FALL FESTIVALS & CELEBRATIONS
Fall Fun in Montgomery County
From kid-friendly outings that are chock full of crafts and games to more adult events that include a sip of seasonal wine, fall is a fab time for fanciful festivals, and here are 15 we are fans of:
JENKINTOWN FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Jenkintown Town Square
For the past 17 years, the Jenkintown Community Alliance has held a juried art show, attracting creative folks from all over to vie for prizes. The general public has flocked to the event as well, eager to view paintings, photographs and sculpture, all while sipping crafted brews, sampling tasty bites from local restaurants and enjoying the gorgeous fall weather.
FALL FEST WEEKENDS
September 24-25 to October 29-30
Northern Star Farm
Two mazes that cover 14 acres are available for exploring at Northern Star Farm, Trappe. Marksmen (and women) can take a shot with the pneumatic water bottle cannon or the apple slingshot. Smaller fall fans will love the play barn, where they can practice milking a cow, drive a small pedal-tractor and climb through a giant hay fort.
OKTOBERFEST AND FALL FESTIVAL
The Ardmore Initiative, one of the sponsors of this day of outdoor entertainment and food, has scheduled its Oktoberfest for September. Regardless of the date, they're throwing a wunderbar festival. Seasonal beverages such as Oktoberfest Weiss join traditional foods like bratwurst to offer a tasty break from the action. Younger attendees will enjoy moon bounces, face painting and cookie decorating.
HARRITON PLANTATION FAIR
Who would best enjoy the annual Harriton Plantation Fair at Harriton House? Well history buffs certainly will (FYI, the site is included in our Patriot Trails itineraries). Kids will, especially for the pony rides, sheep-herding demos and musket fire. Crafters will as well, taking in the blacksmiths, stone carvers, cabinetmakers, spinners and beehive weavers. And food fans can dig into a roasted chicken and ribs lunch. So really, there's something for everyone.
ASHER'S CHOCOLATES 19TH ANNUAL FALL FEST
For nearly 20 years, the Asher's family has welcomed guests to its fall celebration, held on the front lawn of the candy maker's Souderton factory. This free event has live music, face-painting clowns, a strolling magician, moon bounce, raffles and free hot dogs and drinks. The Asher's Chocolates mascots - Twist and Mr. Jelly Belly - are available for meet-and-greets and selfies.
Animals and apples, all in two autumnal afternoons. Morris Arboretum is bringing in a falcon from Elmwood Park Zoo, and Weaver's Way Coop is offering an array of the season's most flavorful, crisp apples. The backdrop for this family fun is the stunning foliage of one of the east coast's best arboreta, dressed in yellow-red-tan-gold splendor.
People come to Skippack Village for these two days of festivities to walk beneath canopies of golden foliage, to browse one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories, to see handmade arrangements of dried flowers and breathe in the scent of crafted candles. But all that aside, people come to eat, which, given Skippack's reputation for dining excellence, is a perfectly good reason to stop by.
FLEA MARKET AND CRAFT FAIR
Elmwood Park Zoo
Early October gets people's creative juices flowing, resulting in prime time for craft fairs. The good news for the public is the chance to wander by interesting and engaging merchandise - things not for sale at the average big-box retailer - and pick up a treasure or two. This event is Elmwood Park Zoo's first ever flea market/craft fair, but if their past success at events is any indication, it is sure to become an annual favorite.
APPLE BUTTER FROLIC
Mennonite Heritage Center
This popular autumn festival, hosted by the Mennonite Heritage Center, has been enjoyed by the local community for over 40 years. The frolic is an opportunity to learn how Mennonites and their neighbors lived 100 or more years ago. It's also a chance to dive into the culinary magic of a pancake and apple sausage breakfast, an apple-baking content and demonstrations from gramma's kitchen.
More than 90 vendors and 10 food trucks will set up shop on Butler Avenue, basking in the autumn sunshine and cool breezes. This party - thrown by Ambler Main Street - includes kids' rides, a beer garden, two stages' worth of musical performances and plenty of arts-and-crafts merchandise.
Weekends from October 8-9 to 29-30
Freddy Hill Farms
The taste of summer meets the scenery of fall at Freddy Hill Farms each autumn. The cool nights and bright days bring out the best in nearby foliage, which can be enjoyed while licking a cone of farm-fresh ice cream. The fest includes traditional harvest-themed activities and also a bit of the off-beat: a day-long series of piglet races.
ALL HALLOW'S EVE FALL FESTIVAL
Here's a golden opportunity on a golden afternoon, as the educators at Pennypacker Mills demonstrate how fall crops were processed back in the day. Give the vintage corn-shucker and the hand-cranked apple press a try for yourself. Then go jump in the hay pile and line up for a tractor-pulled hayride.
HARVEST HARD WON
Peter Wentz Farmstead
Explore the traditional chores performed during the autumn harvest on a colonial farm while the Revolutionary War was fought throughout the region in 1777. Visit the garden and spend time in the summer kitchen to experience food preservation. Join the farmers as they shell corn and press apples for cider. Learn about General Washington's use of Peter Wentz Farmstead as a temporary headquarters before and after the Battle of Germantown.
2016 HARRY POTTER FESTIVAL
Wizardry and wonder take over the streets of Chestnut Hill, turning them into a two-day panorama of all-things Potter. A costumed pub crawl features foamy mugs of butterbeer; literary events include readings and group discussions; and the fields of Chestnut Hill College are the setting for the grand and glorious Quidditch Tourney. This festival demands that even modest fans don't fall victim to the Immobulus spell, get moving, and go.
The yearly Medieval Festival within the Bryn Athyn Historic District may come late in the season, but it is well worth the wait. Journey back to the days of knights and ladies, of hurdy-gurdy music and spinning wheels, when illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows were made to kindle heavenly inspiration. The museum's tower is also part of the day, offering spectacular views of colorful trees for miles around.