The leaves are changing colors, the humidity is dissipating, and the Eagles have begun a, potentially once in a lifetime, season to defend the Super Bowl. All this means that it is once again autumn in Pennsylvania. While for some people, a few pumpkin spice lattes may be more than enough to get into the spirit of the season, we have arranged a list of our favorite fall festivals in PA to get everyone excited for the long-awaited arrival of decorative gourds and puffy vests.
Described as the “only non-profit street festival in Philly”, Bloktoberfest is held on the closed streets of Broad to 18th. All proceeds from craft beer sales, which equates to about $250,000 are given to local charities — and with this being the 10th anniversary it promises to be the best yet.
Wands and Wizards
Formerly known as the Harry Potter Festival (the reason for the rename is unknown, although we smell copyright infringement) but, hey, the magic is still alive with this fest. Located in the suburban feeling Chestnut Hill neighborhood in Philadelphia it is a great family option in October for mini witches and wizards. For other special fall activities, be sure to tick these things off your Fall Bucket List.
Fall Harvest Festival at Cherry Crest Farm
This fall harvest festival boasts an impressive corn maze that has been constructed in a labyrinth over five acres. While it can take over an hour to “escape”, the maze does feature 2.5 miles of trails that have scenic bridges and clues to keep everyone entertained. Besides the maze, this yearly, month-long celebration has tons of other draws like wagon rides, pedal cart races, pig races, food vendors, and a fireworks night.
Kennett Square Mushroom Festival
Every fungi’s top choice. While the name may cause a few turned-up noses from city folk, the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival actually attracts more than 100,000 people a year. The town of Kennett Square calls themselves “The Mushroom Capital of the World” so there is no better place to host. Activities include car shows and of course a mushroom cook-off.
PA’s underappreciated capital city, Harrisburg, plays host for the yearly Kipona Festival, which celebrated its 102nd anniversary this year. Located on the banks of the Susquehanna Valley, Kipona offers one of the most diverse lineups of activities in any fall festival in PA. With Native American pow-wows, an Indian celebration, tightrope walkers, crabcake eating contests, and food trucks, there is something to peak everyone’s interest. Later in the season, Harrisburg’s Fort Hunter Day is another entertainment-filled date where kids can take pony rides.
Green Tree Octoberfest
One of Pittsburgh’s famous Oktoberfest celebrations, the Green Tree festival makes a name for itself by holding a competitive and much-celebrated chili cook-off. Visitors can also enjoy a dog parade, live music, and an end of the week firework show.
PA Renaissance Faire
There is an “E” on the end of “fair” so you know it is legit. Spanning two seasons and thirteen weekends, there is no reason not to strap on a tunic, brush up on Elvish, and head over to the PA Ren Faire in Manheim, PA. The Faire has over 90 daily shows, numerous craft vendors and merchants, and “20 Royal Kitchens”, no utensils allowed.
Family Fun on the Farm
Located, you guessed it, on a farm in Morrisville, this fall party is great for kids as it has family-friendly activities like face painting, balloon art, hayrides, and “pick your own” apple and pumpkin groves.
Annual Pennsylvania Apple and Cheese Festival
If the name doesn’t sell it, then just know that in addition to fresh apples and cheese, the Canton fest also has a copious amount of wine tastings to pair with the bites. And while live entertainment usually means a cover band or two, it does not for the Pennsylvania Apple and Cheese Festival: it instead entails chainsaw carving and apple butter-making demonstrations. Set in rural PA amongst wooded hills and mountains, there are few festivals that have a better fall feel.
The Annual Autumn Leaf Festival-Pennsylvania Wilds
With the largest daytime parade in the entire state, “The Tournament of Leaves”, The Autumn Leaf Fest is a must-see. The nine-day celebration brings in more than half a million visitors every year to Clarion. Carnivals, sidewalk sales, and abundant crafts mean any day is a good day to visit.
Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival
Less to do with fall and more to do with good ole fashioned gorging yourself, the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Festival is ready to drizzle delicious, molten cheese-whiz all over guests’ heartstrings. Yum. Over 25 chefs and restaurants will compete for nonofficial supremacy in the cheesesteak capital of the world. Meanwhile, in between slamming sandwiches, visitors can enjoy carnival games, a craft beer garden, and live music.
ReelQ-Pittsburgh LGBT Film Festival
Shown across movie screens in Pittsburgh the LGBT Film Fest is a week and a half long celebration of creativity and film made by gay, lesbian, and trans artists. Quickly gaining in popularity, this film festival is beginning to draw the attention of international crowds and moviemakers.
Cornhole Tournament and Cookout
High culture not your thing? Then grab those former frat brothers and their cornhole sacks for the Pittsburgh-based competition. Although there is a $50 buy-in for teams of two, legitimate cash prizes are awarded to the top performers. Anyone can come by to spectate for free.