This post covers the best things to do in Charleston in October and has been updated for 2023.
It includes a top 10 list, nighttime activities, free and family-friendly things to do.
Be sure to check out our master post, Things to Do in Charleston for even more ideas.
- Top 10 Things to do in October
- Things to Do at Night
- Free Things to Do
- Family Friendly Things to Do
- Charleston Walking Tours
This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout October. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly or great after dark.
Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
1. Lowcountry Halloween Fest
Note: Details about 2023 Fest not yet announced.
The Lowcountry Halloween Fest is a great, safe place to take the kids trick-or-treating this Halloween!
With free admission and a bunch of free activities for all ages, this will be an event you won't want to miss!
Learn more about it here.
For more ideas of what to do in Charleston on Halloween, check out our master post here.
2. See a Concert
October brings plenty of concerts to Charleston. Below is a list of performers passing through the city:
- Switchfoot | Oct 3
- Drive By Truckers | Oct 4
- Yes | Oct 6
- Charley Crockett | Oct 8
- Todrick | Oct 12
- Common Kings | Oct 15
- Willie Nelson | Oct 19
- Maggie Rose | Oct 21
- Pink Martini | Oct 23
- Steve Hackett | Oct 26
- Free Throw | Oct 27
- Monica Martin | Oct 29
For other things to do at night in Charleston, check out our night section below.
3. Taste of Charleston
Note: Details of 2023 events not yet announced.
Taste of Charleston brings the best of Charleston's cooking to one great festival.
With over 40 participating restaurants, there will be plenty of delicious food to try!
We recommend reading up on it beforehand here and bringing your appetite.
4. Fall Home & Garden Tour
Oct. 11 - Nov. 4, 2023
Free Tours by Foot is an awesome option to learn about the city’s history, as well as architecture on our architecture tour.
To supplement your newfound knowledge, you may want to check out the Fall Home & Gardens Tour put on by the Historic Charleston Foundation.
These tours allow you to actually enter private residences to view their interiors and their private gardens.
5. Watch a Game
Soccer fan or not, watching the Charleston Battery is a fun evening activity for people of all ages!
With a variety of games in the month of October, the team’s stadium on Daniel Island will be full of energy and excitement. Get tickets here.
6. Wine Down Wednesday
Note: No information about 2023 season announced yet
Wine Down Wednesday starts in September and lasts through October 23rd.
These events are a great way to enjoy an early fall evening (from 5-7pm) with wine, food truck fare, and live music at the Old Towne Creek County Park.
Wine Down Wednesday is the perfect way to, well, wind down! Click here for more information and tickets.
7. MOJA Art Festival
Sept. 28 - Oct. 8, 2023
This festival celebrates African American and Caribbean arts with a wide range of music performances, dance, poetry readings, art, and more!
There are both free and ticketed events, so there's something for everyone's budget.
There are plenty of children's activities, so be sure to bring along the little ones! For more information, click here.
For other family-friendly events to do in Charleston in September, check out the kids' section below.
8. Into The Woods Festival
Note: Information about 2023 event not yet announced.
This festival blends great music with camping. Come out for a day or the entire weekend, there's a great lineup waiting for you!
We love how this festival takes place in the gorgeous setting of the Charleston Woodlands, making the whole experience magical.
To check out the lineup, get tickets, and learn more, click here.
9. Charleston Oktoberfest
Oct. 14th, 2023
An Oktoberfest that is family-friendly, the Charleston Oktoberfest features a number of German treats!
Hosted by St. Matthews Lutheran Church, party-goers can expect German polka-music, children’s games & face painting, and a number of German foods, beer, and wine to go around!
10. Tourist Discount Pass
Do more for less by planning ahead with the Tourist Discount Pass. With this pass, you can get several tickets to attractions or tours each day for free.
Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.
Read our post comparing the different Charleston tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.
For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in Charleston.
Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in October. Some of our top ten activities in Charleston are meant for evening hours like seeing a concert.
Here are a few more ideas for things to do in the evening.
