Events

FEBRUARY

Vermilion Ice A Fair | February 3, Vermilion, OH

Enjoy a day of family-friendly fun at this lakeshore town during its annual ice-sculpture festival. See ice carvers at work, and take in the gallery of glistening ice sculptures throughout downtown while visiting local shops and restaurants. mainstreetvermilion.org

Snowflake Festival | February 4, Jamestown, NY

Join the Audubon Community Nature Center for its 40th Snowflake Festival to spend time enjoying nature and appreciating the winter season. Among the activities offered, enjoy hiking, themed crafts, outdoor games and more, weather permitting. The day is completed with a bonfire and s’mores, as well as other food and hot drinks. auduboncnc.org

Culver Winterfest | February 9-11, Culver, IN

Visit this lakefront town for a three-day celebration of free family fun. With a walking tour of local merchant-sponsored ice sculptures, sledding, a polar plunge and more, there is plenty in store to spruce up a winter weekend. findculver.com

WV Chocolate, Wine & Shine Festival | February 10, Morgantown, WV

Enjoy “a sweet taste of the mountains” at the WV Chocolate, Wine and Shine Festival, featuring chocolates, wineries, distilleries and games. During chocolatier showcases, sample the best of the decadent chocolates produced by these West Virginia makers. chocolatewineshine.com

Syracuse Winterfest | February 15, Syracuse, NY

Head to Upstate New York for winter fun, including unique contests like a Chowder Cook-Off and a Bloody Mary Mix-Off as well as ice-carving demonstrations, trivia, dog-sled races and more. syracusewinterfest.com

Mountain State Maple Days | February 17 & March 16, various locations, WV

Maple-syrup producers throughout West Virginia open to the public to demonstrate the steps involved in the maple-syrup-making process. Explore a variety of local shops to pick up tasty treats and visit restaurants to sample maple-inspired dishes. The event returns for a second date on March 18. wvmspa.org

MARCH

Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming | Early March to Late April, Grand Rapids, MI

This annual showcase at Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation. Approximately 7,000 tropical butterflies spanning 60 species from around the world fly freely in the warm, lush environment of the conservatory. Special educational programming and butterfly-themed activities are also offered. meijergardens.org

APRIL

Richardson Farm Tulip Festival | Early April to Mid May, Spring Grove, IL

Welcome spring with the sight of tulips blooming across 5 scenic acres. With 300,000 bulbs spanning 30 different varieties, the colorful plants make for a picture-perfect backdrop. The weather determines exact dates, but this year’s bloom is expected from mid-April through mid-May. Browse the gift shop at the adjacent Adventure Farm, take a bite out of fresh doughnuts and enjoy one free tulip with each ticket purchased. richardsonadventurefarm.com/tulipfestival

Syracuse Wine Festival | Early April, Syracuse, NY

With 26 local vendors, including 15 dedicated to wine and spirits, the Syracuse Wine Festival offers a fun atmosphere for those aged 21 and over. Located in the CNY Regional Market, the festival offers separate afternoon and evening sessions. Both include a glass, wine and food sampling, “paint and sip” attractions and more activities. syracusewinefest.com

Cheekwood in Bloom | Early April, Nashville, TN

Welcome spring flowers and warm weather at the historic 55-acre Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, where a dazzling array of 250,000 bulbs are abloom. Activities include flower workshops, live music, seasonal beers and more floral fun. Nashville, cheekwood.org

Little 500 | Late April, Bloomington, IN

Widely known as “The World’s Greatest College Weekend,” Indiana University’s Little 500 returns as the largest collegiate bike race in the United States. Celebrating its 72nd anniversary and the 35th anniversary of its women’s race, the fun event brings friendly competition, an annual concert, celebrity appearances and more. visitbloomington.com

Dollywood Flower + Food Festival | Late April to Mid June, Pigeon Forge, TN

Nestled in the beauty of the Smoky Mountains, the Dollywood Flower + Food Festival brings a splash of color with fascinating landscaping, unique garden-fresh flavors and live music. Be inspired as you stroll among more than 500,000 flowers and pose for photos beneath the rainbow-hued Umbrella Sky. dollywood.com

83rd Annual Feast of the Ramson | Late April, Richwood, WV

Located in Richwood, the ramp capital of the world, the Feast of the Ramson is a celebration of the native wild onion. A Southern-style feast consists of ramps, fried potatoes, ramp bacon and ham, brown beans, cornbread and locally sourced sassafras tea. The $20 adult tickets also provide access to an arts and crafts show, local jewelry and textile vendors and music from local bluegrass artists. richwoodchamberofcommerce.org

Thunder Over Louisville | Late April, Louisville, KY

The Kentucky Derby returns on May 6, but the lead-up to race day is just as exciting. Among the celebrations is Thunder Over Louisville — one of the nation’s top air shows followed by one of the largest annual fireworks displays in North America. Additional events in the lead-up to Derby Day include the Kentucky Derby Festival BourbonVille, the Great BalloonFest and more. thunderoverlouisville.org

Pennsylvania Maple Festival | Late April, Meyersdale, PA

Spring is at its sweetest when sap starts to run from the sugar maple trees in Meyersdale, also known as “Maple City, USA.” Learn how maple syrup is made with live demonstrations, grab a sweet bite, enjoy a quilt show and attend the annual Maple Queen Contest. pamaplefestival.com

Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous | Late April, Ridgway, PA

The Appalachian Arts Studio is hosting 75 carvers from across the United States. Visitors can enjoy live carvings and a small auction in addition to live music from eight bands that cover genres such as rock, blues, country and acoustic. Craft, art and food vendors are available, and many carvers bring finished pieces to sell as well. chainsawrendezvous.org

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival, MI | Late April, Shepherd, MI

For 65 years, this small Michigan village has celebrated community through good old-fashioned maple syrup. The Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival preserves tradition with Sugar Bush syrup and Shepherd Public Schools to provide a weekend of fun, delicious flavors, exhibits, crafts, music and a parade. shepherdmaplesyrupfest.org

93rd Geauga County Maple Festival, OH | Late April, Chardon, OH

For nearly a century, the Geauga County Maple Festival has filled the last full weekend of April with fun and sweetness. The event raises awareness of maple syrup production and features the largest maple contest in the state of Ohio, rides for all ages, pageants, contests, live entertainment and more. maplefestival.com

Great Greenbriar River Race | Late April, Marlington, WV

A family-friendly triathlon along the Greenbriar River, the Great Greenbriar River Race consists of a 3-mile run, a 4-mile kayak or canoe paddle down the Greenbriar River and a final leg featuring 10 miles by bike along the Greenbriar River Trail to the finish line in Marlington. Participants can register individually or in teams up to four. wwocd.org

Dogwood Arts Festival in Tennessee (photo by Nyla Photos)
Dogwood Arts Festival | Late April to Early May, Knoxville, TN

Located at World’s Fair Park in Knoxville, the Dogwood Arts Festival features a colorful display of pieces by artists working in mixed media, pottery, painting, photography, glass, jewelry, sculpture and more. The festival also provides live music from local acts on two stages throughout the weekend. dogwoodarts.com

MAY

Beale Street Music Festival | Early May, Memphis, TN

Celebrating historical music memories, downtown Memphis hosts the Beale Street Music Festival for the 46th year. The three-day gathering serves as a kick off event for Memphis in May, a month filled with a lineup of festivals and other attractions such as the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. memphisinmay.org

Biggest Week in American Birding | Early to Mid May, Oregon, OH

This northwest Ohio region is considered the warbler capital of the world and is a prime destination for spring migration bird-watching. Headquartered at the Maumee Bay Lodge & Conference Center, this event features a series of keynote speakers, field trips to prime birding destinations such as Magee Marsh, programs at Black Swamp Bird Observatory, a Birder’s Marketplace, bird trivia night and more. biggestweekinamericanbirding.com

