Hooray for fall!
The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, the yummy food, the great holidays! Everyone is itching to be outside, and so are dogs.
There’s no end to the fall activities and events you and your dog can share. We can’t share them all, but here are 25 places around the country where you can enjoy autumn with your dog.
1. Ohio: Dog Days at Kings Island
Every Sunday in October, King’s Island opens its Soak City Water Park for Dog Days. Humans and their dogs can take part in a costume parade, trick-or-treat stops, an agility course and a pet zone with merchandise from local retailers. Dog Days is part of Snoopy’s Halloween Party – and Snoopy and his Peanuts friends are on hand too. Check the website for more information.
2. Colorado: Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens
Elitch Gardens theme park in Denver hosts a dog costume parade every year during Fright Fest. This year’s parade is Saturday, Oct. 10. There are prizes for best costumes in categories like Most Original and Best Owner/Pet Combination. The parade benefits PawsCo, a non-profit that helps reduce pet overpopulation. It’s the 17th year for the parade.
3. Florida: Everything is Paw-some at Legoland Florida
Legoland Florida in Winter Haven closes its water park for the season after Halloween. But on Sunday, Nov. 8 dogs will get the chance to splash about for a good cause. All proceeds go to the Humane Society of Polk County. Dogs will get to play in three pools, including the wave pool. There’s a costume contest, raffles and a caricature artist available for portraits.
4. Florida: Oktoberfest Tampa
The sixth annual Oktoberfest Tampa runs from Friday Oct. 9 through Sunday Oct. 11 at Curtis Hixon Park. Dogs have unrestricted access to the festival, provided they are on a leash. There’s also a nearby dog park for when they have to… you know. There are no dog-specific events, but there will be plenty of food. And dogs may enjoy watching their humans make fools of themselves during the Chicken Dance competition, the barrel roll, the brat toss or the Carry the Wench wife carrying race.
5. Georgia: Macon Octoberfest
Macon Georgia is throwing a big Oktoberfest bash and humans and dogs are invited. There’s music, there’s beer, there’s Bavarian food. There’s also a costume contest for dogs and a wiener dog race on Saturday. All the profits for the festival go to various charities, including the All About Animals Rescue. The festival runs Friday, Oct. 23 through Sunday Oct. 25.
6. South Carolina: Bark in the Park Oktoberfest
Charleston’s newest Barktoberfest is all about the dogs. There’s German food and beer and music. There’s also a lure course, a pet parade and other demos. There’s also a nearby dog park for dogs that need some time off-leash. The festival is Sunday, Oct. 18 at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston.
7. Louisiana: Oktoberfest NOLA 2015
This Oktoberfest is just outside New Orleans in Kenner, but the festival is huge. It takes place over three weekends in October, and organizers assure us it’s very pet-friendly, provided dogs are on a leash and friendly. And on Oct. 24, the dachshunds hit the track for the fourth annual Dachshund Dash, benefiting NOLA Dachshund Rescue.
8. New York: Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm
The east end of Long Island is full of farms and countries, and fall is a busy season. Stakey’s Pumpkin Farm in Aquebogue is very pet-friendly. Leashed, friendly dogs are allowed almost everywhere on property, except the corn maze. The farm says it can even accommodate dogs, most of the time, for the hayrides. They just ask that people clean up after their dogs (and you should be doing that anyway!).
9. Virginia: Great Country Farms
Great Country Farms is a dog-friendly farm in Bluemont. It has an off-leash picnic zone for dogs, and they are able to visit most of the farm on a leash, except for the U-Pick fields. The dogs can also take a wagon ride.
10. Pennsylvania: Gearhardt Farms Corn Maze
The corn maze at Gearhardt Farms in Murraysville, PA has been around for 16 years. Every year it’s a different theme, and it’s up to visitors to figure out what the theme is. Dogs are welcome anywhere in the maze and on the farm, provided they are on a leash and owners clean up after them. Dogs can also ride in the hay wagon, but those are only for group visits. The corn maze runs through October.
11. Washington: Biringer’s Black Crow Pumpkins and Corn Maze
When researching pet-friendly pumpkin patches and corn mazes, Biringer’s in Washington State came up repeatedly. This is the fourth year the farm in Arlington is running its annual pumpkin patch. Pets are welcome in the patch and the 5-acre corn maze. And on Oct. 24 there’s a pet costume contest.
12. Texas: Love Creek Orchards
By October Love Creek Orchards has picked all the apples, but there are permissions available for picking. Plus, there’s a pumpkin patch. Love Creek Orchards in Medina, Texas says dogs are welcome at the farm, provided they are on a leash, stay out of the petting zoo and don’t “use the pumpkins as fire hydrants.”
