A few years ago, I traded a life in the wacky-weather zone of the Midwest for a life of stable sunshine in Central Florida. And while I do not miss the snow and ice of a Midwest winter, I’ll be the first to admit that I miss fall. Now, the season for pumpkin spice everything is upon us, but it’s still pushing 100* in Florida. What’s a hoodie-wearin’, leaf-lovin’, autumn-dreamin’ Florida girl to do? Here are my top 5 favorite places to find fall in Florida.
#5: Corn Mazes
We might not have a lot of pumpkin patches (and zero apple orchards) but there’s still plenty of corn mazes to be found in the Sunshine State. Up north in Florida’s panhandle, where it actually feels like fall sometimes, take the kids to Sweet Season Farm in Milton. They offer a variety of fun, family, fall activities, including hayrides, pumpkin patches, a corn cannon, cow train, and 8-acre corn maze. Woah!
In Central Florida, head over to Scott’s Corn Maze at Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora. They’ll give you all the fall fuzzies with hay rides, two corn mazes, a tree maze, a rope maze, a super slide and much more. Enjoy lunch at their Country Cafe, local food trucks, or bring your own grub and enjoy a picnic in their covered picnic areas.
#4: Farmer’s Market
Nothing screams fall like the farmer’s market. And Florida has several great ones to choose from. The Jacksonville Farmer’s Market is one of the oldest and largest in Florida. A mile from downtown, their festive atmosphere, ethnic food opportunities, and cultural crafts give this lively open-air market all the fall feels.
Further south, the West Palm Beach GreenMarket was voted #1 in the US by USA Today. This beach-front outdoor market has a European feel, offering fresh produce, exotic plants, and baked goods. Don’t let the South Florida sun fool you. There’s plenty of fall to be found in Florida’s Treasure Coast.
#3: Craft Fairs
Dreaming of warm quilts and knitted scarves? Maybe some apple scented soap or a pumpkin spice candle? Craft fairs are a great way to celebrate fall in Florida. The Sunshine State boasts dozens of craft fairs of every shape and size, but only one can brag that it was voted the #1 craft fair in 2021. The Mount Dora Craft Fair is legendary and with good reason. With over 400 exhibits, festival food, music, and wine tasting, this October event will have you wanting to come back for even more fall fun.
Floridians know a thing or two about beer and they’ll gladly tell you all about it at anyone of our many Oktoberfest celebrations. In South Florida, Oktoberfest of the Palm Beaches is the place to find the best German beer, spirits, and of course – pretzels. Enjoy a wide variety of drinks and dishes, lively music, and exciting entertainment.
Wanna watch a bratwurst eating competition? Ride a Ferris wheel? Rock the night away? Then you might want to head up to Jacksonville for the Beaches Oktoberfest, also known as Jaxtoberfest for the largest Oktoberfest in Florida. Chug some beers, drink some songs, make some friends.
#1 Theme Parks
Get your fall fix at the happiest place on earth! Disney World’s Magic Kingdom begins decorating for Halloween in early August, giving fall fans plenty of time to get their ghoul on before all the ghosts and goblins disappear November 1. For even more fun, snag tickets to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – a not-so-scary evening event (select evenings, August through October) with park-wide trick-or-treating, costume parties, a special parade, and more!
Looking for a little more thrill than what you’ll find at the mouse house? Universal Studios has you covered with Halloween Horror Nights. On select evenings in September and October, you can make your way through ten haunted houses, five sinister scare zones, two live shows, and all the snacks, rides, and merch you already love.
Fellow Floridians, do not despair! Fall is in the air.