Fall Festivities In Hendricks County
Writer / Josh Duke
Can you feel it? The air is getting a little crisper and soon the leaves will turn our Midwest outdoors into a beautiful landscape filled with orange, yellow and red hues. Yes, the fall season has arrived, and it is time to look ahead to local events and activities right here in Hendricks County.
This time of year, I love talking about Beasley’s Orchard and Natural Valley Ranch. And while you likely have heard of those attractions, have you heard of Hogan Farms or Who North America?
I will cover that and more as I highlight the fall attractions, events and activities you won’t want to miss this year in Hendricks County. If you want more information like this regardless of the season, I encourage you to check out our website at VisitHendricksCounty.com.
Narrowing down all the festivals, activities and other fall attractions in Hendricks County can prove to be a difficult task because of the sheer number of fun things to see and do.
But I always find that Beasley’s Orchard provides a good starting point.
Beasley’s Orchard Heartland Apple Festival
This must-see autumn institution in Danville also hosts our county’s largest fall event, the annual Heartland Apple Festival. Always held the first two weekends in October — Oct. 6-7 and 13-14 this year —Indianapolis Monthly magazine featured this festival as one of “50 Things Every Hoosier Must Do!”
Visitors can tour the orchard, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, pick apples from the U-pick area, enjoy live entertainment, buy fresh produce and other goods in a Civil War-era barn turned rustic market or wind their way through a huge corn maze. Your children will love hay mountain, the apple cannons and Barnyard Bonanza, which features ball throws, a spider web, a huge jumping pillow and more.
But you don’t have to visit Beasley’s during those two weekends to enjoy the fun as the orchard remains open every day during the fall season with many of the above activities available.
While Beasley’s and the Heartland Apple Festival may be the autumn headliner, it merely scratches the surface of fall events you can enjoy with your family. Six other favorites in October include:
• Nehemiah Ranch Fall Harvest Days (Oct. 6, 13 & 20) – This free evening event on three consecutive Saturdays in Avon includes hayrides, a pumpkin patch and other activities.
• Scarecrow Display (Oct. 6-28) – Beginning Oct. 6 and on display most of the month of October, the Historic Hendricks County Courthouse Square in Danville becomes a spot that repels fowl but attracts people. This annual display brings out the creative side in local businesses as they try to land their best haymakers.
• The Smiley Morning Show Pumpkin Drop (Oct. 18) – This annual morning event at The Shops at Perry Crossing in Plainfield never disappoints as they drop a massive pumpkin from a crane. The event includes tons of giveaways and activities.
• Fall Colors Festival (Oct. 20) – Enjoy the best public place to see fall foliage in Hendricks County — McCloud Nature Park in North Salem. This event boasts lots of fun activities including archery, tree-climbing, throwing an atlatl, operating an apple cider press, hayrides and more.
• Doctoberfest (Oct. 27) – This fall celebration focuses on the TV show “Doctor Who” with a costume competition, pumpkin carving, games and much more at Who North America in Camby. More on this attraction in a moment.
Other Fall Attractions
Before I close, I wanted to briefly mention a couple of fall attractions in Brownsburg that I highly recommend. Hogan Farms has become a popular autumn spot with activities that include a huge corn maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo and hayrides. I took my son a few years ago, and he loved it.
If you’re into horseback riding, there truly is no better season to experience a ride through the scenic woods at Natural Valley Ranch than in the fall. The Brownsburg ranch spans 70 scenic acres and offers 30, 60 and 90-minute guided trail rides along the banks of White Lick Creek.
I briefly mentioned Who North America in the events above. Did you know that it is the only retail store and museum dedicated to the TV show “Doctor Who” in North America? If you love the show, venturing to this attraction in Camby should be on your bucket list.
Finally, I wanted to mention that if you are looking for a fall maze that is a little different than the typical corn mazes, you need to venture out to McCloud Nature Park in North Salem. During the month of October, visitors to McCloud can experience the park’s free prairie maze with a grasshopper theme this year.
For more information about any of these attractions or events or other things to do in Hendricks County, our massive Events Calendar and more, go online to VisitHendricksCounty.com.