle in to watch movies with family, friends, neighbors, and farm visitors. Movie admission is included in Back Forty pass fees (approximately $10). To see scheduled movies and pass information, see www.vollmerfarm.com/movies.html.
Tim and Betty Bunn Variety Show (October 28, 2017 @ 7:30pm)
This show features a collection of country and pop hits and an Elvis Tribute show. Held at Small Town USA, 8928 Main Street, Castalia NC. Admission is $10, with kids 12 and under free. Refreshments are sold at the site. Call 252.462.0408 to reserve tickets. Updates may be found on Facebook here.
Halloween HAVOC (October 28, 2017 @ 8pm-2am)
On Saturday, join the adult fun in the parking lot at Gators Rocky Mount, 1171 Jeffreys Road, Rocky Mount NC. Carshow, Double DJ’s, Tent Event, a Costume Contest with cash prizes, and much more. See the Gators website at www.get2gators.com.
Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights (October 28-29, 2017)
The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, offering special Halloween happening on these two dates. The festival is held at its permanent fairgrounds at 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville NC. See the festival website for details.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Telling Your Story (October 29, 2017 @ 2-3pm)
Come and learn about writing a memoir or family history from Carla Stancil, President of Wake County Genealogical Society. Scheduled at East Regional Library, 946 Steeple Square Court, Knightdale NC. With questions, call the library at 919.217.5300.
**CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER — Halloween Treats at the Wilson Botanical Gardens (October 29, 2017 @ 4-6:30pm)**
Join the fun on Sunday at the Wilson Botanical Gardens, 1806 Goldsboro Street SW, Wilson NC. This is a free, annual celebration of traditional Halloween activities: Trick-or-treating, a pumpkin contest, crafts, storytelling, a costume parade, and more. Costumes are welcome and should be kid-friendly. For more information, visit www.wilsonbotanicalgardens.com or the Botanical Gardens’ Facebook page.
Trunk Or Treat (October 29, 2017 @ 6:30-7:30pm)
Come for this annual event on Sunday. Trick-or-treat from trunks in the church parking lot at Pilot Baptist Church, 8103 NC-39 Hwy, Zebulon NC. The church is online at www.pilotbaptist.com and updates may be posted on Facebook here.
The Annual Halloween Parade (October 31, 2017 @ 2:30-4pm)
Enjoy the parade, Trick-or-Treat in Downtown Clayton NC, then head to Town Square (corner of Main and Fayetteville Streets) for games and goodies for the kids. Watch for updates on the town website at www.townofclaytonnc.org or on their Facebook page.
Garner Trick-or-Treat The Trails (October 31, 2017 @ 3-6pm)
Trick-or-Treat your way around White Deer Park, 2400 Aversboro Road, Garner NC, and collecting goodies from local businesses and organizations. This free event is scheduled for. A parent must accompany children at all times. Parking available at Lake Benson Park (921 Buffaloe Road). Note that pets, drones and alcohol are not allowed. With questions, call Brittany Washington at 919.773.4441 or visit the Town of Garner events page.
Tarboro Trick-or-Treating (October 31, 2017 @ 10am-noon & 3-5pm)
The town’s candy handout to kids in costume (under age 13), is scheduled for Halloween. Downtown Tarboro NC merchants are offering treats throughout the day. This is a free, public event. See discoveredgecombe.com.
Grand Opening of Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park (November 2, 2017 @ 4-10pm)
Come and join the celebration at Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC. “Be there when history is made as the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park holds its grand opening! This park will very soon attract thousands of visitors to Historic Downtown Wilson. Witness the ribbon cutting, hear comments from Secretary of Cultural Resources and other dignitaries, and enjoy live music from Fireside Collective.” The grand opening includes food trucks, beverages, family fun, and lighting of the whirligigs. Bring a blanket/chair for comfort. See details on this Facebook event. And, don’t forget that the Whirligig Festival is November 4-5 (see below).
First Friday Flix (November 3, 2017 @ 7pm)
Free, public movie showing at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S Brooks Street, Wake Forest NC. To obtain movie title, call the Special Events Hotline at 919.435.9428. The Renaissance Centre hosts First Friday Flix on the first Friday evening of each month. Concessions available for purchase. For more information, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov.
New Life Church Fall Festival (November 4, 2017 @ 10am-4pm)
The New Life Church Fall Festival is Saturday. There will be free family activities, including inflatables, craft vendors, games, a hot dog lunch, music, and bingo. The event is a fundraisers for the church youth, and will include a bake sale and more. Held at New Life Ministry Center, 6900 Zebulon Road, Wake Forest NC. For more information or a vendor application, visit www.newlifenow.us/fall-festival.
