Maine boasts family fun year-round, but with fall quickly rolling in, expect more than your family’s fair share of activities and attractions.
Some of the best fall festivals for family offer brisk autumn air, seasonal cuisine and crafts along with a slew of entertaining games and rides — like the Fall Festival Weekend at Sunday River in Newry, Maine, Oct. 6–7. Celebrate the end of summer with family and friends at the beloved annual event with an impressive calendar of activities. Expect live music, great food and, of course, the well-known North American Wife Carrying Championship competition. Never heard of it? For those planning to participate, it’s as simple as it sounds — spouses happily carry their wives to the finish line for glory and bragging rights amid the family. For a bit of less-heavy lifting, the annual Blue Mountain Arts & Crafts Fair and the New England Corn Hole Championships will also be in full swing.
Over in Ogunquit, the 15th-annual Ogunquit Fest fall festival offers seasonal fun, including art and antique hunting, pumpkin patches, painting, whoopie pie-eating contests, river rallies and a free wine tasting for adults. Expect a full autumnal bazaar, dog costume contests and even a parade. This all-ages welcome weekend, Oct.19–21, boasts the more easygoing, family-friendly side of Halloween and traditional Oktoberfest.
Speaking of family-friendly activities and crafting, Maine’s all-American Craft Weekend really comes to life Oct. 13–14. This statewide event showcases local craft studios, creations and behind-the-scenes looks into Maine crafters, artisans and potters. Inspire the kids to paint and lean into their creativity, or just shop around for some quirky, unique fall décor.
Over in Portland, Maine, Harvest on the Harbor is for the foodie family. Running Oct. 16–21, top Maine chefs, restaurateurs and winemakers collaborate for a fun, family festival filled with fine food, wine and local fare. Attend the Maine Lobster Chef of the Year lunch to dine on exceptional fresh seafood and vote for your favorites. Don’t fill up too quickly as there is still the Oysterfest, cocktail tasting and much more for palates of all interests, including the little ones.
Beyond the fresh seafood, seasonal festivals, live music, unique crafts and slew of family-fun opportunities, Maine in the fall is stunning. With crisp weather to the changing leaves and unending mountain vistas, fall is a fine time to explore Maine’s seasonal events with the family.
A recent trip to the Brandywine Valley in Delaware introduced us to a hotel brand designed specifically to make travel easier for families. Homewood Suites by Hilton combines large rooms and multiroom suites with family-friendly amenities to make guests feel at home.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Whether in transit to your next family destination, heading on a solo hike through a scenic trail or waiting to connect to your next flight, there’s always some travel downtime to fill. Even if you need something to immerse yourself in for quick escape from the family — there’s nothing like an interesting podcast to pass the time. With innumerable topics, hosts and podcast styles, you can truly find something covering anything of interest.
By Hainan Airlines
Thanksgiving is the one annual long weekend when most families want to — and can — make time to spend together. “At home” may be your most typical choice, but it’s not the only option. There are lots of appealing places for your family to gather. Here are just a few to prompt your search for others, whether near or far from home.