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ROUND-UP: Top Fall Events & Activities in HHR 2017

Published: Sep 5, 2017

Celebrate the Harvest in Hershey & Harrisburg in 2017 with these unique events & activities.

HARRISBURG, PA (Sept. 1, 2017) — Celebrate the harvest this fall with the following seasonal events & traditional activities that connect visitors to Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region. Find more iconic Autumn events in Hershey & Harrisburg at www.VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org.

Little Buffalo Festival

Saturday, October 7, 2017: Little Buffalo State Park in Newport, PA will host this day of FREE family-friendly entertainment for the 34th year. Highlights include musical performances on three (3) stages, arts & crafts, poetry reading and dance workshops, face painting and children’s activities, kids musical and dance performances. This event is set among the sprawling 923-acres of a pristine historical and recreational State Park, which features a covered bridge, a restored and operating grist mill, 8-miles of walking trails, picnic areas, a large swimming pool with 2 slides and sprayground attraction, and the 88-acre Hollman Lake which is open year-round for limited boating and fishing. The lake was ranked as a Top Place for Family-Friendly Fishing in the U.S. by TakeMeFishing.org. This festival is always held the first Saturday in October from Noon to Dusk with FREE Admission.

Family at Mill at Little Buffalo State Park PA

Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country’s Cornucopia Wine Quest Weekends

Oct. 14-29, 2017 (Weekends): Partake in seasonal activities at 11 participating wineries from hayrides and roasting s’mores to making grape vine wreaths and decorating wine bottles every Saturday & Sunday over three weekends - Oct 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29.

Wine country - tasting room group tour (2)Hershey Resort

Oct. 13-29, 2017 (Weekends): "Hersheypark® in the Dark" keeps the thrills coming with select rides, live entertainment, and seasonal treats over three weekends - Oct. 13-15, 20-22, 27-29. 

family-fall-fun-hersheypark-in-the-darkOct. 20-28, 2017 (Weekends): Hershey Gardens has a year-round Tropical Butterfly Atrium during the day and the great "Pumpkin Glow" throughout the Gardens at night with 150 illuminated carved pumpkins, storytelling, carving demos, and free candy every Friday & Saturday for two weekends - Oct. 20 & 21, 27 & 28. Hershey Gardens Pumpkin Glow


Oct. 4-7, 2017: The Eastern Division AACA National Fall Meet in Hershey is the largest car show & flea market of its kind in the country with more than 9,000 flea market spaces, 1,000 car corral spaces, and approximately 1,500 show cars.

The event began in Hershey in 1955 and today the event fills the massive grounds and parking lots surrounding Hersheypark and The Giant Center (pictured below).

Visitors come from all over the United States and many countries throughout the world to see some of the most unusual cars and rare parts. If you love antique cars, this is an event to experience.

AACA Eastern Regional Fall Meet Aerial PhotoOct. 22, 2017: The Antique Auto Museum in Hershey hosts "Trunk or Treat" featuring an entertaining afternoon of family fun with crafting tables for kids to decorate their own “Trunk or Treat” bags using various car and Halloween stamps, stickers, markers and more. 

A special general admission price of $7 during this event also allows any visitor 12 years old and under to participate in the “Trunk or Treat” program that has participants hunting for a variety of “trunk or treat” spots throughout the Museum.

Halloween themed videos will be played in the indoor Drive-In theater, several hearse vehicles will be on display, and the inflatable haunted house returns with a spooky witch to keep you on your toes (pictured below).

AACA Museum - Trunk or Treat Program


Oct. 15 & Nov. 12, 2017: Runners flock in the fall for the Hershey Half Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 and the YMCA Harrisburg Marathon, a Boston Marathon Qualifier on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. Check out the full YMCA Race Series for a complete calendar of other races they offer throughout the year in the Hershey & Harrisburg Region.

Harrisburg Marathon

Fall Harvest

Seasonal: Pick your own pumpkin or grab Granny Smith apple from the branch at Strites Orchard near Hershey.

Pumpkin Picking

Year-Round: In Harrisburg’s Midtown District, bag a bundle of bargains from the 40 family farmers and varied vendors inside Broad Street Market, the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the U.S. dating back to the Civil War.

Broad Street Market - Harrisburg Midtown

Outdoor Adventures

The crisp cool Autumn air is perfect for leaf peepers looking to pedal, paddle, or backpack. Find even more Outdoor Activities in our region like Camping, Fishing, Nature Parks, Covered Bridges and Outdoor Events on our web site under Things To Do.

Wildwood Park dog walkWildwood Park & Olewine Nature Center: This County Park & Nature Center is located on the outskirts of Harrisburg with 229-acres reserved for countless species of flora & fauna with the Olewine Nature Center offering engaging exhibits on environmental education, a 90-acre freshwater wetland, and a 6-mile network of walking & biking trails with boardwalks and paved & off-road surfaces.

The park was established in 1901 during the national "City Beautiful Movement" to improve urban life. In 1976, the Dauphin County Commissioners assumed ownership of the property and is now managed by Dauphin County Parks and Recreation Department.

