New England Fall Festivals

Celebrate Autumn at New England Fall Festivals

Peacham VT - Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival
••• Peacham is one of the Northeast Kingdom towns that welcomes visitors during the annual Fall Foliage Festival. Media photo by David P. McMasters, courtesy of Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing

New England celebrates fall foliage season like no other place in the world. Here is your guide to some of the best New England fall festivals. Fill your calendar with these autumn events held in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

See also: Weekend-by-Weekend Guide to Top 2017 New England Fall Events

  • 01 of 10

    September 29-30, 2017, Harpoon Brewery, Boston, Massachusetts, 617-456-2322. Boston's Harpoon Brewery hosts one of New England's largest Octoberfest celebrations each year. Sample fresh Harpoon beer and German food while you enjoy live performances by German Oompa Bands and some playful events like the Chicken Dance contest.

  • 02 of 10

    September 29-October 1, 2017, The Practice Tee, Manchester, Vermont, 802-425-3399. Combine leaf peeping and shopping! Each year, Manchester, Vermont, hosts this fall craft show featuring works by 200 juried artisans, plus live entertainment, local food and more.

  • 03 of 10
    Peacham VT - Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage Festival
    ••• Peacham is one of the Northeast Kingdom towns that welcomes visitors during the annual Fall Foliage Festival. Media photo by David P. McMasters, courtesy of Vermont Dept. of Tourism and Marketing

    October 2-8, 2017, seven participating towns, Northeast Kingdom, Vermont, 802-748-3678. Each day of this nine-day fall festival showcases a different town in Vermont's remote and incredibly scenic Northeast Kingdom. Jump in your car, bring your camera, and spend all or part of the week meeting local folks as they open the doors of their homes, historic sites and churches and host a variety of activities ranging from guided tours, hikes and concerts to lumberjack or pancake breakfasts and chicken pie or spaghetti suppers.

  • 04 of 10

    October 6-8, 2017, Depot Street, Warner, New Hampshire, 603-456-9775. Each year, Warner, New Hampshire, entices fall foliage visitors with a festival featuring crafts, carnival rides, a farmer's market, food and free entertainment. Highlights of the weekend event will include a grand parade and a lobster dinner and chicken BBQ. This year, you may be particularly delighted that "politicking at the festival is strictly prohibited."

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    October 7, 2017, Bold Point Park, East Providence, Rhode Island, 888-900-8640. Savor a taste of Germany as East Providence hosts Rhode Island's 25th annual Oktoberfest featuring authentic entertainment including Bavarian bands. The waterfront event also features Biergartens and German food.

  • 06 of 10

    October 7-8, 2017, Sunday River Ski Resort, Newry, Maine, 207-824-3000. The annual Fall Festival at Maine's Sunday River is actually several events rolled into one. There's the Wine Tent on Saturday and the 34th Annual Blue Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday and Sunday, not to mention the annual North American Wife Carrying Championships on Saturday, a truly unique sporting event in which the winning carrier earns his partner's weight in beer and five times his partner's weight in cash! Other events throughout the weekend include scenic chairlift rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, a pre-season sports sale, kids' activities, free concerts and more.

  • 07 of 10

    October 7-9, 2017, Boothbay Railway Village, Boothbay, Maine, 207-633-4727. This 50th annual fall festival at Boothbay Railway Village features crafts, entertainment, food and activities for kids, plus a pumpkin carving contest and steam train rides for a nostalgic look at the leaves.

  • 08 of 10

    October 7-9, 2017, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut, 860-572-0711. Hungry for chowder? Then head to Mystic Seaport over Columbus Day Weekend for Chowder Days, an annual festival featuring New England's signature soup. The Chowder Days menu features several varieties of chowder, apple fritters, mulled cider and other seasonal selections, all of which must be purchased separately from museum admission. While you fill yourself with hearty New England fare, enjoy family activities, live music and all of the sights and experiences of this sprawling maritime museum.

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  • 09 of 10
    Pumpkin Festival New Hampshire
    ••• The tower will be back, even though New Hampshire's Pumpkin Festival leaves Keene for Laconia this year. © 2013 Kim Knox Beckius

    October 13-14, 2017, Downtown, Laconia, New Hampshire, 603-524-5531. The people of New Hampshire recaptured their Guinness World Record for the most lit jack-o-lanterns in one place in 2013 by besting the 30,128 glowing gourds Boston assembled in 2006. Watch my video to hear the crowd's reaction when the new record total of 30,851 pumpkins was announced. Then, make plans to help New Hampshire hold onto its title of Pumpkin Capital of the World in 2017 when the Pumpkin Festival is held in Laconia for the third time in its 27th anniversary year. Bring a carved pumpkin... or a few.

  • 10 of 10

    October 14-15, 2017, Main Street, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Why visit Cape Cod in the fall? To enjoy an uncrowded vacation, off-season rates, splashes of fall color, mild temperatures and... oysters! The annual OysterFest in Wellfleet features opportunities to sample oysters and clams prepared every which way. You can also shop for crafts, cheer for competitors in the Oyster Shuck-Off, participate in family activities, listen to music and even learn something about the marine environment (but don't tell the kids!).