Fall Festivals to check out in central Indiana in 2023

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Posted at 8:05 PM, Sep 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-24 20:05:46-04

INDIANAPOLIS — There are a dozen festivals happening this fall season in central Indiana. Anything from the arts and live music to food, movies, haunted houses and so much more.

WRTV has made a list of festivals and events happening around central Indiana this fall.

September 27 – October 31: Indianapolis ZooBoo

The Indianapolis Zoo will be offering Halloween themed activities for kids of all ages!

Patrons can enjoy Bat Alley, Trick-or-Treat Trail, Spook-Tracl-Ular Train Ride, Roller Ghoster and more.

ZooBoo will take place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Admission to ZooBoo is free for zoo members and is included in the admission price for nonmembers.

September 29 – October 31: Harvest Nights at Newfields

Newfields will once again be hosting their annual fall festival, branded as “spooky, not scary.”

Attendees can enjoy food, drinks and tons of glowing jack-o-lanterns. Activities will include the Pumpkin Patch of Peril, the Ghost Train, Mischief Manor and more.

Ticket prices vary depending on the day.

October 5 – 29: Conner Prairie’s Headless Horseman Festival

The Headless Horseman Festival will run every Thursday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

There will be many activities, including a haunted hayride, corn field maze, carnival rides, bounce houses, live music and more.

Festival admission for the general public is $24, and free for members. The hayride is $7 for both members and nonmembers.

October 5 – 15: Heartland International Film Festival

In its 32nd year, the Heartland International Film Festival will present over 120 films over 11 days.

While all of the films will be shown in-person at indoor or outdoor screenings, many will be available online.

Movie-goers can catch the films in-person at five Indy locations, including Kan Kan Cinema and Brasserie, Living Room Theater, and Newfields.

October 7: Germanfest
Indianapolis, Mass Ave

Indiana's biggest festival dedicated to celebrating German heritage and culture returns for its 15th year.

From noon to 6 p.m., festival-goers can enjoy German food, drinks, music, games, arts and crafts, a brat eating contest and more.

General Admission tickets can be purchased in advance until October 6 for $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets are available at the gate for $25 for adults and $15 for children.

All proceeds from GermanFest go toward preserving the German-American landmark that is the Athenaeum.

October 7: Hendricks County International Festival

The fourth annual festival is a free educational event at the Shops at Perry Crossing.

There will be food trucks, live music, traditional attire and educational opportunities for multiple countries including Pakistan, India, Mexico, Thailand, France, Japan, Scotland and other African countries.

October 10 – 31: Children’s Museum Booville

Booville is a haunted house held at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. There are two versions of the haunted house.

AES Indiana’s Lights-On haunted house is Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. This version is centered around fun and keeps the lights on.

AAA’s Frightening Hours is on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is a scarier version of the haunted house with spooky music and very minimal lighting.

October 20: Monster Mash

This is a free Halloween event for kids at Craig Park in Greenwood from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

There will be trick-or-treating, a hayride, bounce houses, food and more.

VIP tickets for early admission, a photo-op in a hot air balloon, the hayride and a hot dog are $10 a person and are on a first come first served basis.

October 21 – 22: Hoosier Fall Fest

This is a free event at the Johnson County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

There will be live entertainment, activities for kids, character meet-and-greets, trick-or-treating, a petting zoo and over 140 vendors.

October 21 – 28: Irvington Halloween Festival

The 77th annual Irvington Halloween Festival will offer a week of spooky events leading up to the street fair on October 28.

The week of activities will include a kid’s zone, beer garden, art, battle of the bands, costume contest, pumpkin carving, food trucks, music and more.

October 21 - 22: October Owl Festival

Eagle Creek Park's eighth annual October Owl Fest will be held in the park's Ornithology Center.

It is a two-day event with all activities centered around owls. Activities include nature-themed games, pumpkin painting, live music, yoga, a campfire and park naturalists presenting various wildlife programs.

Owl Fest is a fundraising event for the Eagle Creek Park Foundation. Event organizers say the proceeds go toward the "long-term care of the park’s raptor ambassadors."

November 3 – 13: Onyx Fest

OnyxFest is a theater festival exclusively for Black playwrights.

OnyxFest is the first festival of its kind in Indianapolis that's now in its fifth year.

The week-long festival will present five plays at the District Theatre, Basile Theatre, and IUPUI Campus Theatre.