Cumberland Valley celebrates the start of fall with a collection of fall-themed events! We've curated a colorful weekend escape filled with festivals, food, fun, and more. 

Just a short two- to three-hour drive from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh, you can leave work a little early on Friday and arrive here by dinnertime.

 

FRIDAY EVENING

Start your festival weekend with the Fall Fun at Winding Hill Park in Mechanicsburg. Running from 4 pm to 9 pm on Friday evening, September 27, you'll find food trucks, craft vendors, hayrides, and more.

Music fans can enjoy a concert by 38 Special at the Luhrs Center in Shippensburg and racing fans can catch Friday night racing at Williams Grove Speedway. The schedule on September 27 features 410 Sprints World of Outlaws Tune-Up and the 358 Sprints Hoosier Diamond Series.

A couple enjoys cocktails on the patio at Dockside Willies in Wormleysburg, PA

The comfortable weather in early fall is ideal for al fresco dining. With over 300 restaurants in Cumberland Valley, you'll find varying cuisine types, including Belgium, Japanese, Nepalese, Thai, and more, mixed with favorite American classics. Pictured: Dockside Willies

SATURDAY MORNING

Start your day with a delicious, seasonal treat. Cumberland Valley is bursting with farm markets and bakeries serving fresh produce and mouth-watering baked goods, including apple and pumpkin-flavored treats.

Artisan breads and baked goods at Talking Breads in Mechanicsburg

On the West Shore, check out the West Shore Farmer's Market. This 60,000-ft facility is home to 50 vendors selling a delectable and delightful array of produce, meats, cheeses, spices, and baked goods. If you have time, browse the upstairs shops for home decor, gifts, clothing, and more. Or, check out the Dillsburg Farmers' Market, the New Cumberland's Farmers' Market on 4th, and Farmers' Market on the Lawn in Newville. The seasonal open-air markets feature locally-grown produce, baked goods, and other delightful treats.

Sweet Velvet Macarons in Camp Hill sells uniquely sweet and delicious handcrafted French macarons. The monthly flavor menu features 20 curated options. Nearby, the Pennsylvania Bakery in Camp Hill is a local favorite for all things sweet. In its large selection of bakery cases, you can find monster cookies, seasonal cupcakes, rotating flavors of scones, and everything in between. 

Talking Breads (pictured) in Mechanicsburg mills their own flour and makes many baked items, including Old World European bread, scones, turnovers, and hand pies in an open-concept bakery.

Although it's not a bakery, Fay's Country Kitchen in Carlisle is a crowd-pleaser. This vintage cafe serves breakfast and lunch in a Coca-Cola-themed dining room. Diners will be delighted by the massive pancake menu, showcasing seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice topped with homemade whipped cream. Be sure to bring cash, as they do not accept credit cards.

If you're staying in Shippensburg, stop by the Art of Pie Cafe and be tempted by their rotating display of sweet delights, crepes, and breakfast sandwiches.

SATURDAY EVENTS

Today's lineup of fall festivals means a full day of eating, drinking, shopping, and entertainment. It showcases all the reasons why Cumberland Valley is a wonderful place to live, work, play, and visit. Choose your favorite or hit all three stops if you're feeling ambitious. 

Harvest of the Arts & Meeting of the Marques (September 28)

Harvest of the Arts is a downtown Carlisle staple and includes juried crafts, an emerging artist market, entertainment, kids' activities, and food vendors. Parts of West High Street and Pitt Street are closed for the event, giving visitors plenty of room to stroll the street, shop downtown's unique boutiques and galleries, and admire the architecture of this pre-Revolutionary War town. Meeting of the Marques is a display and appreciation of the art of vehicles, featuring British and American-made cars. Event Hours: 10 am-5 pm Event Cost: Free  

Vendors sitting at their tents at the Harvest of the Arts

Sunflower Festival (September 28 & 29)

Stroll through 50 acres of sunflowers at Meadowbrooke Gourds' Sunflower Festival. This unique farm is the largest gourd-crafting facility in the country, and visitors will love exploring its grounds. Several gourd-shaped houses make the perfect backdrop for photos, and the two-day festival includes an Oops! sale, craft vendors, food vendors, trolley rides, music, and nearby pumpkin picking. Visitors are encouraged to cut and take home the sunflowers. Event Hours: 10 am-6 pm  Event Cost: Free

Sunflower field at Meadowbrooke Gourds

New Cumberland Apple Festival (September 28)

This annual festival entertains families with music, great food, handmade crafts, contests, and lots of activities. More than 200 craft vendors and 70 food vendors are set up in New Cumberland Borough Park.

New Cumberland Apple Festival Apple Pie

SATURDAY EVENING

The fun continues Saturday night. Race go-karts, play mini-golf, compete in laser tag, and enjoy arcade games at the Carlisle Sports Emporium or catch a movie under the stars at the Cumberland Drive-In Theatre. Old-fashioned fun continues at Midway Bowling. Rock 'N Bowl occurs (Friday & Saturday nights) from 9:30 pm to 12:30 am. Or test your skills on their axe-throwing lanes. End the evening with a drink on their outdoor patio, where you can relax around the fire pits or play corn hole and other lawn games.

Couple drinking craft beers with an appetizer at Molly Pitcher Brewing Company

Tap, tour and try a pint on the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail. Sign up for a free passport and visit over 30 breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries spread out over the Valley. Check-in at participating locations and earn prizes.  With so many flavors to explore, you'll want to make a return visit. 

SUNDAY MORNING

Start Sunday morning with peaceful Yoga on the Terrace ($10 donation suggested) at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center. Afterward, stay around to take a free self-guided tour of the mansion and hike some of the 25 miles of trails. The park has numerous overlooks and picnic areas.

Or, enjoy a complimentary one-hour yoga class at Hemauer Brewing Co. and stay for brunch afterward. Please note that pre-registration is required. 

If you signed up for our Beer Trail passport, several locations along the trail offer delicious Sunday brunch options.

Inside of an antique shop at the Carlisle Antique Mall

Or, begin your morning with a hunt for treasures at the Farmers Flea Market. Taking place every Sunday morning at the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Society grounds, you never know what you will find. If you are looking for more antique or vintage gems, follow our Antiques & Vintage Trail to find the perfect Cumberland Valley memento. Pictured: Carlisle Antique Mall

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Fill your Instagram feed and capture the spirit of Cumberland Valley with images of downtown murals, tucked-away covered bridges and other scenic spots when you explore the Cumberland Valley Photo Trail. Along the way, you're sure to find other happy surprises.

Couple wearing backpacks and holding hands at Waggoner's Gap

Early fall is the perfect time to take a hike in Cumberland Valley. Whether you're taking a day-hike on the iconic Appalachian Trail or ascending to an overlook for sweeping views of the Valley, you'll want to make sure you packed your camera. Pictured: Waggoner's Gap Hawk Watch

MAKE A RETURN VISIT

If you enjoyed your early fall visit to Cumberland Valley, you'll want to return later in the fall. Upcoming fall festivals include:

October 12 & 13: Pennsboro Pumpkin Festival @ Adams-Ricci Park
October 19: Ag Day @ Dill's Tavern
October 19 & 20: Fall Furnace Fest @ Pine Grove Furnace State Park
October 26 & 27: Shippensburg Pumpkin Festival @ Shippensburg Fairgrounds

Look for additional festivals to be added to the schedule as we get closer to October.

Top view of the Three Hollow Square Overlook looking down at the valley in the fall

Peak fall foliage typically occurs in mid-late October. Whether you prefer to drive or hike, find the best viewing spots. Pictured: Kings Gap Environmental Education Center

Top