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10 Best Things to Do in Cleveland in September

September has arrived, bringing with it the final weeks of summer and the beginning of fall. While Labor Day on September 4 marks the last big weekend of summer, you can still enjoy warm weather for a couple more weeks at least.

Things may start cooling down at the end of the month, with the first day of fall occurring on September 23 this year. This makes it the perfect time to soak up the last of patio weather, and embrace some fun outdoor activities.

There are plenty of things to do in September in Cleveland, including lots of great seasonal events and festivals.

Weather in Cleveland in September

September may usher in the official start of fall towards the end of the month, but the first couple weeks of September usually still feel like summer. This month, the average high is 74° F while the average low is 61° F.

The pleasant weather means that September is a great month to spend time outdoors in Cleveland, and there are only 7 days of precipitation on average this month.

Top 10 Things to Do in Cleveland in September

1. Cleveland National Air Show

When: September 2-4, 2023

Where: Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport, 1501 N Marginal Rd, Cleveland

Cleveland Air Show
Kick off the month at the Cleveland National Air Show

One of the top events in Cleveland to check out on Labor Day Weekend is the Cleveland National Air Show. This annual event takes place at the Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport and showcases the wonders of aviation.

At the air show, you can watch impressive aerial shows and demonstrations, see military aircraft up close, and more.

Tickets to the air show must be purchased online and they are $35 for adults and $20 for children aged 6 to 11.

2. Cleveland Oktoberfest

When: September 1-4 and September 8-9, 2023

Where: Cuyahoga County Fair Grounds, 19201 East Bagley Road, Middleburg Heights

Beer tent at Cleveland Oktoberfest
Celebrate Oktoberfest in Cleveland

You don’t have to travel all the way to Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest this fall. Cleveland has its very own Oktoberfest that has now been extended for a second weekend this September!

In addition to drinking beer and eating classic Oktoberfest foods like soft pretzels and schnitzels, you can also enjoy live music and entertainment at the festival – including wiener dog races!

Tickets can be purchased online and cost $16 for a one-day ticket and $25 for a two-day ticket.

3. Waterloo Arts Festival

When: September 9, 2023

Where: Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District

If you’re looking for a great free festival in Cleveland this month, don’t miss the Waterloo Arts Festival. This festival takes place in the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District located in the North Collinwood neighborhood.

The festival features an all-day lineup of live music on various stages around the area, along with art exhibits, local art vendors, free kids’ activities, and local food vendors.

4. Cleveland Browns home opener

When: September 10, 2023

Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium, 100 Alfred Lerner Way, Cleveland

Cleveland Browns Stadium
The Browns are back to playing football in September!

September means that football season is officially here, and in Cleveland, the Browns will play their first home game against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 10. Even if you can’t score tickets to the game, you can catch it at a local sports bar or pub.

Better yet, head to Muni Lot (the Lakefront Municipal Parking Lot) for tailgating. This parking lot located a few blocks away from the Cleveland Browns Stadium is a major hub for fans tailgating before the game.

5. See migrating monarchs

When: Starting Labor Day Weekend

Where: Lakefront outdoor areas like Wendy Park

Monarch butterflies in Cleveland
Monarchs in Wendy Park

A unique thing you can witness in September if the weather conditions are right are migrating monarch butterflies roosting in trees along Lake Erie.

These colorful orange-and-black butterflies migrate from Canada all the way to Mexico, and fly over Lake Erie along the way. They often stop to rest in Cleveland after crossing the lake, and tend to gather in trees, bushes, and prairie grasses close to the lakeshore.

You can see individual butterflies throughout September and into October, but when cool or wet weather conditions line up with their crossing, hundreds or thousands of them can often be seen roosting together in trees in places like Wendy Park, the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve, and Huntington Reservation.

Read more about seeing monarchs in Cleveland.

6. Chalk Festival

When: September 16-17, 2023

Where: Cleveland Museum of Arts Fine Arts Garden, 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland

A unique annual event to check out this month is the Chalk Festival at the Cleveland Museum of Art. For two days each year, the walkways around the Fine Arts Garden are transformed into giant canvases for chalk art.

Professional artists and community members alike can participate – if you want to decorate your own square of pavement, you can sign up at the at the registration tent for $10-$20 (while space/supplies last).

The event happens rain or shine, and also features live music and food trucks.

7. Go apple picking

When: All September

Where: Various locations

Apple picking at Quarry Hill Orchards
September is the perfect time for picking apples

There’s nothing that says fall like apple picking! September is the prime month for apple picking, although different varieties of apples ripen at different times from September through October.

Popular places to pick your own apples near Cleveland include Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland, Hillcrest Orchards in Amherst, and Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights.

8. Cleveland Pickle Fest

When: September 23, 2023

Where: Mall B – 300 St Clair Ave NE, Cleveland

One of the most unique events happening in Cleveland this month is the Cleveland Pickle Fest. If you love pickles, you won’t want to miss this day of pickle-themed fun.

The festival takes place in downtown Cleveland and tickets are $5. At the festival, you’ll find dozens of pickle vendors selling everything including canned pickles, pickle beer, pickles on a stick, pickle pizza, pickle candy, and even pickle ice cream.

There’s also a Pickle Eating Contest for those who are serious about pickles. The entry fee is $20 and the grand prize is a month’s supply of pickles and a Cleveland Pickle Fest Pickle Eating Champion trophy.

9. Cleveland Gaming Classic

When: September 22-24, 2023

Where: 1 I-X Center Dr, Cleveland

The Cleveland Gaming Classic is the ultimate event for gaming aficionados. This weekend-long festival is held at the International Exposition Center (I-X Center) in Cleveland and is a must for anyone who loves gaming, whether it’s video games or tabletop games.

Throughout the weekend, you can enjoy open-play gaming, tournaments, cosplay, panels, a vendor expo, collectibles, kids’ activities, photo ops, and more.

Tickets for all three days start at $87 and kids aged 10 and under are free. Single-day admission is also available.

10. Cleveland Beer Week

When: September 29-October 8, 2023

Where: Various local breweries

Cleveland beer and breweries
Sample local brews during Beer Week

Cleveland Beer Week is another one of the best things to do in Cleveland in September. This beer-focused festival kicks off at the end of the month and features more than a week’s worth of events.

You can purchase tickets for individual events which include beer tastings, beer education, and more. Two neighborhood crawls in Kamms Corner and Cleveland Heights to kick off the week will feature 8 Cleveland Beer Week limited release beers.

What are you most excited for in Cleveland in September?

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