The Fall Guide: Cincinnati Fests, Farms, Haunted Attractions and More to Keep You Entertained This Season

You about to be pumpkin spiced

click to enlarge PHOTO: JEN HOFFMAN
Photo: Jen Hoffman

The fall season officially starts on Sept. 22, but pumpkin spice is already back on the menu, which means it’s time for sweater weather, apple cider and other autumnal activities. This year’s Fall Guide is basically a big-ass list of things to do this season, ranging from U-pick farms to slightly spooky theater productions and haunted houses to food and drink festivals. Think of this as a starting point for all your cozy, creepy and cute fall fun. 

FARMS

Pick your own pumpkins, get lost in a corn maze, drink fresh apple cider and take a wagon ride at these family-friendly area farms.

click to enlarge Blooms and Berries - PHOTO: MAXIM PHOTO STUDIO
Photo: Maxim Photo Studio
Blooms and Berries


Blooms and Berries Farm Market

Fall on the farm kicks off Sept. 23 and runs daily through Oct. 31. Events include a themed seven-acre corn maze, cow train rides, fresh apple cider, pumpkin patch hayrides, a straw maze, caramel apples, duck races and a farm animal petting zoo. Hayrides to pick your own pumpkins start at 10 a.m. on weekends and noon during the week. Admission is $8 Monday-Friday; $11 Saturday-Sunday. 9669 S. State Route 48, Loveland, bloomsandberries.com.

Bonnybrook Farms

This farm is a haven of pumpkin patches, corn mazes, wagon rides, farm animals and more. Fall Farm Days include adventure wagon rides, a “crazed” corn maze, giant slingshots, clodhopper golf, archery, an underground slide and farmyard play area. $15. Noon-7 p.m. Saturdays and noon-6 p.m. Sundays Sept. 29-Oct. 28. Bonnybrook Farms, 3779 State Route 132, Clarkesville, bonnybrookfarms.com.

Burger Farm & Garden Center Fall Pumpkin Festival

Head to the farm’s annual fall festival every weekend in October. More than 30 family-friendly activities include a puppet show, live music, mini zip lines, carnival and pony rides, paintball and more. Buy mums, gourds, apple cider, corn stalks and pumpkins. Take a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick your own or chuck a mini pumpkin (or pet a bunny) for an additional fee. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 30-Oct. 29. $12 ages 3-18; $5 adults; free children 2 and under. 7849 Main St., Newtown, burgerfarms.com.

Country Pumpkins Fall Festival

A fall fest on a 25-acre dairy farm with hayrides, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, petting zoo, hay maze and more. Some activities are free and some are ticketed. New this year are Country Fireside Nights (Fridays and Saturdays Sept. 28-Oct. 28) where you can experience the magic of the farm at night with a lantern-lit hayride, a pumpkin launcher and bonfire. Through Oct. 31. 1835 Sherman Mount Zion Road, Dry Ridge, Ky., countrypumpkinsky.com.

Hidden Valley Orchards

This 60-year-old fruit farm (formerly Hidden Valley Fruit Farm) got a makeover as Hidden Valley Orchards, with a coffee bar, bakery and cider bar. Fill up on all things apple — cider, dumplings, cobbler, fritters, donuts and custard — pick a pumpkin, take a hayride and find more family fun every weekend in September and October. Check the website to see which apples and pumpkins are available as U-Pick throughout the season. There’s an Apple Festival Sept. 15-16 and a Pumpkin & Cider Festival Oct. 6-7. New this year are pumpkin chucking weekends from late September through early November. Warm up: Bonfire Nights are back through November, offering 12 to 30 guests a three-hour bonfire celebration. Get taken to the venue by a tractor-drawn wagon and purchase sweets and snacks like s’mores on-site. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. 5474 State Route 48, Lebanon, hiddenvalleyorchards.com.

Irons Fruit Farm

Take a tractor-driven hayride to pick your own pumpkins between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends Sept. 30-Oct. 29 at this fourth-generation family farm — then feast on apple fritters, cinnamon-cider donuts, cookies and more from the on-site bakery. There is also a corn maze, apples available for purchase and gingerbread house making starts each weekend beginning the last weekend in November. 1640 Stubbs Mill Road, Lebanon, ironsfruitfarm.com.

Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant

Take a day trip to Huber’s to pick your own pumpkins and indulge in classic comfort food during the Fall Buffet (Sept. 29-Oct. 31) offering everything from fried chicken and mashed potatoes to green beans and homemade fruit cobbler. Pumpkin picking is open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Oct. 31. Last wagon rides to the pumpkin patch go out half an hour before picking ends. From Nov. 1-30, the restaurant serves Thanksgiving dinner every night. 2421 Engle Road, Starlight, Ind., joehubers.com.

