Ready or not, fall has arrived, marked by crisp mornings and cool evenings. It’s time to pack away the shorts and t-shirts, pull out the sweaters and put on a pot of soup. Here’s 10 ways to bid summer farewell and welcome fall.
Fall festivals offer fun for all ages. Festival foods, music, arts and crafts, pumpkins and fun are waiting for you. The Virginia Tourism website is your starting place for fall fun in Virginia. Enjoy the Apple Harvest & Apple Butter Festival at Drumheller’s Orchard in Lovingston on Sept. 26-27; the Annual Gordonsville Street Festival or Norfolk’s Annual AT&T Children’s Festival on Oct. 3; Bland County Festival of Leaves or Historic Appomattox Railroad Festival on Oct. 10-11; the Hokie BugFest in Blacksburg or PetOberFest in Woodbridge on Oct. 17 or find a festival close to home and celebrate fall.
Fall colors have begun in the higher elevations. In Virginia, plan a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, known as ‘America’s Favorite Drive’ or head north and enjoy a day in Shenandoah National Park on the Skyline Drive.
Pumpkin everything. From pumpkin coffee to pumpkin bread, pumpkin is the flavor of the season in fall. Pumpkin tastes great and it’s good for you. This easy recipe for pumpkin muffins has been around for a while, but you’ll probably see it on your social media feeds this fall.
Easy Pumpkin Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine a small can of pumpkin and a box spice cake mix in a bowl and stir with a spoon until well mixed. Yellow cake mix can be used in place of spice cake if you prefer. Add mini chocolate chips if desired. Pour into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and enjoy.
Plant a fall garden. Start with mums and pansies and add some spring bulbs now for instant color in spring. Daffodils, tulips, crocuses and other spring bulbs are planted during fall and will come up when the time’s right in the spring.
Pumpkin patches and corn mazes are fun for all. Find a pumpkin patch or corn maze where you live and celebrate fall with the kids. Many pumpkin patches offer bounce houses, hay bale animals, corn pits and other attractions in addition to pumpkins. Check the link at the end of this article for Central Virginia pumpkin patches and corn mazes.
Visit an apple orchard. Apples are in season so pick your own or enjoy pre-picked apples at your favorite orchard. May orchards hold apple festivals and open houses where you may also find fresh apple cider, hot apple donuts.
Decorate for fall. Spook up your yard with scarecrows and ghosts or add mums and pumpkins for fall. It’s always fun to change the look of your home and yard and fall offers many decorating options.
Enjoy fall sports. College football is a favorite fall pastime, but there are many other fall sports to enjoy. On college campuses, high school and youth recreation fields across the country, you’ll find athletes competing in soccer, field hockey, cross country and other sports. Fall is also a favorite season for runners. As the temperatures cool down, the running events heat up.
Enjoy a fall hike. Bring your family, friends or your 4-legged fur baby. Hiking in the mountains or woods is a great way to enjoy fall colors up close. Pack a picnic lunch or snack to enjoy. Bring plenty of water and be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty of fall.
Fall holidays offer family fun. Make family memories on Halloween with costume parties and trick-or-treating. Invite the extended family to gather for Thanksgiving lunch or dinner and pack your fall with lots of memories.
Whether you love it or hate it, fall has arrived so celebrate the season. Let’s hear it for fall, the best season of all.