By Brooke Avedon and Natalie Richoux
The arrival of fall always sparks thoughts of pumpkin spice lattes, fall festivals, cooler temperatures and sweater weather… for the rest of the country. Our temperatures are anything but cool and wearing a sweater is likely to give you a heat stroke. However, Florida still gets to enjoy two of those things: pumpkin spice lattes and fall festivals.
Fall festivals were originally known as harvest festivals, which were large celebrations at the end of a main harvest to celebrate a successful year of farming and crops. Now fall festivals can be found throughout the country celebrating a variety of things such as the arrival of fall, crops, Halloween or general merriment. We have put together a list of Alachua’s biggest festivals happening in October and November! So find your festival, pack a picnic and head out for some fun with the family!
Newberry’s Cornfield Maze
Get ready for a frightful night at the Newberry Cornfield Maze! Open on weekends, you can Take a daytime hayride to feed the cow. At night you can prepare for a haunted hayride or self-guided tour of the maze that may just have a few ghoulish surprises. Parents can test their nerves at a haunted house and kids have an exciting, ghoul-free, kid friendly play area!
When: September 21 – October 27 (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
Where: 20015 West Newberry Road
Newberry, Florida 32669
Cost: Adults $15 (price includes corn maze and haunted house)
Kids (4-10) $10
Kids (3 years & under) FREE
Mechanical Bull- $5
Peanut Patch and Corn Maze
Families can enjoy this event and explore the corn maze and be spooked in their haunted house. Enjoy a fun hayride through the field or roast a s’more by the fire. Pack up the kids and enjoy a fun, wholesome evening or a frightful night with ghosts and ghouls.
When: Weekends from September 29 to October 29 (times vary)
Where: 8214 SW 89th Ave
Cost: Adults $15
Kids (4-10) $10
Kids (0-3) FREE
Coon Hollo Farm Fall Festival
Head to Coon Hollo for a great time with tons of activities for adults and kids such as hayrides, farm train, hay jumping, burlap sack slide, pony rides, archery, pasture putt-putt, duck races and corn cribs
When: Weekends from October 5 to November 2
Where: 22480 N Hwy 441, Micanopy FL
Kids 3 & Under Free
Rogers Farm Fall Festival
Head out to Rogers Farm for their annual fall festival that features tons of activities that are sure to delight you (and freight, if you’re interested). The festival will include a corn maze (which turns haunted at 8:00 p.m.), hayrides, pony rides, jumping pillow, corn canon, spooky trail, train rides, dunk tank and food trucks! So pack up the family and head out for a day of fun!
When: Weekends in October
Where: 3831 NW 156th Avenue, Gainesville, Fl
Cost: $10 Admission
$10 Corn Maze
Haile Village Center Oktoberfest
Join the Haile Village for their Oktoberfest celebration where the town welcomes friends and family of all ages to join for fall festivities. You can enjoy a great night full of food, drink and entertainment.
When: Friday, October 5 from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Where: Haile Village Center
SW 91st Terrace
5K Pumpkin Run
Dust off your running shoes and join other runners for a great cause! The Buy a Pumpkin Feed a Child pumpkin patch is holding their inaugural 5K Pumpkin Run and all proceeds from this event are given to feed hungry children in Alachua County and Central America. When you register, you will receive a race shirt, homemade pumpkin bread and a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch. All family members, including pets, are welcome to participate!
When: Saturday, October 6 at 8:00 a.m.
Where: Depot Park
200 SE Depot Ave
Cost: $30 per runner
30th Annual Central Florida Peanut Festival
Go nuts during this fun fall festival that celebrates a successful peanut harvest! A great event for kids and adults, it will be a day full of fun such as music, arts & crafts, children’s games, food and lots of peanuts!
When: Saturday, October 6 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Heritage Park in Williston
Alachua County Fair
Celebrating 50 years of fun and agriculture, the Alachua County fair is a blend of harvest festivals that celebrate successful farm harvest and fall festivals with shows and rides. Every day holds something new so enjoy the fair where you can see magic shows, get hypnotized, see a livestock show, horse show, ride a fun ride or enjoy greasy fair food like funnel cakes and turkey legs!
