Fall is Festival season in Indiana.  There are easily a dozen festivals around the state every weekend.  Which means there is always something fun to do.

If we can’t get away for a full weekend, spending a few hours at a festival can really feel like a little getaway.  We have our favorites of course that we try to get to each year, but it’s also fun to find new ones.  Although I’ll share in this post a little more about how to find festivals, I have to admit I love it when we stumble across one – especially when traveling – so fun!

A festival we stumbled across on a trip to Ohio

Fun Festival we found in Ohio where we got to help paint their wall!

However, if you have limited time, you can’t just assume you’ll find something.  You need to know what’s out there.  Here are some tips:

  • Use the visitors’ bureau website.  There is almost always an event calendar so click on that, pick the dates you are free and see what’s happening.  I always do this while traveling too – you never know what might be going on while you are vacationing.
  • Request a brochure.  Many states have guides that specifically list festivals by season.  Indiana has an amazing one that shares all the festivals throughout the entire state by month for the full year.  I keep a copy on my desk and on Thursday or Friday morning I’ll thumb through it and see what’s nearby.

Festival guides can help you find fun things to do on the weekend!

  • Ask around.  Ask your friends, families, and co-workers if they know of any fun festivals.  They might not know of an upcoming one, but they probably have a favorite or two, so you can look up the info and put them on your calendar for future outings.

Here are a few of my favorite festivals in Indiana:

Covered Bridge Festival – Parke County, IN. This one encompasses several small towns and weekends.  It can be VERY busy so plan for traffic.

Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie – Fishers, IN. We make sure to visit this event every year.  There is a fun hayride (light hours available for little ones), lots of fall treats, a hilarious puppet show and tents full of fun activities and shows.

Feast of the Hunter’s Moon – West Lafayette, IN.  We love this festival.  It has grown substantially through the years.  Tickets can be a bit pricey but you can buy them ahead of time for a discount.  The food is delicious, and the crafts are really fun to check out.  Last year we found a Viking chess game our son loved – he sat and played it for a good half hour!

Carmel International Art Festival– a free festival in Carmel, IN.  The booths tend to have more art versus crafts, which is a nice change of pace.  It can get pretty crowded, so go early! We just enjoyed this one last Saturday morning – coffee in one hand while looking at art on a crisp fall morning – perfection!

Johnny Appleseed Festival – Fort Wayne, IN.  Another really large festival with all kinds of things to do.  Admission is free, food choices are plentiful and there are many fun kids activities.  It’s especially fun for elementary school children.

What makes up a good festival for you?  Which ones are your favorites?  Please share so I can add them to my list of future things to do!

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