The Great Forest Park Balloon Race is one of St. Louis' signature events.

2023 St. Louis Fall Festivals & Events Guide

Tuesday August 22, 2023

By Rachel Huffman

In St. Louis, fall means mild weather, gorgeous foliage and a slew of things to do. From art to apples and beer to music, our area’s fall festivals and events have it all. So, whether you live here or you’re planning to visit, make sure you add these to your calendar.

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People gather on Art Hill for the annual St. Louis Symphony Orchestra concert in Forest Park.
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Annual Forest Park Concert

September 2 to 4

Spotlighting and celebrating the history, culture and people of Japan, the Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the U.S. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the garden to absorb the traditional Japanese art, food and entertainment on display. If you have time, consider taking one of the special tours offered in conjunction with the event.

September 7 to 17

“I don’t want realism; I want magic!” Tennessee Williams wrote in A Streetcar Named Desire. And magic is what you’ll find at the Tennessee Williams Festival. To enrich the cultural life of St. Louis, the annual theater festival features artistic and educational events that celebrate the timeless work and strong influence of the American playwright and screenwriter, who lived in St. Louis for 20 years. Delighting fans from across the country, the eighth annual Tennessee Williams Festival will feature a production of Suddenly Last Summer, readings of Something Unspoken, film screenings of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, walking tours of University City, panel discussions, book signings, poetry slams and more.

September 8 to 10

An explosion of color in the streets of Clayton, the Saint Louis Art Fair attracts a variety of high-quality artists and enthusiastic art-lovers – plus, some of St. Louis’ best restaurants, including Clementine’s Naughty and Nice Creamery, Kimchi Guys, Pappy’s Smokehouse and Steve’s Hot Dogs. Whether you’re looking for a piece of fine art to fill your home or a fun-filled day in the sun, you should stop by this three-day event.

September 8 to 10

Art, like beer, brings people together, which inspired Schlafly Beer to establish Art Outside in 2004. Hosted at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, the festival aims to raise awareness and appreciation of art and music created in the St. Louis community. This year’s festival will feature more than 60 artists who specialize in photography, woodwork, mixed media and more. Stop by with your family and friends and get to know art without pretense.

September 8 to 10 and 15 to 17

Oktoberfest returns to Grant’s Farm this September, celebrating the attraction’s German heritage. Included with free general admission, the event will feature cold beer served in commemorative steins, alongside traditional German food, live German music, enthusiastic German dancing and access to the farm’s animals.

September 9 and 10

Music and heritage meet at this festival in the Grand Center Arts District. Taking place on Sept. 9 and 10, the third rendition of Music at the Intersection, a civic-led effort presented by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, will encompass multiple stages set up in streets and green spaces throughout the neighborhood. St. Louis-based musicians as well as national acts spanning musical genres, including blues, jazz, soul, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop, will come together in this celebration of the region’s musical, cultural and artistic legacy. This year’s headliners include The Fearless Flyers, Herbie Hancock, Masego, Smino, Snarky Puppy and Thundercat.

September 12 to 16

This year, World Wide Technology Raceway will give travelers a million reasons to visit the Midwest. From Sept. 12 to 16, the premier racing facility will host the 28th annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race. World Wide Technology Raceway will continue the race’s long-running tradition while elevating the racer experience. “It wasn’t an easy decision to leave the South,” co-promoter Jennifer Folk said in a recent press release, “but we are very excited about our future in St. Louis. This decision wasn’t made lightly, but World Wide Technology Raceway certainly checked all the boxes for us.”

September 15 and 16

One of St. Louis’ most idyllic events, The Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race is not to be missed. Event organizers say that it’s the oldest and best-attended hot air balloon race in the world – you might want to scope out the perfect viewing area for you and your family ahead of time. This September, the event will also feature food trucks, music, wagon rides, a fireworks show and more free family fun!

September 15 to 17

Running along historic North Main Street in Saint Charles, the Mosaics Fine Art Festival features diverse artwork from artists across the country, alongside a pet pavilion and a children’s village with a creation station. The festival aims to stimulate the community and educate children and adults in art and its ability to enhance their lives.

September 15 to 17

Located in Kirkwood Park, the Greentree Festival is a time-honored tradition. The first festival was held in 1961 to replace drought-stricken trees in Kirkwood, and today, the family-friendly event features a parade, food, entertainment, arts and crafts, contests and more. While you’re here, check out the folklife festival, where more than 40 artisans – from blacksmiths to frontierspeople and rope-makers to weavers – demonstrate their crafts and display their wares.

September 16

Let’s get back to the land. The Fall Farm Festival at The Magic House gives kids – and adults – a chance to meet local farmers and learn about where and how their food is grown. The whole family can also sit in a real tractor, participate in agricultural activities and meet real farm animals in the museum’s Play Garden.

September 16

Now in its eighth year, the South Grand Fall and Music Fest includes more than 70 retail vendors and community organizations, along with ongoing entertainment in Ritz Park. During the fall festival, South Grand businesses will offer varying specials, discounts and entertainment, and tucked between the storefronts, you’ll find themed activities, games and crafts. There will also be a face painter and a balloon artist on site.

