57th Street Art Fair | June 1-2, 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.

Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series Race | June 1-2, Madison, IL

Start your engines, get revved up and enjoy this classic American motorsport at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200, as well as the Cup Series practice and qualifying races, will take place on Saturday, leading up to the main event — the 300 NASCAR Cup Series — on Sunday. 

Railbird Festival | June 1-2, Lexington, KY

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.

Troy Strawberry Festival | June 1-2, 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.

Duncan Hines Days | June 3-9, Bowling Green, KY

This event celebrates the namesake creator of one of the most popular baking-mix brands. Born in Bowling Green in 1880, Duncan Hines went on to become a traveling salesman and restaurant reviewer. Today, his hometown honors his legacy with a week filled with specialty southern Kentucky foods, desserts, drinks, live concerts and more. Be sure to tour the Duncan Hines scenic byway while you’re in town.

Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival | June 6-9, Frankenmuth, MI

Head to Frankenmuth to celebrate German heritage, partake in German food, listen to authentic Bavarian music and watch the local schuhplattler dancing troupe, Da Frankenmuda Fratz’n, perform throughout the festival. Stick around through Sunday for the parade featuring marching bands, decorated floats, the newly crowned Bavarian Princess and dozens of entertainers.

Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival & Contest | June 8, 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.

Allentown Art Festival | June 8-9, Buffalo, NY

This 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.

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival | June 7-16, Mackinac Island, MI

With the theme of “Mackinac In Bloom,” the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival returns 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.

North by Northeast Festival | June 12-16, 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,

Grant Park Music Festival | June 12-August 17, 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.

Almost Heaven BBQ Bash | June 13-15, Buckhannon, WV

Nothing says summer quite like a barbecue competition. Top-rated Kansas City Barbecue Society teams converge in Buckhannon, West Virginia, to face off. While the backyard-barbecue competition is taking place, attendees can browse wares from local artists or enjoy family-friendly activities such as face painting, games and contests. While you’re there, be sure to fuel up at one of the many food vendors that line the streets.

New York State Blues Festival | June 13-15, 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 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.

FestivALL | June 14-23, 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.

Celtic Fest and Highland Games | June 15, 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.

Memphis Water Lantern Festival | June 15, Memphis, TN

Dreams, hope and happiness are illuminated at this family-friendly event featuring food trucks, music and an assortment of activities. Visitors can decorate their own lanterns to prepare for the evening launch, which creates a beautiful spectacle of thousands of paper lanterns floating across the surface of the water.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration | June 15-August 11, Pigeon Forge, TN

Experience family-friendly summer fun at the world-famous Dollywood in Pigeon Forge during this summer-long event celebrating the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Throughout the season, visitors can immerse themselves in the colorful expanse of technicolor trees and kites that decorate the park, take a spin on the park’s rides and roller coasters, watch mesmerizing drone and fireworks shows and more.

Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration | June 20-30 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 over 50 years, the Indiana Black Expo has empowered individuals through education, events and hands-on initiatives to celebrate and strengthen African American communities.

Person performing on stage at Toronto Jazz Fest in Toronto, Ontario (photo by Flee Normality)

Toronto Jazz Fest | June 21-30, Toronto, ON

Each year, approximately 500,000 people head to Toronto for this highly anticipated outdoor music festival. During this 10-day-long event, 1,500 jazz musicians from around the world come to play music throughout the city. Headlining the festival is Lake Street Dive, a four-person band based out of Boston.

Carillon Park Rail Festival | June 22-23, Dayton, OH

Train lovers unite at this two-day, family-fun train event in Dayton featuring free miniature train rides, model train displays, historical displays, rail vendors, live steam engines and train merchandise. This two-day festival complements Carillon Historical Park’s rail-themed artifacts, many of which can be found in the James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center.

National Cherry Festival | June 29-July 6, Traverse City, MI

Rich with history, this nationally recognized event returns to Traverse City. 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.

Kutztown Folk Festival | June 29-July 7, 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.

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.


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.

Annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival | July 4, 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.

Great Blue Heron Music Festival | July 5-6, Sherman, NY

For the first time in three years, the Great Blue Heron Music Festival will return to Sherman in full production, with live performances on all three of its main stages. The festival features performances from regional and national artists contributing an eclectic mix of musical genres ranging from funk to Americana to Celtic.

Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree | July 5-6, 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. Rocks the Park | July 10-13, London, ON

A staple of London’s summer celebrations for 18 years, Rocks the Park features world-class artists along the Thames River in Harris Park. This event integrates different genres on different nights to appeal to a range of preferences and offers a variety musical acts.

Pittsburgh Black Music Festival | July 11-13, Pittsburgh, PA

Enjoy three full days of some of the best music the Steel City has to offer. This festival is free to the public and pays homage to Pittsburgh’s rich jazz heritage. The city that brought the world acts like George Benson, Art Stanley and Stanley Turentine now hosts the next generation of great jazz artists.

People holding barbecue dishes at Windy City Smokeout in Chicago, Illinois (photo by Lindsay Eberly)

Windy City Smokeout | July 11-24, Chicago, IL

Barbecue, country music and beer come together in Chicago at this four-day festival, creating the perfect recipe for fun at the peak of summer. Headlining musical artists include Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Cody Johnson and Carrie Underwood. Festivalgoers can enjoy an extensive lineup of beer and barbecue from some of the world’s best pitmasters.

Breyerfest | July 12-14, Lexington, KY

Hitch up your saddle and head to Lexington for this festival featuring three days of equine fun. View collections of handcrafted Breyer model horses and the real-life animals that inspire them. Other activities include live demonstrations, meet-and-greets with the horses and their owners, workshops and more. Visitors can also shop for their own Breyer model horse to take home.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair | July 12-14, 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.

Three Rivers Festival | July 12-20, Fort Wayne, IN

Since 1969, this festival in Fort Wayne has drawn nearly half a million visitors to the confluence of the St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s and Maumee rivers. From the Children’s Fest to the Young at Heart Senior Fest, this nine-day event has something fun for all ages. Other highlights of the festival include a parade, an artist showcase, river excursions and a two-day international village street fair.

Taste of Buffalo | July 13-14, 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.

Ann Arbor Art Fair | July 18-20, 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.

Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance | July 18-21, Trumansburg, NY

The 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.

Discover Presque Isle | July 22-28, Erie, PA

As Discover Presque Isle enters its 30th year, the weeklong event continues to invite community members to uncover everything the park has to offer. Funds raised during this event go toward supporting Presque Isle Partnership projects, which aim to improve the park and its amenities, preserve its history and create more opportunities for education.

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix | July 25-28, Pittsburgh, PA

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.

The Big Stomp Music Festival | July 26-27, Louisville, KY

Join the city of Louisville in its mission toward mindfulness at this two-day music festival dedicated to destigmatizing mental health. This event aims to educate audience members about this important topic while entertaining through music that ranges from bluegrass to electronica. Attendees can also check out the festival’s mocktail lounge, a curated bookmobile, a tranquil Zen den and much more.

Upper Ohio Valley Italian Heritage Festival | July 26-29, Wheeling, WV

Throughout this three-day-long festival in Wheeling, attendees can enjoy over 40 live entertainment acts on the main stage, shop from vendors, participate in the bocce tournament and see traditional Italian entertainment. What sets this event apart is the festival scholarship program, which has distributed over $250,000 in awards to college-bound students in the area since 1983.

Canandaigua Lakefront Art Show | July 27-28, 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.

People walking in gardens during Garden Walk Buffalo in Buffalo, New York (photo by Jim Charlier)

Garden Walk Buffalo | July 27-28, Buffalo, NY

Featuring more than 300 walkable private and public gardens with displays of outdoor kitchens, koi ponds or even an urban putting green, this event is the largest self-guided garden tour in the country. The event draws thousands of garden lovers each year and invites them to tour the streets of Buffalo’s Elmwood Village and Parkside neighborhoods.

Geneva Arts Fair | July 27-28, 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.


Gen Con Indy | August 1-4, Indianapolis, IN

For over 50 years, this large-scale event held in Indiana’s capital city has invited visitors to explore and discover the fun world of tabletop gaming. As the largest tabletop-game convention in North America, this event hosts a variety of entertaining offerings for attendees, such as game-innovation showcases, expert panels, a playtest hall where guests can experiment with different prototype games, and more.

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival | August 1-4, 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.

