Five Reasons to Leave the House This Weekend

Check out what's happening around the region this weekend, including Harpoon Brewery Octoberfest, the Topsfield Fair, and canoeing on the Charles.

The Topsfield Fair midway.  Photo by Christian Madden on Flickr/ Creative Commons

The Topsfield Fair midway. / Photo by Christian Madden on Flickr

Day Trip
Topsfield Fair

America’s oldest agricultural fair begins its 196th year of festivities on Friday. From giant pumpkins and parades to sand sculptures and animals, the Topsfield Fair is the can’t-miss fair of the season. Head north on Route 1 for fair food, games, and more. If you’re feeling especially crafty, enter the “Greatest Oatmeal Cookie” contest—amateur bakers only.

$15 weekend tickets, begins Friday, October 3, 1 p.m., opens October 4-13 at 10 a.m., 207 Boston St., Topsfield,

Harpoon Brewery Octoberfest

Break out the lederhosen—Harpoon Brewery’s 25th Octoberfest will bring fall brews, bratwurst, and German chocolate cake to the South Boston waterfront this weekend. Live bands at three stages will play German Oompah music while you sip UFO Pumpkin, IPA, and Octoberfest beers. “We have people tell us that they’ve been coming since some of the first years of the festival,” says Harpoon spokesperson Liz Melby. “It’s a great experience to come celebrate the fall with a lot of different people from all around New England,” Melby says. Tickets are sold at the door only and include a souvenir pint cup and drink ticket. Designated drivers will receive complimentary non-alcoholic beverages.

$20 cover, Friday, October 3, 5:30-11 p.m., and Saturday, October 4, 2-9 p.m., Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Ave.,

Boston Fashion Week Kick-Off

Fashion Week starts in full swing on Sunday, beginning with the Before Midnight collection by Nigel Ramsay. Ramsay, a native of Jamaica, won Hartford Designer of the Year in 2009. His spring-into-summer collection might have you feeling nostalgic about the warmer months, but you’ll feel better after you’re inspired to indulge in a little retail therapy. Arrive at 2 p.m. for the tres chic cocktail reception before seeing the show at 3.

$10 general admission, Sunday, October 5, 2 p.m, Vlora, 545 Boylston St.

Amazing Archaeology Fair

If you’ve ever dreamed of excavating a piece of history, the Amazing Archaeologist Fair at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is a must-see. Be an archaeologist for the day and take 3-D tours of Egypt’s Giza pyramids through a virtual reality helmet. Observe a real excavation in Harvard Yard and play the oldest team sport in the world: a “Maya ball game.” Archaeologist wannabes of all ages are invited to the family event. “Last year we got more adults than children,” says Polly Hubbard, education manager of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology.

$12 museum admission, Sunday, October 5, 12-5 p.m., Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and Harvard Semitic Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge,

Canoe & Breakfast on the Charles in Natick

Pick up your paddles, sit back, and relax. Start your Saturday right with a lazy guided canoe ride on the Charles. As you leaf-peep from the boat, watch the morning mist rise from the river and keep an eye out for a great blue heron in the Rocky Narrows Reservation. Halfway through, you’ll stop to eat a hearty, hot breakfast including seasonal breads, pastries, fruits, and more. “The paddle is a very calm stretch of river with beautiful foliage and wildlife,” says Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary Education Coordinator Joy Marzolf. “Basically all you have to do is bring yourself—just show up and get in the boat.” An all-inclusive price covers canoes, paddles, life jackets, paddling instructions, and breakfast.

$55 for non-members, Saturday, October 4, 7-11 a.m., Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick,