Nothing quite says fall to us here at Rocket City Mom like a caramel apple, a little kettle corn, and a pumpkin carving contest or two. You’re sure to find all that and a whole lot more in this long list of area fall festivals, carnivals and special events. Do you know of one we missed? We’d love to add it, just send us a note at email@example.com and be sure to include the information listed here (e.g. Date/Time, Cost, URL, Location).
To get the full 411 about all that is happening in and around the Tennessee Valley this fall including information on Fall Break Camps, Trick/Trunk or Treating options, Halloween Parties, and more why not mosey on over to the full 2016 Fall Activity Guide. Then be sure to share the scoop with your friends so you’ll see familiar faces when you are out and about this fall season.
September[themify_hr color=”orange” width=”50%” border_width=”2px” ]
Big Brothers Big Sisters Riverfest
Plenty of barbecue and music will be on the agenda the second weekend of September in Decatur, AL, when Riverfest returns to the banks of the Tennessee River. A two day event hosted by, Big Brothers Big Sisters, attracts pitmasters from across the country for some fiery barbecue competition. Riverfest offers a weekend of live music, family fun and games all while raising money for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Date/Time: Sept. 9, 10AM-10PM | Sept. 10, 12PM-10PM
Cost:10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ticket prices are adults $5 and children under 10 are free. After 3 p.m., $10 for adult and $5 for children under 10. Weekend passes are $15.
Location: Ingalls Harbor (map)
More Info: Facebook
Owens X Roads Craft Fair and Bake Sale
This annual craft fair and bake sale sponsored by the Owens Cross Roads Homemakers club is sure to have lots of lovely trinkets and goodies. Great holiday decor and gift items!
Moores Mill 1st Annual Car show & Family Fun Day
Moores Mill Intermediate School PTA is hosting a Car Show and Family fun day. We will have food, vendors, kid zone, and lots of cars to look at!
“Superhero Day” will be held September 10 from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. at Athens Big Spring Memorial Park (also known as the Athens Duck Pond). The event features a vendors for the whole family, kids activities, music from DJ Dave, and food.
Huntsville Utilities “Wheels for Wheels” Car Show
Come out to the second annual HUVC car show and show off anything that rolls! It is free to attend. Home Depot will be there with a booth to help the kids create a project. Alexander’s Martial Arts will be there to show kids how fun karate can be and they might even let them break a few boards. There will be food trucks and amazingly beautiful cars, motorcycles, etc. There will also be a swap meet for people to sell items to spectators. This year the registration and swap meet fees will be used to purchase wheelchairs for CASA. They will provide them to people in need. So come out and support a great cause while looking at some beautiful cars!
Join us for the 21st Annual Redstone Arsenal Family and MWR Oktoberfest, brought to you by Papa Johns Pizza! This fun event features a carnival, German music, glassware, beer and food, a Craft Biergarten, a Sports Pavilion (to catch up on the big games of the weekend and more), and more!
September Street Food Gathering
The 2nd to last Downtown Huntsville Street Food Gathering will take place on September 16th at AM Booth’s Lumberyard. This is a can-not-miss event for all foodies and fun-lovers! There will be over 40 food and drink vendors set up, Huntsville Escape Rooms will have an Escape Tent you can sign up to attempt; Huntsville Ballet Company will be in attendance; the AL chapter of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club will be dressed up and ready for pictures; two acts: Ric Patton and ChickenBone Reunion will be playing live music from 5:30-8:30 pm; and of course, you can get drinks from AM Booth’s Lumberyard and The Furniture Factory to walk around with while deciding what to eat.
Monrovia Middle School 15th Annual Fall Community Carnival
Monrovia Middle School is hosting the 15th Annual Fall Community Carnival at Monrovia Middle School. This family friendly event is open for all ages. Activities include rides, bounce houses, food, carnival games, bingo, cake walk, vendor fair, and the Hawk’s Nest (a children and family area with activities geared toward younger children, provided by community sponsors).
Date/Time: Sept. 16th, 5-9 pm | Sept. 17th, 1-5 pm and 5-9 pm
Cost: $2 entrance fee; Tickets available per ride at the carnival or per session ($15-$20)
Location: Monrovia Middle School (map)
More Info: Facebook
NEACA Fall Craft Show
Let’s go shopping at NEACA’s Annual Fall Craft Show. Come shop with over 150 Artists. The Show is held in the South Hall at the VBC. The Show is free to attend and open to the public (it does cost to park at the VBC). Raffle Tickets drawn every 2 hours for a $20 giftcard to be used at the show. Hours are 9 AM to 6 PM on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s hours are 12 PM to 5 PM. A portion of proceeds go to support local charities.
