Best time to visit Midwest

Midwest

Best time of year to visit Midwest

If you plan to explore the entire north-central US, June through September is the best time to visit the Midwest. Hot and humid summers offer excellent road conditions to drive across the region with bonus open-air festivals and events such as Twins Days in Ohio and state fairs in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, or North Dakota. On the other hand, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Missouri have higher rainfall during summer months. October and November see a sizable drop in temperatures but sunny days, comfortable for walks in colorful foliage, don't go anywhere. Why not join the Allstate Hot Chocolate Run in Chicago to see the city in different shades of fall? From December to February, you'll meet bitterly cold and snowy weather around the Great Lakes. But there is no better time for witnessing mysterious snow rollers in Ohio or spectacular light festivals in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and other states.

19 THINGS TO DO IN MIDWEST (SEPTEMBER 13 - SEPTEMBER 22)

Wisconsin Cranberry Harvest

Wisconsin Cranberry Harvest

late September–early October • nature

Cranberry Country welcomes everyone to visit the harvest celebrations

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Ohio Renaissance Festival

August 31–October 27, 2019 (weekends) • event

Find yourself in a 16th-century English village

American Discovery Trail

American Discovery Trail

all year round • activity

You'll find no better way to discover America than this lengthy hike across 15 states, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. For such a long journey, one needs at least a year of time reserved

AppleJack Festival

AppleJack Festival

September 18–20, 2020 • event

Celebrate the kickoff of the apple harvest season in Nebraska

Morton Pumpkin Festival

Morton Pumpkin Festival

September 16–19, 2020 • event

The "Pumpkin capital of the world" celebrates the harvest season

Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Spring)

Kitch-Iti-Kipi (The Big Spring)

March–November • nature

Michigan’s largest freshwater spring is a geological phenomenon and a great fishing spot

Cave Point County Park

Cave Point County Park

April–October • activity

One of the most scenic parks of Wisconsin is located by the shores of Lake Michigan

Wisconsin Dells Kayaking

Wisconsin Dells Kayaking

May–September • activity

Visit a favorite family vacation destination in Wisconsin

Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption

Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption

all year round • activity

A massive religious shrine built by a priest contains thousands of rare stones and minerals and is considered the largest humanmade grotto in the world

Detroit Masonic Temple

Detroit Masonic Temple

all year round (1st & 3rd Sunday of the month) • activity

Visit the world's largest Masonic Temple built in an impressive neo-gothic style

Niagara Cave

Niagara Cave

April–October • nature

A huge cavern is famous for its impressive underground waterfall

Mount Horeb Trollway

Mount Horeb Trollway

all year round • activity

This town is lined with carved trolls, pointing to places to shop and eat

The Nordhouse Dunes

The Nordhouse Dunes

April–November • activity

Ancient dunes by Lake Michigan represent a unique eco-system

Pictured Rocks Kayaking

Pictured Rocks Kayaking

late May–September • activity

Paddle along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on the waters of Lake Superior in Michigan

Kansas City Fashion Week

Kansas City Fashion Week

September 12–19, 2020 • event

The most glamorous gathering in Kansas City

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

September 05–October 18, 2020 • event

Go back in time to the 16th century and meet King Henry VIII and his royal court

Carlton Peak

Carlton Peak

May–October • activity

One of the greatest Sawtooth Mountain peaks on the North Shore of Lake Superior

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

September 18–19, 2020 • event

The second oldest hot-air balloon race in the United States

Beaverdale Fall Festival

Beaverdale Fall Festival

September 18–19, 2020 • event

One of the most popular community festivals in Des Moines, Iowa

96 THINGS TO DO OUT OF SELECTED DATE RANGE

Twins Days Festival

Twins Days Festival

August 07–09, 2020 • event

The world's biggest gathering of twins in the city founded by twins—Twinsburg

VISIT Lake Geneva Winterfest

VISIT Lake Geneva Winterfest

January 25–February 02, 2020 • event

A place to celebrate art, winter, and have fun with over a dozen themed events in Wisconsin

Barberton Mum Festival

Barberton Mum Festival

September 26–27, 2020 • event

Celebrate fall watching millions of blooms at a scenic park

Sandhill Crane Migration

Sandhill Crane Migration

mid-February–mid-April • nature

Half a million feathered travellers take a break during their spring migration to feed and rest at the Platte River

Country Concert

Country Concert

July 08–10, 2021 • event

One of the best summer country events in Ohio and all of the Midwest

Michigan State Fair

Michigan State Fair

September 03–07, 2020 • event

See the second oldest state fair in the United States

Warrior Dash Ohio

Warrior Dash Ohio

July 18, 2020 • event

One of unique action sports and adventure events in the U.S.

