As forests begin to blush with color and a familiar crispness sharpens the air—fall has officially begun to arrive here in New Hampshire. That means cozy sweater weather, apple-picking, and fun fall activities are right around the corner! But if you’re not in your full fall feels just yet—these 7 can’t-miss fall festivals will have you in the spirit of the season in no time.
Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, Hampton
September 8-10, 2023
A Seacoast tradition not to be missed, now it its 34th year! Every September, the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival brings together artisans, live entertainment (on two stages), shopping, AND more than 50 of the Seacoast’s top restaurants serving up mouthwatering seafood delicacies – from fried clams to shrimp and lobster, along with a smorgasbord of non-seafood dishes too. Plenty of family friendly activities are on tap along with chef demonstrations held throughout the weekend long event.
NH Highland Games & Festival, Lincoln
September 15-17, 2023
For 48 years, New Hampshire has been host to the largest Scottish festival in the Northeast. Three days in September are dedicated to the celebration of all things Scottish; everything from legendary strongman competitions, live Scottish history reenactments, Scottish and Gaelic music and of course—traditional cuisine and festival food. Many consider this to be a bucket-list event to attend so don’t miss your chance to experience the action!
Winchester Pickle Festival, Winchester
September 23, 2023
Each year in late September, the town of Winchester puts on a fall festival entirely dedicated to…you guessed it: pickles! Even if you’re not a fan of those vinegar-soaked cukes, there’s plenty to love at the fest. In addition to live music, craft and local food vendors (with non-pickle options!), the event will feature the annual Pickle Parade, open pickle-eating contests, and canning contests to determine the best local pickles! Don’t miss your chance to see this unique festival in action!
Warner Fall Foliage Festival, Warner
The Warner Fall Foliage Festival has been gathering families, friends, visitors, and locals together in the name of fall fun for over 70 years. The festival has become a hallmark of autumn, hosting dozens of local food vendors, craftsmen, amusement rides, and live music entertainment. For many, the highlight of the event is the annual oxpull, where a team of oxen navigate an obstacle course with a pile of massive weights in tow. The festival ends with a wonderful parade celebrating both the season and the town, and it’s one not to miss. Check out the event this year and see why it’s been 70 years strong!
Dover’s Annual Apple Harvest Day, Dover
October 7, 2023
First held in 1985, this day-long event has grown to be one of the most popular regional festivals in the state. Over 60,000 residents and visitors join the celebration each year, where more than 300 vendors line the streets of downtown Dover, live entertainment fills the day, and apple-themed products, food, and wares take the event’s center stage. Bring the family and spend the day exploring historic downtown Dover while celebrating the star of the season: the apples!
RiverFire Festival, Berlin
October 14, 2023
Every fall, the city of Berlin lights up with its annual Riverfire Festival that happens one night in October. The festival is wildly popular, with a full day of family-friendly activities for all to enjoy. From a Zombie ATV Poker Run where OHRV riders will don zombie costumes and decorate their rides on a tour of the town, to craft beer tents, local food vendors, children’s activities, and a Halloween Costume Parade—something for everyone. At dusk, the real fun begins when jack-o-lanterns and tall towers of fire cast a blazing glow over the Androscoggin River to warmly welcome the arrival of autumn!
NH Pumpkin Festival, Laconia
October 27 & 28, 2023
This festival is all about celebrating autumn and New Hampshire’s official fruit: the pumpkin! Thousands of carved orange gourds will decorate downtown Laconia for this festive event, and plans are in the works to have a 34 foot pumpkin tower that will be filled with 2,000 pumpkins alone! In addition to lots of pumpkins, there will be family friendly activities, local artisans, craft beer, food vendors, live entertainment and of course be sure to bring your own carved creation to include in the display of everything orange.
Check out even more of NH’s Annual Fall Festivals and plan your next big autumn adventure!