I’m an introverted extrovert, so sometimes the thought of a festival filled with people while I try to keep track of my own little people sends me over the anxiety edge and we opt for quiet surroundings or movie days.
But, fall is in the air (kind of) and with that comes tons of fall festivals and outdoor gatherings to ring in the new season. Charlotte is never one to scrimp on activities, so I have narrowed down from the tons going on to pick the top few I’d actually consider packing up my crowd and taking them to.
Whether you’re into seasonal gatherings or just a good old-fashioned festivals, grab your calendars and pick a spot or two to take the kids before the winter hits.
Hispanic Heritage Month falls from Sept. 15-Oct. 15 each year and to celebrate, Hola Charlotte puts together the largest Latin American festival in the city. For the sixth year in a row, Hola Charlotte will feature authentic Latin food, salsa dancing and two main stages with continuous entertainment for the duration of the festival. Bring the whole family for this rich cultural experience right in the heart of Uptown.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 12-7p.m., N. Tryon St. (From Trade St. to 8th St.)
Before heading to Hola Charlotte, stop by First Ward Park for the Monarch Festival, which will consist of all things butterflies, hosted by Butterfly Highway and North Carolina Wildlife Federation. You can expect to find a Monarch parade, butterfly tagging, crafts and tons of free activities for the whole family. Yes—free.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.- noon, 301 E. 7 St. (First Ward Park)
As summer comes to a close, First Ward Fall Festival has a two-day lineup that’s got a little something for everyone. With food trucks, craft beer and wine, this fall festival is a relaxing way to breathe in the autumn. Don’t forget your chairs and blankets as you watch bands perform throughout the day.
Pro tip: Bring the kids Saturday at 2 p.m. to see the kids-only School of Rock perform.
Friday, Oct. 13, 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 14, 2-9 p.m., 301 E. 7th St. (First Ward Park)
Come dressed to impress for a trick-or-treating experience before Halloween even gets here. Starting at the Johnston YMCA and, following a map of restaurants, trick-or-treaters tour the businesses lining the streets of NoDa. Afterwards, at 7 p.m., sit back and enjoy “Hocus Pocus” as it plays on the lawn of the YMCA. Don’t forget your chairs and blankets!
Friday, Oct. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3025 N. Davidson St.
University City Partners is hosting a huge festival to benefit the Library Foundation. This inaugural Charlotte’s Kids Fest will have a creative space, with partners like Community School of the Arts and Digi-Bridge, as well as education, play and discover zones. Music will be playing around the clock, with favorites like Liz, Holly and the Jolly Lollies, Charlotte Symphony and Hip Hop Orchestrated.
Saturday, Oct. 28, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., 9100 Robert D. Snyder Road (UNC Charlotte)
Photo Credit: University City Partners