Fall has always been my favorite time of year. There’s something about the crisp coolness in the air and all the festivities that come with it. Autumn foliage, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, craft fairs, and Halloween events bring me so much joy. Join in the fall fun with this ultimate list of all the amazing events happening in and around Indianapolis this season. Whether you love harvest festivals, free museum days, town events, or spooky celebrations for Halloween, you’re bound to find a fabulous fall experience perfect for your family.
10th Annual Fishers Blues Fest
September 2 & 3
The 10th Annual Fisher’s Blues Fest will celebrate the end of Fishers’ concert series at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater. The amphitheater will be host to renowned blues musicians for a two-day, free, ticketless music festival happening over Labor Day weekend. The event will take place from 4 to 10 pm on Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 3. All ages are welcome to attend and chairs, blankets, and coolers are welcome. Outside alcohol is not permitted.
The German American Klub of Indianapolis Presents the 48th Annual Oktoberfest
September 8, 9, & 10
The German American Klub and Paulaner USA for Indy’s German Oktoberfest will be hosting Oktoberfest for its 47th year in German Park. The event will celebrate all things German, with German and German-American food, dance, entertainment, and biers. Admission for the event is $5.00 per person (12 and under are free). Members of the German-American Klub will be admitted free with their membership card. New members who join at Oktoberfest will be reimbursed their price of admission with food/beverage tickets.
Blues in the ‘Burg
September 9 & 10
Arbuckle Acres Park in Brownsburg will be hosting this 2-day festival that features award-winning musical acts from around the country. There will also be food trucks, a beer and wine garden, a kid’s zone, and activities for all ages. Times for the event are Friday 6-10 pm and Saturday 12:30-10 pm
Penrod Arts Fair
The 55th Annual Penrod Arts Fair® is presented by Somerset CPAs and Advisors. As “Indiana’s Nicest Day®,” this is one of the nation’s largest single-day arts fairs. This year’s fair will be located at Newfields and will feature over 300 artists, five stages of entertainment, more than 50 arts-related non-profit organizations, an extensive children’s area, and local food and beverages for all to enjoy. Adult general admission tickets are $20 and children 10 and under are free.
Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Fest
The 10th annual Kiwanis Indiana Balloon Fest will take place at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Bloomington and will feature balloon launches, a night glow, live music, food vendors, a beer and wine garden, and activities for children and adults. Thursday & Friday daily admission is $20.00 per carload or $30.00 per carload for both days. On Saturday, general seating for the live music acts and all the hot air balloon activities will be $20.00 per person. If you want to sit in a cordoned-off area closer to the stage and all hot air balloon activities, platinum admission is $50.00 per person. Kids ages six and under are free!
Jupiter Flights Balloon Festival
Saturday and Sunday morning races begin at dawn and are free of charge to view. Events throughout the day on Saturday will be included with your admission to Conner Prairie. There will be a special evening Balloon Glow on Friday and Saturday Nights that will feature live music from 6:15 pm-7:15 pm, bounce houses, and activities for the whole family. Admission to the Balloon Glow is $11 for members and $22 for non-members.
Zionsville Fall Festival
Chills & Thrills in Lions Park is this year’s theme for the 69th annual fall festival. Admission is free but parking at Lions Park is $8. This fall festival has something for the whole family to enjoy. Check out bounce houses, amusement rides, arts & crafts vendors, and the American Dream Car Show. Food vendors will have popular festival foods including pizza, elephant ears, popcorn, shaved ice, tenderloins, ribs, pulled pork, cotton candy, and much more. Saturday morning features a parade at 10 am. The route starts at Zionsville Community High School and continues along Mulberry Street, Ash Street, and then the 1.2 mile route will finish on Main Street. The parade includes local marching bands, colorful floats, and displays from local businesses and organizations.
Fair on the Square
This event is located around Danville’s downtown square and will feature food vendors, booths with crafts, and other items available for sale. You can also catch entertainment provided by local bands.
