Autumn in Orlando: What’s Happening
Orlando offers an array of attractions and events every fall. Though major theme parks receive plenty of attention, there are many interesting and less publicized options to keep you busy. Take a look at these autumn events for those seeking new experiences.
View a Film Festival
September 19th to 25th, visitors can experience the Global Peace Film Festival. Scheduled in conjunction with the United Nations annual International Day of Peace, this event is more than a series of movies. Panel discussions follow carefully selected films, chosen to inspire thought and understanding. Associated parties and social events encourage people from every walk of life to come together in an open dialogue. Festival organizers work closely with local community groups, encouraging the next generation of creators to find their voice and use art as a medium for healthy communication.
Experience Museum Day Live!
On September 24th, experience Museum Day Live! at the Orange County Regional History Center. A Smithsonian affiliate, the Center provides free admission and special events to guests as part of this annual event.
In addition to permanent exhibits covering local history, indigenous peoples, the natural world, and aviation, visitors of Museum Day Live! have access to “Searching for the Seventies,” a Documerica Photography Project. On loan from the Smithsonian, this exhibition delves into the 1970s. Created by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Documerica project, it’s comprised of carefully selected images from some 22,000 that were amassed between 1972 and 1977. The Center has crafted a set around these images, which transport guests back in time.
Enjoy Oktober Fest
Fall isn’t complete without Oktoberfest celebrations. From 11am to 3pm on September 26th, enjoy Orlando’s version of this German classic event. Located on the Bahia Festival Grounds, entrance to the event and bounce house access for children are free—though on-site parking costs five dollars.
Designed to emulate a Munich-style Oktoberfest, this event is full of food, beer, and tradition. Pretzels, potato salads, and bratwursts are on the menu each year. Schuhplattler—German folk dancing—is performed with traditional music throughout the day. Stein holding contests entertain adults in your party, while children enjoy live entertainment.
Explore an Art Festival
The Orlando Museum of Art and Loch Haven Park partner with Artlando, a one-day festival on October 1st. Visual and performing arts are both celebrated throughout the day. An interactive kid’s zone inspires young artists to explore, while an array of cultural attractions entertains the whole family. Art walks feature more than 80 local creators, spotlighting the rich, creative Orlando community.
Works made on site are entered into competitions and awards are presented throughout the day. From ballet to music, live performances are family friendly in the morning, transitioning to edgier entertainment at night.
Creep Through Haunted Orlando
Throughout the month of October, the Petrified Forrest delivers Halloween in an immersive and spine-tingling attraction. Those wishing to experience the holiday while avoiding major theme park crowds will enjoy this haunt. Events at The Forrest include “Kid’s Day” on October 17th with child-friendly haunts and trick-or-treating and “Special Needs, Special Event” on October 21st for guests with challenges to best enjoy each attraction.
Guests of the Forrest can purchase backstage passes that grant guided access to sets, actor meet and greets, and some tricks of the trade. Less brave visitors and those curious about the attraction may enjoy these sneak peaks behind the scenes. The Forrest includes two trails and the haunted ghost ship Abyss. With consistently good reviews, this Halloween haunt will entertain the horror-lovers of Orlando.
Indulge in Dining Experiences
From August 29th through October 2nd, indulge in Orlando’s Magical Dining Month. Select Orlando restaurants offer $33 prix fixe menus that include appetizers, entrees, and desserts. One dollar from each meal is donated to The Russell Home for Atypical Children.
With 89 participating restaurants in Orlando and the surrounding area, there are options ranging from sushi to steak and Italian to Latin cuisines. Reservations are recommended, as spaces fill up quickly. Let your server know it’s a Magical Dining reservation at the start of your meal to ensure you receive the appropriate menu.
Enjoy Orlando This Autumn
Whether seeking an artistic outing, Halloween scares, or fantastic foods, Orlando has something to offer you this autumn. With so many local entertainments to choose from, you and yours will be delighted throughout the season.