Although it is still hot, the bees and mosquitoes are still buzzing and college football fans are still hopeful and full of dreams, let’s think about fall, shall we? A fall where cardigans and hooded sweatshirts are the norm. A fall where football and marching bands reign supreme. A fall where the leaves change and every day shows new beauty from trees that seemed ordinary yesterday.
Chattanooga is a breathtaking city, no matter the season, but it seems to come alive in the fall.
Maybe it’s the way the mountains surround the valley. Maybe it’s the cooler air (fingers crossed). Or maybe it’s because Chattanooga knows how to do fall right. As if we need another reason to love it, there is a wealth of activities in Chattanooga in the fall.
Chattanooga Market (in its various forms and locations)
The Chattanooga Market is expanding and growing like crazy! The typical 11am-4pm Sunday market runs through mid-November, at First Tennessee Pavilion across from Finley Stadium, and each week brings a different theme but the same great vendors. Themes for the fall include the Apple Festival, Culturefest, and Oktoberfest. Now you can visit the Chattanooga Market at various locations throughout the week as well. The River Market (Saturdays) and Cambridge Square Market in Ooltewah (Friday nights) offer a different set-up than the traditional market, but there is no shortage of food trucks, live music, and local craftsmanship here in Chattanooga!
Thursday nights in September and October (September 13th, 20th, 27th and October 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th).
Part of the Levitt AMP Concert Series, Jazzanooga is dedicated to using jazz to transcend cultural barriers and addressing the lack of arts and cultural programming in the Chattanooga area. Performances are held on the Bessie Smith Cultural Center front lawn every Thursday night at 6pm.
September 22nd from 10am-3pm.
Go Fest is the City of Chattanooga’s annual celebration of all types of ability at the Chattanooga Zoo. This free event is inclusive to all people and includes fun activities, face painting, music, and free admission to the zoo.
September 29th-30th from 10am-6pm both days.
Held at Chester Frost Park in Hixson, the fair is everything a fair should be! Food, craft vendors, animals, entertainment on the Community Stage, and much more. Fairgoers are shuttled to the park via two shuttle locations: Northgate Mall and Middle Valley Recreation Center.
Saturdays and Sunday from September 15 through October 28.
This fully working farm in Sale Creek has great fall activities: hayrides, hay and corn mazes, pumpkin picking, gem mining, corn crib, petting zoo, giant slides and more.
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 28th through October 28th.
You may come to go through the corn maze, which is great fun for the whole family, but Blowing Springs Farm is full of other fun activities as well: hayrides, petting zoo, playground, corn crib, and new for this year – yard games!
October 5th and 6th at Ross’s Landing.
This weekend music event is full of some great bluegrass and mainstream performers, and it’s FREE! Located on the water at Ross’s Landing, it sounds to me like a great place to spend a weekend.
This festival is the outdoor enthusiast’s dream! All types of outdoor athletics are here, bringing together world-class athletes and amateurs to celebrate all of the active outdoor sports Chattanooga has to offer: climbing, cycling, paddling, hiking, etc. As if the sports weren’t enough of a draw, RiverRocks also has live music sprinkled throughout. This festival runs for two weeks, with events for everyone!
October 6th and 7th.
The Autumn Children’s Festival is a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga. Festival goers enjoy Star Wars characters, princesses, superheroes, inflatables, a petting zoo, face painting, kiddie train, carnival games with prizes, arts and crafts, as well as health and wellness and educational programs. Admission and parking are FREE! Each activity ranges in price from only $0.50 to $3.
Saturdays and Sundays in October (6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th).
Celebrate fall at Rock City with a German festival! Come see Rock City, hear some live German music, see some polka, and sample some German food and beer if you like!
October 20-21 in Whitwell, TN.
This festival includes a decent drive for most of us, but the drive is well worth it. This fair includes live music, all the food possibilities you can dream of, local crafts, and a chance to see and experience some historical context of this beautiful location.
October 20-21 in historic downtown Cleveland, TN.
This annual festival offers an art and craft show, live music, food booths, pony rides, entertainment, children’s activities and much more! All children’s activities in the Trailhead Bicycle Kid’s Zone are free to children 12 and under including pony rides!