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. Will any of those things happen in 2020? Funny you should ask. The answer is…kind of.
Below we’ve compiled a list of fall festivals, carnivals and special events happening all around the Tennessee Valley this fall. Sure, there are a lot of events missing, but there are still plenty of fun and socially distanced things happening too. If you are missing autumn favorites like the Cemetery Stroll in Huntsville and the Madison Street Festival then be sure to check out Chalktoberfest (Oct. 3) a brand new event taking place at BridgeStreet or the History on a Stick Walking Tour (Oct. 4). Who knows, you might discover a brand new autumnal favorite to go with that pumpkin spice lattee.
Do you know of one we missed? We’d love to add it, just send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 head over to the 2020 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.
Festifall at Huntville Botanical Garden
This two-month celebration of the changing seasons features pumpkins, scarecrows, campouts, nature hikes, and more. Family favorites including the Scarecrow Trail, Family Campouts in the Garden, and Festifall Break Camps are all back. As the air turns crisp and the leaves begin to change color, there’s no better place to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of autumn.
Scarecrow Trail: September 7 – October 5
Pumpkins: October 1-31
Mum Displays: September – October
Historic Tractor and Wagon Photo Op: September – October
Scarecrow Trail Night Hikes: September 11 & 25
Family Campouts in the Garden: September 18-19 & October 2-3
Festifall Break Camp: October 5-9
October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, & 24
Monte Sano Art Festival
The Monte Sano Art Festival has been an enjoyed tradition in Huntsville, Alabama for two decades. Enjoy more than 150 of the region’s finest artists in an array of wonderful media, plus local food trucks and musicians throughout the park.
Date/Time: September 12, 9AM-5PM | September 13, from 9AM-4PM
Cost: Festival is FREE to attend but State Park charges $10 parking, $5 for walk-in
Location: Monte Sano State Park (map)
More Info: Website | Facebook
NEACA Fall Craft Show
The NEACA Fall Craft Show features over 100 crafters with items ranging from jewelry, pottery, home decor, outdoor decor, dolls, clothing, kitchen accessories, children’s items, food and much more.
Dancing for Diversity
Experience a different dance instructor every 15 minutes to include Zumba, cardio hip hop, salsa, line dance and more! Open to all skill levels and family friendly! This is a free dance fitness event to promote health and diversity!
Friday Night Art Walk
Enjoy the oncoming fall weather by strolling, shopping and sipping around the Square Downtown at the final Friday Night Art Walk. There are dozens of vendors with a wide variety of arts and crafts as well as live music. The event takes place during open entertainment district hours, so adults, feel free to stroll with your favorite beverage while shopping and enjoying local art.
Sherwood Park Cleanup Day
Join Operation Green Team at Sherwood Park Playground to participate in a Cleanup Day. Trash bags, litter sticks, and safety vests will be provided. Come ready to paint fire hydrants! Bring shovels and buckets if you have them to help clean any storm drainage and curbs/gutters. Social distancing and sanitization protocols will be followed. Face Covers are required. Reusable face masks will be given to those who need it.
Date/Time: September 26, 8AM-11AM
Location: Sherwood Park Playground (map)
Tour de Ville
Tour de Ville photo via Facebook
Tour de Ville is a festive event centered on a leisurely bike ride around Historic Downtown Huntsville. Riders will enjoy several noteworthy and historic “rest stops” along the route, and the post-ride celebration will feature live music, pizza, craft beer, and a bike obstacle course with fun races and games for kids and adults.
South Huntsville BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
International Observe the Moon Night
While the event might be virtual, the fun doesn’t have to be. Join the Marshall Space Flight Center’s Planetary Missions Program and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in celebrating International Observe the Moon Night on September 26, 2020. You will enjoy a live planetarium show with interviews with Planetary Scientists. Don’t miss out on this fun and informative program.
Cullman’s German heritage comes to life with a Southern Style during this annual week-long festival. Enjoy traditional German music, authentic German food, dancing, carriage rides, beer and wine, a classic car show, arts & crafts, guided walking tours, shopping, music and so much more.
Boaz Harvest Festival
The 56th Annual Harvest Festival celebrates the wonderful fall season and all that makes the Boaz Area great. The two-day celebration will include food, arts & crafts vendors, entertainment, Miss Harvest Festival Pageant, a corn hole competition, pumpkin decorating contest, classic car show, cosplay, and more.
