The time of year in most of the northerly states is approaching when the gorgeous deciduous trees will be limited in chlorophyll and will begin the “winterizing” process which we find so splendid to see as we drive along roadsides all over the country. Yes, you can still enjoy your autumn color tour and have your kids in tow! You just need to get creative and here are some tips for fabulous family fall forays.
This should be a no-brainer, but with some, you never know! Those over-zealous folks might want to take in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire — heck! all the way to New Brunswick is doable, you’ve got passports, right? Wrong. Kids will love the leaves, but LEAVE the long-trips with dry itineraries for a date weekend or a solo trip!
Many color routes, scenic byways and public lands have visitor centers or some kind of picnic area — some with planned programming. Do some research ahead of time and find something to break up the day. If you are in the right region, find apples for harvesting! This can keep kids busy for an entire day — and really can be a whole trip itself — but it is endless, easy fun too!
Your chances of seeing more than just the fall color (wildlife and some more entertaining things) will be greater around dawn and dusk. Not to mention, traffic will be lighter. The lighting can also be better than during the hyper-saturated afternoons.
A time-honored classic — traditional leaf rubbings. These fun and easy art projects are great for autumn activities on-the-go. Pack a few crayons and a lunch and see who can come up with the best rubbing before the last bite is finished. Maybe a chocolate-chip cookie wager?
It’s amazing–you look at lush green leaves in the spring and remark how beautiful they are — winter is gone! But, if you crest the hill to find an expanse of green in the fall — look out! Make sure to check state forestry guides and phone local visitor’s bureaus to best plan your trip to when the leaves might be at ‘peak’ color.
**BONUS** I have to make a plug here, after all, what kind of Camping TMOM would I be if I didn’t try to encourage a little autumnal camping trip? It’s a great time of year for cool, crisp nighttime air, great for sleeping, the bugs are gone or nearly so, and kids get excited for a little time away from the back-to-school hustle. Many campgrounds are more desolate, meaning you’ll score better sites near the lake and have peace and quiet! So, make a weekend of it and plan your drive to end at a great getaway in solitude! It will be Halloween before you know it — get out there and enjoy the fantastic fall fun!