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Essential Fall Activities to Do in Harrisburg

Essential Fall Activities to Do in Harrisburg

If you’re new to the Harrisburg area, you may be looking for some activities to do this fall in your neighborhood. Whether you like trying new foods or spending time in nature, you’ll find plenty of fun activities to fill up your free time this season.

Meet new friends and make memories as you wander through town or go on an exciting expedition. Remember to consult the website of each of the following locations for availability and specific pricing. Explore the fall activities in Harrisburg to help you figure out your weekend plans.

1. Look at the Fall Foliage

Autumn is the most colorful season of the year, with bright oranges, reds and yellows displayed on all Harrisburg’s trees. Explore the Harrisburg area for the best fall foliage. Take a drive or walk through town to explore all the beauty we have to offer here. You can find the best views in mid- to late October in the following places.

  • Colonel Denning State Park: This 273-acre wooded park features a 3.5-acre scenic lake and plenty of places to hike. Take the Flat Rock Trail for a 180-degree panoramic view of the Valley.
  • Pine Grove Furnace State Park: Drive through Pine Grove Furnace State Park, which features black birch, oak species, red maple and many other types of trees. Take the Pole Steeple Trail or hike along the Appalachian Trail for some amazing colors and photo opportunities.
  • Kings Gap Environmental Education Center: Climb the mountain trail to Kings Gap, taking in the stunning views each step of the way. Sit on the back porch of an Italian villa-style mansion to get a front-row seat to all the beautiful colors of Harrisburg.
  • Dickinson College: If you don’t feel like going to a park, you can explore the beautiful trees at this historic campus in downtown Carlisle.
  • The Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat: The Pride of the Susquehanna has spots available on their boat for you to check out leaves in the mountains to the north, Harrisburg’s riverfront and City Island.
  • Little Buffalo State Park: This park features several covered bridges and hundreds of acres of forest for you to catch breathtaking views of the various hues fall in Harrisburg has to offer.
  • Hersheypark: Even though Hersheypark is famous for its thrills and chills during this time of year, you can see fall foliage atop the park’s tallest ride in the park, the Kissing Tower.

Essential Fall Activities to Do in Harrisburg

2. Go Pumpkin or Apple Picking at Your Local Orchard

No matter where you live, pumpkin picking and apple picking are iconic ways to celebrate the fall season. Take a hayride, walk through a corn maze and pick your favorite fall goodies at the following orchards and U-picks in Harrisburg.

  • Strites Orchard: Strites Orchard is a local farm right here in Harrisburg, so you don’t have to go far to pick pumpkins or apples. Their market also has in-season fruits and vegetables for sale, and there’s an onsite corn maze for people of all ages to enjoy.
  • Paulus Orchards: Located in Dillsburg, Penn., Paulus Orchards offers attractions, produce and U-pick options for you to enjoy by yourself or with your loved ones. Wander through the themed five-acre corn maze or go on a tour of the orchard. Bring home one of 25 types of apples or a giant pumpkin to celebrate your fun day visiting.
  • The Peters Orchards: If you’re looking for some juicy apples, check out “Apple Capital USA,” Peters Orchards in northeastern Adams County. The onsite farmstand boasts fresh, delicious fruits, such as apricots, apples, cherries, peaches and pears.
  • Boyer Nurseries & Orchards: This fruit market is in an original barn surrounded by acres of fruit trees. Go apple picking and find some treasures amid the 20 types of apples they have to offer. You can also buy other in-season fruits and vegetables and take a break in their tasting room, where you can enjoy scenic views of the orchard.
  • Hollabaugh Brothers Fruit Farm & Market: This farm market sells in-season fruits and vegetables throughout the whole year. Fill a bag at the Bin Porch with fruits, including 20 different types of apples. The heavier your bag, the less you have to pay per pound.

3. Enjoy Fall Foods at a Farmers’ Market

Fall is the season of pies and other fun, delicious treats, especially when they include ingredients from a local farmers’ market. Besides the orchards listed above, you can stop by one of these markets or cafés for a scrumptious snack.

  • Broad Street Market: This farmers’ market boasts more than 40 vendors at their location and is open Thursday through Saturday in the autumn. They have ready-made lunch and dinner menu options and fall treats for you to enjoy.
  • The Hershey Pantry: Pick out your favorite flavor of pie at The Hershey Pantry. Open every day, they offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options for you to enjoy.

4. Go on a Wine-Tasting Tour

Since winemakers typically harvest their grapes for wine in the fall, the autumn season is the ideal time to tour vineyards and wineries in Harrisburg. Relax and take in the picturesque views as you taste different flavors and enjoy live music. Make new friends and build fun memories at the following vineyards and wineries.

