7 spooky—and playful—Halloween events in and around Atlanta

Ask anyone—most will likely tell you the scariest thing about Atlanta usually revolves around rush-hour traffic. But here’s a scare we all can look forward to. Check out the city’s spookiest side with these Halloween-inspired, spine-tingling events around the city.

Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade

One of Atlanta’s most vibrant and colorful neighborhoods really shines in the spooky season. It’s the most festive time of year for both visitors and residents as the outrageously fun parade winds through the streets of Little Five Points. But the parade is only part of the fun, as the festival brings in food vendors, an artists market, live music and more.

Noon-10 p.m. Oct. 19; the parade starts at 4 p.m. Free. Little 5 Points, Moreland and Euclid avenues NE, Atlanta. l5phalloween.com.

Owl-o-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival

The sky will sparkle and shine as this Kennesaw celebration marks its seventh year. The costume catwalk party spotlights the imagination of attendees, decked in their Halloween attire, with prizes for best costume. The fest brings in more than 120 performing artists aimed at both kids and adults. And speaking of adults, there will be a craft beer garden, a sports bar and a silent disco. The balloons are the stars, though, and organizers recommend getting there early, because tethered balloon rides are limited.

6-11 p.m. Oct. 18-19. $19; $9 ages 3-12. VIP tickets $79; $49 ages 3-12. Kennesaw State University’s Sports + Entertainment Park, 3200 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw. owl-o-ween.com.

Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Georgia

The popular annual event brings out everyone—from the living to the dead—to enjoy the thrills of the amusement park. Special park programs include crafts and “Spooky Stories” for kids, live shows and multiple haunted houses and more chilling frights for the park’s after-dark crowd.

Starting at $51.99. Sept. 21-Nov. 2. Six Flags, 275 Riverside Parkway SW, Austell. sixflags.com/overgeorgia. (Hours vary, so check its website for park hours.)

Scare actors at Six Flags
Photo: Courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia

A Spooktacular Night by the Georgia Aquarium

Trick-or-treat in each gallery of the Georgia Aquarium. Families can also enjoy crafts, a photo station and other Halloween-inspired entertainment. Plus, with each paying adult admission, children under 12 who arrive in costume will receive free admission.

4-8 p.m. Oct. 31. Starting a $26.95. Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St. NW, georgiaaquarium.org.

The Roof’s Neon Nightmare at Ponce City Market

In the spirit of the 80s-era horror thrillers, guests are invited to party on the rooftop of Ponce City Market. Expect to find a scene set with glitch art, a neon graveyard, themed cocktails and small bites. Plus, guests can enjoy carnival games, DJ-spun music and even a costume contest.

7 p.m.-midnight. Oct. 26. Starting at $45. The Roof at Ponce City Market. 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, poncecityroof.com.

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Doggies on the BeltLine

This Halloween, the pups can have a little dress-up fun too. In its second year, the BeltLine will host a dog parade and costume contest. Pet owners can check-in their participating pets at 11:30 a.m. at The Shed at Ponce City Market, where there will also be opportunities for free pet portraits, dog treats and vendor booth shopping. The parade will commence at 1 p.m. from Ponce City Market, with a walk along the Eastside BeltLine Trail and end at Park Tavern. It’s free to watch the pet parade, but a ticket is required to access the vendor booths, participate in the parade and enter the Park Tavern after-party.

1-3 p.m. Oct. 27. Starting at $20. The Shed at Ponce City. 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. beltline.org.

Pet portraits for Doggies on the BeltLine

Boo at the Zoo

This Atlanta Halloween classic is always a treat for families. Kids have the opportunity to dress up, collect candy, make crafts and take pictures with character photo ops. Plus, new for 2019, Boo at the Zoo guests can try out the new Freaky Foam Zone, where squishy foam meets jumpy inflatable fun.

9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27. Starting at $18.99. Zoo Atlanta. 800 Cherokee Ave. SE. 404-624-9453, zooatlanta.org.

Kid in costume enjoys festivities at Boo at the Zoo. Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta
Photo: Adam K Thompson

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Potter fans can come in their Hogwart’s best to see the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra plays live to the movie’s John Williams score.

7:30 p.m. Oct. 25-26; 3 p.m. Oct. 27. Starting at $59.50. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 1280 Peachtree St. NE, 404-733-4900, atlantasymphony.org.

The Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon & 5K

Try to outrun zombies, witches, superheroes and other costumed participants in the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon and 5K. The race will start at 8 a.m. at Piedmont Park by Charles Allen Drive. Prizes will not only be awarded to the top three finishers in each age group, but there will also be prizes for the best costume. Register in advance online and pick up your race number on Oct. 25 or 26 at West Stride Running Store (3517 Northside Parkway NW) or the morning of the race from 6:30-7:30 a.m. at Piedmont Park.

Race begins at 8.a.m. Oct 27. Starting at $35. Piedmont Park near Charles Allen Drive. halloweenhalfmarathon.com.

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