Fall Festivities Guide

The best way to celebrate autumn in Kentuckiana


Pumpkin picking at Huber’s Orchard, Vineyard and Winery. Photo by Erin Coffee

Bryce Shreve, Staff Reporter

Editors’ note: An earlier version of this story confused Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant and the Huber’s Orchards Winery and Vineyard. The family farm and restaurant are being sold, but the winery will remain open. They are different businesses. 

Crisp apple cider, pumpkin spice everything and leaves crunching on the ground. Although it seems like Mother Nature doesn’t want it to be, the season is finally here.

Fair weather, seasonal foods and nature’s unique color palette set fall apart from other seasons. This year, IUS students can celebrate the season in a multitude of ways.

Harvest Homecoming

It’s hard to exist in Kentuckiana and not know about Harvest Homecoming. The family-friendly fall festival began 51 years ago and is held in downtown New Albany from October 6 to 14.

The Harvest Homecoming Parade is the official kickoff to the festival, held on October 6. The festival features dozens of vintage cars, interesting floats and talented bands.

This year’s festival features the “Who Wants to be a College Student?” event. Based on the popular game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” the game gives any high school senior living in Floyd County the chance to win up to $1,800 for their college tuition.

The ever-popular “Booth Days” are held from October 11 to 14 on Market, Pearl and Bank Streets. Visitors can browse vendors and local businesses, with items ranging from handmade jewelry to tasty, high-calorie festival food and everything in between.

Nothing is more like fall than walking around downtown New Albany, running into old friends and buying some artisan knick-knacks you don’t actually need.

Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant

Huber’s is a family farm in Borden, Indiana with a rich history dating back to 1843. It’s a must-visit for any fan of fall, with sprawling orchards and picturesque fall panoramas abound.

Huber’s is a great place for fall activities. Visitors can navigate the corn maze, pick apples and spend time in the iconic Barnyard, which offers activities for kids like the Cow Train, hayrides and the 40-foot barnyard tunnel slide.

Huber’s is also home to the famous Joe Huber’s restaurant as well as several shops where customers can purchase souvenirs, sweets and wine.

The restaurant and surrounding barns are being sold at auction this November, according to the Courier Journal. This may be the last season to visit Huber’s so stop by, buy some gourds and breathe in the fresh country air. Huber’s Orchard Winery and Vineyard is not being sold and will remain open, according to the Courier Journal.

Food & Drink

Celebrating the fall season doesn’t always look like a trip to Harvest Homecoming or Huber’s. Endless retail and food establishments offer fall-themed items that make celebrating fall a breeze.

No seasonal drink is as ubiquitous as the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. The drink returned in early September and while there is no official end date, it would be wise to get one while they’re in season.

Apple cider captures the fall atmosphere as well, and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Quills and Heine Brothers Coffee are great local spots for hot cider.

The Louisville bar scene is exciting year-round, and the fall season adds delicious seasonal brews and cocktails to its menus.

Drake’s is a late-night spot with two Louisville locations where patrons can grab seasonal favorites like the Mean Apple, FallSpice and Drake’s PSL. The bar will also be Oktoberfest specials from September 22 to October 7, featuring discounted drinks like Sam Adams.

Fall-related baked goods and sweets can be found at virtually every grocery store in the area. Hostess is famous for Pumpkin Spice Twinkies and Caramel Apple Cupcakes. Candy corn — while often divisive — is an iconic fall candy, and caramel apples are also a fall staple.

Also, be sure to grab plenty of marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers to make s’mores — the perfect fireside snack on a chilly fall evening. Be sure to check out this delicious recipe for Nutella S’mores.

Outdoor Scenery

The aesthetics of fall are best enjoyed outdoors, where the crunching leaves and soft wind can be felt and heard up close. Kentuckiana is far from lacking in pleasant scenery.

Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, In. features intricate trails for walking, running or taking pictures for Instagram. Visitors are also fond of canyons and a variety of quaint waterfalls.

The Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is just a short drive down I-65 to Shepherdsville, Kent., and well worth the gas. The park is well-kept and features beautiful scenery, which is best viewed by climbing 961 feet up their historic fire tower.

Charlestown is home to the 5,100-acre Charlestown State Park that reaches to the banks of the Ohio River. The changing leaves of fall are especially serene and a great deal for the affordable entry fee – $7 in-state and $9 out-of-state.

One unique area of Southern Indiana is the Falls of the Ohio State Park. Visitors can explore wooded areas and fossil beds that overlook an expanse of the Ohio River at this 1,400 acre park and enjoy a beautiful view of downtown Louisville.

Whether it’s a day trip to Huber’s or a night in with a pumpkin spiced latte and Netflix, there’s no shortage of fall festivities to be had this season.