Guide to the best fall festivals in Milwaukee and the surrounding area, including Milwaukee Oktoberfest
Wisconsin is a vibrant place to visit during the fall, full of fun festivals and events you won’t want to miss.
The fantastic and fun Milwaukee fall festivals are some of the best in the state, and a must if you plan to travel Wisconsin in the fall.
Oktoberfest is one of the most popular events among all fall festivals in Milwaukee.
The city is best known for its brewery and beer culture due to the significant historical connection to German immigrants who settled in the city during the 19th century.
However, Oktoberfest Milwaukee isn’t the only event that makes the city worth visiting during the fall!
In this post, I will share some of the best Milwaukee fall events you can add to your calendar.
Whether you plan to visit Milwaukee in September or October, here are some fall activities in Milwaukee you shouldn’t miss!
Pssst…!!?? You can’t get enough of Wisconsin? Have a look at my other posts:
- Weird Wisconsin Roadside Attractions
- Fun Outdoor Activities in Milwaukee, WI
- Cool and Unique Things To Do in Milwaukee
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Table of Contents
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☘ Get the best discounted outdoor gear (outlet) at REI.com
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✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at SafetyWing. It is easy to set up, cheap, and reliable.
Overview: Top 3 Milwaukee Fall Festivals
- Milwaukee Oktoberfest
- Milwaukee Paranormal Conference
1. Milwaukee Oktoberfest – Milwaukee
When: 1st weekend of October
When it comes to Oktoberfest, Milwaukee isn’t the only city that celebrates the fall weekend getaways in Wisconsin.
However, as one of the biggest cities in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Oktoberfest is definitely one of the best fall festivals in Wisconsin!
The annual Oktoberfest in Milwaukee is usually held during the weekend in October at Cathedral Square Park, and there are many fun activities you can participate in this event.
It’s one of the must-visit fall festivals in Wisconsin, and everyone is welcome to join one of the best October festivals in Milwaukee.
In addition to enjoying authentic German food, you can sign up for fun competitions like Miss Oktoberfest or the Weiner Dog pageant.
For visitors above 21 years old, don’t forget to reserve your drinking package and chug some refreshing beer to make the best out of your Oktoberfest in Milwaukee!
2. Zoo Brew – Milwaukee
When: 1st week of October
If you plan to attend a fall fest, Milwaukee has plenty of options you can choose.
Situated in Milwaukee County Zoo, Zoo Brew is among the best Milwaukee October events you shouldn’t miss.
While you can explore flora and fauna around the zoo for your Wisconsin fall getaways, Zoo Brew allows you to sample various new food and beers from different brewers in Milwaukee.
Not only does it make some great fall activities in Wisconsin, but it’s also a great way to support local businesses in Milwaukee.
Organized by the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, you can also get a special discount to attend the Milwaukee Fall Fest if you’re a zoo pass holder!
3. Great Pumpkin Fest – Union Grove
When: 4th weekend of October
Visiting Milwaukee fall festivals isn’t complete without attending a pumpkin festival in October.
And that’s why you should also include the Great Pumpkin Fest on the list of must-visit festivals in Milwaukee in the fall!
The Great Pumpkin Fest is one of the best things to do in Milwaukee with kids.
It’s one of the Milwaukee October festivals that feature various family-friendly activities to enjoy, from live music to picking pumpkins for your family!
The Great Pumpkin Fest is one of the best fall festivals near Milwaukee, WI. The event will be held in Union Grove, just 30 minutes drive from Milwaukee city center.
In addition, you can also showcase your BBQ skill by joining the Midwest BBQ Competition in one of the best Milwaukee festivals!
4. Harvest Fair – West Allis
When: the last weekend of September / the first weekend of October
Featuring free entertainment with numerous fall-themed activities, Harvest Fair is one of the best Milwaukee fall festivals suitable for visitors of all ages.
Located at the Wisconsin State Fair Park, the event has so many family-friendly fall activities in Milwaukee.
From lumberjack shows to pumpkin bowling, Harvest Fair is one of the greatest fall festivals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
Among many Milwaukee area festivals, Harvest Fair offers three days full of family-friendly activities that can be fun for everyone.
A lot of activities are free, but those requiring tickets are also quite affordable and enjoyable for all visitors.
If you’re looking for fall festivals in Milwaukee with numerous rides and activities, don’t miss taking your family to the Harvest Fair in Milwaukee!
5. Equinox – Milwaukee
When: 4th weekend of September
If you plan to attend one of the best Milwaukee September festivals, then don’t miss the chance to explore the music scene in Wisconsin at Equinox Music Festival!
Equinox is one of the best fall festivals in Milwaukee, WI, which takes place in The Brewery District, where you can enjoy performances from various local musicians from the city.
The venue has four stages in total, and you can enjoy your favorite musician according to the schedule.
To enhance your experience when attending Equinox, it’s worth upgrading your ticket to VIP.
With this you can get free access to the private rooftop space in addition to free drinks and hors d’oeuvres at one of the best Milwaukee fall festivals!
6. Fromm Petfest – Milwaukee
When: 4th weekend of September
One of the best Milwaukee September events you shouldn’t miss when planning to bring your furry family is Fromm Petfest.