Kinman Farms’ Fall Fest

The farm Fall Fest features a hayride to the back of the farm where you’ll find bonfires, games, Great Pumpkin Express rides, a five-acre corn maze, a carnival tent, live bands and a game area. The Kinman Grill will be serving up hot dogs, caramel apple slices, funnel cake, pulled-pork sandwiches, deep-fried Twinkies and more, plus muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin sugar cookies and drinks at the bakery in the front of the farm. Take a $3 pony ride or hop aboard the Great Pumpkin Express ride through the cornfield and enjoy the story of the Great Pumpkin. A hayride will return you to the front of the farm when you’re ready. Friday-Sunday Sept. 21-Oct. 28. $10. 4175 Burlington Pike, Burlington, Ky., kinmanfarm.com.

click to enlarge McGlasson Farm - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
McGlasson Farm

McGlasson Farms

This six-generation family-owned and -operated vegetable and fruit stand features produce to purchase on site, or you can even pick your own. Apples, gourds, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, mums and more are available for purchase; contact the farm for more info on U-pick opportunities. The farms’ famous fall festival generally starts the first weekend in October with live Bluegrass and Americana bands on weekends. 5832 River Road, Hebron, Ky., mcglassonfarms.com.

Neltner’s Farm Fall Festival

This family-friendly fest features horse-drawn wagon rides, a model train display, a corn maze, pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, pony rides, homemade ice cream, crafters, pottery, face painting, seasonal apples, folk art, live music and a barrel train. Special weekend activities kick off Sept. 29 and include live music from favorite Americana/Bluegrass bands Shiny & the Spoon, Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle, Wonky Tonk and more weekends through Oct. 28. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends Sept. 29-Oct. 28. Weekend admission costs $5; pony and barrel train rides and some other events cost an additional fee. 6922 Four Mile Road, Melbourne, Ky., neltnersfarm.com.

Niederman Family Farm Fall Festival

General admission to this fest includes access to the four-acre corn maze, hayrides, a tractor play area, duck races, pipe swings, ball zones and more. Walk to the pumpkin paradise to select your own pumpkin (priced by size), or indulge in some cinnamon-sugar donuts, kettle corn, pumpkin butter, caramel apples, roasted nuts and apple cider. Guests can also rent bonfire pits with benches. Niedermann lights the bonfire, you provide the snacks to roast over the open flame. Thursday-Sunday Sept. 21-Oct. 28. Fall Farm Festival admission is $10. 5110 Lesourdsville West Chester Road, Hamilton, niedermanfamilyfarm.com.

Shaw Farms Fall Festival

This farm is family-friendly with things to do for all ages during Fall Festival Weekends, which start the third weekend in September and run through October. There are horse-drawn or tractor-drawn hayrides, a 12-acre corn maze, an interactive playground, live Bluegrass music and pedal cart races. Pick your own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch or head to the produce barn to enjoy apples — and fresh-pressed apple cider — straight from the orchard. Some activities require tickets. 1731 Ohio, State Route 131, Milford, shawfarms.com.

Sunrock Farm

Nothing screams fall more than a pumpkin patch, and Sunrock Farm offers pumpkin patch tours throughout the month of the October; see the patch and pick your own gourds. Guests can also milk a goat, gather eggs, hold chickens and more during separate hands-on, two-hour guided tours of the farm itself. Pumpkin patch tours Oct. 1-31. $10-$12. 103 Gibson Lane, Wilder, Ky., sunrockfarm.org.

FESTIVALS

Eat, drink and dress up at these anticipated annual Cincy festivals.

click to enlarge Ohio Renaissance Festival - PHOTO: CHECKMATE PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Checkmate Photography
Ohio Renaissance Festival


Ohio Renaissance Festival

For weekends steeped in magic, chivalry, Arthurian flair and fantasy vibes, don your favorite corset or suit of armor and pick your favorite themed weekend to join in. Cheer on your favorite jouster with a giant turkey leg in hand, then wash it down with ale. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 29. $23 adult; $9.50 child. 10542 E State Route 73, Waynesville, renfestival.com.

Old West Fest

Walk through antiqued storefronts or chat up an actor dressed in period clothing from America’s Wild West. Young ’uns can chase manifest destiny by panning for gold or the whole family can pose for an old-time photo before hopping on a covered wagon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 14. $12.99 adult; $9.99 child. 1449 Greenbush Cobb Road, Williamsburg, oldwestfestival.com.

Fifty Fest

Cincinnati has almost too many breweries for one beer lover to sample, but Fifty West Brewing Co. is helping out by putting over 20 local breweries under one roof. There will also be three stages of live music — featuring acts including Bad Veins, Darlene and Part-Time Gentleman — and food vendors from across the city. All ages welcome. Noon-midnight Sept. 15. $10. Fifty West Brewing Company, 7668 Wooster Pike, Mariemont/Columbia Township, fiftywestbrew.com.

click to enlarge Oktoberfest Zinzinnati - PHOTO: BRIAN DOUGLAS
Photo: Brian Douglas
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Cincinnati is a city steeped in German heritage; celebrate that with North America’s largest Oktoberfest, second only to the OG in Munich. Feast on sauerkraut balls, goetta, cream puffs, bratwurst, pretzels, limburger cheese, etc. Cheer on your fave dachshund in the “Running of the Wieners” — they’ll race to the finish line wearing hot dog costumes. There will also be bratwurst-eating contests, the “World’s Largest Chicken Dance,” German music and more. 5 -11 p.m. Sept. 21; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 22; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 23. Free admission. Second and Third streets between Walnut and Elm streets, Downtown, oktoberfestzinzinnati.com.

