Weekend at a Glance: Halloween Parties, Haunted Tours and Hayrides

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Kick off your Halloween weekend with a spooky self-guided tour of Hillsborough and finish it off by dancing the night away in your costume at Local 506

Chapel Hill bluegrass band Sugar on Fire performs during the annual Farm Party at Teer Farm in 2020. This weekend, the Chatham Rabbits take the stage for the fundraiser on Saturday.

Compiled by Rylee Parsons

Thursday – Sunday

Hillsborough’s Hauntings: A Spooky Self-Guided Walking Tour
Download a self-guided spooky walking tour of hauntings in Hillsborough from The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough. Take the tour on your own time, at your own pace. 

Heather Evans Smith Exhibit
View photographer Heather Evans Smith’s “Alterations” exhibit at the Horace Williams House. Inspired by Heather’s grandmother and the alterations department she worked in, the photography represents the way people make sense of what they have lost with their memories. In-person viewings are by appointment only. 

Carving Pumpkins with Goats!
Visit the friendly goats of Spring Haven Farm while you pick out your favorite pumpkin. Carve a jack-o’-lantern with the goats by your side, then enjoy fall treats, music, the Tractor Train Express and The Haunted Forest. Purchase a ticket for a time slot between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the weekend.


Compass Center Benefit Night
Grab a bite to eat at Coronato Pizza from 4 to 9 p.m. and a portion of the proceeds will support local survivors of domestic violence through the Compass Center for Women and Families.

Jeff Kinney’s “Big Shot” Drive-Thru Tour
The author of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series visits FlyLeaf Books at 5 p.m during the tour for his latest work, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Big Shot.” Driving through the parking lot, you’ll watch characters Greg and Rowley act out parts of the book before you pull up to meet the author and receive a signed copy of the book. Attendees must order a book and reserve a ticket in advance. 

Thursday and Friday

UNC English 225th Anniversary Celebration
Virtually join the UNC Department of English & Comparative Literature in celebrating its anniversary. On Thursday, Frank Bruni will lecture on Thomas Wolfe from 6 to 7:15 p.m. On Friday, novelist and professor Jill McCorkle delivers a lecture from 6 to 7:15 p.m. The celebration will wrap up with a 7:45 p.m. concert by Tift Merritt and Joseph Terrell, followed by a Q&A session. Registration is required.

Friday – Sunday

Wizard’s Tea
Dress up in your best spell-making attire to enjoy a selection of loose-leaf teas and house-made treats like butter beer fudge and pumpkin pasties from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Piedmont Dining Room of The Carolina Inn.

Orange County Feargrounds
From 7 to 10:30 p.m each night, The Barn at Lloyd’s Dairy will turn into a Barn of Terror complete with zombies, clowns, a graveyard, morgue and more. A hayride takes visitors on a haunted ride through the grounds full of creepy scenes. Tickets are required, and a portion of proceeds benefit local nonprofits.  


Downtown Hillsborough Trick-or-Treat
Take the kids trick-or-treating through historic downtown Hillsborough. More than 30 local businesses will hand out treats from 3 to 6 p.m. 

Halloween Music Bingo
Play a round of bingo with a twist at Southern Community Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Bingo cards will feature song titles and artists. As the DJ plays clips from popular spooky songs, fill up your card to win a prize. Registration is required.

Orange County Artists Guild Studio Tour Preview 
For the first two weeks of November, the Orange County Artists Guild’s annual Studio Tour features more than 100 local artists opening their studios to the public. The opening reception of a preview show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Take a first look at some of the artists’ work and plot the route of your tour.

A Very Hillsborough Halloween Last Friday
Don your costume to take part in various events across downtown Hillsborough, including musical performances and a chance to view local art. Catch a hayride from downtown Hillsborough to the West End Maker’s Market on the corner of S. Nash and Calvin streets to shop at the vendor market of local goods from 6 to 9 p.m. Dance to DJ Koshinga at Nash Street Tavern or catch an outdoor screening of “Nosferatu” at Hot Tin Roof.

