This summer has been amazing — a classic summer featuring heat, humidity, and sunshine for days. But now that we’ve turned the corner into September, it’s hard to hide my excitement for the quintessential, magical New England fall and all that’s in store. It’s my favorite time of year, with gorgeous foliage, glorious crisp days, an ambiance of coziness, rosy cheeks, college football, apples, and pumpkins. As my kids are now 3 years old and 17 months, I am looking forward to celebrating and implementing seasonal traditions that my family can enjoy together, some classic and some new. Here are a few of them for fall:
This tradition is a given — apple orchards seem almost as abundant as Dunkin’ Donuts in New England. For the third year in a row, my family plans to go apple picking at our favorite orchard the last weekend in September. My 3-year-old has been talking about all the apples he’s going to eat along the way, while I know my 17-month-old will love toddling amongst the trees, likely playing hide-and-seek with his brother. And then, in October, likely more than once, we will…
Visit the pumpkin patch
With pumpkin patches galore throughout New England, we’ll scope one out locally to select the perfect pumpkin to turn into our jack-o’-lantern. Then, a night or two before Halloween, we’ll gather at the kitchen table to design our jack-o’-lantern together, with my husband carving away as our 3-year-old gives artistic direction. When the carving is done, we’ll place a candle inside the jack-o’-lantern, and he will light up our front steps. To complement our own artistic design, we will then…
Go see a display of jack-o’-lanterns
How cool would it be to see thousands of carved jack-o’-lanterns all together, all lit up with different designs? My kids will absolutely love this, so as something new to check out this fall, we’ll be visiting this display at the Seaport Convention Center and/or the Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, RI.
Visit the Mayflower II in Plymouth
Before the temps get too chilly around Thanksgiving, I’d love to show my kids — and visit for the first time myself — the replica of the Mayflower in Plymouth, MA. My older son has already asked me about the origins of Thanksgiving, and I’ve explained its history the best I can, but being able to physically tour the replica ship would be fascinating to a 3-year-old — particularly one who loves pirates and all things nautical.
Fall arts and crafts
There’s no question that New England hosts some of the most beautiful foliage around, and as a way to preserve some of this beauty, last year my kids and I collected vibrant leaves and then glued them to paper to create simple pictures that were then posted on our fridge for most of the year. This year, we will take many wagon walks to collect leaves and acorns and will continue the tradition; perhaps we will even move beyond glue and will iron leaves in between two pieces of wax paper to create an even more intricate design, a fond fall memory I have from my childhood.
What are some of your favorite fall traditions?