Basses Apple and Sunflower Fest

10 Best Harvest Festivals Around Milwaukee (2023)

Festivals are happening all over the Milwaukee area in September and October, and there’s no better way to embrace the fall season.

From apples and pumpkins to and Oktoberfest and sturgeon, this family-friendly event lineup revolves around all things autumn.

1. Harvest Fair (State Fair Park)

Sept. 29-October 1, 2023
Wisconsin State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St., West Allis, WI 53214
Admission: FREE (parking is $10 per vehicle – CREDIT CARD ONLY)

Photo Credit: Facebook, @wistatefair

Enjoy free live entertainment on several stages, including local artists, Amphitheater headliners, lumberjack shows, pumping bowling, make-your-own scarecrow, a Farmer’s Market, and food galore!

2. Apple & Sunflower Fest (Basse’s Taste of Country)

September 2-4, 7-10, 2023
3190 County Line Q, Colgate, WI 53017
Admission: $14.95 per person (ages 1 and under are FREE)

Apple & Sunflower Fest Basse's Taste of Country Colgate Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @BassesTasteOfCountryFarmMarket

Walk or ride the Grain Train out to the fields, where you can enjoy picking your own apples from the orchard (Honeycrisp and several other varieties are available), and spend some time wandering through the beautiful zinnias and 5-acre sunflower maze.

Don’t forget to have your camera ready for many breathtaking photo ops!

NOTE: Admission includes a 1/4 peck bag of U-pick apples, but U-pick sunflowers and zinnias cost extra. Basse’s is cashless.

3. Cider Sunday at Wehr Nature Center

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Celebrate fall during this family-friendly event for all ages. This year’s theme is “An Apple a Day” with a focus on the nutritional benefits of apples as well as the physical and mental health benefits of getting outside in nature. 

There will be live music from The Sweet Sheiks and The Bluegrass Allstars, tasty apple treats, pumpkin bowling, children’s crafts, and Apple-themed Story Stroll along Wehr’s trails to enjoy the autumn colors, and more.

4. Autumn Harvest Fest at The Elegant Farmer

Sept. 9-Oct. 22, 2023 (Saturdays and Sundays only)
1545 Main St., Mukwonago, WI 53149
Admission: FREE (fees apply for activities, apples and pumpkins)

Whether you’re continuing a family tradition or starting a new one this fall, The Elegant Farmer offers an old-fashioned, on-farm experience.

This fun family event features apple picking (find current varieties on their website and Facebook page), corn maze, laser tag, pumpkin patch, tractor-pulled hayrides, pony rides, the Smilin’ Barn Café and more.

Pro Tip: The East Troy Railroad also stops here, so you can make a train ride part of your day as well. Open Saturdays and Sundays only; admission and parking are free.

Pro Tip: The early birds get the apples! To avoid the crowds, arrive earlier in the morning or after 3 p.m. You can grab coffee and donuts in the market when it opens at 9 a.m., then cross the street to the orchard when it opens at 10 a.m.

5. Friends of Retzer Nature Center’s Apple Harvest Festival

Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Retzer Nature Center, S14 W28167 Madison Street, Waukesha
Admission: $10/carload (cash only at parking entrance)

Come enjoy the Apple Market with sweet treats and cider.

Fun children’s activities include a Passport Expedition on the accessible Discovery Trail, a self-guided story hike, a scavenger hunt on Scarecrow Lane, and planetarium shows.

Retzer Nature Center

Parents will love shopping arts and crafts vendors, bidding at the silent auction, relaxing at the beer garden (try the Retzer Apple Ale) and listening to live music by JC Ayer.

6. Wine & Harvest Festival in Cedarburg

Sept. 16-17, 2023
N70 W6340 Bridge Road, Cedarburg, Wisconsin 53012

Kick off this beautiful season with a sweet and savory weekend at the 50th Annual Wine & Harvest Festival in historic downtown Cedarburg.

