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Fall Festivals in Massachusetts

Kids Activities, Scallop, Sturbridge

Fall festivals provide a great chance to enjoy the outdoors in Massachusetts before the weather gets too cold. As the leaves change color, Massachusetts offers many festivals for fans of all different types of activities. Here are some fall festivals you can enjoy in Massachusetts.

Boston Film Festival. Held at several downtown Boston movies houses in September, this nationally respected film festival features local, national and international films, has stars appearing on certain nights, and showcases some features sure to be known around the country in the future and some others which will likely never be seen off the festival circuit. Past star appearances have included Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening.

Harwich Cranberry Festival. How many places on earth have festivals connected to cranberries Let’s hope not too many. Actually, the Harwich Cranberry Festival is about much more than just the berries for which it is named. Taking place in mid-September, it includes kids’ activities, a carnival, a craft show, and even fireworks. http://harwichcranberryfestival.org/

Nashoba Valley Harvest Festival. One night only. Well, one day only. If you think apple picking and wine-drinking are a good mix, you don’t want to miss this one. Take a tour of the Nashoba Valley vineyard or bring along the kids for some apple picking. There’s also music and hayrides and, as mentioned, drinking. http://www.nashobawinery.com/festivals/harvest.html

Berkshire Fall Foliage Festival. One of America’s best foliage locales, The Berkshires of Western MA want people to come celebrate the foliage with them. From late September to early October, this festival encompasses activities involving local churches, kids, artists, athletes and even animals. There are leaf hunts, tours, art festivals, road races and an animal blessing. No, seriously, there’s an animal blessing. http://www.fallfoliageparade.com/events.html

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Bourne Scallop Festival. If you were feelings slighted that cranberries got their own festival and shellfish were underrepresented, fear no more. The Bourne Scallop festival runs in late September. Allegedly New England’s largest bigtop festival (apparently, the state house domes don’t count as bigtops..), the Scallop Festival offers visitors such things as scallop & chicken dinners throughout the day, music, arts, activities for kids, and other festival fun. According to the website, 40,000 people visit every year. Check the website to see how much you need to shell out for admission. Get it, “shell out”. http://www.capecodcanalchamber.org/aboutsf.html

Wellfleet Oysterfest. And not to be out done, the Oyster makes its presence known, as well. Wellfleet, also home to one of Eastern Massachusetts only remaining drive-in movie theaters, is home to this weekend festival which runs in Mid-October. Events include oyster-eating, kids activities, arts, music, cruises, historical talks on shellfishing, a road race, and a golf tournament. If you can find me one more festival in the world that has historical talks on shellfishing AND a golf tournament, I tip my hat to you. But best of all is an event called, and I am seriously not making this up, “The Shuck-Off.” http://www.wellfleetoysterfest.org/events.html

Sturbridge Autumn Festival. Pilgrims-Schmilgrims. Real Massachusetts natives know that the best period-costume wearin’, 17th century lifestyle-demonstratin’, historical site in the state is really Old Sturbridge Village. For one weekend in October, there’s a festival in the old tyme towne. Activities include things like craft displays, music, food, ye olde balloon rides and hayrides, and other family-friendly events. There’s also a scarecrow contest. I have to imagine that’s pretty cool, though, obviously, not as good as the Oyster shuck off. http://www.sturbridge.org/harvest_festival.htm

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Festival of the Dead. Leave it to those sons of witches in Salem to come up with this one. Just in time for Halloween in October, this festival includes several ghoul-themed Balls, a psychic conference, ghost hunting class and a lot of other stuff the Christian right is sure to protest. Real modern-day witches founded the festival. No word on if they hired extra security to keep on the look out for falling houses. http://www.festivalofthedead.com/

Boston Jewish Film Festival. If you’re a fan of Jewish film both domestic and imported, get your tuckus to this festival which runs for a week in mid-November. Along with screenings in Boston Museum of Fine Arts, films also show in Framingham and Arlington. Additional activities in the past included meet and greets with filmmakers and actors and a reggae concert. Not sure what the connection is, but, go with it. http://www.bjff.org/

Festival of Crafts at the Worcester Center for Crafts
For almost three decades, local craftspeople have hawked their wares at this festival which includes New England made glass, woodwork, furniture and other crafts that you better not get for any teenagers on your list. Proceeds go to support the center which holds classes for local adults and youth. http://www.worcestercraftcenter.org/