Edinburgh things to do: The 6 best things to do in Edinburgh this Autumn and Halloween season
Autumn is officially here – so now’s the time to enjoy the seasonal treats and events that Edinburgh has to offer.
Go Pumpkin picking
The arrival of autumn means that pumpkin season is almost upon us. The winter squash is perfect for carving jack o’lanterns for Halloween – but is also delicious in pies and soups.
There are several places near Edinburgh where you can pick up your perfect pumpkin, including Craigie’s Farm, Kilduff Farm and Balgone Estate – which offers a range of family-friendly activities, including a Maize Maze and a Spooky Trail.
Conifox Adventure Park also has a Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Hunt, for families to enjoy the chance to pick their own pumpkin, carve it at a carving station and enjoy a hunt around the adventure park grounds.
Stroll the Botanic Garden
As the days grow longer, autumn's vibrant colours are beginning to emerge at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s the perfect time to stroll round the 70 acres of stunning landscaping, feeling the crisp orange leaves under foot.
If you’re needing a refreshment to sustain you on your walk, the newly refurbished Gateway Cafe offers sumptuous seasonal dishes, prepared with ingredients handpicked from the Kitchen Garden.
Enjoy a beer at Oktoberfest
While the German folk festival is traditionally celebrated in Bavaria, Edinburgh locals can join in the festive fun from October 6 - 8.
A giant tent will be pitched up in West Princes Street Gardens, ready to welcome up to 1,200 people for authentic German food, live music, and plenty of beer.
Visit Edinburgh Zoo’s spooky trail
To celebrate the spooky season, Edinburgh Zoo hosts a Spooktacular event to provide family-friendly frights every autumn.
From October 7 – 31, you can follow along an illuminated trail and meet pirates, dragons, skeletons and ghosts along the way. Themed food and drink kiosks can be found throughout the zoo, so there’s plenty to get you into the Halloween spirit.
Listen to folk tales
Every October, Edinburgh audiences gather for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival – an annual event that celebrates stories. This year’s festival will run from October 14 – 31.
Several events will be held over the fortnight, including the festival’s Open Hearth sessions, which will host storytellers and musicians for a relaxed evening of stories and song in the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s cosy Netherbow Theatre.
On the eve of Halloween, folk music duo Pictism and storyteller Stuart McHardy will gather together to talk about the holiday’s feminine themes at a event called ‘Female Powers: Fairy Queens and Witches’.
Go on a ghost tour
Edinburgh, regarded as one of the most haunted cities in the world, is the perfect place to spend Halloween season. If you want to hear spooky stories while taking in the sights, there are plenty of ghost tours on offer.
Another option, the Terror Tour, takes spooked visitors through the supposedly haunted Niddry Street Vaults. Those who want a thorough tour can take the Ghost Bus tour, which takes tourists and locals through Edinburgh’s streets while sharing horrifying tales from the Burke and Hare murders to witch trials.