Now that fall is here, my family and I are looking forward to all enjoying some great autumn activities together! Luckily, there are lots of fun events scheduled in Mercer County the following few weeks.

Fall Fun Mercer County

Mercer County Italian American Festival

The Mercer County Italian American Festival is very popular in Mercer County, and it’s just around the corner! The festival, which will be held this coming weekend (Friday, Sept. 27 – Sunday, Sept. 29) at Mercer County Park, will feature Italian food of all sorts, handcrafted items for sale, amusement rides and entertainment ranging from Italian folk dances, to big band music, to children’s favorites. There will be a fireworks display on Saturday at 10 p.m. I know that my kids will want to attend this festival!

What’s really great is that admission to the festival for children under the age of 12 is free! Adults and kids over the age of 12 pay just $5 for admission. For more information, visit the Mercer County Italian American Festival’s website.

Trash Artstravaganza

On Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Jadwin Gymnasium on Princeton University Campus Princeton University will host a Trash Art Contest for all ages. Entrants can submit 2D or 3D art, writing or poetry, video or animation, fashion or accessories, songs, architectural models, theatrical or dance presentations, multi-media or mixed media.

What’s fun about this contest is that either recycled materials like bottle tops, soda cans, magazines and old greeting cards can be used in the entires, so kids and adults alike can have fun hunting for repurposed and natural art materials. Items from nature like pine cones and twigs can also be used for a fun fall feel.

Entrants must RSVP to by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9 to enter the contest. For more information on the Artstravaganza and on what must be included in the contest RSVP, visit the TrashArttstravaganza website.

Hightstown’s Hometown Harvest Fair

On Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hightstown’s downtown area will be transformed into a huge fair with food and craft vendors, entertainment and an expected more than 10,000 fair visitors.

My family and I have been going to this festival for the past several years, and every year, the festival just gets bigger and bigger with more vendors and events, and many more fair goers!

There will also be a children’s area with inflatables, entertainment, pony rides and a petting zoo. Especially fun parts of the day include the opportunity to paddle boat on Peddie Lake and a chance to enter the Ducky Derby (when the lake is filled with hundreds of plastic duckies that flow in a race to the race’s end point) at the end of the day. For more information on the festival, visit the Hometown Harvest Fair’s website.

Farm Festivals

Visiting the local farms is among my family’s favorite things to do during the fall months. At Terhune Orchards in Princeton, there is apple picking daily, and family fun festivals on Oct. 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with music, pumpkin picking, food, a corn maze a hale bale maze and wagon rides. Admission for the festivals is $5; children under 3 are admitted free.

The Windsor Farm and Market in West Windsor will have a pumpkin festival on Oct. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. with hayrides, pony rides, face painting, sand art, food, music and a moonwalk. The admission is $8 per adult; children 12 and under get free admission. The farm also offers hayrides every fall weekend from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $4 per rider.

Corner Copia in East Windsor will host its farm festival on on Saturday, Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Attractions include a free pig roast, live music, pumpkin painting contests, a bounce castle, a viewing zoo and a family friendly Halloween Town.

For a scarier experience, Corner Copia hosts its Corner of Chaos Sept. 27-Nov. 2 Fridays and Saturdays from 7-11 p.m. or Sunday evenings from 7-10 p.m. Attractions include the zombie themed Wooded Wasteland, the Nightmare Machine, Barbaric Barnyard and the Wicked Wagon Ride. Admission is $13 per attraction, or $40 for all four of Corner of Chaos’ attractions.