Total Solar Eclipse

Total Solar Eclipse

April 08, 2024 • event

Some spots on Earth wait for the moment of solar totality for hundreds or even thousands of years. To capture a spectacle, you have to be truly lucky

Missouri State Fair

Missouri State Fair

August 13–23, 2020 • event

The annual showcase of agriculture also offers fun for the whole family

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Saint Paul Winter Carnival

January 28–February 07, 2021 • event

One of the oldest and most popular annual festivals in Minnesota

East Peoria Festival of Lights

East Peoria Festival of Lights

November 23–December 31, 2019 • event

One of the biggest and brightest holiday events in Illinois

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

September 11–13, 2020 • event

Sternwheeler races and other fun activities to watch

International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship

International Cherry Pit-Spitting Championship

July 04, 2020 • event

Anyone can take part in this competition, which promises great fun for the whole family

Kansas City Auto Show

Kansas City Auto Show

March 04–08, 2020 • event

Hundreds of new cars and lots of entertainment

MTU Winter Carnival

MTU Winter Carnival

February 03–06, 2021 • event

One of the largest annual winter festivals in the U.S. takes place on the campus of the Michigan Tech University

Kansas City Air Show

Kansas City Air Show

September 05–06, 2020 • event

World-class aerobatic performances in the heart of America

Barnesville Pumpkin Festival

Barnesville Pumpkin Festival

September 24–27, 2020 • event

Giant pumpkins highlight the fall harvest celebration

Tulip Time

Tulip Time

May 01–08, 2021 • event

Fun and flowers! Skim the cream off in Holland during the tulip festival

Wayne County Lightfest

Wayne County Lightfest

November 21–December 31, 2019 • event

A Christmas fantasy drive-through not far from Detroit

Cicada Mania

Cicada Mania

May–mid-June • nature

A billionth population of American cicadas come out during final weeks in their lives to rejoice in a huge mating par

Ohio State Fair

Ohio State Fair

July 28–August 08, 2021 • event

Experience traditional Midwestern summer entertainment

Indiana State Fair

Indiana State Fair

August 06–22, 2021 • event

A major Midwestern entertainment attracting a million people every year

Illinois State Fair

Illinois State Fair

August 12–22, 2021 • event

Nothing can beat a good ol' fair in the Midwest

Woodward Dream Cruise

Woodward Dream Cruise

August 15, 2020 • event

The largest one-day classic car event in the world

Ice Shards on the Great Lakes

Ice Shards on the Great Lakes

mid–February–late March • nature

The ice cover gets shattered to knife-sharp pieces as spring takes over winter

Chicago International Film Festival

Chicago International Film Festival

October 14–25, 2020 • event

The longest-running competitive film festival in the USA

Country Thunder Iowa Music Festival

Country Thunder Iowa Music Festival

September 04–06, 2020 • event

Iowa's most well-known country music festival promises a weekend packed with country concerts

Snow Rollers

Snow Rollers

mid-January–mid-March • nature

These huge white 'doughnuts' surely raise questions. Like, what is a 'snow roller' and where does it come from?

Minnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair

August 27–September 07, 2020 • event

Witness the largest state fair in the USA by daily attendance

DuQuoin State Fair

DuQuoin State Fair

August 28–September 07, 2020 • event

One of the nation's best agricultural events is full of fun experiences

North Dakota State Fair

North Dakota State Fair

July 23–31, 2021 • event

The largest event in the state draws people with country music, fun rides and competitions

Vectren Dayton Air Show

Vectren Dayton Air Show

June 27–28, 2020 • event

One of the leading air shows in the U.S.

