Exploring the Best Family-Friendly Festivals in Essex County, MA

As an expert in event planning and tourism in Essex County, I have extensive knowledge of the best festivals to attend with families. And let me tell you, this beautiful county located in the state of Massachusetts has no shortage of family-friendly events.

The Charm of Essex County

Essex County is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. It is home to several charming towns and cities, each with its own unique character. From the bustling city of Salem to the quaint town of Newburyport, there is something for everyone in this county. One of the best ways to experience the charm of Essex County is by attending its festivals.

These events not only showcase the local culture and traditions but also bring the community together. And what better way to enjoy these festivals than with your family?

The Top Family-Friendly Festivals in Essex County

Now, let's dive into some of the most popular family-friendly festivals that take place in Essex County throughout the year.

Salem Heritage Days

Salem Heritage Days is a week-long festival held in the historic city of Salem. It celebrates the city's rich maritime history and features a variety of family-friendly activities such as live music, food vendors, and a street fair. Kids can also enjoy face painting, balloon animals, and other fun activities. This festival is a great way to introduce your children to the history and culture of Salem while having a fun-filled day with the whole family.

Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival

If you and your family are music lovers, then you don't want to miss the Newburyport Riverfront Music Festival.

This free event takes place on the banks of the Merrimack River and features live music from local and national artists. There are also food trucks, craft vendors, and a beer garden for the adults. With a beautiful backdrop of the river and a lively atmosphere, this festival is perfect for a summer day out with the family.

Marblehead Festival of Arts

The Marblehead Festival of Arts is a beloved event that has been taking place for over 50 years. It showcases the work of local artists, musicians, and performers. There are also activities for kids such as face painting, sand sculpting, and a puppet show. This festival is a great way to support the local arts community while spending quality time with your family.

Essex Clamfest

As the name suggests, Essex Clamfest is all about celebrating the town's famous clams.

This one-day festival features live music, clam shucking contests, and of course, plenty of delicious seafood. There are also activities for kids such as a petting zoo and pony rides. Essex Clamfest is a fun and unique way to experience the local cuisine and enjoy a day out with your family.

Other Family-Friendly Festivals in Essex County

In addition to the festivals mentioned above, there are many other family-friendly events that take place in Essex County throughout the year. Here are some honorable mentions:
  • Topsfield Fair: This annual fair is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the country and features carnival rides, live music, and farm animals.
  • Gloucester Waterfront Festival: This festival celebrates the coastal town of Gloucester with live music, food vendors, and a juried art show.
  • Amesbury Country Music Festival: This festival brings together country music fans for a day of live performances, food trucks, and craft vendors.

Plan Your Visit to Essex County

Now that you know about the family-friendly festivals in Essex County, it's time to plan your visit. The best part about these festivals is that they are usually free or have a minimal admission fee, making them budget-friendly for families. Make sure to check the festival's website for the most up-to-date information on dates, times, and activities.

And don't forget to pack sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a camera to capture all the fun memories with your family.


Essex County is a hidden gem in Massachusetts, and its festivals are a great way to experience its beauty and culture. From music festivals to art shows to food fairs, there is something for everyone in this county. So pack your bags and head to Essex County for a fun-filled family vacation!.

Gary Kattan
Gary Kattan

Professional introvert. Freelance internet trailblazer. Evil travel trailblazer. Award-winning twitter advocate. General tv scholar. Award-winning tv lover.