First Annual Celebration of Female Role Models
You’re invited to join us for a very special speaking engagement. We are creating a spotlight to celebrate the amazing women in our community while inspiring this generation of young women with big dreams to achieve those dreams. The real special thing that sets our event apart from other speaking engagements is that each speaker will spend 15-20 minutes in a booth answering questions after her speech. We believe every young woman should have a female role model to look up to and to guide them. So we offer this opportunity to meet the guest speakers and engage in a discussion in the hopes of forming a connection between the speaker and young women listening.
Hartselle Depot Days
Hartselle, AL, is celebrating its 36th Annual Depot Days Festival this year and this is town that celebrates come rain or shine! Start the day with the Hartselle Kiwanis Club 3rd Annual Hartselle Half Marathon. Then enjoy the Adult Art Show, Children’s Art Show, Crafts, Tractor & Gasoline Engine Show, Live Entertainment, Children’s Area, Food and much more! You definitely don’t want to miss The Great Bank Robbery re-enactment by the College Street Players held at the Hartselle Fine Arts Center.
International Festival of North Alabama
The 7th Annual iFest is a free, day-long event that celebrates the diverse cultures in our community through country displays and international performances. The festival features free activities from different regions of the world, food trucks with international cuisine, and open air markets. iFest kicks off with a ribbon cutting and Parade of Nations at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Spotlight countries, Poland and Mexico, will be among twenty-seven countries represented at this year’s iFest. Each country will host a display featuring cultural artifacts, flags, travel and historic literature, as well as crafts, native apparel and educational materials. Free children’s activities will be available throughout the day, as well as live music and global performances, and more than 16 vendors displaying international or internationally inspired merchandise, as well as goods and services in the form of crafts, travel information, and cultural experiences available in the area.
Monte Sano Art Festival
The Monte Sano Art Festival will be back on Monte Sano Mountain the third weekend of September 2016. This year, the festival will span two days for the first time in the festival’s history! Featuring more than 140 visual artists and local music and food throughout the park, this festival is the perfect way to kick off Fall and the holiday shopping season. The event is FREE with a $5 parking fee to benefit the park. For more info – including a full artist list – visit www.artshuntsville.org.
Huntsville Hospital Autumn Chase Fun Run
This one-mile fun run is open to any child, preschool through 8th grade. There is no registration fee, but donations to Huntsville Hospital Foundation are appreciated and will benefit pediatric oncology at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. Food will be available onsite (hot dogs, hamburgers and more at Buffalo Rock concessions). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to benefit pediatric oncology at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. Children who run will receive a t-shirt. Parents may run with smaller children, but adults do not receive t-shirts.
Hottest Weekend of the Year Festival
Domino’s of Madison County will host the Hottest Weekend of the Year Festival on September 23rd from 6-9 pm at the new Butler Green Park at Campus No. 805. This free festival will comprise of live music from 45 Surprise and Snavis Davis, a Hot Pepper Eating Contest sponsored by Madison County Farmer’s Market, a Mini Farmers Market, Exclusive Hot Pepper Beers from Yellowhammer Brewing and Straight To Ale Brands, and free Water Games. Domino’s of Madison County will be selling pizza and wings for dinner.
Eva Frontier Days
This week long celebration of Eva, AL history and community includes a bluegrass festival, the worlds largest hayride, community singing, and concludes with “The Big Day” on Saturday, September 24th. Enjoy an antique tractor and car show, parade at 11:00am, a baked goods contest, live entertainment at 12:30pm and 2:00pm, a “Best Dressed” contest at 1:30pm, a pig calling contest at 3:00pm, raffle drawings at 3:30pm, frog jumping contest at 4:00pm, greased pig chase at 5:00pm, plus games for all ages – rides, train ride, etcetera, food vendors, and much more!
Fall Fling Vendor Affair in Athens
See all the handmade crafts, small business owners and direct sales vendors! Products will be on hand to purchase, order and win door prizes. One lucky attendee will WIN a $50 shopping certificate! Start your holiday shopping in September. Bring canned food to donate for entry into the $50 raffle!
Southern Bazaar’s Artisan and Boutique Show
Artisans, crafts, ladies boutique clothing and shoes, children’s boutique clothing and accessories, jewelry, food, candles, soaps, home decor and information booths. We will also have entertainment provided by local dance studios and will be having a “Kids Zone” with fun things to do. Also, we will provide a television for those of you who would like to watch SEC football games. Armbands will be for sale that entitle the wearer to discounts from the vendors, and proceeds from the sale of the armbands will go to the Louisiana flood relief.