  • The Vineyard at Hershey: Have a day of fun at The Vineyard at Hershey, where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can come together and indulge in wine while sprawled out on a picnic blanket. Sample wine at The Farmhouse, and try the fan-favorite Twisted Kiss while you’re there.
  • Spring Gate Vineyard: Besides wine tasting and live music, there’s also a wide selection of food trucks. Try up to 10 new wine tasting selections each week, and don’t forget to try the wine slushie.
  • Cassel Vineyards: Cassel Vineyards of Hershey features award-winning wines and horse racing a short distance from the exciting Hershey attractions. Try their famous Homestretch Red that’s popular with red wine drinkers.
  • Buddy Boy Winery & Vineyard: Buddy Boy Winery & Vineyard at Broad Street Market offers five free wine samples, or try 10 and keep the glass for a small fee. Try their award-winning black raspberry wine.
  • Cullari Vineyards and Winery: At Cullari Vineyards and Winery in Hershey, you can get five samples for a few glasses, a souvenir tasting glass, snacks and a discount on any other purchases you make. Try their Coco Nostra, a fan-favorite chocolate wine.
  • J&P Winery: At J&P Winery in Grantsburg, you can try five wines and two samples of their wine slushies for mere dollars. The ever-popular merlot has a unique flavor at this location.
  • The Winery at Hunters Valley: At this winery, you can try samples for a dollar an ounce and take the glass home with you. Try the Susquehanna River Red, a sweet red party wine.
  • Armstrong Valley Vineyard & Winery: Try five complimentary wines or take home a souvenir glass with 10 samples for a small fee. Sample a wine cocktail, a combination of two or more wines.

Essential Fall Activities to Do in Harrisburg

5. Take a Cooking Class

If you want to get a dish ready for Thanksgiving or try food from another culture, you could take a cooking class in one of the many places in Harrisburg.

  • The Kitchen Shoppe: This site in Carlisle offers cooking classes that feature American classics and dishes from other cultures, such as Thai, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian and French. All courses are BYOB unless specified otherwise, and The Kitchen Shoppe has bottle openers and glasses onsite.
  • Culinary Kitchen and Cooking School: This location at Cornerstone Coffeehouse in Camp Hill features a Tuscan-inspired private room that feels more like a gourmet restaurant than a classroom. Sit in an intimate class with no more than 25 people as you learn how to make different dishes.
  • Brittle Bark: Downtown Mechanicsburg boasts a shop that offers a chocolatier class for people of all ages. Sample some delicious treats as you learn the basics of making chocolate.

6. Check Out the Malls and Local Shops

Get a head start on your holiday shopping by checking out the outlets, shops, malls and antique stores around your new neighborhood. You can decorate your home for fall with some rustic treasures and decor to make your living space cozy, warm and inviting. Some of our favorite shops include the following.

  • Midtown Harrisburg: Find locally made goods in the epicenter of Harrisburg’s arts and culture. Check out Millworks, a place that features local craft beer, an art gallery and a restaurant where you can watch artisans create their masterpieces. The first-floor art gallery features an opportunity to shop for handcrafted items such as pottery and jewelry.
  • The HBG Flea: This shopping center hosts a monthly pop-up market with vintage finds, local artists and handmade commodities. You’ll find something new every month you come to visit.
  • Crossroads Antique Mall: This antique boutique in Hershey features treasured collectibles, vintage furniture, pop culture memorabilia, glass and china, clothing, toys and knickknacks. Find something unique and fun as you shop.
  • Old Sled Works: Besides selling antiques and crafts, this store also has a sled museum, a classic pinball arcade and an operational mid-century soda fountain.
  • Tanger Outlets: The Tanger Outlets in Hershey features more than 60 name-brand stores to help you find what you need for your home, wardrobe or gifts.

7. Go for an Adventurous Hike

Whether you want to get some fresh air on a casual walk or test your physical strength, you can find hiking trails for any skill level. Take in the gorgeous panoramic views of Harrisburg’s fall foliage and historic landmarks on these popular hiking spots.

  • Buck Ridge Trail: This six-mile trail is for hikers looking for a challenge. It takes steep and rocky turns through Michaux State Forest, Pine Grove State Park and Kings Gap Environmental Education Center. The payoff for this physical exertion is the brightly colored leaves and scenery.
  • Tuscarora Trail: This trail is over 220 miles long, and it crosses several different states. You can access the Tuscarora Trail in Cumberland Valley through Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch and Colonel Denning State Park. This rugged trail off the beaten path is for thrill-seeking hikers who want a moment alone to enjoy nature.
  • Boyd Big Tree Preserve: This 1,000-acre conservation area north of Harrisburg has a 12-mile trail system with different skill levels.
  • Detweiler Park: Dauphin County’s largest park features seven miles of trails that accommodate various skill levels. Explore mature deciduous forests, meadows and streams and celebrate the foliage and wildlife in your backyard.
  • Ned Smith Center for Nature & Art: This site in Millersburg offers about 10 miles of trails for different skill levels. Each path boasts mature hardwood forests and sprawling meadowlands. After you’ve walked through nature, check out the art gallery with nature-inspired masterpieces from Ned Smith.
  • Wildwood Park: This park near downtown Harrisburg offers a scenic stroll for those who love wildlife and nature. Make new friends as you meet dog owners, jogging couples, nature photographers, families with small children and solo cyclists on your journey.

