BEST Things to Do in September in Wisconsin – Apples, Fall & More!

Kids picking apples at Hofackers Apple Orchard in Appleton
Hofackers Apple Orchard, Appleton

Changing leaves. Pumpkin spice everything. Sweater weather. Firmly back into the school routine. There are so many things to do and lovable things about September!

We’ve rounded up some fun things to do this month in Northeast Wisconsin, from Oshkosh to Appleton to Green Bay (and beyond) for your family!

Have a wonderful September, and don’t forget to check our family-friendly calendar for events and more things to do!

Also, check out our Ultimate Guide: 50+ Must-Do Fall Activities for Families in Wisconsin!

FVL Schools

Special thanks to our sponsor FVL Schools!

Back to School

Kids and teachers are back to school this month. Check out our back-to-school tips and affirmations. Celebrate the first day, week or month with a treat! Find a bakery, ice cream shop, or candy shop on your route from school to home!

Some NEW(er) Places to Try:

  • Legendairy Cookies ‘N Creamery, Appleton – cookie custard sandwiches
  • Soda Bar, Appleton – Handcrafted fountain sodas, energy drinks, delicious treats, & more!
  • Sweet Treats Candies & Sweets, Downtown Kaukauna – 24+ flavors of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, homemade waffle cones, ice cream flights, a fill-your-box gummy buffet, fresh-baked cookies, house-made mini donuts, candy-making supplies and chocolate.

Labor Day

Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States that celebrates the contributions and achievements of American workers. It is typically observed on the first Monday in September and is often marked by parades, picnics, and other festivities. This year, it is celebrated on Monday, September 4, 2023.

Celebrate Labor Day this weekend in communities throughout Wisconsin by remembering those who sacrificed for work benefits, such as weekends off, worker protections, vacation time, overtime pay, and more. 

Local 139 is a Wisconsin labor union. It represents workers in the construction industry, specifically those employed in the operating engineering field. Operating engineers operate and maintain heavy equipment used in construction, such as cranes, bulldozers, and excavators. They help with collective bargaining representation, job training and apprenticeship programs, and other benefits and services.

Local 139 will be participating in the Neenah-Menasha Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 4, 2023, at 10 am at Menasha Curtis Reed Square and goes through to Downtown Neenah. 

Activities to follow from 11 am to 5 pm at the Neenah Labor Temple, 157 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah. Corn roast, burgers, brats, beverage tent, all-day paddle wheel, rummage sale, Jake’s Jumpers, face painting, slushies, popcorn and live music by The Machine Band from  12 – 5 pm.

Apple Picking

Fall memories and traditions are made in the orchards and your kitchen! Pick baskets of apples and enjoy them as many ways as possible, including our kiddos’ favorite—straight from the tree. Wisconsin’s apple season lasts from August to late October, with different apples ready throughout; find out when your favorites are ready with our guide to apple types and the best times to pick. The ever-popular Honeycrisp is ready for picking around mid-September, and one of our favorites, Wolf River, is one of the last of the season in late October.

We’ve got 8 favorite apple orchards to share, including Star Orchard in Kaukauna, which boasts 25 different types of apples! Warm up with a cup of apple cider, or bring a gallon home.


Pumpkins are ready by the end of September into October! We’ve got 10+ Picture Perfect Pumpkin Patches to choose from to enjoy a whole afternoon or day playing before everyone claims their favorite shaped pumpkin to take home.

Each pumpkin farm has its own unique take on fall fun, from animals to petting and feeding to corn cannons—your family might need to visit more than one!

Many locations can help you decorate your fall porch with pumpkins, squash, mums, gourds, dried corn, hay, and more!

Fall Colors

September is the perfect time to start looking for signs of Fall and changing leaves. Fall hikes check all of the boxes. 

If you’re looking for well-defined trails friendly for little feet, head to 1000 Islands in Kaukauna, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Menasha, or Bubolz in Appleton.

Visit Mosquito Hill for a hike and a peek at their new sensory garden and sculptures.

Nelson Family Heritage Crossing, the Newberry Trail, and the Friendship/Trestle Trail will give you water views with playgrounds to stop to play. Here are 18+ Fox Cities Trails for Families to Enjoy.

If you’re up for a little more adventure, there are 11 Worth the Drive Hikes About an Hour from Appleton.

September Fall Festivals & Events

Kites over Lake Michigan, Two Rivers: September 2nd and 3rd, 11 am – 4 pm
Experience one of the largest kite festivals in the Midwest: incredible displays of giant show kites, precision stunt teams performing amazing aerial ballet with their kites, and spectacular and colorful ground displays at Two Rivers High School

Latino Fest, Pierce Park, Appleton: September 9, 2023
Latino Fest in Appleton, Wisconsin, is an annual cultural festival that celebrates the Latino community and showcases its vibrant traditions, music, dance, and cuisine. The festival typically features live entertainment, dance performances, local food vendors, art exhibits, and activities for children. It aims to promote understanding and appreciation for Latino culture and provide a cultural exchange and unity platform.

Market on Main, Little Chute: September 9, 2023
A family-friendly street fair market in downtown Little Chute featuring food trucks, craft beer, retail vendors, music, and activities for children with a local focus and emphasis on unique and handcrafted goods and Little Chute businesses.

Crafty Apple Fest, Hobart Park / Calumet County Fairgrounds, Chilton:  September 9, 2023
Crafty Apple Fest in Chilton, Wisconsin, is an annual festival celebrating everything apple-related. The festival features a variety of activities and attractions, such as apple picking, live entertainment, craft vendors, and food vendors selling apple-themed treats and dishes. Enjoy a day of fun, music, and food for the whole family!

  • More than 150 crafters, exhibitors & artists
  • All things apple, including pies, caramel apples, sundaes & more
  • Apple & Pumpkin Beer
  • Pumpkin Bowling
  • FREE Kid’s Play area with inflatable slides and bounce houses

Irish Fest, Jones Park, Appleton: September 15-16, 2023
Irish Fest of the Fox Cities is an annual event held in downtown Appleton. The Irish festivities are mainly centered at Appleton’s beautiful downtown park, Jones Park, with other activities at nearby St. Mary’s Catholic Church and McGuinness Irish Pub. Whether you love Celtic rock music, Irish dancing, or a good, old-fashioned fish & chips, Irish Fest of the Fox Cities is a perfect Northeastern Wisconsin outing for parents and family-friendly! 

Neenah-Menasha Intertribal Powwow: Shattuck Park: September 16, 2023, 1 – 4 pm
Celebrate Native American history and culture by joining the Neenah Historical Society and Menasha Historical Society for our Neenah-Menasha Intertribal Powwow. The pow-wow will feature dancers and drum groups from throughout Wisconsin. Native American food will be available for purchase. It is a perfect event for families to experience and learn more about Native American culture. The event is FREE! 

Octoberfest, Appleton: September 30, 2023
Come and experience the excitement of Appleton’s biggest block party! Immerse yourself in live music performances across five stages, indulge in delectable German cuisine, and immerse yourself in nostalgia at the License to Cruise car show, featuring a remarkable display of over 400 classic cars. Don’t miss out on the Family Fun area, where a dedicated stage awaits to entertain the little ones.

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