This past Saturday, October 30th, I made a trip to the store to buy some last-minute Halloween napkins for a party. I walked to the seasonal aisle and see a tiny section of Thanksgiving decorations, and an employee unloading piles of Christmas decorations! It wasn’t even Halloween, and Christmas had officially walked into the store, and kicked all the fall décor to the curb. The day after Halloween, my Facebook flooded with people asking if it was too early to decorate for Christmas. Christmas is a very fun time of year. And I understand people wanting to start celebrating as soon as they can. But this November, get all your fall experiences before the Christmas takeover begins. Fall is a great time of year! I know we all can’t wait for Christmas, but let’s show some appreciation for Fall!
Hiking and Camping
Central Texas has some amazing hiking trails and camping spots. With the summer heat gone, fall is the best time to go camping and get outdoors. It’s more fun to roast marshmallows by the fire when you can’t fry an egg on the sidewalk. If you don’t feel like planning one giant camping trip, get out on the trails! There are so many amazing hiking trails around Austin. Without the heat suffocating you, you can actually enjoy being outside!. Grab some water, snacks, maybe a fun scavenger hunt, and enjoy the fall weather!
October is not your only opportunity to enjoy a fall festival! Pumpkins are still in season even though we won’t use them for Jack-o-lanterns! All the wonderful farms surrounding this area have fall festivals going on through Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to head out to the farms and enjoy some rides, pick some fruits and vegetables, and get into the season.
The drive-in movies are a lot of fun here in central Texas. A cool night, with a classic film, is a great way to enjoy the season. Plenty of the drive-in’s offer smores packages. Have some hot chocolate while watching a throw-back movie with your kids. The Blue Starlite Drive-in is showing Friday Night Lights, The Goonies, and Adams Family Values this month. The Globe Drive-in in Pflugerville is showing more mature movies but is screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Paw Patrol Movie, and Enchanted!
While pumpkin-spiced flavored things get all the credit this time of year, fall has some of the best flavors to enjoy. I am a firm lover of all things apple-cinnamon. And I have always found it incredibly offensive that pumpkin spice has become the flavor champion of fall! Try out some of these amazing apple recipes! Besides pumpkin, other squashes like butternut and spaghetti squash make some amazing recipes to enjoy. Try some of these delicious uses of butternut squash while we actually have some cold weather! But of course, do not forget the pumpkin. Heck, they’ve got pumpkin flavored cheerios these days!
With Thanksgiving upon us, teaching kids to be thankful and grateful is always good practice. There are lots of ways to make kids grateful for the things they have. A big one is teaching kids how to donate. Especially before they are about to get a lot of new toys for the Holidays. Teach your kids the healthy practice of going through their toys and clothes and giving away things they no longer use or want. Look at local churches, daycares or children’s hospitals for ideas of places to donate. For clothes or toys that are in rough shape, there are great toy recycling programs through Hasboro. Also look for “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook. It is amazing what people will take off your hands!
It is crazy to believe we are almost through fall and about to enter the Holiday season. The last two years have felt like a big time-suck for a lot of us. You have to work really hard to enjoy time before it flies by. Let’s enjoy the fall while we have it!