Fall has arrived and with it comes a crisp chill in the air, tailgates aplenty, and promise of pumpkin-flavored everything. To celebrate this seasonal change, we checked in with Community Managers from around the nation to discover their favorite fall activity. The best part of all? They’re all free! From east to west, Yelp’s Free Fallin’!
Cambridge, MA: Catch the action at Head of the Charles Regatta
The world’s largest two-day rowing competition returns to Cambridge, October 22-23. Join the throng of 11,000 athletes and over 300,000 fans for this unique sporting event. Yelper Danielle K. says it’s not just spectating that’s free. “There are lots of vendors selling food, and you often find free samples mixed in the booths near the reunion village area of the race course.”
Burlington, CT: Score hard cider at Hogan’s Cider Mill
What’s better than apple cider? Hard apple cider. At Hogan’s Cider Mill, you can enjoy free tastings from this mill dating back to 1912. Flavors are always changing, but the autumn staples regularly include pumpkin, black currant, December frost, and mulled spiced. Yelper Jess L. says ginger lovers must try their ginger variety.
Ringwood, NJ: Discover fascinating foliage in New Jersey
Peak fall color in New Jersey is October 19-29, so it’s time to get out and explore! Visit New Jersey has a bevy of self guided foliage tours you can check out here, with Yelpers deeming Ringwood State Park at Ringwood Manor a great choice for a walk and picnic. According to Yelper Tom K., “If ever you seek evidence as to why New Jersey is called the garden state, visit the NJ Botanical Gardens located in Ringwood State Park.”
Rochester, NY: Get spooked at Durand Eastman Park
Sure, you can take a walk on the Haunted History Trail of New York State anytime of year, but never does it seem more fitting than during Halloween. Durand Eastman Park may not look haunted, but for decades, “The White Lady” has been spotted along the roadways of this park near Lake Ontario. Proceed with caution!
Washington, DC: Watch drag queens in heels at the 17th Street High Heel Race
Who says DC is uptight? Now in it’s 30th year, the 17th Street High Heel Race will bring out thousands to cheer on elaborately costumed drag queens as they race to the finish line in high heels on October 25th. The race begins at 9:00 pm, but Yelper Laura H. recommends arriving earlier. “Get there at seven, or a little before, to ensure you can have a decent spot to see the parading, which I thought was the most entertaining part.”
Highwood, IL: Carve pumpkins for a good cause at Highwood Pumpkin Fest
From October 7-9, the Highwood Pumpkin Fest is hoping to break a world record of the most pumpkins lit at once, while raising money for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Bring an already carved pumpkin to City Hall by October 9th, and you’ll score free admission to the event where you can continue to carve some more! The best part for Yelper Rachel B.? “We carved some pumpkins which was pretty rad cause we didn’t have to deal with the mess of gutting them, as they are already pre-gutted!” Done and done.
Rochester, MI: Pet goats and take a a walk at Yates Cider Mill
Michigan is ripe with cider mills and Yates is a Yelper favorite. Like most mills, it’s free to enter, just bring a few bucks for drinks and sweet treats. Not only is the food delicious, this particular spot features a petting zoo, pony rides, and a waterside trail. Perfect for taking a walk after loading up on doughnuts.
Madison, WI: Root for the home team at Union South
Before every University of Wisconsin home game, Union South hosts the Badger Bash tailgate party. Watch the UW marching band, see the world’s largest Bucky Badger, enjoy live music, play games, eat brats, and get pumped before the Badgers take the field across the street at Camp Randall.
Anoka, MN: Visit the Halloween Capital of the World
Bet you didn’t know Anoka, MN is considered the Halloween Capital of the World! The city maintains its authority in the holiday with a plethora of free and festive fall events throughout October. Whether it’s the Pumpkin Bowl, scavenger hunt, Spooktacular carnival, Halloween movie night, renowned house decorating contest, or Grand Day Parade, there is something fun for Minnesotans of all ages.
Kimmswick, MO: Churn apple butter at the Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival
There’s a reason over 100,000 people head 20 minutes south of St. Louis for the annual Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival. From October 29-30, you’ll find 100 food and craft vendors in this small town and witness apple butter being made on the spot! According to Yelper Katie H., “If you’ve never been to Kimmswick – GO! It’s a teeny tiny town of its own. It’s probably only four blocks squared and it’s filled cute shop after cute shop!”
Salt Lake City, UT: Take a boat ride in a pumpkin at the Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta
when you think you’ve seen it all, enter the Ginormous Pumpkin Regatta. On October 22nd, watch as adults dressed up in costumes make their way across a lake in a giant hollowed out pumpkin. “Even if you are not a grower of giant pumpkins, watching a bunch of them put on costumes and paddle their giant carved pumpkins across the lake is a great time!” says Yelper Will B.
To keep up to date on everything happening this fall seasons in your city, check out Yelp Events!