Why the Cincinnati Area Makes for a Perfect Fall Trip
Your fall bucket list might have a lot of items on it, but it’s important to remember the basics: good food, long walks, and plenty of moments to savor the last of the nice weather. Luckily, a weekend trip to Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (aka the Cincy Region) offers all that and more. Autumn is when the city really shines, with just-right temps that make exploring the city easy and a full calendar of events. Here are some reasons why Cincy makes for a perfect fall trip:
Cincy takes Oktoberfest seriously
Cincinnati has a significant German heritage and population, so Old World traditions go hard here. “Oktoberfest Zinzinnati” is the largest Oktoberfest celebration in America, with over 700,000 attendees each year. Pop on your best lederhosen, raise a pint (or stein, or boot), and enjoy the endless stream of games, music, dancing, and other local vendors joining in the celebration. The festivities include, of course, consuming plenty of beer, but also involve feasting on several thousand pounds of sauerkraut, potato balls, pretzels, sausages, and pickles. Plus, you can recover the following morning with some goetta, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. The full lineup of events and vendors will be announced on their website soon, so check back to find out more. And, if you can’t make it during the big festival weekend, there are several Oktoberfests throughout the region, including in Newport and Covington, Kentucky, as well as at several German societies throughout the region.
The parks get even better
Cincinnati’s parks are no joke, and fall is the best time to experience them. Places like Summit Park, Devou Park, and the riverfront are transformed into woodsy fall wonderlands, and you can easily hike them without having to manage the heat. For the ultimate fall park experience, be sure to stop by Alms Park, a 94-acre park with an incredible view of the Ohio River and surrounding areas. During the fall, the woods become a picturesque setting of leaves, river views, and the site of fall events like Bluegrass and BBQ.
It’s when walkable neighborhoods shine
Nothing beats a fall stroll in a walkable area, and Cincinnati has plenty to offer. Over-The-Rhine, in particular, is a downtown Cincinnati neighborhood with the feel of a traditional, tight-knit German village, and is stacked with shopping, farm-to-table restaurants, and events. Catch the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company performing “King Lear” throughout September and switching over to a live show of “The Living Dead” during October. Or, just enjoy the crisp air at Washington and Ziegler parks. If you walk down further south through Downtown Cincinnati, you can also enjoy the national pastime at Great American Ball Park, with home games running until October 5.
Halloween is a big deal here
Cincy believes in a good scare, so October is full of haunted houses that will spook you to your core. For the hardcore, there’s the Dent Schoolhouse, a real former Cincinnati public school that, according to local lore, was the site of grisly murders. Now, it serves as one of the best haunted houses in the area. For those with a lower tolerance for fright, check out events like HallZOOween at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, featuring costumes and trick-or-treating, plus some Halloween-themed animal shows and a “Scare-ousel.”
Local farms love fall
Like any self-respecting Midwestern city, Cincinnati is surrounded on all sides by farms, many of which host big fall festivals. Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and hayrides are the norm, but each place puts their own spin on the fun. Bloom & Berries Farm Market, for example, will allow you to pick your own pumpkin before watching duck races, grabbing fresh apple cider, and hopping on a giant pumpkin bounce pad. Country Pumpkins, in Northern Kentucky, lives up to its name with a pumpkin chucker you can use to launch some squash before heading over to the petting zoo. It’s basically a perfect fall day.