There's no better place to celebrate fall with the family than in picturesque New England. Crisp colors of red and orange decorate the mountains and the scent of apple cider lingers in the air. From pumpkin patches to hay rides, New England is packed with fun during autumn.
Mystic Chowder Days. This Columbus Day weekend (October 12) check out Chowder Days in Mystic, CT. The weekend event features all sorts of seasonal treats like chowder, apple fritters, and cider. There's also music, crafts, hay rides, and games. Plus, check out Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium while you're in town.
Wolfe's Neck Farm Fall Festival. Head to Wolfe's Neck Farm October 12 for their fall festival. Activities include seed saving, hay climbing, horse demonstrations, pumpkin decorating, hayride, and pumpkin picking. There's food and music and tons of fun for the kids.
Sunday River Fall Festival. In Newry, Maine, they take their fall celebration seriously. At the Sunday River Ski Resort October 12 and 13, visitors can participate in a number of activities including music, the Blue Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival, The RAID series obstacle course, the Taste of Maine, wagon rides, games, woodcarving demonstrations, scenic hikes and the wife carrying championships. Prizes for the wife carrying winner include beer and cash.
Festival of the Hills. This annual Festival of the Hills event in Conway, Massachusetts on October 6 features everything you'd expect from a New England festival. There's live music, a road race, an art show, a petting zoo, and a craft tent. Plus, there's plenty to watch, like the parade, log-splitting competition, and a skillet-toss contest. An added bonus? All proceeds go to support scholarships for local high school students.
Strawberry Banke's Fall Festival. This 5th annual event in Portsmouth, NH was voted the Best of New Hampshire Magazine Editor's Pick. It's a traditional festival taking place October 12 and featuring demonstrations from craftspeople, animal exhibits, livestock demonstrations, fall activities in the Children's Garden, canning presentations, historic and harvest-themed crafts, plus the Prescott Park Chili Cook-off.
Keene Pumpkin Festival. On Saturday, October 19, head to Keene, NH for their annual pumpkin festival. From pumpkin bowling to the children's costume parade, there are tons of fun for families. Check out the pumpkin tower at Central Square and enjoy thousands of jack-o-lanterns on display. There will be food and crafts as well as a Ferris wheel. You can even bring your own jack-o-lantern to add to the bunch as the festival goes for the world record!
Sam Mazza's Harvest Festival. The weekend of October 5 and 6, head to Colchester, VT for Sam Mazza's 18th Annual Harvest Festival. Families can get lost in the corn maze, take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch, and feast on pumpkin treats from donuts to fudge. Kids will love the pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, fall games, and more. And while you're in town you can check out the Eco Center Aquarium, the VT Teddy Bear Factory, and swing down to Waterbury to taste some Ben and Jerry's ice cream right where it's made.
Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. This annual event at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI offers an amazing display of 5,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns. This year's theme is Pumpkinville, USA and will feature historical and cultural landmarks from across the country. It will also include childhood favorites and Halloween scenes as well as the grand finale Laughing Tree. And it's a zoo, so check out the animals too. The event runs October 3 through November 3.
There's always something fun to do all autumn long in New England. These are some of the best, but there are plenty of other celebrations happening each weekend so you're sure to find the perfect event for your family.