It’s one of the greatest fall festivals near Milwaukee, WI, where you can bring your family and enjoy many pet-centric activities with your four-legged babies!
If you are considering adopting a new pet for your family, stop by Adoption Avenue to connect with various rescued animals that need a forever home.
Or if you plan to travel with your pet, you can also sign them up for the Fromm Petfest Costume Contest!
The Fromm Petfest will be held at Henry Maier Festival Park, making it one the best pet-friendly Milwaukee fall festivals!
7. Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon – Milwaukee
When: 1st weekend of October
As a city located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the lakefront in Milwaukee has become a central activity for locals and visitors alike.
One of the best fall festivals in Milwaukee is the largest marathon in Wisconsin: Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.
If you’re a runner, this is one of the Milwaukee fall events you shouldn’t miss.
Participating in this Milwaukee Fall Fest allows you to enjoy the scenic views of Milwaukee’s natural beauty around Lake Michigan.
But more enticingly, you can also get a chance to take home the bonus of $5,000 if you break the fastest record from the previous marathons in Milwaukee!
You can sign up for Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon as one of the runners or you can just watch the hype at one of the biggest Milwaukee fall festivals.
Either way, this marathon is definitely worth going to if you are looking for ways to enjoy fall in Wisconsin!
8. Halloween Parade – Oconomowoc
When: the last weekend of October
Talking about fall festivals in Milwaukee isn’t complete without adding the Halloween Parade to your bucket list.
The upcoming parade will be held in downtown Oconomowoc, making it one of the best fall festivals near Milwaukee.
Get ready to join the ghost parade while wearing your favorite Halloween costume to be a part of the biggest Milwaukee October festivals.
The event sponsor, the Oconomowoc Lions Club, serves complimentary drinks and hot dogs that visitors can enjoy before and after the parade.
If you bring your kids to travel to Wisconsin in October, you can also take them to the parade before trick or treating around the residential area!
9. Milwaukee Paranormal Conference – Milwaukee
When: 2nd weekend of October
October is the best time to visit Milwaukee, especially if you’re interested in Wisconsin folklore or urban legends.
Among many fall festivals in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, best known as Milwaukee Paracon, is one of the best Milwaukee fall festivals if you’re into any of those.
Milwaukee Paracon will be held at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center downtown, which is organized by the American Ghost Walks.
It’s one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween in Milwaukee, as you can listen to some of the popular Milwaukee ghost stories at the event.
In addition, you can also stop by the tarot booths or get some superstitious merchandise to complete your paranormal experiences at one of the best Milwaukee fall festivals in October!
Although the ticket to the event is free, the entrance is limited, so make sure to sign up in advance to ensure your eligibility to participate in the next Milwaukee Paranormal Conference this fall!
10. Milwaukee Comedy Festival – Milwaukee
When: 1st week of October
When it comes to fall festivals, Milwaukee is home to many.
If you love to laugh, you can add a week full of comedy at Milwaukee Comedy Festival to complete the list of the Milwaukee fall festivals you should visit in October.
Milwaukee Comedy Festival has become one of the best annual fall festivals in Milwaukee.
Since its first event in 2006, Milwaukee ComedyFest has become a Milwaukee Fall Fest hosting some of the biggest names through live performances and stand-up comedy.
There are a few venues used during the fall festivals in Milwaukee.
Some will be held at the Lakefront Brewery or Dandy, while you can visit most of the events at the Milwaukee comedy club at the Laughing Tap.
You can visit many Milwaukee fall festivals from September to October in Wisconsin.
There is so much to enjoy this time of year, such as the breweries during Oktoberfest in Milwaukee, or the unique Milwaukee Paranormal Conference to learn more about the local urban legend.
Have you attended any of these fun Milwaukee fall festivals? Which one of the best fall festivals in Milwaukee is your favorite?
Short FAQs About Milwaukee Fall Festivals
How many festivals does Milwaukee have?
There are over 100 festivals within the city throughout the year. No matter what time of year you visit, you’ll find some kind of Milwaukee festival happening.
When is Oktoberfest in Milwaukee
Milwaukee Oktoberfest changes exact dates each year but is usually in the first two weeks of October.
What are the best Milwaukee fall festivals?
There are many fun fall festivals in Milwaukee, but my favorites are Milwaukee Oktoberfest, the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, and Equinox.
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
- You’ll snap tons of photos and I love to take my GoPro in order to shoot even in extreme situations.
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals when traveling to warm countries. Consider trying some of these eco-friendly vegan hiking boots.
- Sunscreen is key! I always take with me my eco-friendly sunscreen by Thinksport.
- I always carry a light rain jacket, just in case. Pack smart with these organic cotton clothing companies.
- Be environmentally friendly and get one of these awesome backpacks made from recycled materials.
- Get in the mindset with these amazing wilderness survival books.
- Travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel is protected against all odds with HeyMondo.
Hola! I am Paulina, a fervent travelette who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by Boat HitchHiking. On my blog, you’ll find all the tips to make the most of your holiday. Get ready to enjoy outdoor and sustainable travel like hiking, cycling or sailing. Let’s hit the road together!