“Back the Blue” First Responders Community Appreciation
Infinity Chiropractic is hosting a First Responders Community Appreciation event on Saturday, September 24th from 10am to 4pm. This is a free community event to show our appreciation to the First Responders of Madison County, Alabama featuring games, raffles, food, face painting, a burpee challenge, and much more. All proceeds from the food, raffles and vendor booths will go to support the Madison E-911. A guest speaker from the Dallas Police Department will also be present. This event overlaps the grand opening celebration of Piper & Leaf at Strong Station shopping center from 7AM-10PM, so stick around for both of these great events to enjoy an all-around fun day with the family in Madison!
River Clay Fine Arts Festival
Come experience the arts in North Alabama’s beautiful River City! River Clay Fine Arts Festival is a juried fine arts festival in historic downtown Decatur, AL. There are 70+ fine artists from 11 different states selling ceramics, drawings, fiber art, glass art, jewelry, metalwork, mixed media, paintings, photography, sculpture, woodwork, and more. Last years festival attracted thousands and with more artists, art demos, children’s art and activities, food trucks, and the historic district nearby, this year looks to be bigger and better than before!
MBC Craft Fair
Morningside Baptist Church is hosting this Fall Festival and Craft Fair and invites the public to join in the fun. There will be vendor booths with all kinds of crafts and goodies. Join us for a fun and unique shopping experience!
October[themify_hr color=”orange” width=”50%” border_width=”2px” ]
Madison Street Festival
The 36th annual Madison Street Festival, held in historic downtown, is a celebration of the people, art, food, and music of Madison, Alabama. The Festival is Madison’s largest event and brings neighbors together for a day of celebration and fun. Kicking-off with a big, colorful parade, the Festival includes an Artist Alley, Car Show, Children’s Area, Entertainment, Expo Area, Arts & Crafts, Information Booths, and of course . . . great Southern Food! As a service to the community, the Madison Police Department will be on hand to provide free child fingerprinting to families who desire the service. The Parade will start on Skate Park Drive at 9:00 AM. Free parking and shuttle will be available at the Madison City Schools Football Stadium.
What’s cooler than medieval weapons launching pumpkins through the air? Not much… so check out the third annual Pumpkin Blast on Saturday, October 1st at Tate Farms. Watch teams blast pumpkins using their homemade catapults, air cannons, or trebuchets. While there, enjoy a day of fall family fun! In addition to seeing the pumpkins fly, families can enjoy activities such as pedal carts, jumping pillows, hay rides, and corn cribs. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the competition starts around 10. Proceeds benefit Holy Family School’s building fund.
Mustard Seed Market Craft Show
Join New Salem Baptist Church for their 4th Annual Craft Show! This show will be a great time to get a jump start on your Christmas list (or just get a little something for yourself) while shopping 35 vendors as well as food trucks.
Street Style Gathering
Join us for the first-ever Street Style Gathering in Downtown Huntsville on its new rain date, rescheduled from the original August date! The Alabama Fashion Alliance and DHI are partnering to bring fall shopping to you! There will be pop-up boutiques, a fashion show, and food trucks. Open entertainment district hours will be in effect so you can stroll with a beverage of your choice.
Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention
Bring the family and enjoy a uniquely American experience whose roots are buried deep in the Appalachian mountains and beyond. It’s a musical and cultural experience that will thrust you into a simpler time where families were bound by the music they created and the stories they told.
Boaz Harvest Festival
Come join the fall fun in beautiful, historic downtown Boaz, featuring an Antique Classic Car Show with muscle cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Streets will be lined with over 400 arts & crafts, food and children’s play area vendors. Attend the Miss Harvest Festival pageant on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. for ages 1-18. Entertainment daily and don’t miss the Moon-Pie Eating Contest and Chili Cook-off. The Harvest Moon Midnight Run 5k and 1 mile Fun Run, will be sponsored by City of Boaz.
Where German Heritage is greeted with a Southern Style! 8 days of traditional German Music, food, dancing, Classic car show, arts & crafts, Hundfest, Bratwurst Eating contest, Miss Oktoberfest, the Burgermeister Ball, Stein Hoisting contest and our very own Cullman Comnunity Lion’s Club Bed Race are just a few events that you can enjoy while visiting our Craft Beer Garden located in our entertainment district. Authentic German Dinners hosted throughout our downtown, along with guided walking tours, shopping, music and fun, bring Cullman’s German History to life! 1st Saturday through the 2nd Saturday of October!