Warrens Cranberry Festival

Warrens Cranberry Festival

September 25–27, 2020 • event

The largest cranberry celebration in the world

Columbus Pride Festival and Parade

Columbus Pride Festival and Parade

Parade: October 03, 2020 | Festival: TBD • event

One of the largest pride festivals in the Midwest

St.Louis Mardi Gras (Soulard Mardi Gras)

St.Louis Mardi Gras (Soulard Mardi Gras)

January 06–February 25, 2020 • event

The second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States

National Balloon Classic

National Balloon Classic

July 30–August 07, 2021 • event

The premier ballooning festival in Iowa held since the 1970s

Ohio Bike Week

Ohio Bike Week

May 22–31, 2020 • event

The largest motorcycle rally of the Midwest and rock concerts roll out in Sandusky on the shores of Lake Erie

Pierogi Fest

Pierogi Fest

July 23–25, 2021 • event

Great food and some wacky fun in just 30 minutes from Chicago

Pictured Rocks Winter Hike

Pictured Rocks Winter Hike

December–February  • nature

Winter has its special power to create majestic landscapes. And the area of Pictured Rocks in Michigan during winter period turns into a real ice and snow masterpiece

Wisconsin State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair

August 05–15, 2021 • event

Get on a roller coaster and snack on corndogs in the town of West Allis

Garden of Lights at Green Bay Botanical Garden

Garden of Lights at Green Bay Botanical Garden

November 27–December 30, 2020 • event

A magical Christmas-themed garden keeps spirits up during the holidays in east Wisconsin

Apple Festival of Kendallville

Apple Festival of Kendallville

October 03–04, 2020 • event

Go back in time to the 1800s and try delicious treats made of apples

Columbus Arts Festival

Columbus Arts Festival

June 11–13, 2021 • event

One of the largest outdoor summer events in Columbus

Dublin Irish Festival

Dublin Irish Festival

August 06–08, 2021 • event

Go experience the Irish attitude at the largest three-day Irish festival in the world

Iowa State Fair

Iowa State Fair

August 12–22, 2021 • event

Feel the spirit of the Midwest, at one of the largest and best-known state fairs in the USA

Plymouth Ice Festival

Plymouth Ice Festival

January 10–12, 2020 • event

Skilfully carved ice sculptures line the streets of downtown Plymouth

Stillwater Lumberjack Days

Stillwater Lumberjack Days

July 17–19, 2020 • event

Celebration of the people, history and heritage of Minnesota

Boats and Bluegrass Festival

Boats and Bluegrass Festival

September 25–27, 2020 • event

An outdoor festival on the banks of the Mississippi

Bayfield Apple Festival

Bayfield Apple Festival

October 02–04, 2020 • event

Join an amazing celebration of fall!

WCOL Country Jam & Campout

WCOL Country Jam & Campout

2019 (cancelled) • event

The largest honky-tonk and country music festival in Ohio

Annunciation Greek Festival

Annunciation Greek Festival

September 11–13, 2020 • event

Lots of delicious food and excellent music in Kansas City, Missouri

Nebraska State Fair

Nebraska State Fair

August 28–September 07, 2020 • event

Visit the fair from "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" movie and enjoy Midwestern style entertainment

Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights

Butch Bando's Fantasy of Lights

November 15 2019–January 01 2020 • event

One of the largest drive-through holiday displays in Ohio

The Abominable Snow Race

The Abominable Snow Race

March 14, 2021 • event

Premier winter obstacle course race in Wisconsin held at the Devil's Head Ski Resort

Rock Fest

Rock Fest

July 15–17, 2021 • event

The largest rock and camping festival in the United States

X Games Minneapolis

X Games Minneapolis

July 17–19, 2020 • event

An exciting Skateboard, BMX and Moto X event featuring music, gaming and more

University of Okoboji Winter Games

University of Okoboji Winter Games

January 28–31, 2021 • event

Winter festival with lots of fun games, fireworks, and a polar plunge in Okoboji, Iowa

U.P. Fall Beer Festival in Marquette, MI

U.P. Fall Beer Festival in Marquette, MI

September 12, 2020 • event

A large event for beer enthusiasts in Michigan

Michigan Summer Beer Festival

Michigan Summer Beer Festival

July 24–25, 2020 • event

A large outdoor beer brewers event near Detroit

4th of July in Dublin

4th of July in Dublin

July 4th 2020 parade, celebration, and fireworks are canceled | Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby is on • event

The suburb of Columbus is famous for its Independence Day celebration with the Irish twist

Port Huron Float Down

Port Huron Float Down

August 16, 2020 • event

Summer water fun event in Michigan

Arlington Million

Arlington Million

August 15, 2020 • event

A perfect opportunity to enjoy live racing, entertainment and fancy group outings

World Cow Chip Throwing Contest

World Cow Chip Throwing Contest

April 11–18, 2020 • event

Find similarities between ultimate frisbee and cow dung tossing

Snake Alley Criterium

Snake Alley Criterium

May 28–31, 2021 • event

Burlington, Iowa, hosts one of the most challenging races on one of the most crooked streets in the world

Baby Bison in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Baby Bison in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park

April–June  • nature

Baby bisons of Great Plains are cute and playful, enjoying life under protection of their mothers

South Dakota State Fair

South Dakota State Fair

September 03–07, 2020 • event

Experience the charm of the Midwest at this traditional state fair

Christmas Nights of Lights at Coney Island

Christmas Nights of Lights at Coney Island

November 08 2019–January 05 2020 • event

A popular drive-through holiday lights display in Cincinnati, Ohio

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

PNC Festival of Lights at Cincinnati Zoo

November 16 2019–January 04 2020 • event

Voted #1 Zoo Lights in the country as a favourite​ Ohio family holiday tradition

Dragon Lights Columbus

Dragon Lights Columbus

November 23 2018–January 06 2019 • event

A magical annual show held in the Ohio Expo Center

Zehnder’s Snowfest

Zehnder’s Snowfest

January 27–February 01, 2021 • event

One of the top snow sculpting events in North America held in Frankenmuth, MI since 1990

Powell Gardens Festival of Lights

Powell Gardens Festival of Lights

November 29 2019–January 05 2020 • event

A popular holiday attraction in Kansas City area, Missouri

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival

November 19 2020–January 01 2021 • event

This festive seasonal illumination brightens the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Blue Jacket Fantasy of Lights

Blue Jacket Fantasy of Lights

November 24–December 31, 2020 • event

Northeast Indiana’s best winter holiday event

Lakes Jam

Lakes Jam

August 06–08, 2020 • event

Lots of rock and country near the beautiful Brainerd lakes

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

September 20–22, 2019 • event

Don't miss America's largest Oktoberfest

Warrior Dash Michigan

Warrior Dash Michigan

July 29, 2020 • event

Go through water, fire, air and earth to prove you're a true warrior

Electric Forest

Electric Forest

June 25–28, 2020 • event

A multi-genre music festival in Rothbury, Michigan

Historic Irvington Halloween Festival

Historic Irvington Halloween Festival

October 26, 2019 • event

The oldest and one of the largest Halloween festivals in the United States

Clinton Fall Festival

Clinton Fall Festival

September 25–27, 2020 • event

A fun-filled fall weekend in a historic village

Ramble Jam

Ramble Jam

2020 • event

Two days of the best country music in Minnesota

KC Restaurant Week

KC Restaurant Week

January 10–19, 2020 • event

A favorite time of the year for foodies

Kansas City Irish Fest

Kansas City Irish Fest

September 04–06, 2020 • event

One of the best Irish Festivals of the Midwest

Kansas City FilmFest International

Kansas City FilmFest International

April 13–19, 2020 (online) • event

The oldest and largest festivals in the Kansas City metro area

Ethnic Enrichment Fest

Ethnic Enrichment Fest

August 21–23, 2020 • event

The largest cultural diversity event in Kansas City

Western Farm Show

Western Farm Show

February 19–21, 2021 • event

The best event for dairy farmers and cattle ranchers in Kansas City

KC Beer Fest

KC Beer Fest

September 12, 2020 • event

A popular craft beer festival at The Kansas City Power & Light District

Pirate Family Daze

Pirate Family Daze

June 07–09, 2019 • event

A family-friendly event with a nautical and pirate theme in Port Washington

Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade

Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade

March 17, 2020 • event

One of the largest annual parades in Missouri

Summerfest

Summerfest

June 24–July 05, 2020 • event

The giant music festival in Milwaukee on the shore of Lake Michigan

Brickyard 400

Brickyard 400

July 05, 2020 • event

One of NASCAR's most iconic races at an iconic location

Japanese Festival

Japanese Festival

September 05–07, 2020 • event

One of the largest and oldest Japanese festivals in the United States

Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival

Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival

July 01–05, 2020 • event

America's largest festival combining air show and hot air balloons

Kings Island WinterFest

Kings Island WinterFest

November 22–December 31, 2019 • event

One of the best Christmas festivals in the Cincinnati area

Allstate Hot Chocolate Run

Allstate Hot Chocolate Run

November 08, 2020 • event

The sweetest run in the world takes over the United States from coast to coast

Marshall County Blueberry Festival

Marshall County Blueberry Festival

September 04–07, 2020 • event

One of the largest annual celebrations in Plymouth, Indiana

Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival

Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival

August 07–08, 2020 • event

A great occasion to enjoy summer!

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