September 16 to October 22

Armored jousting, aerial acts, lively music, fine foods, vintage wares, friends new and old and plenty of cheer will appear at the St. Louis Renaissance Festival. Come and find what strikes you merry! The festival will take place on Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 16 to Oct. 22, as well as Mon., Oct. 9, and festivities will proceed, rain or shine.

September 16 to October 29

With thrills both on and off the rides, Fright Fest at Six Flags St. Louis is one of the spookiest events of the season. During the day, family-friendly attractions abound, but at night, all the creatures that go bump in the night haunt the park. Expect rides in the dark, haunted houses and other scare zones.

September 21

At this annual concert in Forest Park, you can experience the sounds of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the stars. Find a spot on Art Hill, sit back and enjoy the music, from classical tunes to modern scores. The event also includes fare from local food trucks for purchase and a stunning fireworks show.

September 22 to 24

Raise your steins! Oktoberfest is back in Saint Charles. At the family-friendly event, revelers can immerse themselves in a traditional Bavarian experience, complete with delicious German cuisine, renowned German beer and plenty of lederhosen. The legendary Obenheimer Express Band will entertain the crowd with its lively Beer Hall Polka, and people of all ages can partake in a variety of activities such as a bratwurst-eating contest and a 5k race.

September 23

As part of the new Mizzou To The Lou series, the Missouri Tigers will play the Memphis Tigers in a football game of epic proportions. Held at The Dome at America’s Center, this will be the Missouri Tigers’ first appearance in St. Louis since 2010. The game against the Memphis Tigers will kick off a partnership between the University of Missouri and the St. Louis Sports Commission, which will bring multiple Mizzou athletic events to the St. Louis area during the 2023-2024 season.

September 23 and 24

Bringing a rainbow of colors to Tower Grove Park, this community-powered Pride festival features the People’s Joy Parade, outdoor story time, arts and crafts and live music on two separate stages. Tower Grove Pride aims to support and promote social justice for every disadvantaged and undervalued community.

September 24

Visit the National Museum of Transportation for an afternoon of acoustic music and poker.

September 29 and 30

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. will celebrate Oktoberfest at its bierhall in The Grove. Festivities will feature live music on two stages, hearty German food and plenty of beer – plus, a stein-holding competition. Prost!

September 29 to October 1

Round up your family and friends and head to Eureka, for its annual, shall we say, party. Eureka Days features carnival rides, a parade, a beer garden, a firework show and more. Think you’ve got skills? Sign up for the kickball tournament or enter the chicken wing eating contest.

September 30

Held at the Community Music School on Webster University’s campus, this festival centers on traditional Korean performing arts, with performances by the Eine Ensemble from South Korea as well as local groups. Highlights of the program include a martial arts demonstration, K-pop dance and traditional foods. Attendees can also participate in visual art demonstrations focused on the Korean alphabet, calligraphy and crafts; try on hanbok, a traditional clothing of the Korean people; and learn about the traditional Chuseok charye table setting.


Crowds swarm the streets of The Grove neighborhood in St. Louis for GroveFest.

October 1

Since the first VegFest in 2018, the St. Louis event has grown to include approximately 70 vendors, expert speakers, entertainment, yoga and kid-friendly activities. This year, St. Louis VegFest will be held at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park, where you can learn more about the thriving vegan community in the region. St. Louis VegFest 2023 will happen rain or shine, so dress accordingly.

October 1 to 31

During the month of October, you’ll see some new faces around Eureka. As part of the Scarecrow Festival, artfully designed scarecrows will strike regal poses in front of local businesses, schools, churches and homes. While you’re in town, embark on The Great Scarecrow Hunt for a chance to win cash prizes.

October 6

The St. Louis Bourbon Festival returns to the historic Lemp Mansion on Oct. 6. This year’s festival footprint doesn’t stop there, though. It has expanded along three city blocks with additional spaces to explore along Cherokee Street and Demenil Place. Imbibers can enjoy more than 500 whiskies from around the world, along with live music, street performers, food trucks and a scotch and cigar patio. Bottoms up!

October 6 to 8

This fall, the Best of Missouri Market returns to the Missouri Botanical Garden with almost 100 vendors, offering unique handicrafts, locally produced foodstuffs, bespoke jewelry, native plants and more. Kids will also have a blast with fall-inspired activities such as sustainable pumpkin decorating.

October 7

Dance, eat and party in the streets of The Grove during this annual festival praised for its diversity. Live music, interactive art, street performers, fashion shows and a bubble bus set the tone, so you know that you’ll have a good time. While you’re in the area, fuel up at the Food Village, which boasts bites and sips from local establishments.

October 7 and 8

A stone’s throw from the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Historic Shaw Art Fair takes place at the intersection of Flora Place and Tower Grove Avenue. The fine art fair features 130 artists showcasing their ceramics, paintings, pastels, photography, sculptures, woodwork and more. Food and music will supplement the art.

