There’s something special about this time of year, when summer slowly melts into fall. One of the best things? You’re never pressed for fun things to do. This is the month for harvest festivals, country fairs, and kid-friendly carnivals. These 20 events are some of the best spots to celebrate the season.

Three County Fair – Northampton

Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 2

American’s oldest continuously operated fair features livestock and agricultural contests and exhibits, musical entertainment, a farm museum, delicious food vendors, demolition derbies, and an exciting midway with rides and games for all ages. Admission: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, with children 11 and under free when accompanied by an adult. 3countyfair.com.

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Woodstock Fair – Thompson, CT

Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 2

Connecticut’s second-oldest agricultural fair features crafts, lots of food, livestock shows, a petting zoo, free stage shows, midway, go-kart races, produce, and more. Admission: $12, children under 10 are free. woodstockfair.com.

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Gloucester Schooner Festival – Gloucester

Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2

Gloucester’s beautiful harbor is the backdrop for a unique mix of the old and new, as a variety of schooners and vessels sail through in celebration of the town’s fishing and maritime history. The seaport comes alive with family-friendly activities, music, and boat parades. Free. gloucesterschoonerfestival.net.

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Spencer Fair – Spencer

Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 2

An old-time, traditional country fair with ox and horse pulls, livestock shows, hall exhibits, midway, outdoor entertainment and lots of food. Admission: $12 for adults, $7 for kids 7-12, and free for children under 7. spencerfair.org.

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Appleseed Country Fair – Phillipston

Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2

Country fair with hayrides, live music, Brew Barn, tethered hot air balloon rides, locally-made gifts and goodies, animals, children’s activities and more. Admission: $10 per car load. appleseedcountryfair.com.

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King Richard’s Faire – Carver

Weekends, Aug. 31-Oct. 20 (including Mondays, Sept. 2 & Oct. 14)

Entertainment, exciting rides and skilled games abound on the Faire’s enchanting 80 acre wooded site. Step back in time and see acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, dancers, puppeteers – even fire eaters and exotic tigers. Admission: $12 for adults, $17 for children 4-11. kingrichardsfaire.net.

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Old Home Day – Charlton

Monday, Sept. 2

Craft fair, art show, highland games and even a frog jumping contest highlight this charming small-town festival. The fun kicks off with a fireworks display on Saturday, Aug. 31. Admission is free. townofcharlton.net.

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Franklin County Fair – Greenfield

Friday, Sept. 5-Sunday, Sept. 8

Farm animals, prize-winning produces and classic fair foods make this more-than-century-old event a fall tradition. Classic fair foods, midway, live entertainment and more. Admission: $7, children under 8 are free. fcas.com.

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Dartmouth Grange Fair – Dartmouth

Friday & Saturday, Sept. 6-7

Carnival games, scavenger hunts, nature walks, live animals, and lots of food make this a can’t-miss family event. See live demonstrations of wool spinning and apple cider making, and dig in at the annual pie eating contest. Admission is free. dartmouthgrange.org.

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Sterling Fair – Sterling

Friday, Sept. 6-Sunday, Sept. 8

This family-oriented community fair has an emphasis on agriculture and education. Enjoy rides, horse and oxen pulls, helicopter rides, livestock shows, antique machinery, entertainment and more. Admission is free. sterlingfair.org.

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Mattoon Street Arts Festival – Springfield

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 7-8

The longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley features 100 exhibitors, food vendors and strolling musicians all along a beautiful Victorian street. Admission is free. mattoonfestival.org.

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Pet Rock Festival – Grafton

Sunday, Sept. 8

New England’s largest animal welfare festival includes live music, games for kids, doggie massages, contents and water park, pet photos, Pups in the Air Frisbee Dog Team and lots of family- and pet-friendly fun. petrockfest.org.

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Fresh Grass Festival – North Adams

Friday, Sept. 20-Sunday, Sept. 22

A wonderland of bluegrass and roots music tucked into a 19th century factory-turned-21st century museum in the Berkshire mountains. This family-friendly event brims with talent on four stages, in brick-lined courtyards and on grassy fields. Admission $48, with children under 6 free. freshgrass.com

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The Big E – West Springfield

Friday, Sept. 13-Sunday, Sept. 29

The Eastern States Exposition is the largest fair in the Northeast, with rides, games, contests, parades, live entertainment and more. There is truly something for everyone at this New England autumn tradition, which is the ninth largest fair in North America. Admission: $15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, children under 5 are free. thebige.com.

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stART on the Street – Worcester

Sunday, Sept. 15

Shop handmade items from over 300 crafters, watch artists create unique works right on the street, enjoy music, performances and kids’ activities. Admission is free. startonthestreet.org.

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Belchertown Fair – Belchertown

Friday, Sept. 20-Sunday, Sept. 22

This community fair features plenty of fun for kids, including rides, balloon twisting, circus performers, a kids’ activity area and a petting zoo. Traditional exhibit halls, horse and oxen pulls add to the classic fall fun. Admission is free. belchertownfair.com.

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Team Haverhill’s River Ruckus – Haverhill

Saturday, Sept. 21

Live music, classic cars, a kids’ zone, local food and fireworks over the Merrimack River make this an annual festival not to miss. Admission is free. teamhaverhill.org.

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Lenox Apple Squeeze

Saturday, Sept. 21

Artisans, musicians, farm stands and performers gather to celebrate the apple harvest at this engaging street festival for all ages. Children’s games, wagon rides and all-things-apple usher in fall in the Berkshires. Admission is free. lenox.org.

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Wachusett Mountain KidsFest – Princeton

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 21-22

Two days of music, food, and family fun. Enjoy live performances, walk-around entertainment, magic shows, and clowns, and see it all from above on the scenic summit SkyRide. Admission: $10 for adults, $8 for kids 6-12. wachusett.com. 

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North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival – Orange

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 28-29

There is something for everyone at this family-friendly fall event, held on a beautiful historic farm amidst autumn foliage. Over 100 booths of regional artists, farmers, and garlic cuisine, live music and kids activities. Admission is free. garlicandarts.org.