The Great Pumpkin Fest

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! King’s Island will be a place transformed come October. But, during this fest it’s all treats and no tricks. Check out mazes, trick-or-treating and the park’s Halloween-themed events and décor, suitable for all ages. Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 29-Oct. 28. General admission $49. 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, Ohio, visitkingsisland.com.

Country Applefest

Whether you pronounce it caramel or caramel, get ready to get some of the delightful sugary stuff stuck in your teeth. This fall festival is a celebration of all things apple: candy apples, cider, fritters, pies and more. Relish in the apple extravaganza and shop arts and crafts like pottery, jewelry and handmade, possibly apple-scented soaps. 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Sept. 29. Free admission. Warren County Fairgrounds, 665 N. Broadway St., Lebanon, countryapplefest.com.

CliftonFest

This annual arts fest takes over Ludlow Avenue for a weekend of art, music and shopping. Enjoy the spirit of the neighborhood with live art drawings on the sidewalk, performances from local bands on two different stages and artisan shopping. Sign up for the 5K through Burnet Woods or register your four-legged friends for the pet parade (costumes encouraged). 5-11 p.m. Oct. 5; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 6. Free admission. Ludlow Avenue, Clifton, cliftonfest.com.

Rhythm Brew Art and Music Fest

With autumn comes cozier music fests. Enter: the three-day Rhythm Brew Art and Music Fest. At Newport’s Wooden Cask, peruse local art and listen to music from more than 35 Cincinnati bands like Moonbeau, The Tillers, The Cliftones and Wonky Tonk. As this fest takes place at a brewery, there will also obviously be craft beer. Oct. 5-7. $15 per day; $30 weekend pass. Wooden Cask Brewing Company, 629 York St., Newport, Ky., facebook.com/rhythmbrew.

Kentucky Wool Festival

Drive through winding country roads before landing at the Kentucky Wool Fest; be greeted by the wafting scent of fried food, twangy banjos, a petting zoo and vendor booths with handcrafted items selling everything from threads to keep you warm to goat-milk soap and lots and lots of wool. Watch sheep herding and sheep shearing demos as well as artisans turn wool into yarn and fiber works. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 5-6; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 7. $5. 48 Concord Caddo Road, Falmouth, Ky., kywoolfest.org.

click to enlarge Gorman Heritage Farm Sunflower Festival - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Gorman Heritage Farm Sunflower Festival

Sunflower Festival

Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing on this list, the Gorman Heritage Sunflower Festival oozes cuteness. Take a stroll through towering golden sunflowers — and snip a bundle to take home. The fest also includes hayrides, vendors, a sunflower field maze, food trucks and pumpkin picking. Sunflowers are $1 per stem or $10 per dozen. New this year is a MadTree beer booth. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 6-7. $8 adults; $5 kids 3-17/seniors; free kids under 3. Gorman Heritage Farm, 10052 Reading Road, Evendale, gormanfarm.org.

Young’s Dairy Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival

Slip on your fave sweater and take a road trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio for all things pumpkin at Young’s Jersey Dairy farm’s 42nd-annual Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival. Bowl with ’em, paint ’em, eat ’em donut-style (and cinnamon-encrusted), take a tour of the town’s cheese-making facility and learn how to milk a cow. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 6-7. 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs, youngsdairy.com.

Fall-O-Ween Fest

Launch some pumpkins, navigate a hay maze and watch a not-so-spooky choreographed light show at Coney Island’s kid-centric Halloween bash. In addition to Coney’s classic rides, Fall-O-Ween features a trick-or-treat trail, a host of farmyard friends and a Halloween magic show. Visit the s’mores-making station or take a horse-drawn carriage ride around Lake Como (with ample Pumpkin Launch viewing). 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21. $12; children 2 and under free; $5 parking. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.

Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

Since 1970, this festival has offered sauerkraut in and on everything from fudge to pizza. It also includes a ton of arts and crafts vendors — more than 460 from over 25 states. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 13; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 14. Free admission. North Main Street, Waynesville, sauerkrautfestival.waynesvilleohio.com.

2018 Hocus Pocus Halloween

Ever since Hocus Pocus hit theaters in 1993, we’ve all been yearning for a sequel to this Halloween cult classic. In the meantime, we’ll have to celebrate the original. Commiserate with other diehards at Hocus Pocus Halloween, a festival in downtown Middletown, Ohio. On Oct. 14, come out with the kiddos in tow for trunk-or-treat, arts and crafts vendors, live music, spooky sorg tours and, most importantly, a film screening of Hocus Pocus. Oct. 27 is for the grown-ups, with a 21+ Halloween dance, tarot card readings, spooky drinks and snacks, live music, a costume contest and more. 1 p.m.-dusk Oct. 14; 8 p.m.- midnight Oct. 27. Windamere Event Center, 2 S. Main St., Middletown, Ohio, downtownmiddletown.org.

