What an incredible time for families to see fall foliage with kids! September and October are some of the best months to visit popular East Coast destinations like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, each offering kids a different adventure. Watch in awe as quaint mountainside towns bloom into dramatic kaleidoscopes of color, accompanied by the familiar aromas of fall. Whether on a scenic drive with your family or exploring the fall foliage on foot, you’ll find there’s so much to keep little ones entertained. Your only challenge will be deciding where to visit! To help you plan your own itinerary, we’ve created this comprehensive list of the 13 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in New England with Kids. Take a gorgeous gondola ride, explore breathtaking National Parks, and more when you vacation in the kid-friendly locations below. Time to start packing for your family’s fall foliage expedition!
If you are looking for the most scenic kid-tested, parent-approved places to see fall foliage in New England with kids, this is the list for you!
Massachusetts offers two of the best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids. This wonderful state is famous for its charming, coastal towns, and amazing autumn atmosphere. It also reigns supreme as one of the best places to visit in fall on the East Coast! Let’s dive into our favorite family-friendly destinations in Massachusetts to see the state’s marvelous array of stunning fall colors!
Salem is perfect for families to experience the spooky fall season! Not only does it showcase beautiful Massachusetts panoramas, but it also has occult roots (graveyard tours and mysterious museums!) Plus, families will enjoy a whimsical ambiance and plenty of funky boutiques. Kids will definitely be fascinated by the town’s tumultuous witchcraft history, made famous by the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. First, head to Salem Willows Park, one of the best places to see vibrant fall foliage fluttering through Salem’s sprawling landscape! Kids will also love the arcade on site. Or, explore Forest River Park, a riverfront with stunning views, a playground for little ones, and an educational museum. Plus, bring children to visit some of the other entertaining museums in town! The Salem Witch Museum provides a historic look at the iconic Massachusetts case, while the Peabody Essex Museum exhibits artifacts dating back centuries.
The Berkshires blaze with brilliant colors during the fall season! Families will love this western Massachusetts region, known for its hilly, kid-friendly towns. With all this ground to cover, though, you’ll experience as much as possible by hopping from town to town. Many of our families praise the Bentley Brook area. Located in Hancock with access to unparalleled panoramas. Do your kids love seeing fall foliage from an aerial view? Try adventure parks at Jiminy Peak and Catamount Mountain Resort for a fall-flavored adventure! A bit farther south, you’ll find Mount Greylock, a mesmerizing mountainside with glimpses of Vermont’s Green Mountains and the Taconic Range. Here, children can boast about climbing the highest point in Massachusetts! End your fall foliage vacation in The Berkshires at Lakeview Orchard Farm. Here, you can overlook Hoosac Lake and stock up on organic goodies like plums, apricots, and more!
Vermont is a no-brainer when it comes to the best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids! From the state’s famous Route 100 to gondola rides in Stowe, hiking through Woodstock, and more family-friendly activities, you’ll find so many things to do here with kids from late September to mid-October. Here are a few of our Families Who Love to Travel Facebook group member’s favorite destinations to visit in Vermont during the autumn months!
This central Vermont town is located within the state’s Green Mountains, displaying a lovely range of October colors. Coming from north of the mountain range? Make sure to drive down through the Sherburne Pass for an unforgettable sight. This enchanting highway loops between the Green Mountains and Pico Peak. Hikers will love exploring Killington through endless kid-friendly trails too! Thundering Brook Fall Trail, part of the larger Appalachian Trail, is easy for any age and has a breathtaking waterfall. On the top of Killington Peak, you’ll also find the Killington Ski Resort, which delivers outstanding views thanks to its K-1 Gondola. At the top, you’ll appreciate colorful panoramas extending into five states and even Canada on a clear day! To treasure Vermont’s fresh produce, visit nearby Reading to wander around and savor autumn activities at Jenne Farm, the most photographed place in the entire state!
Stowe is the autumn-inspired getaway every family needs! This northern Vermont town features the best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids, in addition to numerous child-friendly resorts to book for your visit. Many families prefer the Stowe Mountain Resort for its Gondola Skyride, which takes guests up Mount Mansfield. Or, opt to stay at the Lodge at Spruce Peak. Here you will enjoy a birds-eye-view from its Ziptour, one of the longest tree-top courses in the United States. You could even take a hot air balloon ride! Or, rent a bike and head to Stowe Recreation Path, a five-mile trail presenting pretty pedestrian bridges, swimming holes, and magnificent views of Mount Mansfield. Smuggler’s Notch is another byway for families to sightsee, separating Mount Mansfield from Spruce Peak and the Sterling Range.
No matter where you stand, watch yellow explode into hues of deep red and golden brown with the Green Mountains as your backdrop!
