Greater Boston is famous for its gorgeous autumns, and Somerville is no exception. From the changing colors of the trees, to the crisp breezes signaling the return of sweater weather, to seasonal favorites like apple cider, cinnamon everything, and yes, pumpkin spice, there’s a lot to look forward to. It’s tricky to narrow down the best fall activities in Somerville, MA – there’s just so much to do – but if you’re looking for things to do in Somerville in the fall, you can’t go wrong with these.
Farm and Orchard Visits
Nothing quite rings in the arrival of fall like visiting a local orchard. Apple-picking, hayrides, pony rides, fresh cider – and of course, the local favorite cider donuts – there is something undeniably wholesome about visiting local farms and orchards.
Some, like Russell Orchards in nearby Ipswitch, frequently host miniature festivals, concerts and the like. Others, like Carver Hill Orchard in Stow, have a pumpkin patch as well as fresh fudge. Others still, such as Bradford’s Crescent Farms, have corn mazes to explore, while Framingham’s Hansons Farm also offers a haunted hayride for spooky nighttime fun. Many have a petting zoo-type setup where animal barns can be visited, and more than a few have an in-house bakery and wine tasting available.
So while you might have to travel outside of Somerville to get to an orchard, the trip is undoubtedly worth making. There really is something for everyone!
Brickbottom Open Studios
Every year, the Brickbottom Artists Association hosts its Open Studios. 2019 marks the 32nd occurrence of the annual tradition, where artists open up their live-work studios to the public. Here you can meet local artists, browse – and maybe purchase – their works, watch demonstrations of methods and working techniques across the weekend. Partnered with the nearby Joy Street Studios, many of whom likewise open up their studios during the weekend event, it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet and support local artists.
From 2D and 3D art to groundbreaking experiential and virtual installations, Somerville, MA’s Brickbottom Open Studios weekend has something for everyone. A brisk trip from the Lechmere Green Line T station, the Brickbottom Artists Association complex has plenty of free street parking on Linwood and Chestnut Streets, and the buildings are easily accessible. Part gallery, part art walk, part festival, Brickbottom Open Studios weekend is a Somerville, MA tradition for good reason.
Catch the Honk! Festival
A self-proclaimed “Festival of Activist Street Bands,” Honk! Takes over Davis Square for a weekend every autumn, with colorful marching bands from every corner of the world packing the square with their particular brand of “brassroots” spectacle. Less a performance, and more an interactive community event, Honk! combines a parade, concerts, and skill sharing workshops over three days of celebration. All absolutely free.
Head to an Oktoberfest
From Bow Market in Union Square, to the Davis Square celebration (organized by Somerville’s Chamber of Commerce alongside Redbones), every autumn brings a plethora of Oktoberfest celebrations to Somerville. With beer gardens, plenty of tuba-driven live music, and of course, plenty of hearty food and drink, Oktoberfest in Someriville, MA is always a treat. Even if you’re not the festival type, or just can’t make specific dates work for your schedule, local restaurants offer plenty of options to join in the fun. Of particular note is Bronwyn in Union Square: the unabashedly Bavarian restaurant goes full-on wurst haus for nearly a month, with authentic Oktoberfest offerings sure to delight any palate.
Take in the Colors
When people talk about how beautiful Greater Boston is in the fall, they’re referring to the changing foliage more often than not. And there is arguably no better place than Somerville, MA for taking in the rainbow of radiant fall colors. A trip to the Mystic River Reservation offers gorgeous views of changing trees over the water, where the sunset seems to melt its warm colors into the already-vibrant vista. It truly must be seen to be believed. But even a simple, leisurely trip down any one of Somerville’s tree-lined side streets transports you to a magical, lush world of rich hues and gentle breezes.
One of the great things about living in Somerville is how many options you have to bask in its natural beauty. Even a simple trip through Somerville by car takes on entirely new dimensions when the leaves are changing.
Get Silly at the “What the Fluff” Festival
In case you weren’t aware, delicious marshmallow fluff hails from Somerville, created in 1917 in Union Square by Archibald Query. From cooking contests and midway games, to Parkour courses, live music, innovation workshops, and yes, Fluff Jousting, the annual festival is a chance to revel in the unabashed silliness of one of Somerville, MA’s goofiest, tastiest creations. And even if you can’t make the Union Square takeover, autumn is the perfect time to make some fluffy S’mores over a toasty fire.
Traverse the SomerStreets
From June to October, the city of Somerville dedicates one Sunday each month to SomerStreets: a local take on the Open Street format. Like a themed farmer’s market, streets close down to automobiles, and open up to street traffic, where artisan and vintage markets, live music and other performances, kids’ activities, and much more are available. Autumn installations usually provide some good spooky fun for all, so don’t be afraid to check it out!
Be Haunted by the Ghosts of Somerville
In the month of October, Historic Somerville collaborates with the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and Somerville Museum to present “Ghosts of Somervile” – a guided theatrical tour of the historic Milk Row cemetery. At each site, actors portray a different “ghost,” talking about life in Somerville in their time. It’s a fun, gently spooky way to learn about the city from the perspective of those who were here long ago.
Simply Put: Be in Somerville
Ultimately, simply being in Somerville opens up endless possibilities to experience autumn to the fullest. While the city is undeniably beautiful year-round, Somerville in the fall is something truly special. We couldn’t possibly cover everything, sou we’ve doubtlessly missed some great activities. So how did we do? Did we miss your favorite? Do you have an idea for things to do in Somerville, MA in the fall? Or just want to chime in on what we did have space to cover?
As always, let us know in the comments!
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