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Top 20 Fall Events Around Sandusky, Ohio (2023)

Tonya Prater, Owner

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

crowd of people entering Halloweekends at Cedar Point
Photo Credit: Mike Mixon from 6Kids1Tank.com6kids1tank.com.

Where: Cedar Point, Sandusky
When: Select days and nights September 14 through October 29, 2023 (Thursday-Sunday)

HalloWeekends is back select Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays to celebrate another year of frights! 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, 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

Where: Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, Sandusky
When: Friday and Saturday evenings September 29- October 28, 2023

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

Where: Downtown Vermilion
When: Oct 1-31, 2023

Voted “best fall stroll” by Lake Erie magazine! 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: October 2023

It’s back! The Great Pumpkin Hunt will return, along with a Small Pumpkin Hunt for the wee ones. Each year is 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. 53rd Country Harvest of Antiques and Crafts

Where: United Methodist Church, Birmingham
When: October 7 – 8, 2023

Shop for antiques including primitives, furniture, glassware, china, quilts, and linens. Crafts include stained glass, wood carvings, dried flowers, and jewelry. Homemade soups, pumpkin rolls, bakery-fresh donuts, apple butter, and specialty food vendors are all part of this annual festival.

Learn more about the 53rd Country Harvest of Antiques and Crafts.

6. Island Hops and Vine Festival

Where: DeRivera Park, Put-in-Bay
When: September 30, 2023

The Island Wine Festival has moved! This will be the first annual Island Hops and Vine Festival! The family-friendly event will include wine tastings, beer sampling, plus food and activities.

Learn more about the Island Hops and Vine Festival.

7. 27th Annual Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival

Lake Erie lighthouse at sunset

Where: Marblehead
When: October 14, 2023

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: October 14-15, 2023

Come celebrate our 44th 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. Put-in-Bay Island Traditional Oktoberfest

Where: DeRivera Park
When: October 7, 2023

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. 51st Annual Woollybear Festival

A woolly bear crawling over grass and gravel.
Photo used from Canva

Where: Victory Park., Vermilion
When: October 8, 2023

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 Gathering

Where: Quarry Hill Orchards, Berlin Heights
When: October 21, 2023

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. Hay Day

Where: TwinOast Brewing, Port Clinton
When: October 14, 2023

Twin Oast Brewing celebrates Fall with Hay Day, a one-day event that is free for all ages. The fall farmers market will feature local vendors and artisans, as well as hay rides and a petting zoo. Live music starts at 6pm!

Learn more about Hay Day.

Fall leaves on the ground
Photo used from Canva

13. Big Spooky Affair

Where: Bellevue Society for the Arts, Bellevue
When: October 21 and October 28, 2023

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 Boo Bash At The Bay

Where: Put-in-Bay
When: October 20 through October 22, 2023

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 Weekend

Where: Kelleys Island
When: October 22, 2023

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. Osborn Fall Fest

Where: Osborn Metropark
When: September 23, 2023

This is one of Erie MetroParks largest events, and includes a full day of fall fun for the whole family. Join exhibits and demonstrations, kids’ crafts, hay rides, demonstrations, face painting and more! Food trucks and vendors will be on site.

Learn more about the Osborn Fall Fest.

17. Sandusky Witches’ Walk

Where: Downtown Sandusky
When: October 21, 2023

Witches’ Walk is a charity event held in downtown Sandusky that 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 Farm Tour

Where: Osborn Metropolitan Frost Center, Huron
Where: October 13, 2023

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! Flashlights, drinks and snacks will be provided. Suitable for all ages. Registration is required. 

Learn more and register for the Haunted Prison Tour.

19. Owl Banding

Where: North Pond Preserve, Kelleys Island
When: October 12 – November 20, 2023

Join Tom and Paula Bartlett at the Scheele Preserve and Chris Ashley, KI State Park manager, at the North Pond Preserve after dark as they document and band the tiny Saw Whet Owls on Kelleys Island.

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 Banding

Northern Saw-Whet Owl on a branch
Photo by Canva

20. Best of the Bay

Where: Cedar Point Sports Center, Sandusky
When: November 8, 2023

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.

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