Fall Festivities in New England

The Fall season in New England brings about a slew of requisite fun family activities.  Below are  my top five favorites not to be missed.

1. Apple Picking! To be honest my older kids kind of roll their eyes at this one, yet I drag them every year, and every year they love it once I get them there.  There a many places to apple pick in Rhode Island, my favorite is Narrow Lane Orchard in North Kingstown because they also have peaches when in season, and a beautiful (but short enough for the kids) nature trail around the orchard.   There is something about picking your own apples and then taking them home to make an apple pie.  I love giving my kids that farm to table experience whenever possible.  My pie recipe is super easy, and the kids love to help.  I buy ready- made Pillsbury pie Crusts, frankly, because I haven’t mastered the pie crust, and mine  have just never come out as good as the ready- made! For the filling:

8 apples cut up into chunks or slices

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 T cornstarch

3/4 t. cinnamon

1 t. vanilla

Mix it all together and bake at 350 until top is golden and the filling is bubbling, about 1 hr.

2. The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular! This takes place every October in R.I., this year it will run October 6th through 31st from 6pm to 10pm at the Roger Williams Park Zoo. Similar events are spread throughout the area. In fact  Women’s Day magazine had a great article last year listing these displays around the country.  Thousands of pumpkins are carved, lit and lined up on a trail with music setting the mood to create an enchanting evening experience not to be missed. It is truly unique, and my whole family enjoys it.  I recommend going either on the early or late side to avoid a long wait in line, since this event is so popular.

 

 

3. The RISD sale. Don’t miss the fall student & alumni RISD sale held outdoors on Benefit street between Waterman and Hopkins streets in Providence. October 15th from 10am to 4pm. Be inspired by amazing creativity, meet the artists, and pick up distinctive art at affordable prices.  Also a great place to find gifts of Jewelry, textiles, ceramics, paintings or paper goods, for yourself or others.

4. Pumpkin Picking.  Yes, there is still a place where, like Charlie Brown, you can go to a real pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin off the vine. You don’t have to just buy it at the supermarket. (although admittedly, in this area with plentiful pumpkin crops, they can be much less expensive at supermarkets) For the experience, Spring Hill Sugar House is located at 522 Gardner Rd.in Richmond, RI, and is an 8 acre farm that produces it’s own maple syrup and apple cider . It also has a fantastic corn maze and pumkin patch that makes it the perfect fall day family outing. Be sure to bring your camera to capture all the great photo opportunities.

5. Leaf Collecting.  Remember as a kid picking out colorful leaves and bringing them home to iron between wax paper?  I had somehow forgotten to do this for a while, but the beauty of having children is rediscovering some of the simple pleasures we sometimes forget as adults.  Now we go on a leaf hunt, in our yard, the neighborhood, or on a trail, and bring home beautiful leaves.  I iron them between wax paper, punch two holes in the top, tie on a string, and hang them in the windows for pretty (and for me, nostalgic) home-made fall decorations.

 

The air is crisp, time to get cozy and enjoy the beauty of the Fall! What are some of your favorite fall activities?

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Family–and Solo–Fun in New England

With my youngest of four off to Kindergarten, I find myself for the first time in twelve years with actual free time.    Since having kids I have dreamed of a quiet house all to myself, and some days find the idleness that I might have found lonely or boring before, a luxury.  As a busy mom I can multitask like a Tasmanian devil, and give me a few hours with no kids, whew, I can accomplish a lot!   Most days that is, but some days, I must confess, I lose all sense of time management.   I get overwhelmed by all of the possibilities of the things I should be/could be doing with that precious time.   The next thing I know I have fritted away a whole day doing nothing but magazining.   I decided to make a list, of things that I know will feed my soul, for a girl can not live on food shopping, dishes, and laundry in her free time alone. 

The Chihuly exhibit at the Boston Museum of fine Arts. Chihuly’s glass sculpture work is fantastical, whimsical, and like stepping into another world.  Since it is an all glass exhibit, this is definitely something to do without the children. April 10-August 7th

The RISD student/Alumni art sale on Benefit Street in Providence. My inner artist is always inspired by these affordable, creative, and unique finds outdoors on historic Benefit Street.  Find great accessories, jewelry, house wares & art.   There is a sale every Spring, Winter (at the convention center in Providence) and Fall.

Waterfire

April 27th kicked off the season.  I swear this is one of the most magical experiences.  My husband has humored my fantasy of sitting along the edge of the river while holding hands, soaking in the bonfires, and drinking a glass of wine so many times, that he has threatened to push me in the river if I make him do it again.

Wickford Art Festival. July 9th & 10th the charming seaside village of Wickford in North Kingstown, RI hosts hundreds of artists selling their paintings, photographs and sculptures.  Great art deals, and the inspiration of seeing so much creativity gathered in one gorgeous setting makes this a fantastic event.

Green Animal Topiary Gardens Children’s Party. With the feel of an English garden party a la Alice in Wonderland, this one you have to bring your kids with you.   I love the fact that along with the juice and cookie table for kids, free with admission, wine for the grown-ups is also offered.  The topiary garden is right out of Edward Scissorhands, and rolling green lawn leads to a water view.  Bring a blanket and purchase from their BBQ for dinner. Pony rides, a bouncy house, and amazing performances by the likes of the Big Apple Circus and the Toe Jam Puppet band are sure to keep the kids enthralled. July 14th 4-8pm. Get there early for good parking. 380 Corys Lane Portsmouth, RI 02871-1324 – (401) 683-1267

 

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