FROM COLORFUL TO SPOOKY, TASTY AND BARGAIN-FILLED, MT WASHINGTON VALLEY’S OCTOBER-NOVEMBER EVENT CALENDAR IS PACKED WITH FALL, HALLOWEEN, SHOPPING EVENTS
North Conway, NH – Fall is filled with everything from leaf-peepers to fair-goers to beer-lovers and Mt Washington Valley businesses have packed the calendar with colorful, spooky and tasty events throughout the fall season. Combine a leaf-peeping vacation with everything from family-friendly festivals and scenic drives and hikes, and you’ve got just what you need for the perfect White Mountains of New Hampshire holiday. It won’t be all that long until we move into holiday shopping season, with its own set of tax-free shopping events too. Read on for some of the highlights of the fall event calendar in Mt Washington Valley, NH.
Throughout October: Return of the Pumpkin People: Now in its 32nd year, this self-guided tour follows the official Return of Pumpkin People Map to find the properties offering creative displays, each of which involves at least one “pumpkin person”. Be sure to look for the official logo identifying each host property. Vote for the People’s Choice Display, and use the map to take your own pumpkin filled foliage tour of Mt Washington Valley. You’ll find more than a dozen pumpkin people displays at Settlers Green Outlets, with judging for their 3rd Annual Pumpkin People Challenge taking place on October 1. Maps and “People’s Choice” ballots will be available at all participating properties. Maps can be printed off the front page of this website by September 10th. Info: http://www.jacksonnh.com/event/964/Return-of-the-Pumpkin-People.
October 1: Bike for Books Mountain Bike Adventure to benefit North Conway Library: The event offers biking enthusiasts of all levels and abilities a great opportunity to explore the varied trails and terrain along well-marked routes in and around North Conway by showcasing some of the best mountain biking in the area, spanning all difficulty levels from beginner to expert. Eastside Bike Guides will mark the trails and promises a great variety of trails to explore: from easy, short rides in Whitaker Woods for novice riders and children to very challenging, technical rides for expert mountain bikers. After the ride, join other riders for the included pizza lunch, fresh coffee, and delicious homemade desserts. For info, schedule and pledge forms, check www.NorthConwayLibrary.com/BfB .
October 1: 5th Annual Fell Race at Bretton Woods: Popular in the UK, Fell Running is a combination of mountain racing and orienteering that takes racers through off-road terrain with challenging elevation changes. Essentially, there are a number of “checkpoints” spread out over the mountain that competitors have to navigate in specific order. There are no course markings and no specific path to which the checkpoints have to be reached so this race is all about planning the best route and speed. Pre-Registration must be completed online at https://www.runreg.com/bretton-woods-fell-race.
October 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, November 4, 5: The Ghoullog at Cranmore Mountain Resort: The approximate 50-minute haunt leads the unsuspecting through dark twists and turns, plus an outdoor element leading through the scariest of dark woods. Now in its 10th season of the Ghoullog at Cranmore is one of New England’s scariest and most popular Halloween haunts. Add in the Haunted Playgroundfeaturing the Mountain Coaster, Giant Swing and Soaring Eagle Zipline offering a unique night-time experience with special lighting, effects and the occasional ghost or ghoul when you least expect it and you’ve got a nighttime of Halloween fun. Age, height and weight restrictions apply – view them here. Haunted playground closes a half hour after the Ghoullog. For complete information and pricing, visit www.theghoullog.com.
October 2-9: 166th Annual Fryeburg Fair: Established in 1851, this is Maine’s Blue Ribbon Fair, considered to be one of the best agricultural fairs in the United States. The fair offers non-stop livestock, agriculture and farming exhibitions with over 3,000 head of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, rabbits, oxen and more. The Fair’s Woodsmen’s Field Day on Monday, October 3, is the largest spectator woodsmen event in North America. Contestants come from all over the U.S. and Canada to compete in over 34 woods skills events such as log-rolling, axe throwing, standing block chop, tree felling, skidder driving and log loading. This year’s Fryeburg Fair highlights include horse and ox pulling, calf and pig scrambles and plenty of livestock competitions and displays. There are cooking and baking contests, flower shows, exhibition halls of crafts, handiwork, photos, art, forest and wood products; a full museum of old farm equipment and memorabilia with live demonstrations; the “Little Red Schoolhouse” built in 1835; firemen’s musters, sheepdog trials, tractor pulling, 4WD pulls and pari-mutuel harness racing on the Fair’s half-mile track. The Fair’s Specialty Foods Pavilion offers innovative food products made with local farm ingredients and there’s live entertainment nightly. And the carnival comes to town with rides for all ages. For a full schedule, admission prices and more information, visit http://www.fryeburgfair.org/.
