The author and her son enjoying the hayride at Mass Audubon’s Farm Day
at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield.

It was a warm, sunny summer, but autumn is just around the corner. The days are growing shorter, the nights are getting longer, and soon we will feel a chill in the air. The first day of fall is September 22. September 23rd brings the full moon know as the Corn Moon, followed by October 23rd’s Harvest Moon.

The onset of fall is a traditional time to celebrate the harvest and acknowledge the change of seasons. Between now and Halloween there are a number of local fests and feasts, offering all sorts of activities for young and old. Think: hay rides, corn mazes, visits to the pumpkin patch, plus lots of locally grown food and freshly pressed apple cider. Read on, and mark your calendar!

34th Annual Corn Festival: Saturday, September 11, from 10-4 (rain date 9/12) at the South Shore Natural Science Center, located on Jacobs Lane in Norwell. This family-friendly event features children’s games, a crafters’ village, hayrides, farm animals, live music, animal demonstrations and plenty of refreshments for sale, including the Kernel’s Kitchen famous corn chowder. Call 781-659-2559 or visit www.ssnsc.org for details.

Harvest Moon Feast: Monday, September 20 at 6 pm at Mill Wharf Restaurant, Scituate Harbor. Celebrate the 40th year of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association while sampling dishes prepared by favorite local restaurants, caterers and purveyors of fresh food. This benefit event includes live jazz by the Lance Van Lenten Trio, beer and wine tastings, and a cash bar. Call 781-659-8168 or visit www.nrswa.org for details.

Historic O’Neil Farm Day – Saturday, September 18, from 11-3 (rain date: 9/19). Visit the historic property at 146 Winter Street in Duxbury and meet farm animals, take a tour of the barn, ride around on a hay wagon, and enjoy live music by the Wildcat Bog Stompers. Have a hamburger or hot dog fresh off the grill and a scoop of ice cream. Plus, 4-H and cheesemaking demonstrations, face painting, and children’s games. Free admission! Visit www.historiconeilfarm.org for details.

Farm Day – Saturday, September 25, 10-4 at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, Winslow Cemetery Road, Marshfield. Mass Audubon’s annual event for families features hayrides, owl demonstrations, live music, a fine arts and crafts show, children’s games and crafts, face painting, a giant hay maze, home-baked treats and other delicious food. Call 781-837-9400 or email southshore@massaudubon.org for details.

Weir River Farm Fall Festival – Saturday, October 2, from 10-2 at Weir River Farm, Turkey Hill Lane, Hingham. Sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations, this annual fall festival celebrates the bounty of another successful farm season with livestock, live music, pumpkins, pony rides, local vendors and more. Call 781-740-7233 or visit www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/greater-boston/weir-river-farm.html for details.

Plimoth Plantation’s 7th Annual Harvest Festival
– Saturday, October 9 from 9-5. Enjoy family-fun crafts and activities at each of the museum sites. In the English Village get hands-on, helping the colonists prepare for winter, saving seeds, plaiting or braiding corn, and making sure there’s enough firewood for all. Experience themed dining events and get a feel for the importance of the harvest season at Plimoth Plantation, located at 137 Warren Ave. Plymouth. Call 508-746-1622 or visit www.plimoth.org for details.

Bog Hollow Farm’s Annual Pumpkin Patch Weekend – October 9-11 (rain date: 9/16-17) from 10-4. Located at 80 Wapping Road, Kingston, this farm has a lot to offer during harvest season. Take a ride in the hay wagon to the pumpkin patch where you can search for your perfect pumpkin. Or get lost in the maze, have fun in the hay jump, visit the animals, or just relax and enjoy the beauty. Purchase fresh cranberries, check out the farm equipment on display, dress up as a fireman and take your picture on an antique fire truck — plus Ellie & Vinny’s famous hot dogs. Call 781-585-8414 or visit www.boghollowfarm.com for details.

7th Annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration – October 9 & 10 from 10-4. Hosted by the A.D. Makepeace Company and the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, this fun family event features juried crafters, activities for children, animal shows, cooking demonstrations, food vendors, pony and wagon rides, and much more. The highlight of the day is an opportunity to witness a working cranberry bog. Location: 158 Tihonet Road, Wareham. Call 508-322-4000 or visit www.cranberries.org/festival for details.

By Kezia Bacon-Bernstein, Correspondent
August 2010

Kezia Bacon-Bernstein’s articles appear courtesy of the North and South Rivers Watershed Association, a local non-profit organization devoted to the preservation, restoration, maintenance and conservation of the North and South Rivers and their watershed. For membership information and a copy of their latest newsletter, contact NSRWA at (781) 659-8168 or visit www.nsrwa.org. To browse 13 years of Nature (Human and Otherwise) columns, visit http://keziabaconbernstein.blogspot.com.