Fall is a busy time of year in Cincinnati and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the vast number of options for family fall festival fun. While the list of exciting fall activities in Cincy could go on and on, we’re handing out awards to recognize our 10 of the area’s farms and festivals that each have something extra special. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but rather a guide to help narrow down your search.
Without further ado, here are our 10 Favorite Fall Festivals in Cincinnati:
Best Overall Festival: Blooms and Berries Fall on the Farm (pictured)
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop experience, Blooms and Berries in Loveland delivers. This beautiful farm is spacious and offers a wide variety of activities for all ages. You pay one price to participate in most of the fun, such as a hayride to the pumpkin patch, corn maze, cow train ride, play area and story time. It’s very organized and the perfect spot for overall fall family fun. This year, Blooms and Berries has added an epic pumpkin bounce pad your kids will go gaga over! And parents will be really into the brand-new, hand-built Beer Garden which offers local craft brews.
Worth the Trip: Young’s Dairy Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival
Young’s Fall Farm Festival (Oct. 5 and 6) is the Yellow Spring’s attraction’s biggest event of the year, and well worth a trip. You’ll meet Humongus Gus, Young’s 800 pound pumpkin, taste freshly made Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes, take a tour of our cheese making facility, watch cow milking, and try their latest addition – Pumpkin Bowling! And if you’re looking for the perfect pumpkin for your stoop? Then Young’s Dairy is your best bet! Starting September 21st, head to Young’s and traipse through 30 acres of orange-dotted fields to find your Halloween pumpkin. A trip to Young’s is always an experience, and when you go to their U-Pick field, you’ll be treated to a hayride and family friendly activities.
Best Value: Brown’s Family Farm Market
Brown’s Family Farm Market’s Fall Family Fun Weekends happen Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm through October (there are also Hayrides and Barrel Train Rides offered from 3-6 pm on Fridays through the end of the month.). The farm itself is open daily through Oct. 31. from 9 am to 7 pm. Admission and parking are free; hayrides and barrel train rides are $4 and $2, respectively. For more information, visit Brown’s Family Farm Market’s website here.
Most Beautiful Location: Neltner’s Farm
From the moment you drive up to the parking lot at Neltner’s, you know it’s going to be something special. This stunning farm is located in a scenic valley in Northern Kentucky and each area of the farm is lovelier than the next. You’ll love the covered bridge, the valley views from the hillside pumpkin patch and the sight of brightly colored leaves, falling around you as you enjoy their homemade chili. No wonder this farm is also a popular spot for weddings! Fall Fest Weekends run Sept 28 through Oct 27 (10am-6pm).
Most Epic Sunflowers: Sunflower Festival at Gorman Heritage Farm
Sunflowers are the happiest flower, and you’ll have a big smile on your face as you enter Gorman Heritage Farm’s golden-yellow fields. The eponymous festival is famous across Ohio and features hayrides, a sunflower maze, live music, food trucks, vendor booths, pumpkins and U-Pick sunflowers! Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids ages 3-17, $5 seniors 60+ and free for kids under 3. GHF Members receive free admission. Family memberships include persons that reside in your household only. Option to purchase Membership included in ticket options.
Best Alternative Fall Festival: Ohio Renaissance Festival
If you’re in need of a break from the pumpkins and hayrides, the Ohio Renaissance Festival is your best bet. Visit Harveysburg, OH, and step back in time to 16th Century England. Jousts, jugglers, jesters and minstrels are part of the more than 100 performances daily on 14 stages. This is a family-friendly event filled with nostalgia, tradition… and giant turkey legs! Read our review here.
Favorite Hidden Gem Festival: Burwinkel Farms
During the month of October, Burwinkel Farm offers a variety of activities for all ages including a corn maze, skid maze, Halloween scavenger hunt, crawl-thru straw tunnel, corn pool and weekend hayrides to their pumpkin patch and sunflower field (when in bloom). Burwinkle Farms’ Sunflower Hayride Weekends may be the most under-the-radar fall event in town.
Most Fun for Littlest Cincy Kids: The Great Pumpkin Fest at Kings Island
Each year as Halloween approaches, those who love a good scare look forward to the start of Kings Island’s popular Halloween Haunt. But for those of us who have little ones at home that can’t quite handle the fear factor (or for moms who can’t handle it, either), the amusement park has the perfect compromise. The Great Pumpkin Fest at Kings Island is filled with festive Halloween fun for even the youngest members of your family.
Best Trick or Treating: HallZOOween
The Cincinnati Zoo is one of the most family-friendly attractions in the city. Dressing your kiddos up to go trick-or-treating at the Zoo makes the whole experience even more fun! HallZOOween, presented by Frisch’s Big Boy, happens Saturdays and Sundays through October 27 from 12-5 pm. Each weekend, treat stations will be set up throughout the Zoo (BYOB to help the #GreenestZooinAmerica stay green), along with not-so-spooky animal encounters, Hogwarts Express train rides and opportunities to spin on the Scare-ousel.
Most Spectacular Lights: Louisville’s Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
More than 5,000 jack-o-lanterns will shine this fall in Kentucky during Louisville’s Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is back for a seventh year, running Oct. 8 through Nov. 3. The Louisville event is held in Iroquois Park with 5,000 carved pumpkins lining a 1/3-mile walking trail, illuminated at night as a dynamic and family friendly “art show.” Fun fact: the pumpkins are all real, and replaced every 3-7 days, depending on the weather!