Drone photo of The Skaneateles Festival in Skaneateles, New York (photo by SkanDrone)

The Skaneateles Festival | August 1-31, Skaneateles, NY

This monthlong music festival welcomes visitors from across the United States to experience a lineup of world-class music performances in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Musicians featured at the festival range from Grammy Award-winning artists to up-and-coming performers, and their musical offerings span a variety of instruments and genres.

Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival | August 2-3, Logan, OH

The annual celebration of this mythical monster is making its return to southeast Ohio for the third year in a row. Embrace all things sasquatch at this summer festival with live music, art, family-friendly events, food vendors and six live presentations. Stick around in the evening to try and catch a glimpse of Bigfoot himself as the sunlight fades away.

Dublin Irish Festival | August 2-4, Dublin, OH

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.

Annual Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival | August 5, Port Colborne, ON

This four-day celebration draws crowds of roughly 300,000 people to Port Colborne and the Greater Niagara Falls region to learn about and celebrate the history and heritage of the Welland Canal. Visitors can enjoy a variety of family-friendly events such as outdoor car shows, indoor craft shows, games, entertainment and more.

National Blueberry Festival | August 8-11, 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. 

Tomato Art Festival Nashville | August 9-10, 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.

Flag City BalloonFest | August 9-11, 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.

Heritage Music BluesFest | August 9-11, 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.

Tour di Via Italia | August 10, Windsor, ON

The oldest historical street race in Ontario, the Tour di Via Italia bicycle race has been hosted on the same Erie Street circuit in Windsor’s Little Italy since 1958. Racers come from across North America with the hopes of receiving the largest prize purse in Ontario. Fans can watch this race from the comfort of restaurants or cafe patios.

Chicago Air and Water Show | August 10-11, 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.

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.

Illuminated balloons reflected in water at Centralia Balloon Fest in Centralia, Illinois (photo courtesy of Centralia Balloon Fest)

Centralia Balloon Fest | August 16, Centralia, IL

Dozens of brightly colored hot air balloons fill the evening skies of Centralia during this event, creating a dazzling spectacle for festival attendees. Starting at 5:30 p.m., a Veterans Freedom Flight takes place at Foundation Park followed by a balloon glow starting at 7:30 p.m. For a unique opportunity, visitors can experience tethered balloon rides until 10 p.m.

60th Annual Danish Festival | August 16-18, Greenville, MI

Since 1965, Greenville has been celebrating its rich Danish heritage, with over 55,000 people attending this festival each year to enjoy parades, artisans, food and live music. Be sure not to miss the Tivoli Gardens, a beer and entertainment tent that is one of the festival’s most popular events.

Canadian National Exhibition | August 16-September 2, 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.

People cheering while holding beers at Mountaineer Brewfest in Wheeling, West Virginia (photo courtesy of Mountaineer Brewfest)

Mountaineer Brewfest | August 17, Wheeling, WV

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, beer lovers can sample a wide variety of locally crafted brews during the 10th annual Mountaineer Brewfest in Wheeling. Along with local craft and microbreweries, festivalgoers can expand their palates by tasting offerings from local food vendors. To complete the mountaineer experience, musicians will be taking the stage to entertain with live music all day long.

Mackinac Island Fudge Festival | August 23-25, Mackinac Island, MI

Billing itself as the “Fudge Capital of the World,” Mackinac Island hosts this three-day festival to celebrate the city’s famous sweet treat. Festivalgoers can enjoy freshly made fudge, watch fudge-making demonstrations, indulge in fudge-inspired food and cocktails and enjoy an outdoor movie screening as well as other family-friendly activities.

West Virginia State Honey Festival | August 24-25, 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.

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival | August 29-31, 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.

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.


Tecumseh! | Through September 1, 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.

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival | September 6-8, Marietta, OH

From car shows and pageants to live music and fireworks, Marietta’s Ohio River Sternwheel Festival offers a wide variety of activities for families and friends. Located in the Buckeye State’s oldest city, this three-day festival draws over 100,000 people each year looking to catch a glimpse of the 30 to 35 authentic sternwheel boats that line the riverbank.

Festival of Balloons | Early September 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.

All Hallows' Eve Terror Town | Early September, 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.

Canada’s Largest Ribfest | Early September, 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.

WorldFest 2023 | Early September, 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 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.

Erie’s Wild Rib Cook Off & Music Festival | Early September, 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.

Peach dessert with whipped cream at Niagara County Peach Festival in Lewiston, Ontario (photo courtesy of Niagara County Peach Festival)

Niagara County Peach Festival | Early September, 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.

