The first weekend of fall is finally here; this means crisp autumn air, changing leaves and pumpkin spice everything. Best of all, it means fantastic festivals celebrating the season. New Jersey has literally hundreds of fall festivals to enjoy, but the following 15 are a few favorites offering something for everyone. They are listed in date order.
1. Fall Food Truck Frenzy, 9/24, Augusta
Enjoy a variety of food trucks, beer and wine, live music, children's games and activities, giveaways, vendors and more.
Location: Skylands Stadium Admission: $5, free parking Time: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
2. Giant Pumpkin Carve, 9/24, Woodstown
Featuring 65 giant pumpkins carved by amateurs and professionals, visitors will also enjoy a pumpkin light show, free hayrides, costume contest, kid's activities, food, wine tasting, vendors, music and more. The event benefits Meals on Wheels, Salem.
Location: Salem County Fairgrounds Admission: $7 for adults, free for children 5 and under Time: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
3. Fall Festival & Paddle, 9/24, Lumberton
This unique fall event is great for outdoorsy types. It features a gentle paddle on the Rancocas Creek and activities including a ropes course, rock wall and zipline. There will also be demonstrations and displays by local merchants, live music, children's activities, touch-a-truck and more.
Location: Lumberton Village Green Admission: $20 per canoe/kayak (bring your own or borrow one) Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
4. Harvest Fest, 9/24, Tewksbury
This event features food, a petting zoo, pony rides, hayrides, face and pumpkin painting, hot air balloons, a car show, live music and dance exhibition. Proceeds benefit the Tewksbury Library and First Aid/Rescue Squad.
Location: Christie Hoffman Farm Park Admission: $20 per car, includes raffle tickets Time: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
5. Fall Arts & Music Festival, 9/25, Hoboken
Enjoy three stages of live music and over 300 artists, crafters, photographers, food vendors & local businesses. Kid's activities on 3rd St. include rides, games, face painting and more.
Location: Washington St. between Observer Highway & 7th St. Admission: Free Time: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
6. Harvest Home Festival, 9/25, Holmdel
This unique fall festival will take you back to the 1890s. The old-fashioned country fair will feature wagon rides, a corn husking competition, pie eating contests, craft demonstrations, live entertainment and more.
Location: Historic Longstreet Farm Admission: Free Time: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
7. Grape Stomping Festival, 10/2, Egg Harbor City
Enjoy crafters, vendors, food and drinks.
Location: Renault Winery Admission: Free, $5 to stomp grapes Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
8. Pumpkin Festival, 10/2, Whippany
Check out local crafters and vendors with the opportunity to take a 30-minute "Pumpkinliner" train ride. Visitors will also enjoy an antique tractor display.
Location: Whippany Railway Museum Admission: $9-$17 for train ride Time: 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.
9. South Jersey Pumpkin Show, 10/7-10/9, Woodstown
There's something for everyone from kid's crafts to wine tastings. See giant pumpkins on display, enjoy amusement and pony rides, a home and garden show, hayrides, prizes and more. Enjoy a live performance of The Headless Horseman.
Location: Salem County Fairgrounds Admission: $5 per carload plus can of pet food Time: Friday, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
10. Victorian Days, 10/7-10/10, Cape May
Enjoy a weekend full of old-fashioned fun with Victorian parlor games, a brunch walk, chocolate tasting tour, special time capsule trolley rides, crafts & collectibles show, croquet, Victorian home tours and more.
Location: Throughout Cape May Admission: Dependent on event Time: Events all day long
11. Annual Pumpkin Festival, 10/15, Cape May
Enjoy pumpkin painting, games, crafts, vendors, hayrides, a Halloween parade and haunted house.
Location: Historic Cold Spring Village Admission: Free, food drive donation encouraged Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
12. Fall Festival, 10/15, Mays Landing
Enjoy mini train rides, a bouncy castle, live music, hay toss, a mummy wrap, pumpkin painting ($5), food vendors and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
Location: Memorial Park Admission: Free 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
13. Harvest Celebration, 10/15-10/16, Chester
Two days full of fun including the famous chili cook off. Enjoy raffles, live entertainment, car show, apple press demo, clowns, face painting, pumpkin and wood carving demos and much more.
Location: Downtown Chester Admission: Free Time: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., both days
14. Haunted Seaport, 10/20-10/23, Tuckerton
Enjoy a haunted hayride, maze, dancing with the Jersey Devil, kid's crafts, magic shows, glow mini-golf and more.
Location: Tuckerton Seaport Admission: $8, plus $5 for haunted hayrides Time: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
15. Celebrate Fall, 10/23, Summit
Enjoy games, crafts, music, face painting, seasonal cooking demonstrations, goats, a pumpkin carving contest and more.
Location: Reeves-Reed Arboretum Admission: $10 per person/$25 per family Time: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Of course, this list is just the start. What is your favorite fall festival in New Jersey? For more fun in the Garden State, check out the fall season at
Field Station: Dinosaurs.