A film festival, rolling thunder, and lots and lots of beer: That's how Milwaukee does fall. There are still plenty of fests, parades, and events going on through November, so don't let the cooler weather stop you -- get out there and explore your city.
Milwaukee Film Festival | Courtesy of The Milwaukee Film Festival
Head to 30+ Wauwatosa restaurants and food markets for dining deals, drink specials, and event-only prix-fixe menus. It's like MKE's Downtown Dining Week, but suburban. What it costs: Prices vary by location.
This street festival features food, art, music, and entertainment on five different stages, as well as books and local vendors; it’s also partnered with local business Kompost Kids to make this a zero-waste event. What it costs: Free
Eat fall goodies, buy a pumpkin to carve, and listen to some cover bands at this annual event. If gourds everywhere and apple pie don't get you into the fall spirit, nothing will. Kids can even make scarecrows from used clothing and piles of straw. What it costs: Free
A gathering of all things nerdy, scientific, robotic, and crafty for you to browse and participate in; watch T-shirts get screen printed (and then buy one!), cheer on battling robots, and head to the dark zone in the back for interactive light shows. What it costs: Free
Historic and interesting buildings that are normally closed to the public open their doors for exploring and tours during this, one of MKE's most unique and beloved events. What it costs: Free, $10 for some group tours
Our film festival includes screenings, educational sessions, bowling tournaments, and parties with plenty of drinks. A panel on the state of cinema in Milwaukee is a must for film buffs. What it costs: $66 for a six-pack of tickets
On weekends, head to the park for German beer, food, activities, and frolicking. The Downtown location always makes this one of the most bustling Oktoberfest celebrations in the city. What it costs: Free, including free beer on Sept 29 at 5pm
Sure, Milwaukee’s got lots of beer events, but this is the only one focused on ciders: throw back unlimited samples of over 40 ciders, cider cocktails, and small-batch nano brews. And don't worry, the Wisconsin Badger game will be playing. What it costs: $45-$65
Officially qualify for the Boston Marathon, or choose a shorter route; no matter which distance you run, though, you'll pass by MKE landmarks like the Harley-Davidson Museum, Veterans Park, and Art Museum. What it costs: $30-110, depending on the distance you sign up for
Head to the Third Ward to browse galleries, sip cocktails, and experience art. Museums, organizations, shops, and even distilleries all get in on the action by hosting local artists' work. What it costs: Free
Experience three days of traditional singing, drumming, and dancing at this event sponsored by the Forest County Potawatomi, where competitors from around the country will compete for an array of prizes. What it costs: Free
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will score the film live as it plays on the big screen. There was a similar concert with E.T. that was a huge success, so expectations are high for this one. What it costs: $29.50-$55
Celebrity chefs attending this year include Duff Goldman and Shaun O'Neale; you can chat with food vendors, attend chef meet-and-greets, watch cooking demonstrations, and of course, taste plenty of samples. What it costs: $50+
The festival kicks off with the official Milwaukee Christmas tree lighting at City Hall and fireworks. Once everything is lit, take a ride on the Jingle Bus and see all the displays in style. What it costs: Free, or $1 for the Jingle Bus
Learn about world cultures through food, art, crafts, music, and good old retail therapy. Besides learning a thing or two, it's a great spot to start your Christmas shopping -- especially for those hard-to-buy-for people. What it costs: $12
There will be giant balloons in cartoon character shapes, vintage cars, floats, and marching bands, plus the Big Guy himself, Santa. It might be a little early, but it'll get you in the holiday spirit. What it costs: Free
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Lacey Muszynski is a Milwaukee writer who really appreciates the amount of annual bloody mary events in MKE. Follow her on Twitter @worthhersalt.