Fall is my most beloved time of year. The hustle and bustle of summer is gone, but the fresh air and calmness of fall arrives. Sadly, fall seems to leaves us just as fast as it arrives. But there are a couple of traditions you can incorporate into your family to make your fall seasons memorable. Browse your calendar, and make it a point to fit these key fall activities into your year:
1.) Visit your local State Fair. Every year I attend the state fair. My visit is always an enjoyable stress-free day. I just can’t miss getting fresh peanut butter fudge, salivating over the winning competition recipes, taking a walk through the gardens, and seeing beautiful crafts being created right before my eyes. The perfect fall weather makes walking around the large event a breeze. You can’t beat eating great fair food, and walking the calories off at the same time. Your family can’t miss out on warm sweet funnel cake, crispy kettle corn, or a fresh candy apple that melts in your mouth. Or maybe the carnival games are your forte. Can you finally get the ball in the hoop this year? Perhaps you’ll go home with that huge stuffed animal you see people walking around with. Every fair has something different to offer; whether it’s unique competitions, animals, concerts, rides or food. Once you make it a tradition to go annually, you will know exactly what your favorite fair activities are. Your family absolutely must take a day trip to the fair this fall!
2.) Visit your local Farmers Market. The beginning of fall is the perfect time to start visiting your local fresh food market. Delicious, crunchy and sweet apples are in season. There must be an apple recipe somewhere you’ve been meaning to perfect. And don’t forget to grab some fresh pecans, and sweet potatoes. See if you can one up grandma’s sweet potato pie. And, it’s time to start practicing the art of candied yams. The farmers market can also be a great resource for finding great cheeses and breads for your fall entertaining. Take the opportunity to experiment with your cooking this fall. Buy an herb or fall vegetable you haven’t used before and incorporate it into a recipe. Have you ever made butternut-squash? Fall is the perfect time to spend quality time with your kitchen. In addition, taking your children to the farmers market can be an engaging cultural experience. While you’re there, explain to them how important it is to eat fresh foods and support agriculture. Then reward them with a fresh pastry or piece of fruit.
3.) Take a road trip to the mountains. The best wonder of fall is the fall foliage. Do some internet research, and you’ll surely find a great weekend trip option. If you live on the east coast or down south, it should be easy to find somewhere to go. Last year I went to Ashville, North Carolina. It was a beautiful journey through the mountains. Take the opportunity to fit in a mini vacation while you’re at it. I thoroughly enjoyed my mini vacation to the Biltmore Estate. It’s an all day event. You can tour the gorgeous Vanderbilt mansion; which can easily take a few hours. After that, visit the farm and pet an animal or two. Don’t bypass the winery or one of their highly rated restaurants if you’re a foodie. Wherever you decide to go, just don’t forget your digital camera. Take plenty of foliage snapshots. Once developed, thumb threw all your pictures to see if there is a good one to frame. If so, display the photo in your office or guest room for the season.
4.) Get theater tickets. The fall season is usually the best theater season. Get some family and friends together and go see a show. Early fall is when all the great classic holiday shows release their show times for the year. Get your tickets early for shows like “Swan Lake” or “The Nutcracker”. Or, maybe a Broadway show like “Wicked” or “Phantom of the Opera” is more your style. Make it a family affair, and have a nice dinner before or after the show. This year, there’s a comfy red seat waiting for you. So sit back, relax and enjoy your show.
5.) Take your kids to a pumpkin patch. Most of us adults have the fond childhood memory of going to a pumpkin patch; whether it was a field trip or family tradition. Again, this is another great time to explain the concepts of farming and harvesting. Let them choose a pumpkin for decorating or carving with you later. After choosing your pumpkin, take advantage of other activities the farm may offer, like hayrides or bobbing for apples. Furthermore, the venue would be perfect for a fall family photo. Your children will keep their pumpkin patch memories forever.
6.) Most importantly, visit family. For we never know if someone will be with us for the year, or just a season. If you’ve had a falling out, or just haven’t spoken to a family member in awhile, fall is the perfect time to patch things up (when life is calm). Test all your thanksgiving recipes on your unsuspecting family members. Or furthermore, include your extended family in doing all the activities mentioned above. Take advantage of all the school fall and holiday breaks, and catch a case of home sickness. If you don’t experience homesickness at least twice in a year, you haven’t been anywhere! But I assure you, if you spend that time away from home with family…you’ll barely feel the symptoms.