Rhinegeist Rare Beer Fest

Head to Rhinegeist to sample the extraordinary, generally unobtainable and the unexpected. Breweries from across the country will be descending on Cincy with their rarest brews for this craft beer celebration. Because of the popularity of last year’s event, there are now two sessions. Session 1: Noon-4 p.m.; Session 2: 6-10 p.m. Oct. 20. $40; $65 VIP. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

Fall Food Fest at Findlay

Celebrate autumn harvest’s bounty with Findlay Market vendors. There will be pumpkin painting, cooking demos, live music, craft cocktails and seasonal beers. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 21. Free admission. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarket.org.

Jungle Jim’s International Wine Festival

The 10th-annual Wine Festival features wine from all over the world — more than 400 wines from more than 90 wineries — with bite-sized delicacies, charcuterie and other hors d’oeuvres. Sip and savor. 7-10 p.m. Nov. 9-10 $63.90-$122.48 per day; $26.63-$79.88 non-drinker. Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

ONSTAGE

Light fall frights and other onstage productions to spook you or get you settled into the season.

click to enlarge "Misery" - PHOTO: MIKKI SCHAFFNER PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
"Misery"


Misery

Paul Sheldon, a romance novelist, finds himself incapacitated after a car crash in the home of his “Number One Fan,” aka Anna Wilkes. Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel, this tale becomes more nightmarish as it goes on as Anna has no intention of letting Paul leave — he’ll have to outsmart her. Through Sept. 29. $35.40-$75.40. Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.

Mary’s Monster

This world premiere explores the life and woes of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the famed author of Frankenstein — her most infamous creation, which is considered the first-ever science fiction novel. Lift the veil and see her grapple with the deaths of her children, her sister, her mother and her equally famous husband, Percy. Sept. 14-23. $15-$25. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com.

Joshua Bell + The Rite of Spring

Igor Stravinsky’s ballet shook audiences when it premiered in 1913, as it told the story of a pagan ritual in which a virgin, acting as a sacrifice, dances herself to death. The CSO will perform the pulsating, jarring music, charged with “primal energy." 8 p.m. Sept. 28; 8 p.m. Sept. 29. $14-$107. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.

Next to Normal

The 2009 Tony Award-winning musical portrays a suburban family coping with crisis and mental illness. Dad’s an architect; Mom packs lunches and pours cereal; the daughter and son are angsty, wisecracking teens. But Mom has fought manic depression for 16 years, and their lives are anything but normal. This powerful show about profound grief, devastating loss, bewildering psychiatry and the challenges of modern life is an audacious choice for the West Side theater. Oct. 4-21. $29 adults; $26 seniors/students. Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, 801 Matson Place, Price Hill, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.

click to enlarge 1984 - PHOTO: CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
Photo: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
1984

1984

George Orwell’s classic political thriller has resurfaced into modern pop culture as of late because, er, many are drawing parallels to current-day issues and 1984’s horrific dystopian future. Big brother is watching. Rediscover this classic via a play, where protagonist Winston Smith stumbles upon a resistance movement against a bleak surveillance government. Spooky, indeed. Oct. 12-Nov. 3. $57 adults; $53 seniors; $31 students. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyshakes.com.

Haunted Hall

Get spooky with Cincinnati Pops as they perform selections from Dukas’ Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Saint Saens’ Danse Macabre. Apparently, Music Hall is haunted — maybe they’ll lure Casper out? Oct. 12-14. $25-$101. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.

The Man-Beast

As part of Know Theatre’s “Fear Itself”-themed 2018/19 theater season, catch this tale of classic intrigue (and werewolf madness) written by Joseph Zettelmaier and set in the gothic French countryside circa the 18th century. The “Beast of Gévaudan” wreaks havoc, claiming more than 100 victims in three years’ time. King Louis has offered a reward for anyone who can kill the beast. Oct. 19-Nov. 10. $25-$35. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com.

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The beloved children’s classic-turned-Broadway-musical takes readers through Willy Wonka’s land of “pure imagination,” aka his chocolate factory. Oct. 23-Nov. 4. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.

Peter Pan

All children grow up — except one. And that’s Peter Pan. Based on J.M. Barrie’s famous tale where childhood magic roams free, this ballet from Cincinnati Ballet is infused with pixie dust, pirates, crocs and lost boys. Come play make believe with the whole fam. Oct. 25-28. $15-$125. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.

Wake the Dead Bash with the Spine-Tingling Mighty Wurlitzer

Spend Halloween at the haunted Music Hall as organist Trent Sims sets the stage with creepy music — “special effects abound” via the wiles of the Wurlitzer organ. Supernatural tours offered every half hour. Costumes encouraged. Come out on Hallow’s Eve (Oct. 30) for “Spooky Tunes” from Sims, too (10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.). 9 p.m. Oct. 31. $45. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org.

A Small Fire

John and Emily Bridges’ middle-class suburban life is upheaved when Emily falls ill with a strange disease that slowly strips her sense of smell, sight and taste. At first she tries to engage with the world, still running her company and hoping to experience their daughter’s wedding. But then hearing is taken away, too, making her entirely dependent on her husband. Nov. 16-Dec. 1. $15-$25. Falcon Theatre, Falcon Theatre, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., falcontheater.net.