Tulip Time Festival | Early to Mid May, Holland, MI

Since 1929, the city of Holland has blossomed with hundreds of thousands of tulips, bursting with color in public parks and along the streets. Throughout eight days, events and activities for all ages take place in a variety of locations, most within a 4-mile radius of downtown, including national entertainment acts, walking tours, parades, the Tulip Immersion Garden and more. tuliptime.com

BBQ & Barrels | Mid May, Owensboro, KY

A 45-year tradition in Owensboro and Daviess County, BBQ & Barrels celebrates its namesake and provides authentic Kentucky cooking alongside Kentucky bourbon. Known previously as the International Bar-B-Q Festival, the event has grown to include road races, car shows, carnival rides and more favorites such as the Backyard BBQ Cookoff. bbqandbarrels.com

Lake of Egypt Paddle Fest in Illinois (photo courtesy of Enjoy Illinois)Lake of Egypt Paddle Fest | Mid May, Marion, IL

Enjoy an afternoon of leisurely paddling on Lake of Egypt in southern Illinois. Bring your kayak, canoe, paddle board or pedal boat (or rent a kayak in advance) to take part in this third annual event, which also offers prizes, food from Sinisi’s on Main food truck and live music by The Jake Myers Band. enjoyillinois.com

Rochester Lilac Festival in New York (photo courtesy of event)Rochester Lilac Festival | Mid to Late May, Rochester, NY

Visitors to Rochester’s historic Highland Park can enjoy the collection of thousands of lilac varieties as they bloom. Taking place Thursdays through Sundays, the free festival celebrates the flower for three weekends and also offers two concert stages with more than 135 performances, an arts and crafts show featuring over 160 artists, and ticketed events. rochesterevents.com

Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival | Late May, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Honor the beauty and traditions of Japanese culture. The festival returns in-person this year at the Allen County Public Library, where you can experience Japanese music, dance performances, food and a tea ceremony. Plus, enjoy an anime contest, cosplay, a haiku contest and children’s activities. cherryblossomfw.com

2300° Glass Fest | Late May, Corning, NY

Experience a lively take on the art of glassmaking during the 2300° Glass Fest at the Corning Museum of Glass, home to an impressive display of contemporary art and design. The free event features live music, food, drinks and demonstrations for all ages. cmog.org

Oglebay Backyard BBQ Festival | Late May, Wheeling, WV

The Oglebay Backyard BBQ Festival hosts a weekend of live music, beer, bourbon and a celebration of summer. Collective Soul, The Clarks and more musical acts bring the energy on stage, and other events include pet shows, a beer run and hog calling. oglebay.com/backyardbbq

Forecastle Festival | Late May, Louisville, KY

For 21 years, this music festival has remained a staple in the Midwest, offering a weekend of local food, a range of musical styles and great vibes at Louisville’s scenic Waterfront Park. This year, headliners include Jack Harlow, Porter Robinson, Tame Impala, Tyler the Creator, Phoebe Bridgers and more. forecastlefest.com

AES 500 Festival Parade | Late May, Indianapolis, IN

Held on the eve of the Indianapolis 500 and adding color to downtown Indianapolis since 1957, the AES 500 Festival Parade has grown to be one of the nation’s largest parades. The festivities feature celebrities, costumed characters, patriotic units, larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, award-winning bands and all 33 drivers competing in the Indy 500 — the world’s largest single-day sporting event. 500festival.com

JUNE

Mountain Music Festival | Early June, Oak Hill, WV

“The Party Never Stops” at Ace Adventure Resort during the Mountain Music Festival. The festival’s eighth year features more than 30 bands on a mountaintop stage, workshops, camping and vendors for food and art. Visitors are also encouraged to enjoy zip lining, whitewater rafting and the other adventures New River Gorge has to offer. Oak Hill, aceraft.com

32nd Annual Great American Brass Band Festival | Early June, Danville, KY

Celebrate brass music during this free, family event held annually in downtown Danville. As well as a weekend of music, enjoy activities such as yoga in the park, a vintage baseball game, a gallery hop, the Main Street Parade and more. gabbf.org

Johnstown Polkafest | Early June, Johnstown, PA 

The three-day festival brings local, regional and national polka acts to Peoples Natural Gas Park. For a daily admission of $5, the festival features the most well-known polka bands in the country, and also offers food and craft and art vendors. Polkafest encourages visitors to enjoy the surrounding area’s rich history, green mountain scenery, national parks and downtown eateries. visitjohnstownpa.com/polkafest

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix | Early June, Detroit, MI

The Detroit Grand Prix showcases world-class auto racing, featuring the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic, the Chevrolet IndyCar Grand Prix and more. This year, the event returns to Belle Isle, a 982-acre island in the Detroit River. Off-track fan activities include interactive displays, music, merchandise and food and beverage options. detroitgp.com

57th Street Art Fair | Early June, Chicago, IL

Located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, the 57th Street Art Fair is a two-day outdoor celebration of the visual arts. Considered the oldest juried art fair in the Midwest, the event showcases fine art and crafts, including glass, jewelry, leather, photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture, digital arts, wood, ceramics and fiber. 57thstreetartfair.org

Railbird Festival | Early June, Lexington, KY

Headliners Zach Bryan and Tyler Childers join other big names such as Weezer, Sheryl Crow and The Head and the Heart at Lexington’s Railbird Festival. For two days and across three stages, the music festival amps up the live tunes, bourbon and all things equine at its new venue, Red Mile Gaming & Racing. railbirdfest.com

Troy Strawberry Festival | Early June, Troy, OH

What started as a small gathering in 1977 has grown into a large, community-rallying festival. Packed with live music, a car show, great food (with tons of strawberry-infused treats, of course), shopping and more, this summertime feel-good event is a family affair. troystrawberryfest.com

Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival & Contest | Mid June, Midland, ON

Spend the sweetest day of the year in Midland at Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival & Contest. Enjoy a variety of offerings from 200 vendors and food trucks, along with the signature contest to determine the best butter tart in Ontario. buttertartfestival.ca

Allentown Art Festival | Mid June, Buffalo, NY

This 66th annual festival returns to downtown Buffalo with a showcase of several exhibitions, including clay, hard creative crafts, soft creative crafts, drawing graphics, glass acrylic, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography and sculpture. Concessions, busker performances and a student design contest are also featured. allentownartfestival.com

FestivALL in West Virginia (photo courtesy of event)FestivALL | Early to Mid June, Charleston, WV

With over 100 events, 50 venues, 50,000 annual attendees and 800 artists and performers, FestivALL takes over Charleston for 10 days. The citywide multi-arts festival presents a mix of music, theater, dance and visual arts from local, national and international artists. Taking place in 50 locations throughout the city, activities can be enjoyed in theaters, outdoor spaces, intimate galleries and events spaces. festivallcharleston.com

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival | Early to Mid June, Mackinac Island, MI

With the theme of “Mackinac In Bloom,” the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival returns for its 75th year to celebrate the flower and its distinctive history on the island. The 10-day fair is loaded with a variety of events, including the Coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen, the Lilac Festival 10K Run & Walk, a cannon firing at Fort Mackinac and multiple tours. mackinacisland.org

North by Northeast Festival | Mid June, Toronto, ON

The North by Northeast Festival (NXNE) promotes emerging musical artists while also supporting Toronto’s live music venues by hosting gigs at various locations. The emphasis is on Canadian talent, but new acts from around the world also take the stage throughout the five-day event. Toronto, nxne.com

