By Rebecca Alwine, Army Spouse

While native Pensacola families may be used to the year-round warm temperatures, military families that move here are frequently ready for fall come mid-October. Luckily, there are many adventures worth having when the temps drop enough to be outside all day. Here are some great ideas for adventure this fall in Pensacola.

Regular, but not Ordinary Pensacola Events

The third Friday of each month brings Gallery Night to downtown Pensacola. Downtown parks are full of children playing, restaurants and bars feature extra outside seating and music fills the air. Gallery Night is family friendly and officially ends at 9pm, but local restaurants and bars generally stay open later to cater to the crowds. Head downtown on October 20th, November 17th and December 15th.

Catch the tail end of the 2017 Bands on the Beach event, where live bands perform at the Gulfside Pavilion on Pensacola Beach each Tuesday at 7pm. Bring your chairs, blankets, and food and enjoy the live music. The last beach concert of the year is held on October 31st.

Festivals & Food

The World Food Championships is coming to Orange Beach and everyone is excited. Foodies who want to taste can become a judge or volunteer at the event. Anyone can purchase tickets to eat and kids may want to check out the First Annual World Food Games. Passion meets taste buds at this event.

Kick off November with the 12-day celebration that is Foo Foo Fest. From the 2nd through the 13th, there will be musical, theatrical and creative events throughout the city. Big events that fall within this time frame also include the Big Green Egg Cook-off, the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival and the Pensacola Marathon.

One can’t miss Pensacola event is the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show. Join the Blue Angels for their homecoming air show on Veterans Day Weekend. You can purchase tickets or sit in general admission for free. This show closes out the 2017 season and will also include the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute team.


In nearby Orange Beach, Trunk or Treat at The Wharf is being held on Halloween evening from 6 to 8:30pm. Costume contests and loads of kids activities for all ages, and of course candy! Dress in your costume and don’t be afraid, this is a safe and good time for everyone.

Pensacola’s mascot is a Pelican, and since 2008 the Pelican Drop has been a favorite New Year’s tradition. It’s one of the largest events in the central time zone! Live performances, restaurants and vendors are in attendance. And for those families who can’t quite stay awake long enough, there is a Little Pelican Party that starts at 3pm and ends with the lighting of the Pelican at 8pm.

The weather in Pensacola hardly reaches frightful, unless you count the summer humidity, but Winterfest brings the winter season to downtown each year. Walk through Christmas Town and take a ride on the Polar Express Trolley. Winterfest starts with the annual Elf Parade and a special Santa’s Express Tour comes to town the week before Christmas. Don’t forget to take part in the free Winterfest Reindeer Games while you’re visiting.


The Pensacola Ice Flyers, the local professional hockey team, kicks of its season in October with some fantastic theme nights. Hang out with Maverick, the 6’2” hockey-loving eagle at the Pensacola Bay Center.

The most prestigious race in the short track racing world takes place at the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola. Watch 300-laps around the ½ mile track as some of the best drivers in the country attempt to make the final field. The Snowball Derby is held from November 30th through December 3rd.

If you are stationed in the Pensacola area or are headed this way on your next PCS, visit for all the latest happenings, base housing info, neighborhood info, school ratings, realtor and moving company recommendations.

AuthorRebecca Alwine is a PCSgrades’ Blogger Affiliate, freelance writer, army wife, and mother of three. She enjoys coffee, running, lifting weights, and most of the menial tasks of motherhood. Her writing experience includes military family topics, research pieces, guest blogging, and much more. She’s a contributing writer for ARMY Magazine, a regular contributor for several publications including to Homefront United Network, PCSgrades,ESME, and has also been published in Ms. Magazine and The Atlantic. You can follow her online at or on Twitter (@rebecca_alwine) and Instagram (@rebecca_alwine).