The recipe for a perfect fall

While fall usually symbolizes the ushering-in of pumpkin-flavored everything, this time of year is also a beautiful chance to fall in love with fall all over again. From the pumpkins to the beautiful changing colors to the tricking and the treating, it is an opportunity to snuggle your family close and spend time together.

Here are just a few of the wonderful things about fall and how you can enjoy them to the fullest with your crew.

Nature

The changing colors, crisp air and falling leaves provide a beautiful backdrop to enjoy the great outdoors. Plan a day trip to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle or head north to the Chicago Botanic Garden and see Mother Nature in full fall regalia. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors before the freeze of winter comes knocking on the door.

Fall even more in love: Plan a fall scavenger hunt and have your family find as many fall items as they can, such as certain color leaves, pumpkins and spooky decorations. Play Fall BINGO and build a template with pictures of fall items. After a long day enjoying the great outdoors, head home, build a fire and snuggle under the blankets for a family movie.

Pumpkins

One of the best parts of fall is piles of pumpkins! Head to a local pumpkin farm, take a hayride and have fun selecting the perfect pumpkin. Try Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm in Lockport or Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch in Hampshire for the perfect family fall outing. Kids will enjoy seeing pumpkins in their natural element—and running through the corn mazes.

Fall even more in love: Host a pumpkin carving or painting party and invite family and friends. Provide carving tools, paint supplies and plenty of newspapers. Use the pumpkin seeds and create a salty snack while the best pumpkins are judged and awarded prizes.

Eats

Another favorite of fall is creating delicious comfort food. Put together a meal plan and spend a day freezer meal cooking for the cooler months. Use apples from a local orchard and work together to build the perfect All-American apple pie complete with homemade lattice crust. Build the ideal pot of apple cider to enjoy after a long day enjoying the great outdoors. Create the quintessential pumpkin pie complete with a heap of whipped cream. This is a great opportunity to work as a family in the kitchen and cook or bake together.

Fall even more in love: Host a chili or soup cook-off and have people bring their prized recipes in crockpots (think easy clean-up). Guests can vote on their favorites and enjoy the heartiness of the best fall comfort foods. Share the recipes on Pinterest or through email so the dishes can be re-created at home—the perfect segue to the winter months.

Trick or Treat

Halloween is a wonderful time to show off your creativity and spooky side. Plan a Halloween gathering and encourage guests to come in their best costumes. Enjoy meeting neighbors and finding new friends in your neighborhood when you head out to trick or treat as a group. Find a local haunted house (if you dare!)—check the new issue of Going Places for the best spooks around.

Fall even more in love: Create a candy apple bar and use crushed-up Halloween candy as toppings. Crockpots work great for keeping caramel and chocolate warm for apple topping. Your family will have a blast creating the perfect sweet treat! Share the love by creating extras for teachers, co-workers and neighbors.

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