Family-Friendly Weekend Events in Vermont This September


Here is your list of family-friendly weekend events around Vermont for the month of September, courtesy of Busy Btown.

Now, before you read on, I should forewarn you… fall, it’s coming. I know… despite our desire to drag summer out indefinitely, mother nature has other plans. How dare she! 

The summer went fast (it always does here), but fall has her perks, right? Colorful leaves. Crisp air. Gentle breezes. Layering wardrobes. Apple pie. Halloween candy! It’s always bittersweet to see one season end and another begin, but that’s why we’re here, with some family-friendly weekend events to keep you excited for another great month in our beautiful state. Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

September 1st

Champlain Valley Fair
Where: Champlain Valley Exposition, 105 Pearl St, Essex Junction
When: 9:00am-9:00pm
This is the final day of the 2019 Champlain Valley Fair, so get there while you can. Just typing this makes me feel like I can smell the sweet, sticky scent of cotton candy… mmm. Kids 4 and under are free!

monster truck
Champlain Valley Fair

September 6th-8th

South End Art Hop
Where: South End Arts District, Burlington
When: Friday, 5pm-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 11am-4pm
This is one of my absolute FAVORITE free events of the year. First, I get to see how extremely talented our local artists and makers are (which in turn creates a laundry list of items I suddenly need, need, need). Second, Pine Street comes alive with the buzz of people, food, and music–it’s electric. But plan ahead for parking, because it’s busy!

September 6th

Free First Friday Eve
Where: Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Rd, Shelburne
When: Friday, 5pm-7:30pm
This Free First Friday Eve event in September features two sculptors, Dan Snow and Jonathan D. Ebinger, from the outdoor exhibition In Their Element, as well as the acoustic stylings of The Tenderbellies. This Vermont-based quartet spans from blues to jazz and rock n’roll. Grab a blanket to picnic, and get ready for a fun, summer evening. Food trucks and lawn games are also available.

September 7th

Where: North Branch Nature Center, 713 Elm Street, Montpelier
When: 7am-2pm
If you have any bird-lovers in your life, check out this summer nature festival featuring live birds of prey, bird walks, bird banding demonstrations, bird crafts, and several workshops. Bird crafts include building a birdhouse, songbird soap carving, DIY bird feeders, and more. (You know how sometimes a word can sound funny when you’ve said it too many times? Bird. Bird. Bird… it’s weird, right?) Admission to this event is by donation.

3rd Annual Swanton Arts Spectacular
Where: Swanton Village Park, Swanton
When: Saturday, 10am-9pm
Here is another great chance to meet your local artists for free. The Swanton Arts Spectacular features 50 crafters/artisans, live music and food vendors all day. That’s not all… it ends with a bang (or several, rather) at 9pm. Okay, for clarity, I’m referring to fireworks. There will be fireworks, and it’s been too long since we’ve had fireworks, so you won’t want to miss this. 

Kids’ Day with Touch-A-Truck
Where: Catalyst Church on Raceway, 100 Raceway Rd, Jericho
When: Saturday, 12pm-3pm
Rev your engine folks, it’s another touch-a truck event!!! Thank goodness, because if I have to tell my kid one more time that we can’t “go see” every truck we pass, I might just lose it. Get your fill of trucks (and other cars and vehicles) at this free event, which will also feature hayrides, food trucks, and bouncy castles.

boy and man in blue tractor
Touch A Truck Event // Photo by Busy Btown

Morefest 2019
Where: Town of Moretown
When: Saturday, 3pm
This community festival was already speaking my language when it said, “FREE TO ALL!!”. But then they added beer tent, and other pleasantries like food vendors, a corn roast, live music, craft vendors, and fireworks. Oh, and a touch-a-truck! Now that’s what you call a party, my friends. (Yes, I’m in my late 30’s, so what?)

Corn Roast
Where: Chamberlin’s Garden & Farm Market, 97 River Rd, Underhill
When: 5pm-9:30pm
No, this isn’t a show where guests come on stage and make terrible jokes about corn. This is Essex Alliance Church’s annual Corn Roast, held at the Chamberlin’s Garden & Farm Market. You’ll enjoy all the free corn you can eat, hay rides, concessions, and a super big bonfire. You won’t know how big unless you attend, but here’s a hot tip: bring a blanket, food, chairs, and picnic with all the other families, but don’t sit too close to the giant pile of wood. It gets hot! How much corn can you eat in one sitting? I have no idea… but I really want to watch someone find out.

