Free fall family fun: Our guide to some of the area’s best no-cost attractions

Staff Writer John Coffelt With Christmas right around the corner, most of us find that money is a little tight, but don’t worry; there are plenty of free (or nearly so) activities that your family can do this fall. Some of these might require some cash for food or drinks, but window shopping is a fun time for all. Manchester Parks and Rec. bike social Like to ride? The Manchester Parks and Recreation Department will host a bike social at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28 at the recreation complex. The goal is to create a group ride that will help beginner riders build confidence and to bring our bicycle com-munity together.  Enjoy free refreshments with novice and experienced riders to talk everything bike related. If you go: Manchester Rec. Complex, 557 N. Woodlawn St. For more information on Blood Sweet and Gears, call 728-0273. 41A Music Festival Tullahoma’s 41 A Music Festival is a free event featuring acts like Whiskey Myers, Pop Roxs and the Springs. Shows run all weekend Sept. 29-30 at the downtown area of Tullahoma. If you go: location: 119 N. W. Atlantic, Tullahoma; Poker Run Registration at 9 a.m., Saturday. Find details @ 41A Music Festival – Highland Rim Kiwanis on Facebook; donations accepted for local children charities at the gate. Old Timers Day Re-started after a few years off, Old Timers Day was designed with free fun in mind. Come out Oct. 6-7 on the square and enjoy a parade, petting zoo, fun activities such as greased pole climb, train rides and eating contests. Live music will be performed throughout the day. If you go: Friday, By Faith, 7 p.m. Saturday, Prayer and National Anthem, 9 a.m.; Parade, 10 a.m.;  kids and adult games, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wild West Shootout, 1 p.m.; ice cream eating contest and adult games resume and Jason Adams, 5 p.m.  For more information, Fall break fun at the public library It’s always a safe bet that there is something fun and free going on at Coffee County Manchester Public library. This year’s fall break, Oct. 2-7 is no different. Start the week with a scare Monday at 7 p.m. with fright night with the Highland Rim Paranormal Society.  Tuesday is teen time slime at 10 a.m. Wednesday is Mr. Bond’s Spooky Science, with fog, screeching owls, bubbling potions, optical illusions and more, at 10 a.m. Thursday is story hour for the little ones at   10 a.m. and Friday is Crafty Friday at 10 a.m. Saturday is a special story time at 10 a.m. with Daddies and Donuts. If you go: no registration required nor a library card. Coffee County Manchester Public Library, 1005 Hillsboro Blvd. Movie night at the park What’s better than a night out under the stars? How about a free showing of “Star Wars”? Manchester Parks and Recreation will screen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Oct. 7 at Manchester Rotary Park. The free movie will start at approximately 6:30 p.m.  Concessions will be available for purchase. The Manchester Rec. Dept. will host a Star Wars costume contest. If you go: movie rated: PG-13; starts 6:30 p.m.; costumes optional. Rotary Park: 557 N Woodland St. Apollo astronaut speaks at UTSI Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham, the second civilian astronaut, will speak at the University of Tennessee Space Institute at 10 a.m., Oct. 13. Cunningham rode the Lunar Module pilot seat for the 11-day Apollo mission that was the first manned Apollo flight and the first manned flight of the Saturn V rocket. If you go: Free reservations: (931) 393 7477; The University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 BH Goethert Pkwy., Tullahoma. Annual Fall Delight Craft Fair From handcrafted gifts and favorite products to fall decor and more ideas, the Third Annual Fall Delight Craft Fair will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, 5631 AEDC Rd. If you go: look for the Capitol Hill Community Center just past the fire station on AEDC Rd. Bell Buckle Main Street Arts and Crafts Fair   Some people go to craft fairs for ideas, others just want to window shop; either way there will be much to see at the Bell Buckle Main Street arts and crafts fair Oct. 21-22 at Bell Buckle’s historic downtown. The event’s Facebook page calls the event the second largest event in Tennessee, only overshadowed by a University of Tennessee game. Planned are six blocks to vendors, including arts, crafts, antiques/vintage, jewelry, photography, holiday decorations, pottery, foods and music. If you go: Hours, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Bring cash for food and concessions, and perhaps to shop. Located at along Main St., Bell Buckle, Tenn., between Beech Grove and Shelbyville on Highway 82. Winchester’s  Taste of Autumn Fall Festival Winchester Taste of Autumn Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off will be 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21 at historic downtown Winchester. Celebrate the season of harvest with food, entertainment and community in an effort to support a sustainable and vibrant downtown that will be a highly desirable destination point. See the classic car show or opt for a $5 armband and enjoy the chili tasting from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Safe on the Square Trick-or-treating is never more fun than when 2,000 of area’s youth come together on the square for the Halloween tradition. The Coffee County Children’s Advocacy Center will host the 10th annual Safe on the Square trick-or-treat event will be held from 2:30-5 p.m., Oct. 31 on the square. Local businesses will provide candy for area youth. If you go: located on Manchester square; expect a lot of kids and a lot of candy. Hickerson Elementary Fall Festival Fall festivals at local schools are by definition free fall fun. While many schools have shifted to winter carnivals or spring festivals, here are a few events coming up in the coming months. Hickerson Elementary School will have its fall festival starting at 5 p.m. Nov. 3. An auction will be at 7 p.m. The school is located at 5017 Old Manchester Hwy. New Union Elementary   Fall Festival New Union Elementary School’s fall festival will be 5:30-8 p.m., Nov. 3 the school is located at 3320 Woodbury Hwy. East Coffee Elementary School Fall Festival East Coffee Elementary Fall Festival: Come be a star with the as East Coffee Elementary celebrates its Red Carpet Fall Festival from 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 10. This star-studded night will dazzle you with games, dining, prizes and much more. The school is located at 6264 McMinnville Highway. North Coffee Fall Festival North Coffee Elementary School’s fall festival will be from 5-8 p.m., Nov. 10. The school is located at 6790 Murfreesboro Hwy. If you go: some festivals have fundraisers built in so bring a little cash to help out, but most of all be ready for some fun. Granddaddy’s Farms Pumpkin Demolition Franklin County’s pumpkin patch Granddaddy’s Farm will hold its annual end of season pumpkin smashing event from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Nov. 4 at the farm, 454 Highland Ridge Rd, Estill Springs. Pick a pumpkin for free and watch it roll, bounce and smash on demolition hill. Bring cash for a hayride beginning at 10:3o a.m. If you go: Grandaddy’s Farm is just of Awalt Rd. in Estill Springs. Bring cash for a hayride or homemade pumpkin treats for sale on site.