Susan Swanye and the Bewildered Bride

Female-detectives-solving-mysteries fans: this is for you (bonus if you’re into the Victorian era). Let Know Theatre introduce you to Susan Swayne and the Society of Lady Detectives per the season’s Fear Itself series. Nov. 24-Dec. 26. $25-$35. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowthetheatre.com.

HAUNTS

Haunted houses and creepy tours to make your hair stand on end (or entertain your kids).

click to enlarge Dent Schoolhouse - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Dent Schoolhouse


Brimstone Haunt

Home to two separate attractions, guests can opt to venture through Brimstone Kingdom haunted hayride or the Forgotten Forest (or both). The Kingdom was a prosperous place until it was laid bare by the curse of Brimstone Road. Now it is home to monsters, madmen and all other iterations of macabre characters whose main goal cause chaos on your one-mile ride. The Forgotten Forest, a higher-intensity scare experience, is a walk through a supernatural haunted wood. Opens Sept. 28. $15 Haunted Hayride; $12 Forgotten Forest; $22 combo. 472 Brimstone Road, Wilmington, springborohauntedhayride.com.

Dent Schoolhouse

According to legend, the bodies of several missing Dent Schoolhouse students were discovered in barrels in the building’s basement — and the janitor did it. Ghost tours, lights out and lights on tours are available. Sept. 14-Nov. 3. $20-$55. 5963 Harrison Ave., Dent, frightsite.com.

Halloween Haunt

Fear awaits at Kings Island’s annual Halloween Haunt, featuring 10 haunted attractions, four outdoor scare zones (Pumpkin Eater, Wasteland, Coney Maul and Dance of the Macabre), spine-tingling live shows (like Blood Drums; think Blue Man Group with blood) and more. Plus, experience the park’s everyday thrill rides. And on Saturdays before the sun sets (noon-6 p.m.), its the family-friendly Great Pumpkin Fest. Friday and Saturday nights Sept. 21-Oct. 28. Tickets start at $31.99. Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, visitkingsisland.com.

Heritage Village Haunted Village

Described as a “slight fright,” this haunted attraction is completely kid-friendly, offering trick-or-treating, balloon art, wagon rides and a lower-key haunted house experience that won’t leave the youngsters with recurring nightmares until Christmas. 6-10 p.m. weekends in October. $10; free members and kids 2 and under. Heritage Village Museum, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, heritagevillagecincinnati.org.

Highway 50 Fright Field

This cornfield and haunted woods attraction is back with a vengeance on a real 1830s farm near an actual Indian archaeological site — both of which are rumored to be haunted. Keep an eye out for zombies on winding trails throughout the woods, and when the sun sets, try your luck at maneuvering a nighttime corn maze. Operation Termination Zombie Paintball, which arms you with 100 paintballs against a horde of zombies, is back this year. Oct. 5-27. $12 adults; $10 kids. 11294 State Route 50, North Bend, highway50frightfield.com.

click to enlarge Land of Illusion - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Land of Illusion

Land of Illusion

Why only have one haunted house when you could have six? Land of Illusion has six frights to choose from: Killer Klowns, Temple of Terror, Phobia, Zombie Sniper Patrol, Middletown Haunted Trail and Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate, plus live music and/or DJs every Friday and Saturday. They also have a full bar. Through Nov. 3. $20 Sunday and Thursday; $35 Friday; $40 Saturday; other enhancements cost extra. 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown, landofillusion.com.

The Mayhem Mansion

As legend has it, when bootlegger Robert Haverford’s 8-year-old daughter Elizabeth died, he poisoned Elizabeth’s mourners and himself in an elaborate alcohol-fueled murder-suicide plot in the family home. Allegedly actually haunted, this collection of gung-ho actors will attempt to scare you to death in the former mansion. Extreme night takes place Nov. 3. New this year is Haverford’s Hollow. More info coming soon. 2018 season hours TBD. $15; $10 ages 10 and under; $5 additional for Fast Pass. 13966 DeCoursey Pike, Morning View, Ky., kentonlakes.com/mayhem.

Mount Healthy Haunted Hall

Experience 20 different scenes at this favorite local haunt, featuring a host of classic creatures like the Wolfman, Frankenstein and zombies. In addition to its central house, the hall is comprised of five tents, backyard areas and a swirling, brain-bending vortex. Popular scenes returning this year include the Hellavator, Satan and Bate’s Motel. Sept. 28-Oct. 27. $10; $2 discount with a canned good donation. 7700 Seward Ave., Mount Healthy, mthealthyhauntedhall.com.

Queen City is Haunted Tour

On this guided walkthrough tour of downtown and OTR, hear stories of grisly murders, ghastly deaths and other disturbing tales buried deep within Cincinnati’s storied past. Now offering a two-hour Ultimate Queen City is Haunted Tour, which ends in the most haunted room of OTR’s boutique Symphony Hotel. And look out for new haunted walking tours of Fountain Square and Covington. Through Nov. 3. $25-$35. Tour begins at 1332 Vine St., Over-The-Rhine, americanlegacytours.com.

