Best Fall Activities in Knoxville, TN

I know it is only August, but all the signs that Fall is just around the corner are already here! I’m talking decorations in the stores, back to school vibes, and the fact that Tennessee Football starts THIS week! Today I’m here to share some of my personal favorite things to do, in and around the Knoxville area!

So light your pumpkin scented candles, pour yourself a cup of piping hot coffee, crank that A/C, pull on your favorite fall sweater and pretend it’s not almost 100 degrees outside.

Let’s talk Fall, Y’all!

Maple Lane Farms

In my family, nothing meant Fall quite like a trip to Maple Lane Farms in Greenback, TN. Growing up my parents would always treat us to a hayride through the farm that ended in getting to pick our own pumpkins straight off the vine! If that is something you’ve never done then, I highly recommend it, it’s fun for all ages and can really start the season off right!

Once “Spooky Season” starts, comeback to take your chances in the Haunted Corn Maze! The Corn Maze was both a tradition and a right of passage for the local High Schoolers. But if walking around in the dark with strange men coming at you with fake chainsaws isn’t quite your thing, then they do have a family friendly version of the Maze you can partake in before dark; with clues and a map to help you get through! When you finish you can enjoy some of the local food vendors, and walk around the shop for more local and handmade products!

  • Location: Greenback, TN
  • Price: The haunted maze is $15 ($10 if not haunted), hayrides are $3 for over 4, and pumpkin prices vary by size/weight (between $3 and $20 average is about $6).
  • Dates/Times: September 27th- October 31st
  • *Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

***The maze is different every year and the farm itself has a really cool backstory, I’ll link it here, if you try one thing on this list I would recommend this one!***

*Spook-O-Meter is ranked by how festive each activity is! Totally objective and just a fun excuse to use emojis*

Scary Movie Marathon

What is Fall without Halloween? And what is Halloween without scary movies?? Every year I like to host a scary movie night with some of my friends/family. We all pile into the dark living room, pop LOTS of popcorn and scare ourselves silly with some horror flicks. The movies on the line up vary year to year, but there is one classic I won’t let go: Halloween! I usually start with that one to set the vibe for the rest of the night. A few favorites from years past for inspiration are. . .

  • Location: Your home!
  • Price: Free if you own the movies (Take to FB to borrow them if not!)
  • Dates/Times: Whenever you want!
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Rocky Horror Picture show

Going right along with our horror movie theme (sort of?) we have The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Which if you haven’t seen it, please exit the page and go reevaluate your life..and watch the movie!! Yes, this movie/musical is weird and isn’t really a Horror movie at all BUT Tim Curry is a classic as a “Transexual, Transvestite, from Transylvania” AND every year at the Tennessee Theatre puts on a performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show and it is not one to miss. You get to dress up as the characters, have fun themed drinks, and there are plenty of opportunities for audience interaction. I couldn’t find any details yet for this year’s showing, but keep your eyes peeled because you won’t want to miss it!

  • Location: Tennessee Theatre
  • Price: TBA (usually around $20-$40)
  • Dates/Times: TBA
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃

Tennessee Valley Fair

This year is the 100th anniversary for the Tennessee Valley Fair and while I will unfortunately be out of the country while the Fair is here, I simply couldn’t skip it on my list! Nothing says Fall in the south quite like a good old fashioned county fair! (Except maybe SEC Football ). There are plenty of games, rides, and booths to keep you entertained for days. There is food like none OTHER, live music and of course shows and competitions. Since the fair is celebrating their 100th year I’m sure it will be even more special so if you’ve never gone, this is the year to do so! Go have fun and eat some funnel cake for me please??

  • Location: Chilhowee Park, Knoxville
  • Price: $10 parking $10 at the gate
  • Dates/Times: September 6th-15th
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Tennessee Football

Photo creds

There is a reason the leaves turn orange in the Fall in Tennessee… because its VOL TIME! While I am not the biggest football follower myself, I was born and raised in the South so TN football is just in my blood (I was born at the UT hospital after all.) Even if you aren’t a fan of the game, going to one is still so much fun and an experience I wish everyone could have. I think the sense of camaraderie is a huge part of what makes the atmosphere on game day so addictive! Everyone is hyped up and excited, whether you’re tailgating at the game or having a party at home. Even at work we turn all the radio’s to the game and take sneak peeks of it on the computer in the office while on breaks.

Photography and Fun fact I was at this game! I am somewhere in one of the “white” sections.

Walking into Neyland Stadium for the first time was honestly exhilarating, and before that I didn’t even like football!! But since then I was hooked, if you ever get a chance to see the VOLS live in action I say do it, even if it isn’t your thing, it might just surprise you how fun it is!

  • Location: Neyland Stadium (or your TV!)
  • Price: Varies (or Free on your TV!)
  • Dates/Times: August 31st-November 30
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃

Mountain drive by to see the leaves change colors

One of the best things about living in Knoxville and growing up in Maryville was being close to the mountains at all times. Especially in the fall, we could watch the leaves change colors in a whole different way. Since the leaves fall at the higher elevations first and continue downward from there you can drive through the mountains every week and see something different. Below are a few shots from the Foothills Parkway I took last year. I’m just going to let the picture speak for themselves because if that doesn’t make you wanna go then nothing will! It’s always a fun drive so take your camera and hit the road!

  • Location: Great Smokey Mountains! (Foothills Parkway)
  • Price: Free! (or the price of gas)
  • Dates/Times: Late September-October (depends on the season)
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Farmer’s Markets

This can be a Summer thing, but going in the fall just means you can get all those yummy seasonal Fall flavors locally! There are a number of Farmer’s Markets in and around Knoxville so just find one close to you and head out there! I love getting fresh veggies and plants, but I also love seeing all the homemade soaps, candles, and other vendors as well. 

  • Location: Market Square, Knoxville
  • Price: Free! (If you have self control!)
  • Dates/Times: Now- November 23rd Wed & Sat
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃

Movie’s on the Square

This is another fun one for all ages, but especially the kids! Nothing better than cuddling on a blanket under the stars to watch a movie, for free none the less!! Head to the official website to see this year’s movie line up along with showtimes! Before the movie begins you can stroll down gay street to find a bite to eat, or check out some of the cute shops and coffee shops along the way. Plus parking in the Market Square Garage is free on nights and weekends!

  • Location: Market Square, Knoxville
  • Price: Free!
  • Dates/Times: Check the website
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Movie’s in the Cave

I guess there is just something about the weather cooling down that makes you wanna watch movies! So here is another cool movie experience available only at the Cherokee Caverns. This one I have never done myself, but it looked so cool I thought I’d add it to the list and my personal Fall Bucket List! Nothing cooler (literally!) than watching a movie in a cave! Last year they played the Goonies (my brother and dad went) which I heard was super cool, and of course “cave appropriate.” Seating is provided here but you’ll definitely want to dress warmer since the caves can get cold.

  • Location: Cherokee Caverns, Oak Ridge
  • Price: $10
  • Dates/Times: Check the website
  • Spook-O-meter: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Well that rounds out some of my favorite things to do in Knoxville during fall, but it is by no means an all inclusive list. Let me know what your favorite things to do in Fall are by commenting here or on my Instagram @morgana_ef. Do we share favorites? What do you think I missed on the list? Let me know!

“Everywhere you go the culture is different, but the people are the same.”