Bottleworks District Block Party
September 10 & 11
This two-day event will be filled with entertainment and things to do throughout the Bottleworks District. On Saturday, there will be activities for the whole family. Find DJs providing entertainment, pop-up bars selling alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and a muralist. Sunday will be a Colts Away Game Watch Party for the 1 pm season opener at Houston against the Texans. Watch the game on big screens and participate in fan experiences including a quarterback passing challenge. The Colts Cheerleaders will also be there for photos and autographs.
The Smithsonian Magazine Free Museum Day
The Smithsonian Magazine is hosting a free museum day for many museums and cultural locations across the United States. Indianapolis area participants in this national event include the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Rhythm! Discovery Center, NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana Historical Society, Conner Prairie, and the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections, Inc. To reserve your two free tickets, go to the Smithsonian’s website.
Glow in the Park Family Night
Fishers is hosting a free one-of-a-kind event for families and kids of all ages. This glow event from 8-10 pm will include live DJs, dancing, a neon splash zone, black lights, fog machines, and lasers. All participants must register for a wristband to be granted entry to this event. Pre-registration is required, and wristbands can be picked up at 8100 E. 106th Street prior to the event.
Carmel International Arts Festival
September 24 & 25
Carmel will be celebrating the 24th anniversary of the Carmel International Arts Festival in 2022. The festival has grown considerably from that first year around Carmel City Square. Last year’s crowd was a record-breaking 30,000 and this year’s free event will feature 130 juried artists exhibiting in watercolor, oil, 2D, jewelry, photography, 3D, wood, sculpture, ceramics, glass, and more. There will be food vendors, or patrons can enjoy the Arts and Design District’s restaurants and local shops. Carmel’s high school students will be featured in an exhibit showcasing their artistic talents. Parking will be available at Carmel Elementary and a shuttle will transport people to the festival. Find handicap parking at the PNC parking lot. Parking will also be available at the Indiana Design Center on Rangeline Road. The International Arts Festival will take place 11 am-7 pm on Saturday and 11 am-5 pm Sunday
September 24 & 25
Beasley’s Orchard in Danville will host an event to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the area’s first responders and hometown heroes. First responders (police officers, firefighters, military, and EMTs) will be offered free combo pass admission. Immediate family can purchase the combo pass at 50% off. The combo pass includes the corn maze, hayride, apple cannons, and Barnyard Bonanza.
Apple Festival and Craft Fair
September 24 & 25
Every fall, Anderson Orchard in Mooresville, hosts their free Apple Festival & Craft Fair. This year’s event will include 100 craft booths and vendors. The orchard will be open to pick your own apples and the pumpkin patch will have pumpkins available for purchase. Concession options include grilled sandwiches, hot dogs, sides, drinks, homemade bread, and homemade apple cobbler with ice cream. The apple barn will have hand-picked apples from the orchard and fresh, Indiana-grown produce available for purchase. Children’s activities include a petting zoo, face painting, a large straw pile structure, and a playground.
Franklin Fall Festival
The Franklin Fall Festival will feature a parade, a free concert featuring Beach Boy’s tribute band Sounds of Summer, food trucks, a beer garden, and more than 70 vendors. Catch the festival’s entertainment, activities, and food vendors from 10 am-10 pm. The beer garden will be available from 11 am-10 pm.
The Avon Washington Township Public Library will be celebrating the town of Avon on September 24 from 11 am-3 pm. This free event includes live music, crafters, trains and tractors, a petting zoo, Hendricks Power candy drop, a K-9 demonstration, a firetruck, food, and activities for all.
Fiesta de la Familia
The Indianapolis Children’s Museum will offer free admission on September 25 for their Fiesta de la Familia event. Tickets can be reserved starting September 15. Event activities will take place from 10 am-3 pm. Enjoy live performances by an authentic mariachi band. Try out folk art activities including making Mexican paper flowers, Mexican metal art, Guatemalan worry dolls, and Panamanian Molas. Learn the traditions and celebrations of Dia de Los Muertos by creating a mask with Latina Girl Scout Troops and wearable paper art with visiting artist Beatriz Vasquez at 1:30 and 2:30 pm.
