Festivals, Witches, Live Music, and More Around Massachusetts This Fall

If you're looking for cool stuff to do this fall around our fair state, you have plenty of options, some of which follow.



Dance to loud, live music at Boston Calling Sept. 5-7, an event held in May as well. Names like Lourde and The National are playing at City Hall Plaza.

Stay at the newly opened, mid-century modern classic Verb Hotel, site of the former Howard Johnson behind Fenway Park. Some rooms have Fenway views, some have private balconies. It's running a grand-opening deal of 10-percent off, and specials like the Red Sox package, including room, selection of peanuts and pretzels, and a pair of Sox caps. Feel like chicken dancing and keg bowling? Check out a staple of Boston's fall calendar, Harpoon Brewery's Oktoberfest Oct. 3-4 which features a wide selection of Harpoon beer, German grub, three stages of music and activities.


Wine and dine at Martha's Vineyard Food & Wine Festival Oct. 16-19 which boosts tourism and supports local nonprofits through its four-day run of tastings, seminars, dinners and more. Over on Nantucket is the 12th Annual Cranberry Festival Oct. 11, where visitors can watch berries being harvested, learn the history of cranberry farming on the island, and join family activities such as hay rides and face painting.

Slurp to your heart's content at the Wellfleet Oyster Festival Oct. 18 and 19, a festival celebrating the town's oysters, clams and shellfish tradition. Attractions include live music, walking tours, cooking demos, arts and crafts and the annual oyster shuck-off competition.

Wachusett Mountain is the site of the 31st Annual Applefest Oct. 18 and 19, with crafts of 75 artists and farmers featured, more than 75 booths, plus foliage rides, pony rides, a climbing wall, entertainers, and more. For adults, the event has its own Oktoberfest with German cuisine, a beer garden, and live music.


Apples and cider doughnuts? Yeah, they got that at Stow Honey Pot Hill, and also pick-your-own blueberries and a Big Green Monster Maze. Tour the witch museum in Salem, the Halloween capital of the world, when the Salem Witch Museum brings 1692 to life with drama and history with stage sets, figures and narrations. A second exhibit explores the evolving meaning of the word "witch."


Travel aboard a horse-drawn hayride at Silverbrook Farm Harvest Festival in Acushnet, held every weekend throughout September and October, offering things like a corn maze, pumpkin painting, Mother Goose story time and more.  Hunt for ghosts on a Dead of Night Ghost Tour in Plymouth, with tours that include the signature Twilight Lantern Ghost Tour. In Westport you'll find the Westport Rivers Vineyard, a south coast location the Russell family chose to create aromatic, crisp wine. 


Walk among unique Japanese flowers at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, with 133 acres of various gardens and parkland to explore year round. Find bargains at one of the largest antique markets in the country, the Brimfield Show Sept. 8-13.  Keep vampires at bay if you wish, but mostly learn to use garlic at chef demos over at the 16th  annual North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival Sept. 27 and 28 in Orange, a fun, deliciously smelly celebration of all things garlic, including a raw garlic-eating contest, as well as food and arts booths, and entertainment.

Photo: Wellfleet Oyster Festival

Continue Reading Below