There will be live music, grape stomping, pumpkin weigh-ins, a hilarious giant pumpkin regatta (Sunday, 2 p.m.), a classic car show, a Kids Korner with petting zoo, bouncers and barrel train, wine tasting and more!

7. The Hollow at Phantom Lake

Sept. 30-Oct. 23, 2022 (select dates)
S110W30240 YMCA Camp Road, Mukwonago, WI 53149
Admission: $15 ($18 on Fridays and Saturdays)

Photo Credit:

Take a stroll and enter a world of enchantment, filled with 3000 hand-carved illuminated jack-o’-lanterns. This outdoor, family-friendly evening under the stars is sure to become a yearly tradition.

8. Annual Harvest Festival at Milwaukee Public Market

Saturday, October 14, 2023

This annual festival is a celebration of the public market’s anniversary. It is a free event that is fun for the whole family with food, music, and autumn inspired activities.

Taste hand cranked apple cider, build your own scarecrow, go pumpkin bowling, get your face painted, and more.

Attendees 21 years of age or older can take part in a fan-favorite tradition of sampling Lakefront Brewery Pumpkin Lager tapped from the market’s giant pumpkin.

The festival is located at the Riverwalk Commons space, located across the street from the Milwaukee Public Market along the river.

9. Fall Fest at Basse’s Taste of Country

190 County Line Q, Colgate, WI 53017
Admission: Weekdays $13.49; September Weekends $15.99; October Weekends $18.99 (taxes not included; some activities incur an extra cost)

Start your family traditions and come explore Happy Jack’s Pumpkin Land at Basse’s for the ever-improving Pumpkin Festival just 25 minutes northwest of Milwaukee.

Pick your own perfect pumpkin from the patch, challenge yourself in the 8-acre corn maze, and enjoy 65+ fun activities for the whole family, including jumping pillows, train, ropes course, duck races, arcade games and so much more! They add new activities every year.

There’s also pig races, dog shows, lumberjack shows, cowboy stunts, a dance party, and a candy cannon. Purchase corn stalks, straw bales, pumpkins of all sizes, squash, gourds, and more from the market.

10. Cedarburg Oktoberfest

Oct. 1-2, 2022
W63 N641 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53012
Admission: FREE

live glockenspiel show at Cedarburg Oktoberfest Wisconsin
Photo Credit:

Here you will find authentic German food, beers, wines, desserts, and live German music, as well as a wooden dance floor for polka fans. Silly contests with prize awards include Saturday’s Best Lederhosen/Dirndl Judging Contest, the Sauerkraut Eating Contest and the German Spelling Bee from Ault to Zither (A-Z). Don’t miss the live glockenspiel (cuckoo clock) show, a delightful, goofy event that will make you laugh every two hours.

11. Sturgeon Fest

Okay, okay, this isn’t quite a “Harvest Festival”.

But Sturgeon Fest happens every year in the Fall, and it’s definitely worth your time!

It’s hosted by Riveredge Nature Center and held in Milwaukee’s beautiful Harbor District.

Sturgeon are the oldest and largest species of fish in the Great Lakes. But in less than 200 years, human influence caused the sturgeon population in Lake Michigan to plummet.

At this festival, you can sponsor a young sturgeon and hand release them into Lake Michigan. Plus, there’s live music and plenty of activities for the whole family.

More Fall Festivals:

Mukwonago Fall Fest
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Downtown Mukwonago
Admission: FREE

Located in the heart of downtown Mukwonago, this family-friendly annual event features local craft and food vendors, a chili cook-off, live music, pumpkin decorating, bounce houses, family photo opportunities, and a DJ.

Germantown Hunsrucker Oktoberfest
Sept. 24-25, 2022
Dheinsville Historic Park, N128W18780 Holy Hill Rd., Germantown, WI 53022
Admission: FREE

This festival offers German entertainment, including great music, dancing and family fun. There’s a Dachshund Dash benefitting Washington County Humane Society on Saturday, and a classic car show on Sunday. Free admission and parking.

