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Fall Fun at (or Near) Home: Part 2

by David Engle | Sep 29, 2020 | 4 min read

Fall is hands-down my favorite time of year. The season is like a treat for the senses–the stunning sunsets; the gorgeous colors of the leaves; the warm browns and oranges of the hay bales, corn stalks, and pumpkins that decorate the neighborhoods; the aroma of pumpkin spice, apples, and burning leaves; the brisk air of a cool autumn evening; the sweetness of home-baked pies and fresh apple cider. And the fact that I’ll soon no longer have to mow the lawn!

Yes, fall is full of sensory excitement, but it’s also a fun time of year. Halloween and Thanksgiving are on the horizon, football season is in full swing, and there’s plenty to see and do. Even during a pandemic. While trick-or-treating may or may not happen in 2020, there are still quite a few activities to enjoy either at home or in a socially distant environment.

Hopefully you already read our last post, which was full of fun fall ideas. If not, check it out! If so, grab a mug of hot cider, snuggle under your favorite blanket, light up the fire pit, and read on!

Get lost in a corn maze.

Well, not literally. No one wants that. But you should take the family to a local farm and try not to get too lost in a corn maze! They’re a lot of fun, and you get to enjoy the cool autumn weather as you try to find your way out. Some farms really have a blast with their mazes…we’re not talking about five minutes and then you’re done. Many of these mazes are designed by professional maze builders (yes, they are a thing) and cover acre upon acre of cornfields. These mazes can take HOURS to escape–so, make sure you’ve got a partner with you!

Keep in mind that your neighborhood farm might not be quite large enough to accommodate an enormous maze, but Corn Mazes America will help you locate the more challenging mazes in your area. If you’re concerned about potential crowds or COVID-19 precautions, check with the farm first; most places, even outdoors, will probably require a face covering and will limit the number of visitors at one time in order to comply with social distancing measures.

Hop on a hayride.

Once you’ve finally escaped from the corn maze, catch a hayride around the farm! These are so relaxing for families–after all, who doesn’t love loading onto a flatbed or trailer covered in straw and taking a slow, tranquil tractor ride through a farm on a gorgeous fall day? During this time of year, lots of farms will take you by tractor to their pumpkin patch, where you can roam with the kids and pick your own to take home. [Pro tip: do not stay all night and wait for the Great Pumpkin. He never shows up.]

Others may take you to a haunted house on the property for cider, roasted marshmallows, and ghost stories. Some nighttime hayrides are downright haunted themselves! If the kids (or adults, for that matter) are adventurous enough, that can be the perfect spooky finish to a super-fun day.

Pack a picnic.

For me, fall is the perfect time to eat outside–the weather is comfortable, flying insects are at a minimum, and the scenery is stunning. Those are all excellent reasons to pack some sandwiches, fruit, drinks, and blankets, and head to a nearby park or farm for a picnic. There aren’t too many things more relaxing than lying on your back and just staring at the sky as a cool breeze whistles by.

Identify cloud shapes with the kids, enjoy a yummy homemade lunch, and breathe in the beauty that is autumn.

Take a drive.

Have I mentioned how beautiful fall scenery is? And how incredible the weather is? Well, I just said it again…because it’s true. And nowhere is it more true than in the trees. Fall foliage, depending on where you’re located, peaks near the end of September and lasts through early November (October is generally the best time in most areas). And by peaks, I mean it puts on a glorious show of vibrant oranges, yellows, reds, and browns. But if you’re not lucky enough to live near this lush palette of warmth, you can always pile into the car and go see it for yourself.

New England is famous for its breathtaking views and weather during the fall. A beautiful getaway could include taking a days-long road trip from Connecticut all the way up through Maine during October (remember, you can homeschool anytime and anywhere!), stopping at cozy boutique hotels or bed-and-breakfasts in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire along the way. Not only are the amazing trees and colors worth the trip, but the quaint villages and towns, with their mom-and-pop shops and hidden-gem restaurants add another layer of charm to the trip.

So, there you have it–our list of fun fall ideas for you and the family. Please be sure to follow all COVID-19 precautions that your destination has in place for your safety and that of those around you. But that’s just a tiny inconvenience compared to the memories you’ll create this fall–whether you’re in your backyard or out on the road catching all of the stunning fall sights.

Let us know what fun fall plans you have for your family!

David Engle
Hello, and thanks for reading! I’m David Engle--dad, husband, sports fan, and writer/editor. As a father for the last 18 years (father of two for the last 14), I consider myself to be pretty well-versed in all things related to education, childhood, and parenting, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to share some insights and knowledge with fellow parents. I have been a professional writer and editor for a quarter of a century (it pains me to admit that) and have been writing in the educational space for a number of those years. I reside in southern New Jersey with my wife, two kids, two dogs, and three cats. Never a dull moment.
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