Things to do this Fall in Raleigh

Fall is the shortest of the seasons (to many Raleighites, anyway), but there is no shortage of things to do during those precious few weeks it lasts. Many people enjoy the activity of selecting and carving pumpkins for Halloween. (Photo Courtesy of Michael Beauregard)

As the leaves begin to turn, and the temperature begins to drop, Raleigh enters the season of fall. Although Raleigh only experiences fall weather for roughly twenty seconds per year, it is the favorite season of many in our area, myself included.

Even though summer is over, Raleigh still is abound with things to do. Here are some events that will occur in Raleigh from now until December:

Price Scale

$ Free-$20

$$ $21-30

$$$ $31-40

$$$$ $41-50

$$$$$ $50+

North Carolina State Fair (October 12-22)

Where: North Carolina State Fairgrounds

Price: $$


This year, the North Carolina State Fair is celebrating its 150th birthday and is doing so with style. The State Fairgrounds will be filled with rides, games, and livestock/agricultural exhibitions from October 12-22.

One of the major highlights of the state fair is the food. This year, vendors will be offering up some new deep-fried delights that will make your mouth water and your heart explode. Some new dishes include deep-fried pumpkin pie, Cheerwine funnel cake, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Roasted Corn, and deep-fried crab cake cheese curds. A full list of new food items can be found here.

Admission tickets cost $8 if you buy them in advance, and $10 if you buy them at the gate. The NC State Fair also has a program in which $2 from every ticket purchase under it will go back to a WCPSS school of your choosing. All you have to do is enter your school code (Leesville’s is 473) in the section labeled “Membership” when purchasing your tickets.

The International Festival of Raleigh (October 20-22)

Where: Raleigh Convention Center & Fayetteville Street

Price: $$


For thirty-two years, the organization International Focus has been bringing the cultures of the world all to one place in Raleigh. From October 20-22, the Raleigh Convention Center and Fayetteville Street will be filled with vendors of exotic food, shows of ethnic and folkloric dances, cultural exhibits, and a ‘bazaar’ where people can sell goods from all around the world.

Tickets are on sale now, and if you go to the festival before 5 PM on Friday, your ticket will only cost you $5. After that, tickets cost $7. In addition to the price of admission, food will also cost you some money.

Panic Point Haunted House (Until November 4)

Where: 2808 Cedar Creek Rd, Youngsville, NC (~30 minutes from LRHS)

Price: $ – $$$


Every year, thrill seekers across central North Carolina embark on a pilgrimage to Youngsville to take part in the yearly Panic Point Haunted House.

The haunted house’s website describes its main attraction, the Haunted Forest, as a “½ mile trail of pain… Each and every monstrosity on the trail wants something personal from you; a refusal to enter, a shriek, a loss of bowel control; your heart, your breath, your brain, your blood, or your soul,” reads the website.

Panic Point is open weekends during October, the first Saturday in November, along with October 30 and 31. The price of admission depends on what you want to do; doing only the Haunted Forest will cost you $19, all the activities at Panic Point will you cost you $35, and the three main attractions (Haunted Forest, Howling Hayride and the Dark Trail) will cost you $30.

Raleigh Christmas Parade (November 18, 9:40 AM)

Where: Downtown Raleigh

Price: $


This November, the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association will be holding its 73rd Annual Christmas Parade. The Raleigh Chamber of Commerce expects as many as 60,000 people to attend the parade in person and around a quarter of a million people will watch the parade from home.

Leesville Road High School’s symphonic band will continue their yearly tradition of participating in the parade. Elise Newhouse, a member of the symphonic band, has fond memories of the event. “It’s a day where we can just show what we can do…where we can just hang out with our friends,” said Newhouse.

The parade will start at the intersection of St. Mary’s Street and Hillsborough Street in downtown Raleigh at 9:40 AM on November 18.

American Indian Heritage Celebration (November 18, 11 AM – 4 PM)

Where: North Carolina Museum of History

Price: $


After you’re done watching the Christmas Parade, you can stop by the annual American Indian Heritage Festival at the North Carolina Museum of History. Members of North Carolina’s eight Native American tribes will share various aspects of their culture during the day-long festival.

This year the festival will be opened with a performance by two-time Grammy nominee and nine-time Native American Music Award winner Jana Mashonee.

Admittance to both the museum and the festival is free.

Carolina Hurricanes Games (After October 7)

Where: PNC Arena

Price: $-$$$$$


Each October, the Carolina Hurricanes hit the ice at PNC Arena to start their yearly hockey season.

“I like the energy, because everything is hype 24/7” said Katie Wahlbrink, a Canes fan at Leesville. Wahlbrink recommends that if you do go to a Hurricanes game, avoid the nosebleed (upper deck) seating, and try to get seats close to the action.

Upcoming home games include:

Tampa Bay Lightning – October 24

St. Louis Blues – October 27

Anaheim Ducks – October 29

Florida Panthers –  November 7

Chicago Blackhawks – November 11

A full schedule can be found on the team’s website.

While this isn’t a complete list of things to do in Raleigh during the fall, it does cover many of the major upcoming events. A more complete list of festivals, concerts, exhibitions and other things to do can be found on


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