11 Best Fall Events & Festivals in 2022

Head to Albuquerque in October for a stunning display of hot air balloons.

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While summer is coming to an end and we’ll soon be saying goodbye to our long sunny days, that’s no reason to hunker down and prepare for winter. Summer may be winding down, but fun times don’t have to!

Plenty of fun (and somewhat unusual) events and festivals are taking place across North America before the year ends, and we found some that you may not have considered attending before (but that should be def be on your radar).

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

July 14 to November 19, 2022
Orlando, FL
Official website

This nearly three-month-long festival is the perfect excuse to travel to the most magical place on earth. With dozens of events, classes, and tastings featuring world-class chefs and their creations, you’re sure to live out any foodie’s dream. Besides, there’s going to be free wine tastings, so it’s obviously worth checking out!

And while the wine’s not for sharing, the fun certainly is. Bring along the kids to play family activities, like Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak and Pluto’s Pumpkin Pursuit, or simply enjoy the good ol’ magic of Disney.

If you miss the International Food and Wine Festival, come back a few days after its end for the International Festival of the Holidays (starting November 29th).

Harpoon Octoberfest

September 30th & October 1st, 2022
Boston, MA
Official website

Can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest this year? Boston’s Harpoon Brewery has you covered. Spanning over two days in the city’s Seaport District, Harpoon Fest features Harpoon brews as well as German food and music.

Join in 2022 for their 32nd Annual Octoberfest and enjoy plenty of beer, live oompah music, stein-hoisting competitions, pretzel eating contests, chicken dancing, and more. And if you want to work off the beer belly, stick around festival to see why Boston is one of the best cities for fall outdoor activities!

Haunted Happenings

October 1-31, 2022
Salem, MA
Official website

Historic and haunted, Salem is the perfect place to visit in this October in the days leading up to Halloween. Feeding into its spooky history, the city puts on scary movie screenings, ghost tours and parades throughout the month of October.

Visit the Halloween experts in Salem for a guaranteed scary (but fun) time.

Carpinteria Avocado Festival

October 1-2, 2022
Carpinteria, CA
Official website

Calling all avocado enthusiasts! California’s Avocado Festival is every avocado lover’s dream.  Taking place in the SoCal town of Carpinteria, the festival will have music, contests and guacamole galore!

Admission is FREE, just bring an empty stomach.

Austin City Limits Music Fest

October 7-9 & 14-16, 2022
Austin, TX
Official website

Headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, P!nk, and Lil Nas X will settle down in Austin this October, performing for two weekends at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

With hundreds of performers, including SZA, The Chicks, Kacey Musgraves and Diplo, spread out over the first two weekends of October, this festival offers a little something for music lovers of all tastes and preferences.

And don’t forget to snag some tacos to stay fueled! And maybe some water to beat the Texas sun.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

October 1-9, 2022
Albuquerque, NM
Official website

Hundreds of whimsical hot air balloons take flight into the New Mexico sky at the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The week long festival celebrates the technology, ability and pilots of these aircrafts with flight competitions, concerts and more.

Spectators can watch in awe as all of the festival balloons float above the crowds together in five mass ascensions during the week. Don’t forget to charge your smartphone because, as you can guess, this event offers unique Insta opportunities.

Grab a neck pillow and head on over so you don’t miss this stunning sky spectacle of color and physics.

Wizarding Weekend

November 11-13, 2022
Ithaca, NY
Official website

Photo of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando.

Let’s be real, the Halloween season starts after Labor Day and ends at Thanksgiving. So to keep the magic going, wizards and magic will take over downtown Ithaca. A weekend dedicated exclusively to Harry Potter will now celebrate any and all things magic!

Kids of all ages are encouraged to join in on quidditch matches, magic classes, trick-or-treating, and many more magical activities. Local street vendors and artists will provide food, potions and entertainment.

Pack your wand and head to Ithaca this fall!

The Barbecue Festival

October 22, 2022
Lexington, NC
Official website

BBQ capital of the world, Lexington, NC hosts its 34th barbeque festival this October. The fest is one of the state’s most popular events, with BBQ lovers from across the country flocking in to sample some of the best grilled food available anywhere.

During the event, you can enjoy a Hogway Speedway and numerous barbeque tents. Admission is $5 and make sure you bring cash for any food and souvenirs you’ll want inside!

Winter Festival of Lights

November 12, 2022 – February 20, 2023
Niagara Falls, ON
Official website

Can you think of anything more cozy than Canada around the holidays? Ontario’s Winter Festival of Lights proves there isn’t. From mid-November through New Year’s Eve, Niagara Falls puts on an mind-blowing spectacle of holiday lights and decorations.

The celebration features illuminated waterfalls each night and a fireworks display every Friday. This family-friendly festival guarantees a night of fun and holiday cheer. Go to Niagara Falls for a fall you won’t forget!

Austin Mac & Cheese Festival

November 13, 2022
Austin, TX
Official website

monnibo / Flickr

For the third year, Austin Food Magazine is hosting the Austin Mac & Cheese Festival. But in 2022, there’s a special twist: Mac VS Grilled Cheese! Festival goers can sample dozens of macaroni and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches from different vendors and vote on the city’s best.

Tickets are already on sale, so make sure you snag one for the chance to try some extra delicious mac & cheese. Got some more time to kill? Swing by the other top destinations in Texas.

Toronto International Film Festival

September 8 –  September 18, 2022
Toronto, ON
Official website

Marco Manna / Flickr

One of the most highly anticipated film festivals of the year takes place in Toronto each September. This is usually your first chance to get a glimpse at the movies that will be competing in the upcoming awards season. If you’re lucky (and observant), you can also catch an appearance by a Hollywood star or two.

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About the author
Staffo Dobrev

Staffo Dobrev

Having lived in some of the greatest cities in the world, Staffo has always had a soft spot for travel and adventures. Instead of hitting the usual tourist attractions, though, Staffo prefers to make friends with local people and check out fun places and activities that are not in the travel books.

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