Fall Events Guide 2015 for Families
This guide offers family-friendly events for this fall – everything from when and where to see spectacular fall foliage, fall festivals, horseback riding, scary places to visit, Trick-or-Treat tips, and more. Don’t forget to tell them you saw them in West Virginia Family Magazine!
See “More Things To Do” at the bottom of this page for more fun events coming up this fall.
The Harvest Moon Pumpkin Patch & Picnic
Mountain Rail Adventure at Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad in Elkins WV will be on Sep 26. Train leaves Elkins and goes to Spruce WV, where you can enjoy the Harvest Moon, beautiful fall colors, music, picnic, campfire. Mtn-rail.com or call 866-874-7653.
Mylan Park will host this expo on Sep 26 & 27 at Ruby Community Center at Mylan Park, 500 Mylan Park Lane, Morgantown, WV. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wide variety of exotic animals, reptiles, amphibians, parrots, aquatics, and more. Food vendors, petting zoo, face painting. Adult admission $7. Children under 12 free. Parking free. http://greaterappalachianexoticanimalandreptileexpo.webs.com.
The Forest Festival is one of the largest and oldest festivals in the state. Festivities will begin Sep 26-Oct 4 in Elkins, WV.304-636-1824 www.forestfestival.com.
36th Annual Bridge Day
One of the largest extreme sports event in the world is the Annual Bridge Day in Fayette County, WV. This one-day event is on Oct. 17 . The 876′ tall New River Gorge Bridge, serves as the launch point for hundreds of BASE jumpers into the New River Gorge below! Nearly 80,000 spectators are expected to attend the event. http://officialbridgeday.com.
Burlington Old Fashion Apple Harvest Festival
Oct. 3-4 in Keyser, WV. Apple butter making, parade, fireworks, BBQ, entertainment, flea market, arts & crafts. 304-788-2342. www.bumfs.org.
Rich Farms, 2043 Springhill Furnace Road, Smithfield, PA. Pumpkin patch, hay ride, corn maze, turf path, face painting, hay mountain, fishing, nature park, and more. 724-564-7644 www.richfarms.com.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium again this fall will host the on Oct. 17-18 and 24-25. From 11 a.m. – 4 p.m young guests (accompanied by an adult, of course) can collect candy, enjoy the animals, and participate in other fun activities along the way. Halloween parade and costume contest. General admission. www.pittsburghzoo.org. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, One Wild Place, Pittsburgh, PA.
Fall Craft Fair
Harrisville Elementary School in Harrisville, WV. Saturday, October 17 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food concessions, local vendors. Something for everyone. Sponsored by the Harrisville Elementary School PTO. 304-643-2220.
Behind the Screams
Ever wonder how haunted houses work? Want to see the intricate details without the madness of actors and screaming? Come to the WV Penitentiary’s Dungeon of Horrors for a first time ever offering of “Behind the Screams”. October 18 and 25 from 2-4 p.m. Groups will leave approximately every half hour. Tickets available at the gate, not available online. Please purchase tickets by 2 p.m.! $5 per person. WV Penitentiary, 818 Jefferson Avenue, Moundsville, WV 30.4-845-6529http://www.wvpentours.com/halloween_behindthescreams
Native American Weekend
Prickett’s Fort State Park in Fairmont, WV will hold its Native American Weekend on Oct. 23-25. Times are Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday noon – 4 p.m. Bring the family and enjoy an interactive history lesson which will include displays, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for the kids. Regular admission. www.prickettsfort.org.
The WV Penitentiary is one of the scariest and most haunted places in the country with reportings of paranormal activity year-round. Monday, October 26th is Kid’s Night at the Moundsville Training Center at North Wagon Gate. For ages 1-6. Admission is $5/child. Adults are free. Trick-or-treat, games, treats, face-painting, and more fun. 6-8 p.m. All proceeds donated to charity. http://www.wvpentours.com/halloween_kidsnight Tuesday, October 27th is Family Night at the Dungeon. Join us for the Lil’ Dungeon of Horrors for children ages 7-12. This is a scaled down version of our haunted house for those not quite ready for the full version (which is not recommended for anyone under 13.) $10 per family of 4, $5 each additional person. 6-8 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the gate, not online. This feature is not stroller or wheelchair accessible. You will encounter low ceilings, stairs, tight areas, fog, and such. http://www.wvpentours.com/halloween_familynight WV Penitentiary, 818 Jefferson Avenue, Moundsville, WV 30.4-845-6529 http://www.wvpentours.com/index.htm.
Halloween Party at North Bend State Park
October 29. Cairo, WV. Come for games, prizes, costume contests, crafts, and much more. For more information call North Bend at 304-643-2931 or 1-800-CALL-WVA. www.northbendsp.com
Morgantown WV is a paint-your-own pottery studio. Create a gift or your own Halloween décor that will last for generations. Also available, glass-fusing, mosaic, and clay. 3453 University Avenue, Morgantown WV. 304-599-2WOW. www.TheWowFactoryOnline.com.
Farm Discovery Center at Blackwater Falls State Park is a hands-on, interactive exhibit for kids. Friendly animals in the petting zoo. 1003 Blackwater Lodge Road, Davis, WV 304-259-5611.
Horseback Riding at Mountain Trail Rides in Beautiful Canaan Valley, WV. Colorful trees… Cool mountain breeze… Rustling leaves… Your mind at Ease! Fall is the perfect time for family and group field trips. Gift shop and petting zoo. 255 Freeland Road, Davis, WV. 304-866-4652. MountainTrailRides.com
The Asylum Haunted House
The Asylum Haunted House at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV Presents Hysteria. Are you looking for a SCARE? Can you survive a journey into the Asylum? Enter at your own risk! Ages 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult. General admission – $20. VIP admission $40. www.theasylumwv.com. Open October weekends.
Open Every Wednesday-Sunday in October. Fright Farm, located in Smithfield, PA, has been providing 26 years of FEAR! Their state-of-the-art special effects, highly-detailed scenes, custom digital soundtracks, computerized lighting, and talented actors make Fright Farm a frightening experience unlike any other. www.frightfarm.com.
Oct. 9-11. Ghost Hunts and Tours. Celebrate Fall with vendors, games, haunted house, flashlight tours, and more. Admission to Fall Fest activities is free (fee charged for tours, haunted house, and vendors). www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com.
October 31 is Halloween! Be Safe!
- Parents should supervise younger children.
- Consider using makeup instead of a mask to prevent vision issues.
- There is safety in numbers – be sure your child stays with a group or with a buddy.
- Map out a route and stick to it.
- Have your child carry a cell phone or two-way radio to stay in contact.
- Stay in neighborhoods you know.
- Use reflective tape or glow sticks for visibility.
- Take a flashlight.
- Use sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Avoid long skirts, capes, or baggy pants which could cause your child to trip.
- To prevent kids from “pigging out” on candy while Trick-or-Treating, give them a nutritious snack or meal before they go.
- Inspect candy. Throw away any unwrapped, loosely wrapped, or otherwise suspicious items.
- Divide candy into portions that can be enjoyed over a longer time span.
The First Day of Fall
(Autumn)/Fall Equinox is September 23. Fall brings cooler temps and beauty as the hills of WV show a splendor of color! Peak color varies by region of the state. See the map below, provided by the Wild and Wonderful WV Parks & Forests.
The WV Division of Forestry also provides weekly fall foliage reports, maps by county, and a fall foliage coloration guide by tree species. Go to http://www.wvforestry.com/
(Please use the phone numbers and website links to find out more about these wonderful fall activities.)