26 Can’t-Miss Fall Festivals To Make Your October Fun

There's plenty to celebrate this fall with an array of festivals throughout October.

Photo by Daria Amato

Family Fun at Terhune Orchards
Terhune Orchards attracts big crowds in the fall—and for good reason. Kids will enjoy the corn maze, pony rides, interacting with the farm animals and painting pumpkins. The whole family can fill up on farm-fresh soups, chili, pies and apple cider. There are also wine tastings for adults.
10 am–5 pm. $8. 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton

Ralston Cider Mill Tours
The mill once produced millions of gallons of apple cider, applejack and bootleg Jersey Lightning. These days, volunteers lead tours—and once a year hold an actual pressing, squeezing precious juice from truckloads of apples. This year’s big event is October 14. Bring your own jugs and purchase cider to enjoy at home.
1–4 pm. $5 (pressing, $10); under 7, free. 336 Mendham Road West, Mendham

26th Annual Blackwood Pumpkin Festival
Support Main Stage Center for the Arts at its fall festival–complete with more than 200 vendors, pumpkin painting and carving, scarecrow making, hayrides, a costume contest and a talent competition.
11 am–4 pm (rain date: October 8). Free. The Studio at Main Stage Center for the Arts, 27 S Black Horse Pike, Blackwood

Whippany Railway Museum’s 17th Annual Pumpkin Festival
Relive the steam-train era at this family-friendly festival with pumpkins, arts and crafts, and train rides. Climb aboard for a 30-minute trip on the Pumpkinliner, with its restored circa-1927 club car and antique caboose.
Noon–5 pm. $14-$17; 12 and under, $9-$12. 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany

Lord Stirling 1770s Festival
Return to Colonial times at the 18th-century estate of Revolutionary War hero Lord Stirling. Experience a battle reenactment, meet craftspeople, including a gunsmith, trapper and broom maker, enjoy period music and tour a 1762 wine cellar.
11:30 am–4:30 pm. $5 suggested donation. 190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge (908-766-2489)

Fall For Springfield Carnival & Car Show
Classic cars line the streets of Springfield along with go-carts and bumper cars. This year’s festival features a robotics tent and a presentation from the model railroad club. There’s also free breakfast for veterans.
11 am–5 pm. Free. 100 Mountain Ave, Springfield. (862-397-0788)

Apple ‘N Pumpkin Harvest Festival
Put your family recipe to the test at this festival’s apple pie baking contest. There will also be live music throughout the day with food trucks and beer vendors on site. Kids will enjoy the petting zoo, which includes sheep, chickens and roosters.
Noon–5 pm. Free. 1 New Street, Clinton

West Cape May Lima Bean Festival
Lima beans are a good source of dietary fiber—and this annual festival (benefiting the West Cape May Shade Tree Commission) is a good source of fun. Locals and visitors can enjoy recipes, products and crafts featuring the often left-out legume.
9 am–5 pm (rain date: October 9). Free. Wilbraham Park, Myrtle Avenue and West Perry Street, West Cape May (609-884-1005)

16th Annual Witches Ball
This adults-only festival celebrates imaginative costumes and Halloween culture. Located in the historic Mill Race Village section of Mount Holly. Have a ball, with live music, beer and food vendors and a costume contest.
6–11 pm. Free. White Street and Church Street, Mount Holly

8th Annual Harvest, Honey & Garlic Festival
Honey and garlic go together perfectly at Sussex County’s annual harvest fest, spotlighting local products, including fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers and wine. The Sussex County Beekeepers Association will be on hand with local honey, complemented by garlic from the Garden State Garlic Growers.
10 am–4 pm. 37 Plains Road, Augusta (973-579-0500)

Fall Forestry Festival
Fall foliage is the main attraction at this outdoor festival at the Forest Resource Education Center. Activities include hiking, pumpkin painting and birdhouse building.
10 am–3 pm. Free. 495 Don Connor Boulevard, Jackson

20th Annual Screamin’ Country Jamboree
Keyport’s big country festival smacks of small-town fun. Learn to square dance, watch the fireworks, enjoy live country music and enter your kids in a screaming competition. The chili contest on Sunday welcomes connoisseurs and samplers alike.
Sat, 11 am–8 pm; Sun, 11 am-6 pm. Free. Keyport Waterfront Park, Keyport (732-739-5138)

