Those lazy days of summer are winding down, and we’re moving full steam ahead with fall! But with school starting, those supplies, new shoes and fall extracurriculars are adding up and putting a damper on the family budget. So we’ve compiled a list of fab, fun and FREE events that will keep your family busy all fall long!
Here are 35+ Free Things to do this Fall in Cincinnati:
Sept. 1 from 12-10 pm at Sawyer Point/Yeatman’s Cove
It’s a full day of excitement for everyone! Performers of all kinds will appear at entertainment areas on both sides of the Ohio River. Family fun and lots of food and beverages will be available in all directions, capped off with the Western & Southern / WEBN Fireworks at 9:05 pm. FREE.
Touch a Truck at Deerfield Towne Center
Sept. 7 from 10 am-2 pm
We’re teaming up with the Deerfield Towne Center for our annual Touch-A-Truck event! Climb in a variety of vehicles, inflatables and receive fun giveaways at this FREE community event!
Mason Heritage Festival
Sept. 14 from 10 am-4 pm at Mason Municipal Campus
The event will feature kids’ activities, carnival games, crafts, vendors, music entertainment and more! The event will begin at 10 am with the annual parade followed by activities and entertainment until 4 pm. The event is free and open to the public and is sure to include fun for all ages! FREE.
Old Milford Oktoberfest
Sept. 14 from 11 am-11 pm
On September 14th, Water Street between Mill and Garfield will be filled with live music, delicious foods, cold beer from LMBC, and games for everyone! The entire festival will be local, from food to entertainment, promoting the best Milford has to offer. Festival is FREE to enter! Come for a tasty meal and beer, test your strength in a stein holding challenge, and stay for the music! Full lineup of entertainment and activities to come.
Sept. 22 from 10:30 am-4 pm at Washington Park
ish Festival is a community arts and cultural event bringing people together in exploration of Jewish and Israeli arts and cultural traditions. An inclusive event, ish Festival is free to attend, open to the public and appealing to all ages.
Liberty Township Fall Festival
Sept. 28 from 11 am to 3 pm at Liberty Park
The FREE, family-friendly event will feature live music, food trucks, arts & crafts vendors, a kids activity zone, touch-a-truck and more!
Sept. 28-29 at Warren County Fairgrounds
The fairgrounds will be filled with quality homemade crafts, great food, and entertainment. Free admission and parking! Festival held rain or shine.
Great Outdoor Weekend
Sept. 28 and 29
Great Outdoor Weekend presents opportunities for children and adults to sample the best outdoor recreation and nature awareness programs available in Greater Cincinnati region. Each fall there are over 100 events available — all are free and open to the public.
Country Pumpkins Festival
Sept. 7-Oct. 31
In addition for free admission, festival goers can enjoy a variety of free activities and free special events each season including kiddie corn maze, farm animals, the hay pyramid and corn boxes.
This illuminating walk-through festival of lights, art and projection-mapping displays takes over several city blocks throughout downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in October.
Books by the Banks
Oct. 26 from 10 am-4 pm at the Duke Energy Convention Center
A festival for book lovers, Books by the Banks epic Kids’ Corner features fun activities, crafts, face painting, story times, visits from beloved authors and more!
Parks Fall Programs*:
(All programs are free; however, all **Great Parks programs require a Motor Vehicle Permit)
Sept. 1 from 12-4 pm at Glenwood Gardens; Sept. 2 from 12-4 pm at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn
A variety of local native raptors will be on exhibit during this holiday weekend. Cameras and sketchpads are welcome.
Sept. 7 and 8 from 2-5 pm at Shawnee Lookout
Go back in time to visit people from the 1800s at this event. The cabin, schoolhouse and lawn will come alive with early Ohio settlers. Our guests will be the Society of Northwest Longhunters. This fun event has something for the whole family. Some activities require a small fee. FREE.
Sept. 15 at 1 pm at Sharon Woods
With great big smelly leaves and a fruit that tastes like a mix between a mango and banana, the pawpaw is an outstanding tree. On this off-trail hike, we will go on the search for a patch of pawpaw trees, and then enjoy our harvest in Sharon Centre.
Hurray for Herptiles!
Sept. 21 from 2-3:30 pm at Avon Woods Nature Preserve
Reptiles and amphibians are cool animals and Cincinnati has some of the coolest! Take a hike to discover herptile habitats and spend some time indoors to enjoy close encounters with several species. Call 513-321-6070 before September 20 to reserve your spot at this fun program.
Harper Quilt Show**
Sept. 21-29 at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn
Drop in to enjoy Charley Harper’s artwork represented in a unique medium: quilts! Local group River City Quilt Guild has created many quilts over the years featuring his designs.
National Public Lands Day**
Sept 28 from 9 am–noon at Parky’s Farm
Join us as we work to improve Parky’s Farm for the animals that call it home. From planting wildflowers to removing invasive vines and cleaning up the rain garden, we’ll have a fun day of work that will positively impact the land while enhancing the farm for years to come. All ages welcome.
Movie in the Park
Oct. 11 at 7 pm at Summit Park
Head to Summit Park at dusk for a free, family-friendly movie!
Creepy Nature Hunt**
Oct. 12 from 1-3 pm at Woodland Mound/Seasongood Nature Center
Eek! Mysteries await you in this hunt all about investigating nature under logs, beneath rocks and in the soil. Brave participants will receive a prize upon completion and return of their hunt sheet.
Cinema at Stanbery: Frankenweenie
Oct. 18 from 8:30-10 pm at Stanbery Park
Young Victor Frankenstein is a science nerd and outsider at school, but he does have one good friend: his dog, Sparky. But then, tragedy strikes, and Sparky shuffles off this mortal coil. Victor is heartbroken, but his science teacher gives him an idea of how to jolt old Sparky back to life. The experiment is successful, and all goes well, until Victor’s fellow students steal his secret and use it to resurrect other dead animals… with monstrous consequences.