Pekin Marigold Festival | Early September, Pekin, IL

Celebrate this classic Midwestern festival at the Mineral Springs Park Lagoon, which offers something for the whole family such as 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.

Toronto International Film Festival | Early to Mid September, 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.

LUMA Projection Arts Festival | Early September, 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.

Nicholas County Potato Festival | Early September, 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.

Festival of the Vine | Early September, 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.

German folk dancers at Frankenmuth Oktoberfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan (photo courtesy of Frankenmuth Oktoberfest)

Frankenmuth Oktoberfest | Mid September, 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.

Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival | Mid September, 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.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival | Mid September, 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.

Country-A-Fair | Mid September, 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.

Frankenfest | Mid September, 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.

Johnny Appleseed Festival | Mid September, 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.

Mothman Festival | Mid September, 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.

Nashville Pumpkin Festival | Mid September to Late October, 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.

Pink Palace Craft Fair | Late September, Memphis, TN

Celebrate history at the 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. 

Balloons Over Bay Harbor | Late September, 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. 

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest | Late September to Mid October, 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. 

Jackson International Food & Art Festival | Late September, 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.

Southern Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival | Late September, 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.

Apple Harvest Festival | Late September, 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.

Octoberfest | Late September, 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.

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest | Late September to Early October, 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.

Sugar Creek Arts Festival | Late September to Early October, 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.

Autumn Leaf Festival | Late September to Early October, Clarion, PA

This award-winning and long-standing event features fun for the whole family, complete with live entertainment, carnival rides, a parade and an antique tractor show.

Mountain State Forest Festival | Late September to Early October, 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.


Seymour Oktoberfest | Early October, 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.

Fall Foliage Train Ride | Early to Late October, 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.

Headless Horseman Festival | Early to Late October, 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.

Paul Bunyan Show | Early October, 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.

St. James Court Art Show | Early October, 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.

Man competing in Harpers Ferry Highland Games in Harpers Ferry, West Viriginia (photo courtesy of Harpers Ferry Highland Games)

Harpers Ferry Highland Games | Early October, 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.

Apple Festival of Kendallville | Early October, 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.

Autumn on Parade | Early October, 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.

Ellicottville Fall Festival | Early October, 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.

Great Cortland Pumpkinfest | Early October, 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.

Dad and son using apple cannon at Heartland Apple Festival in Danville, Indiana (photo courtesy of Heartland Apple Festival)

Heartland Apple Festival | Early October, 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.

National Banana Pudding Festival | Early October, 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.

Philly Music Fest | Early to Mid October, 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.

Charlevoix Apple Festival | Mid October, 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. 

Civil War Days | Mid October, 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.

Country Folk Art Craft Show | Mid October, 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.

Fort Ligonier Days | Mid October, 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.

Oxford Renaissance Festival | Mid October, 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.

Taste of Our Towns | Mid October, 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.

Circleville Pumpkin Show | Mid to Late October, 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.

Apple Butter Stirrin’ Festival | Late October, 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.

Salt Festival | Late October, 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.

Bourbon and Brewfest | Late October, 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.

Bridge Day | Late October, 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.

October Sky Festival | Late October, 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.

West Virginia Book Festival | Late October, 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.

Woolly Worm Festival | Late October, Beattyville, KY

Celebrate the worm said to determine the severity of winter at the Woolly 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.

76th Annual Irvington Halloween Festival | Late October, 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.

Carriage with pumpkin driver and horse at Sycamore Pumpkin Festival in Sycamore, Illinois (photo courtesy of Sycamore Pumpkin Festival)

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival | Late October, 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.

Mackinac Island’s Halloween Weekend | Late October, 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. 

Detroit Fall Beer Festival | Late October, 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.

Pumpkinfest | Late October, Franklin, TN

Williamson County’s 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.


Christmas in the Country | Early November, 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.

Rochester Children’s Book Festival | Early November, 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. 

Peddler's Village Apple Festival | Early November, 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.

Festival of Lights | Early November to Late January, 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.

Performance of “A Christmas Carol” at Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario (photo by David Cooper)

Shaw Festival Presents “A Christmas Carol” | Early November to Late December, 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.

Winter Festival of Lights | Early November 9 to Early January, 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.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest | Early November to Mid February, 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.

