Eight Reasons to Visit Jacksonville This Fall
Historic Jacksonville, Florida, with its vibrant history and active community, is home to many fall festivities. Whether you’re seeking family fun, date nights, or friends’ outings, there’s something for you this year in Jacksonville.
Each year, Downtown Vision Inc. presents an expanded addition of the monthly ArtWalk in October. This year it will be held on October 5th from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the evening. A carnival zone and large kid’s area entertain children while adults enjoy visual artists, live performers, and more than 60 vendors displaying their creations. VIP tickets for this event include regular admission plus unlimited food, beverage, and private bathroom access in addition to main stage seating. Extra VIP tickets include a beer stein, shirt, and bag to take home on top of all of the other perks mentioned.
For those willing to take the short drive to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Beaches Oktoberfest is the largest such event in the state. Running October 14th to 16th, this three-day event attracts 45,000 to 55,000 people each year. Headlining the main stage this fall are The Movement, Blues Traveler, and Collie Buddz. Visitors can purchase tickets for the whole weekend or single days. With arts and crafts, food trucks, carnival rides, games, national performing acts, and a huge selection of German beer, this family-friendly event has something for everyone.
Jacksonville’s Ghost Tour, “River City Haunts,” delves into the dark side of the city’s past. Ghostly actors lead guests through streets, haunted buildings, and alleys by lantern. Horrible events and epidemics left their mark on the city, and these tours explore each in chilling detail. As Halloween draws near, these tours complement any fall activity schedule. Children and adults are both welcome in each walking tour, though the faint of heart may want to skip this trip.
On October 22nd, Jacksonville Main Street presents its annual Pumpkin Festival, which costs $5 per person. Participants have access to pumpkin decorating, hayrides, petting zoos, a kids’ play area, and trick or treating. Costumes are highly encouraged, as contests are ongoing throughout the day. Participants are welcome to bring pets—there’s a pet costume contest as well.
The annual Jerk Food Festival occurs at Metropolitan Park each September. Numerous food trucks provide local cuisine, while a jerk chicken cook-off is the main event. Food eating contests abound, including the infamous spicy pepper competition. Children enjoy fun and engaging activities, and live music is performed throughout the event.
On October 1st, the Bubble Run comes to Jacksonville. This 5k event is fun for the whole family; walking, running, and dancing are all encouraged. New waves of participants start along the designated pathway every few minutes, where they run through banks of multi-colored bubbles every kilometer.
Remember to wear light clothes to show off bubble colors, but nothing you’d be uncomfortable staining. Music, free swag, and more bubbles await runners at the finish lines. Runner packets containing details should be picked up September 30th between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Each participant/team is assigned a run time and encouraged to arrive an hour prior to the designated slot.
Forever Fit 50 & Beyond once again present the Jacksonville Senior Games from September 30th through October 8th. Sanctioned by the Florida Sports Foundation, participants may use these games to qualify for the Florida Senior Games State Championships. Physical games are a large focus here, but activities and competitions promoting mental well being are presented as well. Associated social events complement these games to promote new friendships and a sense of community among citizens in the fifty and over community.
Floridians love football, and Jacksonville is no exception. EverBank Field is home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where fans flood the stands every weekend in the fall to watch games. Gates open three hours before each game, providing access to the Fan Entertainment Zone. Two hours before kickoff, the Bud Light Party Zone and US Assure Club open their doors. Arrive early to enjoy the full array of fan events and activities before finding your seat.
These are just a few of the many Jacksonville autumn-inspired activities to keep you entertained, engaged, and in shape this year.