Halloween in Louisville: The Perfect Fall Destination

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Fall is nearly here, which means it’s almost Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite time of the year, and one of my favorite ways to spend it is exploring a new place. Each city has its own traditions and festivals, and I always love visiting haunted places around the globe. This year, I’m excited to spend Halloween in Louisville, Kentucky, where I currently live.

Halloween is one of the best times to visit Louisville. There’s something for everyone: you can visit one of the most haunted places on earth, stroll through eerie Old Louisville, see thousands of extravagantly carved jack-o-lanterns, and SO MUCH MORE!

Not convinced yet? Read on to learn why you should spend this Halloween in Louisville!

This post was updated to reflect accurate information for the 2019 Halloween season.

A World in Reach contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a commission at no cost to you! Read my full disclosure here.

Visit the Most Haunted Place on Earth

If you’re a fan of all things scary, you must visit Waverly Hills Sanatorium, believed by many to be the most haunted place on earth.

Spend Halloween in Louisville at Waverly Hills
Image courtesy of www.therealwaverlyhills.com

The former tuberculosis hospital is known for its body chute – a tunnel where the dead were transported so that the patients wouldn’t have to see being taken away. Visitors say that this area is the most haunted part of the hospital.

During the Halloween season, Waverly Hills hosts a haunted house that raises money for the upkeep of the hospital. In 2019, the Waverly Hills Haunted House will be held on Friday and Saturday nights from September 27 to November 7. Gates will open at 7:30 PM and close at midnight.

The Waverly Hills Haunted House is $20 for a regular ticket or $60 for the VIP pass, which includes a mini tour of the hospital as well as fast pass access to the haunted house. Parking is $5 per vehicle. Make sure to note that all onsite sales are CASH ONLY! If you want to use a credit card or book in advance, you can do so on their website.

See THOUSANDS of Lit-Up Jack-O-Lanterns at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

This year is Louisville’s sixth year of the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, an incredible display of 5000 extravagantly carved pumpkins lining a trail at Iroquois Park. Halloween in Louisville wouldn’t be complete without a visit!

The 2019 spectacular runs from October 8 to November 3. From Sunday to Thursday, the show runs from dusk to 11 PM and ends at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

Louisville Jack O Lantern Spectacular Halloween in Louisville Kentucky
Image courtesy of the Louisville Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

You can pre-order tickets online or get them at the gate. I highly recommend pre-ordering your tickets, especially if you’ll be visiting on the weekend. Lines get crazy long, and by pre-ordering your tickets you’re able to bypass the line at the box office.

TIP: Lines tend to be the shortest on weeknights. If you have to go on the weekend, crowds tend to thin out after 9:00 or 9:30 PM.

Ticket prices for the 2019 Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular vary depending on the day of the week:

  • Sunday-Thursday: $14 Adults, $10 Children (ages 3-12), $12 Seniors (62+)
  • Friday & Saturday: $18 Adults, $14 Children (ages 3-12), $16 Seniors (62+)
  • Children ages 3 and under are FREE!

Take a Cruise on the Belle of Louisville

One of the best ways to see Louisville is by taking a cruise on Belle of Louisville, the city’s famous steamboat.

The Belle of Louisville steamboat on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky

The Belle of Louisville offers several cruises during the fall season, including Oktoberfest cruises and a Craft Beer Moonlight Cruise. The real highlight? The Halloween Cruises!

This year, the Belle of Louisville is offering two cruises that are the perfect way to celebrate Halloween in Louisville.

The first is the Boo Cruise, a family-friendly Halloween-themed sightseeing cruise. With a costume parade, candy, and lots of fun, the Boo Cruise is fun for all ages. This cruise is held on October 26 from Noon to 1:30 PM. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children.

For the adults, there will also be a nighttime Haunted Halloween Booze Dance featuring a DJ, a costume contest, and a cash bar. Attendees must be 21 or older as each ticket includes a complimentary cup of Halloween Hooch as well as a drink ticket for the bar. Not drinking? Soft drinks and coffee are free! Tickets for the Haunted Halloween Cruise are $45 per person.

Tickets for cruises on the Belle of Louisville must be booked online.

Take a Ghost Tour of Old Louisville

In addition to being home to one of the most haunted places, Louisville is also home to one of the most haunted neighborhoods: Old Louisville. There’s no better way to experience this eerie neighborhood than with a Ghost Tour.

On this 90 minute tour, you’ll see all the haunted houses, churches, and parks that Old Louisville has to offer. The tours are offered nightly from March 15 to November 15, beginning at 7:30 PM. Best of all? They’re pretty affordable at just $20 per person!

Buy your tickets online here!

See One of the Country’s TOP 10 Halloween Parades

This year’s Halloween Parade and Festival is a great way for the whole family to experience Halloween in Louisville. It was even ranked in the top 10 list of Halloween parades in the country by Travel Channel!

The 2019 festival is being held on October 5 from Noon to 9 PM. There will be vendors, local food and drink, music, contests, a family fun zone, and more! The parade will be held on the same day at 6 PM.

Race in the Danger Run

Haunted houses are fun, but wanna know what’s even more fun? Haunted houses combined with a scavenger hunt!

Danger Run is a unique Halloween attraction that you’re only gonna find in Louisville. Get your team together, go to one of the starting points, and get ready to solve clues that’ll lead you all over Louisville. The end goal? Find the two haunted houses featured in Danger Run! After going through the houses, you might qualify to win a prize.

