8 things we cannot wait for this fall in Dayton

Sept. 5-Oct. 25 (Saturdays and Sundays): Ohio Renaissance Festival. CONTRIBUTED/FILE

caption arrowCaption
Sept. 5-Oct. 25 (Saturdays and Sundays): Ohio Renaissance Festival. CONTRIBUTED/FILE

We all know the sound of crisp, brightly-colored leaves beneath our feet in the fall, the search for the biggest pumpkin we can find, and the scent of a bonfire keeping our toes warm in the cold.

These are all memories that we associate with fall, which is why we’re excited the season is upon us.

>> VIDEO: Autumn equinox explained

Fall is here, and here are eight autumn activities we can’t wait to try this year.

1.) Renaissance Festival
Take a step back in time to a 16th Century English village with almost 100 shows performed daily and unique crafts, lots of food and drinks and games for all ages. Not to mention over 150 costumed characters from the time period including knights, jousts, swordsmen, pirates, nobles, peasants and jugglers. Entertainment includes shows and live demonstrations of glassblowing, stone carving, boot making and more.

Where: 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville
Hours: 10:30 a.m. -6 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays through Oct. 23
Info: (513) 897-7000 | www.renfestival.com/ | Facebook
Cost: $21.95 per adult ticket, $9.95 per child ticket

2.) Nature walks at Five Rivers MetroParks
There are so many gorgeous spots to choose from for a nature walk. Here's one of our faves. Englewood MetroPark has three waterfalls with an amazing view of limestone dipping into a wide ravine. If you continue to Patty Falls, you'll see a large rocky waterfall, which is active year-round, sided by cascade stone.

Where: 100 E. National Road, Vandalia
Hours: 8 a.m. -10 p.m. every day
Info: (937) 275-7275 | www.metroparks.org | Facebook  
Cost: Free

>> RELATED: Fall hiking guide

>> RELATED: How to hike through the county's largest old-growth forest

>> RELATED: Local parks first in Ohio to be mapped for Google Maps

3.) Everything pumpkin
Pick your annual pumpkin from Young's Dairy Farm. With those cooler fall evenings, stop by Bill's Donut Shop (which is open 24 hours), and order their delicious, glazed pumpkin donut to-go. Then ride over to Grounds for Pleasure, a cozy café with a hot pumpkin spice latte.

Young's Dairy Farm
6880 Springfield Xenia Road, Yellow Springs
Hours: 7 a.m. -11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m. -12 am. Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. -11 p.m. Sunday
Info: (937) 325-0629 | http://youngsdairy.com/ | Facebook

Bill's Donut Shop
Where: 268 N. Main St., Centerville
Hours: 24 hours
Info: (937) 433-0002 | http://billsdonutshop.com/donuts/ | Facebook 

Grounds for Pleasure
115 E. Main St, Tipp City
8 a.m. -7 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. -7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. -4 p.m. Sunday
(937) 669-5288 | Facebook

4.) Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest
You don't have to be in Germany to enjoy a good beer. Oktoberfest at the Dayton Art Institute offers a taste of authentic fall, and runs from Sept. 23-25. Events include a Lederhosen Lunch and Oktoberfest Preview Party, which is part of the museum's annual fundraiser, with over 65 exhibitors and food vendors. 

456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton
11 a.m. -1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 12:30 -8:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24; 12 a.m. -7 p.m., Sunday Sept. 25
(937) 223-4ART (4278) | http://www.daytonartinstitute.org  | Facebook

5.) Visit a haunted house

Moraine Zombie Fest
Haunted houses, zombies and games in the dark, can create one spooky night at the Moraine Zombie Fest Oct. 21 and 22. For only $3 a person or $5 for two people, visitors can enjoy the haunted house, games and food trucks. Lose those scary calories by running the vampire 5K Saturday morning for $25.

Where: Wax Park, 3800 Main St., Moraine
Hours: 7 -10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22 
Info: (937) 535-1060 | http://slashmoraine.com/games.html | Facebook
Cost: $3 per person or $5 for two people

>> RELATED: Haunted House Guide

Nightmare on Valley Street
5117 Valley Pike, Dayton
Hours: Dark –12 p.m., every Friday and Saturday through Oct. 31
Info: (937) 397-2273/39-SCARE | www.daytonscreampark.com/ | Facebook
Cost: $20 for two haunted houses, trails and attractions, free parking

>> RELATED: Blood-chilling new evidence in one of Dayton's most bloodcurdling murders might change verdict

6.) Enjoy a hay ride
'Tis the season. There are dozens to choose from in the Dayton region, ranging from haunted to family-friendly.

>> RELATED: Corn maze guide

Hidden Valley Fruit Farm hay rides
Riders can choose from four tours while on a hay ride — a basic tour of the pumpkin patch, or choose the apple tour or both seeing the pumpkin patch, picking a pumpkin, trying some fresh apple cider and a fresh donut. For the ultimate fall experience, guests can choose the ultimate hayride with a picnic and bonfire.

Where: 5474 N. State Rt. 48, Lebanon
Hours: 10 a.m. -6 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday, 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Saturday
Info: (513) 932-1869 | www.hiddenvalleyfruitfarm.com | Facebook
Cost: Varies from $7 -$14 a person

Bonnybrook Farms' Lantern Light Wagon Ride and Corn Maze
3779 State Route 132, Clarksville
Hours: 7:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m., Saturdays, October only
Info: (937) 289-2500 | http://bonnybrookfarms.com | Facebook
Cost: $14 per adult for the wagon ride, $8 per adult for the corn maze, $21 per adult for both

7.) Yellow Springs Street Fair

As one of the most sought-out events in Yellow Springs, the colorful street fair is filled with over 250 vendors, 65 city shops, a beer garden and many organized and spontaneous street performers.

Where: Downtown Yellow Springs
Hours: 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Oct. 8
Info: (937) 767-7876 | http://www.yellowspringsohio.org/ | Facebook
Cost: Free, bring cash for use at vendors

>> RELATED: 5 must-do things in Yellow Springs

8.) Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow

Experience an unforgettable time gutting, lighting and organizing these once-a-year celebrated vegetables. Their light can be seen near and far through dozens of carved pumpkins behind the Dayton Art Institute. What will your design be this year? Participate in the creation or enjoy the beauty of the glowing pumpkins.

Where: Stoddard Avenue, Dayton
Hours: Generally occurs Oct. 31, hours to be determined
Info: (937) 223-4278 | Facebook  
Cost: Free

>> RELATED: Your guide to pumpkin picking in Dayton

About the Author