Stratton is a complete treat for kids. Families often visit this cozy Vermont town for its adventurous outdoor activities, best enjoyed during the fall season! For an amazing view of the landscape, take little ones to the Stratton Mountain Resort to ride the scenic gondola. Marvel at stunning fall foliage while traveling up to Vermont’s highest peak overlooking four different states! Stratton offers multiple ways to witness its beauty, like hiking, kayaking, or an ATV tour. Meander the Lower Mountain Loop along Old Log Road for an easy one-mile trail perfect for kids. Or, take history lovers along the pleasant Fire Tower Trail. Here, you’ll encounter the crossing of the historic Long and Appalachian Trails. Finally, you’ll be rewarded for your climb with a tower boasting panoramic views over Stratton!
Plus, what kid doesn’t love paintball? Thanks to Stratton’s “paintball in the Green Mountains”, children over the age of seven can experience autumn like never before!
Woodstock is among the most stunning Vermont towns for fall foliage. It’s not hard to see why considering its idyllic ambiance and array of family-friendly excursions! Before arriving, make a stop at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Here, history buffs can traverse billionaire Frederick Billing’s preserved mansion and gardens, while little kids enjoy nearby Billings Farm. Take a tour to learn more about its animal population, explore via a wagon ride, and even listen to a story! Then, upon arrival, Woodstock’s Main Street hosts a chalkboard listing all the local town events, alongside a stunning wooden bridge to take iconic autumn photos. Explore Central and Elm Streets to roam through small boutiques and other novelty shops! For a panoramic view overlooking Woodstock, look no further than The Pogue and Mount Tom Trail at Mount Tom State Park. This trail luxuriously loops around Woodstock’s neighboring mountains and warm-water lake.
Pro Tip: Book your stay at the family-friendly Woodstock Resort & Inn to make the most of your vacation in Vermont! What could be better as you explore one of the best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids.
Burlington has surely earned its top spot on our list of the best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids! This enchanting Vermont town is located on Lake Champlain’s glimmering shoreline, flanked by a bustling downtown area and historical museums. Most families visit here during the fall season for one reason alone: The Burlington Greenway. Also known as the Island Line Trail, this flat, relatively easy bike trail spans almost eight miles from the city center to the Colchester Causeway. It also has a run/walk path for you to take it slow as you treasure the autumn hues! Along the way, stop to splash your feet in Lake Champlain’s chilly waters. Then, visit the famous Ben and Jerry’s on Church Street for delicious ice cream!
If you want to hop in the car and drive south, be sure to loop around Mount Philo, a particularly accessible peak due to its striking auto road.
From its imposing White Mountains to the Kangamangus Highway and other picturesque attractions for families, New Hampshire has more than earned its place on our list of best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids! If you’re planning a vacation with kids, review these parent-recommended destinations for seeing the fall foliage around the state.
White Mountain National Forest
New Hampshire draws thousands of visitors each year to its dazzling White Mountain National Forest! Emptying into Maine, this ecologically diverse area blends forest woodlands with alpine peaks to create a captivating combination of fall colors. One of the best ways to see the fall foliage by foot is an easy day hike with kids! Try the Sabbaday Falls Loop, where you’ll be compensated for all your hard work with a view of an enchanting waterfall. Lincoln Woods, located within the forest, offers parking spaces and restrooms for a small fee. The actual Lincoln Woods Trail takes you over an idyllic suspension bridge and onto abandoned railroad tracks along the Pemigewasset Wilderness, the largest wildlife preserve in New Hampshire. This stunning trail is also great for a relaxing family bike ride. Finally, keep an eye out for native animals along the way!
Pro Tip: Book your family’s stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort to overlook this amazing view from your own bed!
Dixville Notch State Park
Dixville Notch State Park is northern New Hampshire’s hidden gem! Located where Route 26 passes the township of Dixville Notch, this expansive natural preserve welcomes families during October to witness its splendid fall foliage. If you’re driving from the White Mountains area, you can make the trip more worthwhile by driving the Moose Path Trail. Take Route 16 from Gorham to Errol, then hop on Route 26. Then, once you’re in Dixville Notch, you’ll be surprised by an even larger treat on the trails! As one of the best ways to visit this massive state park is by hiking and biking. Both of which offer endless fun when traveling with children. Be aware, however, that most Dixville Notch trails are rated as moderate and probably better-suited for experienced trekkers or teens. Finally, try out the famous Table Rock Trail to ascend over a breathtaking view of the park’s rocky cliffs!
Maine is another contender when it comes to viewing the best fall foliage in New England with kids! Take the Old Route 1 to pass scenic seaside towns or head to the well-known Acadia National Park to hike with a view. No matter where you choose to experience autumn in Maine, our community of Families Who Love to Travel have shared their suggestions to assist with your itinerary. Here are some more of the best places to visit in fall on the East Coast!
