These are the top ten picks of things to do this fall for FREE. This means that there is no cost to enter the festival or event, but there might be activities within the event that have a ticketed cost and also does not include things like paying for food or drinks, etc. Have fun this fall y'all!
1. Colorfest at Bernheim Forest This event is a wonderful immersion into the fall season and admission to the event is free; there is a $5 per car environmental fee for non-members. There will be a pumpkin launch, hayrides, and a haymaze plus lots of other activities. It's Saturday, October 17 from 10am-5pm and Sunday, October 18 from 10am-5pm.
2. Go to Blackacre State Nature Preserve - There are tons of photo opps with breathtaking backdrops for your fall favorite photo times with your family. Just walking along the grounds, seeing the animals up close, and even going to the feedings on Saturday mornings is fun in the cool crisp air of autumn. There's no better time to take a hike than in the fall in Louisville and Blackacre has some great trails with beautiful views of tree lines and waterfalls. It's a must this time of year.
3. Roadside Farm Markets - One of my favorite things to do in the fall is hitting up the local roadside markets for special autumnal season goodies. Check out this list of certified roadside markets in Jefferson County and Oldham County. We love to go pumpkin picking, but not always at the hugely crowded pumpkin patches all over the area. My favorite roadside market near our home in Jeffersontown is Tower View Farm and Nursery. They have tons of pumpkins, gourds, apples, mums, hay barrels, and more for your fall decorating needs. I bring my kids there every year to take advantage of the gorgeous set ups and colors for fall pictures. And I only have to drive a mile or two from my house! They have wagons set up for the kids to pull around the property while you pick out some neat pumpkins. They also usually offer quick hayrides back to the back of their property where you can "pick" a pumpkin from their backyard. It's fabulous!
4. St. James Court Art Fair - No top 10 fall list is complete without including St. James Court Art Fair. It's a must-do and is always a great chance to take in the historic sites and walkways through Old Louisville. Stop by Dizzy Whiz when you're done for a great dive experience!
5. The Parklands of Floyds Fork Turkey Run Park - I must say the more time I spend in the Parklands the more I love it. The Parklands already has a great parks system with Beckley Creek Park and Pope Lick Park, and is gearing up to open Turkey Run Park on October 16! Another oasis of nature trails and walking paths, this park will be a sure thing to see this autumn. Don't miss it!
6. NuLu Fest - This festival in the NuLu neighborhood along East Market Street has grown a lot too over the past couple of years. It's a huge block party with lots of food, vendors, live music, fun and more. LouFamFun will be there at the children's area! It's September 26 from 11am-11pm (children's area closes at 6pm)
7. Portland Heritage Art Fair - Go support the Portland area of town and see what's new and exciting in this revitalized neighborhood. There will be a trolley tour, art show, live music, children's activities at the Portland Family Health Center, tours of the Portland locks and historic Marine Hospital, events at the Portland Museum and more. It's on September 26 from 10am-6pm.
8. Once Upon a Time: A Storybook Halloween at the Main Library is a free after hours event for children and families! There will be lots of stories, games, and activities along with a special performance by StageOne Storytellers. It is on Friday, October 16 from 6pm-8pm.
9. Madison, Indiana - Take a day trip to Madison, IN. We love heading there each fall season and taking the scenic drive along U.S. 42 through Oldham, Henry and Trimble counties. This pick is also on our Fall Getaways for Families. Stop in Bedford, KY and explore the roadside market, Bray Orchards, as well. The Madison Chautauqua festival is September 26-27. You can spend a little bit of money and pay the entry fee ($9 for out-of-state license plates) for Clifty Falls State Park and explore this gem; it's beautiful in the fall!
10. Take a hike! Seriously, there are so many wonderful places to hike and walk among nature trails around the city and outlying areas. These places come to mind immediately: Bernheim Forest, Jefferson Memorial Forest, The Parklands, Louisville Loop, Falls of the Ohio and the Ohio River Greenway, Big 4 Bridge, Yew Dell Gardens, and Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve. Did you know if you venture over to southern Indiana you can find the Legendary Shoe Tree? Take this list from Roadside America and venture into something you've never found before in Kentucky! I think you must go explore and discover it and more!
Get your calendars out and mark them - here's a link to our HUGE fall festivals and events list around Kentuckiana.
By guest contributor: Erin