Flicks at Victory Field, Disney’s Encanto
Home of the Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field offers movies that you can watch from the field or in the stands. Head to the stadium in October to view Encanto. General admission seating in the stands is $10. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to sit on the baseball field for $15. The field can only accommodate 800 people, so seating is available on a first come first served basis. If your child is a member of the Knot Hole Kids Club, they get free general admission or on-field seating at the movie. Parking at Victory Field is limited and costs $5, cash only.
Harvest Moon Festival
The Harvest Moon Festival is hosted by the Washington Township Parks and Recreation Department, Avon Parks and Recreation, and the Avon Chamber of Commerce. Beginning at noon, find free activities in Washington Township Park, at Avon Town Hall, and on the Firkins’ property. A concert and fireworks at dusk will conclude the evening. The Washington Township Park will host craft, business, and political booths, bounce houses, pony rides, pumpkin painting, pumpkin drop/smashing, food trucks, and a stage. The Avon Town Hall Park will have a bonfire at the old barn, wagon rides, pumpkin and apple launching, arts and crafts at the town hall, pumpkin carving, and food trucks. The Firkin’s property will have bounce houses, a petting zoo, and animal adoptions.
Hendricks County International Festival
The Third Annual Hendricks County International Festival is a free family-friendly, educational event to introduce, support, and encourage diverse cultures in the community. This event will be at Talon Stream Park in Plainfield, Indiana. Enjoy food trucks, live dance and music performances, interactive booths, traditional attire, and more from countries including Pakistan, India, Mexico, Thailand, France, Japan, Scotland, and West African nations.
36th Annual Heartland Apple Festival
October 1-2 & 8-9
Beasley’s Apple Orchard in Danville will be hosting their 36th annual Heartland Apple Festival. For two weekends in October, this festival will feature craft vendors, live music, puppet shows, balloon magic, face painting, pony rides, local food vendors, and more. Because of the popularity of the event, there will be a parking fee of $5 per vehicle for those 2 weekends. Event admission is $14 and includes the corn maze, hayride, apple cannons, and Barnyard Bonanza.
October 1-30 (closed on Mondays)
Harvest Nights returns to Newfields for the month of October. My family went last year and my girls loved the ghost train, the trail of jack o lanterns, and the show projected onto the Lily House. The Newfield’s grounds will again be filled with glowing jack-o-lanterns in the Pumpkin Path of Peril. Experience the Ghost Train that will shake the ground beneath your feet and witness The Three Graces come to life in the party of the century at Mischief Manor. There will be food and drinks from local vendors. New this year, guests are invited inside the Lilly House to join in the frightful festivities of Mischief Manor. Pricing for the event will be $25 for adults and $17 for youth (ages 6-17). Member adults pay $20 and member youth (6-17) tickets are $13. Children 5 and under are free and Access Pass tickets are $2 per person.
Plainfield Police Department National Night Out
The Plainfield Police Department will be hosting its National Night Out Event on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at Hummel Park’s Charleston Pavilion. The event will include of music, food, entertainment, games, community information, and lots of fun for the entire family.
ZooBoo returns again to the Indianapolis Zoo. The event takes place from 2-7 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays and from 2-9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission to ZooBoo is free for zoo members and is included with the price of admission for non-members. This year, the Bicentennial Pavilion will house Pumpkin Town with a DJ, a magician, a mirror maze, and Jack’s Barn where you can meet cats and Agape therapeutic miniature horses for a not-so-scary interaction. The Forest will have a spooky guided adventure and there will be a trick-or-treat trail in the Plains. Adults can follow their own trick-or-treat trail from 5 to 8 on Fridays and Saturdays only. Play pirate-themed games and ride the spooky “Roller Ghoster,” the “Round Go Merry” carousel that runs in reverse, and the Spook-tacular Train Ride. At the Café on the Commons, you can help “Aunty Guzzle” create tasty and bizarre Halloween concoctions with potions, witchcraft, and “magical ingredients.”
