Country fairs, music and food festivals in New England are fun for families

New England Fairs and Festivals

New England fairs and festivals offer affordable, family-friendly fun year round. Discover the newest art, crafts, music, and film. Enjoy live blues, folk, bluegrass, and jazz music. Shop for handmade art and crafts and find vendors selling celebrated New England food like maple syrup, blueberries, cheeses, ice cream, seafood, barbecue, craft beer and wine. Take a fun peek into world cultures at Scottish, Celtic, Italian, Portuguese, Asian, and French Canadian celebrations. Classic cars, books, and glowing hot air balloons are some of New England’s favorite festival treasures.

To find more events, visit our Events Calendar.

Various locations Newport, RI Phone: 401-847-7666

February 17-26, 2017

Highlighted events include the Children’s Fair, Chili Cook-Off, Princess Party and exciting, fun concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitude and more! See the festival website for detailed event information. Winterfest bracelets are $10.

61 Market Street, Unit 1C Lowell, MA, 01852 Phone: 978-459-6150

Festivals celebrate Merrimack’s legendary history and characters

Greater Merrimack Valley is a deeply historic part of New England with a delightful variety of ethnicities, all with unique stories. Probably its best-known celebration is Patriots’ Day in mid-April, when Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord hosts re-enactments of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. The city of Lowell turns out some marvelous annual events, like the annual Lowell Folk Fest, serving up outdoor music all around the city, and the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, honoring the city’s famous writer. The Southeast Asian Water Festival is among several fests that celebrate the city’s ethnic heritage. The Yankee Doodle Homecoming Festival honors patriot Thomas Ditson of Billerica, the inspiration of the song “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Harvest, Christmas, October fests take their places in the seasonal lineup.

Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road Stamford, CT Phone: 203-977-6548

March 4-5, 2017

Visit the little red sugar house on Heckscher Farm during the Maple Sugar Festival to see how sap is turned into maple syrup. Learn how trees are tapped, find out how sap is collected, and make a maple-themed craft. There are also demonstrations of how Native Americans of the area made maple sugar using vessels of bark and wood and cooking the sap with the hot-rock method. On Sunday, enjoy the popular pancake brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: $10 per person; children age 3 and younger, free. The Pancake Brunch on Sunday, is $6 per person.

various locations and downtown parade Burlington, VT Phone:

March 10-12, 2017

Magic Hat Brewery’s three-day weekend festival is a family-friendly way to party. On Friday, ring in Mardi Gras with a raucous party featuring beer and live music. The Grand Parade is Saturday, March 11, down Main Street towards the shore. Other activities on Saturday include more parties with beads and beer; a costume contest; more music, and street performances. Free shuttle service around town. See event website for full schedule of activities.

various locations Brattleboro, VT Phone:

February 18-26, 2017

Nine days filled with events for all ages: Junior Olympics, a pancake breakfast, children's cooking classes, adult comedy show, figure skating show, Grand Day at the Senior Center, a children's show, Variety Show, Queen's and Princess Pageants and Chili Cook-Off. Schedule of Events.

St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, 84 Cumberland Street Woonsocket, RI Phone:

February 25, 2017

The evening features full Cajun buffet from Russell Morin Catering, costume contest, the crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen, and music from Slippery Sneakers and host Jeff Gamache and Runaway Train. St. Ann’s Arts & Cultural Center is a unique venue for Mardi Gras. This century old former Roman Catholic church is renowned for its fresco paintings, and is commonly referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of the Northeast.”
Time: 5-11 p.m.
Admission: $30-$35 per person via website or at the door if tickets are left.

Mount Washington Chocolate Festival 2017

Selected Inns and Businesses in Mount Washington Valley Intervale, NH Phone: 603-356-9920

February 26, 2017

Nearly 30 miles of outdoor winter fun and cozy indoor chocolate tasting events. You can ski, snowshoe, or drive around Mount Washington and indulge yourself inside warm inns loaded with a huge selection of chocolate treats, many of them free! Many inns along the trails will offer chocolate delights like dipped fruit, fondue, ice cream bar, and baked goods. See event website for names of participating inns, a bakery, a ski center. Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission: advance purchase, $30; day of event, $35.

Mount Snow Ski Resort, Grand Summit Way West Dover, VT Phone:

February 25, 2017

Mount Snow does its best impression of transforms into Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Come enjoy Bud Light-sponsored Après Ski parties going at Cuzzins from 11 a.m. until closing with live music in the afternoon, and more music at night at the Snow Barn. Music at Cuzzines at 3 p.m. by Bruce Jacques; music at the Snow Barn at 10 p.m. by Headtronics.

at Purity Spring Resort, 1251 Eaton Road / Route 153 Madison Madison, NH Phone: 800-373-3754

February 20-24, 2017

Come enjoy sleigh rides (February 18, 23, 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.); snowshoe tours (February 4, 11, 18, 25 and February 10, 7 p.m. moonlight tour); Silly Slalom & Belly Bag Races; Family Challenge Races; Gold Rush, Kids Fun Race; Fireworks over King Pine (February 23); Kids Light Parade (March 3).

Downtown Lowell Lowell, MA Phone: 978-459-6150

February 24-25, 2017

During the City’s Winterfest celebration, enjoy live entertainment and many children’s activities. There is something for everyone—from local cuisine, to the famous Soup Bowl Competition. Come on out and celebrate the season. For more info visit the www.lowellma.gov website as the dates get closer!

Participation sugar houses Statewide, ME Phone:

March 26, 2017

On Maine Maple Sunday, sugarhouses of Maine celebrate this sweet Maine product by opening their doors to the public for tours and events and tastings. They are pleased to offer maple stories, and maple foods for sale. Maine Maple Sunday is officially one day, but some sugarhouses are open all weekend. Read the description of each sugarhouse to know what times it will be open and the activities it will offer.  See event website for list of participating sugar houses.

Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf Boston, MA Phone:

January 13-March 31, 2017

The Boston Wine Festival, hosted by Daniel Bruce, executive chef of the Boston Harbor Hotel, features a series of intimate winemaker-hosted dinners, seminars and receptions. After 28 seasons, the festival has evolved into a world renowned series. Major events of the 2-month festival include the Grand Opening Reception on January 13, and the Valentine’s Dinner Dance on February 11 and the Valentine’s Jazz Brunch on February 12. Schedule of events.

Stratton Mountain Resort 5 Village Lodge Road South Londonderry, VT Phone:

March 25, 2017

Stratton celebrates Mardi Gras and the Village (southern-style) Block Party. Enjoy live music, specialty food and drink, the famous ice bar and fun/free activities for the kids! Festivities start at 3pm.

Wentworth by the Sea Hotel, 588 Wentworth Road New Castle, NH Phone:

January 20-February 26, 2017

The Winter Wine Festival at Wentworth By the Sea is a six-week tour of the world’s best wines, most illustrious winemakers and deliciously paired menus. The festival offers dinners, tastings flight nights, Bubbles & Jazz Brunches. Schedule of events.

Jay Peak, 830 Jay Peak Road Jay, VT Phone:

March 3-5, 2017

Mountain Mardi Gras events include Oyster Shucking at the Tower Bar on Thursday, March 2; Guest Welcome Party in the Bullwheel Bar at Stateside and Late Night Splash at midnight in the Pump House Indoor Waterpark, both on Friday, on March 3; Skimo East Randonnee Race and live apres ski music The Funky Crustaceans in the Bullwheel bar at Stateside on Saturday, March 5; Hope on The Slopes competition and apres ski party on Sunday, March 5

various locations Hebron, CT Phone:

March 18-19, 2017

The Maple Festival is held throughout the Town of Hebron to celebrate New England's maple production industry and traditions. Events include tours at Wenzel Sugar House, Woody Acres Sugar House, and Pierce's Sugar House; chainsaw carvers; fire truck tours; historic church tours; scavenger hunt, letter boxing at Burnt Hill park; pellet stove demos; craft fair at the Gilead Church; blacksmithing, woodworking, and wood turning demonstrations; Revolutionary War encampment; ice cream eating contest; birds of prey exhibition; silent auction. Food: pancake breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday, sugar on snow, maple kettle corn and pudding cake.
Free. Time: 10 a.m. until 4 pm both days

various locations Lyndon, VT Phone:

February 18-March 5, 2017

Come and enjoy pancake breakfasts, spaghetti dinners, ski races, snow sculpture contest, hockey games, ice skating, moonlit Nordic treks, arts & crafts and more fun ways to entertain the whole family. See festival website for detailed schedule.

Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center, 783 Townshend Road, Grafton, VT Phone: 802-843-2400

February 25, 2017

It's all-out winter at Grafton Ponds. Your ticket includes a trail pass for Nordic skiing, tubing, snowshoeing and fat biking, as well as ice skating (weather-dependent), at Grafton Ponds, plus s'mores at a bonfire. Ice Bar event opens at 4 p.m.
Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.