Studio 71 Last Friday Halloween Event
Experience a pop culture art exhibit reception at Studio 71 from 6 to 9 p.m. as part of Hillsborough’s spooky Last Friday. Don’t miss gift bags for kids, refreshments, spooky photo opportunities and vintage horror movie posters for purchase! 

Friday and Saturday

Hills-BOO-rough Kids Ghost Tour 
Bring the family on a spooky two-hour tour with stories of local ghost tales and legends with Haunted Hillsborough Tours. The tour begins at the Riverwalk entrance on Nash and Kollock streets on Friday at 5 p.m. or Saturday at 2 p.m. This tour is designed for kids 11 and older in an engaging way that adults can enjoy as well.

Colonial PumpkINN Carving Event!
Visit The Colonial Inn for the first annual pumpkin carving from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Treats for kids will be provided as guests enjoy live music by acoustic trio The Ghosts + Bones from 5 to 8 p.m. On Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., stroll around downtown Hillsborough to admire the jack-o’-lanterns. 

Screening at The Drive-in at Carraway Village 
Bring the kids out to watch “Hotel Transylvania” at The Drive-in at Carraway Village at 6:30 p.m. each evening or leave the kids at home and come out to watch “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are required.


Halloween at Honeysuckle
The Honeysuckle Tea House hosts a morning of Halloween-themed arts and crafts from 10 to noon. Bring the kids in their costumes to make ceramic figures, slime, treat bags and canvas art. Tickets are required.

Trickle Tour
Tour a mid-century modern home on Greenwood Road in Chapel Hill, designed by Jack Pruden. Register for a 30-minute time slot between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Witch’s Haunted Barn
Walk through this haunted experience for all ages at Firefly Farm between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Survive the spiders, skeletons, doctors, dungeons and more to earn Halloween candy, or enjoy a walk around the farm’s trails and meet the animals. Tickets are required.

Woodcrest Farm’s Fall Festival
Explore the grounds of rustic Woodcrest Farm from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with hayrides, yard games, blacksmithing, pumpkin decorating, a barbecue lunch and a costume contest with prizes. Meet the farm’s bunnies, chickens, goats and other animals around the pond, pastures and creeks. Tickets are required.

Halloween Spooktacular 
Head to Orange County’s Central Recreation Center for an outdoor celebration including a costume contest, cakewalk, pumpkin hunt, bingo, carnival games and pumpkin decorating contest. Register to attend from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m or 3 to 5 p.m. Registration is required.

The Annual Farm Party 
Visit Teer Farm in Chapel Hill from 4 to 7 p.m. for live bluegrass music by the Chatham Rabbits, barbecue, beverages and a silent auction. Proceeds from the annual event will help fund research and treatment for patients at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Tickets are required.

Festifall Arts Market
Shop at Chapel Hill’s annual street market featuring local arts and crafts vendors while enjoying entertainment from circus performer Katie Rebich and Paperhand Puppet Intervention. The market takes place at the West Franklin Parking Lot from 4 to 8 p.m.

WXYC and Nightlight Present: Beyond the Grave
Dance the night away on the outdoor patio at Nightlight Bar & Club from 7:30 to midnight.  A lineup of 10 DJs will perform.

Yonder Costume Party 
Wear your best costume out to Yonder Southern Cocktails & Brew to listen to Jimmie Ray Swagger and the Fussy Eaters from 8 to 11 p.m. Costume contest winners can receive up to $75 in gift cards to the bar. 

Saturday and Sunday

Halloween at the Farm
Bring your creepiest costumes to 1870 Farm for trick-or-treating, feeding friendly dressed-up animals, spooky gemstone mining and pumpkin decorating starting at 10 a.m. Tickets are required and include a small pumpkin or gourd and access to the entire farm for two hours.


Bootcamp & Brunch
Workout with Patricia Callison of Chapel Hill Training from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the studio, then refuel with a discounted brunch at Town Hall Grill. Donations will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Spooky Night: A Dance Party
Head to Local 506 for a dance party at 7 p.m and a Halloween costume contest at 11 p.m. Contest winners will be awarded bar tab prizes up to $200. 

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Chapel Hill Mag Intern

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