New England Fall Activities To-Do

The trees have started changing color and the sun has begun doing my favorite thing when it sets on the pavement through the trees. Transition is in full bloom and everything that is in the thick of change is becoming heightened to me, making me feel like the season is finally officially underway. This season brings with it so much feeling and melancholy. People begin to bundle up, they cozy up near fires with their fall jackets and flannels and boots and scarves finally come back into fashion like a breath of fresh air.

Living in New England sure has its share of hardships. Between ridiculous amounts of snow in the winter, high heat and humidity in summer, and the confusion that accompanies the in-between summer and fall weather (Will it be this cool all day? Do I wear shorts or pants?) This year, the transition of summer into fall has been like a turning page. With that turning page has come an enormous amount of squirrels, leading most to believe that that this coming winter is going to be a mind-blower.

I think it’s good to enjoy these things as they are, though, so this evening I’m going to talk about some of my favorite fall activities.

Apple Picking

One of my favorite childhood memories was apple picking and making the drive to a local farm with my family. At the time, we lived in upstate New York and apple picking was always a two to three hour big deal with sugar donuts, picking apples from a tree, riding on horses and hayrides, and feeding animals by hand. My favorite part was always trying every apple on the tree and reaching high as I could for the best and biggest apple. Always worth it. Here’s where you can go apple picking if you’re in Derry, New Hampshire or the surrounding areas:

Mack’s Apples in Londonderry

J&F Farms in Derry

Hazelton Orchards in Chester

Pumpkin Carving

This is also another favorite memory of mine. I always loved picking a pumpkin, setting up the table on our back porch, gutting the pumpkin seeds for mom to cook in the oven, carving the pumpkin with a face from one of the pumpkin-carving booklets, lighting the candles and placing them within the core of the pumpkin to light up the faces we had created that afternoon. One of my favorite memories was last year when my friend invited me to come over for her family tradition of carving pumpkins and watching a halloween movie. My pumpkin was definitely the biggest fail, but the picture of my joy from the night was a keeper and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Haunted Houses and Hayrides

I never actually did this as a child, but a memory I have carved in my mind is one. The year I had just returned home from my travels and my sister invited me to go to Nightmare New England with her friends when she visited home for a long weekend from college. This was definitely more for kids, but it was still fun to to ride on a haunted hayride and walk through a few haunted houses with people and end the night sitting near a fire with some drinks. If you’re in New Hampshire, here’s where you can get your haunted house and hayride fill:

Nightmare New England in Litchfield

Haunted Acres in Candia

Fright Kingdom in Nashua


The change in color. The spectacular blue sky. The cool and crisp air. Driving and seeing the trees erupt in light, marveling at creation and seeing things in a new perspective as everything changes. I’ve never intentionally gone out and driven just to see the leaves on the trees in their splendor, but it’s something a lot of people I know do, maybe even incorporating a hike into it to see the trees from a different view. I’d love to get out one October Saturday just to see it all in bloom this year. 


Maybe this is a plug to keep holding onto summer, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying to go for a little wine tasting, after all, wine is pretty yummy and my palate has been expanding its horizons lately into some reds. This is definitely on my list of to-do’s now that a majority of my friends are of age.

I’m excited it’s fall. It’s seriously one of my favorite times of year. I don’t wish it away and I do my best to revel in every bit of the season, because there’s definitely something special about the earth turning another year older and the trees teaching us gracefully how to let go.

Ashley CookComment