Out and About Tri-Cities – October 2019
Family-Friendly Events In the Tri-Cities and Just Beyond
If you are looking for family-friendly events in the Tri-Cities, you have come to the right place. Our mission at Geez, Gwen is to encourage families and couples to get out and explore and learn together as often as possible. We also strive to be a source of information for excellent volunteer opportunities that you can take part in to improve our community and the lives and well being of our neighbors. Welcome!
**This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**
Local Family Fun
Butterfly Walk at Roan Mountain State Park
October 3rd, 2019 from 11 am to noon
Join a ranger at the Miller Farmstead parking lot. We will discuss what it means to be a designated Monarch Way Station. Then we will take a short walk (under ½ mile, with stairs and gravel terrain) to see what butterflies are around.
This is a free program with no preregistration. Closed-toe shoes are recommended. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please note: Bees will be present. Visitors with allergies are asked to prepare accordingly.
Ghost Stories at The National Storytelling Festival
October 4th and 5th, 2019 from 8 pm to pm
A beloved and longstanding Festival tradition, two nights of fright await you in these open-air ghost story concerts featuring a different collection of haunting tales each night. Internationally acclaimed storytellers Charlotte Blake Alston and Dan Keding join other featured tellers on the stage on both Friday and Saturday.
Sponsored by The Corner Cup
Tickets are sold separately. $10 for all ages
Fall Chili Cook-off at Roan Mountain State Park
October 5th, 2019 from 12:30 pm to 2 pm
Cook up a pot of your secret recipe and compete for prizes, or just come sample the chefs’ creations! Everyone is welcome to kick-off the fall season with food, fun, and fellowship. Register prior to October 5th at the Park Headquarters or Campground Check-in Station. 12:30-2:00 PM for public eating. Cooks may begin cooking starting at 8 AM at Shelter 3.
Prizes will be awarded to the judge’s favorite chili, public favorite chili, best-decorated chili booth, and overall best use of heat to flavor ratio (no burning off taste-buds!).
Fire Starting Basics at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park
October 9th, 2019 from 9 am to 10 am
Interested in learning the art of building a fire? Develop your outdoor skills by joining Ranger Jason Davis for a hands-on tutorial about basic fire starting tips and techniques. We will be using both colonial-era flint and steel as well as modern tools. Topics include: how to make char cloth, good and bad natural fuel sources, fire building strategies, and improvising with everyday items. Please dress appropriately for the weather. Bring your own gloves and water, all other supplies will be provided. $5 each
Pre-registration required – www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals
2019 Autumn Harvest Festival at Roan Mountain State Park
October 12th, 2019 from noon to 3 pm
Step back in time with us on Saturday, October 12th at the Miller Farmstead from Noon – 3 PM. Our Autumn Harvest Festival brings guests back into the mid-1800s with historical tours of the Farm, house, and land surrounding the area. The farmstead will be packed with historical demonstrations, games, traditional music, food, crafts, and more! Come out and support these local artists and re-enactors, or join in the fun by calling us to sign up as a vendor or re-enactor today.
In case of bad weather, the festival will be moved to the Visitor’s Center. If the festival will be moved, we will post it on our park Facebook page and have a sign re-directing guests from the Farmstead entrance.
Fall Family Festival at Rocky Mount
October 12th, 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm
Rocky Mount State Historic Site’s annual Fall Family Festival event will take place Saturday, October 12th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. See how the Cobb family celebrates the harvest season by touring the historic grounds. Learn the old-fashioned way of making apple butter, bring the kids out to make a corn husk doll or paint a pumpkin, and enjoy a variety of seasonal activities for the whole family! Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5 for kids 5-17. Rocky Mount members and kids under 5 get in free!
Stories from the Pumpkin Patch at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site
October 12th, 2019 from 3 pm to 8 pm
Enjoy a family-friendly evening with fun crafts and great stories. Halloween crafts for kids will be offered during daylight hours. Storytellers will be within the mid-1800s barn and as daylight fades, spooky stories will be taking place in our cave! Also, take a hayride around the historic grounds. Regular admission is required. Members of Tipton-Haynes are also FREE! $5 for adults and $2.50 for children 12 to 3.
