Fall doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, but here in Southwest Ohio, many of the fall events and attractions are already in full swing. I’ve been hard at work planning out everything I want to do this year. I have to be honest with you — it’s a lot! So, I decided to put together a list of some of the most popular fall events and attractions in Southwest Ohio, including a few of my past favorites (denoted with *). Even if you don’t live here, this list is sure to give you at least a few great ideas for things to try where you live.
Pssssst! If you haven’t downloaded the Fall Goals Printable yet, go snag it now while it’s still available.
Ohio Renaissance Festival *
The Ohio Renaissance Festival is one of my absolute favorite events of the season. It’s a nearly 2-month long medieval-themed affair that happens every Saturday and Sunday starting on Labor Day weekend and ending on the last weekend in October. It’s such a big deal that it has its very own 35-acre property, complete with permanent castle walls that stay up year-round.
There are 14 different stages located inside the park, which host a wide variety of comedy, action, and musical performances throughout the day. There are even three full armored jousting matches every day.
If that’s not enough to spark your interest, you might be more excited about the 16th Century inspired food, crafts, rides, games, or any of the special themed weekends including Pirates Weekend and the great Barbarian Invasion.
Official Website: Ohio Renaissance Festival
Dates & Times
Open from 10:30am – 6:00pm from September 1, 2018 – October 28, 2018, every Saturday, Sunday, and on Labor Day
- Adults $23
- Children $9.50 (ages 5-12)
- Children under 5 get in for FREE
- Seniors (65+) and military/police/fire/EMS $21
- Season passes are $60 for adults
- Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Call (513) 897-7000 ext. 244 for details or visit their website
The first weekend is always Family & Friends Weekend, which means you can get buy-one-get-one adult tickets and save a ton of money. This doesn’t help you much this year, but you can always try your luck with the crowds next year. You can also save money on children’s tickets by taking advantage of Tricks or Treats Weekend during the last weekend of the event, when all kids 12 and under get in for free.
Renaissance Park – Harveysburg, Ohio – Conveniently located near Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus just minutes off I-71, exit 45 or I-75, exit 38 on State Route 73 in Warren County.
Fall Farm Days at Bonnybrook Farms
Bonnybrook Farms is a historic working farm located in Clarksville, Ohio. Every year, they celebrate fall by hosting a huge celebration where guests can hang out with the farm animals, go on a pony ride, eat freshly prepared meals, pick their own pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, navigate through a corn maze, improve their archery skills, or take an Adventure Wagon Ride. I’ve never been to this event, but I am eager to try it out for myself once they are open.
Official Website: Bonnybrook Farms
Dates & Times
Open from 12pm – 7pm on Saturdays and 12pm – 6pm on Sundays from September 29, 2018 – October 28, 2018
- Farm admission is $15 for all children and adults, ages 4 and above
- Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more ($14 per ticket)
Most of the attractions are included in the price of admission. However, there are a few extras that you will have to pay for if you want to participate. These include the pony rides ($7 per child), pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, and any food or drinks served in the café.
3779 OH-132, Clarksville, OH 45113
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati *
We’ve all heard of the famous Oktoberfest festival held in Germany every year. But did you know that Cincinnati, Ohio holds the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US? For 3 days, starting from September 21, 2018, until September 23, you can join in the fun as the city shuts down part of downtown to celebrate.
Just in case you’re wondering if it’s worth the trouble of dealing with the massive crowds, I have to tell you, it is! Andrew and I were lucky enough to go a few years ago and it was so much fun. It’s better with a group, though, so be sure to drag all your friends along. You will probably want to leave the kids home for this one. It’s technically “family friendly” but it is a festival that’s all about beer, more beer, even more beer, and a ton of delicious German food.
Official Website: Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
Dates & Times
- Friday, September 21, 2018 from 5 pm – 11 pm
- Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 11 am – 11 pm
- Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 11 am – 9 pm
The festival is free and open to the public, but you will want to bring plenty of cash along for food, drinks, and loads of souvenirs. Also note that because this event is downtown, you will likely need to pay for parking.
Second and Third Streets, between Walnut and Elm Streets in downtown Cincinnati
Bradford Pumpkin Show
Up until a few days ago, I’d never heard of this event. But now that I know about it, I’m fairly certain this one is on my “must do” list. This event features carnival rides, games, parades, food and drinks, and stage entertainment. That’s all pretty standard. However, there is also something that they just call “confetti,” which is apparently an event where you buy bags of paper confetti and assault each other with it. It is described as one of the highlights of the Pumpkin Show. Their website even has instructions for what to do if you get confetti in your eye, including a rather humorous quote about moving out of the midway to prevent further harm.
If you do get confetti in your eye, step off to the side of the midway and have someone in your party help you get the piece of confetti. Start by pulling up or down on your eyelid(s) and then have someone gently place their dry finger on top of the confetti and it should stick to their finger and be out of your eye. If you stand in the middle of midway and try to do this, someone will likely come up and throw confetti in your face, and you go from having one piece of confetti in your eye to about 20 pieces.
Official Website: Bradford Pumpkin Show
Dates & Times
Open October 9, 2018 – October 13, 2018. Hours very each day, so be sure to check the website for the official times
Admission is free for the parades and event, but you will want to bring money for ride wristbands, food and drinks, games, and other attractions like the fun house and mirror maze.
115 N. Miami Avenue, Bradford, OH 45308
Idle Hour Ranch – Corn Maze & Fall Festivities *
Idle Hour Ranch is one of my favorite animal conservation parks, and it just gets even better in the fall. All of their normal attractions – the animals, face painting, gemstone mining, pony rides, camel rides, and animal feeding are still available, but you also get access to a pumpkin patch, massive corn maze, hayrides, mini corn maze for kids, and movies projected on the barn during select dates.
Official Website: Idle-Hour Ranch
Dates & Times
- The animal sanctuary and corn maze are open August – October, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 12 – 6pm
- After-dark corn maze and fall attractions are open after 6pm on Friday and Saturday nights, September through October
- Admission to the farm and corn maze is $10 for children (ages 3 – 12) and seniors (ages 65+) and $12 for adults
- After 6pm, admission is $10 for anyone ages 5 and over, but you will not have access to the animal sanctuary
- Group discounts are available – visit the Group Tours page for more information
There are additional fees for food and drinks as well as some of the special attractions like gemstone mining and pony rides. Visit the full website for more details and to get up-to-date prices.
4845 Fenner Rd., Troy, OH 45373
Corn Maze Adventure at Apple Country Farm Market
Apple Country Farm Market is a family-owned and operated farm market that sells fresh fruit and vegetables as well as an assortment of other goods including furniture and other farm products. They also host a corn maze, hayrides, and other fall-themed attractions every year.
I have never been to Apple Country Farm Market. To be honest, if we do go, it probably won’t be for their corn maze. However, I am curious about their fresh produce. I love fall vegetables, and the more I can buy locally, the better.
Official Website: Apple Country Farm Market
Dates & Times
- The market is open Monday-Friday from 11 am – 6 pm, Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm, and Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm
- The corn maze and fall attractions are open from September 7, 2018 – November 4, 2018, Fridays from 5 pm – 8 pm, Saturdays from 1 pm – 9 pm, and Sundays from 1 pm – 6 pm
It’s free to visit the Apple Country Farm Market, but if you want to go through the corn maze or on a hayride, you’ll have to pay admission to each.
- The corn maze costs $9 for adults (ages 13+), $7 for children (ages 4-12), and is free for anyone 3 and under
- Hayrides are $3/person and are only available beginning in October
2323 Us Route 42, Spring Valley, OH 45370
Aullwood Apple Fest
I know I’m going to get some heat for this, but believe it or not, pumpkins are not my favorite fall produce. That title belongs to none other than the sweet, juicy, crispy, delicious apple. So, it only makes sense that I am extremely excited about this event featuring live entertainment, crafts, and apple everything.
Official Website: Aullwood Audubon Farm
Dates & Times
Open Saturday, September 22, 2018 – Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 10 am – 5 pm
Admission is $7 for adults (ages 12+), $5 for kids (ages 3 – 11), and free for kids ages 2 and under
Aullwood Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, Dayton OH 45414
A Few More Events and Attractions in Southwest Ohio
There are simply too many events to talk about every one. So, here are a few more things you might also be interested in:
- Champaign County Balloon Fest – October 5-6
- Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival at Young’s Jersey Dairy – October 6-7
- Iams Homestead Pioneer Harvest Fest – October 13
- Fairborn Fall Festival – October 13-14
- Fall Farm Fest at Lost Creek Reserve – October 13-14
- Ohio Sauerkraut Festival – October 13-14
- Ozone Zipline Adventures
Also, be sure to stay tuned for another upcoming post for Halloween houses, haunts, and horrors in the area.