When: October 19-27 (times vary by day)
Where: 3100 NE 39th Ave
Florida Bat Festival
What’s more Halloween-y than bats? Not much, so head out to the 13th Annual Florida Bat Festival at the Lubee Bat Conservancy. You will be able to see fruit bats first hand and even go on a scavenger hunt to learn about the most popular bat myths. The event will also include locally crafted beer, food, games and music.
When: Sunday, October 21, 2017 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Lubee Bat Conservancy
1309 NW 192nd Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32609
Cost: Adults $8
Kids (5-12) $5
Kids (0-4) FREE
Cedar Key Seafood Festival
The seafood festival will have over 200 arts and crafts vendors and a plethora of delicious seafood! There will be a parade Saturday morning to kick-off the festival and live music around the town throughout the weekend!
When: October 20-21 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: City Park in Cedar Key
An afternoon of Halloween fun that included free food and prizes, exclusive access to the facility, a variety of themed activities, silent auction, raffle and more. Kid-friendly costumes are welcomed and encouraged as they have a costume contests for every age group.
When: October 21 from 3 – 6 p.m.
Where: 333 S.W. 140th Terrace
McIntosh 1890s Art Festival
Beautiful old live oaks and charming Victorian homes provide shade and the backdrop for the all-day free main stage entertainment. This year’s entertainment will feature an array of music from country to Cajun, bluegrass, folk and gospel. Enjoy one of the many activities such as ring toss, sand art, a bounce house and face painting around the Depot for children.
When: October 27 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: McIntosh, Florida
Boo at the Barn
Head out for a fun filled family event with pony rides, face painting, a petting zoo, hayrides, horses in costumes, photo booth, games, raffles and so much more! This event is free and open to the public, but donations are greatly appreciated and go towards helping rescued race horses and certifying their miniature horse into a service animal!
When: October 28 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: 23100 W. Newberry Road, Newberry, FL
Cost: Free (donations appreciated)
Halloween Bass Pro Style
Head to Celebration Pointe’s Bass Pro Shop to celebrate Halloween. It will be a fun, spooktastic family event with plenty to do for the family such as crafting and photos with the Peanut gang!
When: October 20 & 21, October 26-31 (times vary)
Where: 2650 Bass Pro Shop Blvd.
Micanopy Fall Festival
Enjoy the historic town of Micanopy by stopping by to see the local artists and crafters, live music, local food vendors and an antique items auction (proceeds to go charity).
When: Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Trinity United Methodist Church Fall Harvest
Head to Trinity United Methodist Church for a fall harvest that includes trunk-and-treat, games, hayrides, a petting zoo, food, music, photo booth, and more!
When: Sunday, October 28 from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Where: Trinity United Methodist Church
4000 NW 53rd Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32653
Cost: $1 or canner food donation
Boo at the Zoo
The zoo is transformed into a spooky but safe trick or treating event for the whole family. Additionally, enjoy some entertainment provided by Danscompany of Gainesville, which will perform “Thriller” and an interactive kids zone. There will be refreshments and pizza for a small fee.
When: October 31 from 3 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: 3000 Northwest 83rd Street
Cost: One canned good per person
Swallowtail Farm Fall Festival
Come out to Swallowtail Farms for their celebration of a successful fall harvest of their farm crops. The festival will include local eats, drinks, music, homesteading and gardening skills, art activities and even farming!
When: Saturday, November 10 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Where: Swallowtail Farm
17603 NW 276th Lane
Alachua, FL 32615
Cost: Adults $18
Kids (0-12) FREE
Newberry Fall Festival
A full day of fall activities that include a bounce house, face painting, music, dancer, food trucks, arts & crafts, and a petting-zoo!
When: Saturday, November 17 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Seaboard/Keen Drive Downtown Newberry
UF Craft Festival
The University of Florida hosts an annual craft festival that showcases crafts that are authentically made by talented artisans and crafters. Shop from hundreds of vendors to find beautiful and unique items for either yourself or that person who is hard to shop for!
When: Saturday, November 24 & Sunday, November 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Stephen C. O’Connell Center
250 Gale Lemerand Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611
Cost: General Public Advance: $4
General Public At the Door: $5
UF Student Advance: $2
UF Student at the Door: $3