19 of New England’s Best Fall Activities

Best New England Fall Activities Fall things to do in New England
With its apple orchards and quaint towns ablaze in fall’s glorious colors, New England is an ideal place to celebrate autumn. Because we know winter is coming and the earth around us is also announcing that New Englanders really get into this season. Whether you are looking to celebrate the harvest or Halloween, we have it covered. Here is my list of fall things to do in New England. Start making your plans for fall day trips in New England or plan a New England fall itinerary with the help of my New England Road Trip Guide.

1. Bake a fresh apple pie after visiting an apple orchard.

A little apple love from Narrow Lane Orchard in North Kingstown, RI
A little apple love from Narrow Lane Orchard in North Kingstown, RI

Getting outside is good for the soul, and apple orchards smell heavenly. For your efforts, you will be rewarded with healthy snacks for the following weeks. Look for an apple orchard near you, or check out a few of my favorites:

  • Narrow Lane Orchard, in North Kingstown, RI, has a small orchard with well-marked apples and peaches and a level hiking trail.
  • Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick, MA, features a more extensive orchard with a train ride into the fields and a children’s play area.
  • Dame Farm, Johnston, RI, also has gorgeous pick-your-own flower fields.

2. Be a Leaf peeper.

Leaf peeping is generally more intensely colored the more north you travel. Our foliage turns first in the north, then slowly works its way south. Refer to these foliage maps to see the best place to view when you are visiting. New Hampshire and Vermont are top on my list of places to see amazing fall colors.

3.  Have a romantic sleep away among the leaves.

Long walks through the leaves, followed by cold nights by the fire is pretty romantic.

4. Explore any of New England’s many harvest festivals.

Here a few of the ones I go to, but there are a few in every state every weekend to choose from that you can look for here.

5. Drink freshly pressed apple cider.

  • BF Clyde’s Apple Cider Mill in Old Mystic, Connecticut, is the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the US. After your tour, you can munch homemade cider donuts while listening to live music on the lawn.

6. Hiking is the best way to get a close-up view of our beautiful leaves.

Day trips in New England in fall.
Bridge over the Harvard River

Nature never disappoints. Get out into it, and it will elevate your mood! Here are some of my favorite spots!

7. Go to a Pumpkin Festival

Best New England fall activities www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
Just two of the over 5,000 intricately carved Jack-o-Lanterns you can see at Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is a beautiful display of cut and lit pumpkins at Providence’s Roger William’s Zoo. Go on weeknights when it opens (at 6 p.m.) or expect long lines. Also at the zoo is Spooky Zoo with trick-or-treating through the zoo for kids in costume on designated days.
  • Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival– I  love the beauty of pumpkins, but there is something very satisfying in watching one flying through the air after being slung from a trebuchet. Apparently, enough people agree to hold a festival around this idea.

Look at the list of  New England’s Five Best Pumpkin Festivals.

8. Waterfire, Providence

Fall things to do in New England
Part of the Flames of Hope Waterfire is lighting up the Rhode Island Statehouse an uplifting pink.
Take a stroll at Waterfire, a music and art installation that takes place on Providence’s canals. One of the best things about Providence is even better in the crisp fall air. Columbus Day weekend features Flames of Hope, a special Waterfire event dedicated to breast cancer survivors, which is very inspiring.
Be sure to read my Guide to Experiencing Waterfire before you go.

9. Get scared at a haunted something.

New England is full of many places believed to be haunted, but even where we don’t have real hauntings we put on quite a show. Check out our numerous haunted houses, hayride, and trails.

  • Scary Acres in West Greenwich, RI is one of our favorites and boasts four adventures, including shooting scary zombies with paintballs.

10. Carve a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin picked from the field.

Find a pumpkin patch near you!

11.  King Richard’s Faire

This massive renaissance celebration in Carver, MA is a recreation of England’s 16th century complete with jousts, market place, colossal turkey legs, and many shows. It is always a day that my children adore.