Christmas lights display at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee (photo courtesy of Gaylord Opryland)

Christmas at Gaylord Opryland | Mid November to Early January, 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.

Winter Festival of Lights | Mid November to Late February, Niagara Falls, ON

The 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.

Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer and Food Festival | Mid November, 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.

Christkindlmarkt | Mid November to Mid December, 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.

Cheekwood Holiday Lights | Mid November to Early January, 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.

Wildlights | Mid November to Early January, 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.

ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo | Mid November to Early January, 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.

Brighton Holiday Glow and Christmas Market | Mid November, 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.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival | Mid November, 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.

Carmel Christkindlmarkt | Mid November to Late December, 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.

Candy Land Gone to the Birds | Mid November to Early January, 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.

A Merry Prairie Holiday | Late November to Late December, 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.

People walking in illuminated light display at ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky (photo courtesy of the Creation Museum)

ChristmasTown at the Creation Museum | Late November to Late December, 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., check out the twinkling lights, indoor nativity and more at this free event.

Southern Lights Holiday Festival | Late November to Late December, Lexington, KY

Take the 3-mile driving tour to see over a million dazzling lights during this beloved 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.

Group of costumed performers at Holly Dickens Festival in Holly, Michigan (photo by Cheryl Tessens)

Holly Dickens Festival | Late November to Early December, 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.

Pennsylvania Christmas & Gift Show | Late November to Early December, Harrisburg, PA

Enjoy the sights, sounds and feelings of the holidays at Harrisburg’s 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.

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.

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.


Geneva Holiday House Tour | Early December, Geneva, IL

Visitors are welcomed into five festive Geneva homes that are decked in holiday splendor by local decorators during this festive event. Take a self-guided tour of the unique properties to explore the fascinating creations and get into the spirit of the season.

A Quilted Christmas | Early December, 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.

Bright Lights Windsor | Early December to Early January, 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.

Holiday Lights at Buffalo Trace Distillery | Early December to Early January, 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 | Early December, 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.

Feast of the Seven Fishes Festival | Early December, 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.

Bellefonte Under the Lights Winter Market | Early December, 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.

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. 

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.

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.


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. 

Alton Eagle Ice Festival | Early January, 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.

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.

Logan Frozen Festival | Late January, 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.

Winterfest | Late January, 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.


Fire and ice sculpture at Vermilion Ice A Fair in Vermilion, Ohio (photo by Scott A. Dommin)

Vermilion Ice A Fair | Early February, 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.

Snowflake Festival | Early February, Jamestown, NY

Join the Audubon Community Nature Center 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.

WV Chocolate, Wine & Shine Festival | Early February, 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.

Man doing cannonball at Culver Winterfest in Culver, Indiana (photo courtesy of Culver Winterfest)

Culver Winterfest | Early to Mid February, 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.

Syracuse Winterfest | Mid February, 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.

Mountain State Maple Days | Mid February & Mid March, 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.


Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming | March 1-April 30, 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.

Cheekwood in Bloom | March 9-April 14, 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,


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

Welcome spring with the sight of tulips blooming across five 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.

Detroit Bourbon Fest | April 6, Detroit, MI

Bourbon collectors will feel like they’ve struck gold at this festival featuring over 200 whiskeys, bourbons and high-end bottles. While attendees try new and unique offerings, Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish provide live entertainment. Those looking to grab a bite between tastings can opt for selections from Detroit BBQ Co., Ken’s Kitchen and Maria’s Food Trucks.

Syracuse Wine Festival | April 6, 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.

Syracuse Fashion Week | April 11-13, Syracuse, NY

This semiannual event showcases the style and fashion of Syracuse and central New York. Check out works from up-and-coming designers or get ahead on some of the latest fashion trends. The event hosts designers, stylists, artists, musicians, boutiques, bars, restaurants and other businesses that are committed to the quality of life of upstate New York.

Feast of the Ramson | April 13, 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.

4 Bridges Art Festival | April 19-20, Chattanooga, TN

Share in a collective appreciation for the arts at this creatively driven event that has been ranked in the top 30 fine arts festivals in the nation. Considered to be Chattanooga’s premier arts festival, this event showcases the works of 145 different artists from across the country and gives visitors the chance to enjoy live music, food and drinks.

Little 500 | April 19-20, 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.

Dollywood Flower + Food Festival | April 19-June 9, 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.

