Dog day

Things are getting spooky around Middle Tennessee. In addition to the pricey pumpkin farms that we know you’ll frequent this month, there are some free and cheap options lurking around the corner.

In this week’s installment of the best free local fun, you’ll find some s’mores action, the chance to check out some history and haunts at the same time and some jazz by the river, in case you’re looking to get away from the pumpkins for a while.

As part of our fall series on free and cheap things to do with the family, here are a few ideas for spending time together over the next couple of weeks: 

Fall Break Campfire & S’mores

On Oct. 15 at 1 p.m., the whole family can head over to Shelby Park for an event to celebrate fall break. They’ll have a fire near the education nature center and the opportunity to make a favorite fall treat: s’mores. Register by emailing [email protected]

Dog Day Festival

Dog day is every day at our house, but at Centennial Park, they’ll be celebrating all things dog on Oct. 15. The Dog Day Festival is a benefit for Nashville Humane, our local and beloved pet shelter and adoption agency. 

The events include Tito’s Doggie Fun Zone and a kids’ zone carnival games. There will be a beverage garden for adults, live music and a hilarious costume contest for pets.  

Pumpkin Festival

Not to be confused with Pumpkin Fest in downtown Franklin, this festival happens just a couple weeks before just down the road at Magnolia & Vine on Oct. 15. 

Folks can expect to see all kinds of fall fare: face painting, live music, food trucks, vendors, pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating contest and specialty fall cocktails. Children 10-and-under are free and tickets for adults are $15, which includes admission, a refillable souvenir cup for soda or water, and some games. They’ll also give away a free mini pumpkin with any food donation to The Well pantry.

Jazz on the Cumberland

On Oct. 16 at Cumberland Park, Jazz on the Cumberland will continue its 10-year celebration. The event features all kinds of live performances by the best local talent, including a youth segment that showcases a rising artist. There will also be food vendors, a kid's fun play zone, surprise guest appearances, giveaways and more.

Spirit Legends Tour

It is the haunting season, which means all the local creepsters can check out what paranormal happenings are about locally. At the Spirits Legends Tour at Two Rivers Mansion, the whole family can get a history lesson at the house, which has its share of creepy tales. There are several dates to check it out: Oct. 14, 15, 16, 28, 30, 31. Don’t miss out.