12.  The Big E

The Eastern States Exposition takes place in West Springfield, Massachusetts. A huge New England fair, with everything you could imagine to eat, ride, and see. My favorite part is the statehouses, which are replicas of the New England capital buildings full of vendors with state-specific foods and items.

13.  Visit some real-life colonial history.

Nothing says fall like Thanksgiving, native Americans, and pilgrims. Take this opportunity to learn about our country’s history first hand by visiting a few of these attractions located in New England:

  • Plimoth  Plantations (yes, that’s the original spelling)- Visit this living history museum to see how the pilgrims and Native Americans lived and celebrated their first fall in the New World after fleeing England.
  • The Mayflower Boat and Plimoth Rock– Here, you can see a model of the Mayflower and the actual Plimoth Rock, which is admittedly underwhelming.

14. Visit a vineyard.

fall things to do in New England
Enjoying my day at Jonathan Edwards Vineyards, Connecticut.  Autumn is a perfect time to do some wine tasting while on a tour through the changing vines.
  • We love to dine at Sharpe Hill Winery in Pomfret, CT, in the old farmhouse that has fantastic food in a  rustic fall setting.  You must have reservations well in advance.
  • Jonathan Edward’s Winery- read about my fall wine tour there.
  • The Newport Vineyards is a great place to have a relaxing lunch on the patio overlooking the vines. You can read more about it and the fun you can have in Newport, Rhode Island here.
A Romantic Day in Newport, Rhode Island www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
The vines of Newport Vineyards.

15. Take a spooky ghost tour.

Be regaled by our area’s history, both real and lore. You may find yourself hearing things or looking over your shoulder more once you hear about the things that are said have gone on here. Find a ghost tour in any New England state.

  • Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Not only can you tour 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts, the house where Lizzie Borden was said to butcher her parents with an ax, but you can also even stay the night.

16. Visit Salem, Massachusetts.

Salem, Massachusetts www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
Ye Olde Burying Ground in Salem, Massachusetts which is believed to be haunted.

Salem, Massachusetts, is scary and commercial, full of tours, museums and real and imagined haunted houses. This town was the locale of the famous Salem Witch Hunt Trials. Be sure to read my post A Day with My Boy Looking for Ghosts.

17. Embrace the season with some pumpkin-flavored everything.

  • New Englanders are crazy about fall and Dunkin’ Donuts, which makes a delicious pumpkin muffin and spiced coffee.
  • After hiking Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Massachusetts, try some pumpkin ice cream at the West End Creamery.

 18. Take a hayride and get lost in a corn maze.

Best fall new england activities www.thedailyadventuresofme.com
Working your way through a corn maze, such as this one at Connor Farms in Massachusetts, is a fun family activity and also a peaceful way to spend a fall day.

Find a complete list of corn mazes and hayrides in New England.

19. Have a Picnic Amongst the Leaves.

Read on for some ideas for the best spots.

20. Learn all about how cranberries are harvested by visiting a cranberry farm.

Please read all about my time at Stone Bridge Farm in Massachusetts.

Please have a great fall, Y’all!

What are your favorite fall activities? I would love to hear in the comments. If you are planning a trip, be sure to read my Local’s Guide to New England and subscribe to get all my new New England posts as they are published.

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12 thoughts on “19 of New England’s Best Fall Activities”

  1. Pingback: Autumn in USA
  2. Fall is the absolute best, isn’t?! I liv ein VA and we have some pretty nice falls, but I’m sure New England is fabulous too! I lvoe going to wineries, so I’d definitely like to check those out.

  3. I am a summer kid through and through but Darcee absolutely loves the fall season so this is an amazing list of 15 things to do in the fall in New England!
    Personally, I think she would love the apple cider tasting and the different festivals but for her the #1 idea is to be a leaf peeper! While I would love the Rennaissance Fest and exploring all of the Colonial History sites for sure!


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