12 Must-Visit New Hampshire Fall Festivals

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Looking for the perfect fall day in the Granite State? Check out one of the many New Hampshire Fall Festivals! From pumpkin and harvest festivals to Oktoberfest, there is no shortage of fun to be had at these New Hampshire festivals.

Fall is the most popular season for New Hampshire travel, and for good reason — New Hampshire fall foliage season is absolutely gorgeous, the air is crisp and clean, and it feels like everyone’s in a great mood. Towns throughout New Hampshire gear up to celebrate the season with a variety of fall fairs and festivals. Each New Hampshire festival offers something different.

If you’re looking for a fun weekend out with friends and family, here are some of the best fall festivals New Hampshire has to offer. Note that you’ll want to keep cash on you for many of these events as not all of the local businesses attending as vendors will be able to accept a credit card.

Aerial shot of a large crowd at a New Hampshire Fall festival, with fair food stands and fall foliage in the background
Sandwich Fair, one of the top New Hampshire Fall Festivals, via New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism

New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival

Lincoln, NH

September 16-18, 2022

nhscot.org

Join in NHSCOT’s annual celebration of Scottish Heritage at the NH Highland Games and Festival! Held in Lincoln, visitors at this signature event will be able to enjoy traditional Scottish music and food while learning more about Scottish culture and history. Whether or not you have Scottish heritage yourself, the Highland Games and Festival promises a weekend of fun for kids and adults of all ages.

In addition to mainstage performances of traditional Scottish and Gaelic music, there will be pop-up performances from pipe bands around the festival grounds throughout the event. You’ll be able to experience historical re-enactors bring the medieval and early modern Highlands to life or learn more about your family’s history at the Clan Village. Attend a class or seminar on Scottish traditions or history or watch sheep dogs and their handlers compete in the Sheep Dog trials!

Winchester Pickle Festival

Winchester, NH

September 24, 2022

winchesternhpicklefestival.org

The Winchester Pickle Festival is celebrating its 24th year. This free event brings together over 5000 guests from Winchester and beyond each year. Patriot Pickle Company will be handing out free pickles all day or while supplies last.

The Winchester Pickle Festival boasts a farmers’ market and a wide selection of local vendors to shop from, as well as a Pickle Memorabilia Stand. In addition to main stage performances, Mr. Pickle will appear in the “Pickles” Parade and be available for meet and greets and photos. Kids will have a great time making crafts and bouncing in the bounce house!

Milford Pumpkin Festival

Milford, NH

October 7-9, 2022

milfordpumpkinfestival.org

Over Columbus Day weekend, the Granite Town Festivities Committee of Milford will put on 3 days of fall fun for the whole family at the Milford Pumpkin Festival. Located on the Massachusetts border, this festival attracts guests from the greater Boston area and all over New England to enjoy delicious foods, buy handmade goods like maple syrup from some of the best crafters in New England, and watch live music on three different stages.

This free admission event features lots of fun pumpkin-themed activities for the whole family including the Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In contest, pumpkin painting, pumpkin sales, pumpkin carving, and the Pumpkin Catapult. Visitors can also enjoy fun fall and Halloween activities like scarecrow making and a Haunted trail.

Warner Fall Foliage Festival

Warner, NH

October 8-9, 2022

wfff.org

Come celebrate the Warner Fall Foliage Festival’s 73rd year. This fun-filled community event features rides, food, live performances from local bands, and booths featuring local crafts vendors. Past events have also included both a Grand Parade and a Children’s Parade. This will be the first year the town of Warner will get to hold their fall festivities in person since 2019.

For the athletes in your family, sign up to participate in the Warner Fall Foliage Festival 5k or Children’s Fun Run! All pre-registered participants receive free race shirts, and the proceeds from the event help support Warner community programs. The top 3 men and women in each age group will receive a special certificate, plus a special prize for first place!

Apple Harvest Day

Dover, NH

October 1, 2022

appleharvestday.com

The Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center will be hosting its annual Apple Harvest Day during the first weekend of October. This is an all-day event that attracts over 60,000 visitors from across the region. You’ll be able to shop from over 300 local vendors while enjoying delicious food and live entertainment.

The Annual Apple Harvest Day features a kids’ zone with inflatables, wildlife encounters, electronic archery, and a train ride! There’s even a 5k road race through historic downtown Dover. Feel free to walk or run and bring your kids and dogs. Free apple cider will be handed out to all runners. And don’t forget to stop by the apple pie baking contest! It’s guaranteed fun for the entire family.