October 7-10, 2016: Columbus Day Sidewalk Sales at Settlers Green: Get in on the final sidewalk sales of the year at Settlers Green and Settlers Crossing. Info: http://www.settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/412-Columbus-Day-Sidewalk-Sale.
October 8-9: 19th Annual Attitash Oktoberfest at Attitash Mountain Resort: This two-day event, amidst what usually promises to be spectacular fall foliage, will feature traditional Bavarian music from King Ludwig’s Band, authentic German fare, and of course, the infamous Biergarten featuring 19 different local and regional breweries serving a variety of tasty beers and ciders. Attitash Oktoberfest is also a family tradition, featuring a Kinderplatz tent complete with arts & crafts, face painting and other mini-games organized by the Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum. And outside, kids of all ages will also enjoy the giant inflatable obstacle course. For adults, one highlight of the Attitash Oktoberfest is the Samuel Adams Stein Hoist Competition. For those who’d rather enjoy than hold their beer, other adult activities include a keg toss competition, corn hole boards, and slacklining. For additional information and online ticket purchase visit https://www.attitash.com/event/oktoberfest/ .
October 9: Purity Spring Resort’s Brew Ha Ha Festival: Celebrate the Columbus Day holiday and fall color along with some seasonal offerings from a variety of local and regional brewers, like Moat Mountain Beer Co, Smutty Nose Brewing Co and Woodstock Inn Brewing. You’ll purchase a mug which will include three 6 oz. beer samples; additional beer samples will be available for purchase at the festival. Then, mosey on through the food corral where the Chefs at Traditions Restaurant will offer up seasonal specialties for purchase. Enjoy tunes by The Offramps starting at 3:00pm., followed by event headliner and local favorite, Shark Martin, at 4:00pm. And there’s plenty of fun for the kids including Giant Board Game Madness – Battleship and Connect Four, a Bounce House sponsored by The Laura Foundation for Autism and Epilepsy , Cornhole Decks, Face Painting and an Alpine 9-hole Disc Golf Course. Event admission is free. Purchase your commemorative glass and three 6 oz. beer samples for $15 at the festival, or order online for just $12. All food, tee-shirts and Disc golf disc rentals are available for purchase too. For information, go to http://www.purityspring.com/brew-ha-ha-festival.
October 16: Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk: This 4.5 mile walk with a 2-mile option in Whitaker Woods, North Conway is a fundraiser to help raise funds for breast cancer research. The public is welcome to join us for this fundraiser and register online or in person. It’s a celebration to honor and remember those affected or lost to breast cancer. Food, activities, awards and more. Info: makingstrideswalk.org/northconwaynh.
October 16-31: All Things Pumpkin Festival in Jackson:For nearly two weeks, businesses throughout Jackson will host open houses, pumpkin tasting tours, carriage rides and more. The Return of the Pumpkin People displays will be throughout the town and the all new “New England & Jackson Invitational Pumpkin Carving Competition Oct 21-22 will be highlights. Be sure to check out the “Hunt for a Cure” Pumpkin People Selfie contest and the Pumpkin Tour through town. Then, October 23rd, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce host a Silent Auction, Pumpkin Carving, Pumpkin Tastings, Magic Shows, Sweet Street trick or treating, and more. For a brochure call 603-383-9356 or visit www.jacksonnh.com/event/1033/All-Things-Pumpkin-Festival.
October 21-23 & 28-30: Pumpkin Patch Express on Conway Scenic RR: Depart from the North Conway Station for a leisurely roundtrip train ride aboard vintage coaches to the White Mountain Cider Company in Glen, where each child can visit the “Pumpkin Patch” and pick out their own pumpkin. The 11:30 Bartlett Valley Train also stops at the Pumpkin Patch on its return to North Conway. Adults and children alike are encouraged to get into the spirit by traveling in their Halloween costumes. Info and schedules: http://conwayscenic.com/events/event/pumpkin-patch-express/.
