Massachusetts truly comes to life in the fall. There are so many amazing autumn activities and attractions that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out how to spend those precious crisp fall afternoons. Here are some of our favorite harvest season festivals and events happening this year.
Please note the the dates below are for the 2017 fall season.
1. Berkshire Botanical Harvest Festival, Stockbridge (Oct. 7-8)
This family-friendly event sees over 10,000 visitors who come for the amazing entertainment, farmers market, arts and crafts, food trucks, silent auction, giant tag sale and gorgeous botanical garden grounds. This year's event will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is $7 and kids under 12 are free. (Intersection of Rtes. 102-183, Stockbridge)
2. Boxford Apple Festival, Boxford (Sept. 16)
This family-friendly apple festival will be held in East Oxford Village and will include food, music, crafts and kids activities. The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
3. Ipswich Ale Harvest Fest, Newbury (Sept. 16)
This is the perfect fall festival for beer lovers. Admission is free and includes entertainment by the Portermen, Joe Wilkins Folk Trio, and Orville Giddings Band. Of course, plenty of Ipswich Ale will be available for grownups while kids can enjoy lawn games, a bouncy house, face painting and more. There will also be a vintage baseball game played with 1860's rules. This event will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (5 Littles Lane, Newbury)
4. North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival, Orange (Sept. 23-24)
This annual event features over 100 booths of farmers, artists and community members to celebrate all things garlic and art. There are plenty of lawn games, delicious fall treats, locally crafted food and crafts, as well as a raw garlic-eating contest and chef demonstrations. Admission is $5 for adults while kids 12 and under can attend free. There is a free shuttle service and parking. (Gidney Road, Orange)
5. Lenox Apple Squeeze & Harvest Festival, Lenox (Sept. 23-24)
Join in the 38th annual Lenox Apple Squeeze for a weekend of free fun for all ages. There will be live music, vendors selling delicious seasonal food, farm stands, performers, wagon rides around town, games and a 5k race. Fill up on kettle corn and foot-tall cake slices while you enjoy browsing handmade wares and watching performances. (Lenox)
6. Applefest at Wachusett Mountain, Princeton (Oct. 14-15)
This fall festival is held on Wachusett Mountain in Princeton and features a giant pumpkin weigh-off, an apple pie contest, blueberry pie eating contests, a Cider House 5k and live music all weekend. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Admission is $11 for adult advance tickets, $14 at the door. Child tickets are $6 in advance, $9 at the door. Kids under 5 are free. This event will run between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. (499 Mountain Road, Princeton)
7. Ashfield Fall Festival, Ashfield (Oct. 7-8)
The Ashfield Fall Festival offers craft and art exhibits by local artists, as well as live music, dancing, face-painting, delicious food, book sales and tag sales. There’s also a Giant Pumpkin and Tallest Sunflower contest. Admission is free and parking is available. This event will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, rain or shine. (Main Street, Ashfield)
8. Franklin County CiderDays, Deerfield (Nov. 3-5)
This festival celebrates all things apples and cider. Take an orchard tour, make your own cider, sample delicious apple cuisine, check out the amateur cider competitions, taste local batches of hard cider and fill up on the scrumptious apple pancake breakfast. (Check Franklin County CiderDays website for locations and times.)
9. Moonlight Magic, Shelburne Falls (Nov. 24)
Finish up your Black Friday with a visit to this spectacular festival of light. Shelburne Falls' Moonlight Magic event features street performers, vendors, food, carolers and a parade of light. The event will run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.(Downtown Shelburne Falls)
10. King Richard's Faire, Carver (Sept. 2 - Oct. 22)
King Richard's Faire is a fantastic Renaissance festival in the woods of Carver. Spread over an 80-acre wooded site, you'll encounter acrobats, aerialists and minstrels. Exotic animals, fire eaters, fairies and tigers are also in attendance. You can watch handsome knights joust on horseback and perhaps even meet royalty. There are plenty of activities like archery and fortune-telling, and you'll be enthralled by real blacksmiths and sword-makers crafting their wares right in front of your eyes. (235 Main Street, Carver)
11. Belchertown Fair, Belchertown (Sept. 22-24)
The 160th annual Belchertown Fair celebrates the town's agricultural roots with a slew of fun fall activities. The festival features a parade, a petting zoo, vendor stalls selling local crafts and delicious eats, and traditional county fair produce competitions. Admission to all fair activities is free.