Photo by Pixabay under creative common license
This fall may be different than any other, but that shouldn’t stop people from enjoying this season. Here’s a list of 7 things that can help you make the most out of fall this year.
Keep in mind to maintain social distancing. Wearing a mask may be optional if you’re outdoors, but for your safety and security wear one if you feel it is needed.
Go apple picking
Apple picking is a nice outdoor activity that is very common to do in the fall season. Since it is outside, you are not required to wear a mask in most places. But, make sure to call ahead or check their website to see if you have to make a reservation. Some extra cautious places have a certain capacity.
Mrs. Danielle Allen, English teacher said, ” We took my 4-month-old twin boys to Battleview Orchards for our Allen family apple picking… everyone in the orchard including the workers wore masks which made me feel safer bringing my babies there.”
Go to a pumpkin patch
Another outdoor activity that many enjoy doing is going to a pumpkin patch. Whether it be to take cute and fun pictures with friends/family or to actually pick out some pumpkins. Usually going along with pumpkin patches are quick hayrides to transport you to the pumpkins. Again, you may need to call ahead to book a reservation before going. Some pumpkin patches located in Middlesex County are VonThun Farms, and Cheesequake Farms.
Math teacher Mr. Tom Pasko went to Norz Hill Farm and Market in Hillsborough with his wife and three year old daughter. Norz Hill Farm has pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and a petting zoo, however, to get to each attraction you must ride the hayride. Pasko explained, “They were able to socially distance the groups on the hayrides by having more hayrides available. There were also signs everywhere reminding people to wear their masks.” Pasko recommends going to the farm during the week as it could get packed with people on a weekend. Norz Hill Farm’s website also states that they have hand sanitizing station set up around the farm.
Get lost in a corn maze
Have you ever heard of the easy strategy to get through a corn maze without failing? It is by placing one hand, left or right, on the edge and keep following the maze with that same hand along the side. It may take a while and lead you to a lot of dead ends, but it will eventually bring you out of the maze. Or you could just go along with it and follow your instincts.
Hiking & bonfire
Another great way to experience fall is by going on a nice hike through nature. You could end off the night with a cozy fire in the woods, or one simply in a backyard. Being outside in nature and seeing the leaves change can be a calming experience to some. Sitting by a warm fire around friends and family can be a good way to end the night. Just remember, social distance if you’re around new people.
Middlesex resident Lauren Pevonis takes her nine year old daughter hiking on the weekends. “Hacklebarney State Park is my favorite hike. Most of the hike is next to the water so it’s super relaxing. It’s family friendly because there are a few different trails to do depending on how long of a hike you want. We do about 2.5 miles and the family loves it,” Pevonis explained. They bring masks incase you need to pass people or use the restroom.
Pevonis also recommends Jenny Jump State Forest which has a scenic overlook as well as a beautiful lake and even a cave. Their website boasts “Eleven miles of hiking trails and three miles of hiking trails offer magnificent views of the mountains and scenic Mountain Lake.” Small picnic areas are available as well.
There are different festivals for fall all across NJ. Some are for pumpkins, apples, even an autumn lights festival. Each festival includes different events, like hayrides, games, food, things for kids and adults.
Ms. Alisha Davison, English teacher at Colonia High School, visited Holland Ridge Farms located in Cream Ridge, New Jersey. She brought her young daughter with her to pick sunflowers. She stated, “The farm was so huge that it was easy to social distance. People were wearing masks too so I felt very comfortable being there with my child.” Holland Ridge Farms also has animals, food trucks, pony rides, and a hayride.
Holland Ridge Farm’s website explains their safety protocols in depth. For example, “Staff will wear masks at all times. Guests over the age of 2 must wear masks upon entering the farm as well as inside any of the buildings or using the restrooms. Masks must also be worn when 6 foot social distancing cannot be maintained while in the fields or any other outdoor attraction.”
Davison also went to a hayride and pumpkin patch, but felt uneasy there because of the amount of people congregating around the pumpkins.
It is the season of pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, cranberries, and so many more fall-themed foods. Some easy recipes to bake involving pumpkin could be pumpkin munchkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and so much more. There’s all sorts of other popular recipes are homemade biscuits, cranberry bread, pecan coffee cake, apple fritters and apple pie.
Arts and Crafts
Some fun arts and crafts you can do with the family and friends are pumpkin carving or painting, making a wreath, and painting leaves. There are some easy kid-friendly pumpkin carving tools to use with younger kids and some free printable designs to carve online as well.