I love the summer more than anything and have been a beach person my entire life. There was something about this summer that was less carefree than most and had me looking towards the fall a bit more than usual. I am a sucker for the quintessential New England fall day. And who doesn’t love Halloween and 24-7 horror movies?
Below are my top five fall family-friendly activities and recommendations on where to enjoy them (keeping social distancing in mind).
1. Apple Picking & Pumpkin Patches
Nothing says fall to me like apple picking. When my husband and I left the city and moved to Connecticut, it quickly became a fall favorite. We stock up on a two week supply of apples and use them for everything from baby food to applesauce to apple pies to lunches and snacks. Some great Connecticut orchards include Blue Jay Orchards, Bishop’s Orchards, Lyman Orchards, and Silverman’s Farm. Can anyone say Baby Boom?
I know this might not seem like a family activity but all of the Connecticut wineries I have been to serve food, and there’s nothing my little one likes more than cheese! Jones Family Farms is one of my favorites in the area as you can enjoy the full fall experience there with pumpkins, hayrides, and apple picking. Chamard Vineyards in Clinton, CT is breathtakingly beautiful and overlooks a gorgeous pond with acres and acres of vines. Their restaurant is one of the best in the area, and for the COVID era, they have converted it into a takeout window with picnic tables to graze. They invite pop up tents and picnic blankets for visitors to relax and take in the grounds.
Connecticut Audubon in Fairfield is our local go-to hike. They have birds of prey, and it is handicap and stroller accessible. I was always able to manage myself when my little one was a baby because I could push the stroller for miles. For a slightly more ambitious hike, try Devil’s Den Preserve in Weston/Redding, Weir Farm in Wilton, and Aspetuck Trail in Newton/Redding/Easton.
Our area has a wide assortment of local farms that offer everything from socially distanced outdoor farm classes to al fresco farm dinners to sunset yoga to drive-in movie nights. Some to try include Wakeman Town Farm, Stamford Nature Center, Lachat Farm, and Ambler Farm.
5. Fall Folliage Drives and Day Trips
Try a beautiful rustic drive and day trip to Litchfield County, full of bucolic hills and fantastic leaf-peeping. While in Litchfield County, check out White Memorial, Hopkins Vineyards, and Kent Falls State Park. Fairfield County is full of towns to take in the fall scenery so enjoy.
I’ll miss the fall fairs this year as well as the Halloween parades, but I’m sure some festive and creative events will pop up in your town by the time this article posts. Be on the lookout if you are a lover of Halloween like I am.