Summer may not officially end until September 21st, but fall is definitely in the air in many parts of the country, including where I live in the Northeast. Fall brings with it many pleasures, from apple cider, to crunchy leaves, to kids and pets in costume. Clearly this is a well-loved season. Still, with the lazy days of summer behind us, school back in session, and the holidays just around the corner, the fall can feel a bit stressful as well.
Luckily, this is a great time of year to enjoy a range of fun, family-oriented activities. From apple picking to pumpkin carving, participating in seasonal activities can help you to remain present and to really focus on the unique beauty and joy of the season. I find that by embracing different seasonal activities throughout the year, I have a happier overall outlook, because there’s always something to look forward to!
My “Must-Do” List for Fall 2014
- Take a scenic foliage drive. Perhaps the best-loved part of autumn is the stunning display of colors as the leaves change. New England is known for its spectacular fall foliage, but you can take in breathtaking views and beautiful fall colors on scenic routes all over the US. The Weather Channel provides a good resource for locating scenic drives near you, as well as tracking the best times to see fall foliage in your region.
- Pick your own. There’s nothing better than fond childhood memories of picking your own pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, or choosing apples from the tree on a crisp October day. Visiting a pick-your-own farm is a wonderful way to connect kids with the earth and have them take an active role in celebrating the season. Find pick-your-own farms near you:
- Get lost in a corn maze or spooked in a haunted house. This time of year, hayrides, corn mazes, and haunted houses are popping up all over the country. Get into the spirit of the season with an outing to one or more of these attractions, which tend to be fun for kids and adults alike.
- Visit fall fairs and festivals. Take in music, food, crafts, rides, and more at one of the many fairs and festivals that take place around the country during the fall. Find a fair or festival near you:
- Get crafty. Fall and Halloween craft ideas are seemingly endless, and they can be a lot of fun not only for kids, but for creative adults too. Pumpkin-decorating is certainly a favorite fall craft in my home, and I love seeing all the fun and unique jack-o-lanterns on display around the neighborhood. There are tons of great no-carve ideas out there that are great for younger children, as well as adults like me, who don’t trust themselves with sharp objects!
- Take a day or weekend trip. If you’re able to, autumn is a great season to get out of town and do a bit of exploring. Research has shown that investing in experiences that provide a lifetime of memories makes people happier in the long run than spending money on material things. Consider a trip to one of Travel and Leisure’s best cities for fall travel, or visit one of these small towns known for gorgeous foliage.
- Enjoy fresh, seasonal food. Fall flavors go way beyond pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween candy. There’s a reason this time of year is considered “harvest time” — sweet apples, delicious winter squash, and healthy leafy greens are all in season right now. Inspiration for healthy, hearty fall meals:
- Get active outdoors. Fall brings ideal weather for exercising outside. Enjoy a power walk on a crisp morning, or gather your friends for an afternoon hike to take in the foliage. Explore hiking trails and walking routes in your area: