Fun Fall Events for the Family

Fun Fall Events for the Family

With all kinds of events for every age group, finding something fun for your family to do this fall has never been easier

Fall is a fun time in and around Durham, like at Northgate Mall’s Halloween Spooktacular, which features a costume contest, local food vendors, children’s activites and a performance by Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Photo by Brett Chambers.

Looking for a way to allow your toddler to release all that raw energy? Your little one can jump around without any interference from older kids at Sky Zone Trampoline Park.

Admission $7 for 30 minutes or $10 for 60 minutes. One parent jumps for free.
Time Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Peppa Pig stops by the Durham Performing Arts Center, conducting a brand-new, live stage show that features life-size puppets. The Peppa Pig stage show is based on the TV series that airs on Nick Jr.

Admission Find tickets – starting at $27.50 – online, at the ticket center or by phone at 919-680-2787.
Time Tues. Oct. 10, 6 p.m.

Meet in the Sarah P. Duke GardensCharlotte Brody Discovery Garden for a nature-themed story. Your little ones will also have a chance to complete an activity or take a garden walk afterward.

Admission Free, recommended for children ages 3-5. Adult chaperone required.
Time Thursdays at 10:30 a.m., through Nov. 16.

Also at the gardens, these classes combine outdoor stories, observations and hands-on, creative projects as your child explores the grounds. Themes are subject to change weekly. Meet at the the Doris Duke Center

Admission For children ages 3-5. Adult chaperone required. Garden members, $7; general public, $10.
Time Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., through Oct. 31.


Kids in grades K-6 are all welcome to this night of fun problem-solving and creative thinking! In addition to designing ninja games and developing obstacle courses, participants can share their creations on the LEGO Life social media platform to get feedback from Lego experts themselves! Pizza will also be provided to restore those hungry brains.

Admission $30 per child ($5 less for siblings).
Time Sat., Oct. 21, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Kids in grades K-6 can join in supervised Nerf games and courses, target shooting and focus drills. There will also be a yoga session and pizza included.

Admission $30 per child ($5 less for siblings).
Time Sat., Nov. 18, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Hosted by Durham Parks and Recreation, this annual event is perfect for children ages 12 and younger. Campfire stories and songs, face painting, hayrides, treats and performances are all on the schedule. No registration is required, so bring your kids for a fun-filled night at West Point on the Eno.

Admission Free – rain or shine!
Time Tues., Oct. 31, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Young Adults

Looking for something spooky and interactive for your teen to do this October? How about a real-life zombie shooting experience? This thrill-seeking activity allows young adults and teens to take a ride on 40-foot military trucks to combat and shoot at zombies that are chasing them. If combating zombies isn’t quite their thing, perhaps a spooky zip line in the dark or challenging their mind in an escape room sounds more interesting. There’s a lot to do at this 50-acre extreme sports park!

Admission Pre-paid general admission is $10, or $15 at the door. Call 919-596-6100 to reserve your spot.
Time Oct. 13-14; 20-21; 27-29. Hours of operation are from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Presented by Tobacco Road Tours, this is a family-friendly, 1.5-mile walking tour suitable for adults and children 8 years and older. The tour combines local ghost stories and incorporates historical events as you visit different paranormal sites including the Bull Durham Factory, Snow Building, the Liggett & Myers Factory and several more!

Admission $10 for children; $15 for adults, plus convenience fee.
Time Every Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

All Ages

Durham Parks and Recreation hosts a fall festival and haunted house at Forest Hills Park with classic carnival games for all ages to enjoy, plus a costume contest for kids and adults with prizes for the best dressed.

Admission Canned food donation (one to four cans) from each family. Any proceeds will go to the Durham Rescue Mission.
Time Fri., Oct. 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Choo choo! All aboard the Ellerbe Creek Railway for a journey to the Museum of Life and Science’s patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin to decorate and take home. Be sure to enjoy various other crafts, activities and carnival games before leaving!

Admission Tickets are $12 per person, and pre-registration is required. Children 2 and younger are free. General admission to the museum is not included in ticket cost.
Time Oct. 7-8; 14-15; 21-22; 28-29. Open on weekends from 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Trains leave every half hour.

In celebration of the Monarch butterfly, come to Sandy Creek Park to learn about these spectacular creatures as they migrate through this Durham park on their journey through North America. The festival will feature music, food and family-friendly activities including talks from experts on Monarch biology, migration and conservation.

Admission Free for all butterfly enthusiasts, no tickets required.
Time Sat., Oct. 14, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Based on the hit film, this hilarious musical hits the Durham Performing Arts center stage this fall. In addition to original songs from the movie, the electrifying new performance features 14 new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, renowned composer of The Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies, Cats and many more.

Admission Seats start at $30, plus taxes and ticket fees. Find tickets online, at the ticket center or by phone at 919-680-2787. Children younger than 6 years old are not allowed at this performance.
Time Tuesday, November 28, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, November 29, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, November 30, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 1, 8 p.m.; Saturday, December 2, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, December 3, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The Carolina Theatre proudly presents this live performance showcasing the history and art form of flamenco song, dance and instrumental music that includes tambourines, bells, wooden castanets and guitar with expressive movements that reflect the vibrant and historically rich culture of Southern Spain. This Durham-based flamenco group consists of 8 dancers, guitarist and singer dedicated to preserving flamenco through performance and education.

Admission $5 per person. Visit to purchase tickets.
Time Saturday, November 4, 11 a.m.

This third annual event at Northgate Mall features Paperhand Puppet Intervention, a costume contest, ghostly Halloween- inspired music, local food trucks and many more children activities. Started and directed by Donovan Zimmerman and Jan Burger for almost 20 years, Paperhand Puppet Intervention continues to impress audiences with incredible giant puppets, masks, shadow plays and performances suitable for all ages.

Admission Free.
Time Sun., Oct. 22, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Experience a night under the sea with Flounder, Sebastian and Ariel in a production inspired by one of Disney’s classics at the Durham Performing Arts Center, featuring music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken.

Admission Seats start at $30, plus taxes and ticket fees. Find tickets online, at the ticket center, or by phone at 919-680-2787. Children younger than 5 years old are not allowed at this performance.
Time Tues., Oct. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.; urs., Oct. 19, 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 21, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 22, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Comic book lovers, listen up! Returning this fall to the Durham Convention Center is North Carolina’s premier Comicon event. A comic book pop culture overload, there will be new exhibits, new panels and new workshops over the course of the three-day comic book show.

Admission Pricing packages differ depending on which days/times are attended. More information on pricing and purchasing tickets can be found on their website. Kids 9 and younger are admitted free with an adult.
Time Nov. 10-12.

The second annual fall celebration at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University allows young’uns and their guardians the opportunity take a tour of the museum’s permanent collection with a spooky twist. Make Halloween- themed art, join Paperhand Puppet Intervention for a lively parade around the museum and dress in costume for a fashion show!

Admission Free.
Time Sunday, October 29, noon – 4 p.m.

The holiday performance returns to Durham Performing Arts Center for two exciting shows! Fun for the whole family, this contemporary re-imagination of the classic tale introduces a lively performance you won’t want to miss. One of hip-hop’s founding fathers, special guest Kurtis Blow will open for the shows in Durham.

Admission Seats start at $35, plus taxes and ticket fees. Find tickets online, at the ticket center or by phone at 919-680-2787. Children younger than 6 years old are not allowed at this performance.
Time Friday, November 24, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Ann Fitts
Editorial intern for Durham Magazine, student at UNC-Chapel Hill. But don't worry, I won't let that affect my work.