The Best Summer Festivals For Families

The Duchess County Fair
The Dutchess County Fair

Head north this summer to check out some of the most awesome fairs and festivals around. From endless lobsters to Ferris wheel rides and skies filled with hot air balloons, there is something for every family to see and do. Bonus: You really don’t have to travel far, making these spots the perfect destinations for a fun, easy weekend getaway.

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Becket, MA
June 14 to August 24
This international dance fest, the longest running one in America, features performers from all over the world, from Harlem to Hong Kong. Take some time after watching performances to head over to Blake’s Barn, which is home to an incredible archive of books and art that is sure to enhance this cultural weekend.

Folk Festival
Kutztown, PA
June 28 to July 6
Kutztown, a small town surrounded by a beautiful sprawling landscape, could not be more opposite from New York City, which is why you should go. Kids will love the pony rides, puppet shows, and petting zoo. And among the many souvenirs available to take home are the traditional treats from the outdoor bake oven!

Lobster Festival
Lobster Festival

Boston Harborfest
Boston, MA
July 2-6
Spend a long 4th of July weekend in Colonial Boston. What started out as just 35 activities over a three-day weekend has turned into 200! There are cruises, food, live music, revolutionary reenactments, and fireworks, of course!

Irish Festival
Fairfield, CT
July 13-15
Though this impressive celebration of Irish culture wouldn’t be complete without a pub tent, it also has a kids tent featuring young Irish dancers and puppeteers. And for the competitive spirits, sign up to play in the Donnelly Cup, a Gaelic football tournament hosted each year by the St. Patrick’s Football Club.

Hillsborough Balloon Festival and Fair
Hillsborough, NH
July 17- 20
Watch the hot air balloon spectacle from the ground or enjoy a ride in one yourself! Smaller fairs will be occurring throughout Hillsborough this weekend as well, so take time to explore all the tents, antique shops, and boutiques that Hillsborough has to offer. (“Firework extravaganza” Saturday night!)

Lobster Festival
Rockland, Maine
July 30 to August 3
Though it is certainly recommended, you don’t need to be a lobster lover to enjoy the Maine Lobster Fest. Professor Paddywhack has plenty of fun up his sleeve for all ages and the Marine Tent allows for a hands-on exploration of the creatures living in the Gulf of Maine.

Bethlehem, PA
August 1-10
Yes, this is a music festival, but, no, it’s nothing like Coachella. This fest is inspired by the local German roots and features polka bands and a giant dining area called ”Festplatz.” New to the fest is a 5K color run and a volunteer photography exhibition. Headliners this year include Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, and Jason Derulo.

The Great New York State Fair
The Great New York State Fair

Craftman’s Fair
Newbury, NH
August 2-10
Support the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen this summer at the Craftman’s Fair. Go on a walk through the sculpture garden, or spend time exploring the vendors’ tents or pass the day making pottery. There are also workshops designed specifically for kids!

Dutchess County Fair
Rhinebeck, NY
August 19-24
This six-day fair is host to the second largest county fair in New York and features some of the best of what New York State agriculture has to offer. Each day is filled with different events. Take a walk down “memory lane,” check out the wildlife exhibit, and stock up on all the farm fresh food!

The Great New York State Fair
Syracuse, NY
August 21 to September 1
Living in NYC, it’s easy to forget that there is an entire other part of the state, a huge part really, that has nothing to do with large office buildings and tiny living spaces. Get off the island and explore all New York State has to offer. This giant fair features some big-name musical guests this year like Carrie Underwood, Train, and Journey, as well as competitions in categories such as cooking, agriculture, and arts and crafts to name a few.