October 7 to 29

Ecktoberfest features fun, family-friendly events on Eckert’s farm in Belleville, Illinois. Take a scenic wagon ride, enjoy live entertainment and treat your taste buds to caramel apples and cider donuts. At the children’s carnival, your little ones can ride a pony, feed a goat and get a thrill from the rides. In the coming weeks, you can also enjoy the Hard-Pressed Cider Fest (Sept. 9 and 10), Bluegrass Festival (Sept. 15 and 16) and Holiday Market Pop-Up (Nov. 4 and 5) at Eckert’s.

October 8

The community will come together for this one-day festival, celebrating the changing of the seasons. Local vendors will serve food and drinks, while the on-site farmers’ market will also feature artisan foodstuffs, such as chocolate, salsa and tea. Snack and shop to your heart’s content while listening to an assortment of live music.

October 13 and 14

Home to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Biergarten, Soulard is the perfect location for Oktoberfest. The free, family-friendly event honors St. Louis’ German brewing traditions with multiple beer stands serving the best suds around town. Attendees can also enjoy traditional German food, a wine garden and live music.

October 13 and 14

A film festival by filmmakers for filmmakers, The Gung Ho! Revolution Film Festival aims to support, educate, showcase and reward talent from around the world. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to promoting the art and science of filmmaking, with a long-term vision to become the go-to destination for the best ultra-low-budget films by 2030. In its second year, The Gung Ho! Revolution Film Festival sets itself apart from other film festivals by emphasizing both production and competition. Every year, the organization collaborates with a top-tier production team and five St. Louis locations to bring the winning script to life with the hope of identifying and elevating the careers of independent filmmakers while showcasing St. Louis and its unique character. See the winning script on the screen along with other fantastic films at the St. Louis Public Library – Central Library this October.

October 14

Local, regional and national craft breweries, distilleries and wineries will come together for the 11th annual Brew in the Lou. Hosted by Lutheran Elementary School Association (LESA), the festival in Francis Park also boasts food tastings, live music and local vendors. Admission includes unlimited beer, wine, spirits and food (while supplies last), along with a commemorative tasting glass, and proceeds benefit LESA’s 35 member schools, which serve approximately 9,500 students and 500 educators.

October 21

More than 40 local and national breweries will come together for the St. Louis Beer Fest. There will be 120 beers available, and admission includes unlimited samplings as well as access to all the exhibits at the Saint Louis Science Center.

October 21 and 22

Join Big Muddy Adventures on a breathtaking journey through the Missouri River Valley via canoe. This overnight expedition will cover 30 miles of the Missouri River, including incredible views of fiery fall foliage – plus, riverside tent camping, meals and snacks. You don’t need paddling experience, but participants must be 18 or older.

October 26

Looking for a spooktacular evening? Head to The Magic House for Haunted Happy Hour! Attendees will enjoy a night of food, spirits and fun in the museum, featuring a haunted mansion tour, Halloween photo ops, a costume contest and more. Reservations are required, and you must be 21 or older to attend.

October 28 and 29

Attracting more than 100,000 visitors every year, the Apple Butter Festival is the largest event in Kimmswick. While participants can enjoy the small-town ambiance, live entertainment and between 500 and 600 food, drink and craft vendors, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, too. On Friday, the Kimmswick Historical Society gathers to peel and prepare the apples. Then, before dawn on Saturday and Sunday, the apples are cooked in a kettle over a wood-burning fire until the fragrant spread is thick enough to seal in jars. After one taste of the apple butter, you’ll want to stock your pantry with the indulgence.


The Polar Express Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station is an important holiday tradition.
The Polar Express Train Ride

November 4

For one night only, Laumeier After Dark gives the public a unique opportunity to explore Laumeier Sculpture Park. The annual event features temporary art and light installations from local artists as well as illuminations of the sculpture park’s most iconic sculptures. Laumeier After Dark also includes a night market with local makers, food and beverage vendors and live music.

November 9 to 19

This year marks the 32nd Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival. The festival showcases cutting-edge features and shorts from around the world, many of which will receive their only exposure in St. Louis.

November 17 to December 30

The Polar Express Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station is an important holiday tradition. Set to The Polar Express motion picture soundtrack, the magical experience takes guests on a journey to the North Pole aboard beautifully decorated trains. Families are encouraged to interact with the train conductor, The Polar Express characters, Santa Claus and his elves – and to wear their favorite seasonal pajamas for the occasion.


People shop for art at the Print Bazaar on Cherokee Street in St. Louis.
Print Bazaar on Cherokee Street

December 2

Do you prefer prints? You’re going to love the Print Bazaar on Cherokee Street. One of the largest print sales in the Midwest, the annual event showcases more than 100 local and regional artists whose work embodies the ever-evolving creative energy of the neighborhood. Expect everything from lithographs to woodcuts and etchings to screen prints. Add a cup of hot coffee or a tasty taco and this might become a new tradition for you.

December 10

Signed, sealed, delivered! The Missouri Bridal & Wedding Expo returns to the America’s Center Convention Complex on Dec. 10. The convention features an amazing selection of wedding professionals who can help you find the perfect gown, reception venue, invitations, photographer, music, menu, honeymoon destination and so much more. Admission is free with online registration or $10 at the door.