15 October Events to Enjoy Wisconsin's Fall Color

By Jeniece Smith

Autumn is Wisconsin’s second-busiest season, and you’ll find plenty of fabulous festivals amid the state’s gorgeous changing foliage. So if you want to see some fall color in a creative way and have some fun at the same time, try one of these 15 fantastic October events.

Artful Leaf-Peeping

There’s no better backdrop for art than the vibrant hues of fall in Wisconsin. Spend a full day or weekend driving through the spectacularly colorful countryside to partake in one of these self-guided art tours across the state. Road trip!

Shawano Country Miles of Art Tour – near Shawano 

You'll get more than art and colorful scenery on this two-day open house of eight local artists. Shawano "Country" hails itself as Wisconsin's barn quilt capital, and for good reason –you'll find more than 300 of them on the county's historic farmsteads. 

Covered Bridge Studio Art Tour – near Cedarburg 

While you're touring a whopping 45 artists' studios over the weekend in southeastern Wisconsin, be sure to stop and stroll over the rare 1800s covered bridge for which this event is named.

Western Wisconsin Pottery Tour – near Hudson 

This event starts just over the border in Minnesota, making three stops at potters who will show you their process and offer one-of-a-kind handmade wares.

Fall Art Tour – near Baraboo 

Winding through the dramatically rugged hills of Wisconsin's Driftless Area, this weekend tour offers 45 stops throughout four communities. As a bonus, architectural marvels The House on the Rock and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin are nearby.

Earth, Wood & Fire Artist Tour – near Cambridge 

Drive the rural backroads between Madison and Milwaukee to see paintings, sculptures, wood works, jewelry, textiles and pottery, meet the artists and learn from demonstrations.

Looking for additional art tours near you? Check out a half-dozen more!

Colorful History

From towns celebrating their unique heritage to a re-enactment and renaissance fair, opportunities to immerse yourself in culture and tradition abound this fall. Here’s a sampling of autumn events with a historical focus.

Fall Heritage Festival – Mount Horeb 

The city’s Norwegian roots and an authentic ethnic fall breakfast centerpiece this autumn fest, which also will include buggy rides, a farmers market, arts and crafts fair, and live auction.

Gathering of Rogues and Ruffians Renaissance Fair – Baraboo 

Engage in some old-fashioned merriment, eat, shop, and check out re-enactments and ancient weaponry and the joys of living during the enlightened Renaissance times.

Norskedalen’s Civil War Immersion Weekend – Coon Valley 

See what Midwestern life was like in 1863 and watch skirmishes between Civil War re-enactors at this annual Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center event.

Hunting Moon Pow-Wow – Milwaukee 

This huge event celebrating America’s indigenous peoples will include Native American arts and crafts, dance competitions and music.

Hues and Brews

October = Oktoberfest and seasonal brew time in Wisconsin! We have the granddaddy of German- and "bier"-inspired fests each year with Oktoberfest USA, a La Crosse tradition since 1961 and one of the last few authentic Old World folk festivals in America. Here are some other communities with beer-themed festivals and events.

Beer Cruise – Green Lake 

Sample tasty local brews and light appetizers aboard the Heidel House Resort & Spa's 60-foot yacht. Be sure to make a reservation! 

Lincoln Lager Barleyfest – Merrill 

Sample hundreds of craft brews and wines from Wisconsin microbreweries and beyond. Shuttle packages are available. 


Don't let the season slip by! Check out our fall getaway guide for all things autumn.

This entry was posted in Fairs & Festivals