While some of our favorite fests are held in the month of October, fall is not the only season in which a family can find a tasty celebration. Across the U.S., food-centered fun can be had in practically every month.
Here are ten you should check out in the upcoming year:
South Carolina Strawberry Festival – Have a strawberry lover in the family? Held each May in Fort Mill, SC and billed as the state’s “event of the year,” bring the kids and spend the day picking your own strawberries, listening to a live concert (cleverly named the Strawberry Jam), and enjoying the rides in the kid zone.
Taste of Chicago – Each July, over 2.5 million people flock to Grant Park to partake of the wide variety of food available at Chicago’s outdoor food festival. The event is the world’s largest food festival and also includes live music.
NYC Kids Food Fest – Boasting a wide variety of family friendly activities and held in March this year, this event is dedicated to helping children make smart nutrition choices. Plus, a portion of the proceeds are donated to help fight childhood obesity. Bonus! Admission is free.
Lewisberg Chocolate Festival – Calling all chocoholics! If you live near Lewisberg, WV and have a sweet tooth, mark your calendar for this festival in April. Culminating in a chocolate tasting extravaganza on the final day, the event boasts a chocolate mousse eating contest for all ages and chocolate-themed crafts for little ones.
Annual Maine Lobster Festival – In August, dress the children up as their favorite sea creature and visit this festival which, in addition to the best lobster in the U.S., has its own costume parade. To save a little cash, attend on Sunday when admission is free.
NYC Wine and Food Festival – Multitasking at its best! Fill your stomach with delicious fare and do a little good at the same time. All of the net proceeds from the 2013 NYC, held in October, Wine and Food Festival benefit the Food Bank for NYC and the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry Campaign. They also have a program just for kids called Fun and Fit in the City that teaches children about making healthy food choices.
Whoopie Pie Festival – Who doesn’t love this dessert of creamy goodness sandwiched between two cookies? It’s so delicious, Strasburg, PA has devoted an entire festival to it held in September that boasts over 100 flavors of the popular treat. Make it an extra sweet weekend for the family by staying in the nearby Hershey Hotel during your visit.
Tamale Festival – December may be chilly in some parts of the country, but in Indio, CA you can get a hot tamale at the annual Tamale Festival. When you’re not eating, enjoy kid friendly activities, traditional Mexican dancing, or, for those with a big appetite, participate in a tamale eating contest. All ages welcome!
Bite of Oregon – For the eco-friendly foodie family, visit this festival held each August in Portland, OR. The 3-day event strives to generate zero waste all the way down to the compostable tasting plates and is comprised of only local restaurateurs.
Vegetarian Festival – If you live in or around Boston, MA and want to encourage your children to eat more veggies, consider attending this event in November where vegetarians and vegans gather each year to taste leafy greens and other ground-grown goods.