Country fairs, music and food festivals in New England are fun for families
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.
61 Market Street, Unit 1C
Lowell, MA, 01852
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.
44 Jones Rd, 301 2nd NH Turnpike, 18 E Washington Rd, 5 Center St.
August 19-20, 2017
At the Living History event, historic figures come to tell their stories. This year's guest is President Ulysses S. Grant. Venture on a trip through Hillsborough and discover the historic villages, the heritage museum, stone arch bridges. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride; talk with period artisans; hear the 2nd South Carolina String Band; follow a battle through the woods. Sew a flag with Betsy Ross, make butter and ice cream, pan for gold. Enjoy a dozen children and family hands-on activities. Dine on grilled chicken, pulled pork, Plowman’s Lunch, homemade pastries, and watermelon.
Admission: Adults, $15; seniors, $12; children age 6-17, $5.
Times: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
May 5-7, 2017
Come for a full weekend of entertainment from golf to antiques. Captains Golf Course Closest To The Pin Contest, Friday-Sunday; Arts & Antiques Excursion, Friday-Sunday, self-guided tours of Brewster's antique and art galleries; Brewster Band Spring Concert, Friday;
Juried Fine Arts & Crafts Show, Saturday and Sunday; Kid Fest At Drummer Boy Park on Saturday; Bloomin' Parade on Sunday at 1 p.m. from Eddy Elementary School to Main Street to Swamp Road
Boothbay Harbor, ME
June 25-July 1, 2017
Fully rigged windjammers sail into Boothbay Harbor for the festival that has been a tradition here for decades. Windjammers are scheduled to arrive in Linekin Bay on June 28 and then into Boothbay Harbor during the parade of sail on June 28.
Events of the festival include pancake breakfast, craft fair, boat parade, shipyard and ship tours, street parade, live musical entertainment and of course a visiting fleet of historic windjammers. See Windjammer Days website for full schedule of events.
Arnold Arboretum 125 Arborway
May 14, 2017
The lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America. This day includes tours of the lilacs and other special collections, family activities, and food vendors. Time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive
May 20-21, 2017
More than 70 artists from all over the country will show and discuss their work. Ceramics, wearable fiber, glassware, wood kitchen ware and furniture, jewelry and so much more, are all available for purchase. There will also be demonstrations, family craft activities, live music and food. Festival parking: Island Beach parking lot, Steamboat Road, Museum Drive
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: $8; children under age 5 admitted free
Bellamy-Ferriday House, 9 Main Street North
May 20, 2017
Enjoy tea with a fairy godmother, stroll a woodland walk, build a fairy house, visit vendors at the craft fair, make ribbon rings, fairy globes, magic writing, join a fairy and wizard parade. Enter the fairy house competition. Rain date is May 21. Email email@example.com. Admission: Adults, $10; children age 6 -12, $5.
Time: Noon to 4 p.m.
Thompson's Point Off Fore River Pkwy.
July 8, 2017
Lobster roll-making competition, live music, an interactive kids' area, Maine Made gifts, traditional Maine food & drink, and more! Tickets
Time: Noon to 5 p.m.
Cost: General Admission, $10; VIP Pass, $100
Bushnell Park, 1 Jewel Street
July 14-17, 2017
New England's largest free jazz festival: Contemporary, straight ahead, smooth, Latin, and more. A variety of food and beverage vendors and an arts and crafts marketplace. Lineup in 2017 includes Nelson Garcia, Aziza Miller, Dexter’s Lab – Dexter Pettaway, Sr., Sez Zion Jazz Band, Fo Mo Deep, Groove Project, Side Street,
Decades By Dezyne, Toscha Comeaux featuring Rene Toledo, Donald Harrison, Jazz & Strings. Lineup could change.
Time: Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m.-midnight; Sunday, 1-9 p.m.
Revere Beach, across from Kelly’s Roast Beef
May 21, 2017
Come and watch or fly a kite at this favorite annual event on the beach. The first 300 kids (under the age of 12) will receive a free kite. Kids will be able to decorate their own kite and then watch it fly. Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Abbot School, 25 Depot Street, and other locations in town
May 10-14, 2017
A parade and the crowing of this year's Apple Blossom Queen will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. The parade begins at Main Street and Graniteville Road and travels through the center of town to Depot Road. The parade will end at Abbott School. Fireworks display on Saturday evening. Time:
Wednesday-Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, 1746 Mountain Road
July 7-9, 2017
This popular summer celebration includes a children's corner, live band, great food, beer and wine garden, balloon launches and tethers. Twenty-eight of the country's most prominent balloon experts will launch starting Friday afternoon. Time: Balloon Launches: Friday at sunset, Saturday at sunrise and sunset, and Sunday, at 6:30 a.m. Viewing the morning launches is complimentary for all visitors. Admission: $10; kids age 12 and younger, free.
Greenville and Moosehead Lakes region, ME
May 20-June 25, 2017
This two-week event celebrates the natural beauty and human talents of the Moosehead Lake region. Events include Moose Mainea 5K on May 20; Moosterpiece Craft Fair and Town-Wide Yard Sale and Moose River Canoe and Kayak Race on June 10; Moosehead Area Artisans Art Show at the Depot on June 24; and the Dean Bike & Boat ride and cruise on June 25. This is a 19-mile bike ride and cruise back to Greenville on the Katahdin Steamship.
Coggeshall Farm Museum, 1 Colt Drive
May 20, 2017
Join fiber and textile enthusiasts from across the Northeast at Rhode Island's only Wool and Fiber Festival. See crafts people demonstrate traditional and contemporary fiber arts; purchase your own textile supplies, equipment, and gifts to take home; watch the hand shearing of sheep, learn a new (old) skill in one of our workshops, and help with 18th century textile and farm work.
Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $7; seniors and children age 3-12, $5;
May 27, 2017
125 crafters and artisans present handmade crafts of every imaginable material: wood, glass, metal, fabric. Dine on ethnic foods by exploring School Street. Find meals of Indian, German, and Thai traditions, along with festival food like fried dough, wood fired pizza, BBQ, blooming onions, ice cream, and more. Kid activities include a dunking booth, the 4-H shooting range, a bouncy house, face painting.
Wilcox Park, Grove Avenue
May 27-28, 2017
The festival will present the selected works of professional artists and crafts persons. Virtu will be a showcase for both the visual arts and performing arts. Held rain or shine. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, 1045 Old Academy Road
May 12-14. 2017
Blooming dogwood trees, live music, and arts festival, and garden plant show and sale. Activities for all ages. The festival is always held Mothers Day weekend. Time: Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon- 5 p.m.
June 14-18, 2017
The Provincetown International Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing new achievements in independent film and honoring the work of acclaimed and emerging directors, producers and actors. Location: Various around town. Times and Costs: vary; consult event website.
St. Albans, VT
April 28-30, 2017
Visitors flock all over the U.S. and the world visit downtown St. Albans for maple treats, maple fun, and the chance to see the maple sugaring industry in action. What goes on? Live entertainment; a fiddlers variety show; cooking demonstrations and competitions; tastings of beer, cider, and mead; sugarhouse tours; pancake breakfasts (with plenty of the necessary); an antique show; a carnival; a giant parade on April 30 at noon; and a craft show. What can you eat? maple creemees, maple sugar-on-snow, maple cotton candy, and much more. Parade route
June 14-18, 2017
LAUNCH! A Maritime Festival will celebrate the community’s rich maritime history of shipbuilding, lobstering, and commercial fishing. Main events include:
Castaway Cove for Kids. Bounce houses, face painting and delicious clam cakes? Friday, 5 to 7:30 p.m.
Captain's Cook-Off. Watch local chefs turn Maine ingredients into a gourmet dish. Taste all of the entries and vote for winners. Saturday. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lobster Bake. lobster, corn and blueberry pie, along the working waterfront. Saturday, 4-7 p.m.
Rock the Boat After Party. This special VIP after-party will feature live music, specialty cocktails and small bites of delicious food on board one of our local vessels. Saturday, 8-11 p.m.
River Lights Boat Parade. Boat parade featuring sparkling lights. Saturday night, dusk.
Washington and other streets in downtown
June 1-4, 2017
This event is four days of live music, dance, food, and visual art installations at public spaces, parks, and outdoor stages in Providence. Some highlights:
Public tour of the Woonasquatucket River and Moon Market collaborative retail party.
Friday and Saturday evenings.
Bandaloop, vertical dance pioneers, will use the side of a downtown building to fly, float, and turn dreamy cartwheels and back flips in midair.
Global Food Village and Ocean State Oyster Festival
along Washington Street through downtown. 4:30 p.m.
PVDFest finale of art installations and music on the Dexter Street Training Grounds and Cranston Street Armory. “En Masse” will use hundreds of local musicians in a hybrid between a pop-up performance and a parade; Community MusicWorks concert will feature salsa artist Gonzalo Grau; and mobile art installations curated by the RISD Museum Artist Circle.
Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove Street
May 27-June 4, 2017
Thousands of rhododendrons cover 100 acres with spectacular color. Walk among the walls of flowers, learn from horticulture experts, and purchase your own rhododendron. Festival is free with museum admission and do not require advance registration. Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Jackson Village Park
May 28, 2017
Come see this wild and zany event that has been a favorite for more than a quarter century. The plunge into the Wildcat River of 3,500 yellow rubber ducks is just part of a day-long festival that includes vendors, a silent auction, train rides, kids games, a parade, release of ducks. See event website for detailed schedule. Time: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts & Lyme Art Association, 96 Lyme Street
Old Lyme, CT
July 30, 2016
Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival is a town-wide celebration of the arts. The celebration takes place at the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Art Association, and the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. A favorite event of the day is Market En Plein Air at the museum. This outdoor market features Connecticut-grown flowers, fruits, vegetables, breads, fine cheeses, herbs and specialty foods in a setting modeled after outdoor markets in French villages. Also enjoy the artisan fair, outdoor concert, author talks and sidewalk sales. Time: Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday,9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Memorial Drive near the Charles River
Boston and Cambridge, MA
June 10-11, 2017
Dozens of teams race a 500-meter course in sleek, colorful 39-foot-Hong Kong-style dragon boats. Along with dragon boat races, the festival also presents performances from various Asian cultures, Asian food, and arts and crafts representing traditions of this ancient Chinese celebration.
Saturday. Races only at MIT Pierce Boathouse, Memorial Drive just west of Route 2A, Cambridge
Sunday. Races, Asian crafts and cultural performances, Asian food. Along Charles River Near Harvard
Hadley Town Common, Russell Street (Route 9)
June 3, 2017
Enjoy local agriculture by visiting booths of local farmers; se work of craftsmen and –women; hear headlining bands from Signature Sounds and be prepared to dance. Craft beer will be curated by State Street Wines & Spirits. Taste asparagus ice cream, fried potatoes, Spoletos, asparagus pizza, and barbecue.
Cost: Admission is free. Suggested donation is $5.
Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
along Cambridge Parkway and Lechmere Canal Park, First and Cambridge streets
June 3, 2017
Celebrate the arts with this free festival on the East Cambridge waterfront, with hundreds of jazz, folk, blues, gospel and roots music performers on multiple stages, dance, theater, storytelling, poetry and performances, public art installations, family entertainment & art-making activities. Enjoy specialty food purveyors and craftspeople.
Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
April 28-30, 2017
The Daffodil Festival's grand event, held on Saturday, is the Annual Antique Car Parade of more than 100 daffodil-bedecked antique cars, followed by the Daffodil Tailgate Picnic. Held on the lush lawns leading into the village, the picnic boasts fare ranging from elaborate gourmet cuisine served on fine china to box lunches and burgers. Other highlights include the Nantucket Garden Club's Annual Daffodil Show, Children's Daffodil Parade, Daffy Hat Pageant and Daffodil Dog Parade.
May 20-21, 2017
Long Meddowe Days presents the town's long history to adults and kids through tours and entertainments, See and expolore a Civil War encampment, walking tours of the Old Burying Yard, and guided architectural tours of the many historic homes on the Town Green, including Storrs House Museum. Find food, music, entertainment, activities for children, historical tours, a 5K road race or walk, a parade and some of the best artists, crafters and photographers in New England.
Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists' Row and other Salem venues
June 3-5, 2016
The popular free event will feature over 80 artists and performers doing music, dance, and theater performances. The festival includes art-making, artisan vendors selling their creations, and a public art installation. The festival happens are many venues, mainly Old Town Hall, Derby Square, Front Street, and Artists' Row. A juried art show will be held in Old Town Hall, with an artisan street fair outside the building on Saturday and Sunday. Live performances will be held on Derby Square and Artists' Row. The event is rain or shine; rain location for performances is Old Town Hall and on Artists' Row. Full schedule and programs will be available on site during the festival, as well as the Festival website.
Hubbard Park, 88 State Street
Meriden, CT, 06451
April 29-30, 2017
Sixty thousand daffodils create a sea of fragrant yellow blossoms throughout the 1,800-acre Hubbard Park in Meriden. See 61 different varieties of daffodils, and enjoy a parade on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., craft fair, live music, fireworks, food vendors, carnival rides, and shuttle bus service. Plenty of free parking.
Various downtown locations
May 18-20, 2017
At this free annual event, you can explore many of Lowell's historic buildings, from residential lofts to churches to rehabilitated mills and everything in between. No registration or tickets required. Lowell is for its preservation-based economic development efforts, with 97 percent 5.2 million square feet of mill space having been rehabilitated.
9 Thorne Road
May 13, 14, 20, and 21, 2017
Gallant knights; fantastical fairies; lots of Renaissance-era entertainment; a Children’s Glen with games, crafts, and jousting; archery range; craft demos, knight encampments, Charity Wench & Lad Auction; Maypole. Time: Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.
Various locations in Nantucket; see event website
May 18-22, 2016
Wineries and their special vintages are showcased in a series of events, including Grand Tastings, a Harbor Gala, educational seminars and more. A featured guest and presenter this year is winemaker Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards. See event website for specific events.
Bowen's Wharf, Off America’s Cup Avenue
May 19-21, 2017
Rhode Island has 45 oyster farms! Each farm cultivates its own flavors, so this festival is your chance to savor 13 kinds of oysters. Growers will be shucking and local restaurants will be serving food under festival tents. Shuckig contest is held Sunday at 3 p.m. Enjoy live music Saturday and Sunday.
Time: May 19 (opening night benefit party, 6-8:30 p.m.; May 20 and 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Opening night, $150; Saturday and Sunday, $25
May 6, 2017
The day’s events start with a pancake breakfast at Duffy’s Tavern & Grill. Next, on Main Street is a library book sale, Faerie Festival, paper flower making at the UU Church, basket making at the Brick Store Museum, a craft market at Waterhouse Center, rock climbing, a photo booth, chalk art at Rotary Park, May Pole dancing at Lafayette Park by the Portland School of Ballet, live music and pottery wheel demonstrations, pop-up dance by Mission Motion.
This year’s May Day Parade will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Main Street. After the parade, Lafayette Park hosts live music by The Ketchfish Band and a pig roast by Lobster Bake & BBQ. Or you could attend the free Bean Supper at Holy Cross Lutheran Church starting at 4:30 p.m.
Look Park, 300 N Main Street
July 15, 2017
Festival activities include Highland dance competition, Highland athletic competition, pipe and drum competitions, individual pipe and drum competitions, Scottish food and vendors, two entertainment stages, and lots more. New this year: The Brigadoons, and more music by Albannach,
The Brigadoons, and
Cost: Adults, $16; children age 6-12, $5. Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
May 20, 2017
The Motif No.1 Day Festival -- named after the humble fishing shack that has inspired work from many painter and photographer -- honors the arts in Rockport. Come enjoy film, poetry, dance, music, art-making activities, historical presentations and more, along with the Motif No.1 Day 5k and Fun Run. time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Island Heritage Trust, 420 Sunset Road
Deer Isle, ME
May 19-21, 2017
Events include art workshops, warbler walks, birding for beginners, guided puffin boat trips, birding on Marshall Island, outdoor sketching workshop, eagle spotting, live owl demo, shore bird walk, art show reception, owls & peepers evening and backyard birding .
Fees vary by activity.