Looking Forward to Fall: 10 Things We Can’t Wait to Do
With all this heat lately, it seems as if Summer is going to drag on forever. And we are so over it. Fall can’t come fast enough for this family. There is something so renewing about the change of season, especially Summer to Fall. To us, not only do we look forward to the cooler weather, but the onset of the holiday season. Fall has so much to offer (other than pumpkin spice lattes) so we compiled a list of things we are looking forward to most this Fall.
1. Pumpkin Patches
We are fortunate to live in an area where there are no shortage of pumpkin patches and farms. Last year, we must have visited at least 5 different farms in less than a 15-mile radius and they all had something unique and different to offer. But our absolute favorite was the closest to our home. It featured not only pumpkins, but at least 10 different sized and themed bounce houses. What we liked most was that the bounce houses were all arranged in a circle next to each other, so it made it easy to keep an eye on our toddler. Plus, the owner never really paid attention to time limits, so we stayed a few times until closing time. We hope they return this year and if so, we plan on spending most nights there.
2. Cool Evening Walks
I am not one for summer walks. I prefer the cooler, brisker weather when it comes to walking. For me, the change of season gets me motivated to get out and walking, especially in the evening after dinner. And now that my little one is almost out of the stroller, these walks will be filled with hands-on exploring – from collecting different color leaves to fall-themed scavenger hunts and I Spy games.
3. Apple Picking
We are in the middle of two main apple picking areas – Oak Glen (near Big Bear) and Julian. And yet we’ve never been apple picking. But now that our daughter is nearly three and a half, I think it’s a perfect time to go. I’ve heard great things about each destination and can’t wait to see the connection my daughter makes when she realizes that apples don’t just come from the grocery store. Plus, I have plans to bake and make a bunch of apple desserts and treats with our pickings.
4. The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
So, I have to confess, as I am writing this, my daughter is actually watching this movie right now. It’s a Fall must, just like Polar Express is a Winter must. Last year, we watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown almost every night through Thanksgiving. It’s funny, because we haven’t watched it since until a couple days ago, my toddler asked to watch it. She must know Fall is near.
5. Picking Out Halloween Costumes
One of our favorite family times last year was visiting and shopping at the different Halloween costume store. I must admit, even though my birthday is in October, I’ve never been much of a Halloween person. However, my 3-year-old loves all things Halloween, even the scary stuff, and has since she was just a baby. Last year, she decided she wanted to dress up as Tinkerbell and I can’t wait to see what she decides this year. I’m thinking it may be more than one costume this year.
6. Carving Pumpkins
You can’t embrace Fall without pumpkins. And of course, carving or decorating pumpkins is a signature event. I’m guilty this year of going on Pinterest to check out all the cool ideas and since my daughter is really into Minions right now, I think it would be great to do a few like these. Of course, we will carve the standard jack-o-lantern faces too.
Ok, so this year, I’m not actually excited about the candy – I am much more excited to see my daughter’s reaction and excitement to going trick-or-treating. Last year was the first year we took her and she definitely got the hang of it real fast –even saying Thank You after she received her treats. And this year, I think it will be even better, now that she knows what to expect. Also, I love that our neighborhood and surrounding blocks really go all out to participate in trick-or-treating. It makes it so special for not only my little one, but the rest of the neighborhood kids.
8. Corn Mazes
Right on the corner of our main cross streets is a mercantile shop and farm that hosts an annual corn maze and other Fall festivities each year. At over 11 acres, apparently, it’s the biggest corn maze in Southern California. In addition to the corn maze, there’s a pumpkin patch, pony rides, hay ride, pig races, a corn cannon, and much more every weekend. I’ve actually never been in a corn maze and can’t wait to experience this with my kiddo this year.
9. Fireplace Dinners
My daughter loves sitting near the fireplace on cool fall evenings. She loved it so much, that we started “camping out” and eating dinners at least once or twice a week in front of the fireplace. This year, I’m sure we will carry on this nighttime activity. Plus, it’s much more exciting to enjoy a meal fireside than at the dining room table. If you have a fireplace, I highly recommend setting out a ton of blankets and sharing dinner family style in front of a cozy fire. It’s definitely makes for great family time.
I love, love, love Thanksgiving. Even though we typically travel to 2 different places about an hour away, it’s still fun to see family and extended family, watch cousins play, enjoy the feasts, and make plans for Christmas and the New Year. Last year, we decided to harvest the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner at a local farm and it was eye opening to see the process and do it hands-on instead of buying a frozen bird at Costco. I urge everyone to at least experience this once and although our daughter was really young, I want her to understand the respect we need to have for animals and that meat just doesn’t magically appear at a grocery store. This was a great lesson in thankfulness.
Does your family have any Fall traditions or activities you love to do this time of year? Share with us in the comments!