29 Fun Fall Festivals to Take in the Crisp Autumn Air
Spending your autumn days surrounded by beautiful fall foliage is an absolute must, and what better way to experience the season than to enjoy a fall festival or two?
You might begin your journey by blasting some Halloween songs or Thanksgiving songs on your way to one of the events on our list — and depending on which one you pick, you could end up jumping in a pile of leaves to re-live your childhood, taking a few pics that rival a Norman Rockwell painting or walking amongst spooky jack-‘o-lanterns that set the night sky ablaze.
This selection of awe-inspiring adventures (which range from traditional harvest festivals and the best pumpkin patch near you to more out-of-the-box suggestions, like the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta), will keep you feeling grateful all season long. Keep reading for some seriously stunning spots to welcome the fall and all its splendid glory.
Freeport Fall Festival – Freeport, Maine
Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 3
Prepare to boogie down at one of Maine’s fun (and artsy!) fall festivals in Downtown Freeport. The Freeport Fall Festival brings together over 150 of New England’s top artists for a three-day festival. You’ll have a ball at the L.L. Bean campus listening to live music and perusing the arts exhibits. Your little ones will absolutely love the “make n’ take” crafts the festival offers too. Most of all, you’ll love that the festival is completely free!
RELATED: 15 Breathtaking Places to Check Out Fall Foliage
Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Craft & Music Festival – Quechee, Vermont
Friday, September 3 – Sunday, September 5
Visit Quechee for a breathtaking view at the Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Craft & Music Festival. This quaint town hosts the longest running hot air balloon festival in New England over Quechee and the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. You’ll be enjoying the views from above with tethered rides ($20) throughout the day or snapping some pics from the ground. Taste some terrific fall festival food or indulge at the beer and wine garden. The kids will adore the Free Kids Zone too. With about 20 hot air balloons scheduled with flights, this festival is sure to delight.
Adults (13+) $15, children (6–12) $5, 5 years and under free.
Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta – Damariscotta, Maine
Friday, October 8 – Monday, October 11
Paddles up for the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest & Regatta in Maine. Celebrate the fall by watching the regatta or checking out the local artists’ decorated pumpkins displayed proudly downtown in Damariscotta and Newcastle. Each pumpkin tells a particular story about the community, the fruit’s origin and the artist.
Orleans County Fair – Barton, Vermont
Friday, October 8 – Monday, October 11
Contests, horse shows and livestock galore at the 153rd Orleans County Fair! Get the whole family involved in a day (or more) of revelry with games and magic shows. There’s even a petting zoo for the kiddos as well as arts and crafts.
Image taken in Barton, VT, not at Orleans County Fair.
OgunquitFest – Ogunquit, Maine
Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 31
If you’re seeking endless fall fun, then attend the month-long OgunquitFest. The October harvest festival has lots of signature activities perfect for children and adults alike including a classic car show, a huge craft fair and the High Heel Dash. Signature events are scheduled for Friday, October 22–Sunday, October 24. The 18th annual OgunquitFest Artisan Craft Fair takes place Saturday, October 23–Sunday, October 24.
Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Festival – Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Friday, October 1 – Saturday, October 2
Get crackin’ at Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Festival this fall. If you’re over the moon for oysters, then you’ll be in heaven at Martha’s Vineyard. Spend some time at a raw bar or engage in oyster tastings and oyster farm tours. The Weekend Package is $225 and covers Friday’s Opening Night Event as well as Saturday’s “The Tasting.” Take your family and friends to the free OysterDisco on October 1!
See website for pricing by day/activity.
The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place – Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Saturday, September 18 – Sunday, November 7
Celebrate the fall and a haunted Halloween at Sesame Place. The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular will thrill your little ones (in addition to the park’s signature rides!). Put on your favorite costume to show off your “Monster Mash” moves with The Count at the Furry Friends Halloween Dance Party. Go trick-or-treating around the park or seek out some spooky finds at the Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt. You and the fam might even win big in the Halloween Costume Contest! Reservations are not needed at Sesame Place, but space is limited at special events.
Tickets begin at $39.99.
Image taken in Osaka, Japan at press preview of the Halloween Character Parade at the Universal Studios Japan and does not feature Sesame Place.
Hersheypark In The Dark – Hershey, Pennsylvania
Friday, October 15–17, 22–24, & 29–31
Chocolate-lovers rejoice! Hershey offers some sweet treats for the fall season with Hersheypark In The Dark. Hop on a couple of thrilling rides to celebrate through Halloween like the new “Candymonium” and interactive Pepsi Pop Star. Give the kiddos a taste of fall with the amusement park’s delicious delights from famous Pumpkin King Size Shakes to Pumpkin Pie Funnel Cake Sundaes and decadent s’mores.
See website for ticket prices and season passes.
