Fall is officially here, and it just might be our favorite time of the year.
Beautiful scenery, incredible festivals, corny fun, haunts, costumes and some of the craziest events of the year.
Here are 7 things we love about Dayton fall.
1.) FESTIVAL FUN
Summer festival season in Dayton is non-stop food and fun. But some of the best festivals of the year happen in the fall. This weekend is one of Dayton’s most beloved celebrations, the Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest.
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>> MORE: Fall festival guide
Plus, the Ohio Renaissance Festival runs all season long through the end of October.
>> PHOTOS: Ohio Renaissance Festival 2018
2.) FALL HIKING
There is no better time of year than now to soak up the natural beauty of our region. There are so many gorgeous spots to choose from for a nature walk. Here are a few of our top picks:
Sugarcreek MetroPark always has something new waiting to be discovered by visitors. The expansive metropark consists of different types of landscapes as hikers trek further along its many lengthy trails.
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.
>> RELATED: More incredible places to hike in Dayton
3.) PUMPKINS EVERYWHERE
Nothing says fall family fun than a day at the pumpkin farm. Take a hayride, pick out your own pumpkin, eat up some fall-flavored treats, pet some farm animals, get lost in a corn maze and more. Some even offer apple picking. A few of our favorite spots are Young’s Dairy, Niederman Family Farm, Bonnybrook Farm and Brumbaugh Fruit Farm. There are also events dedicated to our great pumpkins. Young’s has a pumpkin festival, and so does the community of Bradford along the border of Miami and Darke counties.
4) PUMPKIN-FLAVORED EVERYTHING
Pumpkins aren’t just for picking. You can get pumpkin-flavored everything this time of year, from coffees, to beer, to treats. Stop by the famous Bill’s Donut Shop (which is open 24 hours), and order their delicious, glazed pumpkin donuts. Try the pumpkin coconut latte from Ghostlight Coffee in Dayton and the pumpkin ice cream from Young’s Dairy.
5.) VISIT A HAUNTED HOUSE
Prepare to be scared silly. Southwest Ohio has some of the most incredible haunted attractions, including several that have gotten and continue to get national buzz. If you don’t mind a short drive, The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, the Lewisburg Haunted Cave and Land of Illusion in Middletown have gotten national props. Returning for a second season is Brimstone Haunt (formerly the Springboro haunted hayride) on the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival (so you could spend the day at Ren Fest and evening at the haunted attractions). Thrills and thrill rides combine for a terrifying night at King’s Island Halloween Haunt. Looking for something a little closer to home, the Riverside Jaycees Haunted House is spooky and run by volunteers to help support a good cause.
6.) GET LOST IN A CORN MAZE
'Tis the season. There are dozens to choose from in the Dayton region, ranging from easy for the little ones to even a challenge for the smartest grown-ups. One maze to add to your must-try list is Tom’s Maze in Germantown. It’s been nominated as one of the top 10 corn mazes in the state. There are various bridges and 12 puzzle pieces to locate. If you get frustrated, there are helpers within the labyrinth to help you out.
>> RELATED: Corn maze guide
7.) HALLOWEEN EVENTS
October is full of Halloween fun, from small events and special tappings at your favorite bars and brewpubs to a weekend-long festival in Fairborn, to family friendly events, to adults only events. Mark your calendars for a couple fun events:
ALE-O-WEEN, on Oct. 20, the Ohio Craft Brewers Association will have tons of special brews available at the Dayton Steam Plant.
HAUNTFEST ON FIFTH, on Oct. 27, the Oregon District’s annual Halloween bash returns complete with costume contest and plenty of tricks and boozy treats.
BOO TANG WEDNESDAY, on Oct. 31, Barrel House will put a Halloween spin on its Wu-Tang Wednesday with a Halloween theme and Jackie O’s brews on tap along with food from Drunken Waffle, Twisted Taco