In addition to all things pumpkin and apples, New England does a great fall fair. Some of these terrific events are a bit further than metro Boston (here’s to you, Big E), but it can be a super fun day trip adventure! Grab the kids and your funnel cake money and check out one of these autumn (or late-summer!) festivals!
What :: Fisherman’s Feast, Boston’s Oldest Italian Festival
Where :: Boston’s North End on North, Fleet, and Lewis Streets
Highlights :: It’s an Italian Festival in the North End — food! There’s also live music and the famed “Flight of the Angel.”
What :: Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair
Where :: West Tisbury Fairgrounds, Martha’s Vineyard
Highlights :: Rides, games, shucking contests, skillet toss, horse pull, woodsmen competition, fiber-arts tent, and dog and livestock shows.
What :: Marshfield Fair
Where :: 140 Main Street, Marshfield
Highlights :: It’s the 151st year of this premier South Shore fair. The fair draws hundreds of competitors in 4-H, arts and crafts, agricultural, and horticultural events. There is a farmer’s market, games, rides, animal shows, tractor pulls, live music, and entertainment.
What :: Clustertruck Food Festival
Where :: Kalon Farms, Lancaster
Highlights :: More than 25 food truck options, including dessert. Also, artisan vendors, craft brewing from Wachusett Brewing Company, and live music.
What :: Sterling Fair
Where :: Sterling Airport, 121 Greenland Road, Sterling
Highlights :: Friday night fireworks, kiddie tractor pulls, kids frog jumping contest (bring your own frog or they will let you borrow one!), skillet tossing, log sawing contest, horse and ox pulls, and a Lego building contest.
What :: Natick Days Community Festival
Where :: Main Street, Natick
Highlights :: Mini golf, a moonwalk, bungee challenge, pony rides, big trucks from the DPW, raffles, Big Daddy racing, photo booth, and an obstacle course.
What :: Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs Festival at the Farm
Where :: Prowse Farm, 5 Blue Hill River Road, Canton
Highlights :: Live music (including kids’ sets), backyard games, pop-up performances, locally-sourced food vendors and craft brews, farmer’s market, and kids activities.
What :: 42nd Annual Corn Festival
Where :: South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Lane, Norwell
Highlights :: Hay rides, pony rides, hand drumming demo, corn kernel pit, arts and crafts, 4-H animals, and live music.
What :: What the Fluff? A 100th Anniversary Celebration of Fluff!
Where :: Union Square, Somerville
Highlights :: Musical performances, a cooking contest, Fluff-themed games, activities, antics and fun for every age, and Fluff treats of every sort!
What :: 28th Annual KidsFest at Wachusett Mountain
Where :: 499 Mountain Road, Princeton
Highlights :: Kids’ entertainment, shows, giveaways, vendors, activities, a BMX bike show, live music, and dancing.
What :: Chinatown Main Street Lantern Festival
Where :: Rose Kennedy Greenway (Chinatown Park), 70 Beach Street, Boston
Highlights :: A variety of traditional Chinese performances, including lion dances, Chinese folk dances, and martial arts demonstrations!
What :: Topsfield Fair
Where :: 207 Boston Street, Topsfield
Highlights :: Swifty swine racing and swimming pigs, acrobatics show, monster trucks, axe women loggers, Royal Canadian Mounted Police show, human cannonball, and a hot dog eating contest.
What :: The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival
Where :: Columbus Avenue, west of Massachusetts Avenue, for six blocks to Burke Street.
Highlights :: Boston’s biggest block party — a free, annual, outdoor public concert. There is world-class music on three stages, phenomenal food and drink, arts, crafts, and unique gifts.
What :: Cranberry Harvest Celebration
Where :: 158 Tihonet Road, Wareham
Highlights :: Admission includes continuous viewing of the wet harvest operations, animal demonstrations, live music, cooking demonstrations, and many children’s activities.
What :: 35th Applefest at Wachusett Mountain
Where :: 499 Mountain Road, Princeton
Highlights :: Over 100 craft exhibitors, a farmers market, kids entertainment, and peak fall foliage viewing from the SkyRide. Also enjoy live music, the giant pumpkin weigh-off, apple pie baking and eating contests, along with additional family entertainment.