Autumn Moon Festival – San Francisco, California
Saturday, September 11 – Sunday, September 12
Immerse yourself in a free cultural experience for fall at the San Francisco Autumn Moon Festival. This harvest festival takes place during mid-Autumn and is also known as the “Moon Festival” or “Harvest Moon Festival.” Celebrate with lion dances and delectable moon cakes. Visit domestically or internationally as the festivals are usually held in mid-September in China, Vietnam and Chinatowns around the world.
Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival – Moorpark, California
Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, October 31
If picking your own produce is your holiday hobby, then make your way to the Underwood Family Farms Fall Harvest Festival. This California fall festival boasts hayrides, wagon pulls, animal farms and a giant pumpkin patch in the Tierra Rejada Valley. Listen to live music as you peruse the booths and pick out a few fun eclectic crafts to add to your collection. I know you’ve got some spooky Halloween decorating ideas in mind! Underwood Family Farms has themed weekends for your amusement, so prepare for festive family fun.
Admission: $10 on weekdays ($12 to $22 on weekends), free for children 2 & under.
Fleet Week at Fisherman’s Wharf – San Francisco, California
Sunday, October 3 – Monday, October 11
All aboard for Fisherman’s Wharf! Fleet Week returns this year in San Francisco, California. Watch the Fleet enter the Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge in the much-awaited Parade of Ships. San Francisco boasts the largest Parade of Ships on the West Coast! Salute the fall season with an outstanding Air Show with The United States Navy Blue Angels. San Francisco’s Fleet Week is sure to be a showstopper this October.
Block Island Rock Fest 2021 at Ballard’s Beach – Block Island, Rhode Island
Sunday, September 12
Get ready for a little fun in the sun (or shade!) at Block Island Rock Fest 2021. Block Island Rock Fest is being held at Ballard’s Beach this year. The private Ballard’s Beach offers free admission to the fall festival. Prepare to sip on a seasonal cocktail in one of the VIP cabanas or whet your whistle with a staff-delivered non-alcoholic beverage as you listen to live music. This is an all-ages event. As usual, you must be 21 & over to partake in bar activities.
Knott’s Spooky Farm – Buena Park, California
Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, October 31
She must be craving a Boo-berry cocktail! Prepare for a scary good time and spend the fall season at Knott’s Spooky Farm. Knott’s Berry Farm is the premier destination for a fall fright fest. This spooky celebration is perfect for your little ones ages 3–11. Your little monsters will love trick-or-treating through Ghost Town. Put on one of your best Halloween costumes of all time and thrill throughout the park. You’ll enjoy The Timber Mountain Log Ride which the amusement park transforms to include the spookiest yet family-friendliest of surprises.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze – Hudson, New York
Friday, September 17 – Saturday, November 21
Lights out at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Hudson, New York! Prepare for a scare and feast your eyes on the most magical pumpkins on the East Coast! This illuminated event displays more than 7,000 incredible jack-o-lanterns hand-carved on site. You’ll be thrilled to take a stroll beneath the new River of Light.
The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival – Orlando, Florida
Thursday, July 15 – Friday, November 20
Get ready for a foodie paradise at the happiest place on Earth at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Disney World’s epic international food and wine festival welcomes fall with some signature seasonal events at the park. This fall festival is pure fun for all ages. Your little ones can go on a Ratatouille-inspired scavenger hunt or taste delectable cheeses at Emile’s Fromage Montage. C’est magnifique! Check out the Global Marketplaces while you’re at it. Chef Mickey insists that you join him on an educational journey this fall. This year marks the park’s 50th anniversary!
See the website for ticket prices and book your season passes.
The Nantucket Cranberry Festival – Nantucket, Massachusetts
Saturday, October 9
Put on your Nantucket Reds and prepare for a fruity harvest festival this fall. The Nantucket Cranberry Festival is on for October. Pucker up for a sweet (and sour) time! You’ll learn all about the history of cranberry farming on the island and sample some classic Nantucket treats. Meander to the Milestone Cranberry Bog for the festival’s 17th anniversary! Admission is free. Sweet!
AppleFest – Speculator, New York
Saturday, September 25
You’re the apple (pie) of my eye. AppleFest is sure to be a super sweet celebration for the entire family. Plan your trip to the Adirondacks for an awesome experience this autumn. Speculator’s
fall harvest festival offers fun, games, crafts and a host of mouth-watering baked goods. This event is totally free for all.
The Bear and Wine Festival – Speculator, New York
Saturday, October 2
Say cheese … and wine! While you’re traveling through the Adirondacks this fall, you’ll want to make a trip to The Bear and Wine Festival. Speculator is also your destination for wine. Enjoy a selection of beverages from local wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. Unwind and admire artisan crafts as you inhale the autumn air. Whet your whistle with some wonderful wine during the fall season (and indulge in some autumnal appetizers!).
Advance sales: $10 for tasting and at the door: $12 for tasting.
Oktoberfest – Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Saturday, October 2 – Sunday, October 3
Prepare to dance to the live Polka music and sample some traditional German dishes (and beer) at Oktoberfest in Downtown Historic Cedarburg. Snack on some schnitzel or sample a little sauerkraut. You’ll go cuckoo for their fun Glockenspiel Show while the Alte Kameraden Band is sure to delight. If you’re in the Milwaukee (City of Festivals) area this fall, you won’t want to miss this free event.
