Fall is at its glorious peak here in the Northeast- the air is crisp, the leaves are brilliant, and the harvest is bountiful. With so much beauty and so many opportunities for fall fun, it’s easy to make the most of this season.
I had the wonderful opportunity to spend this past weekend in one New England’s most quintessential fall towns: Woodstock, Vermont! We spent the weekend hiking Mt. Tom, exploring the 42nd Annual Apples and Craft’s Fair, watching football, and taking in the beauty of the changing leaves. In honor of my favorite season, I’ve created this list of healthy fall activities for you and your family.
1. Go Hiking as the Leaves Change
Hiking becomes very popular this time of year as people flock to see the foliage of fall. People travel from all over the world to see New England’s changing leaves, so if you are from this area, you should absolutely make the best of it! If you aren’t from New England, a hiking trip to Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine is definitely worth the trip! If you are willing to brave the cold, the fall is also one of the absolute best times to go camping.
2. Enjoy a Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner
One of my absolute favorite parts of fall is the produce. Apples, pumpkins, and butternut squash- nothing is better than the flavors of fall! This time of year, local farms are nearly overflowing with delicious fall produce, so many of them offer Farm-To-Table Harvest Dinners either on their farms or at local restaurants nearby. It is a good idea to join mailing and e-mail newsletter lists of local farms and restaurants to stay up to date on their seasonal offerings.
3. Visit a Fall Festival
September, October, and November are filled with fall themed festivals! In New England, our fall festivals celebrate the changing of the leaves and the flavors of fall. These festivals generally include local artisan craft and food vendors. Some of these festivals even offer live entertainment from local bands!
4. Go Apple and Pumpkin Picking
When most people dream of fall, they think of apple and pumpkin picking. Seriously, what’s better than picking your own apples and pumpkins to make homemade pie with!? I can’t think of much. Many farms that offer pick-your-own apples and pumpkins also serve delectable fall treats such warm apple cider, apple pie, and cider donuts- YUM!
5. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
Corn mazes are so much fun! If you’ve never completed one, I highly recommend it. Corn mazes are generally offered at local farms throughout September and October. Spending an hour or two lost in a corn maze is a great way to burn calories while having tons of fun.
6. Embrace Your Inner German at Oktoberfest Events
October is the perfect time to sample artisan Oktoberfest style beers while savoring delicious German food at local Oktoberfest events. Not all of us are lucky enough to fly to Germany for the real thing, but Oktoberfest events can usually be found locally throughout the month of October. Though some Oktoberfest events are strictly 21+, many events are family friendly.
7. Carve a Jack-O-Lantern
If you are going to pick your own pumpkins this fall, then you have to carve a jack-o-lantern. Carving pumpkins is a great way to gather your friends and families to get excited for Halloween. Find a scary movie marathon, browse these amazing jack-o-lantern ideas on Pinterest, and then get carving- Don’t forget to toast the seeds!
8. Get Spooked on a Haunted Hay Ride
Another great way to get excited for Halloween is to go on a haunted hay ride or visit a haunted house. Many local farms set up spooky haunted hay rides throughout September and October. These events range from family fun to downright terrifying so be prepared to get scared!
9. Go to a Football Game
Ok fine, sitting on a bench cheering on your favorite team doesn’t exactly burn a ton of calories, but it certainly is fun! There is no time like the fall to bundle up in your favorite team sweatshirts, gather with family and friends, and watch some football.
10. Make Healthy and Delicious Fall Treats
Autumn’s harvest is both abundant and delicious, so there is no time like the fall to try out a new recipe. Visit local pick-your-own farms and farmer’s markets to stock up on fall produce and then try some of my favorite fall recipes.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream
Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage Cream Sauce
Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake
Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt
Maple Cinnamon Butternut Squash