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Header Photos
October 2016
Massachusetts is rich in arts & culture, so it's no surprise that exciting events, exhibits and festivals are held in the state's 16 regions all year long. Find out more!
Autumn thrives in Massachusetts!
Credit Ogden Gigli
Arguably Massachusetts' most beautiful season, fall comes alive in the Commonwealth during October. Vibrant foliage and intoxicating aromas are enhanced by a bounty of festivals and events. From cranberry harvests to Halloween haunts, woodcarving classes to oyster shuck-offs, delights await a variety of tastes and interests this month. We encourage visitors and residents alike to start new, seasonal traditions! For more on what's happening, visit
Featured Region: Mohawk Trail Region
Autumn in Montclair
by George Inness
In autumn, Mother Nature curates the most spectacular outdoor exhibition - and finds her equal in the luminous paintings inside the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown. Autumn foliage sets the Clark's 140-acre campus ablaze, inviting visitors to wander the walking trails, explore the quiet woodlands, and treasure the experience of being at one with nature. Inside, the Clark's collection is rich with paintings by French Impressionists, Old Masters, and treasured American icons like Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent. It's fun, though, to tour the galleries in search of some of the stunning works highlighting the season, including Autumn in Montclair by George Inness. A lunch break in the Clark's CafĂ© 7 highlights locally sourced meats and vegetables with a menu that Zagat says makes it "worth the drive to the Berkshires." 

Find more information on The Mohawk Trail Region

Two unique October events showcase the old and the new.  Collings Foundation opens to the public for an annual World War II encampment and "Battle for the Airfield" re-enactment on October 8-9. It's a rare opportunity to see the foundation's world-renowned historic military vehicles during this living history event! On October 15, tables offering the newest retail and gourmet treats (both local and national) line the corridors of the Natick Mall at Fall Mall Street Market.  Find more information on MetroWest.
Nantucket Island

Affectionately dubbed Nantucket Noel, holiday festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving with the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Community Caroling. Gather at the top of Main Street to watch over 100 Christmas trees magically come alive! Joyous caroling fills the air, led by the Accidentals & Naturals.  Clever and crafty local children decorate the trees in time for Christmas Stroll the following weekend, December 2-4.  Don't miss Santa's arrival via Coastguard Cutter Saturday, December 3 at noon!  Find more information on Nantucket Island.
North of Boston
From jack-o-lanterns to giant pumpkins, October has it all! October 1-31, party with ghouls and ghosts at Salem's Haunted Happenings festival. It's a fang-tastically festive celebration of all things Halloween and offers claw-some activities for all ages, from the Grand Parade and Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair to ghost tours and more! After getting your fill of spooks and frights, visit the Topsfield Fair (September 30 - October 10). Enjoy 10 days of concerts, rides, great food, and the giant pumpkin contest! Find more information on North of Boston.  Find more information on North of Boston.
Plymouth County

Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth will host an October Lecture Series on Wednesday evenings. Reception at 6:30 p.m. lecture, followed by the 7 p.m. lecture. October 5, "Lost & Disguised Buildings of Plymouth": Forgotten, demolished or hidden historic buildings; October 12, "The Pilgrimization of Plymouth": Pilgrim Tercentenary a century ago; October 19, "A Calf and a Cameo: Tales of Recent Archaeological Excavation in Plymouth": Haunted findings of the summer excavations in downtown Plymouth; October 26, "The World in a Musket Ball": Learn about these small but deadline objects from a frontline battlefield detective! Find more information on Plymouth County.
Southeastern Mass

Join the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra on October 15th for their first concert of the season on October 15th - Powerful Beauty. Christopher James Lees will conduct Adam Schoenberg's Finding Rothko, Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto and Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 8. More information can be found here and tickets can be purchased here.   Find more information on Southeastern Massachusetts
The Berkshires

Credit Ogden Gigli
Come one, come all. As one of the world's liveliest centers for making and enjoying today's most evocative art, MASS MoCA in North Adams has something for every art and culture enthusiast. The fall is full of music, animation, comedy, dance, live performances, and more. Get tickets to see Jena Friedman, Benjamin Clementine, John Kelly, and Helga Davis or pop in to see one of the new large-scale, immersive installations. Surround yourself with beautiful artwork and immerse yourself in Berkshire culture! Find more information on The Berkshires
Greater Merrimack Valley