Newport is Haunted Tour

Surprise! Newport is haunted, too. Take a lantern-led walking tour and listen to tales of murder, suicide and the horrifying origin of Bobby Mackey’s famous portal to hell. Through Oct. 27. $25. Tour begins 18 E. Fifth St., Newport, Ky., americanlegacytours.com.

Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride

Hold on tight: During this hellish hayride through a cornfield, riders are stalked and taunted by creatures hidden amongst the crops. Familiar faces like Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface and a bloodied take on Santa Claus appear alongside zombies, backwoodsmen, clowns and chainsaw-wielders. Cash only. Sept. 14-Oct. 27. $14 hayride; $10 Farmer’s Revenge; $23 combo. 4172 Belleview Road, Petersburg, Ky., sandylandacres.com.

USS Nightmare

The death dredge is celebrating more than 25 years of horror. On a dark, foggy night, the William S. Mitchell steamboat careened into a bridge, killing many on board, including the captain and his daughter. Ever since, anyone who has worked on the now-defunct ship has been doomed to die onboard, cursed to forever haunt the vessel along with the other deceased. Sept. 21-Nov. 3. $20-$50 general admission; RIP Experience starts at $30. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., ussnightmare.com.

Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride

Hop on a bus straight out of hell and be trailed by fire-belching semis. Riders will venture through fog-filled tunnels, an abandoned mine, an eerie hallow and more, with peculiar creatures hitching rides along the way. Other onsite attractions include a corn maze, two indoor haunted houses and a 4D coffin ride. Sept. 22-Oct. 27. $25; $45 VIP speed pass; $20 Haunted Hallow only; $5 coffin ride. 1261 W. Dalton Road, Wilmington, wilmingtonhauntedhollowride.com.

FALL-ISH AND HALLOWEEN EVENTS

Some stuff to do when you’re bored. As always, check the weekly issue of CityBeat for more suggested things to do.

click to enlarge Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week


King Records Month

With King Records Month, September’s celebration of the iconic label’s contributions, the many local boosters and artists who’ve helped raised King’s profile over the past several years continue their mission with a variety of events throughout Greater Cincinnati, including performances, exhibits, discussions and much more. September marks the 75th anniversary of the sessions for the first songs recorded for King. Events take place through Sept. 30 at various locations. More info: kingstudios.org.

Fall Jazz Series

The 19th-annual Fall Jazz Series showcases an all-star lineup with cool rhythms. This year’s performers include The Mandy Gaines Quartet, Marc Fields Quartet and pianist Rob Allgeyer. 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Sept. 30. Free admission. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.

Stephen King Murder Mystery Pub Crawl

The Playhouse in the Park presents this off-the-grid pub crawl in concert with their production of Misery. A serial killer is on the loose in Mount Adams, and they’re using Stephen King’s novels as inspiration for their crimes. Go from bar to bar to narrow down whodunit. 6:30-9:30 p.m. $10. Sept. 20. Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.

Fire Up the Night

International teams head to Coney Island to compete in a fireworks face-off. All three competitors — Germany, France and Mexico— go head to head in a pyrotechnic showdown for international bragging rights. The winner will be determined by a panel of judges. The Cruise-A-Palooza classic car show will take place at the same time. Gates open 4 p.m.; fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22. $25 per carload. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.

Pyramid Hill Art Fair

The 16th-annual Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum’s Art Fair brings 70 artists together for a juried show and sale of handmade creations. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 29; noon-5 p.m. Sept. 30. $5 per carload. Pyrmid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, pyramidhill.org.

ScopeOut Astronomy Fair

The Cincinnati Observatory hosts a celebration of astronomy, science, history and education. Learn about topics like safe solar viewing and meteorites, participate in hands-on demonstrations and browse wares from telescope and other astronomical vendors. When the sun goes down, peer at the stars through the observatory’s historic telescope. 7 p.m. Sept. 14; 6-10 p.m. Sept. 15. $5 observatory admission; $25 dinner and keynote presentation; $5 suggested donation telescope viewing. Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, cincinnatiobservatory.org.

‘90s Night with Danny Tamberelli and Michael Maronna

The stars of Nickelodeon’s The Adventures of Pete and Pete take over Taft’s for a night of comedy, live scene reading and other nostalgia-inducing activities. 9 p.m. Sept. 20. $15. Taft’s Brewpourium, 4831 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, facebook.com/dannyandmike.

Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week

Become a culinary tourist in your own city during CityBeat’s Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week. Local eateries like The Presidents Room, Kaze, Metropole, Moerlein Lager House and many others will offer $25 and $35 three-course prix fixe menus (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). Sept. 24-30. $25-$35. Visit greatercincinnatirestaurantweek.com for a full list of participating restaurants.

Slice Night

It’s a pizza party at Sawyer Point hosted by Cincinnati Magazine. Enjoy slice samples, beer, wine and cocktails (alcohol for an additional fee). One-hundred percent of the ticket price benefits cancer research at UC Cancer Institute. 5-9 p.m. Sept. 27. $15 advance; $20 door; $5 for children 10 and under. Yeatman’s Cove, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincinnatimagazine.com.

