Fall is the perfect time of year for a festival--the heat of summer has subsided, nature provides a colorful event backdrop at no charge and leaf peeping along the drive to the festival can be as much fun as the event itself.
Connecticut is the nation's third smallest state, so if you live in or near Connecticut, the added bonus is that any Connecticut festival is a short, scenic drive away.
Here are five fall festivals in Connecticut that make for perfect autumn day trips:
This old-fashioned community festival sponsored by the City of Bristol features a variety of events including the crowning of Miss Mum on September 20, a Mum Parade on September 22 and Mum Bingo on October 5.
Connecticut Antique Machinery Association's 29th Annual Fall Festival
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 27-29, 2013
Route 7 (adjacent to the Sloane Stanley Museum)
Cool, picturesque fall days leave many folks longing for simpler times. The Connecticut Antique Machinery Association's Annual Fall Festival provides a glimpse of technology long before the harried days of computers, cell phones and other relentless gadgets. You'll see hundreds of restored antique machines in operation. The festival also features blacksmith and sawmill demonstrations, exhibits and food. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12 and free for children 5 and under.
The Connecticut Renaissance Faire
Weekends and Columbus Day, September 21 - October 20, 2013
10:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
14 Stott Ave
In Connecticut, fall is the season when days are warm and knights are playful! At the Connecticut Renaissance Faire (pictured in photo above), you can enjoy themed weekends, explore a Medieval marketplace and watch shows ranging from music to magic to falconry and jousting. Admission is $17 for adults, $10 for children ages 7 to 15 and free for children under 7. Season passes are available online for $110. New in 2013: The Connecticut Renaissance Faire expands at its new Norwich location with an all-new King Henry VIII theme and the availability of alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and mead.
45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival
October 4-6 and 11-13, 2013
Town Green, Main Street
Celebrate the annual apple harvest at this street fair in Southington featuring an array of apple products, food booths, arts and crafts, carnival rides, eating contests, musical performances, a parade, fireworks and more. Admission and parking are free.
32nd Annual Chowder Days Festival at Mystic Seaport
October 12-14, 2013
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Piping hot chowder soothes the soul on a crisp fall day. Try several different varieties of chowder at Mystic Seaport's annual fall Chowder Days. The festival is included with admission to Mystic Seaport, but there is an additional charge for the food. The weekend also features live music, crafts and games on the green. Enjoy a horse-drawn hayride for an additional fee.