1. Bake a fresh apple pie after visiting an apple orchard.
Getting outside is good for the soul and apple orchards smell heavenly. For your efforts you will rewarded with healthy snacks for the following weeks. Look for an apple orchard near you or check out a few of my favorites:
- Narrow Lane Orchard, in North Kingstown, RI has a small orchard with well-marked apples and peaches, as well as a level hiking trail. (This orchard is closed this year, 2016, due to weather ruining the crop.)
- Belkin Family Lookout Farm in Natick, MA features a larger orchard with train ride into the fields and a children’s play area.
2. Be a Leaf peeper.
Leaf peeping is generally more intensely colored the more north you travel. Our foliage turns first in the north, then slowly works its way south. Refer to these foliage maps to see the best place to view when you will be visiting. New Hampshire and Vermont are top on my list of places to see amazing fall colors.
3. Have a romantic sleep away among the leaves.
Long walks through the leaves followed by cold nights by the fire is pretty romantic.
- Darby Field Inn is a rustic old inn in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
- Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Massachusetts– escape to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts.
4. Explore any of New England’s many harvest festivals.
Here a few of the ones I go to, but there are a few in every state every weekend to choose from that you can look for here.
- Cape Cod Cranberry Harvest Celebration– The colors and tastes of cranberries are synonymous with fall. Go see how the fruit is harvested in this cute fall festival on the beautiful peninsula of Cape Cod. My family acquired a couple of the recipes that we make again and again at Thanksgiving from this fair, such as our Cranberry P’Cake.
5. Drink freshly pressed apple cider.
- BF Clyde’s Apple Cider Mill in Old Mystic, Connecticut is the oldest steam-powered cider mill in the US. After your tour you can munch homemade cider donuts while listening to live music on the lawn.
6. Hiking is the best way to get a close up view of our beautiful leaves.
Nature never disappoints. Get out into it and it will elevate your mood! Here are some of my favorite spots!
- Stepping Stone Falls, West Greenwich, RI has small, long falls with trails that follow the river.
- Heublein Tower Tower in Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury, CT overlooks the whole state.
- Purgatory Chasm, Sutton, MA is great for bouldering and one of my kid’s favorite hikes.
- Tumbledown Mountain in Byron, ME has spectacular views and a pond for fishing at the top.
- Warren Falls, VT has larger falls and swimming holes.
- 5 Scenic, Family Hikes in Lincoln, New Hampshire
7. Go to a Pumpkin Festival
- Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is a beautiful display of cut and lit pumpkins at Providence’s Roger William’s Zoo. Go on week nights when it opens (at 6 p.m.) or expect long lines. At the zoo is also Spooky Zoo with trick-or-treating through the zoo for kids in costume on designated days.
- Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival– I love the beauty of pumpkins, but there is something very satisfying in watching one flying through the air after being slung from a trebuchet. Apparently enough people agree to hold a festival around this idea.
Look at the list of New England’s Five Best Pumpkin Festivals.
8. Waterfire, Providence
9. Get scared at a haunted something.
New England is full of many places believed to be haunted, but even where we don’t have real hauntings we put on quite a show. Check out our numerous haunted houses, hayride and trails.
- Scary Acres in West Greenwich, RI is one of our favorites and boasts four adventures including shooting scary zombies with paint balls.
10. Carve a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin picked from the field.
- Schartner Farms in Exeter, RI is where we go every Columbus Day weekend. Here we take a hayride to pick pumpkins and enjoy fall games.
This large renaissance celebration in Carver, MA is a recreation of the England’s 16th century complete with jousts, market place, huge turkey legs and many shows. It is always a day that my children adore.
12. The Big E
The Eastern States Exposition takes place in West Springfield, Massachusetts. A huge New England fair, with everything you could imagine to eat, ride and see. My favorite part is the state houses, which are replicas of the New England capital buildings full of vendors with state specific foods and items.
13. Visit some real life colonial history.
Nothing says fall like Thanksgiving, native americans and pilgrims. Take this opportunity to learning about our country’s history first hand by visiting a few of these attractions located in New England:
- Plimoth Plantations (yes, that’s the original spelling)- Visit this living history museum to see how the pilgrims and Native Americans lived and celebrated their first fall in the New World after fleeing England.
- The Mayflower Boat and Plimoth Rock– Here you can see a model of the Mayflower and the actual Plimoth Rock which looks much different than I expected.
14. Visit a vineyard.
- We love to dine at Sharpe Hill Winery in Pomfret, CT in the old farmhouse that has amazing food in a rustic fall setting. You must have reservations well in advance.
- Jonathan Edward’s Winery- read about my fall wine tour there.
15. Take a spooky ghost tour.
Be regaled by our area’s history, both real and lore. You may find yourself hearing things or looking over your shoulder more once you hear about the things that are said have gone on here. Find a ghost tour in any New England state.
- Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast– Not only can you tour 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts, the house where Lizzie Borden was said to butcher her parents with an axe, you can even stay the night.
16. Visit Salem, Massachusetts.
Salem, Massachusetts is scary and commercial, full of tours, museums and real and imagined haunted houses. This town was the locale of the famous Salem Witch Hunt Trials. Be sure to read my post A Day with My Boy Looking for Ghosts.
17. Embrace the season with some pumpkin flavored everything.
- New Englanders are crazy about fall and Dunkin’ Donuts, which makes a very good pumpkin muffin and spiced coffee.
- After hiking Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Massachusetts try some pumpkin ice cream at the West End Creamery.
18. Take a hay ride and get lost in a corn maze.
- Foster Family Farm– This family run farm in South Windsor, Connecticut has an interactive corn maze, pumpkin patch, animals and lots of fall activites. You can even buy your mums here!
- Connors Farm- Read all about our full day of family fall fun.
19. Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Okay, so that has nothing to do with New England– my family just loves it and it puts us in the perfect autumn state of mind!
Have a great fall, Y’all!
What are your favorite fall activities? I would love to hear in the comments.