One of the best things about living in Northeast Ohio is getting to experience the changing seasons—especially when the changing of seasons is as lovely as it is from summer to fall. If you’re on the hunt for activities to help you make the most of the season, let us be your guide. Get yourself a seasonal beverage from one of downtown’s many cafes and restaurants, and read on for some of the festive, cozy, and maybe even spooky events you won’t want to miss this year.
There are so many great fall activities planned for this season. One you won’t want to miss: The 2nd Annual Downtown Akron Fall Fest, happening on Cascade Plaza October 21, from 5 to 9 pm. This Halloween-themed family event will feature trick-or-treat stations on Main St. from 5 to 7 pm, a spooky market, music by local band Wishgarden, food, a fire pit lounge, pumpkin decorating, and a free showing of the popular 1993 movie, Hocus Pocus, at 7:30 pm. We’ll also have visits from witches, warlocks, Troopers from the 501st Legion, and Ghostbusters.
You should also mark your calendar for November 4, when we’ll be hosting the Gilmore Girls–inspired Smells Like Snow Coffee Festival. We’ll transform Cascade Plaza and Main Street into Stars Hollow for the day and fill it with hot coffee, great music, and plenty of small-town fun.
Visit a Market
This fall, TrueNorth, a shipping container and public art park, is being activated all season long with farmers markets every Wednesday from 4 to 7 pm, and seasonal themed pop-up markets on Saturdays from 11 am to 7 pm. A few themed markets to look forward to: The TrueNorth Time Warp Vintage Market on October 14, the Trunk-or-Treat and Spooky Market on October 28, and the Veterans’ Day Tribute and Market on November 11.
If you’re looking for other options to explore, Northside Marketplace is a great option year round, and is now filled to the brim with 140+ vendors selling unique, handmade goods.
Catch a Movie
There’s ample opportunity to cozy up with good and potentially spooky movies this year. In addition to the Fall Fest screening of Hocus Pocus, the Nightlight is showing Twilight as part of their Cinema in the City series, as well as Bad Press, The Royal Hotel, Robot Monster (in 3D!), Mami Wata, and The Cramps at Napa, with more to be announced on a rolling basis. The main branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library has several movies slated in its Movie@Main series, including a month-long series of features starring Humphrey Bogart on Thursday evenings, and The Addams Family and Killer Clowns from Outer Space on two Sundays in late October.
As the temperature starts to cool and you begin to seek out indoor experiences outside the house, spend time exploring art in downtown Akron. A few shows that are opening this season: Summit Artspace’s Fall Exhibitions, which run October 6 through December 16, and the Akron Art Museum’s forthcoming exhibition, RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore, which opens November 4 and runs through winter. If you’re looking to experience art in the fresh air, you can always take a self-guided tour of Curated Storefront’s Main Street windows.
Curious about the spookier aspects of downtown Akron’s past? We’ve got just the thing for you. On Saturday, October 7, the Akron-Summit County Public Library is leading Akron on Foot: Dark Stories and Legends, where they’ll explore Akron’s dark and ghostly history. The event will begin with a presentation from local author and historian Jeri Holland. This event is free to attend, but registration is required.
On Friday, October 13, Black Cat Tales & Tours will be leading a 1.5-mile Akron Ghost Tour, where participants will be able to learn about the history, mystery, and creepiness of the city. Bonus: This tour will take place in the dark, for an extra spook factor. Tickets are $16.
A week later, on October 21, as part of Fall Fest, the Summit County Historical Society will lead yet another haunted tour of downtown Akron. Tickets will cost $20 and will be available here in the coming days.
Sometimes, the best thing about fall is simply filling your lungs with the fresh autumn air. What better way to do this than getting out and about on the Towpath Trail? Thanks to Summit Bike Share, you can even rent a bike and explore the Towpath, if you feel so inclined.
We also recommend heading to the Akron Zoo for their kid-friendly Boo at the Zoo trick-or-treating events throughout the month of October, and Zoothing Boo at the Zoo, a trick-or-treating event for kids with different abilities who don’t like crowds or loud noises.
And of course, what’s fall without football? Head to InfoCision Stadium on The University of Akron’s campus for home games throughout October and November to watch the Zips play.
To see our full calendar of downtown Akron events, click here.