Haunted House Boos Cruise

BB Riverboats and the Dent Schoolhouse combine forces for this haunted cruise. Board a bus in Newport to head to both haunted attractions, followed by a late-night booze cruise on the Ohio River. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28. $85. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, bbriverboats.com.

Walnut Hills Street Food Festival

This seventh-annual event highlights the neighborhood’s food talent, partners and the community. 11 a.m.-5p.m.  Sept. 29. Free admission. 770 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, facebook.com/whstreetfoodfest.

Great Outdoor Weekend

Feel that brisk breeze with Green Umbrella’s annual outdoor events sampler. Great Outdoor Weekend presents opportunities for children and adults to try different outdoor recreation and nature awareness programs available in Greater Cincinnati. Each fall there are more than 100 events available. Sept. 29-30. Free. Various locations. More info: meetmeoutdoors.org/greatoutdoorweekend.

Fright Night Flicks: Hocus Pocus

It’s not a bunch of hocus pocus: Washington Park is screening this definitive Halloween flick. Bring a blanket, grab some snacks and prepare to be spooked. 8-10 p.m. Oct. 3. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

HopScotch: An Irish Whiskey, Scotch & Craft Beer Tasting

Join CityBeat for its HopScotch event and imbibe unlimited samples of scotch, craft beer, whiskey, food and more at New Riff Distillery. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 3. $40-$55. New Riff Distilling, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., citybeat.com.

Haunted Brewery Tour

Take this haunted brewery tour through Christian Moerlein’s OTR taproom. Hear five haunted tales and use clues to figure out which story is made up and isn’t based on history. The production is a collaboration between Christian Moerlein, the Brewing Heritage Trail, Cincinnati Escape Room and Cincinnati Landmark Productions. 7 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October. $25. Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, hauntedbrewerytour.com.

Night Circus

Woodward Theater will be taken over by a dark carnival to kick off Halloween season. Night Circus features “twisted talent and fantastic feats,” with a dark cirque theme. Find tarot card readers, body painters and thrilling aerial entertainment. 9 p.m. Oct. 5. $25; $75-$100 VIP. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/passionproductionscincy.

Donauschwaben Oktoberfest

The 26th-annual Donauschwaben Oktoberfest features more than 25 beers on tap, homemade food, live German-style entertainment, a car show and more. 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Oct. 5; 1 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Oct. 6; noon-8 p.m. Oct. 7. $3 adults; free for children 12 and younger. 4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain, cincydonau.com.

click to enlarge HallZOOween - PHOTO: KATHY NEWTON
Photo: Kathy Newton
HallZOOween

HallZOOween

Tricks and treats aren’t just for humans — zoo residents get in on the fun with special pumpkin enrichment activities every weekend in October. Kids can trick-or-treat at stations scattered throughout the grounds, catch a show from Phil Dalton’s Theater of Illusion and even hop on the Hogwarts Express. Costumes are encouraged, as is bringing along your own treat bag to help the zoo go green. Noon-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 6-28. Free with zoo admission: $19 adults; $13 kids. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

Weekend of Fire

Calling all spice lovers: Weekend of Fire presents all things hot, including, salsas, dry rubs, hot sauces and bloody marys. Bring pals who can take the heat and peruse over 55 vendors. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 6; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7. $8; $14 two-day. Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

Fright Night: E.T.

Get in the spooky spirit with everyone’s favorite peanut-butter-cup-eating extra-terrestrial. This screening of Steven Spielberg classic E.T. is free. Bring a lawnchair or blanket, pack a picnic basket and grab some adult beverages from the Washington Park bar. 8-10 p.m. Oct. 10. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

Second Annual Wizard Pub Crawl

Whether you’re a muggle, wizard or Ron Weasley, break out your wand and get ready to drink your way through downtown and OTR. Tickets include a wand and wand box, Hogwarts house certificate, a costume competition, house-colored wristband for sorting, special photo ops, themed drinks and potions at each location and more. Crawl includes stops at 16-Bit, MOTR, HalfCut, The Rook, Japp’s and more. 2-10 p.m. Oct. 13. $25; $40 VIP (includes T-shirt). 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, 1331 Walnut St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/16BitBar.

click to enlarge Here Come the Mummioes - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Here Come the Mummioes

Here Come the Mummies

This eight-piece Funk band of bandaged, ancient mummies heads to Bogart’s. 7 p.m. Oct. 13. $25. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.

Fungus Fest at Krohn Conservatory

Learn how to grow your own mushrooms, taste edible mushroom delicacies from chef Ursula, make mushroom crafts and more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 13. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com.

Bengals vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals take on the Steelers at home in Week 6. 1 p.m. Oct. 14. $66-$185. Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Downtown, bengals.com.

