It’s technically not even summer yet as I’m typing this right now, but here I am ready to post about the fall season in New England while it’s currently 70 degrees outside. I will also be writing about the summer season in New England, but I want to keep these posts in order and a highlight of the fall in 2013 was a day trip we did to New Hampshire with my parents during Columbus Day weekend. Everyone knows (or should know!) that the foliage in New England is absolutely beautiful. Whether you enjoy it in the Berkshires in Western MA or the White Mountains in NH, it is just beautiful to see all the yellow, orange and brown colored leaves. Leaf peeping is a definitely thing and I’m proud(?) to say that I enjoy it. Foliage season is at its peak late-September to mid-October depending on where you are. You can use this fun little map to see when and where is the best time to enjoy the foliage.
Columbus Day weekend is generally towards the end of the season but still offers great views. In the past, we drove through Vermont on our way to Montreal during that weekend, and the views were just breathtaking. On Columbus Day weekend October 2013, we decided to do a day trip to the White Mountains/Kancamagus Highway with Alara, my parents and my in-laws. We first drove to the Settler’s Green shopping outlet village in North Conway while enjoying the highway views (Old Route 1) on the way there. These outlets do not compare to our beloved Wrentham Outlets, but they still offer our favorite stores like Adidas, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, and of course our newly added favorite, Carter’s. We enjoyed some good shopping deals and we were off to the Kancamagus Highway. It is about a 10-12 minute drive between the outlets and the Highway, so I would definitely recommend stopping there at either the beginning or ending of your drive, depending which way you are coming from.
The Kancamagus Highway is often mispronounced as Kangamangus but the CORRECT way to pronounce it is “Kank-ah-mah-gus”. You are welcome, NH locals. This highway is about 35 miles long and takes you through a path through the White Mountains, offering a great view of the foliage. There are no gas stations, restaurants, etc. so make sure you have enough gas in the tank and snacks on hand to get you through! There are also campgrounds and hiking trails if you wanted to spend more time around the area. There are some restaurants on either end of the Highway, either in Lincoln or Conway, or you could pack a picnic and enjoy at one of the Highway’s picnic areas. Here is a great guide that walks you through each major point by mile, and even tells you where the picnic areas and restrooms are!
After our drive through this beautiful Highway, it was dark and our tummies were hungry so we stopped and had a great family dinner in Lincoln, NH. Alara was too small to sit in a highchair so we had fun taking turns between her sitting in her car seat and family members holding/feeding her while we ate.
While that wraps up our day trip to the White Mountains, there are still so many other activities to enjoy in the Fall with young children (and on a budget, too!):
– Apple or Pumpkin picking. Find your local pick-your-own farms in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Don’t forget the apple cider, pie and cider donuts! See below for my favorite apple and pumpkin recipes.
Cider Hill Farm, September 2013 (Amesbury, MA)
Brooksby Farm, September 2014 (Peabody, MA)
– Boston Common – Tadpole Playground, Frog Pond and Carousel. Also, might as well take advantage of other parts of the city such as Faneuil Hall and museums like the Museum of Science, Boston Aquarium, Boston Children’s Museum or the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum.
– Salem, MA Haunted Happenings in October. Such a fun city with rich history, just be careful on the weekends at night, especially with younger children as the streets tend to get pretty busy and overwelming.
– Fall festivals – check out your local fall festivals! One of our favorites is the Newburyport Fall Festival which is Columbus Day weekend and offers great food, live music and craft vendors in a beautiful, historic seaport.
– Boston Book Festival – held in the end of October in Copley Square.
– Zoos – Plenty of great zoos like Southwick Zoo (Mendon, MA), Franklin Park Zoo (Boston, MA) and Roger Williams Park Zoo (Providence, RI).
– Hiking – Blue Hills Reservation (Milton, MA) or with older children climb Mount Monadnock (Jaffrey, NH). Also, Middlesex Fells has some great easy trails.
Usually, I keep my eye on any Groupon, Living Social or Travel Zoo deals for any fun activities or weekend hotel deals to enjoy something different!
Favorite Apple Recipes
Favorite Pumpkin Recipes
Can you tell I that love pumpkin? 😉