Penn's Colony Village
365 Saxonburg Blvd.
Saxonburg, PA 16056
Date: Sept 22 to 23 and 29 to 30
Price: $5 to $7
An event celebrated for decades, Penn's Colony festival awaits in the historical small town of Saxonburg, about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Spend a Saturday or Sunday there to experience a recreated colonial village complete with music, arts and crafts, food and battle re-enactments of the French and Indian War in the 1750s. Be sure to bring some cash to take home some of the amazing handmade folk art you'll see. Bonus attraction for antiquers: Head back to Penn's Colony in October for Antiquing at the Colony.
528 Trax Road
Finleyville, PA 15332
Dates: weekends Sept. 19 to Oct. 25
Price: $6 to $8
If you crave pumpkin patches and hayrides as cooler weather sets in, Trax Farms is a must this fall. Every weekend, Trax opens up its farm for pumpkin picking, apple tasting in its orchards, food booths from local bakers and cooks, and a phenomenal 2.5-acre cornfield maze. Work up an appetite during the pumpkin picking, then stop by the Trax Garden Cafe for a fresh apple dumpling and a mug of hot apple cider before you head home.
Hickory Firehall Grounds
106 Main St. Route 50
Hickory, PA 15340
Dates: Sept. 29 and 30
Nothing says fall like a fresh apple pie, and the Hickory Apple Festival embraces it in a big way. Compete in apple-bobbing and pie-eating contests, and don't miss out on the homemade apple pie contest. The festival supports the town's volunteer fire department, so go early to indulge in the pancake breakfast that benefits the department. Stick around for demonstrations by woodworkers who carve elaborate sculptures right on the premises and basket makers who weave custom baskets for purchase.
Related: Local Artist Spotlight: Ed Piskor
Bloomfield Little Italy Days
Dates: Sept. 28 to 30
You won't have to leave the city for this annual celebration of Italian-American culture. Every day is a celebration of all things Italian in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood, but the annual Little Italy Days each fall is so big and so well known that the streets are overtaken by food stalls, roving musicians and dancers. From bocce ball tournaments to cannoli eating, this family-friendly festival has it all. Enjoy a weekend filled with performances, outstanding food and special events, but don't miss the parade that marks then end of the festival each year. Festival goers parade right down Liberty Avenue with statues of Madonna della Civita and Jesus, two figures who hold special cultural significance to Bloomfield's Italian-Catholic community. Head to the festival early to take advantage of free parking in spots that are normally metered.
800 Vinial St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Dates: Sept 21 to 23 and 28 to 30
Fall just wouldn't be fall without a little Oktoberfest. Head to Troy Hill for Penn Brewery's two-weekend annual celebration of all things German. With its fantastic old brick building and genuine outdoor biergarten, Penn Brewery is the perfect spot to sample microbrew beers and authentic German food crafted by Penn's talented chef. Penn Brewery is just minutes off of the bike trail and, as a bicycle friendly restaurant, it offers its own bike racks right on the sidewalk. You'll need to burn off all of the homemade pretzels with beer cheese from the dinner buffet somehow. Expect five beers to sample and 50 percent more Oktoberfest this year so it doesn't run out while serving the expected 8,000 to 10,000 participants over the course of the festival.
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