Fantastic fall festivals for the family

Last updated: March 30, 2023

Nature is celebrating, so why shouldn’t you? Get into the spirit of autumn with tricks and treats, only in Mercer County.

Lake Shawnee’s Dark Carnival

Sept. 29 through Oct. (Fri-Sat nights and Halloween)

It’s that time of year! Mercer County’s abandoned amusement park opens its doors for a few weeks of spine-tingling terror.

Starting in late September, Lake Shawnee will have 2 special events. There’s the Photo and History Tour, which is self-guided. Wander the atmospheric grounds and keep your eyes open for ghosts! Then, gather ‘round the campfire for stories.

Dark Carnival is a hit with teens and horror fans. Explore a haunted house and meet a few creepy characters along the way! Eerie and theatrical, this event is perfect for Halloween. You can also combine it with the Photo and History Tour.

Princeton AutumnFest

Sept. 30

Mercer Street gets extra colorful for fall. Adding to the dramatic murals is the Princeton AutumnFest itself: a swirl of striped vendors’ booths, painted pumpkins and entertainers.

It’s especially popular with kids. There are crafts, games and— best of all— steaming vats of apple butter. Fall can’t get more magical than that.

Oktoberfest in the Park

Sept. 30

Can’t make it to Bavaria? Bluefield City Park’s annual “volksfest” comes pretty close to the original Oktoberfest. All of your favorites will be there: craft beer, German-inspired fare and live music.

Tickets are just $25 per person— a steal, considering you get unlimited beer samples. At any rate, it’s much cheaper than an overseas flight.

Probst! What’s your favorite Mercer County fall festival? Let us know!