6 Fab Fall Weekend Festivals for Families

Fall is chockablock with festivals that combine crisp air, classic Americana, and kid-friendly fun. Here are 6 worth marking your calendar for.

6 Fab Fall Weekend Festivals for Families

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6 Fab Fall Weekend Festivals for Families

With Labor Day signaling the unofficial end of summer, some ofus are already planning weekend getaways that celebrate the joys ofautumn. Happily, fall is chockablock with fun events around thecountry that combine crisp air, a big dose of classic Americana,and kid-friendly fun. Here are six weekend getaways worth markingyour calendar for:

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati: Sept 20-22, 2013

The largest Oktoberfest in the United States takes place oversix blocks of downtown Cincinnati,where more than half a million folks come every year to celebrateOhio’s German heritage. There are lederhosen-wearing oompah bands,naturally, as well as pretzels, schnitzel, strudel, sauerkraut, andsteins of beer. Events include a bratwurst-eating contest, abeer-stein race, and the wildly popular “Running of the Wieners,” a25-yard dash for dachshunds donning hot-dog-bun costumes.

Warrens Cranberry Festival: Sept 27-29,2013

It’s only fitting that America’s largest cranberry celebrationhappens in Wisconsin, the nation’s top producer of theantioxidant-rich superberry. Two hours northwest of Madison,the wee town of Warren sees its population of 366 swell to welcomeover 110,000 festival-goers, who come to enjoy cranberries preparedevery which way, marsh tours, a parade, and three miles ofarts-and-crafts browsing.

Elk Fest: Sept. 28-29, 2013

Each year come late September, herds of elk descend from thehigh country into the mountain town of Estes Park, Colorado, wherethey gather on local golf courses and parade down streets, buglingand showing off their antlers. The festival is a great way forfamilies to learn about wild elk with bugling contests, NativeAmerican dance and storytelling, lots of elk-inspired food anddrink, and afternoon elk-viewing bus tours. Can’t make it there forthe festival weekend? The following month is known as “Elktober” ‘round these parts.


(MORE: Viewa family trip journal: Estes Park, Colorado, with kids.)


National Apple Harvest Festival: Oct 5-6 and 12-13,2013

Over two consecutive weekends in October, more than 100,000people will flock to Pennsylvania’s top apple-growing region forthe 49th annual celebration of the all-American fruit. Apple HQ iseight miles north of Gettysburg,in Arendstsville, where the line-up of kid-friendly activities willinclude hayrides, apple-bobbing, applesauce-making, a petting zoo,live music, and even a tractor square dance, where a callercommands drivers and their rigs to promenade and do-si-do. Bringyour appetite; rumor has it there will be pie.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: Oct. 5-13,2013

Two crisp October weekends form the bookends of Albuquerque’es world-renowned balloon fest, where over 600 hot-air balloonscreate a colorful and dreamy display against a clear fall NewMexico sky. Highlights include balloon glows, mass ascensions, the “special shape rodeo” for uniquely-shaped balloons, after-glowfireworks, and the ubiquitous aroma of roasting chiles.


(MORE: Finda parent-recommended kid-friendly hotel in Albuquerque.)


Wellfleet OysterFest: Oct. 19-20, 2013

It’s hard to think of a nicer way to spend a brisk Octoberweekend than enjoying oysters in one of CapeCod’s loveliest harbor towns. Beyond the cooking demos, rawbars, and shucking contests, there will be plenty to please thekids: oyster reef tours, nature walks, live music, skateboardcompetitions, face-painting, and a bounce house.

SuzanneRowan Kelleher contributed this to MiniTime.com.

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