6 Unforgettable Fall Festivals in the United States

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Summer is fading fast and before we know it, the air will be filled with the sweet smells of pumpkin spice and apple cider donuts. The main streets will quickly transform into fall scenes full of scarecrows and giant pumpkins, and our little ones will be busy partaking in pumpkin carving and apple picking. From tasty food truck festivals to spirited Oktoberfest celebrations to traditional fairs, there’s endless fall fun happening across the United States this year! Here are six major fall festivals taking place in 2022 across the country.


The Great Jack-O’Lantern FireCroton-on Hudson and Long Island, NY

The Great Jack-O’Lantern Fire is not to be missed! During this fantastic annual event, local artisans take pumpkin carving to the limit and create a sensational experience that is sure to be the highlight of the fall season. Visitors will enjoy more than 7,000 carved pumpkins illuminating and enlivening the spooky grounds of the 17th-century Van Cortlandt Mansion in the Hudson Valley and restoration sites in the village of Old Bethpage (Long Island). Many exhibits are programmed to music synchronized with original soundtracks, making them even more enchanting. Highlights in recent years have included a cool pumpkin planetarium and a jaw-dropping pumpkin carousel. The fire will take place on certain evenings from September to November.

Where to stay near Croton-on Hudson

The Hudson Valley is a wonderful place for a cozy fall family getaway. At Sleepy Hollow Hotel and Conference Center kids stay free, and guests can enjoy an indoor pool, on-site restaurant, and views of the beautiful fall foliage that stretches across the hotel’s lush grounds. When you visit, be sure to check out all the extra fall holiday fun happening in the town of Sleepy Hollow.

Even pumpkins will smile at the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze! Photo courtesy of Fredrik Solli Wandem on Unsplash

National Apple Harvest Day – Arendtsville, Pennsylvania

National Apple Harvest Day is one of the best fall harvest festivals across the United States. Whether you’re an apple aficionado or just a fall fanatic, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy at this annual fall celebration. From Cortlands to Red Delicious, apples can be found at every turn. Delicious treats include apple pizza, apple butter, apple cotton candy and delicious apple pie. Families can enjoy wagon rides, shows, pony rides, classic cars and a fun kids’ corner. The festival fairgrounds are a short drive from historic Gettysburg, making this location an ideal vacation destination. The fun of the festival takes place during the first two weekends of October.

Where to stay near Arendtsville

Gettysburg is a fabulous travel destination for families, and Hilton Garden Inn Gettysburg makes a great lodging option. Parents will appreciate the convenient on-site restaurant, indoor pool, and connecting rooms. Best of all, the hotel is within driving distance of many popular historic attractions. When visiting PA, be sure to check out the apple picking, wine tasting, and other fall activities in the area.

Apples for everyone! Photo courtesy of Marina Abrosimova on Pexels


Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival – Albuquerque, New Mexico

Fall is a great time of year to visit New Mexico, and the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Festival is a truly unforgettable fall staple. Beautifully colored hot air balloons will light up the skies from dawn to dusk in the largest annual international event of its kind. The party runs from October 1-9, 2022 and features balloon competitions, chainsaw carving demonstrations, a classic car show, fireworks and live music. Feeling adventurous or just want an unobstructed view of the action? The festival also offers hot air balloon rides for the whole family.

Where to sleep in Albuquerque

A stay at native lodge is the perfect way to experience comfort and convenience when visiting the fairgrounds. The lodge exudes a unique Native American atmosphere and features many original artwork and decorations on display throughout the property. On-site are two swimming pools, a variety of room options, and a pub with a fine selection of wines and local craft beers.

Beautiful balloons will cover Albuquerque’s skies this fall. Photo courtesy of Kyle Hinkson on Unsplash

Fall Harvest at the Underwood Family Farm Farm – Moorhead, California

For a classic fall party with the kids near Los Angeles, head to Underwood Family Farm Fall Harvest Festival. This special fall treat takes place throughout October and includes traditional fall fair activities such as pig races, sheep dog trials, corn maze, giant pumpkin patch , wagon rides and special themed weekends. While you’re there, don’t miss the farm animals, pumpkin picking, and delicious farm treats like pumpkin pie and hot corn.

Where to sleep in Moorhead

The Fairfield Inn and Suites Moorpark Ventura County The hotel is conveniently located near the fairgrounds and many other popular attractions such as Six Flags Magic Mountain and Universal Studios Hollywood. The hotel has a swimming pool and fitness center.

This little piggy can’t wait to see you at the fair! Photo courtesy of Stefanie Poepken on Unsplash

Schmidt’s Columbus Oktoberfest – Columbus, Ohio

For those looking to celebrate an exceptional, family-friendly Oktoberfest in the United States, the festivities in Columbus, Ohio do not disappoint. Schmidt’s Columbus Oktoberfest which takes place at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, is a three-day celebration of competitive games, a wide variety of German food and specialties, musical acts, and a huge assortment of craft beers. For the little ones there is a special children’s corner called Kinderplatz offering a range of exciting activities and events such as a foam race, costume contest, pancake breakfast, face painting and giant games. inflatables. This year’s 48th annual event will take place September 9-11. General admission tickets are free, but there are parking fees.

Where to sleep in Columbus

To make the most of your trip to Columbus, book at least one night at The Comfort Inn Splash Harbor Hotel in Belleville. The hotel is a short drive from town and features a 6,000 square foot indoor water park that will provide hours of fun for the whole family.

Oktoberfest rocks! ! Photo courtesy of Brett Soyles at Unsplash


The Virginia State Fair – Doswell, Virginia

The Virginia State Fair packs so much seasonal fun into ten days of fall! Family activities include musical performances, a petting zoo, a chainsaw competition and an outstanding trapeze show. Big kids will love the thrilling giant slides, haunted house and other carnival rides. There are also less scary ride options for younger kids. During your visit, be sure to sample the local cuisine and traditional festival treats. For an additional fee, adults can also enjoy the fair’s handcrafted beer garden. This year, this annual event takes place from September 23 to October 2.

Where to stay near Doswell, Virginia

The fairgrounds are located between the towns of Richmond and Fredericksburg, and there are many fall activities to enjoy in the area. An excellent option for accommodation near the exhibition center is The Hampton Inn by Hilton Richmond/North Ashland. Family-friendly amenities include an outdoor pool, free hot breakfast, and connecting rooms. If you mention that you are attending the show, the staff may also give you a reduced rate.

Nothing tastes better than fair trade food! Photo courtesy of Yarden on Unsplash


Kimberly Falchek is a freelance writer and child development specialist based in Salem, Massachusetts. She has contributed to several parenting and travel publications. When not working, Kimberly enjoys hiking, photography and traveling with her family.

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