Bridgestreet invites Huntsville to its first annual “Chalktoberfest” chalk art festival! The event area will be located around the Belk Courtyard and property wide (more details to come.) This will be a fun, socially distant event. There will be family entertainment and a chance for you to cast your vote for your favorite chalk art creation!
History on a Stick Walking Tour
Join the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society for a self-guided walking tour of Downtown Huntsville’s Historical Markers. History will come to life as historical figures such as Tallulah Bankhead, Reverend Joseph Lowery, and Howard Weeden tell stories about each site. Begin your tour and pick up a map at the Harrison Brothers Hardware marker at 124 Southside Square. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing guidelines.
Date/Time: October 4 | 2-4PM
Location: Downtown Huntsville
Lake City Fallfest
Family fun including outdoor vendor market, live music, food trucks, fave painting, inflatable, train ride, pumpkin bowling, pumpkin patch, rock wall climbing, costume contest, pie eating contest, hay ride, Pat Upton Dedication Day, Brunchpalooza and more!
Native Americans of the Southeast and the Trail of Tears Super Saturday
Athens Storytelling Fesival
Some of the nation’s most highly acclaimed storytellers will make their way to Athens virtually in October for the city’s annual celebration of storytelling, tall tales, and readings. Now in its fourteenth year, the Athens Storytelling Festival goes virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be hosted online. Tickets provide access to the entire virtual storytelling festival, to be played out on a private Facebook group just for ticketholders.
Date/Time: Oct. 23-24
Cost: $18 per household ($15 earlybird pricing before Oct. 1)
Location: Virtual event
More Info: Website
2020 Pumpkin Destruction Day
Join the annual Tate Farms smashing day for the most fun you’ll ever have on a farm! Great for all ages, this event provides all-day entertainment and tons of food, activities, and excitement. Attractions include the Monster Truck “Smashing Show” with cars and pumpkins, a special pumpkin explosion show, a hot air balloon pumpkin drop, small child area, Pumpkin Smash Zone area, and the Tate Farms Pumpkin Cannon. There will be a great fireworks display to end the evening along with all the farm’s normal fall family fun activities!
Bob Jones Band Car Show and Food Truck Rally
Free Video Game Day
Be one of the first 100 people to visit Rocket City Arcade on Saturday October 24, 2020 & pick up a TOTALLY FREE video game (plus some other goodies included in each grab bag). We will also have some special prizes to give away during the day. Quantities are limited to 100 free video games so get there early! We will be giving out SWAG bags with video games to those people that are 10 and older. We will also have a limited quantity of goody bags just for kids 9 and under.
Fall Carnival & Trunk or Treat in Ardmore
Join the Studio H Dance Company in Ardmore for a family-friendly fall carnival! Enjoy a moon bounce, Kona ice, food, vendors, trunk or treat, games, and a Thriller Dance Contest.
Melt’s Annual Fall Festival
Come down to the patio at Melt downtown for some free fall family fun, including lots of activities, giveaways, candy, and activities!
Fall Color Special Train Ride
The annual Fall Color Special train ride is sure to bring a smile to young and old alike, as our large windows create the perfect picture frame for the colors of autumn. Bring your camera as we travel along five miles of track in search of colorful trees and falling leaves.
3rd Annual Bernard Blues and BBQ
Inaugural Pumpkin Smashing at Hidden Rivers Farm
Out with the old, and on to the new! Bring your worn out pumpkin, or use one of ours! It’s a day of trashing, smashing, and lots of messy fun! Come help us end our season with a bang!
Folklife Festival at Burritt
Burritt’s 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 1800’s and early 1900s. Come hear toe tapping traditional music and watch demonstrators as they show you how our ancestors worked, lived and created art. Skills that will be demonstrated include: blacksmithing, pottery, spinning, basket weaving, quilling, open hearth cooking and much, much more.
Christmas Market at the Morgan County/Decatur Farmers Market
The Morgan County-Decatur Farmers Market will help Decatur and surrounding communities gear up for the holidays next month with the return of the annual Christmas Market. Set for Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, the Farmers Market will transform into a festive holiday marketplace with local artisans selling handcrafted jewelry, crafts, candles and more along with fresh produce and treats. This family event is free and a great way to kick off the holiday season. In addition to the specialty items, attendees can sip on hot chocolate and shop for seasonal produce.
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.