Bar Harbor deserves a spot on your family’s Maine itinerary! This small, coastal town attracts visitors for its seafood, charming boutiques, and sprawling natural preserves. Upon arrival, stop at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center to finalize your family-friendly fall itinerary. Then, walk along the scenic Shore Path early in the morning and you’ll witness the most spectacular sunrise accompanied by chirping birds. Of course, Bar Harbor is most esteemed as a gateway to Acadia National Park. This national park is one of the most frequented destinations in New England! The easiest way to see this magnificent national park by taking the Park Loop Drive along the eastern half of Mount Desert Island. Doing this also gives you the power to stop whenever you want and explore at your own pace! Finally, stroll through Sand Beach on your way to Thunder Hole, one of the most famous attractions in the park.
Camden is another family-friendly town on our list of fall foliage from New England to New York! Well-known as an East Coast summer destination, this seaside town is nonetheless fantastic to visit during autumn. And, with so many natural escapes around, you won’t need to go far to see the magic of fall! Every outdoor adventure will likely be located in Camden Hills State Park, which makes navigating the experience much simpler. Hike the beginner Mount Battie Trail for an introduction to Camden’s landscape. Because it’s not too steep, it is well-suited for younger kids. Next, Mount Megunticook offers more moderate hikes ideal for teens. The Merryspring Nature Center presents blooming flowers and fall foliage in a much more controlled setting, adjacent to a park area where kids can run around. To see the famous Camden lighthouse, end your day strolling along Curtis Island, an islet only accessible by boat.
Last but not least on our list of best places to see fall foliage in New England with kids is Connecticut! Ride the Essex Steam Train. Then, meander through Connecticut’s North West Hills. Or, try other family-friendly activities when you vacation this autumn. With support from our Families Who Love to Travel families, we have gathered a few suggestions on the best activities to do with kids when visiting Connecticut during the autumn months. Some even rank as the best places to visit in fall on the East Coast!
Kent is a great place for your next fall family vacation! Balancing historic tradition with a modern ambiance, this small Connecticut town provides families unparalleled autumn beauty. In fact, its quaint Main Street is lined with independent bookstores, local restaurants, and other mom-and-pop shops ready to welcome you. Kent is also undeniably famous for its eponymous Kent Falls State Park, a waterfall structure towering over 250-feet-tall! Hike the Red and Yellow Loop, which is less than a mile long. This is where you’ll find the best view of these falls, alongside a chance to cross the special covered bridge. Encompassing more than 2,300 acres of wilderness, Macedonia Brook State Park is another fantastic location to adore fall foliage with teens. (Note: Macedonia Brook Loop is one of the most strenuous local hikes.) Little ones are nonetheless welcome to visit and saunter around this historic area to learn more about Kent!
Litchfield is another one of Connecticut’s best fall foliage destinations! Attracting families with its verdant green pastures, rolling hills, and panoramic views of the Housatonic River, we guarantee you’ll love every minute you spend here with kids. This is especially true during mid-October when Litchfield showcases some of the state’s most vibrant pigments. Start your adventure at the nearby White Flower Farm. Stroll its peaceful gardens, as well as purchase some fresh snacks for the road. The Little Pond Boardwalk Trail is also one of the best trails to hike in town due to its flat, relatively short path. At the White Memorial Conservation Center, however, kill two birds with one stone by touring its gardens and historic museum. Want to see the fall leaves from an aerial view? Take a hot air balloon over Litchfield thanks to Aer Blarney Balloons!
Happy Autumn Travels!
That rounds off our list of the 13 Best Places To See The Fall Foliage in New England! We hope you found this list chock-full of autumn-inspired travel destinations for your family. Whether you are considering Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, or Massachusetts, we are confident you will find stunning fall foliage for your family to adore. From gondola rides to hot air balloons to scenic hikes, your family had endless ways to enjoy any one of these best places to visit in fall on the East Coast!
Thank You to Our Community!
As always, this article would not have been as helpful, informed, or family-friendly without the contributions and input from the amazing members on our Facebook group, Families Who Love To Travel! For more travel recommendations on vacationing with children, be sure to join us on Facebook at Families Who Love To Travel. It’s a community of dynamic families who love to adventure and explore through travel. It is also a place to ask questions, share tips, and get travel inspiration! Plus, follow us on Instagram (@families.love.travel) to connect with other families who love the unique experiences travel has to offer – and to get sneak peeks of upcoming articles!
Looking for more places to visit in fall on the East Coast? Check out these 9 Breathtaking Drives for Brilliant Fall Colors in Colorado with Kids! Or, check out the Top Northeast Fall Foliage Treks by Train, Boat, or Car or the 11 Best Places To See Fall Foliage Within 3 Hrs Of NYC.
Have apple picking in mind? Here are the 11 Best Apple Picking Farms To Visit With Kids Near NYC!
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the accommodations, restaurants, or activities on this list may also be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision.