It’s officially fall, which means there is no shortage of festivals, galas, fun runs or trick or treating events to attend this month. Whether you’re looking for a date night idea or Halloween-themed fun for the kids, here are 18 can’t-miss October events.

Nashville events in October: Cheekwood Harvest

There is plenty of fall fun to be had in Nashville this October, including paying a visit to Cheekwood Harvest. Image: Cheekwood Estate & Gardens

18 Nashville Events & Happenings: October 2020

October 1 – 7, 2020: Nashville Film Festival

The 2020 Nashville Film Festival takes place October 1 through 7 and features digital screenings of 200+ films, Q&A sessions with filmmakers, musical performances and more. Films are available for pre-order for $12 and can be viewed starting October 1 at 10 a.m. Festival badges start at $65 and include access to the festival’s virtual panels.

October 1 – 11, 2020: Southern Festival of Books

Join Tennessee readers and writers October 1 through 11 for the 32nd annual Southern Festival of Books. The free virtual event celebrates the joys of reading and features panels with over 100 authors, including Michael Ian Black, Nikky Finney, Joe Hill, Erik Larson and more. Festival books can be purchased at Parnassus Books, the festival’s official bookstore.

October 1 – 25, 2020: Mutt Strutt 5K

Nashville Humane Association’s annual Mutt Strutt 5K has gone virtual this year. From October 1 through 25, head to Shelby Park to walk or run the course at your own pace. When you’re done, share your pictures and videos with Nashville Humane so they can create a montage highlight. Registration is $20, and proceeds benefit Nashville Humane.

October 1, 2020, through November 1, 2020: Cheekwood Harvest

Celebrate fall at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens through November 1 at its Cheekwood Harvest event. Family-friendly activities include pumpkin picking, the Halloween Pooch Parade, virtual viewings of the Japanese moon and a virtual El Día de los Muertos celebration. Tickets range from $9 to $28.

October 1, 8 & 14: “White House Style” Educational Series

In light of hosting the Presidential Debate on October 22, Belmont University hosts a series of virtual panels on October 1, 8 and 14. The series is led by Creative Consultant Libby Callaway and features speakers like historian Lina Mann, interior designer Michael S. Smith, and former White House employee Adrian Miller. Each session starts at 7 p.m. and is free to attend.

October 2, 2020: Great Futures Gala

Join the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennesse for its Great Futures Gala on October 2 at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by country singer Chris Young, the virtual event features a silent auction with over 200 items as well as stories from youth who have directly benefited from the organization. Attendees can also volunteer to host a watch party and receive a “Gala in a Box” package, which includes a bottle of wine, photo backdrop, selfie stick, appetizers, drink mixers and dessert. Tickets start at $350.

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October 2 – 31, 2020: Keep A Breast Nashville Collection

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Keep A Breast Foundation brings its extensive collection of casts to Riverside Revival in Nashville, TN. The free exhibition takes place October 2 through 31 and features hand-painted casts from over 80 Nashville women, including Fiona Prine, Libby Callaway, Alyssa Rosenheck and more. From October 6 through 28, casts can be purchased through an online auction, and proceeds benefit KAB’s education and support programs and grants. Additionally, a virtual live-streamed event takes place on October 9. If you’re unable to make it to Nashville to see the collection in person, it can also be viewed online.

October 3, 2020: Overwhelmed, Overstretched, and Over It! Live Training

Created to help women who are doing it all, this live webinar teaches you how to avoid distractions, focus on priorities and get ahead of your day. The event is hosted by Mridu Parikh of Life Is Organized, who has taught thousands of women how to be more productive at work and more present at home. Mridu teaches three simple tricks to take control of your demands, tasks, requests, dings and to-dos. The webinar takes place on October 3 at 4 p.m., and registration is free.

Through October 3, 2020: Ironware Warehouse Sale

Ironware’s warehouse sale offers up to 80% off gorgeous chandeliers, pendants, sconces, seating, tables, beds, and fireplace accessories. All items are handmade in Normandy, France and hand-finished here in Nashville. The event is open to the general public October 1 through 3. The store follows CDC guidelines, requiring guests to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines. Items are sold on a first-come-first-serve basis and can also be purchased online by emailing [email protected] with your phone number. Purchases are made with credit and debit cards only, and all sales are final.

