October has arrived. Slightly cooler weather, less crowded beach days, and lots of excuses to hit the town characterize the first month of fall in Wilmington, NC.


There may not be a wash of fall color, but a welcome shift is definitely in the air. A few of our favorite things to do after saying farewell to summer are taking trips to much less crowded Masonboro Island near Wrightsville Beach; going for long walks along Fort Fisher, embarking on family ferry rides to Southport; hiking at Carolina Beach State Park; and paddling through the creeks of Brunswick Nature Park.  


If you're planning to explore Wilmington as a place to call home this month, be sure to pencil in a few of the above as well as some of the events in iconic Wilmington locations from the list below.  And, if you're a local, get some of these dates on your calendar as you prepare for an awesome month ahead! 


October Happenings not to be missed: 


Farewell Summer Jazz Funeral

October 4, 2019 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Ocean Front Park

Say goodbye to Summer in a New Orleans-Style Jazz Funeral. The procession will be led by the Smokehouse Ramblers band, with a concert to follow. T'Geaux Boys Food Truck 

Will be serving New Orleans cuisine. The Town will provide beads and masks!


Matilda: The Musical

October 4, 2019 to October 6, 2019 @ 7:30 PM

Thalian Hall

Thalian Association Community Theatre presents a production of Roald Dahl's Matilda: The Musical. The story follows a gifted girl who with her powers, imagination she can overcome awful situations and finds happiness and a better life.



Carolina Surf Film Festival Wilmington

October 4, 2019 to October 5, 2019 @ 5:00 PM

Waterman's Brewing

2019 Carolina Surf Film Festival at Waterman's Brewery! See amazing surf films under the stars, great food and drinks, local vendors and an amazing family friendly event!



26th Annual Bark in the Park

October 5, 2019 @ 1:00 PM

Wrightsville Beach Park

Check out this fun and free event. Dogs compete in different events and the one with the most points in distance/accuracy will be declared winner! Extra points awarded for air catches. Also, help by casting your vote for the Best Dressed Dog, Best Dressed Team, and Dog Displaying the Most Personality Title! 



40th Annual Riverfest

October 5, 2019 to October 6, 2019

Downtown Wilmington (Market and Water)

Annual street fair features street food, arts and crafts, dance performances, fireworks (Saturday at 8pm), children's activities, car shows, stand-up paddle (SUP) race, live music and other attractions such as Adventure Zone, Kidz Zone, Skateboard Tournament, Wakeboard Competition, Film Festival, Motocross, and Great Waiters Wine Race. 



Women to Watch Awards

October 11, 2019 @ 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM

Wilmington Convention Center

Wilma Magazine’s The Women to Watch Awards features food, wine and beer, live music with Lunar Tide, an awards ceremony, and a special reveal of the overall category winners.



2nd Annual Cape Fear Bluegrass and BBQ Festival

October 12, 2019 @ 10:45 AM to 8:00 PM

St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church

The 2nd Annual Cape Fear Bluegrass and BBQ Festival features four bands, and food and drinks Kids Only Zone includes magic shows between sets. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs (outside food and drink are not permitted). 



Fire in the Pines Festival

October 12, 2019 @ 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Halyburton Park

The annual Fire in the Pines Festival at Halyburton Park features an appearance by Smokey Bear; fire truck tours; live animals; hayrides; scavenger hunts; hands-on activities with more than 40 environmental and youth organizations; and a controlled burn.



Harlem 100

October 12, 2019 @ 7:30 PM

Thalian Hall

Harlem 100 at Thalian Hall is a multi-media show that captures the sights and sounds of the best of Harlem.Music from Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, and Ethel Waters.



Port City Rumble Hot Rod and Custom Car Show

October 12, 2019 @ 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Waterline Brewing Company

The Port City Rumble Hot Rod and Custom Car Show at Waterline Brewing in Wilmington features vintage vehicles from 1969 and before; plus live music.



Fort Fisher Fall Festival

October 12, 2019 @ 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

The Fort Fisher Fall Festival at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area in Kure Beach features Halloween games, arts and crafts, a magic show, bounce house, and food trucks.



3rd Annual Wilmington Oktoberfest

October 12, 2019 @ 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Palate Bottle Shop & Reserve

The 3rd Annual Wilmington Oktoberfest at Palate Bottle Shop features German food and drink, and the 17-piece Little German Band & Dancers.



L.A. Theatre Works: Seven

October 16, 2019 @ 7:30 PM

Kenan Auditorium

Seven is a documentary play by seven female writers is based on personal interviews with seven women who faced life-threatening obstacles before bringing heroic changes to their home countries of Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia.



Quattroberfest & Q3/e-tron Launch Party

Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 6 PM – 10 PM

Audi Cape Fear

What happens when you mix October, beer and German superior ingenuity? A party, of course. 
To celebrate the launch of the 2020 Audi Q3 and the new, all-electric Audi e-tron, we invite you to come party with us, Quattroberfest-style, Saturday, October 19th from 6-10pm.
We're partnering with Wilmington's only solar-powered brewery, Mad Mole Brewing, and the folks at The Foxes Boxes to throw the (2nd) party of the year this fall. And, we'd love for you to join us. Good music, amazing food, some of the best micro-brews in town, and activities for kids AND adults promised.




October 19, 2019 @ 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Wrightsville Beach Brewery

Oysterberfest features an oyster roast and German cuisine with live music in the Beer Garden by The Beau Rikkis (1-4pm) and Stray Local (5-8pm). Beer, brats and oysters for purchase.



Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Live

October 20, 2019 @ 7:30 PM

Wilson Center

The evening includes creator and original host, Joel Hodgson, in his final tour with those movie riffing robots -- Tom Servo, Crow, and Gypsy. 



31st Annual Autumn with Topsail Festival

October 19, 2019 to October 20, 2019

Historic Assembly Building

See the arts & crafts court with more than 100 regional artists displaying and selling their work, plus live music, beer & wine garden, food court, bouncy fun and crafts for kids, and more. 



Voracious Rare Beer Festival

October 25, 2019 @ 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Battleship North Carolina

The event features 50 breweries with their favorite limited release beers, appetizers, and live music on the deck of the Battleship North Carolina



Monster Movie Madness

October 25, 2019 @ 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Bellamy Mansion Museum

A double feature screening of Night of the Living Dead  (1968) and House on Haunted Hill  (1959). Hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, beer and wine available to purchase.



Trick or Treat Under the Sea

October 24, 2019 to October 26, 2019 @ 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

A family friendly event featuring diving skeletons, sunken jack-o-lanterns, stalking dinosaurs, games, live animal encounters, magic show, and candy. Trick or Treat with the fish!



10th Annual Zombie Fest

October 26, 2019 @ 6:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Satellite Bar & Lounge

The 10th Annual Zombie Fest is a Wilmington Halloween tradition and features a costume contest, live music, horror movies, and a Zombie Dance Cage.



Fiddler on the Roof

October 26, 2019 to October 27, 2019

Wilson Center

The classic story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and life, love, and laughter. The musical is rich with Broadway hits, choreographed by the acclaimed Israeli Hofesh Shechter; and musical direction by Ted Sperling.