Homeschool Day at Hand’s On Discovery Center
October 14th, 2019 from 10 am to 2 pm
Join us for this special day from 10 am-2 pm as we open our doors especially for our loyal home school visitors. Pre-registration for the event is required by Thursday, October 10th to receive discounted general admission of $8, otherwise, tickets are $10 at the door. A dissection is available for an additional cost and registration for the dissection is required by Tuesday, October 1st. Click here to register.
Additional activities for Homeschool Day include:
- Dogfish Shark Dissection – 11 am
Additional $10 per person
Must register by Tuesday, October 1st
- Tesla Experience Show*
Additional $3 per person ages 4+
Tickets available at the reception desk day of the event
- Paleo Tour*
Additional $3 per person ages 4+
Tickets available at the reception desk day of the event
*BUNDLE AND SAVE-Purchase a Tesla & Paleo ticket together for only $5.
History Happy Hour at The Chester Inn in Jonesborough
October 17th, 2019 from 6:30 to 8 pm
History Happy Hour will be held at the Chester Inn Museum on the third Thursday of the month. Admission is free, and the program will start at 6:30 p.m. The goal of the program is to offer an insightful history to the public, foster a collaborative relationship with various individuals and organizations, and increase the role of the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum as a community meeting place.
To stay up to date on our program schedule, follow the Chester Inn Museum and the Heritage Alliance on Facebook.
The Heritage Alliance is dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences. For more information, please call our office at 423.753.9580 or the Chester Inn Museum at 423-753-4580. You can contact the organization via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can also be found online at http://www.heritageall.org/.
Fall Scenic Hike at Steele Creek Park In Bristol
October 18th, 2019 at 4 pm
Fall Scenic Hike – Meet Jeremy at the Nature Center for a moderately strenuous hike into the woods in search of early fall colors! We’ll learn about some native wildlife along the way, too.
A Spot On the Hill Oct 18 at the Old Jonesborough Cemetary
October 18th, 2019 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm
A Spot on the Hill, the original, research-based play returns this October to the Old Jonesborough Cemetery. Now celebrating its sixth season, this edition features new characters. New stories include Reverend William Cate the first minister of First Baptist Church, Alice Slemons whose home is now the Storytelling Resource Center, Dr. M.S. Mahoney a founder of the Herald & Tribune, and Jack Grimes who perished during the cholera epidemic of 1873. You’ll meet them and many more! Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to sit on. Come and listen to real stories of real lives among real tombstones.
Performances for A Spot on the Hill will take place at 6:30 p.m. on October 18th, 19th, and 26th. There will be 2:00 p.m. matinee performances on October 19th and 26th. The October 26th matinee will take place inside the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum. The museum is located inside the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center and is handicap accessible. Tickets are limited and sell out fast, so make sure you buy yours today. Tickets are $8.00 and proceeds benefit the Heritage Alliance’s educational programs and initiatives, including ongoing programming in Jonesborough’s historic cemeteries.
Audience members should arrive 15 minutes prior to showtime. Parking is available at the First Baptist Church and downtown. It is a short walk up East Main Street to the cemetery from the First Baptist Church lot. A golf cart courtesy shuttle will be available for guests who need it. This program is not suggested for children less than 10 years of age. In case of inclement weather, performances will be moved inside the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum.
To purchase tickets, please call the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center at 423.753.1010. Tickets can also be purchased online. $8 each
National Fossil Day at Hand’s On Discovery Center
October 19, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
The ETSU Museum of Natural History and Hands-On! Discovery Center will celebrate National Fossil Day on Saturday, October 19, from 10 am – 3 p.m at the Gray Fossil Site.
National Fossil Day is an event that highlights the scientific and educational value of paleontology and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations. The day will include a variety of activities and demonstrations for all ages. Visitors will be able to take a tour of the fossil site, see amazing Appalachian fossils up close, and learn about how paleontologists use the latest technologies to research and preserve fossils. Scientists, students, and volunteers will be on hand to showcase the incredible work of paleontology!
Activities will be on-going from 10 am to 3 pm. All National Fossil Day activities are free to the public. All activities are also included with admission to the Hands-On! Discovery Center: $10 for adults and children 4 and older.
The Gray Fossil Site is a one-of-a-kind paleontological resource preserving the remains of hundreds of extinct species that lived in East Tennessee 5 million years ago. Discovered in 2000 during road construction, the site is now home to the East Tennessee State University Museum of Natural History and the Hands-On! Discovery Center. It is a hub of education and scientific research.
Kids’ Book Hangout Event at Barnes & Noble in Johnson City
October 19th, 2019 at 2 pm
Books can take you on amazing adventures through magical lands, the great outdoors, and even school! Join us for our fall Kids’ Book Hangout to discover your next great, adventurous read. Connect with fellow readers, play games and activities, and take home giveaways! Bring a friend and we’ll see you there. Plus, get a coupon for a $1 Rice Krispy Bar (Café stores only).
Inaugural Harvest Fest at The Bristol Train Station
October 20th, 2019 at 1 pm
House Dressing & Christina’s Boutique have teamed up with the Bristol Train Station (Bristol, Va) to bring our community the Inaugural Harvest Fest: A Day at the Train Station. Mark your calendar for October 20th from 1 pm to 5 pm.
Featuring 70 one-of-a-kind craft vendors! You don’t want to miss this fun fall event at the Bristol Train Station!
Rock ‘n’ Stroll at Roan Mountain State Park
October 20th, 2019 from 8 am to 9 am
Meet at the Gristmill Visitor Center to join this guided hike on the Peg Leg Mine Trail (approximately 0.5-mile round trip). Along the way, we will discuss the geological history of the park and take a look at the old Peg Leg Mine Site.
This is a free program with no registration required. Closed-toe shoes are recommended. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Mafia Murder Mystery Party at The Johnson City Public Library
October 22nd, 2019 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Join us for our favorite card game, some tricks, and lots of treats! Let’s find out “who did it.” Costumes are encouraged, but not required. This program is for ages 12-18. Registration is required.
Scary Stories at Fort Watauga
October 24th, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Strange things happen around All Hallows Eve, especially at an old fort by the river. Bring the family and join us for tales that will send a shiver down your spine and tickle your funny bone, with a touch of wit thrown in for good measure. Don’t be afraid, Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals isn’t haunted . . . or is it?!?!
*** Dress warmly and bring a seat ***
Costumes, Candy, and Cars! at Memorial Park Community Center
October 24th, 2019 from 6 pm to 7 pm
Dress up in costume and bring your own bag for candy. Enjoy local public safety, cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs and other cool cars. When the candy runs out join us for a Monster Mash dance for kids. Enjoy the music and glow paint fun. The event ends when the candy runs out. Open to all ages. For more info, call 423-434-5749
2019 Kingsport Halloween Bash
October 25th and 26th, 2019
The Halloween Bash returns as the largest Halloween party in the Tri-Cities and this year it’s bigger and better than ever!
The Kingsport Farmers Market will come alive for two nights on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th with live music, games, a $1500 costume contest, food trucks and more.
The Halloween Bash presented by Bud Light kicks off at 6 pm on Friday, October 25th with a concert featuring Tuesday’s Gone-the best Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band around. After touring the country, Tuesday’s Gone returns to Kingsport for the first time since their raved about performance at Racks by the Tracks in 2017. Also playing on Friday will be regional favorites Donnie and the Dry Heavers. Attendees can enjoy food truck favorites, beer, water and sodas, all available for purchase.
On Saturday night the Halloween Bash will be similar to last year, but with one big change, an extended performance by The Benny Wilson Band, making their first appearance at the event.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy food trucks, DJ, games, and compete for one of the largest costume contest prizes in the region.
Last year, over 100 people entered the costume content, competing to win $1,500 in cash prizes. The entry fee is $10, with the top winner receiving $1,000 and 5 runners up receiving cash prizes as well. Once again the costume contest will be broadcast live on VIPSeen Live, with Morgan King and Whitney Carr emceeing the show.