The Art and Mystery of the Dollhouse, a new exhibition at the Concord Museum, runs October 14 through January 15, 2017. Explore tiny worlds that capture life's detail and capture the imagination through dollhouses and miniatures from the 17th through early 20th centuries. Discover the dollhouse's evolution from wealthy treasure to colorful children's plaything. Highlights include a rare dollhouse from 1695 and Melissa Shakespeare, a doll owned by beloved children's book illustrator Tasha Tudor, whose doll wedding was covered by Life magazine! Presenting Sponsor: Middlesex Savings Bank; Corporate Sponsor: Newbury Court. Find more information on
Greater Merrimack Valley.
Central Massachusetts

Fall in love with Central Mass this month as apples, pumpkins, and jewel-toned leaves steal the scene! The Global Harvest Festival at Hiefer Farm in Rutland on October 1 &2 features international crafts, live music, apple cider, and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch! The ever-popular Fall Fest Weekend returns to Tower Hill Botanic Garden October 8-10 and will include apple, cider, and honey tasting, and cooking demos! On October 22, the 13th Annual Great Pumpkin Fest at EcoTarium will showcase 1000+ carved and lit pumpkins!  Find more information on Central Massachusetts.
Franklin County
Mike's Maze in Sunderland celebrates the National Park Service centennial! At Warner Farm (23 South Main Street), you'll find a stunning depiction of Yellowstone's Old Faithful geyser that surges up in this 8-acre corn field, with Teddy Roosevelt's striking profile emerging from the misty cloud. John Muir, "Grandfather of the National Parks" observes the sublime scene from below, silhouetted against his beloved pines. A great experience for families, company outing or team-building. Call 413-665-8331 for reservations or visit  Find more information on Franklin County.
Greater Boston
Expect the unexpected at ArtWeek from September 30 through October 9! ArtWeek is an award-winning bi-annual creative festival featuring more than 180 unique, unexpected, and creative experiences that are participatory, interactive, or offer behind-the-scenes access to artists or the creative process. An added bonus - over 65% are FREE! Find more information on Greater Boston
Cape Cod
Fall for the Arts this October on Cape Cod! Highlights include live performances by local musicians, open houses at cultural venues, readings & lectures, art activities for children, guided heritage walks, plein air painters, special exhibits and more! Presented by the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod in partnership with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. Other upcoming events include the Yarmouth Seaside Festival October 8-10, Wellfleet Oyster Fest October 15-16 and Halloween in Provincetown October 28-31!  Find more information on Cape Cod.
Greater Springfield
Greater Springfield celebrates all things spooky with Frightfest at Six Flags New England now through October 30th.  You'll find family-friendly thrills by day but the ghouls come out at night!  Frightfest is the largest Halloween event in New England.  Not scary enough for you?  Visit New England Scare Fest from October 13-16th at Storrowton Village at the Eastern States Exposition for a haunted attraction with state-of-the-art production, props, designs and costumes.  Go to for more info! Find more information on Greater Springfield.
Hampshire County
Celebrate the art of prints, books, and zines at Print Works in Northampton Sunday, October 2, featuring Zea May's Printmaking annual print fair, the Northampton Print & Book Fair and BIG INK, a live woodcut art demo. Then later this month meet over 250 extraordinary artists and master craft makers traveling from every corner of the country to show off original works of art at the Paradise City Arts Festival on Columbus Day Weekend, October 8-10.  Find more information on Hampshire County.
Johnny Appleseed Country
Huge pumpkins. Carved pumpkins...and painted pumpkins, too. Harvest season in Johnny Appleseed Country isn't just about apples - foliage season festivals turn the spotlight on mountains of bright orange orbs. While enjoying the great colors of fall, visit the grand-daddy of pumpkin fests, the Phillipston Pumpkin Weigh-In on October 8 at the Red Apple Farm. Tour the pumpkin patch at Lanni Orchards on October 22-23, or carve a frightful face at Templeton's Pumpkin Festival on October 29. Follow a scenic road, and enjoy! Find more information on Johnny Appleseed Country.
Martha's Vineyard 
Fall for the Arts on Martha's Vineyard! Throughout the month of October you'll find an amazing selection of culinary, film, dance, visual arts, music, theater, exhibits, cultural districts, literature, festivals and more! Visit to plan your trip, including all the Last Minute Lodging deals. Find more information on Martha's Vineyard.
Regional Tourism Councils  
Funded by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism