Aside from pumpkin spice lattes and comfy sweaters, one of the best ways to ring in the fall season is by attending an autumn-inspired festival. Such events celebrate the change in season in a fun and memorable way, with some music, drinks, food, and art. Luckily, there are many fall festivals held around the world this time of year. No matter where you are or where you travel to, there’s bound to be an event that will get you in the festive mood for autumn. Here are some of the best:
Guy Fawkes Night, UK - November 5
This British festival is an evening dedicated to celebrating the arrival of fall with grand fireworks in cities across the country. While the festival technically commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot, it also gathers a number of Brits and tourists each year to celebrate the beginning of a new season. Aside from spending the evening watching the fireworks, attendees will also set fire to bonfires and participate in a joyous parade.
J-Day, Denmark - November 3
J-Day, otherwise known as “the day a brewery’s Christmas beer comes on the market,” is a festive gathering in Copenhagen. Crowds gather each year to celebrate during the middle of fall as the arrival of Christmas is on the horizon. Residents and tourists make their way to the city center each year, dressed in blue Santa outfits, and spend the evening sipping on the limited edition Christmas beer while playing games and making new friends.
Autumn at the Arboretum, USA - September 23 - November 22
This autumn festival brings everything you love about the fall season in one place. Known as Dallas’ favorite fall tradition, it is home to a nationally acclaimed one-acre Pumpkin Village. Hosted for two months, guests can enjoy a number of activities and events held throughout the park. You can enjoy beer tastings in the Oktoberfest Gardens, take a historic tour through the DeGolyer House or spend a few hours swaying to the sounds of live music.
New York City Village Halloween Parade, USA - October 31
Show off your costume at one of the largest Halloween parties in the world - otherwise known as the Halloween Parade in NYC. Whether you choose to participate in the marching of the parade or decide to stand by the sides and watch the unique costumes go by, you're guaranteed to feel the spooky spirit in the air. As the parade makes its way around the city, get ready to dance and trick or treat the night away.
Acadia Night Sky Festival, USA - September 21-24
With the weather getting cooler, it’s the perfect time of year to grab a blanket and cozy up under the night of stars. In Maine, various stargazers and aspiring astronomers will come together to watch the evening sky come to life with flickering stars. Aside from watching dancing lights above, attendees can attend workshops with hands-on experiences to learn more the starlit skies through science and art.
National Apple Harvest Festival, USA - October 7-8 and 14-15
During the first 2 weekends in October, Pennsylvania celebrates the arrival of fall by turning a fairground into a beautiful autumn park, filled with entertainment and activities. Held for over 50 years, this festival guarantees to have something for everyone. Guests can spend a few hours making arts and crafts, listening to live music and munching on scrumptious food while roaming around unique attractions - including the Apple Auditorium.
World’s Largest Scavenger Hunt, Canada - September 10
If you always wanted to participate in a Guinness World Record, you can attend the World’s Largest Scavenger Hunt in Ottawa. Hosted by Escape Manor, groups of friends will run around downtown looking for clues, all for the purpose of beating the worldwide record. A fun way to kick off the fall season, this scavenger hunt will have thousands of people searching for objects representing Canadian culture.
Oktoberfest - Germany - September 16 - October 3
Known as the largest beer festival on earth, Oktoberfest brings in about 6 million people from around the world each year. Guests can spend their day drinking special made Oktoberfest beer while playing games and enjoying various amusement rides. Traditional Bavarian food, including sausages, pretzels, and potato dumplings can also be enjoyed, complementing the endless amounts of beer very nicely.
Loy Krathong Festival, Thailand - November 2-4
Known as Thailand’s festival of lights, the Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most visually breathtaking events ever held. Celebrated on the evening of the 12th lunar month, this festival involves various rituals to celebrate the fall season. One ritual in particular involves making wishes as you send off floating lanterns that carry candles into the beautiful evening sky.
Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, Canada - September 28 –October 8
While sipping on cider and hot cocoa is the norm during the fall season, in British Columbia, it’s all about the wine. In the beautiful Okanagan, guests can expect various wine filled adventures and activities, including wine tours and tastings. Many wineries in the area will also hold their own events, including sunset tastings, harvest lunches, and wine trails.