October 21-22: Murder Mystery Dinner Train aboard Conway Scenic RR: It’s murder, mayhem and merriment aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad’s Murder Mystery Dinner Train as riders participate in solving the mystery steeped in Presidential campaigns. The train departs promptly at 6:00pm. Plan to board early and enjoy a cocktail. The $125.00 fare includes First Class seating for the 3-hour train excursion, a 4-course dinner, live theatrical performance, taxes and gratuities. Beverage service is additional. Reservations are strongly recommended.Lodging packages available with participating B&Bs. Info: www.conwayscenic.com.
October 22: 8th Annual Halloween Town: Sponsored by Purity Spring Resort, Camp Tohkomeupog is transformed into an old fashioned Halloween Town with more than a half-mile of lighted pathways winding throughout camp. The camp’s rustic cabins are theatrically transformed in preparation for this truly unique event. Halloween Town features a Kid Carnival, Petting Farm, Food Court, Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides, Entertainment, Amusement Rides… and the incredible, “Trick-or-Treat Trail!” A variety of finger foods will be for sale. All proceeds will go to The Laura Foundation. The Trick or Treat Trail is designed to be appropriate for kids of all ages. Some parts of the trail are rumored to be haunted and may be scary for some kids. Some parts of the trail are dark and forested; flashlights & appropriate footwear are recommended. For complete information go to http://halloweentownnh.thelaurafoundation.org/.
October 29: A Haunting Night at Admiral Peary Inn, Fryeburg, ME: The fun starts at 6:00 pm with a pizza and salad supper. Hear from Ghost Hunters of Maine who’ll share their findings from past investigations of the Admiral Peary Inn. Afterward, take part in a real paranormal investigation at the Inn. Open to the public and guests of the inn (who just might get to sleep with a ghost!) $30 admission. Guests of the Inn will receive 10% off their room. Info and reservations: 207-935-1269, www.admiralpearyinn.com.
October 29: Truck or Treat Family Halloween Celebration & Costume party at Bretton Woods: Get in the spooky spirit in the Wicked Woods of the Great North at Bretton Woods enjoying festive wagon rides, carnival games, a bouncy house, face painting, balloon twisting, music, food, trick or treating and more. Local families will pile into the main lot at the Bretton Woods Base Lodge in their decorated vehicles and “pop their trunk” so that all of the children can trick-or-treat from car to car in a safe and central location. Dressing up is the best part of the Halloween fun so be sure to come in costume. Info: www.brettonwoods.com/halloween
October 29: Haunted Happenings at Settlers Green: Kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult are invited to go trick-or-treating in stores indicated by the pumpkin sign throughout Settlers Green Outlet Village. Info: http://www.settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/358-Haunted-Happenings.
November 4- Special 10th Anniversary Ghoullog Night: Tickets for this night only are available by reservation only. This exclusive one-night event includes one trip through the Ghoullog, a “lights on” tour through the haunt with the opportunity to take a closer look at the construction, speak with the actors and enjoy a cocktail party immediately following. Each ticket also includes two complimentary drink tickets, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a Q&A session with the creators of the Ghoullog and a 10th anniversary t-shirt. Tickets for the event are $125 and must be pre-purchased by October 17th, online. Info:.
November 5-6: Treat Yourself Weekend at Settlers Green: Treat yourself to a weekend of tax-free shopping, dining and fun in Mt Washington Valley. Events TBA. Info: http://www.settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/313-Treat-Yourself-2016.
November 10-13: Bring a Friend Shopping Weekend at Settlers Green: Revv your shopping engines and get a jump on holiday shopping as Bring a Friend Shopping Weekend returns. Look for live entertainment, great sales at stores, giveaways and more. Two thousand goodie bags with coupons, samples and more will be distributed starting at 8:00am on Sat, November 12th. This has come to be known as one of the largest and definitely most fun shopping weekends of the year. Expanded to a four-day event this year, it’s a great reason for a girlfriends’ getaway. Info: http://www.settlersgreen.com/calendar/20/264-Bring-A-Friend-Shopping-Weekend.
We’ll feature more November and December shopping and holiday events in our next calendar feature. Meanwhile for a full calendar of events and additional vacation planning resources, visit www.MtWashigntonValley.org. To talk with a vacation concierge, please call 1-800-DO-SEEO-NH (800-367-3354). And to learn more about vacations in New Hampshire, please visit www.VisitNH.gov.