Grant Park Music Festival | Mid June to Mid August, Chicago, IL

Take in a multitude of sounds throughout the season of Chicago’s annual music series.The free summer-long lineup offers a variety of classical music acts as well as radio broadcasts, master classes, outreach programs and other activities. This summer, enjoy programs such as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 on June 29, “An American Salute: Rhapsody in Blue” on July 5 and “Bravo Broadway” on July 28 and 29. grantparkmusicfestival.com

New York State Blues Festival | Mid June, Syracuse, NY

One of the largest free blues events in the northeast, the New York State Blues Festival returns to the state fairgrounds in Syracuse to celebrate its 31st anniversary and showcase blues music and culture. Experience regional and national artists from multiple genres while also learning about the role blues music has played in the development of popular music. nysbluesfest.com

Celtic Fest and Highland Games | Mid June, Beverly, WV

Featuring a day of education and fun surrounding Scottish and Celtic traditions, the Celtic Fest and Highland Games showcases Highland dancers, Highland games and traditional Celtic foods along with a full lineup of live entertainment. wvcelticfestandgames.com

52nd Annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree | Late June to Early July, Smithville, TN

This free, family-friendly festival is billed as the official festival of the state of Tennessee. The entertainment begins at 9 a.m. on both days, with more than 35 music and dance categories on two stages. The streets of this small town are also filled with handmade craft booths and food vendors. Smithville, smithvillejamboree.com

Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Late June to Early August, Bloomington, IL

For nearly half a century, the nationally renowned Illinois Shakespeare Festival has performed a total of 124 productions, aiming to bring quality and accessible performances of Shakespeare to central Illinois. The 2023 season includes “The Comedy of Errors,” “The Tempest” and “The Book of Will” by Lauren Gunderson. illinoisshakes.com

JULY

Music City Hot Chicken Festival Credit in Tennessee (photo by Istock)National Cherry Festival | Early July, Traverse City, MI

Rich with history, this nationally recognized event returns to Traverse City for its 97th run. During the National Cherry Festival week, attractions include food, contests, shows, tours and races, as well as concerts with performances by Jordan Davis, Chicago, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy. cherryfestival.org

Kutztown Folk Festival | Early July, Kutztown, PA

The oldest continuously operated folklife festival in the country features nine days of music, entertainment and education on the traditions of Pennsylvania Dutch and their way of life. The event also features live entertainment from four generations of hoedown dancers and authentic Pennsylvania Dutch delicacies such as shoofly pie. kutztownfestival.com

Annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival | Early July, Nashville, TN

The annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival celebrates the Fourth of July with a free event held in East Park. Visitors can enjoy food from Nashville’s best hot chicken establishments, cold beer from Yazoo and more eats and drinks from local vendors. Enjoy the Fire Truck Parade at noon, as well as live music from local bands throughout the day and an Amateur Cooking Competition for those wanting to show off their own hot chicken recipes. hot-chicken.com

Cleveland Tall Ships Festival | Early July (not an annual event), Cleveland, OH

Experience our nation’s rich maritime history during this four-day ticketed event along Cleveland’s Lake Erie waterfront, featuring live entertainment, family-friendly programming, exhibits, food and beverage options and tours aboard the fleet. The Parade of Sail kicks off the celebrations with a display of eight traditional sailing vessels. tallshipscle.com

53rd Annual Three Rivers Festival | Early to Mid July, Fort Wayne, IN

Fort Wayne’s favorite summer party has been packed with family-friendly fun since 1969. Bring the whole family to enjoy this nine-day community celebration with arts, crafts, amusement rides, food vendors and more. threeriversfestival.org

Taste of Buffalo | Early July, Buffalo, NY

A staple of summers in New York and the largest two-day food festival in the United States, Taste of Buffalo offers a celebration of the diverse dishes that make up the city’s wide-ranging food scene. Enjoy food from over 50 vendors, serving everything from chicken wings to pad thai to pierogies. tasteofbuffalo.com

Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration | Early to Mid July, Indianapolis, IN

One of the largest cultural events of its kind in the world, this summer celebration features music, art, dance, food, film and more exhibitors. For 52 years, the Indiana Black Expo has empowered individuals through education, events and hands-on initiatives to celebrate and strengthen African American communities. summercelebration.net

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair | Early to Mid July, Toronto, ON

Canada’s longest-running contemporary outdoor art fair showcases collections of 2D and 3D art, craft and design, photography and digital media to help visitors connect with artists. This summer celebrates 61 years of influencing the accessibility, appreciation and participation in the arts in Canada. torontooutdoor.art

Paradise Music and Beer Festival | Early July, Covington, KY

One of the most prominent breweries in the northern Kentucky area, Braxton Brewing Co. hosts this free festival that is appropriate for all ages. Musical acts ranging from local bands to nationally recognized talent add to the atmosphere centered on music, food, beer and fun. paradise-fest.com

Start.ca Rocks the Park | Mid July, London, ON

A staple of London’s summer celebrations for 18 years, Start.ca Rocks the Park features world-class artists along the Thames River in Harris Park. Integrating different genres on different nights to appeal to a range of preferences, musical acts include Alanis Morissette, Nelly, TLC, The Beaches, Garbage and more. rockthepark.ca

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix | Mid to Late July, Pittsburgh, PA

Celebrating its 41st anniversary, the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix is the nation’s only vintage street race and is the largest vintage race event. Starting with the Kick-Off Rally on July 13, the two-week event is filled with race weekends, car shows, parties, parades and motorsport events. The event closes with Schenley Park Race Day. pvgp.org

Shania Twain | Mid July, Noblesville, IN

Bust out those boots and “Let’s go, girls!” Pop-country artist Shania Twain takes the stage at Indiana’s Ruoff Music Center, which has served the greater Indianapolis area for more than 30 years. The summer is jam-packed with shows including other legendary acts such as Janet Jackson, Dave Matthews Band and Foreigner. ruoff.com/musiccenter

Ann Arbor Art Fair | Late July, Ann Arbor, MI

A lively Midwestern tradition, the Ann Arbor Art Fair is set to feature about 1,000 artists across 30 blocks in downtown Ann Arbor. The event combines the original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair into one packed weekend. theannarborartfair.com

Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance | Late July, Trumansburg, NY

Celebrating its 31st anniversary, Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance is a ticketed four-day festival located near Ithaca that provides a multicultural experience for attendees. Music acts of a wide variety of genres play on four stages. The festival also offers camping, food vendors, morning yoga, art vendors, a parade, a vinyl lounge, Indigenous storytelling and a band/instrument contest. grassrootsfest.org

29th Annual Discover Presque Isle | Late July, Erie, PA

Held annually at Presque Isle State Park in Erie, this multi day celebration features live music, impressive bonfires and family-friendly activities such as a sand sculpture competition and Presque Isle Lighthouse tours. discoverpi.com/events/dpi

Canandaigua Lakefront Art Show | Late July, Canandaigua, NY

Located on the scenic north shore of Canandaigua Lake, this art show celebrates its 50th anniversary of hosting artists from across the East Coast for a weekend of artwork, with local food trucks and businesses also attending. lakefrontartshow.com

Geneva Arts Fair | Late July, Geneva, IL

For two decades, the Geneva Arts Fair has displayed works by hundreds of artists who hail from across the country. Located in Geneva’s historic downtown, the free event is as eye catching as it is adored by locals and visitors alike. genevachamber.com

AUGUST

Dublin Irish Festival in Ohio (photo courtesy of event)Lucille Ball Comedy Festival | Early August, Jamestown, NY

Wind down summer with a week of laughs at the National Comedy Center’s annual festival in the hometown of Lucille Ball. Featuring more than 50 live events from late-night comedy to kids shows to Lucy tributes, headliners grace the stage that has hosted the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer. comedycenter.org

