October and November are the perfect months to enjoy the outdoors before winter! We’ve hand-picked 20 fall events around Sandusky to help you do just that.
You’ll find unique events sprinkled amid traditional fall activities such as apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes, and more.
Plus, it’s all happening on the beautiful Lake Erie coast, which affords temperate weather, with warm days and cool breezy nights.
Here are the top 20 special events with which to embrace a Shores & Islands fall. So, grab your pumpkin spice beverage of choice and get out and enjoy fall in Ohio.
1. Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends– Sandusky
Where: Cedar Point
When: Select days and nights through October 31 (Thursday-Sunday)
This fall, there will be EVEN MORE HalloWeekends to enjoy with expanded operating days and hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays! HalloWeekends includes the daytime Tricks and Treats Fall Fest, complete with activities perfect for the little ones, plus the Tricks and Treats Food Tasting Tour for those looking for delicious twists on fall eats. At night, Haunt takes over select areas of the park with scare mazes, haunted attractions and the creepy nighttime atmosfear of America’s Spooky Roller Coast! Learn more at Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends.
Tip: Book a stay at one of the area hotels and make this trip an overnighter and pair Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends with Lake EERIE Fearfest. We suggest the Holiday Inn Express which is located on the Cedar Point causeway.
Read the reviews for the Holiday Inn Express on Tripadvisor or Check rates and book your stay here.
2. Lake EERIE Fearfest– Sandusky
Where: Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
When: Oct 1-30, 2021
Lake EERIE Fearfest at Ghostly Manor Thrill Center is one haunted event you don’t want to miss this Halloween! With six attractions in one, Lake EERIE Fearfest is rated as one of the top haunted attractions in Ohio! Learn more at Lake EERIE Fearfest.
3. Shake, Rattle, and Stroll– Vermilion
Where: Downtown Vermilion
When: Oct 1-31, 2021
Vermilion shops, restaurants, and stores create a whole month of “skelefun” and you’re invited! Local businesses adopt silly skeletons that you’ll find in windows, stores or storefronts, all dressed up, ready to surprise and make you laugh. It’s free, fun, and sure to put you in the mood for Halloween. Learn more about Shake, Rattle and Stroll.
4. Great Pumpkin Hunt
Where: Various Erie Metroparks Locations
When: Oct 1, 2021
It’s back! The Great Pumpkin Hunt will return. It will be a new game, with new rules and great prizes. Will you be able to find the Great Pumpkin? Stay tuned to Erie MetroParks social media platforms for your first clue. Good luck!
Learn more here about the Great Pumpkin Hunt.
5. 51st Country Harvest of Antiques and Crafts – Birmingham
Where: United Methodist Church
When: Oct 2-3, 2021
Antiques including primitives, furniture, glassware, china, quilts, and linens. Crafts including stained glass, wood carvings, dried flowers, jewelry. Homemade soups, pumpkin rolls, bakery-fresh donuts, apple butter, and specialty food vendors.
Learn more about the 51st Country Harvest of Antiques and Crafts.
6. Island Wine Festival – Put-in-Bay
Where: Doller Estate
When: Oct 2, 2021
Join the party at the Put-in-Bay Winery at the Doller Estate. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass and some sample tickets. Additional sample tickets will be available for purchase. Winery tours will be available and a silent auction will be held to benefit the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.
Learn more about the Island Wine Festival.
7. 25th Annual Lighthouse Festival – Marblehead
When: Oct 9, 2021
The Annual Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival is a peninsula-wide festival that includes a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy: tours of Marblehead Lighthouse and Keeper’s House, live entertainment, pie contest/auction, arts and crafts vendors, farmer’s market, historic walking tours, children’s crafts, hayrides, free miniature golf and shuffleboard, family movie, and shopping/dining opportunities.
Learn more about the Lighthouse Festival.
8. Oak Harbor Apple Festival – Oak Harbor
Where: Downtown Oak Harbor
When: Oct 9-10, 2021
Come celebrate our 42nd year, where there is something for everyone. The Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors this family-oriented festival with over 30,000 visitors attending annually, with all activities located within a one-block walking area.
Learn more about the Oak Harbor Apple Festival.
9. Oktoberfest – Put-in-Bay
Where: DeRivera Park
When: Oct 9-10, 2021
The annual German-style festival features German food, hot spiced wine and cold beer. Fantastic food including, brats, potato pancakes, apple dumplings, pierogi, cabbage and noodles, chicken paprikash and wonderful desserts. Live polka and German-style music entertain both days. Souvenir apparel and glasses will be for sale as well as many great raffle items.
Learn more about Oktoberfest.
10. Woollybear Festival- Vermilion
Where: Victory Park
When: Oct 10, 2021
The Woollybear Festival is the largest one-day festival in the state of Ohio. Enjoy the Woollybear 500 race, Woollybear costume look-a-like animal contest, or child Woollybear costume look-a-like contest. The festival features food, Woollybear crafts, live entertainment, and the wonderful, wacky Woollybear Parade.
Learn more about the Woollybear Festival.
11. Apple Peak Harvest Celebration – Berlin Heights
Where: Quarry Hill Orchards
When: Oct 16, 2021
Don’t miss the Apple Peak celebration at Quarry Hill Orchards! Apple picking, farmers market, live music, food trucks, hayrides, wine tasting, crafts, local shops, and so much more.
Learn more about the Apple Peak Harvest Celebration.
12. Coast to the Oast – Catawba
When: Oct 17, 2021
This ride is for ages 13 and over due to riding in the roadways and abilities with clearly signed courses of 10 and 30 miles. This is a fully supported ride with rest stops and support vehicles along the routes to curb your hunger or alleviate any bike issues.
The ride begins and ends at the beautiful Twin Oast Brewing, and your entry fee includes a beverage from Twin Oast, a soft-fit shirt designed by Eriesponsible, and post-ride entertainment on the lawn at Twin Oast.
Best of all – the proceeds from this ride benefit Eriesponsible and their mission of “Taking Steps Now to Maintain the Health of Lake Erie for Future Generations”!
Learn more about Coast to the Oast.
13. Big Spooky Affair – Bellevue
Where: Bellevue Society for the Arts
When: Oct 22-23, 2021; Oct 29-30, 2021
Haunted theater tours, gypsy fortune tellers, hayrides, pumpkin carving, face painting, witches, and more! No reservations needed.
Learn more about Big Spooky Affair.
14. Halloween at the Bay – Put-in-Bay
When: Oct 23, 2021
Downtown taverns decorate for Halloween at the Bay. People in costumes flood the downtown streets for Put-in-Bays Final weekend of the season. Some establishments will have costume contests and prizes.
Learn more about Halloween at the Bay.
15. Adult Halloween – Kelleys Island
Where: Kelleys Island
When: Oct 23, 2021
Immerse yourself in your wildest dreams and dress like it! Put your thinking caps on, get dressed up, and come to Kelleys Island. Get on the Kelleys Island Ferry Boat, the Goodtime Boat, or your private boat and get to the island for the best Halloween you will ever have.
Learn more about Adult Halloween.
16. Fall Color Walk – Berlin Heights
Where: Hoffman Forest Metropark
When: Oct 26, 2021
Enjoy a beautiful walk-through Hoffman Forest MetroPark and observe all the beautiful sights and sounds of fall. Walks-ups are welcome (no pre-registration) and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Learn more about the Fall Color Walk.
17. Witches’ Walk – Sandusky
Where: Downtown Sandusky
When: Oct 27, 2021
Witches’ Walk is a charity event held in downtown Sandusky which is filled with fun, prizes, and laughter. So get your witchy finery on and join us. Witches walk is 21 and over only.
Learn more about the Witches’ Walk.
18. Haunted Prison Tour – Huron
Where: Osborn Metropark
Where: Oct 29, 2021
Did you know Osborn MetroPark used to be a prison farm? Go on a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about the history of the prison farm as well as some of the creepy happenings that have occurred here! You will also listen to recordings of paranormal activity that were recorded right here! Drinks and snacks will be provided. Suitable for all ages. Registration is required.
Learn more and register for the Haunted Prison Tour.
19. Owl Fest – Kelleys Island
Where: Kelleys Island
When: Nov 5-7, 2021
Join Tom and Paula Bartlett at Scheele Preserve and Chris Ashley, Kelleys Island State Park Manager, at North Pond Preserve after dark as they document and band the tiny Saw-Whet Owls on Kelleys Island. At 8 pm on Friday only, Pat Hayes will be leading an Owl Prowl to the North Pond tower. Meet at the North Pond parking lot and make sure to bring a flashlight. The saw-whet owl is a very reclusive bird, so this is a great opportunity to see them up close. Wear a headlamp, bring a flashlight, and dress for the chill in the air!
Learn more about Owl Fest.
20. Best of the Bay – Sandusky
Where: The Cedar Point Sports Center
When: Nov 10, 2021
A Food Competition Like No Other! The Cedar Point Sports Center will host vendors in a number of categories, allowing you to sample items from restaurants in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands area. Guests will receive 20 meal tickets to be redeemed for samples! Guests must be 21 years of age to purchase tickets.
Think your signature dish is the Best of the Bay? CPSC is looking for local restaurants and food vendors to bring their signature dishes for guests to sample and vote for who they love best! There are 8 different categories and prizes for each winner!
Learn more about Best of the Bay.
See all the fall fun in store for you on our full events calendar at Ohio’s Shores Islands website.