As always, the Halloween Bash is inside the Kingsport Farmers Market, so the weather is never a factor for this event. Both nights will be inside the building, which will be decorated for a spooky good time.
Friday – Tickets to Friday evening are $15 in advance and $20 the night of the event.
Saturday – Tickets to Saturday are $7 in advance and $12 the night of the event.
Combo Ticket – You can buy tickets for both Friday and Saturday night and get both amazing shows for only $20 in advance.
Tickets can be purchased at www.halloweenbashkingsport.com or the Kingsport Chamber. The costume contest requires a $10 entry fee, with pre-registration online at www.halloweenbashkingsport.com or register at the Saturday night event.
BOO!SEUM at Hand’s On Discovery Center
October 25, 2019 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Join us for our spook-tacular, but not too scary, an evening of fun! Hands-On! is hosting its annual BOO!SEUM event which will include candy, science experiments, crafts, and more! Stop by anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 and be sure to wear your most festive costume and bring your own trick-or-treat bag! Follow us on social media for more details, updates, contests, and more! @visithandson
- FREE for ages 0-3
- FREE for Hands-On! Discovery Center members (must have current card/membership app and photo ID)
- $10 per person for non-members ages 4+ (includes event and exhibit play)
- $3 Tesla Experience tickets for members and non-members
(***Contains small parts and food allergens. While supplies last.)
3rd Annual Halloween in the Campground at Warrior’s Path State Park
October 25th, 2019 – early evening
Warriors Path State Park is hosting its 3rd Annual Halloween in the Campground on Friday, October 25th, 2019 from 5 pm to 7 pm. Tricks or Treaters will be able to walk through the campground and enjoy decorated campers and campsites, as well as a few spooky surprises! The first 500 kids to visit the main bathhouse area will receive a small treat bag. There will also be a Camper decorating contest with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.
Parking will be at the pool parking lot. Disabled parking will be limited. All vehicle traffic in the campground will be closed except for emergencies from 4:45 PM to 7:00 PM.
There is a $5.00 suggested donation per car in order to help support the program.
Book + Art Exhibit at Milligan College – P.H. Welshimer Library
October 25th, 2019 – All Day Event
Reimagine books as the raw material and inspiration for works of art! The 7th annual Book + Art Exhibit runs in conjunction with Milligan’s Homecoming each fall.
The Last Kids on Earth Training Camp Event at Barnes & Noble in Johnson City
October 26th, 2019 at 2 pm
See if you have what it takes to fight the Monster Apocalypse! Join us for activities, a survival quiz, trivia, giveaways, and more to celebrate this favorite series! Plus, get a coupon for a $1 Rice Krispy Bar
Annual Pumpkin Palooza and Trick-or-Treating on State Street in Bristol
Saturday, October 26th, 2019 from 9 am to noon
It’s time for the Annual Pumpkin Palooza and Trick-or-Treating on State Street! On Saturday, October 26, 9 am to 12 noon, kids of all ages can come to the Farmers’ Market at the Downtown Center, 810 State Street for a spooktacular event! Hosted by Bristol Tennessee Parks & Recreation Department and Believe in Bristol, there will be fun and games galore — children can decorate a pumpkin with a variety of fun craft materials. There will be treat bags for kids to take home (while supplies last), along with the pumpkin they decorated. The fun continues as downtown merchants are open for trick-or-treating at various shops along State Street from 10 am until 12 noon, or until the candy runs out! It’s fun for the whole family!
Halloween Fall Fun Day at Roan Mountain State Park
October 26th, 2019 from 9 am to 5 pm
Enjoy a wide variety of program offerings from Roan Mountain State Park Ranger staff throughout the day as part of Halloween Fall Fun Day!
The activity schedule is as follows –
9:00 AM Fall on the Balds guided hike– click here for more info and registration.
10:30 AM Creepy Crawly One’s snake program– click here for more info
12:30 PM Corn Husk Halloween!— Click here for more info and registration
1:30 PM Pumpkin Carving on the Mountain— click here for more info
3:00 PM Hoo-lloween owl program– click here for more info
All programs conclude by sunset and do not involve after-dark activities.