8. Try Pumpkin Beer and Other Local Concoctions

Fall may be the season for pumpkin spice lattes, but it’s also the time to try pumpkin beer and other locally made tap favorites. Check out this area’s brewmasters and what they have to offer on tap.

  • Tröegs Independent Brewing: As the largest and most popular brewery in Hershey, Tröegs Independent Brewing is famous throughout the East Coast for its adventurous, bold beer selection. This brewery releases new flavors each season and fresh ingredients that appeal to Harrisburg’s beer buffs. Book a brewery tour to find out the secrets behind their tasty beverages.
  • Zeroday Brewing Company: This brewery has two locations — one in midtown Harrisburg and the other in Broad Street Market. Check out their Mango Hab flagship brew or wait to discover their daily infusions and limited releases.

Essential Fall Activities to Do in Harrisburg

9. Have a Photo Shoot With Your Friends or Family

Take photos with your loved ones with Harrisburg’s fall foliage and historic landmarks as your backdrop. Depending on your personality, you may want to take pictures for your greeting cards or social media posts in the following locations.

  • Hershey Gardens: This 23-acre beauty across the street from Hersheypark features photo-worthy sculptures, flowers, plants and trees all year long. In the fall, it offers autumn foliage and mums of various colors and sizes. Strike a pose near the flowers and try to sneak a peek of Hersheypark from the conservatory.
  • Pennsylvania State Capitol: Walk through a tour of this handsome building as you take pictures of its remarkable architecture, Capitol Rotunda and House and Senate chambers. Take a photo on the Capitol steps or in front of the fountain.
  • Walnut Street Bridge and City Island: Get an awe-inspiring view of the Susquehanna River while walking along the Walnut Street Bridge connecting Harrisburg with City Island. You could take a selfie while walking on it or a picture of the bridge from a distance.
  • Fort Hunter Mansion & Park: The panoramic views of the Susquehanna River, lush greenery and historical buildings in the background make Fort Hunter Mansion & Park a popular spot for family portraits, weddings and engagement photos. Walk the grounds for free and sit as you take pictures of the Rockville Bridge.

10. Go for a Bike Ride

Whether you like mountain biking or taking a leisurely ride throughout the town, Harrisburg offers plenty of opportunities for you to use your bike this fall. While you can go mountain biking at many of the parks and photo-op spots already named, here are some of our favorite trails featured in local parks.

  • Goodyear Park: This park’s trail is part of the LeTort Spring Run Nature Trail. It has a path where you can bike through nature.
  • Seven Gables Park: This 25-acre park and nature center features a wide variety of trees and shrubs from different parts of the United States and beyond. Follow a bike path throughout the whole park for some stunning views.
  • Biddle Mission Park: This five-acre park has a .75-mile biking and walking trail. While cycling, you could also hop onto the LeTort Spring Run for an extra challenge.
  • Thornwald Park: This 32-acre park has a .75-mile trail connected to Belvedere Street, so you can explore the city on your bike.
  • Dickinson Park: Owned and operated by Dickinson College, this park features a two-mile off-road trail that connects to the Valley Meadows and Forbes Path trails for a total of three miles available to bike.
  • Valley Meadows Park: This 18-acre park features a .31-mile trail that links to the Dickinson Park trail, Forbes Path and the West End Trail.
  • Forbes Path: This linear park connects to Valley Meadows Park through a .7-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail.
  • West End Trail: This trail makes up the final leg of Carlisle’s Bike and Pedestrian Trail Network. At 1.6 miles long, it features on-street and off-road adventures through the warehouse district of Carlisle.
  • Cumberland Valley Rail Trail: This mile-long trail allows bikers to travel from Carlisle to Newville.

Essential Fall Activities to Do in Harrisburg

Check Out Triple Crown Corporation’s Harrisburg Rental Communities

If you’re still looking for your Harrisburg home, consider one of our rental communities in the area. Since there are so many activities to do year-round in Harrisburg, you’ll enjoy living here. For more information about the properties we have available, reach out to us online or call 877-TCC-HOME.