28th Annual Cranberry Fest
Head to historic Bordentown for one of the largest juried craft shows in New Jersey, with more than 150 vendors, artists and crafters. Enjoy live music, local handmade and vintage items, antiques and a craft-beer garden.
11 am–5 pm. Free. Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown

Oktoberfest in Historic Smithville
Wursts and rich drafts lend authenticity to Historic Smithville’s annual Oktoberfest celebration. There’s traditional music, too. Explore the unique shops and boutiques along the cobblestone pathways, and browse more than 100 craft, clothing and jewelry vendors.
10 am–5 pm. Free. 1 North New York Road, Smithville (609-652-7777)

Indian Summer Weekend
No one throws a family-friendly party quite like Ocean City. The seaside town’s fall extravaganza features more than 400 craft vendors, plus live bands and plenty of seafood to sample. Join in the block party on Asbury Avenue and stick around for the fireworks over the boardwalk.
All day. Free. Ocean City (800-BEACH-NJ)

Dunellen HarvestFest
Compete in an array of contests involving children’s art, pumpkin decorating, apple pies and scarecrows. The event includes carriage rides, food vendors and live music.
11 am–4 pm. Free. Washington Park, Dunellen

Delicious Orchards’ 5th Annual Pumpkin Fest
Pumpkins are plentiful at this festival, with activities for the whole family. Enjoy live music, pumpkin decorating, antique tractors, classic cars and free food samples.
11 am–4 pm. Free. Route 34 South, Colts Neck (732-462-1989)

14th Annual South Jersey Pumpkin Show
This family-oriented festival includes a pumpkin weigh-off, wine sampling, food contests, Little Miss & Mister pageant, costumed dog parade, and readings of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” with live appearances from the Headless Horseman.
Fri, 5–10 pm; Sat & Sun, 10 am–5 pm. Free; parking $5. Salem County Fairgrounds, 735 Harding Highway (Route 40), Woodstown (856-765-0118)

Medford Apple Festival
Go ape for everything apple, including apple butter, cider donuts and more. The festival features more than 100 craft booths, live music and children’s activities. All proceeds benefit the Medford Historical Society and the restoration of Kirby’s Mill.
9 am–4 pm. Free. 275 Church Road, Medford

34th Annual Harvest Celebration
What better place to salute fall’s bounty than downtown Chester? The town’s autumnal celebration includes apple-pressing and wood-carving demonstrations, pumpkin painting and more. Antique cars will be on display and colonial musketeers will remind us of the town’s historic roots.
11 am–5 pm. Free. Main Street, Chester

Mum Madness & Pumpkin Parade
Celebrate the rich shades of autumn and the season’s signature fruit at the Camden Children’s Garden. Kids can paint pumpkins, make fall crafts and listen to pumpkin stories amid the colorful chrysanthemums.
1–4 pm. Free with garden admission. Camden Children’s Garden, 3 Riverside Drive, Camden (856-365-8733)

Harvest Food Truck & Wine Festival
Award-winning food trucks will serve their celebrated fare at Alba Vineyard in the rolling fields of Hunterdon County. The event features live music and wine tastings (additional cost).
Noon–5 pm. $10; youths 13-20, $5; 12 and under, free. 269 Riegelsville Warren Glen Road, Milford (908-995-7800)

Trick-Or-Treat Street & Howl-O-Ween
Trick-or-treat on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights and enjoy seasonal activities like pumpkin decorating and pumpkin chunkin’ (shooting the gourds out of a cannon). Children can also participate in the kids’ costume and dog parades.
Noon–5 pm. Free. Boardwalk, Seaside Heights

7th Annual Winternights Viking Festival
The Vikings, they say, really knew how to throw a harvest celebration. This festival recreates Nordic revelry with traditional foods, artisan vendors and presentations about Viking culture. This year’s project includes building a 40-foot boat.
11:30 am–4 pm. $3; seniors and children, $2; under 12, free. Vernon Nordic House, 233 Route 94, Vernon

Hoboken Harvest Festival
This urban fest has something for everyone, including a petting zoo, pony rides and hay mazes. The riverfront event also features live music and plenty of food vendors.
11 am–3 pm. Free. Pier A Park, Hoboken (201-420-2207)

Mischief Madness Night
Make mischief on this miniature-golf course with your fellow ghouls. Come in your spookiest costume and enjoy scary stories, free cider and donuts, nighttime hayrides and a Park ranger-guided hike.
4-9 pm (rain date: October 28). $10 per family; $8 for a putting pair. Colonial Park Putting Course, 156 Mettlers Road, Somerset

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