Seeing the Big Picture (November 4, 2017 @ 2-4pm)
Hear speaker Michael Strickland, of Stained Glass Associates Inc. (Knightdale NC), on their restoration of the historic stained-glass windows of Raleigh’s first African-American church. The presentation will take place at the North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E Edenton Street, Raleigh NC. Following the talk, all will walk four blocks down Edenton Street to the church, where members will provide a tour of the beautiful windows. Fee is $7 per person, $5 for Museum members, with a portion of proceeds going to help continue window preservation at St. Paul AME Church. For more details or to purchase tickets, go to this EventBrite page.
North Carolina Whirligig Festival (November 4-5, 2017)
Join the fun at the 13th-annual NC Whirligig Festival. Hours are Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday noon-5pm. This festival showcases the arts of the region, including the giant Whirligigs created by local artist, Vollis Simpson. Come and check out the Whirligigs, shop from 200+ vendors, enjoy the live entertainment (3 stages), the Whirli-Kidz Zone, Cake Dive contest, delicious food, and more in downtown Wilson NC. See details at whirligigfestivalnc.org.
Cucalorus Film Festival (November 8-12, 2017)
The 23rd-annual festival returns, with screenings at more than a half-dozen venues around Wilmington NC. The non-competitive Cucalorus Film Festival showcases more than 300 films from all over the world. Watch www.cucalorus.org for details, or their Facebook page for updates.
10 Plants That Have Ornamental Berries (November 10, 2017 @ noon)
Part of the 10 Plant Tour series in the Nash County Arboretum, located at the Nash County Agriculture Center, 1006 Eastern Avenue, Nashville NC. Tours are free; call call 252.459.9810 with questions. See all dates at nash.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/03/2017-ten-plant-tours.
Backyard BBQ Cook Off (November 11, 2017 @ 9am-5pm)
This whole hog cooking event is a great chance for the local community to get together for friendly competition and fun. Activities include entertainment, pony rides, and family fun. There is no admissionfee, but some activities may charge a small fee. Held on the ground of the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, 709 N Church Street, Kenly NC. See Cook Off Challenge details at www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org/events/bbq-cookoff.
The Lantern Fest (November 11, 2017 @ 1pm-until)
Usually held in Fayetteville, due to a new local law in that city, the fest has been moved to Goldsboro NC. Tickets range from $7 to $60. “At The Lantern Fest, thousands of revelers join together armed with lanterns for one unforgettable spectacle. Before sundown friends and families can enjoy food, live music, a stage show, familiar princesses, face painters, s’mores, balloon artists and more. Then, when the time is just right, we will light the sky with our highest hopes and fondest dreams.” See more on EventBrite.
Dan Finch Pottery Open House (November 12, 2017 @ 10am-5pm)
This annual event is held at the Dan Finch Pottery, 5526 Finch Nursery Lane, Bailey NC. Come for a day of pottery demonstrations, music, shopping, fun, and food. Finch Studio Potters display and sell their many functional creations in stoneware and porcelain, plus jewelry, sculpture, Homes for Bluebirds nesting boxes, and more. Children 12 and under may glaze their own Raku Vase by Dan Finch Santa’s Workshop or get their face painted. For more information, visit www.danfinch.com/events.htm.
Holiday Market (November 18, 2017 @ 9am-3pm)
The Zebulon Farm Fresh Market (ZFFM) celebrates the holiday season with this special one-day market at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. From their early event description: “Shop local and find that perfect gift with one of our many vendors. Grab breakfast or lunch at Brown Bag Bagel Food truck and enjoy dance performance by Massey School of Dance and Expressions of Worship. Lastly, round out the day by visiting with Santa!”
Winter Hummingbirds Event (November 18, 2017 @ 11am-noon)
Hummingbird researcher Susan Campbell will be talking about winter hummingbirds. Those wishing to support Susan’s research may “adopt” a hummingbird for a $20 “Adoption” fee. Seating is limited, so reserve a spot by calling 919.969.6778. Seats are first come first serve. Held at Wild Birds Unlimited of Chapel Hill, 1806 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill NC. See more about this event on their Facebook page.
Ed. Note: Event information gathered from various sources. While attempts are made to verify data, for most events contact details are included. If you’re planning to attend an event, use contact information or event links to confirm, check for updates or changes, or verify space is available. These events are publicized by The Grey Area News, but are not events overseen by this news site or staff.
Highlighted events are selected by staff, generally due to prior experience with the event or knowledge of offerings.