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Fall Is Fabulous in Saratoga: Celebrate the Season With These 10 Can't-Miss Events

Editor's Note (10/9/2020): Below, we've noted which events have announced 2020 details and which have been canceled this year.

Step outside and breathe in the sweet smells of pumpkin spice and cider doughnuts - it's fall in Saratoga County! The season is a fabulous time to visit the area, whether you love colorful fall foliage, festivals, Halloween happenings, or traditional family activities. Have an amazing autumn in Saratoga by attending some of these upcoming top events.

Discover Who Has the Greatest Pumpkin of Them All This Fall

giant pumpkins on displayNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

For the 2020 Saratoga Giant Pumpkinfest, the biggest pumpkins of the season will be on display in various locations around Saratoga from September 30 - October 14, 2020. Although the pumpkin weigh-in was for growers only, the public is welcome to check out the pumpkins at the following spots:

  • Hoffman Car Wash & Hoffman Jiffy Lube - 5 Lowes Drive, Wilton, NY
  • Mabey's Moving & Storage, Inc. - 142 Raylinsky Road, Ballston Lake, NY
  • Coburg Village - Coburg Village Way, Rexford, NY
  • Stewart's Shops - 1736 US Route 9, Clifton Park, NY
  • Saratoga Springs City Center - 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Sunnyside Gardens - 345 Church Street, Saratoga Springs, NY
  • Saratoga Spa State Park, Route 9, Avenue of the Pines entrance, Saratoga Springs, NY

Fall in Love with Halfmoon's New Harvest Festival

kid near a sheep

Editor's Note (9/3/2020): The 2020 event has been canceled. Below, you can read about the 2019 event for an idea of what to expect when the event returns in 2021.

Formerly known as the Fall Festival, the Town of Halfmoon's new Harvest Festival will offer activities for all ages on Saturday, September 28, at Halfmoon Town Park. You can meet friendly animals at the pony rides and petting zoo areas, test your skills at pumpkin decorating, games, and rock climbing, listen to live music, or even just shop at the vendors.

Admission is free, although there is a fee for the Chicken BBQ. Pre-sale tickets for the BBQ are available from Halfmoon Celebrations members.

The Harvest Festival runs from 12:00pm-4:00pm, so consider an early dinner after the event. There are a large number of dining options at Clifton Park Center (3 miles west of Halfmoon Town Park), and nearby, such as Caputo's Pizzeria Restaurant and Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse.

Face Your Darkest Fears at Double M Haunted Hayrides

dead end road event poster

For over 25 years, Double M Haunted Hayrides in Ballston Spa has been recognized as one of the Capital Region's top haunted attractions. In order to maintain social distancing for 2020, the Haunted Hayrides have been reimagined as a Dead End Road Drive-Thru Experience. Visitors will remain in their vehicle and enjoy all the laughs, thrills, and chills of the Halloween season during this contactless haunted theatrical experience. The event will be open on Thursday - Sunday nights in October.

Taste the Region's Bounty at the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival

person holding up a wine glassNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

Editor's Note (9/3/2020): The 2020 event has been canceled. Below, you can read about the 2019 event for an idea of what to expect when the event returns in 2021.

Over the years, the annual Saratoga Wine & Food Festival has transformed into a unique destination event focusing on culinary excellence and ethos, sustainable practices, and cultural experiences. Not only is it Saratoga Performing Arts Center's largest educational programming fundraiser, but the festival celebrates the local region's bounty, from the Adirondacks to the Hudson Valley.

The Saratoga Wine & Food Festival will include a Farm-To-Table Harvest Dinner on Friday, October 4, and the Grand Tasting on Saturday, October 5, around Saratoga Spa State Park's reflecting pool. Get your tickets and look forward to gourmet tastings, fine wines, musical performances, and more.

Show Off Your Halloween Spirit at The Great Pumpkin Challenge

kids running down a roadNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

Editor's Note (9/3/2020): The 2020 Great Pumpkin Challenge has been made into a virtual event.