Oconomowoc Fall Festival
Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023
Downtown Oconomowoc
Admission: FREE

Mark your calendars for Oconomowoc’s favorite fall event, with tons of vendors, entertainers, food, a beer garden and more, all day long.

The St. Paul Kid’s Zone offers a petting zoo and plenty of kid-friendly games, crafts and activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Greendale Hay Days wIth Oktoberfest Biergarten
Friday, Sept 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd, 2023
Greendale Gazebo Park, 5798 Broad St., Greendale, WI 53129
Admission: FREE

Enjoy this two-day fall festival! Kick off Friday night with a biergarten featuring music from Accoustix and 52nd Street.

The Saturday Family Fall Festival has something for everyone including live music and performances, food and drink specials, inflatables, games, K9 demos, face painting, pony rides, hay rides, a corn maze, scarecrow making, pumpkin decorating, and more.

Piala’s Fall Festival
Sept. 23rd and 24th, 2023, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Piala’s Nursery & Garden Shop, S39W27833 Genesee Rd, Waukesha, WI 53189
Admission: FREE

Piala's Nursery & Plant Shop Fall Festival Waukesha Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @pialasnursery

This fun-filled, family-friendly weekend at the nursery features a craft fair, live music, fresh food, festival-only sales and plant specials, and Piala’s peacock palace. For the kids, there’s a bounce house, a giant slide, games, and a fire department meet and greet – all for free! Enter to win an amazing door prize by donating a non-perishable or household item to the Food Pantry.

Greenfield Fall Family Fest
October 7, 2023
Konkel Park, 5151 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, WI 53220
Admission: FREE

This free event is held in conjunction with the Annual Trick-or-Trot Run/Walk. Enjoy fall-themed family activities, including inflatables, a petting zoo, pumpkin bowling, face painting, a haystack play area, animal balloons, bingo, games and more.

Enter the costume contest (youth and adult prizes available), or try your hand at the pumpkin pie eating contest! Food trucks, beverages, and beers will be on hand as well.

HEAR Wisconsin’s Fall Fest
Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023
10243 W. National Ave., West Allis, WI 53227
Admission: FREE

Everyone is invited to this event hosted by HEAR Wisconsin, a non-profit organization that helps babies, children, and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing.

There will be a petting zoo, balloon twisting, arts and crafts projects, family friendly activities, and entertainers. Enjoy free grilled food and snacks, and even get a free hearing screening inside the new Mobile Audiology Clinic (MAC).

Falls Harvest Festival
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Mill Pond Park, W164N9021 Water St, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Admission: FREE

Come for day of fall fun, including local vendors, a pet costume contest, pumpkin painting, seasonal beers, live music and more!

Oak Creek Fall Festival
Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023
Drexel Town Square, 361 W Town Square Way, Oak Creek, WI 53154
Admission: FREE

kids in costume at Oak Creek Fall Festival Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @visitoakcreek

A harvest tradition in Drexel Town Square, this family-friendly outdoor event celebrates everything autumn. Festivities include a costume parade at 1 p.m., plus all-day pumpkin decorating contest, petting zoo, pony rides, live music, Oak Creek Farmers Market, craft vendors, caricatures, face painting, hayrides through Emerald Preserve, a giant inflatable corn maze, and more.

Great Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 25-30, 2023
Old School House Park, 5240 N. Marlborough Dr., Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
Admission: FREE

Great Pumpkin Festival Whitefish Bay Wisconsin
Photo Credit: Facebook, @whitefishbay.civicfoundation

A full festival will take place Wednesday through Saturday, featuring live music along with food vendors and a beer tent. Residents will be able to pick up pumpkins at various times throughout the week and then return them to the park to be part of the walk-through lighted display on Sunday and Monday night (6-9 p.m.). There will be no pumpkin carving done on site, and no festival activities will take place on Sunday and Monday.

Thiensville Applefest
October 1, 2023

Details TBD

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