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7 Best Fall Festivals to Visit in Capital District

The best fall festivals to visit in the Capital District include annual festivals and some fun family time viewing carved pumpkins and driving through Halloween inspired light shows with apple cider and donuts!

7 Best Fall Festivals to Visit this Season in the Capital District

Love this time of year when you get to wake up to the fresh, crisp air of the Fall Season and enjoy the tastes and smells of pumpkin spice everywhere? We do too and since we like to travel and find great foods, we also tend to find ourselves stumbling upon some fall events without even realizing they were happening. 

Fun-filled Fall festivals are one of the many exciting activities to enjoy in September and October with your family and friends. If you are in the Upstate New York area and are looking for fall festivals near me, we are going to save you the “I wish I knew that was happening!” and list them here so you can get them on your calendar!

7 Best Fall Festivals to Visit in Albany & Saratoga NY Area

There’s so much to do and see at local farms, churches, schools, farmer’s markets, and other locations holding some of the best fall festivals in your area. Check out this list of Fall Festivals for Albany/Saratoga Areas in New York:

  • Annual Clifton Park Farm Fest:  FREE Admission to most attractions. Location: Participating Farms, Clifton Park NY Area. Come out and join in the Celebration of Farming Event with numerous free and small fee activities to explore with the family. There will be hayrides, apple picking, farm tours, demos, horse rides, live animals, festive music, delicious country food, and more.
  • Capital Region Apple Festival & Wine Festival at the Altamont Fairgrounds: Admission costs $8, and children under 15 are free when accompanied by an adult. Saturday activities 10am – 6pm and Sunday activities 10am – 5pm. Plenty of free parking available. No pets allowed. This event features loads of variety from wine tasting to car shows, live entertainment each day, and tons of kids activities such as bounce houses or slides, haunted house, pony rides, and petting zoo, clowns, jugglers, stilt walkers, face painting, pumpkin painting, and a whole lot more. Visit their site to check out all the fun things planned for this great family-friendly event!
fall festivals in capital district include visiting area trees to see colorful fall foliage! Beautiful yellows, reds, and orange create gorgeous landscapes.
  • Annual Adirondack Balloon Festival in Glens Falls & Queensbury, NY: Free Events each day with a few minor fees for some. Check their site for more details on exact times and locations for the kick-off event, various live bands and special music, car show, block party, walkathon, kids activities, craft fair, bounce houses, and more. A site to behold when those balloons launch in the air for kick-off – you won’t want to miss it!
  • Annual LarkFEST in Albany, NY: Free Event. This grand event packed with excitement takes place along 8 city blocks in the Lark Street Neighborhood with multiple vendors and sponsors providing a variety of entertainment, music, food, and other goods to enjoy. Contact 518.434.3861 for more information about LarkFest.
  • Annual Upper Union Street Harvest Fest & Art Show: along a 4 block strip of Union Street starting from Garner to Palmer Avenues in Schenectady, NY. Free Event. Come out and celebrate Fall with the family! Lots of merchants will be set up with booths out on the street along with specialty vendors selling everything from apples to salsa. It's a great way to get outdoors in the fresh air, pick up some unique items, taste the flavors of NY, and have quality time with the family! (More details to be announced soon on their site or Facebook page.)

October festivals near me

With so many events being canceled this season due to safety precautions, it's nice to have some special Halloween events in Albany, NY, Ballston Spa, NY, and Schaghticoke, NY. Some of the best fall festival events include:

  • Drive-thru light shows
  • Donuts & apple cider
  • Pumpkins carved by the thousands

Related fall recipe links: apple cider donuts, pumpkin pound cake, crockpot applesauce, apple butter, butternut squash soup, pumpkin truffles

Pumpkins on table with orange cloth
  • Hallowed Harvest at Altamont Fairgrounds. Open to the public for children of all ages. A safe, family-friendly event full of fun-filled activities for kids. Features 7,000 incredible Jack-O’-Lanterns creating stunning landscapes and larger-than-life displays, some towering 3 stories, and spanning more than 60 feet in length! The Hollowed Harvest is scheduled to open September 25th at 6pm at the Altamont Fairgrounds and will continue Thursday through Sunday of each week through the beginning of November with additional dates added the week of Halloween. Show dates and tickets are available exclusively at
  • Pumpkin Glow & Light Show Drive-Thru Experience at Ellms Family Farm. The Pumpkin Glow & Light Show Drive-Thru at Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa, NY is an enchanting Halloween experience that features a pumpkin wonderland with thousands of hand-carved illuminated jack o’ lanterns. Guests will be immersed in the magic from the safety and comfort of their own vehicle. From a single pumpkin carving to larger than life dazzling light displays, our master carvers are bringing all of the Halloween spirit to life. Pumpkin Glow & Light Show Drive-Thru is a great event for families, couples, and young adults alike. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this truly magnificent fall spectacular! Ticket packages include basic, donut, and family and start at $24.99 – $54.99. Visit Ellms Family Farm website for more information and to purchase tickets.

What to bring to a fall festival this weekend

So, you found some upstate NY events to visit this weekend and I have some ideas to pack in the car to keep the fun going whether it's leaf peeping, apple picking, or some farm festival fun.

  • Bird watching guide book– With the leaves changing color and falling to the earth, chances are you will see more feathered friends. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and a journal or planner to keep track of what you find!
  • Cozy Fall scarf– When the temperature starts to dip, I am pulling out all my favorite fall scarves! A big fall plaid scarf can be wrapped around your shoulders, used as a blanket, or can be laid out in the open hatch of your car to enjoy a fall picnic! A Blanket scarf like this one is perfect!
  • Phone Car Charger – Be sure to keep your phone charged to use as a GPS to find your fall weekend events or to snap some pictures! This car charger adapter is under $10 and has over 22,000 4.5 star reviews!
  • Hand Sanitizer or Wipes– Be sure to keep everything clean with hand sanitizer or wipes! I love using Good Wipes or Water Wipes when traveling. Perfect for bathroom stops and cleaning hands after apple cider and donut treats!

We love celebrating fall in this neck of the woods! Be sure to check out as many as you can and let us know which was your favorite!

When you return from your excursions, be sure to try one of our delicious Fall recipes:

7 Best Fall Festivals to Visit this Season in Albany & Saratoga NY Area!

Original Post: 9/4/16

Updated Post: 9/23/20

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