September 12th-15th

148th Tunbridge World’s Fair
Where: 1 Fairgrounds Lane, Tunbridge
When: Thursday, 8am-9pm; Friday, 7am-9pm; Saturday, 7pm-10pm; Sunday, 8am-6pm
With the exception of 1918, the Tunbridge World’s Fair has been held each year since 1867. The fair includes rides, entertainment, pig races, a Children’s Barnyard, antique tractor pull, and more. If all of that didn’t sound enticing enough, kids under 12 enter free, every day. Giddy up!

September 13th-14th

Smuggs FallFest
Where: Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 4323 VT Route 108 South, Jeffersonville
When: Friday, 7pm-10pm; Saturday, 6pm-10pm
I brought my son to this event last year, and he loved it (So. Much. Wiggling). Two nights of music, local food trucks, and drinks by Fiddlehead Brewing Company and Citizen Cider. On Friday, attendees can score four, 3-ounce samples of Fiddlehead beers (for those who are 21+), while listening to Blues for Breakfast. On Saturday, catch Zach Nugent’s Fire on the Mountain, and Brickdrop. Kids 12 and under are admitted free. 

Smuggs FallFest 2018 // Photo by Busy Btown

September 14th

Catamount Comics and Collectables Expo
Where: Dudley H. Davis Student Center, 590 Main St, Burlington
When: 9am-6pm
Head to the UVM campus for this one day show, which celebrates collectibles–highlighting artists (including local, regional artists), comic book creators, writers, toys, costumes, and comic books. Kids under 12 are admitted free.

Colors of the Kingdom Autumn Festival
Where: St. Johnsbury
When: Saturday, 8am-5pm
Yep. Autumn. It’s coming. So let’s bask in the glory of fall’s colors, break out our infinity scarves, and enjoy some train rides, farmers’ market, an arts and crafts fair, planetarium shows, parade, and more. 

St. Johnsbury Bluegrass Festival
Where: 397 Railroad St, St. Johnsbury
When: Saturday, 1pm-5pm
A part of the Colors of the Kingdom Autumn Festival, this free bluegrass music festival features several artists, including: Beg, Steal, or Borrow, The Kowal Family, Bob Amos & Catamount Crossing, and Jess & Jakob and the Blackberry Bushes.

September 14th-15th

Grace Potter’s Grand Point North
Where: Waterfront Park, 1 Lake Street, Burlington
When: Saturday, 3pm; Sunday, 2pm
This year’s musical lineup includes Gov’t Mule, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Lucius, J.S. Ondara, Lucy Dacus, Michael Nau, Bailen, Francesca Blanchard, Lady Moon & The Eclipse, Matthew Mercury, The Bubs, J Bengoy, Sabouyouma, Princess Nostalgia, Ben Fuller, and of course, Grace Potter! It’s a huge lineup, and kids 12 and under are admitted free. You may bring folding chairs (only for areas behind the soundboard), but no blankets, glass, alcohol, outside food, beverages or pets are allowed. Food and beverages are available for purchase.

September 20th-21st

Oktoberfest Vermont
Where: Waterfront Park, 1 Lake Street, Burlington
When: Friday, 5:30pm-9:30pm; Saturday, 5:30pm-9:30pm
Hey, beer lovers! No need to hop a flight to Germany to sample your favorite Bavarian brews. You can experience the carnival that is Oktoberfest right here in Burlington! With over 40 brewers and 100 different beers (and ciders), you can savor every sip. There will be several games (or gamertainment, as I like to call it), such as Plinko, a 20’ inflatable dart board, marshmallow gun shot, and more. And, listen to live music from the Josh Panda Band on Friday, and the Craig Mitchell Band on Saturday.