All programs will be canceled in case of rain/inclement weather.
Halloween Scenic Hike at Steele Creek Park in Bristol
October 31st, 2019 at 4 pm
Halloween Scenic Hike: Meet Dani at the Nature Center for a spookily fun and colorful hike in search of scenic vistas and cooler temperatures!
Downtown Trick-or-Treating in Elizabethton
October 31st, 2019 from 3 pm to 4:30 pm
Fall festival inflatables, costume contest Provided by Elizabethton Rec Center- Treats by businesses, civic clubs, and churches.
All Month Long
Hand’s On Discovery Center Program Art Studio
October Art Studio: Join us for Frida Khalo inspired collages, Pablo Picasso inspired cubism drawings, and crayon resist watercolor leaf paintings. All activities are self-guided with instructions provided, with facilitated programs announced periodically throughout each day. Stop by and get creative!
Out Of Town Trips, Worth Taking
Beary Scary Halloween at Grandfather Mountain
October 26th, 2019 from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm
Visit Grandfather Mountain for a day of nature programs about animals considered creepy and crawly! This fun-filled celebration includes an opportunity to create special Halloween enrichment for the animals and then trick-or-treat through the animal habitats area. Plus, children in costume are admitted at half-price.
This event is included with regular admission.
Anakeesta’s Legend of Hallow Mountain
October through November 2nd, 2019
Enter a world of whimsy and scares at Anakeesta’s Legend of Hallow Mountain. From kid-friendly Halloween fun to pulse-pounding scare zones, everyone will find their level of fun….or FEAR….at Anakeesta.
For all ages throughout the day, Autumn at Anakeesta will offer family-friendly crafts, games, activities, not-so-spooky character visits, and fall-inspired treats for all.
As the nightlife awakes, the Treetop Skywalk with 16 sky bridges transforms into the NEW Firefly Forest, Anakeesta Gem Mining treasures begin to glow, Halloween movies air at the overlook and the mountain coaster and zipline rides turn into haunted adventures and the Vista Gardens transform into Hallow Mountain Graveyard where the undead rise to seek their way off Hallow Mountain…..enter if you DARE! (Ages 12+ only see FAQ/WARNINGS)
Autumn at Anakeesta and Hallow Mountain are included in the cost of general admission. Zombie Ziplining and the Haunted Rail Runner Mountain Coaster require an additional ticket purchase. More details right here.
BOO! at the Zoo – Zoo Knoxville
October 10th through the 13th – October 17th through 20th – and – October 24th through 27th, 2019
BOO! at the Zoo presented by U.S. Cellular® is Knoxville’s largest Halloween event featuring several nights of not-too-scary Halloween fun perfect for preschool and elementary-aged children. A Halloween tradition for 33 years, BOO! at the Zoo is a family event featuring trick-or-treating along the BOO! Trail, where little trick-or-treaters can fill their bag with goodies as they make their way through the zoo. Each night of BOO! at the Zoo will have a variety of entertainment. (October 10th is Annual Passholders night!)
Rise Against Hunger at Cokesbury Church in Johnson City
October 12th, 2019 from 10 am to noon
We will be out of town for this event but we absolutely love this group and we have worked with them before! We would definitely be there helping for this one if we could! Here are the details:
Help Cokesbury and Jonesborough United Methodist Church package 10,000 meals in only 2 hours! The community is invited. We need 50 people. All ages over 5 years can help. Seated positions available. Register today! http://events.riseagainsthunger.org/JonesboroughCokesbury2019
–Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
–Wear a baseball cap, or hair cover will be provided.
–Leave watches and loose jewelry at home
–Please do not attend if you’ve had a fever or intestinal illness within 24 hours.
“Ticket” URL is just for registering — no fee or ticket sales
We hope you have found a few options for family-friendly fun that you can not resist. Grab your calendar and schedule some time with the people you love most! And let us know if you have an event to share in the comments section below. We love to hear from you!
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