13. Minnesota: Deardoff Orchards and Wineries
Leashed dogs are welcome as long as they are friendly and stay out of the apple barn or tasting room at this farm near the west Minnesota town of Waconia. The orchard has 10 varieties of apples literally ripe for picking. Nearby is Carver Park Reserve, which has an off-leash pet area.
14. Florida: Ghostly Experience Haunting Tour
The oldest city in America is celebrating its 450th birthday this year, so now is a great time to visit this pet-friendly city. St. Augustine’s downtown area is easily walkable, and chock-full of ghosts and ghost stories, according to the guides who handle the St. Augustine City Walks offers pet-specific tours and even a pup crawl. But they say all their walking tours are pet-friendly, and that includes award-winning “Ghostly Experience” Haunted Tour.
15. Pennsylvania: Doggie in Disguise Scavenger Hunt
Thrill of the Hunt hosts scavenger hunts in several Mid-Atlantic States. They also host dog-friendly scavenger hunts where dogs and owners follow clues to collect dog treats and toys at local businesses. On Saturday, Oct. 10 they’ll host a special Doggie in Disguise Hunt in New Hope, Pa. Dogs are encouraged to dress up.
16. Louisiana: Historic New Orleans Tours
Historic New Orleans Tours says almost all of its tours are pet-friendly, except for the Scandal Tour. Not all the tours are haunted, but they offer a Haunted French Quarter Tour, and a Cemetery Voodoo Tour.
17. Massachusetts: Salem Howl-o-ween
Salem, Mass. embraces its scary history, especially at Halloween. There’s a month-long celebration called Haunted Happenings. On Sunday, Oct. 11 dogs get an event of their own, a first annual parade. Howl-o-ween on Artists’ Row has a pet parade, a costume contest, games and a pet photo booth.
18. Massachusetts: Canine Promenade
Dogs can strut in their costumes along the Charles River in Boston at the Canine Promenade on the Esplanade, Sunday, Oct. 25. The fifth annual event includes a half-mile walk around the park, prizes for costumes, a gift bag and other activities, all to raise awareness about the need for improvements to the park.
19. New York: Hugs, Pugs and Pumpkins
This annual event in Lake Luzerne is all about those wrinkly little dogs. There’s a costume contest, a Hug a Pug photo op, pumpkin decorating and a Celebrity Sidewalk Stroll. Among the prizes this year is a new category: a Pug Imposter contest. The event is Sunday, Oct. 18 and it benefits Green Mountain Pug Rescue.
20. New York: Tompkins square Halloween dog parade
The Tompkins Square Dog Run is the first of its kind in New York City, established in the 1990s as part of a restoration of the park itself, and community supported. The 25th annual Halloween Dog Parade is Saturday, Oct. 24. The event is sponsored by Purina Beggin’ and contestants compete for thousands of dollars in prizes.
21. New Jersey: Dog Walk of the Dead
It’s a Zombie Walk… for dogs! On Sunday, Oct. 25, folks will get all zombified and take their pup to Waterloo Village in Byram Township, New Jersey for a walk to raise money for an area pet shelter. They also “stuff” a hearse full of pet supplies (no kidding!). There’s a costume contest too, but dogs are not required to be zombies, it seems.
22. Illinois: Spooky Pooch Parade
Dogs are not usually allowed inside the Chicago Botanic Gardens, except during the Spooky Pooch Parade. The parade this year is on Halloween, and features a costume contest along with other activities and, of course, prizes. The garden is actually in Glencoe, 20 miles north of the city.
23. New Mexico: Dia Del Luce and Dia de Los Muertos
Albuquerque’s historic Old Town is considered the cultural heart of the city, being the first neighborhood when the city was founded in the 1700s. Dia del Dulce is a Halloween event that includes hay rides around the plaza, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, canine and humane costume contests and a parade. There will also be live music and trick-or-treating. The event is sponsored by Inspire Rock Academy.
And after celebrating Halloween, celebrate the Day of the Dead with a festival in Albuquerque on Nov. 1.
24. Nevada: Family, Fur & Fun Festival
Party in Las Vegas on Halloween with your pup, for a good cause. The Family, Fur & Fun Festival at Exploration Park has lots of kid and pet activities and, yes, a costume contest. The event raises money for animal rescue groups in Southern Nevada. Family, Fur & Fun Festival is on Saturday, Oct. 17.
25. California: Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade
Our last event claims to be the biggest of them all. The Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade will feature over 500 dogs, all in costume, on Halloween. The parade takes place at Marina Vista Park in Long Beach. The parade will raises thousands of dollars for area pet charities, and pet owners can win a free year supply of Petcurean dog food.