The crisp fall air brings an array of harvest festivals complete with corn mazes, apple cider, pumpkin painting, hayrides and more. (Photo credits, clockwise from top left: courtesy Franklin Square, Linvilla Orchards, G. Widman for GPTMC, Linvilla Orchards)
In celebration of autumn’s bounty — pumpkins, gourds, apples, squash and more — numerous parks, farms and markets host harvest festivals to salute the season. And after a few months of humid weather, the crisp fall air can’t come soon enough.
From happenings promising hayrides within the city limits to apple picking celebrations at a number of countryside farms, fall is being honored in a big way this season.
We’ve chronologically rounded up our top picks for harvest festivals in the Philadelphia region for your fall calendar. Also be sure to check out our guides to the area’s best Oktoberfest celebrations and late-summer and early-fall festivals.
Our top picks for harvest festivals, below.
• Shady Brook Farms PumpkinFest: September 14-15; 21-22; daily Septemeber 28-October 31. Get in the fall spirit at Shady Brook Farm’s PumpkinFest, with more than a month of family-friendly pumpkin picking, hayrides, games and hands-on activities in Yardley.
• Pumpkinland Festival at Linvilla Orchards: September 14-November 3. Favorite fall traditions come together at Linvilla Orchards’ annual Pumpkinland Festival in Media. Beginning on September 14, Pumpkinland opens for the season with a corn maze, straw maze, pick-you-own-apples and a pumpkin ring toss. Throughout the duration of the festival, live music, pie eating contests, a Halloween costume parade also entertain children and adults alike.
• Yardley Harvest Day: September 21. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on September 21, downtown Yardley welcomes folks for its annual Harvest Day in Bucks County. In typical harvest celebration fashion, expect live performances, pumpkin painting and art vendors in addition to a car show, a harvest market and ghost tours of the Continental Tavern, a former stop of the underground railroad.
• Peddler’s Village Scarecrow Festival: September 21-22. A variety of fall happenings take place during the weekend of September 21 and 22 at Peddler’s Village in Bucks County. Its annual Scarecrow Festival brings pumpkin pie eating contests, pumpkin painting, scarecrow-making workshops and live music and to the grounds for a full two-days of family-friendly fun.
• Autumn Bounty Festival at Terrain: September 28. Terrain, the brainchild of the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters group, presents an Autumn Bounty Festival beyond city limits in Glen Mills. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., turn pumpkins into planters, take part in pumpkin and gourd crafts, create fall foliage sun prints, enjoy freshly-dipped caramel apples and more. The full day of hands-on autumn-inspired crafts also incorporates non-autumn events as well. Enjoy a cocktail sampling made in mason jars, learn about framing artwork receive tips from schooled interior designers. Access to the festival is free, but shopping-related items are pay as you go.
• Brandywine Valley Harvest Festival: September 28-29, October 5-6. The 11th annual Brandywine Valley Harvest Festival returns for multiple days of live music, wine tastings, food truck bites and games at a number of participating wineries along the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail. Participating wineries include Chaddsford Winery and Penns Woods Winery. The full schedule of events and participating wineries is available here.
• Apple Butter Frolic: October 5. Celebrate 40 years of the Apple Butter Frolic on Saturday, October 5, in Harleysville in Montgomery County. The Pennsylvania Dutch culinary tradition features food, family-friendly activities, arts and crafts, horse and buggy rides and farming demonstrations. Some enticing fare to expect: homemade chicken pot pie, ground cherry pie and funnel cake.
• PumpkinFest at Franklin Square: October 5. Franklin Square is all about fall fun during the third annual PumpkinFest on October 5. The event helps raise funds to maintain the park, which is one of Philadelphia’s most picturesque settings. Guests of all ages partake in festivities such as a costume parade, pumpkin painting, pony rides, spooky mini-golf, carnival games, cupcake decorating and more. Plus, admission includes unlimited rides on the historic Philadelphia Park Liberty Carousel.
• 22nd Annual Blackwood Pumpkin Festival: October 6. The annual Blackwood Pumpkin Festival in Blackwood, New Jersey, welcomes all of the best components to a fall festival in one: food, games, contests, pony rides, face painting, shopping, hayrides and more activities for all ages. The festival spans from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and in the case of rain, jumps forward one week to October 13.
• Morris Arboretum’s Fall Festival: October 5-6. From 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on both October 5 and 6, Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill invites guests to paint pumpkins, make scarecrows and indulge in apple confections all within the arboretum’s grounds which are sure to be full of festive fall foliage.
• South Jersey Pumpkin Show: October 11-13. The South Jersey Pumpkin Show is jam-packed with fall-inspired fun. From a giant pumpkin pyramid to a creepy appearance by the Headless Horseman, this family-friendly fall fest in Woodstown, New Jersey has it all.
Read on for more harvest festivals in the city and countryside.
• Fall Festivities at The Oval: October 12. The Oval, the parkway’s well-loved pop-up park hosts a full day and night of fall activities on October 12. From noon to 4 p.m., paint pumpkins, embark on a hayride throughout the green space, enjoy food from a number of food trucks. After the daytime happenings, don your best Halloween costume for the chance to win the best dressed award at an evening party from 4 to 9 p.m. Also groove around The Oval to the tunes of area DJs at the evening portion of the event.
• Reading Terminal Market Harvest Festival: October 12. Reading Terminal Market is undoubtedly one of the best places to savor the bounty of fall, and on October 12, visitors are invited to do just that during the Harvest Festival. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a portion of Filbert Street is closed to traffic and transformed into an urban farm, complete with hay bales and corn stalks. Kids and adults walk through an on-site pumpkin patch, ride an authentic farm tractor and enjoy freshly prepared donuts, candy apples and other seasonal treats.
• Pumpkin Days Celebration at Tyler Arboretum: October 19. On October 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tyler Arboretum brings tons of fall-centric fun to its grounds in Media. Decorate your own yard with pick-your-own-pumpkins and scarecrow-making. Check out some gorgeous fall foliage while enjoying some sips and snacks of the season at the Pumpkin Days Celebration.
• Pumpkin Fest 2013 Presented by CB Cares Educational Foundation: October 19. The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown hosts another year of the hugely popular Pumpkin Fest which is presented by the CB Cares Educational Foundation for the first time. At the event, which begins at 4 p.m., watch 20 artists carve masterpieces into pumpkins of all sizes, listen to live music, indulge in fare from food trucks, catch a movie screening in the meadow at 7:30 p.m. and watch the freshly-carved pumpkins illuminate at dusk. Admission is $20 per car.
• Pennypacker Mills All Hallow’s Eve Fall Festival: October 19. Look out for fall activities like cider press churning, hay pile jumping, corn shucking and more at this year’s All Hallow’s Eve Fall Festival at the historic Pennypacker Mills in Schwenksville.
• Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens: October 26-November 24. Mums the word at the annual Chrysanthemum Festival at Longwood Gardens. From October 26 through November 24, explore expansive gardens filled with more than 20,000 chrysanthemums shaped to mimic clouds, fans, spirals and more. The festival also features the largest Thousand Bloom Mum in North America which promises guests a view of 1,100 yellow bulbs.
• Peddler’s Village Apple Festival: November 2-3. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and the apple offerings at the Peddler’s Village Apple Festival are enough to keep you out of the doctor’s office for a long time. Enjoy apple butter, apple cider, apple fritters, caramel apples, apple pie eating contests and much more at the weekend festival.