Thunder Over Louisville | April 20, Louisville, KY

The Kentucky Derby returns each year in May, 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.

Pennsylvania Maple Festival | April 20-21 & 24-28, Meyersdale, PA

Find out why Meyersdale is known as “Maple City, USA” at this event that has been celebrated in the state for decades. Visitors travel from across the country to take part in the tree-tapping ceremony, sample maple products, learn about the history of maple syrup production and enjoy a musical theater performance that has been a staple of the festival for over 50 years.

Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous | April 24-27, 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.

Geauga County Maple Festival | April 25-28, 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.

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival | April 25-28, Shepherd, MI

For over 60 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.

Dogwood Arts Festival | April 26-28, 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.

Great Greenbriar River Race | April 27, 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.

Cherokee Triangle Art Fair | April 27-29, Louisville, KY

Since 1972, this event has been held in Louisville’s historic Cherokee Triangle neighborhood. The two-day juried art fair kicks off with a themed children’s parade on Saturday, and the celebration continues with over 200 artist booths as well as food, drinks, live music and an art tent for hands-on fun throughout the weekend.

Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend | April 27-29, Champaign-Urbana, IL

Grab your favorite pair of running shoes and head to Champaign-Urbana for a weekend of running. For short-distance runners, there is the 1-mile Green Street Mile race, a Health & Fitness Expo and a 5K run/walk. On Saturday, races include half and full marathons, which can be completed solo or as a four-person relay, and a 10K race. The weekend also includes a wheelchair half marathon and a youth run.


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.

Mayfest | May 3-4, Shipshewana, IN

Celebrate the month of May in Shipshewana with two whole days of family-friendly fun. Guests can join the local community in welcoming spring through many special activities such as band and choir concerts, kids activities, a softball tournament, food trucks, a benefit breakfast and more. The event kicks off with the Grand Mayfest Parade, held on Saturday morning.

Tulip Time Festival | May 4-12, 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.

Indiana Wine Fair | May 4, Nashville, IN

Unleash your inner sommelier at this celebration of all things wine in Nashville, Indiana. The fair showcases 40 of Indiana’s premier wineries, local farms and vendors, which provide visitors the option to sample 1-ounce pours, kick back with a glass or go all in on their favorite bottles. Between sips, visitors can indulge in offerings from local restaurants or visit food trucks.

BBQ & Barrels | May 10-11, Owensboro, KY

A longstanding 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.

West Virginia Trail Fest | May 10-11, various locations in Pocahontas County, WV

Lace up your running shoes and get ready to explore the natural beauty of West Virginia’s Pocahontas County. Whether you prefer ultra-distance or long-distance running, this trail festival has the best of both worlds. The West Virginia Trail Fest offers 100K, 60K, 30K and 5K distances through the state’s beautiful parks and preserves, including Monongahela National Forest, Green Bank Observatory, Cass Historic Railroad and more.

Rochester Lilac Festival | May 10-19, 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.

Southern Skies Music & Whiskey Festival | May 11, Knoxville, TN

Returning to downtown Knoxville for the third year in a row, this music and whiskey festival hosts a lineup of local, regional and national artists, headlined this year by Old Crow Medicine Show. Attendees can enjoy food trucks, craft beer, wine and specialty cocktails and can even shop a selection of Tennessee whiskey and other exclusive spirits.

EQT Children’s Theater Festival | May 17-19, Pittsburgh, PA

This sprawling festival takes place throughout Pittsburgh’s downtown at theaters, parks, universities and other participating destinations. The three-day event encourages children to exercise their creativity and let their imaginations run wild through live performances, scavenger hunts, brick building, STEM activities and more.

Fort Wayne Cherry Blossom Festival | May 19, 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.

Oglebay Backyard BBQ Festival | May 24-26, 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.

AES 500 Festival Parade | May 25, 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.

Doors Open Toronto | May 25-26, Toronto, ON

For over 20 years, Doors Open Toronto has given both the local community and visitors an intimate peek at some of the city’s most storied structures. It is billed as one of the most extensive Doors Open events held anywhere in the world. The event also holds the title of being the first Doors Open event established in North America.

Great American Brass Band Festival | May 30-June 1, 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.

Mountain Music Festival | May 31-June 1, 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.

Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix | May 31-June 2, 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.

Johnstown Polkafest | May 31-June 2, 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.