Heading to Downtown Indy during the month of September is a no-brainer. From cultural celebrations to beer fests to art fairs, this time of year is ripe for outdoor festivals. Here are eleven not-to-miss fall festivals in Downtown Indy.
1. Penrod Arts Fair: Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
If you live in Indianapolis and love art, Penrod Arts Fair is a September must. More than 300 artists come come together on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art for one of the nation’s largest single day art fairs. Kids can enjoy a live performance on one of the six stages and adults can kick it at the Indiana Craft Beer Garden. Tickets to Penrod are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
2. Sun King CANvitational: Sept. 9 from 1 – 5 p.m.
Beer lovers, rejoice! The 5th annual Sun King CANvitational showcases more than 60 craft breweries, local eats from food trucks and live music all in one space – Georgia Street. CANvitational is the largest beer festival in the Midwest dedicated to canned beers, with last years event drawing about 4,000 craft beer enthusiasts from across the Midwest. General admission is $50; early entry at noon is $75; and designated driver tickets are $10.
3. Indy Jazz Fest: Sept. 14 – 23
Indy Jazz Fest features some of the most popular jazz and blues artists including multi-Grammy award winner Norman Brown! Downtown venues include Madame Walker Theatre, The Cabaret at The Columbia Club and the Central Library. Don’t miss kicking off a preview of the festivities at the Indy Jazz Fest Stage at the Penrod Festival.
4. Indy Irish Fest: Sept. 14 – 17
Indy go bragh! The 22nd annual Indy Irish Fest takes over Military Park with music, dancing, food, shopping and a kid’s craft tent and game area. You won’t walk far without spotting at least one Celtic canine – attendees can get up close and personal with Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Setters, Irish Terriers and more. Sheep herding demos, the large selection of kilts at the Irish market and hurling demos makes this event one of the city’s most unique cultural fests. To get in Thursday night is FREE for the concert-only night! Tickets are $12 in advance and $17 day of; $12 for students; $7 for children 5 – 14 and military; and FREE for children 4 and under.
5. Monument Circle Oktoberfest: Sept. 15 from 4 – 11 p.m.
Presented by the Columbia Club, Monument Circle Oktoberfest features both German and American fare. Menu items will include sauerkraut balls, bratwurst with sauerkraut, grilled hot dogs, soft pretzels, kielbasa with cabbage, cheeseburgers, potato pancakes, elephant ears and more. Visit the biergarten featuring local, domestic and imported beers along with a variety of German wines and a cigar bar. Plus, catch live music from Polkaboy on Monument Circle starting at 7 p.m. Admission is FREE.
6. Rooftop Garden Oktoberfest: Sept. 16 from noon – 6 p.m.
Close out the rooftop season at the Fountain Square Theatre with Rooftop Garden Oktoberfest on Sept. 16. Bratwurst and Knackwurst from Claus’ German Sausage & Meats will be served with cold German beer from Sun King on tap.
7. FIESTA Indianapolis: Sept. 16 from noon – 10 p.m.
La Plaza’s FIESTA Indianapolis brings more than 15,000 Hoosiers to the American Legion Mall for the best, most vibrant celebration of Latino culture in Indiana. Attendees can enjoy a full day of music, dancing, food, children’s activities, a health and wellness fair and community service booths. Admission is FREE.
8. WestFest: Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saddle up and enjoy the sights and sounds of the West at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art’s WestFest Sept. 23. Pan for gold, try authentic chuckwagon grub and enjoy live music, Western performers, games and more. The festival is included with admission to the museum.
9. Indianapolis Chinese Festival: Sept. 23 from noon – 6 p.m.
Lions, dragons and drums, oh my! Indianapolis is hosting the seventh annual Indianapolis Chinese Festival at IUPUI’s Wood Plaza. This festival is held during the month of Chinese Moon Festival, which is the second largest Chinese festival after Chinese New Year. The Moon festival in China is a celebration of the harvest with family and friends. Come for the gift shops, Chinese food, to learn calligraphy or kid-friendly games! Admission is FREE.
10. Herron-Morton Place Oktoberfest: Sept. 30 from 2 – 9 p.m.
Can’t make it to Munich for Oktoberfest? For its seventh year, the Herron-Morton neighborhood has invited some of Indy’s favorite trucks (think: Scratch Truck, Citizen Hash, Pi Pizza and Der Prestzel), restaurants and a few neighborhood joints to bring their tastiest food and treats to Oktoberfest. There will also be live music and beer. Lots of beer (+ Fountain Square’s New Day Craft Mead and Cider)! This event benefits the neighborhood park and is kid and dog-friendly. Admission is $10.
11. Original and Fabulous GermanFest: Oct. 14 from noon – 8 p.m.
Discover your inner German at the Original and Fabulous GermanFest at the Athenaeum Oct. 14. Celebrate with dancing, German beer, live Wiener Dog Races, a strong man competition and more. All proceeds benefit the maintenance and care of the Historic Athenaeum.