The days are growing shorter and the night’s longer: all the more reason to seize the moment and explore with your family some of the best fall festivals around the country. From giant pumpkin boat races to skeleton-fests to apple cider galore, we’ve picked our favorite festivals for you to visit in 2017. Click through the gallery to see how many you’ve been to!

Scarecrow Festival—St. Charles, IL

Scaring crows is for the birds. Over 100 hand-crafted scarecrows show up at the Scarecrow Festival in downtown St. Charles every year and while some are designed to spook, most are charming for all ages. Visitors have a hand in the awards (vote-as-you-view in five categories), and after voting there's enough family-friendly entertainment to last an entire weekend. Now in its 32nd year, there's more than just scarecrows to admire. Live music, a petting zoo and of course, the popular make-your-own scarecrow station returns in 2017.

Dates: Oct. 6-8, 2017

Online: scarecrowfest.com

photo: Anne in Chicago via flickr

Did your fave make the list? Leave a comment below! 

—Gabby Cullen & Amber Guetebier