Danger Run is perfect for groups of friends, especially if you’re competitive. Tickets are $25 per person (plus tax) include the Danger Run game, admission to two haunted houses, and more! In 2019, Danger Run is open on Friday and Saturday nights from September 27 to October 26, and the hours run from 7-11 PM.

Experience the World’s Largest Halloween Party

If you’re not up for anything scary, make sure to check out the World’s Largest Halloween Party at the Louisville Zoo.

Starting on October 3, weekend nights at the zoo will be a little bit different! The Louisville Zoo will be transformed into a family-friendly Halloween party with characters in costumes and trick-or-treating for kids 11 and under. There are mazes, rides, food, and so much more fun for the family.

General admission tickets are $12 and are required for anyone over the age of 3.

Halloween in Louisville

These events are just a hand full of why you should spend this Halloween in Louisville, Kentucky. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re traveling as a family, a couple, or a group of friends. For more ways to spend Halloween in Louisville, check out this great resource. When you’re done experiencing all of the Halloween activities, you can keep exploring the great city of Louisville. The city is FULL of culture, museums, attractions, and great food. I can’t wait to spend this Halloween in Louisville experiencing all the fall fun the city has to offer!

Have you spent your Halloween in Louisville?

Pinterest image - spooky jack-o-lantern with text overlay How to Have a Spooky Halloween in Louisville Kentucky

40 thoughts on “Halloween in Louisville: The Perfect Fall Destination

  1. Kelsey says:

    Louisville looks like such a fun place to spend your fall! I am also a Halloween lover and the Waverly Hills Sanitorium looks so creepy – but the perfect way to get ready for Halloween! That “body chute” sounds especially terrifying…

  2. Tina says:

    This looks like a fun place to spend Halloween for sure! I’ve been to the US so many times but never for Halloween.. Will definitely consider it for 2020. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Vanessa Shields says:

    Oh wow! I had no idea Louisville was such a cool city to spend Halloween in! I haven’t been to Kentucky but I really want to visit and primarily for this time of the year. I love exploring places that are said to be haunted. Would really enjoy the Waverly Hills Hospital, the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular and the Danger Run. Great post!

  4. Razena says:

    We didn’t have a Halloween tradition growing up, but I loved scary movies and have been fascinated by this commemoration of all things scary since seeing the first Halloween movie! I would love to see the Jack ‘O Lantern spectacular and maybe if I’m feeling brave I’d go on a Ghost Tour of Old Louisville 🙂

  5. Cris says:

    It’s been years since I’ve been to Louisville, and that was for the Derby. But, yeah, with Waverly Hills there, I can see how it would be a great place to visit in the fall. Plus, all those other activities. Definitely going to look into taking a trip back there.

  6. Hannah Ackroyd says:

    Oooooh I LOVE Halloween!!! I’m so jealous because in the UK we do a really poor job of it! My garden could absolutely be covered in hundreds of jack-o-lanterns but the neighbours would think I’d lost the plot! (I might just do it anyway…) I’m going to have to hop over the pond for Halloween one year and do it properly!

  7. Kisha says:

    There are so many cool things to do for Halloween activities, I just hate that the season is so short. I would definitely be up too taking my children to the Louisville zoo for that halloween party and the good thing is that its only a few hours drive away. thanks for sharing that idea.

  8. Daphne' Adams says:

    Lots of cool and scary events but it’s Halloween. Lol. However the cruise did catch my attention. I would love to do that. Awesome date night.

  9. Nikki says:

    I don’t celebrate Halloween but these seem like some really cool events. I’ve been to a hunted house once but it didn’t really do much for me they weren’t really scary

  10. Preet says:

    This looks so fun, Perfect since I am actually looking for a perfect Halloween destination. My family would love this.

  11. Joanna says:

    It looks like Louisville prepares very well for Halloween. I would like to take a sailing trip on the Belle of Louisville but also to walk along the thousands lit pumpkins at the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular.

  12. Clint says:

    Ok, Waverly Hills Sanatorium is definitely on my list of places to visit now. I obviously have to go on Halloween. Am I reading this right? They took one of the most haunted places in the world and put a haunted house in it? YYYESSSSS!!!

  13. kumamonjeng says:

    The Waverly Hills Sanatorium sounds so scary just by reading your review. I have been to York in UK and done a ghost tour there. I thought York is the most haunted city but I guess Waverly Hills Sanatorium can be more eerie.

  14. Sabina Green says:

    It looks amazing! I love how there is so much going on. Halloween is starting to take off a bit more in the UK but not as fab as the US. Although people are starting to make more effort decorating there houses.

  15. Alex Trembath says:

    Looks like so much fun! I would definitely be up for visiting the world’s most haunted place. I agree with another commenter about the USA being amazing for Halloween – it isn’t such a big deal in Europe but across the pond it looks like a great time!

  16. Lorelle says:

    Here in Australia, Halloween is not such a big thing. A few people get into the spirit but not to the extent of this. Looks like heaps of fun though. 🙂

  17. Chandni says:

    Oh wow! Halloween looks like fun for all age groups! I love ghost tours, have been on a couple of them, the stories really fascinate me. Looking forward to checking this one out too.

  18. Janine Thomas says:

    Halloween always looks like such a fun holiday in the USA. The stories about ghosts and things that go bump in the night are always entertaining to read. The Waverly Hills haunted house is a great idea. I would definitely visit that!

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