The sparkling fall weather is the best excuse to get out and explore. From pumpkin patches to corn mazes, county fairs to foliage tours and haunted houses, here’s a family-favorite event or attraction, one from each state in New England, to check out this fall.
Maine: Sunday River celebrates the season with its Fall Festival, taking place Oct. 8 -9. Included in the daily festivities are an arts and crafts fair featuring many local artisans, scenic chairlift rides to view the foliage from above, Sunday River Sports’ annual sale, and live music slopeside. The annual wife-carrying championship also begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Yes, this is a real competition, one where one partner carries the other through a 278-yard obstacle course which conforms to real, international specifications. The course features log hurdles, sand traps, and water hazards. Besides bragging rights, the winning couple takes home beer, cash, and a chance to compete in the world championship in Finland. Sunday’s showpiece activity is the Eighth Annual New England Cornhole Championship with more cash prizes. — 15 South Ridge Road, Newry, Maine, sundayriver.com
Vermont: The Kingdom Corn Maze, located in Sutton, serves up a variety of activities throughout the fall. Here, you’ll find four corn mazes covering more than 20 acres. There are three walking mazes – a kid-friendly, smaller maze taking about 30 minutes, and a family-friendly maze with two sections. You can navigate the first section in about 45 minutes and then have the option to continue to the second section for an additional 30 minutes of walking. The mountain bike maze is actually on fairly flat ground and suitable for all ages. Bring your own bike or rent one nearby. Helmets are required. There are special event weekends including a spooky flashlight night tour in the corn maze and a Fall Foliage Festival with the Ag Olympics – sack hops, trike races, hay bale throwing contest, egg races, tug of war, and a three-legged race. — 1350 Burke Hill Road, Sutton, Vt., kingdomcornmaze.com
New Hampshire: Newport’s Balsam Woods Tree Farm puts a different spin on the corn maze. Every weekend through Halloween the tree farm will have a spooky haunted maze through the Christmas trees on Friday and Saturday nights. In the earlier hours of the weekend days, there will be a not-so-spooky haunted maze for families with young kids. These not-so-spooky hours will also have a bouncy house and other kid-centered activities. Starting Nov. 26, you can come return for your cut-and-carry Christmas tree. — 240 Maple St., Newport, N.H., 603-838-2281