January 02 2010
Fall is right around the corner. Well, hopefully anyway. This summer weather and constant heat stroke is wearing most people thin. School is back in session and no one wants to be wearing jeans to keep warm inside buildings and then melting in the sun. Summer time is for going to the beach with family and friends, getting tan and swimming in the ocean. It’s a time for endless summer jobs that are painful and pay minimum wage. It’s a time for barbecues and watermelon, and pina coladas pool side.
So when the cool weather finally arrives, here are some great ideas to welcome the new season. Lot’s of farms like to celebrate the season by opening their land to picking crops like apples and pumpkins. Apple picking is a classic fall time activity that lot’s of farms and orchards in the area offer to the public for a small fee. It’s a great way to include large groups of peoples and acquire enough apples for life. Pumpkin patches on most farms allow people to come and pick their own pumpkins. And of course, pumpkin carving is a must for the traditional fall pastime. At the end of the season, some community farms do pumpkin smashing activities, including catapulting them into the air or dropping them from high heights. For everyone with inner anger, this is a great way to relieve that frustration.
Another great fall time activity is going to haunted houses. October is prime time for those to be sprouting up in different areas and most of them are fairly inexpensive. Theme parks also host haunted houses and haunted rides. Busch Gardens is one of the better parks that puts on a great Halloween set-up. Each different part of the park hosts to a certain theme, last years including werewolves, witches, clowns, bloody chainsaw men, and things that go bump in the night. The park is decorated like that of an eerie haunted world, including spiders and ghosts hanging from trees, creepy noises that come from dark corners, and dark purple lighting that casts creepy shadows all around. Another park that does a great haunted kind of world is Kings Dominion. Theirs is a bit more mature that Busch Gardens, including figures that walk in the crowds and grab you, and loud noises that cause you to jump. Both parks offer a great time and fun rides on top of the Halloween haunts and scares that keep you on your feet.
Hayrides are a fun and easy way to have fun and travel through dark woods telling ghosts stories. Lot’s of small farms and fall activity places offer hayrides with hot chocolate, bomb fires, roasting marshmallow’s and eating fall foods with friends. There are always the perfect ending to a fall day and also not half as scary as haunted houses or haunted theme parks.
Every year I go out to a simple farm house in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of my friends to do a corn maze. Many people think of corn mazes as children’s play and nothing too special, but the I would have to disagree. Corn mazes truly are confusing and with a big group of friends it’s fun to get lost for a few hours, run into the same strangers over and over again, and eventually end up free and victorious. I would highly recommend it for any fall night if you want to get lost for a few hours.
All these activities are special for the fall, but these aren’t even the things that are most associated with it. As far as fall goes, one has to think about the changing of the leaves and the perfect weather for a jacket and jeans. A fun place to travel in the fall for the full phenomenon of this leaf effect is up into the Shenandoah Mountains. Not only is the drive fun and freeing, the view from lookout points is mind blowing. It’s a great weekend trip to take to fully appreciate the beauty of fall, and something to definitely do if you’re a fan of this season.
And of course, the greatest part of fall has to be the food. The pumpkin pies and warm soups, the apple tarts and apple jam (and if you go apple picking just tons and tons of apples.) All the spices and warmth of the season are enough to make you love it over summer. And then you add Starbucks pumpkin spiced latte to the mix and the loss of summer isn’t such a tragedy after all.