Fall Festivals in Boston You Don't Want to Miss

You’ll find good food, fun activities and performances at these 10 fall festivities in Boston that are perfect for families.

It’s not officially autumn yet, but it will be soon and that means it’s time for fall festivals. There are so many in the Boston area that it can be hard to know which ones are good for families. We took the guesswork out of it by narrowing the field down to our favorites. You’ll find good food, fun activities, music, performances, and much more at these 10 fall festivities in Boston that are perfect for both parents and kids.

Riverfest
Where: Somerville
When: September 8-10, 2017
Somerville’s newest neighborhood, Assembly Row, invites families to celebrate the beginning of fall at Riverfest, a free festival that’s largely geared to kids. You’ll find all kinds of kids' activities, a chalk walk, live music, plus fireworks to cap off the night.

Cathedral Greek Festival
Where: Brookline
When: September 15-17, 2017
While the delicious food you’ll find at the free Cathedral Greek Festival may be what draws you in, the three-day long event has a lot more to offer. There will be live music, dancing and free children’s activities. Plus it’s right next to Larz Anderson Park, one of our favorite local playgrounds.

Roslindale Porch Fest
Where: Roslindale
When: September 16, 2017
Several cities near Boston now host their own version of the Roslindale Porch Fest, a free decentralized music festival that takes place on people’s porches throughout the city. These events are great for kids because they’re casual and low-key with something new to see—and new music to dance to—all the time.


There are tasty treats and lots of fun activities for kids at the What the Fluff? festival. Photo courtesy of Rusty Blazenhoff via Flickr

What the Fluff?
Where: Somerville
When: September 23, 2017
Celebrate one of Somerville’s greatest inventions at the annual What the Fluff? festival in Union Square. This quirky, and free, fest is perfect for families, as there’s no end of entertainment, fun activities (think Fluff jousting and Fluff musical chairs) as well as tasty treats. Fluffernutter anyone?

Faire on the Square
Where: Watertown
When: September 23, 2017
The sprawling Faire on the Square takes place across four nearby locations in Watertown: Saltonstall Park, in and around Town Hall, behind the Boys & Girls Club and behind the library. You’ll find free activities for both kids and adults including rides, crafts, music and dance performances at this day-long festival.

Fall Festival at Gore Place
Where: Waltham
When: September 23, 2017
Escape the city to celebrate the season at the Fall Festival at Gore Place. The 50-acre estate will play host to live bands, a giant pumpkin drop and entertainment especially for kids, plus beer for the parents. Tickets are $10 for adults, while kids 12 and under are free.


The brass band performances and parades will have kids dancing in the streets at HONK! Photo courtesy of Leo March

Mystic River Celebration
Where: Medford
When: September 23, 2017
Head to the Condon Shell in Medford this fall for the Mystic River Celebration, which kicks off a month-long arts festival in the city. The fest promises tons of fun for families with its live music, dance performances, games, crafts, food and more.

Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival
Where: Boston
When: September 30, 2017 
This unique festival features three stages with performances from world-class musicians, vendor booths offering food from all over the world, and an instrument "petting zoo" staffed by Berklee professionals. A full concert schedule is listed on Berklee's website. 

HONK! Festival
Where: Somerville and Cambridge
When: October 6-8, 2017
Every fall Somerville plays host to a festival of brass bands from around the country that celebrates music, community and activism. HONK! Festival is a three-day fest with stellar music that starts with a lantern parade on Friday night and ends with another parade on Sunday that winds from Somerville to Harvard Square, where Oktoberfest will be happening. HONK! is so popular in Somerville that there’s now a year-round component called School of HONK.

Frog Pond Pumpkin Float
Where: Boston
When: October 20, 2017
Dress in your Halloween best and bring a small, hollowed out pumpkin to float on the Frog Pond. Kids can decorate a luminary to border the pond, try out fun activities, and enjoy refreshments.

Boston Book Festival
Where: Boston
When: October 28, 2017
The Boston Book Festival comes to Copley Square every fall with author talks, panels and a street fair with vendors and live music. There are plenty of activities for kids, from costumed characters to the biggest names in Young Adult books at this fest that’s both educational and fun.

Top photo: Frog Pond Pumpkin Float, courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Tourism

Post written in 2016, updated for 2017

location: 
Riverfest
Assembly Row
02145 Somerville , MA 42° 23' 37.9644" N, 71° 4' 44.6412" W
Massachusetts
Cathedral Greek Festival
162 Goddard Ave
02445 Brookline , MA 42° 18' 49.464" N, 71° 7' 54.2568" W
Massachusetts
Roslindale Porch Fest 02131 Rolinsdale , MA 42° 16' 59.5704" N, 71° 7' 37.2972" W
Massachusetts
What the Fluff?
Union Square Plaza
02143 Somerville , MA 42° 22' 46.8192" N, 71° 5' 44.6856" W
Massachusetts
Faire on the Square
149 Main St.
02472 Watertown , MA 42° 22' 4.1484" N, 71° 11' 14.91" W
Massachusetts
Fall Festival at Gore Place
52 Gore St.
02453 Waltham , MA 42° 22' 23.9664" N, 71° 12' 43.9488" W
Massachusetts
Mystic River Celebration
2501 Mystic Valley Parkway
02155 Medford , MA 42° 25' 6.3048" N, 71° 6' 49.0212" W
Massachusetts
HONK! Festival
Davis Square
02144 Somerville , MA 42° 23' 48.1812" N, 71° 7' 20.334" W
Massachusetts
Boston Book Festival
Copley Square
02116 Boston , MA 42° 20' 59.7264" N, 71° 4' 33.9888" W
Massachusetts
Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival
Columbus Avenue between Burke Street and Massachusetts Avenue
02116 Boston , MA
Massachusetts