Dublin Irish Festival | Early August, Dublin, OH

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Dublin Irish Festival returns to Coffman Park to showcase the best in Irish dance, music, art and culture. The largest three-day Irish festival in the world, the event invites visitors of all backgrounds to enjoy history, tradition, food and performances. dublinirishfestival.org

National Blueberry Festival | Mid August, South Haven, MI

Celebrate South Haven’s tremendous blueberry crop and its cultural role in southwest Michigan at one of the country’s oldest continuously running fruit festivals. Enjoy a parade, musical acts, blueberry-inspired foods, a pie-eating contest, rides, the Blueberry Festival Craft Fair and more family fun. blueberryfestival.com 

Tomato Art Festival Nashville | Mid August, Nashville, TN

East Nashville’s Tomato Art Festival puts a unique spin on your typical food festival, featuring two days of tomato art shows, a home decorating contest, a Bloody Mary Garden party and more. Browse quirky artworks while enjoying foods from local vendors at this free-admission event. tomatoartfest.com

Flag City BalloonFest | Mid August, Findlay, OH

Float on over to Findlay’s Flag City BalloonFest, which has been an annual tradition in northeast Ohio since 2000. With free admission and parking, guests can enjoy spectacular hot air balloons with fun shapes and colors, an evening glow, family activities, a range of food vendors and more. flagcityballoonfest.com

Heritage Music BluesFest | Mid August, Wheeling, WV

Located on the waterfront of the Ohio River at Heritage Port Amphitheater, the Heritage Music BluesFest features a main stage with Blues Music Award Winners and a second stage dedicated to regional artists from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland. With weekend passes starting at $90, visitors can enjoy three days of music and award-winning blues artists. heritagemusicfest.com

Crave Food + Music Festival | Mid August, Lexington, KY

With more than 40 restaurants featured, Crave is an epic food and live music festival showcasing chefs, food trucks, craft beer and cocktails. Enjoy fun for the whole family with children’s activities, a car show and food experiences such as baking and cocktail demonstrations and the Cuban Sandwich Cook-off, plus 10 musical acts performing throughout the event at Masterson Station Park. cravelexington.com

Chicago Air and Water Show | Mid August, Chicago, IL

The Chicago Air and Water Show is the largest free show of its kind in the United States. Featuring high-flying thrills from civilian and military pilots in a range of aircraft, the show can be viewed at North Avenue Beach and along the lakefront from Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street. chicagoairandwatershow.us

50th Annual Indianapolis Greek Festival | Late August, Carmel, IN

Enjoy live music, entertainment, food, drinks and more at this 50th annual celebration. The Indianapolis Greek Fest, hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, is set to be jam packed with a large variety of activities celebrating Greek culture. indygreekfest.org

West Virginia State Honey Festival | Late August, Parkersburg, WV

Founded to provide Parkersburg’s community with education on the importance of honeybees, the Parkersburg Honey Festival is back for another year of providing entertainment, education, a range of food options, discounted honey and more sweet fun for all ages. greaterparkersburg.com

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival | Late August to Early September, Auburn, IN

Major attractions during this event billed as the world’s greatest classic car show and festival include the annual garage cruise, the downtown cruise-in and the Parade of Classics. The finale includes a showcase of automobiles from around the world. Funding efforts from the event support the onward growth of the festival as well as automobile-related museums in Indiana. Auburn, acdfestival.org

SEPTEMBER

Tecumseh! | Through September 3, Chillicothe, OH

Witness the epic life story of the legendary Shawnee leader, Tecumseh, as he struggles to defend his sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700s. The theater experience is staged outdoors at Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre, featuring galloping horses, cannons and large battle sequences. tecumsehdrama.com

Canadian National Exhibition | Through September 4, Toronto, ON

This 18-day end-of-summer event has grown from humble beginnings in 1879 to the largest fair in Canada, offering a family-friendly mix of exhibits, live music, agricultural displays, shopping, sports events and a casino. The highlight is the expansive carnival midway filled with rides, food and more traditional entertainment. theex.com

Festival of Balloons | September 1-3 Dansville, NY

For almost 40 years, the New York State Festival of Balloons has been a staple of Labor Day weekend celebrations. Held at the Dansville Airport, the three-day event offers crafts and art vendors, rides, entertainment and a food court. The six scheduled hot air balloon launches are the highlight of the weekend. nysfob.com

All Hallows' Eve Terror Town | September 1-4, Williamsburg, OH

Experience the haunted, Old West town of Bravado in this immersive attraction on Friday and Saturday evenings. With an emphasis on detail, realism and narrative, the trail seeks to provide visitors with an emotional experience aimed at every sense. Not for the faint of heart, this attraction is recommended for those ages 16 and up. allhallowsevellc.com

Canada’s Largest Ribfest | September 1-4, Burlington, ON

Known for breaking the attendance world record at its 2016 festival with more than 183,000 attendees, Canada’s Largest Ribfest is back to celebrate another Labor Day weekend with four days of musical entertainment, an artisan fair and, of course, mouthwatering ribs. canadaslargestribfest.com

WorldFest 2023 | September 1-4, Louisville, KY

WorldFest is one of the region’s largest international festivals, highlighting cultures and customs from around the world. The event returns to downtown Louisville for its 20th anniversary, with three entertainment stages that showcase international, national, regional and local performers. The vendor village (dubbed the Possibility World Hub) features nearly 150 international-themed arts, crafts, merchandise and food booths. louisvilleky.gov

Erie’s Wild Rib Cook Off & Music Festival | September 7-10, Erie, PA

This long-running rib fest is one of Erie’s signature events. Held at Perry Square Park in the middle of downtown, the festival features all things barbecue, including award-winning rib-cooking teams, a variety of vendors and plenty of family fun. erieribfest.com

Niagara County Peach Festival | September 7-10, Lewiston, NY

In addition to all kinds of peach dishes to try, this annual celebration also features rides, games, live entertainment, a 5K run and more. A peach taste-off and a Peach Queen pageant are also among the festivities at this event. niagaracountypeachfestival.org

Pekin Marigold Festival | September 7-10, Pekin, IL

Celebrate the 50th year of this classic Midwestern festival with this year’s theme, “Back In Time.” The Mineral Springs Park Lagoon offers something for the whole family, with activities including the beloved Marigold Parade, Medallion Hunt, golf outings, the Miss Marigold Pageant, chalk walk, festival fair food court, local vendor fair and more traditional fun. pekinchamber.com/pekin-marigold-festival

Toronto International Film Festival | September 7-17, Toronto, ON

The Toronto International Film Festival showcases international and Canadian cinema, featuring more than 100 films. The festival offers in-person as well as digital options, and the schedule includes talks, tributes, interactive experiences and more special events with acclaimed industry guests. tiff.net

LUMA Projection Arts Festival | September 8-9, Binghamton, NY

After dark, Binghamton comes to life with the work of artists from around the globe. Watch from the streets as active art displays are projected onto the city’s buildings. LUMA, which is known as the country’s premier projection arts festival, aims to find new ways to tell stories through the merging of technology and art. lumafestival.com

Nicholas County Potato Festival | September 8-9, Summersville, WV

Celebrate spuds at the Nicholas County Potato Festival. The festivities include tractor shows, pet pageants, potato displays, fireworks and more, as well as performances this year from acts such as Mitch Rossell and Hunter Girl. nicholascountypotatofestival.com

Festival of the Vine | September 8-10, Geneva, IL

For over 40 years, the Festival of the Vine has celebrated the harvest in historic downtown Geneva with wine, food and live music. Set up outside under tents, local restaurants share their specialties. Along with wine and dinner events, browse the arts-and-crafts show, take a horse-drawn carriage ride and walk through the stunning flower market. genevachamber.com

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest | September 14-17, Frankenmuth, MI

The sounds and sights of Germany fill the beer hall at the annual Frankenmuth Oktoberfest. Sip on authentic German brews, watch 100 wiener dogs race across the wooden dance floor and enjoy live music from German bands. frankenmuth.org

Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival | September 14-17, Pittsburgh, PA

The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival is a celebration of jazz artists and icons, offering free street concerts, intimate performance spaces, workshops and other special events. Held at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, the festival is a sure way to get your groove on. pittsburghjazzfest.org

Kentucky Bourbon Festival | September 15-17, Bardstown, KY

If you’re 21 or older and love bourbon, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is the perfect place to learn more about the signature spirit of the Bluegrass State. With five different tasting packages to choose from, try a wide variety of bourbons from over 50 distilleries. kybourbonfestival.com

Country-A-Fair | September 16, Schererville, IN

This free, family-friendly fair includes a petting zoo, pony rides, potato-sack races, a whipped-cream-eating contest, a range of entertainment and even giant yard games. Part of Redar Park’s Party in the Park series, visitors can also enjoy browsing the work of crafters, grabbing a bite at food trucks and more. southshorecva.com

Frankenfest | September 16, Detroit, MI

Kick off spooky season in Motor City at Historic Fort Wayne. Enjoy this visual arts festival showcasing mystical and spooky art exhibitions, and hear from paranormal experts, haunt enthusiasts and literary guests. To top it off, grab a bite from the food truck offerings. Donations support the Make-A-Wish foundation. frankenfest.com

Johnny Appleseed Festival | September 16-17, Fort Wayne, IN

Head to Fort Wayne to learn about John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, and enjoy a two-day celebration of his life at this festival featuring handmade crafts, children’s games, delicious food, a farmers market and more. johnnyappleseedfest.com

Mothman Festival | September 16-17, Point Pleasant, WV

During the 1960s, the mysterious lore of the Mothman was created. This festival keeps the local legend alive. All ages are encouraged to bring their imagination to celebrate with food, cosplay, live music and more during the free festival. Plus, you can explore the Mothman Museum for an additional price. mothmanfestival.com

Nashville Pumpkin Festival | September 16-October 29, Eagleville, TN

Experience a Tennessean fall family tradition and an abundance of fall festivities at the state’s largest, award-winning petting farm and fun park, Lucky Ladd Farms. See the many attractions the park offers, including pony and wagon rides, a corn maze and educational exhibits. Finish the day by picking the perfect pumpkin. visitfranklin.com

50th Annual Pink Palace Craft Fair | September 22-24, Memphis, TN

Celebrate history at the 50th Annual Pink Palace Craft Fair at Audubon Park. The fair benefitting the Museum of Science & History hosts nearly 150 vendors from across the country and offers a range of handmade goods. Learn the tricks of the trade through artisan demonstrations, relax while listening to live music and delight kids with the petting zoo or a ride on the train. moshmemphis.com 

Balloons Over Bay Harbor | September 22-24, Petoskey, MI

Experience the third annual Balloons Over Bay Harbor event on the shore of Lake Michigan as pilots fly over the harbor in colorful hot air balloons. The festival includes scheduled flights as well as family-friendly activities and night glows, where the balloons are illuminated while tethered to the ground. bayharbor.com 

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest | September 22-October 14, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

Celebrate German-Canadian history at North America’s largest Oktoberfest. Don’t miss your chance to try German cuisine, dance the polka and dress up in traditional German clothing. Other events include live music, an official keg tapping and a Canadian Thanksgiving Day parade. oktoberfest.ca 

Jackson International Food & Art Festival | September 23, Jackson, TN

Founded in 2013 with the mission to spread cultural awareness, the Jackson International Food and Art Festival brings together the community for a celebration of unity that fosters engagement across cultures and recognizes the diverse backgrounds of western Tennessee residents. jifaf.com

Southern Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival | September 23, Union City, TN

Whether you’re looking for a gift or to treat yourself, explore an array of options during this two-day event. Browse through the vendors displaying their handcrafted creations — including jewelry, pottery, glassware, wood carvings and more — both in the Natural History Gallery at the Discovery Center and outside on STEM Landing. The festival is included with park admission. tnvacation.com

Apple Harvest Festival | September 29, Ithaca, NY

Nothing says fall in central New York quite like the annual Apple Harvest Festival in Ithaca. The festival kicks off Cider Week New York with offerings that include apple-themed dishes from food trucks, a craft fair, live entertainment and more. downtownithaca.com

Octoberfest | September 30, Ludington, MI

Get a taste of German culture in downtown Ludington during the annual Octoberfest. Enjoy pub-crawl games on Friday night and a host of activities Saturday afternoon, including live music and yard games. Sample German-themed foods and cool down with craft beers in the plaza. downtownludington.org

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest | September 30-October 1, Port Elgin, ON

Grab some poutine and kettle corn from the food vendors and wonder at the giant vegetable weigh-offs at this year’s Pumpkinfest in downtown Port Elgin. Between the classic car show, the carnival games and
the petting zoo, the festival offers entertainment for all ages. pumpkinfest.org

Sugar Creek Arts Festival | September 30-October 1, Normal, IL

Explore three city blocks of art from more than 100 artists at the McLean County Arts Center’s annual festival. Artists across a variety of mediums display their work and welcome thousands to browse and shop. Two stages of live music and a variety of local restaurants add to the street fair atmosphere. sugarcreekartsfestival.org

Autumn Leaf Festival | September 30-October 8, Clarion, PA

This award-winning and long-standing event features “9 days of fun for the whole family,” complete with live entertainment, carnival rides, a parade and an antique tractor show. This year’s theme is “Groovin’ into Autumn.” clarionpa.com

Mountain State Forest Festival | September 30-October 8, Elkins, WV

Celebrate the vibrant autumn colors during one of West Virginia’s largest and oldest festivals. Taking place since 1930, the festivities embrace the best of the region and celebrate the season’s beauty, offering lumberjack contests, a talent show, carnival rides, forestry and wood exhibits, a juried art show, arts and crafts and more. forestfestival.com

OCTOBER

Seymour Oktoberfest | October 5-7, Seymour, IN

The annual Seymour Oktoberfest delivers a lineup of family fun, with contests, music, great food, a biergarten and more. The brat-eating contest calls for hungry volunteers, while the 5K run and baby contest both draw hundreds of participants each year. As the weekend closes out, Oktoberfest is proud to support the community by giving back to area nonprofits. seymouroktoberfest.com

Fall Foliage Train Ride | October 5-27, Nelsonville, OH

Climb aboard the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway for a two-hour tour to see the fall colors in southeast Ohio. On Thursdays and Fridays throughout October, extra train options are added in addition to the railway’s regular schedule, so more visitors have the chance to watch the falling leaves pass by. Cozy up inside the train or take in the scenery from an open-air car. hvsry.org

Headless Horseman Festival | October 5-29, Fishers, IN

On Thursdays through Sundays during the month of October, the Headless Horseman Festival is in full swing at Conner Prairie. With a cozy bed-and-breakfast right around the corner and a fun scarecrow contest, this festival promises a hearty serving of seasonal fun. connerprairie.org

Paul Bunyan Show | October 6-8, Cambridge, OH

The Paul Bunyan Show shares information on forest industries, natural resources and lifestyles through various educational exhibits, presentations, research and products. With roots dating back to 1957 in McArthur, Ohio, the event seeks to enhance the quality of life and market competitiveness of families, industries and communities. ohioforest.org

St. James Court Art Show | October 6-8, Historic Old Louisville, KY

Located in Historic Old Louisville, the St. James Court Art Show features over 600 artists among the largest collection of Victorian houses in the United States. With vendors on-site to purchase food from while out walking around, this event is a great way to spend a fall day. stjamescourtartshow.com 

Harpers Ferry Highland Games | October 7, Harpers Ferry, WV

Participate in an age-old Scottish tradition and competition that is welcoming to all who wish to experience Celtic heritage and culture. This outdoor experience is held at Sam Michaels Park and features vendors, live music and traditional games. harpersferrycelticculturesociety.com

Apple Festival of Kendallville | October 7-8, Kendallville, IN

Beginning in 1986, this festival quickly became a family favorite and draws an average of 70,000 visitors each year to the Noble County Fairgrounds. The event packs a punch with its large children’s area, demonstration buildings and Civil War encampment as it strives to entertain and educate visitors about American heritage. kendallvilleapplefestival.com

Autumn on Parade | October 7-8, Oregon, IL

Visit beautiful downtown Oregon for this annual fall festival. Named one of the best parades in northern Illinois, this festival also features live music, 180 homegrown and handmade goods in the famers market and craft show, a 5K run, tours of the historic Stronghold Castle and more. autumnonparade.org

Ellicottville Fall Festival
Ellicottville Fall Festival | October 7-8, Ellicottville, NY

The annual Fall Festival provides plenty of opportunities for fun at Holiday Valley. Make your way to downtown Ellicottville for live music, food and street vendors, and don’t miss your chance to take a ride on a Holiday Valley chairlift to soak in the fall colors, too. The resort also hosts the Fall Scramble 4- or 8-mile Trail Run. holidayvalley.com

Great Cortland Pumpkinfest | October 7-8, Cortland, NY

Held in the heart of downtown Cortland, New York, this pumpkin festival is worthy of a shoutout from Charlie Brown himself. Grab a bite to eat, check out locally made crafts and pick out the best pumpkins of the season at this beloved, volunteer-run local festival. cortlandpumpkinfest.org 

Heartland Apple Festival | October 7-8, Danville, IN

Beasley’s Orchard in Danville offers all sorts of apple-related and fall-fun activities. Pick your own apples, hop on a hayride and get lost in a corn maze. Feeling especially adventurous? Try your hand at hitting a bullseye with the apple cannons. visithendrickscounty.com

National Banana Pudding Festival | October 7-8, Centerville, TN

Get a taste of something sweet at Centerville’s RiverPark. The main event is the National Cook-Off for the Best Banana Pudding in America, but guests are also invited to sample puddings made by 10 local nonprofit organizations on the Pudding Path. Explore two stages of live entertainment, the Little Nanner’s Children’s Area, Banana Land and a variety of food and craft booths. bananapuddingfest.org

Philly Music Fest | October 9-15, Philadelphia, PA

Fans of all music genres will enjoy the Philly Music festival. In 2021, the event expanded to five nights and featured a lineup stacked with 19 Philadelphia bands, ranging from rock and hip-hop to pop and punk. Performances took place at five independent venues, including the Ardmore Music Hall and MilkBoy rock club. phillymusicfest.com

Charlevoix Apple Festival | October 13-15, Charlevoix, MI

A visit to Charlevoix during the Apple Festival tempts lovers of the fall season with more than just freshly harvested apples. Look around the farmers market and the Arts and Crafts Show for local produce, baked goods, gifts and more, and then warm up with a hot meal provided by local nonprofit organizations. visitcharlevoix.com 

Civil War Days | October 13-15, Columbus, KY

This annual event at Kentucky’s Columbus-Belmont State Park brings history to life with sutlers and food vendors as well as skilled re-enactors and a narrator during battle sequences on Saturday and Sunday. Friday includes a ghost walk, Saturday features a Civil War Ball, and Sunday activities include a memorial service at Columbus Cemetery. parks.ky.gov

Country Folk Art Craft Show | October 13-15, Syracuse, NY

The Country Folk Art Craft Show, held at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, offers a plethora of artisanal decorations and novelty treasures in a variety of styles and themes. Find an array of items from handmade candles to repurposed furniture throughout the course of the three-day event. Drinks and foods are featured, too. countryfolkart.com

Fort Ligonier Days | October 13-15, Ligonier, PA

Fort Ligonier Days brings visitors to the quaint town of Ligonier to commemorate a key battle of the French and Indian War on Oct. 12, 1758. This three-day event covers historic battle re-enactments, juried crafts, music entertainment, a parade and a 5K. fortligonierdays.com

Oxford Renaissance Festival | October 13-15, Dorchester, ON

Discover a time of knights and royalty with a weekend of jousts, theater and live entertainment. Buy a costume or souvenir from artisan vendors, try your hand at archery and have a drink at the pub as you enjoy live music. After grabbing food from a themed vendor, catch acrobatic and comic performances. oxfordrenfest.com

Taste of Our Towns | October 14, Lewisburg, WV

Prepare your taste buds for Lewisburg’s annual Taste of Our Towns. Gather in the historic downtown to sample food from local restaurants, civic clubs and nonprofit organizations. The festival also features local shops, live entertainment on multiple stages, children’s activities, traveling performers and more. carnegiehallwv.org

Circleville Pumpkin Show | October 18-21, Circleville, OH

Head to south-central Ohio, where the streets of Circleville are transformed into a pumpkin lover’s paradise. Enjoy pumpkin treats in every form — including ice cream, doughnuts, muffins, pie and even sloppy joes. Other festivities include multiple parades, the Miss Pumpkin Show pageant and the largest-pumpkin contest. pumpkinshow.com

Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival | October 20-22, Coshocton, OH

The 51st Annual Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival in Historic Roscoe Village features nearly 100 craft and food vendors and the delicious scent of fresh, simmering apple butter. Shop local artisans, experience living history with tours and demonstrations, enjoy a canal boat ride, and listen to the sounds of bluegrass and folk music. roscoevillage.com

Salt Festival | October 20-22, Union, KY

Centered around pioneer culture before the Civil War, Big Bone Lick State Historic Site invites visitors on a trip to the past during this annual festival featuring re-enactments from the era such as salt-making, blacksmithing demonstrations and Native American drum circles, as well as modern activities including a petting zoo. parks.ky.gov

Bourbon and Brewfest | October 21, Bowling Green, KY

This one-day festival brings thousands of people to Bowling Green to share in the celebration of Kentucky’s breweries and distilleries. The festival features numerous bourbons and craft beers that attendees can sample in a fun and safe environment. Bourbon and Brewfest retail vendors offer pop-up shops with brew-related items to take home with you. bgbrewfest.com

Bridge Day
Bridge Day | October 21, Fayetteville, WV

Take a leap of faith and get in on the action at West Virginia’s largest single-day festival and extreme sports event. Located along the New River Gorge Bridge, spectators get the chance to walk across the bridge and soak in the views, while also watching as rappelers descend from the catwalk and BASE jumpers dive 876 feet into the gorge. officialbridgeday.com

October Sky Festival | October 21, Oliver Springs, TN

As the filming location for the 1999 movie “October Sky,” this town celebrates the inspiring film each year and raises money for the Oliver Springs Historical Society Museum with an event featuring up to 100 vendors and a rocket launch, which is always a crowd favorite. Visitors are also able to tour historic homes built during the Civil War era. octoberskyfestivaltn.org

West Virginia Book Festival | October 21, Charleston, WV

Calling all book lovers! This event is free and open to the public, with writing workshops, family activities and presentations by bestselling national, local and regional authors, including headliners Colson Whitehead, Jon Scieszka, Josh Malerman, Eric Eyre and Denise Giardina. On Saturday, the used-book sale and literary marketplace offer perfect opportunities to connect with other passionate readers. wvbookfestival.org

Woolly Worm Festival | October 21-22, Beattyville, KY

Celebrate the worm said to determine the severity of winter at the Wooly Worm Festival in downtown Beattyville. This three-day event gives Groundhog Day a run for its money, featuring a pet show, parade and car show as well as wooly worm races. The champion wooly worm of the weekend is the sole predictor of this year’s winter weather. heartofthekentuckyriver.com

