The BEST festivals in Dayton this weekend: Beer extravaganza at Octoberfest, pretzel fest, apple fest and more

Fall is officially here, and some of the most beloved festivals of the season are here!

Raise your glasses to a weekend of beer, food and fun at the Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest and soak it all up with warm, gooey pretzels at the Germantown Pretzel Festival.

Don’t forget to check the weather to plan your perfect weekend. 

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Here are the festivals for the weekend of Sept. 21-23:

>> It’s non-stop food, beer and cheers in September

A scene from Dayton Art Institute's 2016 Oktoberfest. (TOM GILLIAM)/CONTRIBUTED (TOM GILLIAM)


A Dayton tradition since 1972, the community event includes artisans, unique international foods, selection of domestic, international and craft beers, family-friendly art activities, live music, a Weingarten with a variety of international wines and more. There will also be a fully covered main stage viewing area, an expanded craft beer tent with big-screen TV’s to view football, and live music on two stages throughout the weekend. Parking and free shuttle service.

When: Sept. 22-23, 12-11 p.m. Saturday and 12-7 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton. 

Cost: $8 Adults; $5 seniors (60+) and youth (7-18); At the Gate: $10 Adults; $7 seniors and youth; Children 6 and under are free.

More info:

>> Insider’s Guide to the Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest

Scenes from the Germantown Pretzel Festival Sept. 26, 2010, at Veterans Memorial Park in Germantown. (Chris Stewart)


Featuring vendors with hand-crafted items, tasty treats, fun for the kids and more. Sidewalks will guide you around the park to experience everything the Pretzel Festival has to offer.

When: Sept. 22-23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday & 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Veterans Memorial Park, 75 N. Walnut St., Germantown

Cost: Free.

More info:

>> 3 reasons to go to the Germantown Pretzel Festival this weekend

Visitors enjoy Aullwood Farm, displays, demonstrations, food and live entertainment at Aullwood's family friendly Apple Fest.. (Submitted)


Featuring food, live entertainment, free children’s activities, meet farm animal friends, tractor or draft horse pulled wagon rides and more. A variety of artisans and craft exhibitors will offer soaps, jewelry, woven items, sand art, garden ornaments, etc.

When: Sept. 22-23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday

Where: Aullwood Audubon Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, Dayton

Cost: $7 Adults; $5 children (3-11); Friends of Aullwood members and children under 3 are Free.

More info: Call 937-890-7360 or visit


Fun for the entire family. Free activities include: Zorb Ball obstacle course, bungee trampoline, bounce houses, pony rides, RC car racing, carnival games and more.

When: Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: The Gathering, 8911 Yankee St., Centerville. 

Cost: Free

More info:


Pony rides, hay rides, kids games, conservation exhibits, farm animals, sheep herding, pumpkin chucking, storytelling and more.

When: Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Learning Tree Farm, 3376 S. Union Road, Dayton

Cost: $10 per family of up to 8; $2 for each additional person.

More info:


A Rose Festival co-sponsored by the Miami Valley Rose Society of Greater Dayton. Open to the public.

When: Sept. 22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton

Cost: Free.

More info:

Kick-N-Flava of Dayton is returning for the band s fourth performance at the Ohio Fish & Shrimp Festival, which will be Sept. 16-18 at Freshwater Farms of Ohio, a mile north of Urbana. CONTRIBUTED (HANDOUT)


Get your fill of mouth-watering seafood selections while enjoying a live music stage, multiple vendors, games and activities for the whole family. Freshly harvested shrimp will be for sale beginning Saturday morning.

When: Sept. 21-23, 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Freshwater Farms of Ohio, 2624 U.S. 68, Urbana

Cost: daily admission: ages 13 & up - $5, Ages 3-12 - $2, Ages 2 and under are free. Tickets available at event admission gate only.

More info: Call 937-652-3701 or visit


The Miami Valley Sports Festival brings together multiple sports and people to celebrate sport, fitness, health and wellness. MVSF has tournaments, seminars, demos, clinics and more.

When: Sept. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Action Sports Center, 1103 Gateway Dr., Dayton

Cost: $10 per person

More info:

The 29th annual Ohio Renaissance Festival runs Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day Monday for nine weekends — Sept. 1 through Oct. 28. This festival will transport you back to the 16th Century in an English village with knights, jousts, swordsmen, pirates, nobles, peasants and jugglers walking past you in timely costumes. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER (Tom Gilliam)


Guests can step back in time in a 30-acre recreated 16th Century English village. The festival features nearly 100 shows daily on 11 stages, over 135 unique arts and crafts shops, hearty food and drink fit for kings, games of skill and human-powered rides to amuse all ages. 

This weekend’s theme: Fantasy. Join the Witches of Willy Nilly and the fairies as they enchant the village. Show off your finery in the Fantasy Costume Contest.


When: Sept. 1-Oct.29, Saturdays & Sundays plus Labor Day

Where: Ohio Renaissance Festival, 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville. 

Cost: Tickets range from $4.75 - $60.

More info: Call 513-897-7000 or visit

>> PHOTOS: Did we spot you at the Ohio Renaissance Festival’s opening weekend?

>> FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Ohio Renaissance Festival

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