September 21st

Vermont Fairy Tale Festival 2019
Where: Sherburne Memorial Library, 2998 River Rd, Killington
When: 10am-4pm
When I was little, I was obsessed with unicorns. I know, cliche perhaps, but I really believed that if I sat alone in a grassy field upon a blanket with a bowl full of grapes, a unicorn might casually stroll up, decide I was a princess, and we’d be fast friends. Yeah… the imagination was strong with this one. Folklore and fairy tales stir the imagination like nothing else, so your young ones are sure to enjoy this Fairy Tale Festival in Killington—with storytellers, vendors, crafts, activities, costumes, and more. The event is free, but canned donations are encouraged.

women dressed as fairies
Vermont Fairy Tale Festival

10th Annual von Trapp Brewing Oktoberfest
Where: von Trapp Brewing, 1333 Luce Hill Rd, Stowe
When: 11am-7pm
Is one Oktoberfest enough? Why would you ask such a silly, silly question? The von Trapp family holds their 10th annual Oktoberfest celebration, and really… they may know a thing or two about Bavarian beers. Join them for a day of family-friendly activities, live music, lawn games, Austrian food, and a traditional Oktoberfest keg tapping. Admission to the event is free, but beer and food may be purchased.

Stowe Foliage Art on Park & Blue Ribbon Apple Pie Baking Contest
Where: Park St, Stowe
When: 11:30am-3:30pm
This festival is all about celebrating the fall season. Fall-themed beverages, specialty foods, live music… and what says autumn more than a pie baking contest? Nothing. Nothing says fall more than pie. Nothing… (well, except my scarf collection). 

Sesame Street Live! C is for Celebration!
Where: The Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St, Rutland
When: Saturday, 1pm & 4pm
If you grew up with Sesame Street, than you know that C is for Cookie (not carrots). Cookie Monster. Yum yum yum! At this particular show, C is for Celebration. Kids can see Sesame Street live at The Paramount Theatre, along with Elmo, Abby, Cookie Monster, Super Grover, and Rosita. Babies under one are free, but for kiddos over one years old, a ticket is required.

Parkapalooza – September Edition
Where: Hubbard Park Dr, Montpelier
When: 3pm-9pm
Every third Saturday in the summer, Montpelier Parks hosts Parkapalooza, an annual summer outdoor party in Hubbard park. It has what makes most summer events special—music, food, and games. But being the good overachievers that they are, Montpelier Parks decided to throw in a slip ‘n slide, overnight camping, capture the flag, and a talent show. I won’t pretend to be the foremost expert on children, but I feel pretty confident that this event will be a winner. (Did I mention the slip ‘n slide?) 

people gathered in a park watching and listening to a band
Parkapalooza // Photo courtesy of Montpelier Parks

Eat on the Green Food and Music Festival
Where: Vergennes City Park, Vergennes
When: 3pm-9pm
The purpose behind this festival is to bring people together, and to give back to the people of Vergennes, by raising money for local non-profits. Festival-goers will enjoy local food and craft drinks, as well as lawn games, face painting, and live music from local bands and DJ Fattie B. Food vendors include 3 Squares Cafe, Black Sheep Bistro, Basin Harbor, Lulu Ice Cream, and more. 

September 21st-22nd

Enosburg Annual Harvest Festival
Where: Lincoln Park, Enosburg
When: Saturday, 9am-4pm
It’s harvesting season, so why not have a harvest festival? There are so many festivals this month, and I’m not mad about it. Are you? Who could be mad about fresh produce, a tasting garden, live entertainment, arts and crafts, antiques and wagon rides? Not me, I tell you. Not me.

September 22nd

Shoreham Apple Fest
Where: Shoreham
When: Sunday, 12pm-4pm
It is the 11th annual Apple Fest in Shoreham, and it sure is a great destination for apples. The library will offer food items for, and there will also be an apple pie contest for individuals and teams. Market vendors will be on hand to sell fresh fruit and vegetables, cider, spirits, cheeses, eggs, meats, jams, and more. And in the afternoon, you can sit back and listen to the music from Snake Mountain Bluegrass. 

Shoreham Apple Fest

Barn Dance & Harvest Festival
Where: 1601 Barnes Hill Rd, Waterbury Center
When: Sunday, 2pm-5pm
The Children’s Room holds their Annual Barn Dance in Waterbury Center. With live music, free food, games, hay rides, arts and crafts—and of course, barn dancing—it is bound to be a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon. Food and activities are included in the ticket price.

September 28th-29th

45th Annual Old Fashioned Harvest Market
Where: United Church of Underhill
When: Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 9:30-5pm
Saturday starts at 9am with a parade from Browns River Middle School. The day advances to old-fashioned games (like stilt walking, nail drive, and penny pitch), and continues with a bouncy house, dunk booth, hay rides, band, and more. Sunday’s festivities include more of the same, except for the parade. After all, there can be only one (parade). So, don’t miss it!