Black Walnut Weekend**
Oct. 19 and 20 from 12-4 pm at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn
Bring the family to celebrate nature’s nuttiest harvest in the Midwest – a rain of walnuts! This event has something for the whole family, including games, crafts, tastings and more. Cincinnati’s own band, Jake Speed & The Freddies, will perform on Sunday from 12:30–3:30 p.m. Some activities available for a small fee.
Nature at Night Pumpkin Hike**
Oct. 26 at 6:30 pm at the Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve/Ellenwood Nature Barn
Jack-o’-lanterns will light your path as you discover the wonder of nature at night along the Pin Oak Trail. Bring a flashlight and arrive any time between 6:30–7:30 pm to check in for this self-guided hike. A limited number of pumpkin tickets will be sold for the 8 pm jack-o’-lantern drawing.
Oct. 27 at 1 pm at Woodland Mound
Characteristics of some animals can be shocking, possibly scary and even zany! Meet a few critters up close to see just why they exhibit odd behaviors and possess certain body parts.
Family Art Adventures
Sept. 8 at 1 pm at the Taft Museum
Explore the galleries with your family and make memories at the Taft through this fun and interactive experience! Take a step back in time when you explore posters from the early 1900s. See how color printing changed poster design and experiment with coloring your own image from the exhibition. Plan out your own advertisement using your favorite animal, and try your hand at drawing faces just like artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Exploration Station: Fall Celebration
Sept. 12 from 5-7 pm at the Newport Branch
This fun, monthly program gives you and your child a place to explore with this kind of play. We will have sensory stations available to play with and learn from. This month there will be a variety of fall-themed activities for kids.
TCT on Tour: Dorothy of Oz
Sept. 15 at 4 pm at Summit Park
Join this adventurous young lady as she takes your audiences down the Yellow Brick Road to find out why a lion, a scarecrow and a man made of tin are all singing the blues. On this adventure our heroine, Dorothy, must find a way home but, in the process, she must help her new friends unlock their full potential. Dorothy in Oz is an adaptation of the popular Frisch Marionettes’ production Wizard of Oz, based on L. Frank Baum’s children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
3rd Sunday Funday at the Taft: BLINK Bonanza
Sept. 16 from 1-4 pm
Explore the magic of light and get ready for BLINK at the Taft. Learn about light and transparency at the Art Cart and make a paper lantern for the parade. Wear white so you can become a lit-up work of art during an interactive performance by Lindsey Whittle and Pones Inc. at 1:30 and 2:30 pm. Free; no reservations required. For more information, call 513-684-4517 or visit taftmuseum.org.
Autumn Fun at Carol Ann’s Carousel
Sept. 21 from 11 am-3:30 pm
Leaves changing colors of persimmon, crimson, and brown falling all around us; it’s fall! Come view some of the leaves collected and see if you can name some of the tree species in the area! Enjoy fun fall leaf crafts, along with entering for your chance to win Parks goodies at the Carousel.
Family Day: Fall with Gravity
Sept. 28 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Celebrate the fall while learning how we can overcome and cope with the force that causes falling!
Fright Night Flicks
Oct. 16, 23 and 30 at Washington Park
Fright Night Flicks features a free Halloween movie screening Wednesdays at the Park! The movie starts at 8p, but come down early to grab a spot and a drink from our bar. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and a picnic basket for a fun, spooky evening over on our civic lawn.
3rd Sunday Funday at the Taft: Fabulous Fall Funday
Oct. 20 from 1-4 pm
Discover the Taft’s ghost stories, make a monster craft, and meet spooky animals from Great Parks of Hamilton County at 1 pm. Come dressed in costume* and participate in a Halloween fashion show hosted by a princess from Party Princess Productions at 2 pm. *Help protect the Taft’s art by leaving costume accessories like wings, swords, and so on at home Free fun for everyone! Bring the whole family to the Taft to experience a free afternoon of great art, hands on fun, animal encounters, and family-friendly performances. Most activities are ongoing throughout the afternoon, so stop by when you have time and stay as long as you can. FREE. No reservations needed.
Trick-or-Treat all October long! Keep an eye out in September for our official Trick or Treat Guide; here are some of our favorite events:
Sept. 29-Oct. 14 from 7-9 pm at Otto Armleader Park
Cool, creative scarecrows line the paths of Otto Armleader Park.
Fall Fest Weekend at Washington Park
Oct. 26 and 27 from 12-6 pm
Join us at Washington Park for a weekend of fall family fun! We’ve got a jam-packed entertainment lineup for all ages. There will also be local vendors selling craft & homemade items, baked goods & more!
Halloween Treat Street
Oct. 25 from 6-8 pm
Come dressed in your favorite costume for an evening of spooktacular fun at Deerfield Towne Center! While supplies last, children 12 and under will enjoy Trick-or-Treating, festive music and refreshments. Remember to bring a bag to collect your goodies! This is a FREE event!
Halloween Walk in the Woods
Oct. 26 from 12-3 pm at the Blue Ash Nature Park
The 15th annual Halloween Walk in the Woods is back for 2019! Get dressed up early for Halloween and spend the afternoon trick-or-treating at the Blue Ash Nature Park. This event is geared towards children 10 and under and is free and open to the public!
Trick or Treat at Carol Ann’s Carousel
Oct. 31 from 11 am-3:30 pm
Come see the magic tricks, and delight in a sweet treat! Enjoy family friendly crafts, coloring, games and contests! Come dressed in your costume to receive one free ride on the Carousel! Enter into the ‘Best Dressed Like a Carousel Character’* Contest, for a chance to win a basket of Park goodies!