Today, the park is one of Pennsylvania’s premier centers for environmental studies, educational opportunities, and outdoor recreation, and remains a cherished retreat for nature lovers, bird watchers & exercise enthusiasts.

TripAdvisor users ranked this #4 for “Top Things to do in Harrisburg” (2017).

Outdoors-Cocoa KayaksKayaking: Take a lazy river run down the serene Swatara Creek with the cool kids at Cocoa Kayaks of Hershey.

Outdoor bikingBiking: Explore the urban scenery of the Capital City Greenbelt looping around the city of Harrisburg or try the more rural settings along Stoney Valley Rail Trail and Swatara Rail Trail

Capital City Beltway is a 20-mile multi-surface recreational trail that loops in and around the City of Harrisburg. The surfaces vary from on-road sections and dedicated paved paths to gravel sections for bikers, walkers, and non-motorized activities.

In 2016, a 10-mile section of mountain biking single track was also added to the trail network.

The entire loop connects several points of interest including Reservoir Park and the National Civil War Museum, Wildwood Park, PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center, City Island, and Riverfront Park which runs along the Susquehanna River. Featured stops include the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, PA Holocaust Memorial, and Five Senses Garden

Stony Valley Rail Trail runs 20-miles one-way with the western Trail Head parking lot located along Stony Creek Road just outside of the little town of Dauphin and the eastern Trail Head is at Segriest Dam/Lebanon Reservoir.

Swatara Rail Trail runs 10-miles one-way with the western Trail Head located at the Jonestown/Hershey NE KOA Journey Campground in Jonestown, PA or Days Inn Lebanon/Fort Indiantown Gap and the eastern Train Head at the Hampton Inn Pine Grove in Pine Grove, PA along Interstate 81. This trail is also a great place to walk your dog according to the web site BringFido.com

2015 Fall Campaign Billboard | Hike

Hiking: The Appalachian Trail runs 16-miles along the ridge of Peters Mountain in Dauphin County with a total hiking time estimated at 6 hours with two (2) shelters: Peters Mountain Shelter (40.425583, -76.879536) and Clarks Ferry Shelter (40.392220, -76.993996), and a scenic overlook Kitners View (40.440535, -76.833848).

Western Trail Head is located at Clarks Ferry Park & Ride next to the Susquehanna River off of Route 22/322.

Eastern Trail Head is located along Clarks Valley Road (40.4519020, -76.7759670) with a parking area.

Shorter Day-Hike Trail Head Option starts at the Peters Mountain Parking Area along Route 225.

Couple at Overlook at Hawk Rock on the Appalachian Trail Harrisburg, PA Area

Hershey Outfitters & Off-Road Segway Tours: Experience a 2.5-hour off-road Segway Tour on the grounds of The Hotel Hershey and enjoy a high-flying adventure on the Odyssey Challenge Course and Zipline, or go Kayaking, Geo-caching, Trapshooting, Fly Fishing, or take on Archery Tag.

The Odyssey Course consists of four high ropes challenges that present excitement for all ages as climbers navigate their way through bridges, ropes, and tunnels on this two-hour guided tour learning the basics of climbing while experiencing the beautiful grounds of The Hotel Hershey. After successfully navigating the rope obstacles, participants will ride a 100-foot self-descending zip line to the finish.

Segway Tour at Hotel Hershey

SEASONAL: Segway Tours are offered April thru November and Reservations are required. Check web site listing for current dates & times of operation prior to visiting.

Box Huckleberry Site – One of the Oldest Living Organisms in the World

Located 25-miles northwest of Harrisburg within the 10-acre Tuscarora State Forest in Perry County, the Box Huckleberry site is one of the few places where the unusual box huckleberry plant is found. Box huckleberry is one of the oldest living organisms in the world. This particular colony of box huckleberry is over 1,000 years-old according to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The site includes 27 interpretive stations along a trail in addition to the low growth of the box huckleberry. This site could connect nicely for stories including hiking, biking, and wineries in the area. It’s recognized by the National Park Service which could be another hook with the 100th Anniversary on August 25, 2016.

See more on this plant and site at the following sites:

Sholl Box Huckleberry Natural Area: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoverter_and_Sholl_Box_Huckleberry_Natural_Area

Box Huckleberry (Gaylussacia brachycera): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaylussacia_brachycera

National Park Service Centennial: http://www.nationalparks.org/our-work/celebrating-100-years-service

Leaf Peeping: The most majestic mountaintop view is earned at the peak of Hawk Rock (pictured above) accessed by a short section of the Appalachian Trail in the village of Duncannon, which is home to The Doyle Hotel - the no-frills hostel in the center of this tiny town that has become a highly anticipated oasis for the long-haul hikers who post photos and letters on the walls from their time on the trail.

Fall Foliage Fun at Little Buffalo State Park



Visit Hershey & Harrisburg is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) leading economic growth through destination sales, consumer marketing, public relations, and tourism development in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The organization, accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) since 2010, is committed to actively marketing the tourism assets in the Hershey & Harrisburg Region to business and leisure travelers both domestic & international. The bureau also leads regional sales efforts to attract meeting & event organizers, sporting event producers, and group tour leaders. For more information go to VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org or call 877-727-8573.

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110