Fall Foliage Festival

Waterville Valley, NH

October 8-10, 2022

waterville.com/basiccalendar/2022/10/8/fall-foliage-fest

Visit the Waterville Valley Resort over Columbus Day weekend to participate in their Fall Foliage Festival. The annual event kicks off with a ski and snowboard swap, and Sport Thoma will be having a tent sale on site all weekend long.

The event features several outdoor activities including a 5k road race, 1.6k fun run, a hike, and bike and boat rentals. Catch several live music performances in the gazebo throughout the festival. On Monday morning, the Squam Lakes Science Center will host a live animal show for kids and families. This is a great event for the whole family!

White Mountain Oktoberfest

Lincoln, NH

October 8-9, 2022

loonmtn.com/events/oktoberfest

Loon Mountain Resort brings Bavaria to your backyard with the White Mountain Oktoberfest. This free event held in early October is the largest celebration of German food and culture in the region. Enjoy craft beer and brats with a side of stunning views from New Hampshire’s White Mountains. There will also be a traditional Oompah band!

Activities will include a stein-hoisting competition and keg toss. For kids, there’s a root beer keg toss, potato sack races, pumpkin rolling, and more! More activities for both kids and adults will be announced as the event gets closer. Lederhosen are not required, but always accepted!

A giant tower of jack o'lanterns lit up at night in front of a crowd.
Keene’s pumpkin festival is always a huge event! Via Shutterstock.

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival — Keene

Keene, NH

October 29, 2022

pumpkinfestival.org

Each year on a Saturday in late October, the college town of Keene celebrates the New Hampshire Festival. Keene residents and Monadnock locals collect jack-o-lanterns trying to break the world record, which they held from 2003-2006 and took back in 2013! 

The whole town gets involved — there are food booths, costume parades, games, live music, and lots of events for kids. One nice thing is that so many students at Keene State College join in as volunteers. Grab a cider donut and get ready to carve, seeing if Keene will break the world record again!

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival — Laconia

Laconia, NH

October 29, 2022

nhpumpkinfestival.com

Kick off your Halloween festivities a few days early with a celebration of all things pumpkin at the NH Pumpkin Festival in downtown Laconia in the heart of the Lakes Region. Add your carved pumpkin to the Jack-o-Lantern display or paint a pumpkin. Kids can enjoy games, face painting, pumpkin bowling, inflatables, a climbing wall, and more programs and exhibits just for them. For the adults, the Pumpkin Festival Beer Garden offers beverages and live music.

In addition to food vendors and offerings from the Great New England Craft and Artisan Show, the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival also features the Riverside Duck Derby, Rock N Roll Racing, a corn hole tournament, and a children’s costume parade. Activities continue after sunset with a Jack-o-Lantern Lighting ceremony, Zombie Walk, Halloween movies, and a Pumpkin Dump Derby.

New Hampshire Brewfest

Portsmouth, NH

October 8, 2022

nhbrewfest.com

This annual festival is for the Beer Enthusiasts out there. Brewfest brings New England’s craft breweries and a selection of food trucks together on the grounds of Cisco Brewers in Portsmouth to help fundraise for the Prescott Park Arts Festival and the New England District of the Master Brewers Association of Americas.

Brewfest is a 21+ only event. Admission includes a 5 oz souvenir sampling cup and plenty of samples of craft beers. There will also be a live DJ, food vendors, and other activities. A VIP ticket will entitle you to early access and commemorative Brewfest Drinkware. For those who want to join in the atmosphere but don’t feel like drinking, there is a designated driver ticket that includes vouchers for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

New Hampshire Poutine Fest

Merrimack, NH

October 15, 2022

nhpoutinefest.com

Poutine Fest is back for its second year at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery! The event is hosted by the Franco-American Centre of New Hampshire to help further their mission of preserving the French language, culture, and heritage throughout the region. You’ll be able to sample the best poutine New Hampshire restaurants have to offer while they compete for “Best Poutine of the Fest.”

The event will also feature live entertainment, games, and children’s activities. Halloween costumes are strongly encouraged! For the adults in attendance, there will also be a wide variety of beers available to help wash down all that poutine.

RiverFire Festival

Berlin, NH

October 15, 2022

androscogginvalleychamber.com/riverfire-festival

A truly one-of-a-kind fall festival experience you won’t find anywhere else in New Hampshire. At dusk, boom piers running down the Adroscoggin River to the Berlin Mill will be lit on fire for a spectacular display of firelight on the dark water. Carved pumpkin lanterns set up along the bridge will add another source of light to the darkness.

During the day, visitors of all ages will be able to partake in activities like helicopter rides, the cornhole tournament, and the Halloween Costume Parade. Those feeling adventurous can enter the Zombie ATV Poker Run. The event will also feature live music and a selection of food vendors.

More New Hampshire Fall Fun:

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