Headless Horseman Festival
This might date me, but remember the PBS show Wishbone? Every fall, I think of the episode where little Wishbone was dressed as Ichabod Crane in the show’s reenactment of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Because of this, I cannot wait to attend Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman event with my family so we can feel like we are inside the pages of this famous spooky tale. Thursday through Sunday from 6-10 pm, Conner Prairie hosts their classic event. The endless festival activities include the Haunted Maze, barrel train rides for younger children, spooky shows and storytelling, a spinning apples carnival ride, festive games, ‘Mis’-Fortune telling with Carl Voyant, a live DJ, and delicious food. The haunted hayride travels through the grounds, and you just might catch a glimpse of the Horseman himself! The cost for the hayride is $5 for members and non-members. The festival is free for members and $20 for non-members. Tickets will also be available to people who are enrolled in the Access Pass Program.
Fall Foliage Festival
Morgan County Courthouse will be hosting a fall festival beginning Thursday, October 6th at 5 pm and will conclude with the 63rd annual parade at 1 pm on Sunday. The festival will feature carnival rides, craft vendors, food trucks, free entertainment, live concerts, and more.
Fall Harvest Festival
The first festival at the newly opened W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park in Danville will take place from 10 am-2 pm on October 8. This free event will include food, harvest-themed activities and games, and a chili cook-off where free chili will be offered for patrons to decide the winning recipe. Guests are encouraged to bring canned good donations to use to vote for their favorite scarecrow. These gifts will benefit the local food pantry to help community members in need.
I had the opportunity to intern for the Athenaeum in 2015 where I helped with planning Germanfest. This is such a neat event that transforms the area surrounding the Athenaeum on Mass Ave. The 14th annual GermanFest will start at noon and conclude at 8 pm. This event will be filled with German food (including a brat eating contest), drinks (bier), 2 stages of live music, games, and arts and crafts. My favorite part of the event is the wiener dog races. Advanced general admission tickets will be available until October 7 at a discounted rate of $15 for adults and $10 for children. Gate prices for tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Please note that Michigan and New Jersey Streets will be closed for the event.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Haunted House – “Game Night Fright”
There will be 2 versions of the Game Night Fright haunted house offered at the Children’s Museum this year. AES Indiana’s Lights-On will take place Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am-3 pm, with additional hours Wednesdays from 3:30-6:30 pm, and Sundays from noon-5pm. This version of the haunted house will have fun, upbeat music with all lights turned on. Greeters without Halloween masks will be in each room of the house distributing treats. Please keep in mind that the same scary objects are in the house that can still be frightening for some children.
AAA’s Frightening Hours will take place Thursday to Saturday from 4-9 pm. This version of the haunted house will have spooky music and minimal lighting, with haunters hiding throughout the house to surprise and startle guests. Keep in mind that many guests will scream with fear or surprise as they go through the house.
Tickets go on sale on September 12. The member price is $8 and the non-member price is $9 per person. Museum general admission is not required for entry.
This free public event at Craig Park in Greenwood will start at 6:00 pm and run until 8:30 pm. There will be trick-or-treating along the trail and a hayride. Parking will be available at the corner of Meridian St. and Surina Way, as well as the Craig Park parking lot off of Smith Valley. VIP tickets for early admission to the trick-or-treat trail, hayride, and a hot dog dinner are $5 per person over age 1. These tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and won’t be available on the day of the event.
Owl Fest 2022
The 7th annual Owl Festival at Eagle Creek Park’s Ornithology Center is a two-day event for the whole family. Come enjoy crafts, games, wildlife programs, and more. All activities at the Ornithology Center are free with park admission. More details will be posted online closer to the event date.
Hoosier Fall Festival 2022
This free event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Franklin will offer family-friendly activities, music, food trucks, and 140 vendors. The event will take place 10 am-5 pm on Saturday and 10 am-4 pm on Sunday. Activities for kids include character meet and greets and photo ops, a petting zoo, and face painting. Kids can also trick-or-treat on Sunday from 1:00 PM until candy runs out.