Fright Night: Ghost Busters

If you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, check out this free screening of Ghost Busters at Washington Park. Bring a lawnchair or blanket, pack a picnic basket and grab some adult beverages from the Washington Park bar. 8-10 p.m. Oct. 17. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

Wizard Fest

The wizarding world comes to Corryville for a night of magic, music and cosplay. Wizard Fest, a touring Harry Potter-themed club party, features trivia, special drinks, magicians, a costume contest, Quidditch Pong, dancing and DJs. For ages 18 and up. 8-11 p.m. Oct. 17. $15-$35. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.

Murder on the Menu

Spring, 1879: A gunshot rings out near Washington Platform; the body of a young businessman is soon found dead in the alley across from City Hall. It’s Cincinnati’s oldest unsolved murder case, and the the night begins with a walking tour of the crime, followed by a four-course dinner, during which the rest of the story unfolds. Dishes are what was common in Cincinnati circa the late 1800s and are paired with local craft beer. 6 p.m. Oct. 18. $48. Washington Platform, 1000 Elm St., Downtown, queencityhistory.com.

Zombie Ball: Dance of the UnDead

Don your best zombie, vampire or otherwise-undead getup for this annual event. Imbibe beer and wine — including spooky cocktails — and fill up on a horror-themed buffet before embarking on a haunted hayride or heading inside a zombie photo booth. For a few extra bucks, get the VIP treatment: You’ll arrive at the party in an actual hearse and strut down a blood-red carpet. 7-11 p.m. Oct. 20. $30 individual; $50 couple; packages available. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, pyramidhill.org.

click to enlarge The City Flea - PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
The City Flea

The City Flea

It’s flea time again. The City Flea takes over Washington Park with tons of tented vendor booths featuring everything from jewelry, artisan eats and dog treats to vintage finds, plant friends and ceramics. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 20. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.

Autumn Color Walking Tour

Take in the colors of changing fall foliage on this walking tour through Spring Grove. The cemetery and arboretum’s horticulture staff will highlight the best views. 1-3 p.m. Oct. 21. Registration opens on Sept. 22. Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, springgrove.org.

Art on Vine

Grab snacks from local food trucks as you browse wares from more than 60 vendors — you’ll find everything from artworks and crafting materials to home goods and jewelry. October’s event is the final outdoor installment of the season; afterward, Art on Vine heads back indoors at Rhinegeist. Noon-6 p.m. Oct. 21. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, artonvinecincy.com.

Two Spirited Women: An Evening with Cole Imperi and Molly Wellmann

Mixologist Molly Wellmann and thanotologist Cole Imperi join forces for a thematic evening of spirits and spirits. Discover what death, dying and drinking can teach us about human happiness. 6-9 p.m. Oct. 24. $10 members; $20 non-members. The Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St., Downtown, mercantilelibrary.com.

Fright Night: Nightmare Before Christmas

Jack Skellington learns the meaning of Christmas this Halloween in Tim Burton’s stop-motion musical. Bring a blanket, lawnchair and picnic basket and buy some adult beverages from the park’s concession stand. 8 p.m. Oct. 24. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

MST3K is touring live for its 30th anniversary. See original host and creator Joel Hodgson with new host Jonah Ray. The bots and the boys will be bringing new movies and new riffs to stages across the U.S. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24. $39.50-$49/50. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

Official Halloween Bar Crawl

Get extra spooky this season. Put on your coolest, cutest, scariest or sexiest costume and hop from bar to bar in Over-the-Rhine and The Banks. Attendees will get some treats to take home and discounts on drink and food specials. Do the “Monster Mash” all night long. 2 -9 p.m. Oct. 27. $20-$40, check-in starts at Nicholson’s, 625 Walnut, Downtown, elite-barcrawls.com.

Books by the Banks

The weekend will include writer workshops, author signings and plenty of readings. This year features Alice McDermott, New York Times bestselling author of The Ninth Hour, and Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestselling author of Sunny and Long Way Down. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 20. Free. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, booksbythebanks.org.

Hallowqueen Drag Brunch

Ring in Halloween with this pop-up drag brunch at Metropole, complete with glitter, fangs and heels galore. Sip specialty themed cocktails and dig into a family-style brunch prepared by chef Jared Bennett. Costumes are encouraged — “You better werk, witch.” 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 28. $35. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com.

Northside Record Fair

Northside Record Fair sets up shop at Northside’s North Church displaying thousands of records of every genre. The event features merchandise from the likes of Shake It Records and Black Plastic Records, and you can also submit your personal collection and peddle your wares among the other vendors. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 3. $5; $10 early bird entry. North Church, 4222 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsiderecordfair.com.

click to enlarge Cincinnati Pizza Week - PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Cincinnati Pizza Week

Cincinnati Pizza Week

Grab your official Cincinnati Pizza Week passport and embark to area pizza joints during this CityBeat event that brings $8 pies to pizza lovers. Go online for updates and participating eateries. Nov. 5-11. $8 pizzas. Various locations. More info: cincinnatipizzaweek.com.

Small Town Murder Presents: Shut Up and Give Me Murder!

From Irvington, Ala. to Flora Vista, N.M., two comedians examine tiny towns and the murders that take place there. Yes, somehow there’s still something to laugh about. Attend a live taping of the podcast that combines two of America’s favorite interests: comedy and true crime. 8 p.m. Nov. 30. $35. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.