I tend to avoid crowds, so I have never been much of a festival-goer. You can imagine my surprise when, one year, I enjoyed a particularly busy Saturday on an apple farm. A friend of mine and I were home from college at the same time and she took me to share the splendor of our local apple orchard. We tasted cider, tried every variety of apple, and enjoyed a cider popsicle by
the fireplace before buying our pecks and heading home with dreams of fresh apples (for her) and apple goodies, like applesauce (for me). It may not have been a thoroughly orchestrated festival, but the closeness and liveliness of the crowd gave that apple house the feel of an acres-large apple celebration.
Looking for something to whet your fall festival whistle? Below are a few suggestions, or you can search for more farm (or apple-, pumpkin-, or popcorn-themed) festivals near you! You might even surprise yourself.
Blooms & Berries Fall on the Farm
Take a hayride to the pick-your-own pumpkin patch, thrill in the 7-acre corn maze, and enjoy fresh-pressed cider on this farm located between Lebanon and Loveland, OH. Admission includes all activities.
Dates: Sept. 19 – Oct. 31.
More Info: Monday – Friday $7; Saturday – Sunday $10. Multi-day passes available.
Burwinkel Farms Fall Extravaganza
Early October features a sunflower field with walking path. Hayrides to pick your own pumpkins,
a corn pool, and a straw tunnel are among the activities at this farm in Ross, OH. Hayrides and mazes are $3-5, but all other activities are free.
Dates: Oct. 1 – Oct. 31.
More Info: Check their Facebook page for up-to-date hours, including inclement weather info. Parking is free.
Irons Fruit Farm
Featuring a bakery, this farm north of Lebanon, OH, specializes in fall treats like apple fritters and cinnamon-cider donuts. Take a ride out to their pick-your-own pumpkin patch and master their corn maze, too.
Dates: Weekends, Sept. 24 – Oct. 30.
More Info: Pumpkins are priced per-pound. Come ready to sample their varieties of apples, too!
Niederman Family Farm Fall Festival
A part of the Hamilton, OH, scene for 14 years, this festival includes a corn maze with aerial design, fall treats like kettle corn, and even family bonfires with advance reservation.
Dates: Friday – Sunday, Sept. 23 – Oct. 30.
More Info: Hours vary (Fridays 6 – 10pm, Saturdays 11am – 10pm, Sundays 1pm – 6pm), and additional hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays begin in October.
Neltner’s Fall Fest
Venture off the AA Highway in Camp Springs, KY, for a harvest celebration that includes a petting zoo, pony rides, and an impressive lineup of bands for their weekend music series.
Dates: Daily Oct. 1 – Oct. 30.
More Info: Weekend hours 10am – 6pm;
weekday hours 9am – 6pm. $5 admission
includes all activities. Weekdays have limited activities.
Young’s Dairy Fall Pumpkin Festival
This legendary Yellow Springs, OH, farm will hold its 40th Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival this year. Take a picture with an 800-pound pumpkin, try your hand at cow milking, make a carmel apple, or even try pumpkin bowling!
Dates: Oct. 1 – 2.
More Info: Hours 11am – 6pm each day.
Recently Joy acted on a persistent daydream by converting part of her backyard into a garden for berries and a second garden to build up the soil for vegetables. When she isn’t tending these new gardens, she dabbles in food styling and design for Edible Ohio Valley and volunteers on a local farm.