The air is crisp, the sky is bright blue and the breeze is refreshingly cool. Throw open those windows and let the sunshine in! Sweater weather is here, so head outside and enjoy the gift nature gives us with the arrival of fall. Make the most of this cozy and colorful season. There is something for everyone!
The local farm is the perfect outing for a day filled with photo ops and fall festivities. Pick-your-own pumpkin patches, hayrides and corn mazes are fun for children of all ages. You can even turn the corn maze into a friendly competition - the first team through the maze buys a round of hot apple cider! If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where the apples are ripe for the picking, head out to your local orchard. Tasting while picking is strongly encouraged!
Once you are home, there are many ways to enjoy your harvest. Set aside some vitamin and fiber rich apples to use in sweet or even savory seasonal dishes such as muffins, baked apples and butternut squash soup.
Carve out some time for even more fun! Gather your pumpkins and tools (there are pumpkin carving kits made specifically for kids) and get creative with your spooky designs. If you choose to illuminate your creation, opt for safer battery operated tea lights. Remember, a cut pumpkin will only last for a few days to a week, so it's best to carve your pumpkin just before your Halloween festivities.
Don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting! High in protein and fiber, and a good source of minerals like zinc and iron, they are the perfect crunchy addition to salads and a handful makes for a healthy satisfying snack:
Clean the scooped out seeds and let them dry. Then toss in a bowl with vegan butter or oil and salt. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 300° for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Our Favorite Color Is Autumn
A scenic drive is the perfect way to enjoy the magnificence of the colorful fall foliage. Plan to stop along the way and take a hike or leisurely walk. You will experience the fiery reds, bright oranges and cheery yellows of nature up close and get in some exercise at the same time. While you are exploring, have the children collect an assortment of leaves, acorns, pine cones, or any other treasures they discover, to use for crafting. Bring them home and let them create their own woodland creatures. Let their imagination run wild!
PPB Tip: Bring some color to your doorstep with an assortment of bright seasonal mums.
Fall Back...Spring Ahead
Even though fall has just arrived, it's not too early to think about spring! Get a head start on your spring garden by planting perennials and bulbs in the fall. The cool, moist autumn weather is exactly what they will need to flourish. Some varieties will even bloom in late winter when there is still snow on the ground - a colorful and welcome reminder of the spring awakening that will be right around the corner.
When the leaves have passed their colorful peak and fallen to the ground, the fun is not over. Get the whole family involved raking them into giant crunchy piles. Have the camera ready and let the kids enjoy jumping in the leaves. You may even get that perfect shot for your family’s holiday photo!