Ushering in Fall

For the first time yesterday, the temperature dropped enough to make jeans and a long-sleeved shirt comfortable, and it finally feels like fall is here. We can all gaze with sadness as we put away the beach chairs and bikinis, and wave goodbye to our summer Fridays, but in secret, aren’t we all a little relieved that we’ve escaped another hot, muggy summer and are starting up New England’s best season: the cool, crisp days of autumn?

But don’t pull out the wool sweater and curl up in front of the warm glow of your Netflix yet. There’s still a lot of outdoor fun to be had this fall. Here are a few ideas.

Brunch and Apple Picking: BBQs are so last season, and I think we’re all a little sick of hamburgers. Invite your friends over for some late-morning comfort food–pancakes, muffins, coffee, cider and hot chocolate–with a fall theme. Inject pumpkin, cinnamon and apple in as much as you can and when you’re all fortified with food and fall spirit, held out for one of the most cherished fall traditions: apple picking. Orchards are everywhere. Check out this map to pick the one closest to you.

Beer Drinking Cooler weather means it’s time for fall beers. Far superior to the lemony summer brews, fall ales are unmistakably spicy, and in New England we’re lucky to have lots of local breweries, all of whom have their own variation on pumpkin ale or Oktoberfest. (For a beer that tastes like Halloween for grownups, try Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead, brewed in Portland, Maine. If you’re in the area, a brewery tour includes a tasting of it at the end!)

While just drinking a fall beer at a bar or on your porch on a chilly September day will get you in the spirit, we’re lucky to live in New England, where beer festivals abound. The Harpoon Brewery celebrates Octoberfest in both Boston and Vermont. While that’s a huge event, it’s not the only one. Check out this list of beer events for the fall.

Fair Going: If your idea of entertainment involves a little less alcohol and a little more sugar and thrill rides, then you’ll want to take advantage of the New England fair season. Bundle up in a sweater and test your stomach with both fried dough and cotton candy, and the Tilt-a-Whirl in the same place. Out in Western Mass., the Big E starts next week, and in October, the Topsfield Fair will attract thousands from northern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Aside from rides and games, these fairs keep their agricultural roots with giant pumpkin competitions, pig races and horse shows. If you’re looking to do the full New England tour, a complete list of fairs can be found here.

Make sure you join our email list to keep on top of the best deals on fall activities. What are your favorite ways to stay outdoors during autumn?

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