Don’t sweat the change of season this month! Though the last days of summer are upon us, there’s a whole lot to be excited about as it comes to a close. Some of the year’s best food starts to pop up here and there with harvest season kicking into gear and the festival circuit gives one last hurrah before the leaves begin to change.
Sept. 2-4: AJC Decatur Book Festival
This isn’t just the biggest book fair all year in the area, it’s also the largest in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world. See local and regional authors, get books signed, and do a little shopping.
Sept 10: Taste of Soul
The inaugural Taste of Soul food and music festival takes place in the Historic Westside Village. Entry is completely free.
Sept. 10: ONE Musicfest
A stacked lineup of R&B performers and rappers including Ice Cube, Erykah Badu, Big Boi, Killer Mike, and Goodie Mob comes to Lakewood Amphitheatre.
Sept. 17: Fall Folklife Festival
Explore southern traditions and the work of local artists at this family-friendly festival. Painters, potters, fiber artists, and other makers gather to show off their wares and give demonstrations. Local beer is on tap and juice boxes are available for kids.
Sept. 30: The Cheese Fest
Ready to attend a cheese festival with unlimited samples? Of course you are. Admission includes attendance to both a mac and cheese contest as well as a grilled cheese contest.
Sept. 3: Austin Flea
A Labor Day flea market descends on the locally-lauded Austin Beerworks. Shop among local handmade crafts, vintage pieces, and other unique gifts, such as paper goods, art, jewelry, bath products, and more.
Sept. 7-10: Austin Music Video Festival
Immerse yourself in Austin’s creative film and music industries over the course of four days with parties, panels, concerts, and an award show.
Sept. 15-17: Lone Star Le Mans
Sample the fare served up from Austin’s famous food trucks over the course of three days as high-end cars zip around the Circuit of the Americas in several races. Races include the 6-hour World Endurance Championship, IMSA’s Porsche GT3 Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
Sept. 18: Austin Museum Day
Austin museums across the city are offering free admission all day long. The list of participating museums isn’t just extensive, it’s exhaustive—virtually every major institution in the area is participating. Check out the complete list here.
Sept. 24: Texas Craft Brewers Festival
Experience the “greatest showcase of Texas craft beer” and all the libations this annual beer fest has to offer from local and regional producers. On tap are brews from Hops & Grain Brewing, 512 Brewing Company, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, Blue Owl Brewing, and many, many others.
Sept. 30-Oct. 2: Austin City Limits
An absolute no-brainer. Do you live in Austin? Have you listened to music before? Well, odds are you’ll be attending some kind of event related to this gargantuan, city-wide music fest, even if it’s not one of those big names at the top of the flier like Radiohead, Major Lazer, or Kendrick Lamar.
Sept. 2-4: North Coast Music Festival
Enjoy a mind-melting blend of electronic music, jam bands, and dance music in Union Park, just outside of the West Loop.
Sept. 7 & 14: Jazzin’ at the Shedd
This month is your last chance to catch a live jazz music performance on the aquarium’s outdoor terraces by the Lake Michigan shore, while also stopping inside to check out the thousands of water life on exhibit.
Sept. 17-18: Lakeview Taco Fest
Returning for its fourth year, Lakeview Taco Fest has a select group of the neighborhood’s most-frequented taco purveyors gathered together to celebrate one of Chicago’s culinary staples. Suggested taco and beer tasting are available along with lucha libre wrestling and live music from local bands.
Sept. 23-25: Chicago Gourmet
Feast on the spoils of living in one of America’s best dining scenes at Chicago Gourmet, Bon Appetit’s yearly festival in Millennium Park that features chef demonstrations and tastings by the best in the business.
Sept. 30: Shaw’s Oyster Fest
Enjoy six different varieties of oysters, boatloads of seafood, and favorite dishes like lobster rolls, clam chowder, and fish tacos while sipping on beer by Founders Brewing Co. at this festival curated by Chicago’s favorite seafood joint, Shaw’s Crab House.
Sept. 10: Dallas Observer Brewfest
Guzzle down samples from a selection of 400 brews from around the world at this outdoor festival celebrating all things beer.
Sept. 15-18: Addison Oktoberfest
An estimated crowd of nearly 70,000 guests are expected at this year’s Texas-sized German festival in Addison. The fest has German food, polka dancing, and an almost 30-year history.
