Fall is upon us, and in many cases, it’s what’s called “Shoulder Season,” where crowds aren’t as large and the prices are lower than peak, without the closures you may see in off-season.  The kids are in school, so leave their grandparents in charge and get out of town. (Just a joke, that would be irresponsible parenting.)  Either way, let’s get out and about.

1. It’s Oktoberfest! September 21 – October 6, head to Munich, Germany for the world’s largest Volkfest (translates to “people’s festival”), which is a beer party with a carnival. A family friendly event, assuming you don’t get pissy drunk in front of your offspring, there are rides and things to keep you kid engaged. The train system (the tram) is a good way to get around Munich (I know firsthand based on my last trip through Europe), and should make it easy for you to catch the parades and the concert, as well as keeping you from driving drunk, because all of that beer consumption.


2. Then there’s the Oasis Festival in Marrakech, Morocco, three days of electronic music, from September 14-16. Food, drink, a huge party, and being immersed in a different culture (unless of course you’re Moroccan). I’m not an electronic music fan, but just give me an excuse to go somewhere I’ve never been before, I’ll probably go.


3. To change the pace a bit, there is the Hermanus Whale Festival in Durban, South Africa. Every year people go to see the whales returning to the coastal waters. September is the beginning of spring in the southern hemisphere, so the weather should be great, and there is food, music and festivities. Also, in April, The Telegraph voted Hermanus as the top destination to for whale watching. So if you like nature, and some spring weather before you come back home to what will likely be cold weather (unless you live in Florida, SoCal or Hawaii), and want a reason to go to Africa, the festival runs September 27-29.


4. The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is Friday September 13 in Shanghai is made up of mooncakes, wine, lanterns, food and games. The Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated throughout East and Southeast Asia, so if China isn’t exactly where you want to get the experience of this lunar celebration, there’s always, Laos, Japan, Cambodia, Philippines, Taiwan and a list of other options.


So beer, EDM, whales and cultural experiences on the docket for September. Of course, one cannot make all of these suggestions, but if you catch any of them, you’re welcome.  Stayed tuned for more excuses in coming months.

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