While October may be all about Halloween, that is only one day at the end of what is a very long month. The rest of October is actually a great season for festival fun in Ohio. The temperatures are tame, the leaves are changing, and it is just a beautiful time to go explore Dayton. If you are looking for something to do this October, then try out these great upcoming festivals in Dayton and the nearby area.
Starting on the first weekend in October and running throughout the month, you can get medieval at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. This festival sets up a 16th-century village in the Waynesville countryside for everyone from queens to poor peasants to enjoy. Bring the kids to watch some sword-fighting, jousting, jesting, and storytelling – altogether 100 shows on 11 stages every day. Of course, at this annual festival, the shows are always great, but the real attraction is always the marketplace full of artisan crafters and their wares. It’s not every day you have a chance to buy a cloak and a longsword, after all.
Big Beers Barley Wines Beer Fest
Despite having a name that seems to be picked by a person who had too much beer, this festival is actually a pretty tame excuse just to drink. If you are interested in a cultured liquid lunch, head down to the Montgomery County Fairground on the first of October. While there is a pretty steep $45 entrance fee, but that does net you a tasting glass and 20 rare and premium beer samples from all the best local brewers. Luckily, your designated driver can get a much cheaper $10 ticket is they just want to walk around with you. It is a great way to spend a Saturday and proceeds from this event go to benefit the Resident Home Association.
Enon Apple Butter Festival
If you don’t mind the trip out to Enon, you are in for a treat. October is apple butter season throughout the Midwest, but for some reason, it is never really a festival focus. While you can head to this festival for apple butter judging and learn the classic way of creating this treat from the Enon Community Historical Society, the festival is mostly just an excuse to eat. There are tones of food to be had from fairground staples like funnel cakes to less common festival food like pork chops. Of course, there is an abundance of apple butter and related treats as well, that is just a given.
As the fall temperatures really set in, so too does the chocolate craving. If you can hold off until October 15th, you can enjoy a whole festival about it at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. You are invited to come and enjoy chocolate and related crafts. While there is entertainment for all ages, you come for the chocolate and to see what sort of unique creations can be made with it. The best part, though? It is completely free to come and enjoy.
Dayton Liederkranz Turner Oktoberfest
What is October without an Oktoberfest? Surprisingly, it is kind of a low-key deal in Dayton, but you can head on down to the Dayton Liederkranz Turner on October 8th for a nice traditional one. With a very reasonable $3 admission, you can enjoy a whole slew of authentic German music, food, and, of course, beer for the evening.
It is a weird world where a Sauerkraut festival in a city is bigger than any Oktoberfest activities. Regardless, if you want to head down to Waynesville on October 8th and the 9th, you can view something that has been done annually for 47 years. Without a doubt, you can find sauerkraut served in traditional ways here, but you can also find some non-traditional offerings. Ever tried a sauerkraut sundae? Do you want to? Because you can at this festival. Add to that sauerkraut pizza, brownies, bread, and cookies, and you have a lot of food to try. Of course, while eating things one would not think sauerkraut would be put on, there is also a huge crafts market at this festival so get ready to eat and shop til you drop.
Ohio Cider Fest
Dayton and the surrounding area has no shortage of your traditional fall festivals. You know the type – hayrides, pumpkins, various crafts. However, the Ohio Cider Fest in Lebanon is quite the sizable event. Taking place on the first weekend in October, it has all your traditional fall festival fare, but with a major emphasis on cider. Get ready for a lot of cider-flavored fare at this festival. The good news is that it also has free admission as well.
Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience
October is a great season to get outdoors, but sometimes you really need an excuse to do so. The Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience can be that excuse. If you want the children to get away from their Fortnite for a spell, take them here for a number of activities. On the first weekend of October at the Eastwood MetroPark, this “kind of” festival features everything fun about the outdoors. You and the kids can enjoy climbing, animal encounters, a pump track, and you can hone your outdoor survival skills at the Back Country Zone. Open to all skill levels, there are over 25 different activities for you to try. It might even inspire you to head out into some of the fine wilderness around Dayton by yourself later.
Bradford Pumpkin Show
With the first week of October so too comes the Bradford Pumpkin Show, this five-day festival is not only a chance to get your carving pumpkins, but it is an ode to everything orange. Enjoy traditional fall festival fares like games, hayrides, and parades, but mostly you want to come for the delightful pumpkin ice cream. It is not something you get to enjoy every day. Come on down and see all the creative things that one can do with a simple pumpkin all for a free admission charge.