4 Fall Family Activities in New England

Since moving out west 18 months ago, whenever anyway asks this New England native about the best time to visit, I tell them Fall.  It’s idyllic- the stuff of paintings, writings, and photos.  The humidity disappears, the crisp air sets in, and the smell shifts to the undeniable aroma of autumn (this writer is a bit homesick at the moment!).

Click here for 14 more fantastic fall getaway ideas from our friends at Taking the Kids!

Some of the best Fall activities in New England are the ones that are tucked away; those that many don’t know about- but surely wish they did. They are worth the drive- in fact,  the ride is part of the experience. Here are three of my favorite things to do in the Fall, in New England:

Keene Pumpkin Festival

The kids comes out in all of us when all we can see is pumpkins! Close to extinction, this awesome festival was saved in 2010 by a group of committed volunteers and organizers. It brings together residents, and visitors from afar to celebrate Halloween, and all things pumpkin!

The Pumpkin Festival is a community-hosted, family-friendly celebration of fall and of what is unique about Keene and the Monadnock region. It is also a celebration of artistry and creativity and a demonstration of our area’s commitment to non-profit efforts to serve those in need. Let it Shine, Inc.

Parades,  bowling, costumes, crafts, colorful leaves, and food round out this unique and celebrated tradition. Keene Pumpkin Festival takes place this year on Saturday, October 19th from noon to 8:30 PM. Click here for more information.

Keene Pumpkin Festival


Salem, MA

Salem is one cool little town, worth visiting any time of the year. If you are looking for that authentic New England experience, this is an excellent choice- especially during the month of October. Haunted Happenings takes place from October 1-31st, and offered residents and visitors alike a unique lineup of history, entertainment, food, and festivals.

From wine receptions in historic homes, to lectures, psychics, performances, parades, and cruises, attendees can can learn much about historic New England during a short visit. Set in Coastal Massachussets, Salem offers a unique combination of spooky history, and modern establishments. Walk into a building known for its trial or murder, only to find swanky glasses, modern drinks, and stylish appetizers, and you will know that you are in a place like no other.

For more about Salem, Ma, click here. For more about Haunted Happenings, click here.

Lincoln, NH via the Kangamangus Highway

This ride alone is worth the trip, but if you want a destination, head for Loon Mountain. Known for it’s great skiing, and fun apres ski, winter is just one of the months Loon is rocking. Throughout the year Loon mountain has offerings from an aerial adventure course, biking, and a climbing wall, to Gondola sky rides and summit adventures. Everyone in the family will have something to do!

Festivals at Loon are plentiful, and the Fall features two big ones. The New Hampshire Highland Games takes place from September 19th-21st. Bagpipes and drums preside over Loon Mountain during this celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. Music bands, athletic events, and of course, Scottish food, give those who attend a real taste of Scotland, right in the heart of the White Mountains. Click here for tickets and more information.

Photo Courtesy of Loon  Mountain

Photo Courtesy of Loon Mountain

Want to make this scenic drive during peak foliage season? Head up for White Mountain Oktoberfest! Presented by Harpoon Brewery on October 11th and 12th, this event is free for everyone. Not only will you enjoy gorgeous scenery and great beer, you can also participate in a Keg-toss, Kids activities, or listen to an Oompah band. Click here for tickets and information.

Photo Courtesy of Loon Mountain

Photo Courtesy of Loon Mountain

Whether you are a temporary visitor, new to the region, or a New England Native, all of these activities are working checking out, and make for a wonderful family Fall.

Applecrest Farms, Exeter NH

If you have the opportunity to head to the New Hampshire Seacoast, put this on your list of places to visit- especially on the weekends.  The Harvest Apple Festival takes place every weekend from Labor Day through the last weekend in October. Bluegrass music, roasted corn, and BBQ fill the quaint property with unrivaled sounds, smells, and festiveness.  While you are there, you can jump on a hayride to pick your own apples, pumpkins, raspberries, or peaches.


Pick your own is open from 8-6 everyday, and the Creamery, home of “The Best…” is open form 11 Am to 9 PM daily.

Looking for more fall family getaways? Here are 14 more from our friends at Taking the Kids!

What are your favorite Fall activities where you live?

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