Fall Colors Festival
McCloud Nature Park is a great place to view fall foliage. The multitude of tree species found within the park makes it one of the top 10 Places for Fall Foliage according to Visit Indiana. This free, family-friendly festival includes 232 acres of natural beauty to explore including 6½ miles of trails, the McCloud Nature Center, and the fish-themed 2022 McCloud Prairie Maze.
Rowdie’s Pumpkin Patch
The Indianapolis Indians would like to welcome you to Victory Field for their fall event. Details for the event are still being finalized, but you can expect a similar experience to Rowdie’s Pumpkin Patch in years prior. Past events included a pumpkin patch on the field and fun fall-themed activities for kids.
Scares on the Square
On Friday from 6 pm-9 pm, Danville will be hosting a free event in their downtown square for the whole family. Costumes are encouraged and there are more details to be posted closer to the event.
Historic Irvington Halloween Festival
For 75 years, the Historic Irvington Halloween Festival has brought together thousands of people for one of the oldest and largest Halloween festivals in the country. The festival is free and all are welcome. Festivities include a kid’s zone, beer garden, artists, merchants, a battle of the bands, costume contests for humans and dogs, pumpkin carving, live music, and food trucks. The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival Parade will kick off on Saturday at 4:00 pm.
Greenwood’s Halloween Parade
All ages are welcome for this new Halloween parade through downtown Greenwood, kicking off at 5 pm. Come in your costumes and line the street along the route for a parade of trick-or-treating.
From 10 am-1 pm, the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater will be hosting Fisher’s Boo Bash with more than 60 local vendors offering safe trick-or-treating around the Fishers Municipal Complex. Teal Pumpkin Project booths will provide non-food items for children with food allergies and special needs. Families can also enjoy food, drink, and treat trucks, games, and more. Costumes are strongly encouraged!
Trail or Treat
Williams Park in Brownsburg will be hosting a free trick-or-treating event from 5-7 pm.
Ghosts and Goblins
Avon’s Washington Township Park will be hosting their annual free Halloween community event. Different age groups have designated trick-or-treating times. Families with children 7 and under are invited from 1-3 pm and children over 8 get their turn from 3-5 pm. This event will include trick-or-treating at booths hosted by local vendors and businesses, food trucks, bounce houses, a Harry Potter mini train, a haunted slide, and more.
The Avon Town Hall will host the 4th annual Witch’s Ride Community Trunk-n-Treat, a free community event with trunks sponsored by local small businesses. All proceeds benefit the Avon Public Safety Foundation, specifically the K9 officers in the unit. This year will also feature a cakewalk, scavenger hunt, DJ spinning spooky tunes, and much more!
Plainfield will be hosting a free outdoor event at Talon Stream Park from 11 am-1 pm. The festival will consist of a Trunk or Treat, hayrides, music, and fun photo ops for the family.
Trick or Treat on the Rails
Nickel Plate Express will be offering 65-minute adventure train rides that will include the 1st annual Nickel Plate Express Halloween costume contest. On board, costumed characters will hand out tricks or treats. While you wait to board the train, enjoy the fall décor and photo ops at Hobbs station. Standard adult tickets for ages 13 and up are $35 and tickets for ages 3 to 12 are $30. Children under 3 ride for free on a parent’s lap. Ride times are 2 pm, 4 pm, and 6:30 pm on Saturday and 1 pm and 3 pm on Sunday. Each ticket includes a fall-themed snack and beverage.
Dia de Muertos
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art will be offering free admission to celebrate Dia de Muertos. The museum will also host performances, art-making, Mercado vendors, community groups, and a community-curated art and altar display. Activities will be both indoors and outdoors. An outdoor stage will have performances throughout the day.
Nobody celebrates fall like the Midwest and Indy might have some of the best festivities of all. From community-oriented local festivals to world-class events at major venues, your options are seemingly endless. Take advantage of beautiful weather and joyfully-colored leaves and get out to make some autumn memories with your kids, friends, and family!
Looking forward to a classic fall day on the farm? So are we! Check out our favorite pumpkin patches here!