Five Autumn Adventures Off the Beaten Path
Fall, autumn – for whatever reason, it’s the only season with two names and the one that somehow always feels the most fleeting. Whether the season after it (whose name shall not be mentioned at the moment) brings your area snowstorms or migrating snow birds, the time to get out and experience fall is now.
Pumpkin patches and apple orchards rule the season, but there’s plenty else to see and do. Read on for autumnal adventures from coast to coast. Of course, there will be plenty of pumpkins to pick and hot ciders to drink along the way.
1. Outdoor Art Museums
Fall is the perfect time to get your camera ready and put what you learned in that art history class freshman year to use at an open air sculpture garden. These art destinations will show you sculptural splendor outside the confines of a gallery or museum. The colors of surrounding foliage are a nice bonus to the day’s visual treats.
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 20 miles from Boston, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln MA, 01773
Storm King Art Center, 56 miles from Manhattan, 1 Museum Road, New Windsor NY, 12553
Grounds for Sculpture, 40 miles from Philadelphia, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton NJ, 08619
2. Corn Maze
Nothing like arriving at your destination and immediately getting lost on purpose, right? Think of corn mazes as the original escape rooms, only outdoors and not necessarily during your department outing. Most corn mazes are on farms with all the classic trappings of a fall outing, so reward yourself with an apple cider donut when you finally reach the end. Check them out at night for a spooky experience.
Konow’s Corn Maze, 40 miles from Chicago, 16849 S. Cedar Rd., Homer Glen IL, 60491
Downey’s Farm, 55 kilometers from Toronto, 13682 Heart Lake Rd., Caledon ON, L7C 2J5
Von Thun Farms, 51 miles from New York City, 55 miles from Philadelphia, 519 Ridge Rd., Monmouth Junction NJ, 08852
3. Goat Yoga
What’s better than stretching out in downward facing dog after a long week at your desk? Stretching out in downward facing dog after a long week at your desk with a new adorable goat friend on your back. These farms host goat yoga classes where an instructor guides you through poses while a posse of goats wanders among the mats. There’s almost as much laughter from the students as there is baaa-ing from the goats.
Lemos Farm, 30 miles from San Francisco, 12320 San Mateo Rd, Half Moon Bay CA, 94019
Little Goat Farm at the Lake, 40 miles from Washington, D.C., 8954 Burwell Road, Nokesville VA, 20181
Goats to Go at Great Rock Farm, 35 miles from Boston, 201 Pond St, Georgetown MA, 01833
4. Baking Classes
Everyone thinks the best part of fall is the foliage, but it’s actually the flavors. Salted caramel, cinnamon apple and, of course, pumpkin spice – name a more delicious time of year, we’ll wait. Brush up on your baking skills with a class in one of these classroom kitchens. Once you’ve mastered pie crust or pastry dough, try a new recipe at home, preferably after apple picking. (Try these caramel apple cheesecake bars.)
King Arthur Flour – (two locations), 132 miles from Boston (135 U.S. 5 South, Norwich VT, 05055); 70 miles from Seattle (11768 Westar Lane, Burlington WA, 98233)
BLVD Kitchen, 13545 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks CA, 91423
Give Me Some Sugar, 2205 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago IL, 60618
5. Fall Hikes
Hiking is the best way to check off several items on your self care to-do list at once: exercise – check, fresh air – check, take in the scenery – check, unplug – check. These hikes will put some space between you and your other to-do list, making them the perfect way to recharge over the weekend.
Sugarloaf Mountain, 40 miles from Washington, D.C., 7901 Comus Rd., Dickerson MA, 20842
Skyline Ridge, 48 miles from San Francisco, Skyline Blvd. and Alpine Rd. intersection, La Honda CA, 94020
Starved Rock State Park, 90 miles from Chicago, 2678 East 873rd Rd., Oglesby IL, 61348