News & Announcements

Chautauqua Welcomes Fall with October Festival, Oct. 4–5

Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce it will host a special October Festival on Oct. 4 and 5, 2019, featuring Oktoberfest-inspired events and activities to celebrate the beginning of fall on its picturesque lakeside grounds. Festivities will include German-style food, hay rides, axe throwing and other seasonal activities, and there is no charge for admission or parking. A special package is available at the Athenaeum Hotel for guests who wish to stay the full weekend, through Sunday morning.

The Chautauqua October Festival kicks off on Friday, Oct. 4, with a three-course German-inspired tasting menu at the Athenaeum Hotel. The hotel’s lounge will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight, and entertainment before and after dinner will be provided by The Shotskis, a five-piece ensemble that plays German classics and party songs, from 4 to 6 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m. Reservations for Friday’s dinner can be made at

Then, from 12 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, the festivities move to Bestor Plaza, Chautauqua’s town square. Alongside German-style food, drinks and adult beverages at the Brick Walk Cafe, a mix of family-friendly and adult-oriented activities will include hay rides, bobbing for apples, a bounce house, pumpkin painting, and axe throwing by AXEWAGON. See for a full list. Fees apply for food and drinks and for some activities.

Additionally, a number of the shops on Bestor Plaza will keep hours during the October Festival. Chautauqua’s standard recreational activities are also available to Festival attendees, including golf at the Chautauqua Golf Club, tennis at the Chautauqua Tennis Center and fitness activities and swimming at Chautauqua Health & Fitness.

The Chautauqua Institution grounds are open to the public with no entry or parking fees until the 2020 summer season begins on June 27. More information on fall activities at Chautauqua can be found at Some shops and restaurants, including the Chautauqua Bookstore and Afterwords Café, keep regular hours throughout the winter and spring. Visit the Institution’s Year-Round Dining and Shopping page for more details.