Wine & Harvest Festival – Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Saturday, September 18 – Sunday, September 19
Indulge in cranberry brats and local libations from Cedar Creek Winery at the 49th Annual Wine & Harvest Festival in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. This fall harvest festival offers some of the yummiest treats and most delectable Wisconsin favorites such as cheese curds and roasted corn. Try a bit of vino or beer courtesy of the Fermentorium Tap Tent at the Beer/Wine garden and enjoy live music. The Milwaukee Bucks should even make an appearance. Bring the kiddos along for a fun and festive family weekend. You’re all welcome!
Delta Fair & Music Festival – Memphis, Tennessee
Friday, September 3 – Sunday, September 12
Make your way to the Delta Fair & Music Festival in East Memphis this fall. “Everyone’s Fair” donates $200,000 to local businesses each year. As you listen to live music, you’ll want to peruse the crafts or enjoy a classic carnival ride. Get pageant-ready and learn about livestock and the rich history of the Delta. This fall festival will delight all ages.
See website for festival tickets. All concerts, shows and special events are included with the price of admission.
Memphis Bacon & Bourbon Festival – Memphis, Tennessee
Friday, September 24
Plan a trip to Memphis for fall to enjoy this perfect pairing. The Memphis Bacon & Bourbon Festival is sure to be a treat. Take in the autumn air (and some spirits!). Part of the proceeds will benefit the Memphis Farmers Market, so you’ll want to indulge a bit. Eat, drink and be merry at the Metal Museum in downtown Memphis.
Early bird: $38, general admission: $44.
Trailing Of The Sheep Festival – Sun Valley, Ketchum, and Hailey, Idaho
Wednesday, October 6 – Sunday, October 10
Say baaa! This year marks the 25th Annual Trailing Of The Sheep in Idaho. Go on and attend the Big Sheep Parade to celebrate the rich history of herding as well as ranching at this fall harvest event. No need to be sheepish! Sample some tasty treats at farm-to-table dinners and cooking classes.
Memphis Food & Wine Festival – Memphis, Tennessee
Saturday, October 16
Tuck in for a fantastic fall harvest at the Memphis Food & Wine Festival. This highly-anticipated event benefits FedExFamilyHouse (a charity for out-of-town families with children receiving hospital treatment). Celebrate the bountiful fall season as you support a great cause.
See website for festival tickets.
Food Network & Cooking Channel Food & Wine Festival – New York, New York
Thursday, October 14 – Sunday, October 17
If you’re craving a host of goods for the season, then get your crew together for a fall festival courtesy of Food Network & Cooking Channel in New York City. Enjoy a taste of autumn at this popular event in one of the major foodie cities on the planet. The New York City Food & Wine Festival is one you can’t miss! Support NYCWFF and treat yourself (and your community!) during the pandemic.
See website for festival tickets.
Carnivus Maximus – St. Helena, California
Sunday, September 5
Prep your palate for a terrific and tasty time at Carnivus Maximus in Napa Valley. If you live for a nice glass of vino, then propel your obsession into the stratosphere at this St. Helena festival. This yearly event was named Top Harvest Party in Napa. Enjoy outrageous games, bountiful bites and world famous wine in the popular wine-growing region. Take a sip this season and toast to the good life!
Harvest on the Harbor – Portland, Maine
Thursday, November 4 – Sunday, November 7
Plan a trip to Portland, Maine for an epic event celebrating the fall harvest. Harvest on the Harbor has your back this year with endless options for foodies! Get ready for a glorious gastro-fest gourmands will adore. Lobster and little plates galore. The festival’s tantalizing treats will thrill your taste buds. See the website for festival ticket sales (tickets for Maine OysterFest and Meet Your Maker featuring the Maine Distillers Guild are on deck!).
Japanese Ambience Festival – Omaha, Nebraska
Saturday, October 2 – Sunday, October 3
Embrace the fall season with multi-cultural activities at the Japanese Ambience Festival. Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha offers a fall festival to stimulate your senses. Celebrate the autumnal displays and watch a traditional tea ceremony or enjoy a performance by Kyoko Taiko drummers. Your little ones will love to learn about Lauritzen Gardens’ gifts from sister city Shizuoka. Samurai armor, origami and selfies with a replica of Mt. Fuji are just a taste of all you can explore at the garden. Most of the activities at the garden are free with admission or membership.
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wednesday, September 22 – Sunday, October 26
If you’ve ever envisioned traveling to New Mexico during the fall, then gather some like-minded wine-lovers for the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta. This fall festival will delight you and your loved ones with daily wine seminars and cooking demos. Make your trip twice as nice with two Grand Tastings. Each tasting is $175 while a two-day pass is $300. This year marks the fiesta’s 30th anniversary, so prepare to cheers with your peers! Here’s to you and a healthy fall harvest!
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