There’s nothing quite like autumn in Vermont — the gorgeous colors, warm cider doughnuts, and the abundance of family-friendly fall activities! Here you will find some of the many options you and your clan can enjoy in the Burlington area, sorted into five categories: Festivals and events, apple picking, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, and Halloween. So slip into your coziest leggings, grab those hoodies (finally!), and head out to embrace all the amazingness our little state has to offer during this beautiful season!
Fall Fun Festival and Events
1. Fall Harvest Festival in Hinesburg
Kids will love all of the activities for them, including crafts, face painting, and a puppet show! Parents will dig the live music, historical display, and the outdoor marketplace. Finish the day off with a Stone Soup Supper ($10/adults, $5/children) at the United Church of Hinesburg’s Osborne Parish Hall.
2. Old Fashioned Harvest Market, Underhill
September 23 & 24, 9am- 4pm
Loads of kiddo activities, over 100 craft vendors, an opening day parade, pet show, and live entertainment including music, delicious food options, hay rides, and more. This two-day extravaganza has it all, even a 5K run to burn off all those doughnut calories!
3. Sam Mazza’s Harvest Festival, Colchester
11th Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-In Saturday • September 23rd • 12pm – 3pm. Also starting Saturday, Sept 23rd, each weekend Sam Mazza’s will have different Fall activities. Follow them on Facebook for further info. You can also take a tractor-drawn hay wagon to their Pumpkin Patch to Pick Your Own Pumpkin from 10am – 4pm , weather permitting, making every weekend a Fall Festival!
4. Harvest Weekend Billings Farm and Museum, Woodstock
October 8 & 9, 12- 4pm
Cost: $14/adults, $13/62+, $8/5-15, $4/3-4, free/-3
This party kicks off with a traditional corn husking competition and also includes a barn dance! Kids and adults can learn how to press cider, preserve apples, make butter and ice cream, dig up potatoes, and build fences. Step back in time with 19th-century games like apples on a string. This museum is a must-visit for families — the foliage on your way to Woodstock is a fantastic bonus!
5. Charlotte Tractor Parade
October 8, 11am- 5pm
Ever see a parade of 200 tractors? Well, here’s your chance! This Vermont favorite also features local music, farmers’ market, animals, rope-making, face painting, and other kid activities. The parade starts promptly at 1pm, but you’ll want to get there right at 11am if you want to participate in the pie-eating contest!
6. Fall Festival at Bread and Butter Farm, Shelburne
October 14, 3- 6:30pm
Cost: $20/GA, $65 4-Pack Bee Hive, $25/day of show
If you have little ones, chances are you are familiar with local celebrity, Mister Chris! Our favorite rock star is excited to host Ballet Vermont of Farm to Ballet fame this Fall. The dance troupe will be performing their latest work, Bees and Friends, set to a live rendition of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The group will also have mini dance classes and photo ops, while the farm and Blank Page Cafe offers up their amazing burgers and other goodies for purchase. Mister Chris will be playing his famous tunes throughout the afternoon and the magic will wrap up with lullabies and an encore performance of Ballet Vermont’s Fireflies at dusk. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to catch some culture on the farm!
Apple Picking Corner
Fall without apple picking is like summer without creemees. We have so many wonderful orchards to choose from and enough weekends to hit up several, if not all of them! After all, not every variety is available at the same time, and you’ve got to balance out your Macintoshes and your Red Delicious. Fill up your baskets and test out different pie recipes, make an epic vat of homemade apple sauce, or just eat the crunchiest ones straight up. The doughnuts aren’t bad either. Check out this list to work out your pickin’ schedule!
Adam’s Apple Orchard & Farm Market, Williston
Boyer’s Orchard and Cider Mill, Monkton
Hackett’s Orchard, South Hero
Hall’s Orchard, Isle La Motte
Happy Valley Orchard, Middlebury
Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne
Corn Maze Frenzy
Lose yourself in a dizzying farm labyrinth or a, “maize maze,” if you will. Your kids will love running around the puzzle trying to find their way out. Here are some fun ones to visit!
1. Great Vermont Corn Maze, North Danville
Well worth the (amazing foliage) drive to the Northeast Kingdom, this Top-10-in-America rated option is the ultimate corn maze experience. Seriously, this thing is huge. The website recommends starting before 1pm.
2. Isham Family Farm, Williston
This maze is made out of both corn and sunflowers! As you search for the exit sign, you’ll also be playing scavenger hunt. Good times!
3. Percy Farm Corn Maze, Stowe
Enjoy a scenic drive to one of the most charming towns in Vermont, Stowe! Work up an appetite solving the maze, then head to one of the town’s adorable restaurants for lunch or an early dinner. Bonus: This maze is dog-friendly, but leashes are required for Rover.
4. Whitcomb’s Corn Maze, Williston
Last but not least, Whitcomb’s combines their maze with learning, as you reach checkpoints that teach you all about pumpkin harvesting! Perhaps you will also find the “candy jackpot” hidden within the 4-acre maze, or maybe the “special marked ear of corn,” which entitles you to a free small pumpkin. And speaking of pumpkins…
Pumpkin Picking Patch
When we think October, we think pumpkins, and we’re not just talking about fancy coffee drinks here, but actual pumpkins! If you’ve never picked your own straight from the patch, you are missing out on some serious fall fun. Here are a few places to choose from as you hunt for the perfect jack-o-lantern candidate. Don’t forget to roast those seeds for a well-earned reward (because you know you’ll be doing most of the carving work, not the kids).
Chapin Orchard, Essex Junction
Isham Family Farm, Williston
Parker Family Farm, Williston
Red Barn Gardens, Williston
Sam Mazza’s Farm Market, Colchester
Shelburne Orchards, Shelburne
Whitcomb’s Land of Pumpkins, Williston
1. Trunk or Treat and Pumpkins in the Park, Milton
October 27, 6-8pm
Now that you’ve picked the perfect pumpkins, it’s time to carve them and what better way than somewhere that’s not your house? Bring the mess to Milton instead! They will even provide the stencils, decorations, and carving tools. The event will also include costume and best carving contests with prizes, as well as trick or treating, refreshments, and a big bonfire.
October 29, 10am-1pm
Cost: $7/person, Free/members & under 3
Put on your costumes and head over to Shelburne for this incredible event that combines candy with culture — the best of both worlds! Named a Top 10 Fall Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, this spooktacular fall fun shindig turns the museum into a trick-or-treating tour as workers dress up to hand out candy. Wrap up with lunch at the cafe, now featuring Skinny Pancake.
3. Night Before Halloween Family Party at University Mall, S. Burlington
Knock out some early Christmas shopping while your kids are rewarded with candy from every store you drag them, too. They can also enjoy fall fun activities, like a pirate train ride and a bouncy house! We’ll be there handing out candy as usual so be sure to come say hi!
4. Trick-or-Treat Street on Church Street, Burlington
October 26, 4pm- 6:30pm
Enjoy trick-or-treating, face painting, and other seasonal activities on our beautiful, car-free favorite downtown Burlington street.