After a long, internal-organ-fryingly hot summer, fall has finally arrived here in the Magic City. Sure, our climate conditions have remained relatively the same since July -- rain, sunshine, rain, more rain, you know the drill. But soon, we'll be lounging by the pool on those perfectly balmy days that are typical to Miami autumns.
For most of the country, fall conjures up images of beautiful red and orange leaves and weather that's chilly enough to wear boots and sweaters. Here in Miami, year round sunshine and world-class beaches make for a permanent staycation lifestyle. We can't have it all, and that means giving up the seasonal changes that the rest of the U.S. enjoys.
But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the season -- it just means we have to create our own Miami version of the autumnal experience. It'll never feel like a northern fall in South Florida, but take heart: From traditional autumn activities redesigned for the tropics to only-in-Miami events, here are plenty of fall activities around town you won't find anywhere else.
Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch at Peacock Park, September 29-30
Where else can you pick a pumpkin amid palm trees? Get into the fall season as early as this weekend with Coconut Grove's Pumpkin Patch, where 2,500 plump, orange pumpkins will be assembled for picking. Join in on classic autumn traditions, even those you've never experienced before, like a pumpkin decorating station, a giant hay maze, and a dress-your-own scarecrow village. Shop from 20 local vendors and fuel up on kettle corn and candied apples from the "Foodie Feast" area.
Go Because: You have no idea what a hay maze is and you want to find out.
Price: Adults, $10; kids under 12, $5
10a.m. to 6p.m., 2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove, coconutgrovepumpkinpatch.com
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A Tropical Oktoberfest at Fritz & Franz, October 5-14
The forecast in Munich today is rain with a low of 46 degrees. Kinda makes the real Oktoberfest sound like a bummer, right? Ditch the slicker and head to one of Miami's versions instead. Frtiz and Franz, for example, will be converting Coral Gables into Little Bavaria for 10 whole days. You'll likely need to size up on your lederhosen to accommodate all the traditional German food and bottomless beer you can have. There will be live authentic beerhall music, a yodel contest, and a Bratwurst-eating contest.
Go Because: You yodel best when you're drunk.
Price: Admission is free
11 a.m. to 12 a.m., 60 Merrick Way, Coral Gables, 305-774-1883, oktoberfestmiami.com
Miami Book Fair International Street Fair, November 16-18
Cozying up to a good book and a hot cup of anything pumpkin-spiced makes for an idyllic fall afternoon no matter where you are. If you happen to be in need of a good book, then look no further than to Miami Book Fair International's Street Fair, where thousands of book lovers congregate on the streets of Downtown Miami adjacent to Miami Dade College to shop books from more than 200 exhibitors.
Go Because: You can't think of a better way to spend a [hopefully] semi-cool November day than purchasing books
Price: Adults, $8; Seniors, $5; 13-18, $5; Children 12 and under, free; MDC Students, free
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 300 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-237-3970, miamibookfair.com
Edible Garden Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, October 20-21
Harvest some knowledge on sustainable farming at Fairchild Tropical Garden. The weekend-long event will offer fresh food, cooking demonstrations from South Florida's most loved chefs, gardening demonstrations, edible garden workshops and lectures, hands-on educational activities and more. Fall-inspired activities will include the annual scarecrow competition, a pumpkin patch, and a fall beer garden.
Go Because: You're interested in sustainable farming, and not just the kind you did in your college dorm days
Price: Adults, $25; Seniors, $18; Children, $12
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables, 305-667-1651, fairchildgarden.org