New Jersey Fall Festivals and Fairs You Won’t Want to Miss

From Oktoberfest celebrations to family-friendly events, the Garden State has a plethora of fun fall happenings.

Wildwood’s Oktoberfest
Wildwood’s Oktoberfest takes place from October 1-3 and 8-10. Photo by Jacki Kocis

Nothing says fall in New Jersey like a seasonal festival or fair. From classic Oktoberfest celebrations to family-friendly happenings at farms and orchards, the Garden State offers loads of fun events all autumn long.

NORTH JERSEY 

The Lord Stirling 1770s Festival

Check out a working cider press and hop aboard the hay wagon to tour the apple orchard and get a taste of Colonial life. Actors in 1770s period attire—including a blacksmith, tinsmith and broom maker—demonstrate trades and crafts of the time.
October 3, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. FREE. Somerset County Park, Basking Ridge (somersethillshistoricalsociety.org; 908-722-1200). 

Pumpkin Patch Trains

Come in costume for a 10-mile excursion on a vintage caboose that ventures through fall foliage, then stops at a pumpkin patch.
October 3, 10 & 17, 1-4 p.m. $15-$22, includes admission to museum and grounds. Whippany Railway Museum, 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany (whippanyrailwaymuseum.net; 973-887-8177).  

18th Annual Oktoberfest

This event features traditional German food, drinks, games and beer-related competitions plus an Oompah band. Proceeds benefit Oasis, a Paterson-based nonprofit that supports women and children.
October 22, 7-11 p.m. FREE. 813 Franklin Lake Rd., Franklin Lakes (oasisnj.org/events; 973-881-8307). 

CENTRAL JERSEY

Family Fun at Terhune Orchards

This popular pick-your-own fruit and vegetables spot features a wine-tasting room and live music in the barn. Kids can pick and decorate pumpkins and enjoy pony- and tractor-wagon rides and a corn-stalk maze. Refreshments include fresh pies, cider doughnuts, sandwiches and barbecue chicken.
Weekends from September 14 to October 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $10. 330 Cold Soil Rd., Princeton (terhuneorchards.com; 609-924-2310).

20th Annual Oktoberfest in Highlands

Inspired by the traditional Munich Oktoberfest, this event is all about eating, drinking and being merry. There’s authentic German food, children’s activities, crafters, live music, dancing and entertainment.
October 2 (rain date October 3), 2-9 p.m. FREE. Veterans Park on Bay and Shrewsbury avenues, Highlands (highlandsnj.com; 732-291-4713). 

6th Annual Asbury Park Oktoberfest

Check out this authentic German celebration with traditional Oktoberfest games dating to 1810, Bavarian pretzels, German fare and polka bands.
October 8-10, 4 p.m.-midnight. FREE. 527 Lake Ave., Asbury Park (asburybiergarten.com; 732-997-8767). 

9th Annual Dunellen Harvest Fest

This festival features NJ artists and crafters, activities for kids, food, music and fitness demonstrations. Attendees can also sign up for a pumpkin-decorating contest.
October 10, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. FREE. Washington Park, Dunellen (tinyurl.com/dunellenharvestfest).

Hamilton Township’s Annual Oktoberfest

Enjoy fall fun including hay rides, craft vendors and kids’ activities.
October 17 (rain date October 24), 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Veterans Park, Hamilton (hamiltonnj.com/oktoberfest; 609-890-4028). 

SOUTH JERSEY

Oktoberfest in Wildwood

Auf Wiedersehen! Head down to Wildwood’s Oktoberfest at Morey’s Piers for a grand selection of beers at an outdoor Biergarten or chow down on German classics like Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst, schnitzel and more.
October 1-3 and 8-10, 1-10:30 p.m. $29. 3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood (moreyspiers.com; 609-522-3900). 

Elmer Harvest Day Festival

This daylong fest has  live entertainment, special deals at participating restaurants and crafters. Join in the 1-mile fun walk or 5k race, or browse the Lew Zane Memorial Car show, showcasing tractors, trucks and motorcycles.
October 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. FREE. Broad Street, Elmer (elmerboroughnj.com; 856-358-6171). 

Ocean City’s Fall Block Party

Stroll down the buzzing streets of Ocean City. Browse more than 400 local crafters, food vendors, music and a grand-finale fireworks spectacular.
October 9, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. FREE. 14th Street and Asbury Avenue (oceancityvacation.com; 609-399-6111). 

Allentown Fall Festival

Main Street comes alive with this annual event featuring live bands, food trucks, a craft beer garden, local artisans, a Civil-War encampment and a classic-car show.
October 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. FREE. Main Street (allentownnj.com; 215-880-4065). 

Woodbury Fall Parade and Festival

Woodbury precedes its fall parade with a festival complete with food, crafts, shop vendors and activities for little ones. After shopping, follow the floats as they travel from Broad Street to Red Bank.
October 9, 1 p.m. FREE. Lot 323 Between Russell and W. Centre streets, parade on Broad Street (woodbury.nj.us; 856-812-4311)

Berlin’s 10th Annual Fall Festival

Back by popular demand is the Mutt Strut dog costume parade, pumpkin painting, a car show, food merchants and, of course, the beer garden.
October 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. FREE. Berlin Park, Berlin (Details on Facebook; 856-767-7777

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