Sept. 23-25: Plano Balloon Festival
Eyes to the sky! It’s balloon time. Watch 45 hot air balloons rise and float among the clouds, and see other attractions such as a parachute team, fireworks, and a kids’ fun zone.
Sept. 30-Oct. 23: State Fair of Texas
The nearly month-long State Fair kicks off at the end of September. Chow down on dishes by the finalists in the Big Tex Choice Awards, marvel at the best cattle specimens in all of Texas, and more.
Sept. 2-5: A Taste of Colorado
Labor Day weekend brings out the best of Colorado, specifically in the eating department. Over 50 restaurants from around the state sling their signature dishes at Civic Center Park in the heart of downtown Denver.
Sept. 10: Doggie Plunge
Treat your floppy-eared best friend to a swim session with dogs from around town. Food trucks are on-site for families as well as life jackets, toys, and ice cream for dogs. All pets must be up-to-date on vaccinations and be neutered or spayed.
Sept. 11 & 18: Yoga Rocks the Park
Get ready to stretch! This free yoga session comes to Sunken Gardens Park. The day begins with meditation, followed by group yoga on the lawn, then continues with workshops, music, and vendors.
Sept 23: Food Truck Safari
Preview the 15 new large sculptures installed at the Denver Zoo while stopping by the food trucks scattered throughout the grounds. The new sculptures were created completely out of trash and made to raise awareness about the garbage in our waterways.
Sept. 2-4: Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival
Named one of the best beer festivals in the nation by USA Today, this beer fest features tastings from breweries known locally and around the country, and even a beard competition.
Sept. 9-11: Amazing Houston Comic Con
Meet the authors and artists behind those comic book movies that have inundated movie theaters over the past few years. Writers for X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more.
Sept. 9-11: Houston Antiques, Art, and Design Show
Over 75 exhibitors from across North America pack into the George R. Brown Convention Center to show off and sell their antiques from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as 20th century modern pieces.
Sept. 17: Houston Symphony Opening Night
Let the symphony season begin! The Houston Symphony opens its season with classics Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” Rossini’s “Overture to The Thieving Magpie” and Strauss’ “Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.”
Sept. 29-Oct. 1: Houston Art Fair
Galleries from around the world exhibit contemporary art of several different mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture, and more.
Sept. 9-11: San Gennaro Festival
Feast on Italian food at this fourth annual festival dedicated to St. Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples.
Sept. 17: Ride Around the Sound
The American Lung Association’s annual event has hundreds of cyclists pedaling along the water on one of three courses, a 38-mile ride starting in Tacoma, a 78-mile ride starting in Normandy Park, and a 100-mile ride starting in Seattle.
Sept. 21: Luminata lantern parade
Welcome the autumn equinox with an evening lantern parade around Green Lake Park.
Sept. 24: State Parks free day
Washington State Parks throughout the state are offering a free day in honor of the National Park Service’s birthday.
Sept. 24: Fishermen’s Fall Festival
Hail the return of the North Pacific fishing fleet with this free festival complete with tons of seafood offerings, fishing demonstrations, and activities for kids.
Sept. 1-5: Mummies of the World
It’s your last chance to see mummies up close and personal at the fabulous Mummies of the World exhibition at Bowers Museum.
Sept. 2-4: Little Saigon Night Market
This weekend also happens to be your last chance this year to stuff yourself with the best of Vietnamese foods at the Little Saigon Night Market at the Asian Garden Mall.
Sept. 2-4: Orange International Street Fair
It’s that time of year again. This festival has been going on since the early 1970s and with nearly half a million attendees every year has no intention of stopping. Walk through the streets of Old Town Orange decked out with booths touting handmade ethnic crafts and mouth-watering entrees.
Sept. 11-Oct. 30: Dachshund Races
The wiener dog races are back in time for Orange County’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. Catch them every from 3-4 p.m. every Sunday for just .
Through Sept. 30: Dine Out Lauderdale
A select group of restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and around the area are offering prix fixe three-course dinners featuring their signature specialties for just 6.
Sept. 24: PawSUP & Surf Competition
Think your dog has what it takes to “hang 20” in an all-day surfing and paddleboard competitions? Give it a try and support the Southeast Region of Canine Companions for Independence, which provides free service animals to those in need.
Sept. 24: Riverwalk Fall Festival
Head over to Esplanade Park to play carnival games and fall-themed attractions and food. You can even bring your pets, just make sure they’re on a leash.