Fall is such a fun time of year and seemingly never short on family-friendly festivals. The only trouble in enjoying them all is to pick and choose for each weekend.
Check out this list of northern seasonal festivals across the country and plan your seasonal fall-foliage vacation, with a little something extra.
Leavenworth Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington: Oct. 4–5 and 18–19
No need to find your passport for this one, this Bavarian-style town brings Oktoberfest to Leavenworth, Washington, Oct. 4–5 and 18–19, during Leavenworth Oktoberfest. Expect small-town fun and entertainment like live music, seasonal activities for all ages and open-air brew-fest festivities. Walk around town and take in the charming architecture and rustic décor, almost like you’re in Germany.
Ellicottville Fall Festival in Ellicottville, New York: Oct. 12–13
The vibrant fall colors of Upstate New York are always a draw for traveling families. Coinciding with a few fun festivals, the changing leaves will be in peak season this October and there’s no better way to celebrate than with carnival rides, live music and copious amounts of food. A visit to Ellicottville Fall Festival has all three and then some. Enjoy a throwback family weekend with county fair vibes and endless ways to get outdoorsy while in the area, with scenic hiking trails galore.
Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, Maine: Oct. 17–20
What started back in 2007 as a celebration of Portland’s growing food scene is now a full-blown foodie festival. Boasting the region’s most-loved ciders, local spirits and cuisine, the three-day event attracts thousands of visitors, families included. Enjoy the incredible fall foliage while trying locally sourced, freshly made cuisine from Maine’s top eateries.
New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival in Laconia, New Hampshire: Oct. 18–19
A little something to make the kid’s (or your) Instagram pop, New Hampshire’s premier pumpkin festival in Laconia is picture bait. When the sunsets and darkness falls over the town, the towering jack-o-lanterns illuminating the festival really standout with an ominous, fun glow. Guests take pictures by the tower, hit the beer garden and listen to live music with some 40,000 visitors. Bring the kids and play games, walk around different stands and events, and get in the full swing of holiday spirit before Halloween.
With family-centric events, fun for adults and kids of all ages with the added backdrop of the changing seasons, you can’t go wrong with a weekend away during peak leaf season.
San Diego is a great destination for families looking for fun no matter what time of year it is, but this fall, there is plenty to do for everyone — even when you have a budget. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the best way to explore this city is by heading outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
Just because the kids have gone back to school and the days have started getting shorter doesn’t mean summer fun has to end. There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s left of the dwindling season. You can extend your warm weather adventures with these activities all over the country.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.
There is an ever-growing number of options for wellness breaks — but it’s up to you to choose wisely in order to get the most from your experience. First, decide what kind of setting is best for facilitating an environment you find personally soothing or rejuvenating: city, forest, historic, mountain, ocean or lake? Do you want access to a yoga instructor, dance classes, hiking, cooking classes or another specific activity? Are you a solo wellness warrior, or do you prefer to travel with a partner or friends?