Fall is a time for spiced cider, pumpkin carving, and turkey dressing. It’s also harvest season – and that meanslots and lots of food and music festivals in Sacramento and nearby areas. If you’re looking for some great ways to spend with your family this fall in Sacramento, check out our list of the best fall festivals in Sacramento and nearby areas.

  1. Sacramento Comedy Festival

Now in its sixth year, the Sacramento Comedy Festival takes place on an annual basis each September. Founded by Brian Crall in 2011, the goal of the festival is to make Sacramento a go-to destination for comedy lovers around the world. This multi-day event features performers from all avenues of comedy – including sketch artists, improve comedians, stand-up, and more. Not only does this festival bring in some big names, but it also helps to promote awareness of the performing arts and serves as a great example for Sacramento youths who want to go into comedy. In 2016, the festival ran from September 9-11 and featured comedians from Oakland, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and even as far as New York City.


2. Sacramento Film and Music Festival

The annual Sacramento Film and Music Festival ran this year from September 6-11, featuring films from Patrick Gilles, Heidi Boucher, and Ruby Sketchley, as well as many other artists and directors. Founded in 1999, this festival won an award for Sacramento’s best film festival in 2014, and it definitely lives up to its name. Not only is this a great showcase of films from local directors and actors, but also for works from around the world. It’s definitely a must-see event for film buffs.


3. Rocklin Hot Chili & Cool Cars

Like chili? Like cool cars? You can have both at Rocklin’s 23rd annual Hot Chili and Cool Cars event! Taking place this year on September 17th, 2016, this event features good-natured competition, some gorgeous classic cars on display, and some damn fine chili to warm your belly as fall starts to show its true colors. Contestants will compete for the best looking car, and the greatest tasting chili, in an event that can only lead to everlasting glory for the winners.


4. Lodi Grape Festival

This one is a little bit of a drive to get to, but the Lodi Grape Festival is one that you cannot miss if you’re a lover of all things wine. Taking place over a four day period from September 15-18, the 2016 festival offers wine tasting as well as dozens of local wine vendors. But there’s a whole lot more to this festival than wine, as it’s truly an event meant for the whole family. A quick glance at their exhibits and activities schedules reveals circus shows, BMX performers, a petting zoo, live music, games, and this year a live performance from WAR (what is it good for?).


5. California Brewers Festival

The California Brewers Festival takes place every September (this year it’s September 17th) and it’s awesome. Not only for beer lovers, this day-long festival also has ciders and wines, as well as a tasty selection of food trucks from the infamous SactoMoFo to accompany your day of drinking. Taste different beverages and walk around the festival listening to live music and peeking in on booths from local vendors. The festival has a solid 22 year track record, and has raised nearly $1 million for local charities and organizations.


6. Sacramento Aloha Festival

Want to experience something a little different? The Sacramento Aloha Festival is the perfect place to get a taste of Hawaiian culture, with various food booths featuring authentic island cuisine and drink. You can also participate in educational workshops, learn the hula, make ti-leaf bracelets, and much more. This festival is free, and it’s going to be packed this year (it takes place October 1st) so make sure to head down early and be prepared for a day full of fun!


7. Global Winter Wonderland

Sacramento’s Global Winter Wonderland is a sight to behold – especially for those of you who love the holiday season (don’t be ashamed, we know you’re out there). This festival lasts for nearly an entire month each winter (this year it will be November 19 – January 8) and is full of holiday activities: the circus of light parade, ice skating, photos with Santa, crafts, food vendors, and more. Nothing will get you into the holiday spirit quicker than a visit to Global Winter Wonderland. Tickets go on sale on the website starting October 1st, 2016 – don’t miss out!

What’s your favorite fall festival in Sacramento? Leave a comment below!