76th Annual Irvington Halloween Festival | October 21-28 Indianapolis, IN

This festival dates back to Oct. 31, 1927, when the Indianapolis Military Band led a parade of costumed children and adults down Washington Street. Today, travelers, residents, neighborhood organizations and local businesses alike converge for a fun-filled celebration, featuring a street fair with 250 vendors and artists, a costume parade, costume contests, a masquerade ball, a zombie bike ride and music. irvingtonhalloween.com

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival | October 25-29, Sycamore, IL

From the opening cake-cutting ceremony to the grand Sunday parade, experience this year’s theme, “Pumpkins of History.”  Over 1,000 decorated pumpkins adorn the courthouse lawn, surrounded by two indoor craft shows, two carnivals and an array of nonprofit vendors. sycamorepumpkinfestival.com

Mackinac Island’s Halloween Weekend | October 27-29, Mackinac Island, MI

Celebrate Halloween early on Mackinac Island. The weekend features trick-or-treating downtown for kids, costume parties for adults and a haunted trail and maze for everyone to enjoy. Visitors are also invited to participate in the annual Great Turtle Run through the island’s trails. mackinacisland.org 

Detroit Fall Beer Festival | October 28, Detroit, MI

Sip craft beers from Michigan breweries in the historic Eastern Market. Grab food from Detroit restaurants and enjoy performances from stellar local musicians while surrounded by malt silos with decades of brewing history. mibeer.com

Pumpkinfest | October 28, Franklin, TN

Williamson County’s 36th annual Pumpkinfest fills Main Street in downtown Franklin with lots of autumn fun, including seasonal food and drinks, live music, a pumpkin patch, a costume parade and costume contests for both families and pets alike. williamsonheritage.org

NOVEMBER

Christmas in the Country | November 2-5, Hamburg, NY

Celebrate the season of giving at the annual Christmas in the Country craft event. Located at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, the event has a history of giving back to the community by supporting nonprofits such as Variety The Children’s Charity of Buffalo, while also providing attendees the opportunity to find unique artisanal goods. wnypremierpromotions.com

Rochester Children’s Book Festival | November 4, Rochester, NY

Rochester’s Children’s Book Festival is the perfect event for families and children who love to read. Celebrate reading and writing by meeting with approximately 50 authors and illustrators. Purchase signed books, make book-related crafts and attend a variety of presentations for all ages. rcbfestival.com 

Peddler's Village Apple Festival | November 4-5, New Hope, PA

The annual Peddler’s Village Apple Festival offers a continuous stream of live entertainment, family attractions and activities, and a large selection of apple-flavored food and drinks. Located in the greater Philadelphia region, the outdoor festival provides two days of rain-or-shine fun with free admission. peddlersvillage.com

Festival of Lights | November 4-January 31, Grand Rivers, KY

Head to Patti's 1880s Settlement and Grand River's downtown to see over 750,000 lights. The lights are illuminated daily after dusk. The annual tradition promises "lights, lights and more lights" and makes for a magical atmosphere for residents. kentuckytourism.com

Shaw Festival Presents “A Christmas Carol” | November 5-December 23, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Among the many theater options the cozy town of Niagara-on-the-Lake offers, don’t miss the classic tale “A Christmas Carol.” Grab a ticket and be transported to Victorian England and back in an evening of ghosts and Christmas joy. shawfest.com

Winter Festival of Lights | November 9-January 8, Wheeling, WV

Experience this time-honored tradition at Oglebay. Beginning in 1985, the Winter Festival of Lights has grown into one of the nation’s largest holiday light shows, covering more than 300 acres over a 6-mile drive. Families can view 90 lighted attractions, including favorites such as the animated snowflake and rainbow tunnels. wheelingcvb.com

Pigeon Forge Winterfest | November 9-February 18, Pigeon Forge, TN

Experience the beauty of a winter wonderland in eastern Tennessee. With various events, shows, theater performances, parades and light tours throughout Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, the Smoky Mountains shine with months of winter family fun. pigeonforgewinterfest.com

Christmas at Gaylord Opryland | November 11-January 1, Nashville, TN

A winter wonderland awaits at Gaylord Opryland with the signature attraction, “Ice!”, featuring favorite holiday stories presented in more than 2 million pounds of hand-carved blocks. This year’s lineup includes ice-skating shows and lessons, ice tubing, carriage rides, Christmas lights and fountain shows. christmasatgaylordopryland.marriott.com

Winter Festival of Lights | November 12-February 20, Niagara Falls, ON

The 39th annual Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights is Canada’s largest free outdoor illumination festival. Featuring more than 50 displays of Canadian wildlife, illuminated trees, light shows, dazzling tunnels and more, experience 3 million enchanting lights along the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and across the falls. wfol.com

People cheers-ing at Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival
Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival | November 16-18, Grand Rapids, MI

Treat your taste buds to world-class selections of food and drink from west Michigan-area chefs as well as delicacies from around the world at the Midwest’s largest wine, beer and food festival. Visitors can also enjoy live music at local venues such as The Vineyard, Beer City Station, RendezBREW cafe and more. experiencegr.com

Christkindlmarkt | November 17-December 17, Bethlehem, PA

Celebrate the spirit of the season in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, at Christkindlmarkt. This event is recognized as one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. and features handmade artisan works and festive fun. This year will highlight Käthe Wohlfahrt, offering handmade ornaments, nutcrackers and collectibles from Germany. christmascity.org

Cheekwood Holiday Lights | November 17-January 7, Nashville, TN

Reservations are required for this spectacular display of 1 million lights. Since 2016, visitors have been coming here for s’mores stations, poinsettia displays and art exhibits while celebrating the holiday season. Guests are encouraged to explore the event at their own pace while basking in the festive lights. cheekwood.org

People walking through tunnel at Wildlightss
Wildlights | November 17-January 7, Columbus, OH

Take a winter walk on the wild side at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium during Wildlights, when the zoo is illuminated by millions of lights. In addition to strolling through the animal exhibits after dark, families can also enjoy a light show on the water featuring twinkling bulbs, timed holiday music and festive decor. columbuszoo.org

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo | November 17-January 7, Chicago, IL

As more than 2 million lights transform the Lincoln Park Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland, families can enjoy holiday crafts and activities, musical light shows, a light maze, ice sculpture demonstrations, carnival rides and a visit from Mr. Claus himself in addition to exploring all the animal habitats. lpzoo.org

Brighton Holiday Glow and Christmas Market | November 18, Brighton, MI

Kick off the holiday season with Brighton’s light displays and activities for the whole family. As you play games, listen to performers and enjoy food-truck fare, don’t forget to take a picture with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the reindeer. The Christmas Market returns this year to Main Street. brightoncoc.org

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival | November 18, Chicago, IL

Returning to dazzle the streets of Chicago again this year is the annual holiday lights festival along the Windy City’s Magnificent Mile. Enjoy a parade of over 40 floats led by grand marshals Mickey and Minnie Mouse, all the way from Disney World. After the sun goes down, lights begin to twinkle in the trees and ring in the holiday season. themagnificentmile.com

Carmel Christkindlmarkt
Carmel Christkindlmarkt | November 18-December 24, Carmel, IN

Experience the old-world charm of Christmas in Germany. Browse more than 50 wooden huts selling authentic products imported from Germany, like wooden toys, nutcrackers, music boxes and ornaments. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt hosts world-renowned woodworkers from the Erzgebirge region, who share their craft and culture through demonstrations. carmelchristkindlmarkt.com

Candy Land Gone to the Birds | November 18-January 1, Kirtland, OH

This indoor holiday attraction features fun for the whole family, bringing the “Candy Land” game to life with a wild birding adventure. Enjoy displays, scavenger hunts, hands-on exhibits and much more. lakemetroparks.com