Please note that due to the limited number of people who can congregate at an event, the 20th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge will be held virtually. Learn more here.

Take Your Taste Buds on a Culinary Trip Around the World

food tables set up in parking lotNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

Editor's Note (10/8/2020): The 2020 Saratoga International Flavorfeast has been canceled. The next Flavorfeast is now scheduled for October 9, 2021. Below, you can read about the 2019 event for an idea of what to expect next fall. Check back in 2021 for more info.

Saratoga boasts one of the region's best restaurant scenes, and on Saturday, October 12, you can go on an unforgettable food tasting experience at the 6th Annual Saratoga International Flavorfeast. Each year, Flavorfeast celebrates Saratoga's culinary diversity by welcoming visitors to sample international dishes from participating downtown Saratoga restaurants.

After picking up your free event passport, you can travel to each location and feast on delicious flavors from a variety of countries, including Mexico, Japan, China, Italy, and France. Samples are only $1, so stop by and savor the selection of authentic dishes from around the world.

Stroll Through Time at "The Way We Were" Car Show

aerial shot of a car show in a villageNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

Editor's Note (9/3/2020): The 2020 car show has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you can still see the 2019 details for an idea of what to expect when the event returns in 2021.

Calling all classic car enthusiasts! On Sunday, October 13, the Ballston Spa Business & Professional Association will present the 17th Annual "The Way We Were" Car Show in downtown Ballston Spa. Featuring hundreds of classic cars and trucks on display, this popular fall event is open to the public from 9:00am-4:00pm.

Head over to the Village of Ballston Spa and enjoy a stroll through time around the wide variety of vehicles. In addition to the cars and trucks lining Front Street, there will be food and merchandise vendors, a Kid's Zone near Old Iron Spring, and music. For even more history, browse the top-notch antiques at Daisy Dry Goods and Stone Soup Antiques Gallery in the downtown area.

Tour the Haunted Grounds at the Town of Wilton's Gavin Park

spooky trail with halloween decor

Editor's Note (9/3/2020): Operation Adopt a Solider, Inc. has announced the 2020 Haunted Hayrides have been canceled. Below, you can still see the 2019 details for an idea of what to expect next fall.

While some Halloween attractions can scare even the bravest adults, others are perfect for families with kids who don't mind a few scares here or there. On October 18-19, and October 25-26, Operation Adopt a Soldier will present their 18th Annual Haunted Hayride at the Town of Wilton's Gavin Park.

Hayrides will be offered from 5:00pm-10:00pm each day of the event, and from 4:00pm-6:00pm, there will be games, food, face painting, and more for families to enjoy at the park. Prepare for an extra spooky ride if you join them after dark. Tickets are $15 per adult and $8 per kid.

Before checking out the Halloween season festivities, we recommend stopping for an early dinner in the surrounding region. Winslow's Restaurant and The Wishing Well are located in Gansevoort about 7 miles north of Gavin Park, while TGI Fridays, Applebee's, and Panera are located south near Wilton Mall.

Experience New & Old Traditions at the Saratoga Fall Festival

kids rolling pumpkins down roadNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements

The Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association has reimagined their annual festival into an in-person and virtual event for 2020. Enjoy a family-friendly Great Saratoga Pumpkin Hunt in downtown Saratoga, festive menus at local restaurants, specials, and more from October 23 - 25, 2020.

Cheer on the Rowers in the Head of the Fish Regatta

two regatta teamsNote: This photo was taken prior to 2020 and does not reflect current social distancing requirements; Photo Credit: SaratogaPhotographer.com

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Head of the Fish Regatta is going virtual this year! From October 30 - November 1, 2020, participants can race 3200 meters on their own or with friends on their home water. You can then submit your time with GPS proof to have your results counted.

Your next fall adventure in Saratoga awaits! Mark your calendar for an event that appeals to you, and get ready to have fun.

This article is sponsored by Saratoga County Tourism. Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or view of Saratoga County Tourism or its members.

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