Through October 4, 2020: Make It Happen 2020 Online Auction

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s Make It Happen 2020 Online Auction features some amazing items, ranging from a luxurious trip to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico to a virtual chat with country superstar Kelsea Ballerini and her singer/songwriter husband Morgan Evans. Proceeds from the event benefit the Heritage Foundation, which works to preserve the stories and places of Williamson County. Registration is open now and bidding runs through October 4.

October 13, 2020: Dance Like Your Zoom Camera is Off

Learn the art of Salsa dancing with Tennessee Latin American Chamber of Commerce President, Victor Berrios; Grammy Award-winning musician Giovanni Rodrigues, and Salsa aficionado David Faustino Sandoval. The free event takes place on October 13 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Reservations are required and close at 4 p.m. on October 12.

October 15 – 18, 20 – 25 & 27 – 30, 2020: Boo at the Zoo

The Nashville Zoo has adjusted its annual Boo at the Zoo event to fit the current times, providing a socially distant layout for its Haymaze, the Monster Mash dance area, Pumpkin Town photo ops, and, of course, trick or treating stations. The event takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. October 15 through 18, 20 through 25, and 27 through 30. Tickets are $14 for zoo members and $16 for non-members.

October 16 – 25, 2020: Mars Petcare 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Music City Run

While St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, dog lovers can still participate in Mars Petcare’s 14th Annual St. Patrick’s Music City Run October 16 through 25. The race is 100% virtual, and participants can run at their own pace through a course of their choosing. Runners are also encouraged to share photos of their run and dogs with the hashtag #MCRun. Registration is $35, and proceeds benefit the PEDIGREE Foundation, which works to end animal homelessness.

October 21 & 28, 2020: Dog Nights of Harvest

On October 21 and 28, bring your four-legged friend to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens for Dog Nights of Harvest. The event takes place on select Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Cheekwood asks that all dogs remain on a leash and guests bring bags to clean up after their pup. Tickets range from $9 to $28.

October 21 – 25, 2020: Artclectic

The Artclectic online gallery features pieces by 60 artists from around the country that have been chosen by a panel of jurors. In addition to the virtual art gallery, participants can also attend virtual events. For $50, attendees can purchase a virtual “Patron Party” and receive early access to purchasing art. An additional $50 buys a “Party in a Box” and includes hors d’oeuvres and desserts from Urban Grub as well as the option to add on two Southern Wit beers from Tennesse Brew Works. All other events are free and open to the public. Artclectic begins at 8 a.m. on October 21 and ends midnight on October 25.

October 22 – 25, 2020: Halloween Dash

Lace up your running shoes and head out on the trail of your choosing between October 22 and 25 for Nashville’s Halloween Dash. With options to run or walk a 5K, 10K, half marathon or kids’ fun run, proceeds from the event support Children Emergency Care Alliance’s mission to improve pediatric emergency care in Tennessee. Registration starts at $25.

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October 27, 2020: Taste of West Nashville

Hosted at Fat Bottom Brewing Co. on October 27, Taste of West Nashville provides samples from some of the city’s best local restaurants. In addition, the event includes live music and a silent auction, and proceeds benefit the West Nashville Dream Center. To adhere to COVID-19 regulations, tickets are sold in time slots from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 6:3o p.m. to 8 p.m. Twilight hours take place from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets for the early slots are $40, twilight hour tickets are $30, and children under 12 are free. Tickets are also sold at the door for $45.

October 31, 2020: Trunk or Treat with the Trucks

The Food Truck Feast in East Nashville hosts its Trunk or Treat with the Trucks event on October 31 at noon. The event features 10 local food trucks and 10 local shopping vendors that are decorated for trick or treating. Both adults and children are encouraged to dress up, and the event is free to attend.

Happy fall, Nashville!


See you there! For more events, please visit our Happenings page or download the SB App.