A Merry Prairie Holiday | November 24-December 22, Fishers, IN

During one of central Indiana’s most beloved holiday festivals, families can experience a number of activities and events. Walk through the grounds and see the Reynolds Christmas Lights display, gift wrap with Santa’s elves in the North Pole workshop, slide down the Polar Bear Plunge, ride on the Kringle Carousel, and then take the kids to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. connerprairie.org

ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum | November 24-December 30, Petersburg, KY

For those in need of some Christmas spirit, look no further than ChristmasTown. Every Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. starting Nov. 24, check out the twinkling lights, indoor nativity and more at this free event. creationmuseum.org/christmas

Southern Lights Holiday Festival | November 24-December 31, Lexington, KY

Take the 3-mile driving tour to see over a million dazzling lights during this beloved 29th annual display at the Kentucky Horse Park. Tickets are $25 per carload, and after the drive, visitors can experience the stunning Holiday Village, featuring photos with Santa, Animal Land, model trains and more. khpfoundation.org

Holly Dickens Festival | November 25-December 10, Holly, MI

Travel back to Victorian England and celebrate the time of author Charles Dickens at this historic holiday festival. Follow the scents of hot chocolate and roasting chestnuts through unique shops and cozy diners. Watch choirs and street-theater performances while riding through the historic downtown in a horse-drawn carriage. Be sure to keep an eye out for Scrooge and Tiny Tim. hollydickensfestival.org

Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show | November 29-December 3, Harrisburg, PA

Enjoy the sights, sounds and feelings of the holidays at Harrisburg’s 38th annual Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show. The event gets festive with choral groups, dance troupes and decorated trees, while visitors are welcomed to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts. pachristmasshow.com

Glow Christmas Toronto | Late November to Early December, Toronto, ON

Feel the warmth of the holiday season at this indoor festival, where visitors can explore light displays themed from around the world, enjoy a selection of food and drink, and shop from local artisans and vendors while listening to live music. Kids will want to catch a ride on Glen the Glow-comotive and meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus. glowgardens.com

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill | Late November to Late December, Clifton, OH

For more than 30 years, Historic Clifton Mill has been ringing in the holiday season with millions of glowing lights across the property. Breathtaking views include the waterfall of lights cascading over the mill and riverbank. After the light tour, visitors can watch Santa prepare gifts in his workshop before taking them out to his sleigh. cliftonmill.com

DECEMBER

Geneva Holiday House Tour | December 1-2, Geneva, IL

On Friday and Saturday, visitors are welcomed into five festive Geneva homes that are decked in holiday splendor by local decorators. Take a self-guided tour of the unique properties to explore the fascinating creations and get into the spirit of the season. genevachamber.com

A Quilted Christmas
A Quilted Christmas | December 1-2, Bell Buckle, TN

Bundle up for the Quilted Christmas Quilt Walk. Pick up a map at the pavilion before exploring 10 stops around downtown that feature both vintage and new quilts that are locally made in Bell Buckle and the surrounding areas. Some notable features include a quilt made in 1870, a Victorian crazy quilt, Quilts of Valor and some of Mildred Locke’s quilts. bellbucklechamber.com

Bright Lights Windsor | December 1-January 7, Windsor, ON

Winter seems to have less of a chill under the canopy of rainbow lights at Windsor’s annual Christmas-season exhibition. Trees covered in lights illuminate the winding path dotted with glowing reindeer, geese and moose. Listen to Christmas carols from the comfort of a mini train car while chugging past snowmen and a towering Christmas tree. facebook.com/brightlightswindsor

Holiday Lights at Buffalo Trace Distillery | December 1-January 1, Frankfort, KY

Want to check out beautiful holiday lights without leaving the car? Enjoy Buffalo Trace Distillery’s holiday light display from the comfort of your automobile every night of the month in December (and New Year’s Day) from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. buffalotracedistillerycom

Holly Days | December 2, Valparaiso, IN

Located in downtown Valparaiso, this festival celebrates the holiday season with music in the amphitheater, ice sculpting and caroling for the whole family to enjoy. Local businesses join the festivities by decorating their store windows with holiday designs, and the tree lighting ensures a hometown Christmas feel. valparaisoevents.com

Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival | December 8-9, Fairmont, WV

Based on the 2005 graphic novel of the same name by Marion County, West Virginia, native Robert “Bob” Tinnel, the Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival is chock full of annual traditions celebrated by those of Italian heritage during the holiday season. marioncvb.com

Olde Tyme Christmas | Early to Mid December, Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, WV

For two weekends, celebrate a traditional Christmas with a walk down the towns’ beautifully decorated streets. Established in 1971, the experience features horse-drawn wagon rides, a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a shopping excursion at the Handmade Holiday Market, live entertainment and activities for the whole family. harpersferryotc.com 

An Old Kentucky Christmas Carol | Early to Mid December, Bardstown, KY

For three weekends, fans of Charles Dickens’ holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol, have a chance to live the journey of Ebenezer Scrooge through a retelling of the tale at the 200-year-old My Old Kentucky Home mansion. After hearing from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, visitors can enjoy cookies, hot cider and a meet and greet with Santa. mokhshop.com

Bellefonte Under the Lights Winter Market | December 10, Bellefonte, PA

The European-style, open-air market features approximately 70 skilled makers and artisan vendors, as well as food and beverage vendors. Enjoy the glowing lights, listen to live music, sip on a craft beverage while you shop, warm up in the tent and attend story time and crafts with the kids. downtownbellefonteinc.com

Lake George Area Winterfest | Late December to Mid March, Lake George, NY

This family-focused festival promises wintry activities like snow tubing, alpine skiing, dog sled riding and ax throwing — guests can choose one of these exciting opportunities with the purchase of a Winterfest wristband. Everyone is welcome to take a horse drawn carriage and enjoy some winter wonderland transportation! After some time in the cold, visitors can warm up at local shops with various hot chocolate stations dotting the property. lakegeorgewinterfest.com

JANUARY

Niagara Icewine Festival | January, Niagara Region, ON

Discover the craft of producing ice wine on three weekends throughout January. Visit different wineries across the region for entertainment such as ice sculptures and a cocktail competition. The festival also provides opportunities to learn how the unique dessert wine is made and sample a variety of flavors. destinationontario.com 

Alton Eagle Ice Festival | January 6, Alton, IL

As American Bald Eagles flock to Illinois for the winter, celebrate our national bird with an eagle-watching shuttle tour and an eagle meet and greet photo session. After eating s’mores, sampling food truck fare and watching live ice-carving, visit the National Great Rivers Museum to learn about eagles from experts, make crafts and spot eagle nests. riversandroutes.com

Marietta Ice Festival | Mid January, Marietta, OH

Enjoy nearly 20 intricate ice sculptures in this historic river town. The event features live ice-sculpture carving and offers opportunities for shopping and dining. Thousands of tourists and locals flock to this annual happening, making it a true Marietta favorite. mariettamainstreet.org

Logan Frozen Festival | January 20, Logan, OH

Embrace Ohio’s chilly season and stop by downtown Logan to be transported to a winter wonderland of family fun. This seventh annual festival features more than 25 ice sculptures, ice-sculpting demonstrations, themed games like ice skeeball, live music and food trucks featuring local restaurants and vendors. As a bonus, Hocking Hills State Park hosts its annual winter hike on the morning of the festival. explorehockinghills.com

Winterfest | January 25-28, Grand Haven, MI

Experience everything snowy and cozy during this four-day festival. Build and race your own cardboard sled, pull on your pajamas for the Sleepwalker Run and warm up with cider, beer and hot chocolate at the Bonfire Bash. Kids can participate in a snow angel contest, and the whole family can cheer each other on during the family dog pull. grandhavenwinterfest.org