Leaf Peeping and other New England-esque Outings

While we have been trading in our long sleeves for short this past week, the weather is going to be turning quite “fall like” for the weekend.  Like any self-respecting New Englander, I love a good, crisp fall.  I like decorating my front porch with cornstalks and pumpkins, and I can’t help but put out spiced potpourri and Pumpkin Pie Yankee Candles around my home.  This year we’re even attempting to carve out a pumpkin as big as Jake and stick him in it to look like the Great Pumpkin.  But, my husband is quick to remind me that we probably won’t find a pumpkin to fit a 7 month old, so we may have to settle for just propping him up next to the mums in the front yard.  If you’re looking for some fun and inexpensive ways to spend your Fall weekends here in New England, your first stop should be your local apple orchard.  Right now these places are brimming with pumpkins, apples, hot and cold apple cider, and let’s not forget apple cider doughnuts and freshly made pies. 

Roger’s Orchard has two locations in Southington, with pick your own options every weekend.  A little smaller than Lyman’s, it is often less crowded, too.  Roger’s has an excellent bakery at their location on Long Bottom Road in Southington, so you don’t want to miss that.  Oh yes, and they have bunnies! http://www.rogersorchards.com/index.html

If you can’t get to one of the orchards, there’s always Stew Leonard’s.  They have a pretty good selection of pumpkins and mums, and you can pretty much eat your way through the store on samples alone.  Don’t miss their apple cider donuts when you enter the store- you may find yourself taking home a bag of those to enjoy while you carve out your pumpkin and eat some apples.  Stew’s even has lots of fun activities planned this fall for you and your family to enjoy- FOR FREE!!  Check out their entire list of events here:  http://www.stewleonards.com/press/press_room.cfm

A lesser known fun fact is that Hammonasset Beach in Madison does not charge entry fees from now until April.  While you probably won’t want to be swimming in 50 degree fall weather, it’s a great place to spend a weekend afternoon.  Take some fun pictures of the family on the beach, pack a picnic lunch to eat in the sand or in one of the pavilions, and be sure to make your way over to Meigs Point Nature Center at the end of the beach for nature walks.  (One of the trails at Meigs Point is stroller-friendly).  My family and I love doing the off-season beach thing, and we even had my husband’s birthday there this year.  –Well, the birthday boy wanted Lenny & Joe’s, so we ventured on over to Hammonasset after for cake and presents. http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?A=2716&Q=325210

Leaf Peeping.  We all do it. We all love it, and nowConnecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection Agency has made it so much easier for us!  I kid you not- the DEP set up a web page alerting you to the best times and locations to catch the leaves turning colors.  According to the DEP, the estimated dates of peak fall foliage runs from October 7 through November 13.  So plan your day trips accordingly, make sure you have lots of gas in the tank and take your family on an adventure right in your own state.  http://www.depdata.ct.gov/forestry/foliage/foliagemap.htm

 p.s….

As mentioned in my first FFF post, it’s also Fair Season, and this weekend the Berlin Fair is in full swing! http://ctberlinfair.com/wp