Fall has officially begun and as we turn the calendar to October, the days will become cooler and the trees will soon start to change colors and shed their leaves. Here in Cleveland, October is a busy time full of fall festivals, hiking, and countless chances to see the fall foliage. Even if you prefer to stay cozy indoors with a book, there’s something for you. We’ve put together a short list of three things to do in the area this month.

Check out Cleveland Book Week

Celebrate the winners of the 86th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards with a month-long festival. Though it is usually just one week, Cleveland Book Week this year is mostly virtual with events stretching into November. 

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards “recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures.” 

This year’s honorees are:

  • Poetry: Victoria Chang for Obit
  • Nonfiction: Natasha Trethewey for Memorial Drive
  • Fiction: James McBride for Deacon King Kong
  • Nonfiction: Vincent Brown for Tacky’s Revolt
  • Lifetime Achievement: Samuel R. Delany

Meet the 2021 winners.

In addition to events highlighting some of the award winners, the festival this year includes the opportunity to stream select Cleveland International Film Festival documentaries for free.

Learn more about the festival.

Visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park

At Case Western Reserve, we’re lucky to have a national park in our backyard. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, just a short drive from campus, offers a change of scenery with many options for biking, hiking, fishing, golfing and more.

In October, there’s the added benefit of seeing the foliage painted brightly in fall colors. Access to the 33,000-acre park is free. Popular stops include Brandywine Falls, a 60-ft. waterfall, and the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a 19.5-mile trail accessible by 10 trailheads.

Want to see the park through a different lens? Take a tour aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which offers two-hour fall flyer trips.

Explore all the options at Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Attend a fall festival

Not far from campus, you can indulge in all things fall at a number of local farms. With pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple cider, hayrides and more, these farms all offer a variety of activities for the whole family.

A few options to consider are:

Want to go to even more fall festivals? Check out a more expansive list of local options.