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Inside: Check out these top 10 Fall Family events in Maryland that aren’t technically fall festivals. None of these events include pumpkins, but they are all great! Updated for 2019!
I have a confession to make. Sometimes the fall season can be intimidating and overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong.. I LOVE celebrating fall, especially with my little girl. The moment I detect even a hint of a chill in the air, it’s sweater weather. I could indulge in hot apple cider pretty much every day and once the weather chills, our family loves to get outside and go hiking, camping, and soaking in every moment of this glorious season.
But sometimes it is just too much.
Endless hayrides, a pumpkin patch every weekend, and getting lost in yet another corn maze. In Maryland, you could fill up every single weekend with a family outing to a different fall festival. However, there are actually quite a few other festivals that wouldn’t qualify as a ‘fall festival’ but are just as cool. If you need a break from pumpkin spice, check out one of these events. They are all awesome and very family and young kid friendly!
1. Special Event Weekends and the B&O Railroad Museum
There is one super unique and kid-friendly weekend event this fall at the B&O Railroad Museum:
- Tails on the Rails (October 5th): From the website: For the first time ever, puppies and dogs may ride the rails at the B&O Railroad Museum! Tails on the Rails offers pet owners and their beloved four-legged children an afternoon of historic exploration, a round-trip train ride to Baltimore’s Carroll Park, interactive activities, and a “Yappy Hour” at the birthplace of American railroading. All aboard for a howling good time as we help support the Maryland SPCA. Advance registration required.
Check out my in-depth review of the B&O Railroad Museum as well!
2. Sunfest in Ocean City and Berlin’s Fiddlers Convention
September 19-22: check the website links for schedule details.
The weather is beautiful and there’s plenty to do at Ocean City, MD’s biggest and best festival. Enjoy four fun-filled days of arts and crafts, delicious food, hayrides, kids activities and musical entertainment. Plus, Sunfest hosts big musical headliners every year! https://ococean.com/sunfest
Fiddling and blue grass music will fill the streets of Berlin. There will be food and craft vendors, a beer garden and games for the children. http://www.berlinmainstreet.com/events/berlin-fiddlers-convention-4/
3. Baltimore Book Festival and Light City
How awesome is this? Starting this year (2019) The Baltimore Book Festival and Light City are joining forces for a combined 10 day festival.
Light City is a free festival of light, music and innovation. We visited the first two years (the exhibits change every year). You can read my Light City Review here.
According to the website, the Baltimore Book Festival is the mid-Atlantic’s premier celebration of the literary arts features more than 200 celebrity and local authors, readings, workshops, children’s activities, panel discussions, cookbook demonstrations, more than 100 exhibitors and booksellers, live music, food and more.
Click here for more information on both events:
4. In the Street- Celebrate Frederick
September 14th: 11AM-5PM
This street festival has been running since 1983 and is loads of fun for the entire family. There are nine themed blocks of entertainment. A few of the highlights are the art block, sports block, history block, and a block especially dedicated to kid’s activities like crafts, face painting, and a petting zoo. Additionally, there is live music on five different stages, a mile-long road race, and tons of food and other vendors.
For more information click here.
5. B’More Build-A-Thon
On September 12th-October 5th, Port Discovery is taking part in a global Cardboard Challenge to celebrate imagination, creativity and the city of Baltimore! Through creative play, children will work together to build out of cardboard and other materials major Baltimore sites as well as their own neighborhoods, culminating in a day of play on which we put it all together.
Plus, with all the new renovations that have completely transformed the museum, Port Discovery is THE perfect place to play this Fall!
You can read my review of Port Discovery here. We visit quite frequently and always have a blast!
6. Futurefest at Kid Museum
September 15th from 12-5pm.
This looks like a phenomenal event for families. Futurefest at Kid Museum in Bethesda is a festival where kids can spark their imagination and families can celebrate their collective power to invent the future! From the website: Dive into KID City, where kids and families will build a city of the future—from the ground up—for a one-of-a-kind, interactive experience. Experiment with different tools and materials, build new skills from coding to design engineering, and help a city rise through this unique communal project.
For more information about the festival click here.
7. Frederick’s Oktoberfest Weekend
September 27-28: Friday 6-10PM (not for kids), Saturday 11AM-10PM (all ages welcome)
Experience German Heritage at its finest. Many festival goers will be dressed in traditional Bavarian garb, there will be tons of great food and live entertainment (including yodeling) and even a kid’s zone which will have pumpkin decorating (oops.. there’s a pumpkin!), slides, and face painting.
8. Kinderfest at Watkin’s Regional Park
October 5th: noon-5PM
Kinderfest is put on by the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation and is held at Watkins Regional Park, which is a pretty awesome park to visit on any day. For this kid-focused festival, there are carnival games, clowns, pony rides, dancers, singers, and tons of other kid-friendly activities.
9. ArtsFest at the AnnMarie Sculpture Garden
September 21st-22nd: 10AM-5PM each day.
If you have not yet visited the AnnMarie Sculpture Garden in Solomons, MD, you are really missing out. This is a really special place that would make a great visit any time. On September 15-16, they are holding their 25th annual ArtsFest. This is a really huge arts festival with tons of activities for kids including Discovery Tent, Zany Zone, games, the clay studio, and live music. Click here is the brochure for the festival.
We love the AnnMarie Sculpture Garden and I reviewed it earlier this year.
10. Maryland Renaissance Festival
August 24th through October 20th (weekends)
Who says fall in Maryland is synonymous with pumpkin patches and apple cider slushies? If you have ever visited this Crownsville festival, you know that the festival grounds are transformed into an utterly amazing and totally fun world of princesses, knights, and everything that made the Renaissance fun (or so we imagined). The festival is super fun for kids and adults and each weekend has a theme. For the 2018 season the themes are:
August 24-25: Children’s Weekend
September 7-8: Myth and Magic Weekend
September 21-22: Romance Weekend
September 28-29: Pirate Weekend
For more information on the Maryland Renaissance Festival, click here.
So, there you have it! 10 Family Friendly events in the Fall that aren’t actually ‘Fall Festivals.’
Thanks for reading and have a blast this season!
Oh, and if you did want a complete guide to Fall Festivals in the greater Maryland-DC-Virginia area, check out this complete guide!