It’s officially fall, my favorite time of year. Between the leaves changing and the weather cooling down, I don’t think there is any other season that gets me more excited. This will be our first fall as suburbanites. The city left us limited on some of the fall traditions that many families do and that I grew up with. So now that we’ve moved, I am very excited to start new traditions in our new town and new house.
While some of these activities may seem like your typical fall fun, they are out of the ordinary for our former city-living family.
1. Pumpkin picking
The closest thing the girls know to pumpkin picking is going to the bodega on our corner and picking out a pumpkin that they liked. There were so many street vendors that sold pumpkins during the fall, that it was very easy for the girls to get their fix everyday as we walked around the city. Now that we are in the suburbs, I really want the girls to take advantage of all of the farms that we have in close proximity and take them pumpkin picking at a real pumpkin patch. They can have the chance to see how pumpkins grow and get to pick out their own pumpkin to take home and carve.
2. Pumpkins on display
I always made sure that the girls had the chance to carve pumpkins, but once we were done with them, we really didn’t have a place in our apartment to display them. They ended up sitting on our dining room table until they got gross and rotted and then I would throw them away. I am so excited for them to be able to carve pumpkins this year and bring them out on our front porch, lighting them up for all of our neighborhood to see.
In the city, trick-or-treating consists of going to a big apartment building and riding the elevator to each floor to go from door to door. We did try to make it to one street in our neighborhood with town houses that decorated and gave out candy, but because it was the only street in all of upper Manhattan that did this, it was always a madhouse. There was barely any room to walk and everyone was always pushing and shoving to go to the front doors for candy. The girls always look forward to dressing up and getting candy and I think this year they are even more excited because they are doing the kind of trick-or-treating that they’ve always heard about, but never had the chance to experience. We will go from door-to-door in our neighborhood without having to push people out of the way. We will have kids come to our house asking for candy (something we’ve never had before.) I can’t wait to start this new trick-or-treating tradition with the kids.
4. Apple picking
Every year we always had a fall trip where we would take a weekend, rent a car, and pick a place somewhere in the northeast that let us pick apples and have some fun. It was always a treat to get out of the city and see what this part of the country is like in the fall and really admire the gorgeous landscape. This year, we’ve realized that we are only minutes away from a local tree farm that lets you pick apples. So rather than making a weekend out of it, I can take the kids one day after school to pick apples and we can go multiple times throughout the season if we want to. The best part is that we can come home and we now have enough room in the kitchen that they can help me bake with all of the apples that we’ve picked. It’s the little things that they’ve always wanted to do, but have missed out on that mean the most to both myself and them.
5. Enjoying the weather
While it was wonderful to enjoy the cool air that fall brings us while walking around Manhattan, there was only so much you could do with three little ones. It always required us to get dressed and get out the door of our apartment building to enjoy the weather outside. Now that we have a house and a backyard, I can easily open the door and the girls can go outside and play. We can have dinner as a family on those cool nights and enjoy roasting marshmallows in our fire pit. We’ve never had the chance to do these things as a family before, so we really are looking forward to that togetherness outside.
6. Building a scarecrow
Last year we visited a corn maze that had scare crows on display throughout the maze. My oldest daughter, Harlan, was so fascinated by them and kept asking if we could build one ourselves. Living in the city with no access to hay or anywhere to display her scarecrow, I had to sadly tell her no. But this year we get to make her scarecrow dreams come true and build our own. It’s such a fun way to celebrate the season and a fun activity for us to get creative as a family.
7. Hosting our family for Thanksgiving
Although it’s a couple of months away, I’ve already started planning for our big Thanksgiving feast for our family. Living in a small two-bedroom apartment, we tried to host our family for Thanksgiving, but it was very cramped. This year I’d love to have our family come to town for a big Thanksgiving feast that I can cook in my normal sized kitchen and oven and a space that we don’t have to bump into each other just to sit and eat.
8. Black Friday
I remember when I was little my sister and I used to get up at the wee hours of the morning to wait in line outside of all of the department stores to be one of the first people to take advantage of all of the Black Friday deals. It was a tradition we would do year after year and one that I came to love not because of the great deals, but for the adventure that it became. Living in the city, you don’t really have any of the sales or lines like in the suburbs. This year when my parents come up, I’ll take my mom out to the stores to wait in line, just like the good ol’ days.
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