For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
Take a Ghost Tour
Charleston has a number of haunted locations that you can visit on a ghost tour year-round, but they're best taken around Halloween time!
A number of companies have ghost tours catering to all different ages and tastes- there are pirate ghost tours, paranormal ghost tours, even a haunted bar crawl for those 21+.
Check out our post on Charleston ghost tours to decide what's best for your group.
Take a Haunted Carriage Ride
See Charleston at night in a unique experience on a nighttime carriage ride. Old South Carriage Company offers a haunted evening carriage tour, the perfect spooky after-dinner activity.
They offer daytime tours as well if you prefer, and we have a whole list of Charleston carriage tours here.
Charleston Symphony Orchestra
Spend an evening soaking up the incredible sounds of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra with multiple shows throughout the month of October!
Check the calendar for what’s being performed and make it an evening with friends, family, or a date!
For more nighttime ideas, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
First Friday Art Walk
Oct. 6, 2023
Come out and stroll through downtown on a cool evening during Art Walk. This event takes place on the first Friday of each month.
Walk from gallery to gallery along Church, Queen, Broad, and State Streets meeting artists and other art enthusiasts and admiring their works.
Note: 2023 details TBD
The Charleston Aquarium hosts a number of after-hours events throughout the year, and for October they're putting on a spooky party.
Costumes are encouraged as guests peruse the exhibits after hours, snacking on small plates and enjoying spirits. To get your ticket, click here.
As a city, Charleston offers a lot of free activities like the MOJA Art Festival, as listed in our top ten section above.
Just strolling up and down the cobblestone streets and soaking in the historic and unique architecture is free and enjoyable. Here are a few more free things to do in Charleston.
For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in Charleston.
Take a Tour!
Our guided walks are free to join and operate on a pay-what-you-like basis, which means you decide what a tour was worth or what you could afford (even free) when the tour is over.
Magnolia Beauti-Fall Festival
Oct. 21, 2023
Magnolia Plantation is hosting Magnolia Beauti-Fall Festival on Oct 21, 2023 from 10:30am to 2pm.
Festival will be filled with food, entertainment, and activities, including face painting, pumpkin decorating, live music by Uncle Gary's Band, and more!
Admission to festival is included with Garden Admission
Spot Some Movie Locations from The Notebook
For those who are fans of the ever-popular 2004 Nicholas Sparks inspired film The Notebook, a few of the filming locations can be spotted around Charleston.
Allie’s college shots were taken at the College of Charleston and the movie house where Allie and Noah have their first date can be found at a 1942 theatre on King Street, the American Theater.
TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!
Children's Day Festival
Oct. 15, 2023
Mt. Pleasant hosts a day full of fun for the whole family to enjoy. The Children’s Day Festival will feature face painting, bounce houses, live music and entertainment, carnival rides, and more!
Admission and all children’s activities are free of charge and the festival takes place from 12pm-5pm.
The Holy City is one for all ages! Some of the things we’ve mentioned in this article like the haunted carriage ride in the nighttime section are activities the whole family can enjoy!
Here are a few more ideas that are family-friendly.
Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch
A pumpkin patch is coming to Boone Hall Plantation, and you're invited! Come pick out the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern, take a hayride, and get lost in the corn maze.
Tickets for 3 and up are $15 and children 2 and under are admitted free. To learn more, click here.
To learn more about Charleston plantations, click here.
Oct. 23, 2023
A street festival that raises money for cancer research, Follypalooza welcomes people of all ages for some fun on Folly Beach.
Enjoy live music, kids games and activities, arts & crafts vendors, face painting, and plenty of food stalls.
Make sure you get your tickets in advance online as they're cheaper that way.
For more family-friendly things to do in Charleston, see our post Things to do in Charleston with Kids.
Ride the Charleston Water Taxi
An inexpensive way to get out on the water (all-day tickets are $14 and children under 3 are free!), the Charleston Water Taxi is a ferry service that provides beautiful views of the city and an opportunity to spot dolphins!
Click here for schedules and more information.