Unity Festival and Pumpkin Patch
This is a fun annual event for the whole family that raises money for its Hands of Christ Fund, which supports people stricken by catastrophic illness. Because long-term illness can take so much out of a family both emotionally and financially, Latham created this fund as a way to help cover those costs not handled by insurance. The Hands of Christ Fund is open to members of the community, not just Latham members. Applications are available at the church, which is located at 109 Weatherly Road. The Unity Festival began in 2010. It’s returned each year with a barbecue and food festival, kids’ events, a bounce house, music and a silent auction. During the event, grillers and cooks will provide all-you-can-eat barbecue, desserts, and drinks. Kids can entertain themselves in the kids’ area while the parents listen to music and browse the silent auction.
Sparkman Arts Festival
Held at Sparkman High School in Harvest, this is the second annual Sparkman Arts Festival. Billed as an art festival meets music festival meets book festival meets craft fair, this event is sure to be fun. Food trucks, Local artists, musicians, authors, and crafters will be selling their handmade products. New for 2016 are a Young Artists’ Gallery an annual Short Film Competition, with multiple viewings throughout the Festival. Proceeds from this event will be used for the creating of the literary magazine, a student-run publication.
Punkin Chunkin Fall Festival
The Make-A-Wish Alabama Punkin Chunkin Fall Festival will feature a group and individual punkin chunkin (pumpkin toss) contest, food trucks, beer vendors, live music, pumpkins decorated by wish kids, and a kids area full of pumpkin-inspired carnvial games. All proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Alabama and will help grant wishes to the 75 children waiting for wishes in North Alabama! Admission is free and donations will be accepted!
For more than 30 years, Colorfest has drawn thousands of visitors to the quiet little mountain village of Mentone to drink in the cool, crisp mountain air, admire the glory of the fall foliage, and enjoy the festivities of Colorfest. Always held the third weekend in October, the festival combines nightly bonfires, live music, fabulous foods, boutique shopping and, of course, the incredibly talented artists and craftsmen who display their wares along Mentone Brow Park.
Chapman Fall Festival and Vendor Market
Celebrate fall at Chapman School! Armbands are only $6.00 for access to games, the Haunted House, crafts, more games, a dunking booth, face painting, hair and nails for kids, a cake walk, a toy walk and so much more. Also, parents can shop in the Harvest Market with vendors that include Scentsy, LulaRoe, crafts, Origami Owl, boutique clothing, and more! There is no charge to shop in the vendor market. Concessions will also be for sale.
Peinhardt Farm Day
Each year the Peinhardt farm is open to the public for one Saturday in October. The farm is opened for everyone to come out and experience history in a setting that will take you back in history and allow you to actually participate in some “hands-on” work. Exhibits and demonstrations are spread over 40 acres. Events have included old time woodworking, mules, horses and wagon rides, antique tractor shows, petting animals, sorghum syrup making, grist mill, blacksmith – horseshoeing, and the sawmill.
VBAS Astronomy Day
Don’s miss out on the Von Braun Astronomical Society’s annual Astronomy Day at the VBAS facilities in Monte Sano State Park! Events will include family fun activities hosted by local science groups, planetarium shows and telescope observing (weather permitting). Outdoor hands-on activities from 1-5 pm will be offered by VBAS, as well as local science enthusiasts. Short planetarium shows will allow guests to view the night sky indoors, while special solar telescopes outside will offer views of sunspots and solar flares. Visitors may tour both observatory facilities to hear stories about the construction and installation of the telescopes. Evening activities will kick off at 7:00 pm with a presentation indoors by our keynote speaker, Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson (CAPT, USN Ret.), former NASA Astronaut. Hoot will present his program again at 8:30PM.
2nd Annual Buckhorn Middle School Craft Show and Festival
School-wide fundraiser with food and fun for all families. Craft Show will holiday decor, monogramming, wood crafts, ornaments, art, handcrafted clothing, rocket building, food, carnival games and bouncies!
Rocket City NerdCon
Rocket City NerdCon 2016 is a three-day convention for individuals to celebrate all things nerdy. NerdCon will feature programs for all ages and vendors. The idea behind this event is to create a local convention similar to other fan and industry conventions around the country right here in one of the smartest places in the South. Rather than limit ourselves to a particular group or genre, we are seeking to include as many different representations of fan communities as possible. Basically, if people can geek out about it, we want to celebrate it.
