Home Lexington What to do for Halloween in Lexington 2023

What to do for Halloween in Lexington 2023

Rage, rage against the dying of the light and rage, rage against the appearance of Christmas carols and reindeer before Halloween! Give October its day. To everything there is a season. And so on.

Lexington — home to the annual Thriller Parade, Scarefest, and so much more — has no plans to release its bony-fingered grip on October. There will be no turkeys in our pumpkin patch, and no candy canes in our Trick or Treat bags.

Let’s get into it.

Lexington’s Ultimate Halloween Guide 2023


Kentucky Ballet Theatre presents Dracula, Lexington Opera House. 


Scarefest returns to the Lexington Center for the weekend. 


Stop by the Explorium for “Boo-seum” on Saturday Oct 21 and enjoy crafts and programming at a kid-friendly, not-too-spooky environment. 


Carve it up. Calling all pumpkin Picassos. Head to McConnell Springs Park for a Carve & Chip’n event to add pumpkins to this year’s Jack-o-lantern Trail. You supply the pumpkin, the Park will have tools and stencils, and will take care of the mess when you’re finished. 

All pumpkins will be donated to the Jack-o-lantern Trail which takes place at McConnell Springs Park Oct. 26 – 28. All donors will receive free admission to the trail and a free poster.


Celebrate the Boo Bash at the Central Library 11 am to Noon. 


You and your dog are invited to a Howloween Party at Yappy Hour, 5:30 pm Wellington Park. There will be a pay-what-you-like costume contest ($5 suggested) with winners in several categories including “Greatest DIY” and “Best Overall.” Donations go to Friends of the Dog Parks. Locally sourced food trucks, live music, frozen dessert, cold beer, hard cider and activities will be available for you and your furry best friends. 


Join Fort Boonesborough for an annual Halloween Lights Drive-Thru. 

Visit the Lexington Children’s Theatre through the weekend with fall festival programming downstairs and a haunted house on the second floor. 


Hike the Jack-o-Lantern Trail, 6:30 pm thru 10 pm, thru Sunday at McConnell Springs. Enjoy an enchanting Halloween experience at McConnell Springs featuring hundreds of hand-carved pumpkins as they light up the night. In addition to the glow of the pumpkins, there will be campfires and s’mores, live owls from Critters in the Classroom and tasty fall food and beverages. 


Join the Black Cat Chase 5k in Frankfort, 7 pm to 9 pm. 


Work off all that Halloween candy in advance with the Spooky Sprint 5k, noon, Coldstream. 


Dress up the pups for the ‘Barkmare before Christmas’ at Rock House Brewing, 2pm. 


Photo by Paul Martin for Ace

This is Thriller. Head downtown for the annual Halloween Parade and Thriller. The Halloween Parade features floats, costumed characters, and many performance groups. The festivities culminate with the annual Thriller reenactment where several hundred zombies will dance, dawdle and drag themselves down Main Street to the classic Michael Jackson tune. Pedestrians can watch all along the parade route, which is on Main Street starting at Quality Street and ending at Mill Street. The rain date for the parade and Thriller will be Oct. 30. This event has been named a Top 10 Halloween Destination by USA Today and was featured in the Top 25 Best Halloween Festivals Across the U.S. by Oprah Magazine.

It’s Lexington, after all. You know you want to celebrate Halloween with horses. Visit the Kentucky Horse Park Sunday, October 29, for the annual Hallowhinny event! See horses and riders dressed in their Halloween costumes for the Hallowhinny show, wear your costume, and trick-or-treat the park. 9 am to 5 pm. 

Transylvania University’s PumpkinMania returns to downtown Lexington with a family-friendly pumpkin carving event Sunday, Oct. 29, and a jack-o’-lantern display each night from Oct. 29‑Nov. 2. The Transylvania and Lexington communities are invited to carve pumpkins Oct. 29 from 11 a.m.‑4 p.m. All pumpkins and carving supplies will be provided. Food trucks will be on site for refreshments.


Halloween’s over! It’s time for smashin’ pumpkins. No, not the band. The Jack-O-Lanterns are dark, and now it’s time to smash the leftover pumpkins at McConnell Springs Park, 10 am. Help get the leftover pumpkins off of the trail and smash them using various items along the trail at different smash stations. After being smashed, the pumpkins will decompose in the forest at McConnell Springs. No registration is required.

Lexington’s Halloween programming appears in the October 2023 print edition of Ace Magazine. Click here to read the October 2023 issue. To subscribe to digital delivery of Ace’s print edition click here.