The Fairy House Festival
Where: The Nature Museum, 186 Townshend Rd, Grafton
When: Saturday & Sunday, 10am-4pm
This annual festival has all kinds of “adorbs” attached to it. Volunteers create a fairyland of small structures constructed from natural materials—a “magical village through the woods”—where visitors can walk the forested fairy house trail and create their own fairy home. There will be music, bubbles and face painting, to celebrate the relationship between nature and creativity. Tickets are available for purchase, but kids 2 and under are admitted free.

September 29th

Bristol Harvest Festival 2019
Where: Town Green, Bristol
When: Saturday, 10am-4pm
The Bristol Harvest Festival boasts a full day of live music from RambleTree, Rick Ceballos, Harvest Festival Band, Mark Lavoie, Keith Williams, and Patrick Fitzsimmons.  Festival-goers can also expect artisans, exhibits, crafts, pony rides, and of course, food. 

Grand Opening Weekend at Second Chance Farm
Where: Second Chance Farm, 2931 Lake Street, Addison
When: Saturday, 4pm-8pm; Sunday, 12pm-4pm
Prepare to have your heart strings pulled when you can walk a baby goat and meet some mini-donkeys. This is opening weekend at Second Chance farm, so take a tour and discover the educational offerings. There will also be music and a food truck.

Family Art Saturday
Where: Burlington City Arts, 135 Church St, Burlington
When: Saturday, 11am-1pm
Create art together as a family at this free, open to the public class by Burlington City Arts. On Saturday, families can join a drop-in art class, and create original artwork that is inspired by the art featured in current BCA exhibitions. 

Flynn on Fire Festival
Where: Switchback Brewing Company
When: Saturday, 3pm-8pm
Join Switchback Brewing Company for their 2nd annual Flynn on Fire festival. The theme is smoke and fire, so attendees can expect a lineup of smoked beers, a fire performance by Cirque de Fuego, art demonstrations, a mini makers fair, and musical performances by Nico Suave & The Bodacious Supremes, The Wormdogs, and Jacob Green. Food vendors include Bluebird BBQ, Snowcap Cold Brew, and Lake Champlain Chocolates Ice Cream Truck. Tickets are available; entry for children 12 and under is free, but a ticket is still required.

street festival with tents
Flynn on Fire Festival by Switchback Brewing Company

FallFire 2019
Where: RockFire, 59 Little John Rd, Barre
When: 5pm-11pm
Thousands of luminaries illuminate your way to six fire-lit stages with live musical performances at this family-friendly event. Located around granite quarries, this event features a children’s fair (with games and activities for all ages), quarry fireworks, and a technicolor tunnel. Now, I don’t know what a technicolor tunnel is, but I watched Willy Wonka growing up… so color me curious.

Burke Fall Foliage Festival
Where: Burke Mountain, 223 Sherburne Lodge Rd, East Burke
When: 9am-3pm
This is Burke’s biggest festival of the year, which takes place on the last Saturday each September. It really couldn’t be more family-friendly—the day kicks-off with a parade, there is a BBQ (with burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, etc.), a kids area (with bouncy house and face painting), arts and crafts, horse drawn wagon rides, pony rides, a farm animal petting zoo, and more. It’s a full day of fun at this fall festival, and a great way to celebrate the season.

September 29th

Montpelier Fall Festival
Where: Montpelier High School, 5 High School Drive, Montpelier
When: 10am-2pm
Support Montpelier schools, and head to the High School for an afternoon of crafts (including tie-dye), games, a bouncy house, toys, the Kids Cup One-Mile Fun Run, a kickball tournament, and food. Kickball starts at 10am, followed by the race at noon. A $5 donation will purchase a bracelet to participate in all activities, or $20 will cover the whole family.

Montpelier Fall Festival // Photo by Jay Ericson

Need more ideas? Want to add anything to our list of family-friendly weekend events this September? Check out Busy Btown for other things to do. You’ll find a calendar of weekly farmers markets and a list of parks, playgrounds, and more around Chittenden County. This is the perfect time of year to hike, and there are plenty of trail options, too.



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