Alabama Renaissance Faire
Regularly one of the top 20 events in the South East, the Alabama Renaissance Faire is held annually the 4th weekend in October in Wilson Park and celebrates the Italian Renaissance, through the link to Florence, Italy, where Italian surveyor, Ferdinand Sanoner, named the town after his favorite Italian city, Florence, in the early 1800’s. It is a totally free event, and offers 15+ entertainment opportunities (many right from the community), as well as 75+ vendors offering a wide selection of period merchandise. Smaller than most commercial events, what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in atmosphere and good old Southern hospitality. (Costumes aren’t required, but admired! Join in a free costume making workshop prior to the fair, on October 8th.)
Burritt on the Mountain’s Folklife Festival
Folklife Festival will showcase craftspeople, artists and presenters who will share their knowledge about the traditions, skills, handicrafts and arts of our region during the 1800s and early 1900s. Come hear traditional music, see Appalachian dance, and watch demonstrators as they show you how our ancestors worked, lived and created art. Skills that will be demonstrated include: blacksmithing, flint knapping, Native American flute making and playing, spinning, quilting, open hearth cooking and much, much more.
Friendship Church’s Annual Harvest Fest
Friendship Church’s Annual Harvest Fest is a FREE rain or shine festival located on the Lucas Ferry campus of Friendship Church. This family-friendly event offers fun for all ages: inflatables, game and craft booths, live music from the Shoals’ acclaimed “Fathers & Sons” band, food vendors, hayrides, smores, storytelling, and the list goes on! Put on your costume, grab a bag of candy at the entrance, and experience all the fall entertainment they have to offer.
Family Fun Days in the Fall at Wall Highway Baptist Church
Two days of family fun at Wall Highway Baptist Church’s Pumpkin Patch. Bring your children after school from 3:30-5pm for a snack, crafts, games and a special telling of “God Picked Me”. Pumpkins are available for sale, but purchase is not necessary to participate in this event.
National Pumpkin Day Fall Festival
Celebrate National Pumpkin Day at this safe, alternative event! Event will include, games, activities, a DJ, music, food trucks, fun and fellowship.
Hartselle Hay Day
The city of Hartselle will close historic Main Street for this fantastic evening of free family fun and festivities. Wear your costume and trick-or-treat at downtown businesses whose storefronts will be decorated for a Candy Stroll. Enjoy hay rides, inflatables, entertainment, live music, games, and more! At 8pm, the movie “Woodlawn” will be playing outdoors at Earthpark. In case of rain, the movie will be shown inside Life Church, which will also be hosting a costume contest for the kids.
Blossomwood Elementary Fall Festival
Fun for the whole family! Activities include inflatables, facepainting, bake sale and art sale. All monies raised go toward improving the school. Tickets for games available at the gate.
Mercury Rising Chili Festival
Attendees will be treated to over 25 chili teams’ chili creations for tasting and a variety of craft beers supported by Free the Hops. This is a family affair, so bring the kids for an afternoon of camaraderie, food, and entertainment! You will taste as many chilies as you want and vote for the ones you think are the best. Live music will be provided by a local artist and adult beverages will be available. There is also a small play area for the kids. Proceeds will benefit Leadership Huntsville/Madison County.
Fall Festival at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
Calling kids of all ages! This free fall festival is the perfect opportunity to dress up in your favorite costume, trick-or-treat, play some games and enjoy free refreshments. All families, neighbors, friends and guests are welcome to the festival, which will be located on the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church campus, situated in downtown Huntsville at the corner of Franklin Street and Longwood Avenue. Come rain or shine!
2nd Annual Fall Festival at Columbia Elementary School
Mark your calendars for Columbia Elementary’s 2nd Annual Fall Festival! This family-friendly event will have food trucks, inflatables, carnival games, face painting, arts/crafts vendors, a silent auction and more.
Fall Festival at Christ Presbyterian Church
Christ Presbyterian Church will be hosting its annual Fall Festival on Saturday, October 29 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. The festival is open to everyone, so invite your friends and neighbors. There will be something for all ages — moon bounce, inflatable slide, games, hayrides, face painting, food and so much more. The Women’s Ministry will be hosting a bake sale during the festival as well, so make sure to pick up some cookies, a cake or some jam.
Apple Tree CDC Fall Festival
Apple Tree Child Development Center hosts its first FREE Fall Festival! Bring the kids to enjoy games, prizes, candy, cake walk, face painting, hay rides, food, drinks, and a whole lot of FUN for all ages. Costumes are encouraged!
November[themify_hr color=”orange” width=”50%” border_width=”2px” ]
3rd Annual Crafts 4 Clean Water
This fundraising effort, hosted by First Baptist Church of Meridianville, supports FBC’s mission to purchase and install water filtration systems in third world countries. There will be 80+ vendors attending, including popular direct sales brands and handmade crafts!
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.