There are so many reasons to love fall. It’s not too hot; not too cold. It begins with apples, brilliant foliage and hint of spice in the air, and ends with pumpkin pie, soft sweaters and Thanksgiving turkey. As a tribute to my favorite season, I’ve compiled a list of 10 great ways to get the most out of autumn. If anyone has something to add, please do!
1. Apple and grape picking. Living in upstate New York, these homegrown fruits become staples in the fall. And they taste so much better picked straight from the tree/vine. My whole family gets in on the action, and we have ball. We’ve also visited cider mills, where the kids can watch how its made and then sample the result.
2. Visiting a pumpkin patch. I don’t mean choosing from neat rows of picked pumpkins, I mean sloshing through the mud in our boots until we find the perfect ones. Our favorite pumpkin patch grows pumpkins in all shapes, colors and textures–green, white, grey, bright orange, pale orange, bumpy ones-plus gourds and squash galore. The night before Halloween, we carve two of them.
3. Going on a scary hayride and other good, old-fashioned fun. There are two types of
haunted hayrides–kid-friendly ones and adult-friendly ones. We take a kid-friendly hayride at a local farm market. We wind through the woods watching ghosts, gouls and witches as they stir their cauldron, as well as a creepy cemetery filled with dry ice. At the farm market we also hit the petting zoo and giant corn-stalk teepees, which house wall-to-wall jack-0’lanterns.
If you’ve ever experienced a more “adult-appropriate” hayride, you know they probably involve gory masked figures jumping out at you suddenly and screaming in your face, and you’re not sure whether to laugh or scream back! Fun for a goofy night out with friends.
5. Taking walks in the woods and drives in the country. The Finger Lakes boast breathtaking foliage in autumn. During peak season, we like to walk along the nature trails at our local state park, observing a chipmunk, toad, caterpillar, bird, or maybe even a deer in its natural habitat. We also love to ride through the hills around our lake as we listen to Louie and Ella’s “Autumn in New York,” stopping at an antique, coffee or pie shop if we spot one.
6. Wine touring. Living in wine country, hubby and I love to do this any time of year, but autumn is prime time to visit our region’s wineries, some of which are the country’s best. It’s our relaxing “getaway day”.
9. Football. I’m not big into TV sports, but football’s an exception. There’s something about football on a crisp Sunday afternoon that screams “fall”. Football, chili, and a roaring fireplace. My son is playing on a touch football team this fall, and he loves going to watch our high school football team play home games, also.