5 Unique Ways to Enjoy Fall
It’s always sad when summer ends, but autumn brings new opportunities for family-friendly adventures. Sure, the usual seasonal standbys, like apple picking and pumpkin patches, are fun, but this year we’ve gathered some out-of-the-box autumn activities to try on for size. Here are five ways to enjoy this fall and make you thankful it rolled around again.
Spot a shooting star
Grab a blanket and head to your backyard for a front-row seat to the Orionid meteor shower. This meteor shower lasts from mid- to late October but peaks on the morning of Oct. 21 (the ideal time is one to two hours before sunrise, according to NASA). As Earth passes though the dusty debris of Halley’s comet, NASA says you can expect to see about 25 meteors per hour. Spend a few nights this fall staying up way too late and watching shooting stars trail across the night sky.
Make pie from scratch
There’s nothing like welcoming fall by tucking into a homemade pie. How about making your own from scratch? The American Pie Council offers tips and award-winning recipes to help you get started. Try a filling made with apple or pumpkin, the season’s traditional fruits. Grab about a dozen sour and sweet apples — Bon Appetit recommends tart Granny Smith and a less-tart variety like a Crispin or a Golden Delicious for baking. If you can snag a pie pumpkin, you’ll have time to master your fresh pumpkin pie recipe before turkey day hits.
Head to a hot air balloon fest
Take in the crisp autumn weather under a sea of hot air balloons. Come fall, hot air balloon festivals are in full force, taking place around the country from Albuquerque to Adirondack. Find one in your area, pack your own lawn chairs and blankets and bask in the balloons’ flight. If you’re feeling up for an adventure, reserve your very own ride and sail the sky. It’s a unique way to enjoy the fall leaves’ many hues.
Craft a Halloween costume
This Halloween, spend a little less money and get a little more creative. Consumers spent an average of $28 on one costume in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation. This year, pocket that change and create a costume for you or your kids using items you already have at home. Remember, a little cardboard, duct tape and a hot glue gun can work wonders. The best part? You’ll be the only one with your exact costume.
Host a chili cook-off
The perfect dish to accompany brisk weather is a bowl of warm chili. From spicy to sweet to mesquite, the many varieties lend themselves well to a tasting party. Have friends bring over their favorite pot of chili to share. You can label each pot with the maker’s name and the type of chili, and leave out a buffet of sides and garnishes, such as cornbread, avocado, tomato, cheese, sour cream and chives. After tasting some heaping spoonfuls, share your recipes and fill up your bowls — just remember to pace yourselves.
This fall, swap the usual standbys for something more season-sational — from a meteor shower show to leaf-peeping in a hot air balloon — and celebrate the pre-snow stretch.