It’s that time of year again! With the cooler nights, crisp mornings and warm days, it’s beginning to feel like fall already here in New England. While summer is most definitely my favorite season, fall is a close second. Sweater weather is a favorite time of year – because it feels nice to be so cozy, but it’s not so cold you’re freezing. From trips to a local farm to pet the animals, to fair-like festivals with yummy treats and spooky sights, fall in New England is like none-other.
I’m so excited to share some items from our fall bucket list!
We have a few different options in our area to partake in this activity. Corn mazes are so fun with the kids. There’s often cute displays set up within the maze for adorable photo-ops. And there’s plenty of people around, so don’t be afraid you’ll get lost.
If you’re local to the Western MA/Southern VT & NH area — I highly recommend Gaine’s Farm in Guilford VT. They have SO much to do! There’s farm animals, a fun ‘cow train’ that cruises around the farm, lots of food and games for the kids too! Their corn maze even gets a bit scarier after dark.
This is always a fun activity with our family. I remember apple picking all throughout my childhood — and soon after the amazing aroma of a fresh pie baking! It’s a great place to take adorable family photos and spend a quality day together having fun. We’re planning on heading to an orchard this upcoming weekend and I’m SO excited. I’m planning on also baking my first apple pie myself with Fota as she recently said to me “Mom, I really want to try pie”.
A few places I know of in the Southern VT/NH and upper Western MA area are:
Pine Hill Orchard in Colrain, MA
Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, NH
Apex Orchard in Shelburne, MA
Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield, MA
One bonus of having truly four seasons is the annual art show mother nature bestows on us. Every fall the trees and bushes transform from lush green to vibrant hues of orange, red, yellow and gold. It truly is breathtaking. There’s even several local chartered bus tours specifically for leaf viewing, if you don’t want to fight the traffic. When I lived in southern VT I dreaded Friday afternoon traffic on I-91 north from mid-September through October because it was oftentimes a madhouse of “leaf peepers” heading north for the spectacular viewing opportunities.
Pumpkin Festivals & Pumpkin Carving
Any fall festival wouldn’t be complete without all the awesome pumpkins! We have several fall festivals in our area, but one that always took the prize was the Keene Pumpkin Festival. This festival was HUGE when I was a kid and was even featured on HGTV’s Pumpkin Wars! Unfortunately, the festival was sidelined for a couple years (and moved further upstate to Laconia NH) because of security issues with unruly college-aged parties in nearby neighborhoods. But, it looks like they’re bringing it back this year and I’m excited to check it out with my family.
Carving pumpkins is a yearly tradition in our home. Last year Fota was so excited and amazed at this seasonal activity. She couldn’t believe the final result once we had it lighted.
Haunted Hayride / Haunted House
This is definitely something for the older kids and adults – as these spooky delights can get pretty scary. With live action characters and creatures screaming at you, chasing you down hallways and grabbing you from behind — these activities aren’t for the faint of heart.
Again — I highly recommend Gaine’s Farm — they’ve had an amazing haunted hayride for decades. When I was in high school it was soooo much fun to go as many times as we could and get the scare of a lifetime. Another popular haunted hayride is at McCray’s Farm in South Hadley, MA. There’s also a newer frightful placed called DementedFX in Holyoke, MA that’s been all the rage.
The leaves are already starting to turn here, and the nights are getting cold. Fall is a magical season here in New England with so many fun family-friendly activities to keep you busy all season long!
What are some of your favorite local seasonal festivities?